The Kenneth Starr Probe of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky
by Clyde Verner
Friday, 20 November 1998
"You have violated your obligations under the independent counsel statute and have unlawfully intruded on the power of impeachment." Describing "Independent Councillor" Kenneth Starr with these words, Sam Dash today resigned after serving four years as advisor to the hit man who behaves as if he has been hired by Republicans to bring down the Democrat in the White House.
Referring to the statute which authorizes the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate allegations of Presidential wrongdoing, Mr. Dash criticized Kenneth Starr's decision to appear in Congressional hearings "as an aggressive advocate" of impeachment.
Tuesday, 10 November 1998
Just when it looked as if things were cooling down, it was revealed that President Clinton has been questioned for more than an hour by the FBI and the Justice Department regarding campaign financing.
At issue is whether he used money donated to the Democratic Party to finance his re-election campaign. While they're at it, the FBI might do well to check on the ethics of letting millions of dollars of Political Action Committee (PAC) money end up in the campaigns of members of the US Congress. Special interest groups in the US have long used this method to buy influence.
Monday, 9 November 1998
Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" was a high point in his career, and a contribution we shouldn't forget. In spite of how the election results appear, Americans are not disillusioned with the Republicans. They have a good chance of capturing the White House next time round, if they stick to issues important to good government.
Hiring preachers to investigate private life and moralize on sexual behavior doesn't win elections. To win, the Republican party must now focus on the things that really are important to American families: safe streets, fiscally responsible government, high standards of education, a reasonable expectation of a good future for our children.
Wednesday, 4 November 1998
Thanks to the wisdom and maturity of the American voters, the political opportunists who were so busy playing nasty politics got their just reward.
The Republicans have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in a most spectacular way. If these Peeping Toms can now get their minds off of sex for a moment, perhaps we can ask them to get back to the mundane task of running the government.
Monday, 2 November 1998
Will Americans bother to vote Tuesday? Most analysts see a low turnout as likely to work in favor of the Republicans. Here is how this week's The Economist saw Halloween in America:
Mounds of tawdry evidence lie thickly in the gutters. From both the White House and Congress comes the rattle of skeletons in cupboards. The drooling wolves of the press lope through the murk and every so often, as a pack, raise their muzzles to the moon and howl.
--The Economist, 31 October 1998
Thursday, 15 October 1998
There is a school of thought which holds that President Clinton lied under oath, and should be punished. When it comes to private sexual matters, however, the issue is more complex. Traditionally, men have been expected to protect the honor of women. Under traditional norms, a man of honor might not have disclosed publicly the private sexual act which Monica Lewinsky performed, even under oath.
Some might argue that President Clinton had motives beyond those of honor, but the crux of the matter lies elsewhere. As the Republicans insist on pursuing this further, the problem becomes one of trying to decide whose sleaze is sleaziest. To many observers, the sex and lies were far less offensive than the political opportunism which motivated both the investigation and the subsequent flood of Kenneth Starr's pornography. Are we supposed to thank the Republicans for this?
If President Clinton can be faulted by this magazine, it is for his lack of support of those men for whom fatherhood is important. Himself the product of a fatherless home, President Clinton exhibits a lack of understanding and insight. His failures in this area alone were serious enough to warrant a vote against him for a second term.
Nothing less than the unrelenting sleaziness of the Republicans could bring me to defend President Clinton. Yet the Republicans have done just that, and they should pay.
Friday, 9 October 1998
The governmental meltdown continues...
This is a story that shouldn't have been in the news at all. Many good American presidents have had extramarital affairs (President Kennedy went much further afield than President Clinton has, for example), and the only reason these men didn't lie about their private matters was that people were wise enough not to ask. Republicans, in their zeal to recapture the White House, seem to have lost this traditional wisdom. It is not surprising that they are now experiencing a backlash of anger from the voters.
This magazine's pages on the Monica Lewinsky affair cover the story without any lewd sexual details from the Kenneth Starr report. Some of the story titles listed below are admittedly raunchy, but then this is a raunchy subject.
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