This piece was written in March, 1998. My opinion has changed since writing this - it first changed when new evidence was brought forth which points to the fact that our President may have sold out our country to Communist China for his precious campaign dollars. We shouldn't be dealing with China in the first place, let alone selling military information for campaign funds! And of course in August, 1998 it was made painfully obvious that the President has lied under oath and lied to the American people...obviously we won't know the details until Ken Starr submits his report, but I feel a lot differently now than when I wrote the piece below!
Back in February and March of 1998, many people asked me, "CAROLYN! Why have you been silent on the Clinton scandal?! As a matter of fact, why have MOST Republicans been silent?!" Below was my reasoning at that time.
I have specific reasons for my silence, and I believe my reasons are the same as or similar to the reasons of other Republicans.
The Republicans coming out and criticizing Clinton regarding the current investigation regarding Monica Lewinsky won't do anything but make conservatives look bad. This would give the media a perfect opportunity to call conservatives "mean spirited" and perpetuate Hillary Clinton's absurd "vast right-wing conspiracy" theory. Even now, people are wailing that the investigation is some sort of witch hunt, and, after a brief period of actually coming down hard on Clinton back in January 1998, the media has again started to protect Clinton and go after Ken Starr.
In addition, we don't yet have all the facts. Personally, I have a hard time believing that Clinton is an innocent, unknowing victim in this case. However, what if he is not found guilty of anything? What happens if it turns out that Monica is lying, (and I am not trying to pass the blame to Monica, but there is always the possibility) and that she actually did make up the affair? If Clinton is found to be innocent or if it turns out that Monica was making things up do you know what FOOLS the Republican will look like if they blasted Clinton prior to the verdict?!
Also, there is another possibility. The people in the White House are very clever. Let's say that Clinton didn't do anything with Monica. What perfect way to bait the Republicans by denying it and then staying silent, letting the conservatives rant and rave, knowing all the while that in the end, Clinton will come out smelling like a rose? It would be a perfect opportunity to make the conservatives look like idiots, and to make Clinton look like a saint.
For instance, remember the semen stained dress? That proved to be a falsehood. What if the Republicans jumped all over that, only to be made fools of when it was shown to be false?
Personally, I have a feeling Clinton may be guilty, but I will admit that nothing has been proven, and that no one knows the full story as of yet.
Now let's take a look at Ken Starr. He's being crucified in the media for merely doing his job. Can you imagine the media uproar if the conservatives really blast Clinton - and it would take the focus off the Clinton investigation even more and place an even bigger burden on the conservatives and Ken Starr. Ken Starr is being painted as a maniac, obsessed by his pursuit of the Clintons, when he was appointed by Janet Reno to conduct the investigation (is Janet Reno part of this vast right-wing conspiracy also?), and the President has the authority to FIRE Starr at any time! If Ken Starr is so "biased" then why hasn't Clinton fired him? The media ignores this and chooses to continue to distort everything and paint Ken Starr as some monster. The media talks of "leaks" and points the finger at Ken Starr, ignoring the fact that there is no proof that the leaks came from Starr, and the leaks which have been linked to a source have shown the source not to be Starr. People complain of "all the time and money" being spent on Ken Starr's investigations, but they ignore the fact that may of the delays have been caused because the President and his advisors often refuse to turn over documents as requested, and use numerous other stall tactics. (and how quckly they forget the 7 year $100,000,000+ Iran-Contra investigation) The media could, and would, pull the same selective fact reporting stunt on the Republicans.
We must be patient. There is no benefit in jumping all over this. We don't need to follow our emotions and jump on every tidbit of information. We must base our arguments on FACT and not emotion. The facts will come out, and if Clinton is found to be guilty, how much better the conservatives will look in that they didn't go out to "get someone" before the facts are heard. If the allegations are true, then Clinton has dug his own grave - the Republicans don't need to join in. Now, let's say that Clinton is not found to be guilty - the conservatives will have dug themselves a big, fat, deep grave if they start jumping now.
What Republicans should speak out about, and focus on, is the following:
1. Ken Starr and the fact that he is being used as a scapegoat to try and take the focus off the President. Let the man do his job! He was appointed by a liberal and a liberal could fire him if he is really that bad. Perhaps Reno appointed Starr BECAUSE she knew that people would say he was biased and this would turn into an investigation against Starr and not Clinton - has anyone considered that possibility?
2. Everyone keeps screaming that "who cares about his sex life." Besides the fact that if it were a REPUBLICAN they'd surely care about his sex life, but THIS CASE ISN'T ABOUT SEX!!! It is about BREAKING THE LAW and LYING UNDER OATH and trying to get OTHER PEOPLE TO LIE under oath - obstruction of justice and lying - the same thing NIXON resigned over! The liberals want to focus on the sex part so they can scream about how it isn't relevant - we must continue to point out that this isn't about sex. My friend Chuck made an excellent statement about this:"I don't care anything about who the President is having sexual relations with and I don't care how he defines the term. But I am worried about who he is conspiring with to commit perjury and obstruct justice. And I worry about why. If they are willing to go to such lengths to maintain their grasp on power, then, quite obviously, they are not responsible enough to be entitled to that power.3. Now, even though the investigation is not about sex, we can still point out the fact that in any other case of a boss supposedly having sexual contact with a young employee, feminists would be screaming "SEXUAL HARASSMENT" Ummmm....hello? Feminists? Where are you? The same women who cry that a man can't tell a dirty joke in the office don't have a problem with Clinton allegedly having oral sex with an intern. Camille Paglia, a feminist whose politics are about as different from mine as you can get, points this out very well. This is one issue that she and I can agree on.
When this is all over with I hope that people will remember more about it than just the sex. I hope they will remember it as being about power."
So, if anyone wonders why I have been silent, for the most part, on this issue, this is why. In the end, the truth will come out, and in the end, we will find out exactly who has been lying to us all along.
I would like to express my thanks to the media sources which have presented a balanced and fair view of this situation.