10 January 2019

The Washington Clown-Fest (1999)


[From my pre-weblog, 9 January 1999. Yeah, it’s a day late.]
T
here’s probably no good reason to put in anything here, really, but this impeachment farce continues in Washington, and I might as well get something down about it. It’s unbelievable that Congress has sunk this low, to use the power of impeachment for what can only be described as narrow partisan ends, but there it is I guess. Nobody I’ve talked with gives a damn about any of this—the general opinion seems to be a let’s-get-this-damn-thing-over-with attitude. Detachment is the only way to handle this idiocy. This bizarre defense the Republicans (my own party, God help me) keep coming up with is like an incredibly bad sleight-of-hand trick. It’s not what Clinton did that’s important—it’s the fact he lied about it. That’s the real issue. Don’t look at the goldfish bowl I’m trying to hide behind my back—you’re supposed to be looking over here, where I have the sheet in the shape of a bowl. Come on, audience—now I’m going to do it again, and this time try to follow the trick—look at what I want you to, and not at what I’m really doing. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. For God’s sake, people, come off it! The only issue here is whether having an “inappropriate relationship” with an employee is in fact a high crime or misdemeanor on the level of treason or bribery—or election fraud or selling arms to our nation’s enemies. If so then the issues of lying under oath or obstruction of justice assume a serious cast and we can talk seriously about maybe removing the president from office. But without that it’s all dust and cobwebs. And when the Republicans themselves keep on saying that the issue isn’t sex, it’s perjury (for which so far they haven’t presented the vestige of a case, as far as I can see, since no one has even addressed the question of materiality), or lying under oath, or obstruction of justice, or something or other like that—well, hell, they might as well just come out and say We don’t have any kind of a case, but we’re hoping somehow to get Clinton on a technicality. While I have little respect for the American people on the whole, this time they’re quite correct in their perception that the case is about Clinton’s sex life. Period. And the Republicans have only a lame magic trick they can’t quite get to work. [9 Ja 1999]

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