There are two Thomas Jefferson quotes I feel compelled to share with you. "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be...The people cannot be safe without information. Where the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe". He also noted that "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but the newspapers."
Last week in this space (two days before the stuff hit the fan, and two days after having read Matt Drudges Report)) I wrote of Newsweeks spiking the Michael Isikoff story which would have introduced the country to Monica Lewinsky.
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Now that the nation has caught fire with the controversy several elements are kinda interesting.
- Michael Isikoff has reported that it was Ken Starr's office that asked his bosses to sit on the story in order to by time to pressure, and hopefully, compel Lewinsky to collect the ultimate evidence on Clinton.
- The intimation has been that Newsweek actually assisted the administration by leaking the story to the Washington Post (although Matt Drudge was two days ahead of them).
- The controllers are attempting to diminish any sexual impropriety as no big deal. Failing to acknowledge the real concerns over suborning perjury and obstruction of Justice.
- Several of the callers to my talk show have noted that military officers have been, and are being, kicked out for fraternization, and/or lying. In all cases the essence of honor, trust and access to nuclear weapons and poor judgement are common themes.
- Both the President and Vernon Jordan have made carefully (albeit poorly) worded statements denying any wrongdoing.
- It was inevitable but the defenders of the indefensible are shocked and amazed that anyone would dare attack the man who sits in the Oval Office. One caller actually suggested it was unpatriotic.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Patriotism means to stand by the county. It does NOT mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extend that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."
Most reasonable people acknowledge that there should not be a rush to judgement unless or until all the significant facts are known. However, far from being a "rush to judgment" this apparent national epiphany is the product of one of the longest stalls in public awareness (with the possible exception of alleged CIA drug involvement).
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Bill Clinton is, and has been known to be a philanderer. Notwithstanding legal semantics and rhetorical hair splitting, we already know:
- Bill Clinton has been unfaithful to his wife.
- Bill Clinton has lied about his infidelity. Note: His nationally televised protestations regarding Gennifer Flowers, and now reports of admitting the relationship under oath in a sworn deposition.
- Bill Clinton has instructed former paramours to lie about their intimate relationships. Even the networks are replaying the tape of Clinton telling Flowers to deny everything.
Lying, obstruction of justice, abuse of power under the color of authority are not anomalies for the Clinton administration or for Bill Clinton. A long list of growing evidence suggests that rather than the exception, lying, obstruction, and abusing power are the rule, standing operating procedure for Clinton.
Charles Caleb Colton once noted, "He that is good, will infallibly become better, and he that is bad, will as certainly become worse, for vice and virtue and time are three things that never stand still."