You do not have to be a Bush hater to be against the Iraq War. But it does seem to help, judging from the bumper stickers. One in particular springs to mind: ‘When Clinton lied, no-one died.’ It’s a cute little rhyme that must give no end of satisfaction to the Bush hating crowd. It’s so smart-alecky that it must contain a deeper, more profound truth.
President Bush did lie. The Downing Street Memo proves that he did, though many conservative commentators dismiss the memo as a left-wing conspiracy that has no validity. Unfortunately, it is an authentic British government document and it proves a lot (see my log entry for 17 May). Congress should investigate the extent and the nature of the president’s lies and act accordingly.
But that is only one part of the equation. People almost certainly died as a result of Bush’s lies, the notion that nobody died when Clinton lied is decidedly an unproven statement. Such a statement can only come from the mouth of someone who has crossed “sexual morality” off his list of priorities. After all, the claim is that Clinton’s sexual misconduct in the White House did not hinder him in his job as president. Perhaps not, though one wonders. However, a comment made on CNN this week highlighted the enormous damage Mr Clinton caused the nation.
When discussing teen culture and their supposedly improving sexual mores, Atoosa Rubenstein, the editor of Seventeen magazine, remarked that the encouraging statistics are accompanied by a growing stoic attitude to sexual adventures. After all, Rubenstein reminded the CNN interviewer, this is the generation of teenagers who had in the president of the United States a powerful role model teaching them that some sex isn’t sex, that it doesn’t matter anyway, that you can always try to lie your way out and when you get caught nothing bad happens anyway.
Presented to us in this light, the failure to remove Clinton from power appears a much greater error than it did at the time. At the time, the excuse was, of course, that the affair was private and did not impact the country. Now it seems that many more teens have become much more hardened in their immature stubbornness to defy adult wisdom. As a result, though the statsistics appear to show improvement in awareness of sexual morality, at the same time, they show the clear effects of a moral change in the minds of the next generation of Americans.
Suddenly, that little rhyme is no longer funny because we can see that it is not true. But for any Bush hating, Clinton worshiping liberal there is always the satisfaction of knowing that no-one will ever be able to prove how many teenagers were led by Clinton’s example to engage in unsafe or unwanted sex, or how many of them contracted venereal diseases, had abortions or were driven into potentially deadly despair as a result of the “unintended consequences” of Clinton’s lies.
So, don’t give me that “When Clinton lied, nobody died” nonsense. It ain’t true, and it ain’t funny.