By now, even those with only a modest regard for the truth can
admit that President Clinton lied about his one-sided sexual
relationship with a young White House intern. Independent Counsel
Kenneth Starr’s report has been posted to the Internet and
published in hundreds of newspapers. Supporting documents from
one of the 17 boxes delivered to Congress have been released. All
who cared to, have watched the videotape of Mr. Clinton’s grand
What is startling is that many of the president’s defenders —
continue defending. David Kendall, Mr. Clinton’s private
attorney, can be excused: he is a freelance soldier in the pay of
Mr. Clinton, doing his job to the best of his abilities. But what
of the president’s other defenders?
Broadly speaking, they fall into two camps. One group relies upon
the broken-record technique: it’s about sex, and since sex is
supposed to be private, we simply won’t discuss it any further,
and neither should you. This is a classic liberal defense. Unable
to discuss an issue on its merits, they wrap it up in a brown
paper bag, neatly label it, and cart it off to a disused room
somewhere in their minds. There it remains, safe from exposure to
the light of fact or logic. Unable to cause them intellectual
discomfort. An unassailable falsehood.
The second group of Clinton defenders are more interesting. Their
defense reveals the inner workings of their minds even more
clearly than the first group. The president himself falls into
this group. So does Bob Kerry, and a disturbing number of the
According to this group, the president didn’t lie, he just very
carefully and narrowly defined the truth. The president created
in his own mind his own unique version of the truth. But he told
no one. In his testimony before the grand jury, Mr. Clinton used
words that ordinary people seated on the jury would understand to
mean one thing — but to Mr. Clinton they meant something
What is so troubling is that, to this group of Mr. Clinton’s
defenders, this defense makes perfect sense!
Have you ever wondered why?
Then I began to understand.
This particular group of Clinton defenders conducts public policy
in the same way they defend their president. They use words that
to ordinary Americans mean one thing — but in reality mean
something entirely different. Often, these words have been redefined in
their rambling, twisted minds to mean quite the opposite
of what they are saying. But they have convinced themselves —
and some others — that they are telling the truth, as they know
Because this technique has become second nature to these
respected Democrats, it was only natural that they would apply it
to defend their president when he was under attack. In so doing,
they have revealed the truth of who and what they are.