Bill Clinton: Forget Him
It is time for Bill Clinton to resign. At this point, even an impeachment would be better for the country than allowing Mr. Clinton to continue as president.
When the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff have to suffer through a question about the relationship between recent air strikes and the popular film Wag The Dog, it is past time for Mr. Clinton to move on.
The issue is not sex. In fact, the issue is not illegal land deals, drug use in the White House, entering over one hundred FBI files into computer for civilians to access, perjury or even obstruction of justice. The issue is trust.
Remember Mr. Clinton entered office by reminding the public of President Bush's broken pledge of "no new taxes." Now, Mr. Clinton has admitted a string of deceit; "I did not have relations with that women," "I did not have an affair with Genifer Flowers," and his fallacious testimony regarding gifts he gave Monica Lewinsky. Mr. Clinton was elected because the public did not believe George Bush, now they have no reason to trust the words or actions of Mr. Clinton.
It is clear from reaction to the missile strikes that the public no longer trusts their president. Following an Mr. Clinton's bold decision to strike back at terrorists, the applause was drowned out by questions over the man's motivation for destroying forces that threaten American citizens.
Some polls suggested two out of three citizens were suspicious of the timing of the attack. When a world leader erases 600 lives and the majority of the American people doubt his actions, something is tragically wrong.
Mr. Clinton has gone from serving as the nation's leader to becoming the national misleader. He has squandered the public's trust.
Americans are raised believing in assumed innocence, so the nation was willing to wait for the final outcome of the Ken Starr investigation. Even after Judge Starr's unparalleled success, citizens were not yet ready to toss Mr. Clinton out on his ear.
Now, it is a different story. Mr. Clinton admitted he lied to each and every citizen in the country. His cabinet, his supporters and a United States grand jury were all deceived by the nation's highest official.
When he admitted his deception, Mr. Clinton lost any credibility he had with the public. It does not matter whether he lied about sex, international terrorism or leaving the seat up, the fact is he intentionally mislead the courts, he lied to his friends, he lied to the country and the world.
Ken Starr has quietly accepted more unfounded slander than anyone since Harrison Ford in The Fugitive. Judge Starr is markedly nonpartisan. This is the same man who helped remove Republican Bob Packwood from office. Starr has been very thorough in his investigation. He has compiled an impressive stack of Supreme Court victories while the high court handed him only one defeat. His record is outstanding for anyone, especially anyone going up against the leader of the free world.
Despite the complaints about the investigation's price tag, compared to other special prosecutors, Starr is below the average cost-per-indictment. The dollar amount is small considering the amount of time invested and the obstacles Starr has had no maneuver.
Mr. Clinton could have save the American people millions of dollars. He could have told the truth seven months ago. The grand jury members would love to go home and return to their jobs, but Mr. Clinton has forced them to spend months sifting though whatever information they can glean.
Mr. Clinton has not been forthcoming with information. Starr has had witnesses skip the country, commit suicide and choose jail time rather than testify before the grand jury. Judge Starr has done an amazing job considering what he had to work with.
No one should buy Mr. Clinton's defense of "technical accuracy." The allegations run much deeper than trysts on the Oval Office carpet. Mr. Clinton also told the jury he never gave Ms. Lewinsky gifts. Gifts that the FBI handed over to Judge Starr. Mr. Clinton urged Ms. Lewinsky to turn the gifts over to White House staff so they could not be subpoenaed. Facts which reek of both perjury and obstruction of justice.
Grand jury leaks report about one-tenth of Judge Starr's questioning of Mr. Clinton related to Monica Lewinski. This is not about sex.
This is not a private matter either. Do not forget the numerous allegations that do not include sex in the White House, but even the sex allegations are pertinent matters for the public to consider. Mr. Clinton lied under oath -- about sex, a topic that does not matter (as the Democratic spin doctors keep reminding us). If no one cares whether he had an affair, why did he not tell the truth.
Normal citizens have to reveal details of their sex lives for many reasons; divorce hearings, cases concerning abuse and cases concerning sexual harassment. In one of these settings, Mr. Clinton felt he was not held by the same constraints as a normal citizen. His actions cannot be defended because "it was a private matter," rather they must be condemned as contrary to the laws and courts defined by the constitution he swore to preserve, protect and defend. Or perhaps that oath was misleading as well.
Judging from the reaction to the Mr. Clinton's address and the air strikes, the only pertinent matter is broken trust. This incident proves that character does matter. No that Mr. Clinton lacks credibility, he cannot lead effectively. This is not about sex, lies, money, drugs or Ken Starr. This is about the 600 people killed in recent air strikes. This is about Saddam Hussein, welfare, Social Security and the business of running the country.
No matter what Mr. Clinton does, his actions will not be viewed as those of a president, but as those of a dishonest man looking out for himself. His actions and motivations will always be called into question. And they should be.
Mr. Clinton should do the nation a favor, do Al Gore a favor and he should preserve, protect and defend the constitution by stepping down from office.
Dave Johnston is a senior mathematics major.