Comments from The Outpost

The White House "Sex Scandal": A Made-for-TV Event

18 May 1998
by Dan Murphy

It's been kinda quiet here at the Outpost recently, too quiet. Bullshit has come to dominate the "news". Even though millions of words have been written and spoken about the "White House Sex Scandal", so much of it has been in the service of generating more TV audience and more newspaper sales that the truth has almost disappeared.

Of course, once the Paula Jones case was thrown out of court and the hubub about that died down, even the media couldn't fake much excitement about this story any more.

Still, it isn't dead yet. Notice that Kenneth Starr still hasn't called Monica Lewinsky before his inquisition... er, grand jury that is. One of these days, he'll probably finally do that. Or maybe he'll decide that what really happened is that Monica was just bullshitting her "friend" Linda Tripp when those tapes were made, and that she only WISHED she has given the President a blow job.

It's a hell of a society we live in when an official of the government can get somebody to secretly tape record a conversation with a supposed friend as part of a politically-motivated witch hunt. Think about the last time you shared some intimate talk with a friend. Maybe you embellished the details a bit. What if you found out that conversation had been taped and was being listened to by some eunuch lawyers in Washington, D.C.

Whether you are pro- or anti-Clinton politically, I say nothing that he is alleged to have done warrants that kind of police-state tactics.

And remember, the only justification for prying into whether Clinton had sex with Monica was to prove he lied about it in the deposition in the Paula Jones case -- a case which has now been thrown out as having no possibility of success. In other words, the case was bullshit to begin with, and yet (because of a BIG mistake by the Supreme Court) it was allowed to proceed through "discovery", which meant that Clinton and others could be asked a lot of personal questions which NOBODY ought to have to answer! So Clinton had to answer a bunch of questions that had no business being asked, and because of that, Starr was able to launch another whole round of inquisition by claiming that one of his answers wasn't true.

Ok, so most of what I've just said has almost nothing to do with the sexual things that Clinton might have done. That's the point. The case has nothing to do with sex; it has ALL to do with the right-wingers obsession with trying to bring down Clinton, or more accurately, diminished his effectiveness by making him look damanged or foolish. When has the Rutherford Foundation ever, and I mean EVER, worked for women's issues or against sexual harassment?? Flat-ass never! But now they're so damn rightous about the "injury" that Paula suffered that they're spending millions on her behalf. If Paula's claim weren't against their mortal political enemy, they wouldn't give her bus fare home.

Anyhow, this story isn't over, but it is pretty likely that it's going to be page 3 from here on. We can't be too sure, but the irony is that it may have backfired on the right wing. We now know that the American Public, by and large, isn't going to go postal just because the President might have had a little hanky-panky, even in the White House. And most people have made it clear that they don't want this kind of stuff, true or not, shoved in their face by the media any more. As a piece of right-wing demagogery, 'that dog don't hunt', as the southern boys would say. Many of the right-wingers probably still don't get it, but from here on, they're just jerking off with this stuff.

Polls suggest that a sizable majority of people are actually inclined to cut Clinton some slack if he did the things that have been alleged. But remember, he might not have done them! And if he actually didn't, look at all the time and clamor that has gone into something that didn't happen. Allegations around sex are a powerful weapon in our sex-obsessed and yet sex-confused society. Accusations in general are much easier to make than to refute, and that's why the presumption of innocence isn't just the legal standard of the courtroom, it's a damn good idea!

The kinds of accusations being hurled at Clinton are already shifting, and some of the new ones would actually be serious if they were true. That doesn't mean they are. The fact that there have been accusations against Clinton since before he took office doesn't mean that there is probably something wrong, it just means that his enemies are relentless in making up accusations. Clinton's enemies hope that you'll think that "where's there smoke, there's fire." But here, there is no fire. Only smoke. The smoke that the right-wingers are blowing.

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