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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 jury testimony.
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
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 Democratic old guard.
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 entirely different.
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 it.
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.