The Blue Dress

Lars Poulsen - 1998-09-14

we could finally read on the Internet that Monica wasn't bluffing: She really had secured a memoir of "the Big Guy". But while this may have been what most of the readers were looking for, there was something much worse in there: A good case for perjury.

Most people seem to think that the Lewinsky affair was about sex, but I disagree. While distasteful, the sex is Washington business as usual. As long as there has been government in Washington, DC, bright and beautiful women have been trekking there to have sex with the powerful men, and many have indeed found it worth their time and efforts. In this respect, Monica was quite successful, but not unusual. And for all of that time, the company of these women has been seen as one of the fringe benefits of a political career.

Up until the release of the report, I was supporting the president, however much it made me cringe. Unlike Jessica Hahn, and maybe Paula Jones, it seems fairly clear that Monica Lewinsky was not a victim of sexual harassment, but a willing instigator. Until I read about the cigar, I was willing to believe, that Clinton - as the seasoned lawyer that he is - had managed to trick the Grand Jury into accepting a definition of sexual relations that would let him truthfully claim that he had not had sexual relations with her (although she had with him). "I did not inhale" at a lower level ... roughly 18 inches lower: "But I did not ejaculate!" It was clear that he had blatantly lied in his public statements, but there was still hope that he had technically not commited perjury. Now that we have lost that last hope, I can no longer support the president: He should resign immediately, and if he will not do that, the Congress should remove him through impeachment.

There are those who will say that he has suffered enough, and we should forgive him and be done with it. They claim a variety of reasons, each of which I shall try to address. But the core of my argument is that if we allow perjury to go unpunished, we will need to re-think a lot of our criminal procedure law, and I do not think we can accept the consequences.

Here, then are some of the arguments raised in the president's defense:

I like Bill Clinton, and the only reason I did not vote for him is that as a foreign national I cannot vote (without committing perjury on my voter registration), but I think his transgressions are bad enough that he should hand the baton to Al Gore. Yes, I know there are those who would impeach Gore for making personal telephone calls during office hours, but I really do not expect the impeachment articles on those charges to ever come before the House.

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