Weekly Wire
Salt Lake City Weekly Handwriting on the Wall...

By Bruce R. Baird

SEPTEMBER 21, 1998:  Watching Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia justifiably compare at least some as aspects of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal to Nixon's Watergate debacle I remembered two old quotes. Karl Marx, appending a contemporary observation of Engels about the repetition of personalities and events in history, added that such reappearences occurred "the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce."

I don't subscribe to the view that the travails of Tricky Dick (Nixon, not Bubba, for those to young to remember) were of Learic proportions. But unswallowed oral sex in the Oval Office with a bimbo like Monica, and Clinton's subsequent perjuries and half-truths, sinks below the level of opera bouffe.

You have to ask yourself one obvious question: "What was he thinking?" Did Clinton forget the old maxim that two people in Washington can keep a secret only if one of them is dead? Were a few minutes of pleasure worth literally historic embarrassment? Did he think that bad lawyerly quibbling about what constituted a sexual relationship would fool anybody?

My position on Clinton is simple. This isn't about whether adultery is morally reprehensible; even if the woman in question is young enough to be the man's daughter. We all knew before we elected him that Clinton was utterly amoral. It isn't about whether Kennedy screwed Marilyn Monroe or Reagan sold arms to Iran. Kennedy's peccadilloes were wrong and Reagan was a stupid liar who should have lived out his dotage in a jail cell shared with his henchman Oliver North.

And it isn't about whether Ken Starr has engaged in a politically motivated witch hunt. Sure, the misuse of cigars is a long way from the Whitewater land deal the special prosecutor was originally charged with investigating. But how does that justify Clinton's relationship with Lewinsky; wouldn't a truly intelligent man knowing he was already under intense scrutiny from an avenging puritan be even more careful about his private life?

Clinton committed a stupid, reckless act and then repeatedly perjured himself about it under oath. He adamantly broadcast that same lie to all of America complete with faux-righteously indignant finger waiving. How can anyone ever again trust either the judgment or the honesty of Clinton again?

This mess is not just between Clinton, Hillary and their God. Clinton didn't just compromise his marital vows; he compromised the faith of the American people in the office of the President of the United States. Now, in his political impotence as he fights for his personal survival in office, he is apparently willing to sacrifice any hope of getting his policy initiatives passed and to run the even greater risk of allowing a moralizing Republican neo-fascist to follow him into the White House.

I don't care how many times Clinton "apologizes." It's not enough. He should do the only honorable thing left to him. Resign. Tomorrow.

But he won't.

Clinton, like most solipsistic politicians, has never understood that he isn't irreplaceable; that he isn't more important than the country or the office he temporarily occupies.

The second quotation Sen. Byrd's wisdom reminded me of was from the Book of Daniel; Chapter 5, Verse 27. It was the prophet's translation for Belshazzar, then King of Chaldea, of part of the "handwriting on the wall." The warrior-king to be translated the mysterious inscription simply: "Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting."

The moving finger has written an identical judgment about Bubba. He has been found wanting. The finger has moved on. So should Clinton. So that America can move on.


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