The Clinton Affair: Into Its Meat
In this whole sordid mess concerning President Clinton, Monika Lewinsky, Ken Starr, and
the Congress, both the media and the American public seem to be largely missing much of
the real meat (pun intended) behind it all. That really need surprise no one. As a
culture, Americans tend to deal with the superficial, pointing toward why our society is
in the shape it is. So, here are the major issues behind the affair:
- The only pertinent Constitutional issue is whether the President is guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors". Believe it or not, perjury does not fit the definition of a capital offense, and I doubt if it fits the definition of "high crimes". However, it does fit the latter prerequisite of "misdemeanors"; and, certainly, one has to wonder whether a President who lies under oath can be trusted in any matters of domestic or foreign affairs where his truthfulness might be required. Whether he lied to his wife, his daughter, or the American public has no bearing on this issue; and I have to agree that his sex life is his business. However, if he has sex on the White House lawn; then, hes being foolish to think that the cameras wont be televising it and there wont be repercussions.
- Everyone involved in this affair has their own private agendas. They are all manipulating public opinion for gain. Clinton certainly is a master at that, and anyone who thinks Ken Starr had no political agenda hasnt been paying attention. Congress, zealous at passing legislation such as the Communications Decency Act and morally outraged at what they call pornography, has published the Starr Report on the Internet, complete with explicit sexual acts any child could read. Why is explicit sexuality okay only when there is some political gain? Why are politics more important than the Grand Jury process as well as an individuals right to a fair and speedy trial? Could it be the Republicans really think there are no true grounds for impeachment and their best hope of getting rid of Clinton is to put him on trial in the courts of public opinion?
There was no need--except politically--for any transcripts, video tapes, or other material
to be released until after the grand jury and the impeachment processes had run their
- The bottom line being missed by everyone publicly: alcoholism
kills! In this case, it has killed a marriage (despite any denials to the contrary), mens characters (Bill Clintons foremost), a Presidency (also Clintons), and who knows whom or what else. Clintons family history is well-known, and his actions clearly show he is still very much in the grasp of the disease. You can talk about his sexual addiction all you want (a favorite subject of therapists in the field), but that clearly ignores the root
addiction, i.e., alcoholism (a subject most therapists dont want to discuss, especially when it comes to themselves). Anyone who really understands and knows alcoholism knows it is a family disease, and that everyone in the family has a piece of it, even those who do not drink (and especially them). Bill Clintons "acts" of repentance and his picking his own "spiritual" counselors appear to me to be "cons". Dont count on him getting better. (And that is the way it is supposed to be.)
From the actions of everyone else involved with this thing, Id have to say hes hardly the only one acting out his disease. (Or do I need to mention the history of other famous Senators?)
Alcoholism is Americans #1 problem and has been for centuries. What were seeing now is a duck coming home.
- In previous editorials posted on this site, I have said that Clintons vehemence toward males (expressed as his vigor in pursuing "deadbeat dads") and his affairs are linked. They are. By beating up on men perceived to have abandoned women, he both covers his guilt about his misuse of women and builds a foundation for obtaining more sexual favors.
Moreover, Clintons actions toward "deadbeat dads" can be focused more clearly under a harsher light, especially once one understands he is still suffering from his disease. His actions can be characterized as his acting out his anger toward the alcoholic father who abandoned him. He has done what many people from alcoholic/dysfunctional families do, i.e., globalized his villain into all "deadbeat dads". And he is reaping on America the results of such misguided actions, i.e., more heartache, more sickness, more ruined children
- There is such a thing as "tribal memory". The Republicans have been acting out of shame and pain ever since they had a President from their party impeached. To escape it, they must impeach a Democratic party President. Achieving that brings the shame level to an even keel. This is the dysfunctional equivalent of tearing someone down to make yourself feel better, and it is a temporary and illusionary solution at best. Still, Im willing to bet that if Clinton is impeached, we will see a less hostile environment between our political parties, at least for a while. However, since they are both locked in a never-ending battle for control of the country, there will never be any true long-term winners, and especially not the average American.
So, there you have it. As for me, I havent read the Starr Report and dont plan to. I switch channels or turn the TV set off when much of this stuff is on. Ive got better things to do (like write this editorial). Oh, in case this editorial has left you thinking Im in favor of impeachment proceedings being halted, Im not. There may indeed be grounds, and holding the hearings is the only way were going to know.
I simply don't believe in double standards of justice. The best and only real justice is God's, and we're never wise enough and are far too arrogant to let that stand alone.