Wise insight displayed as a hand-stitched knickknack in an Amish restaurant in Middlefield, Ohio - suggested that "fools are always eager to share their opinions."

That true, the only current alternative to doing so here is unemployment.Perhaps the author intended its application to all views rendered outside a newspaper's editorial section. It still mitigates the desire to pile on President Clinton for his admitted indiscretions which, given his track record, are sordid and shocking but not surprising.

There is no pleasure in kicking someone when he is down nor in focusing on a sorry saga that - with each disgusting detail - becomes more reprehensible and demeaning of women generally and Clinton's colleagues specifically. (Where are you, NOW?)

But it is hard to ignore the president's propensity for political gamesmanship that apparently drives everything he does - from on-air confessions to airstrikes against terrorists. Thursday's attacks in Afghanistan and Sudan, as "correct" as they may have been, rang hollow against the backdrop of Clinton's personal problems. He has created a situation where his motives will forever be second-guessed.

Diversionary tactics are a part of sound military strategy. They also are effective in political warfare, as our commander-in-chief has demonstrated throughout his public life. With Clinton seemingly lacking any sort of moral center, there are no hard truths outside of pollsters' numbers. The world, to him, is one grand political stage.

Reading his lines by the lamp of his own conceit, he, of course, is the leading man in this unfolding saga. Leading ladies are used and abused for his base gratification.

Hillary hangs on through it all, perhaps for noble purpose of preserving a family and/or to attain her own political ends. Understandably, the role of first lady is not easily relinquished, even when threatened by subordinate extras such as star-struck and morally misdirected White House interns.

Besides, sensitive to constitutional crises, Hillary undoubtedly recognizes the one that would arise should she toss Bill out of the White House. Would he or she ultimately have to leave? After two days together at Martha's Vineyard, something or someone had to give. It appeared easier for Bill to depart than her, and it was a critical time to appear "presidential."

With anyone of principle, it is inconceivable that military action would be used to divert domestic and international attention from humiliating exposure. Bill Clinton may not be beyond that, as outlandish as it sounds.

Consider that his presidency has been characterized by indecisiveness on critical foreign-policy matters including Iraq, Bosnia, the Middle East and previous terrorist attacks against Americans. U.S. reaction to crises under Clinton's leadership has been reticent. Until now.

Suddenly - painted into a corner by a pillaried special prosecutor and exposed in a glaring spotlight of shame, with approval ratings dropping - a president driven by self-centered whims uncharacterstically acts boldly and quickly.

If credibility were not Clinton's antonym, this might be palatable given apparent national security risks. But timing is everything, and the paper lion has waffled too often to suddenly emerge decisive. In spite of statesmanlike bipartisan support for his actions, it is hard to believe the president's motives are purely militaristic. His personal and political patterns preach otherwise. He and his henchmen have been proven duplicitous beyond dispute.

Our commander-in-chief is obviously no Boy Scout and lacks any semblance of a moral compass, which makes his receipt last year of Scouting's highest honor - the Silver Buffalo - all the more ironic. The award is given for exemplary service to youth and for upstanding moral character. Unfortunately, there is no precedent for recall.

But with Buffalo Bill's bullish ways finally revealed as a stampeding pack of untruths - as always happens to deceivers given time - what is most startling is public indifference to his lack of integrity and insistence that character has no bearing on job performance. That may be a red flag about our collective level of moral turpitude.

Those who lie and cheat in their private lives are prone to do likewise in matters of governance - maybe even to the point of ordering military action to cover immoral acts. As far-fetched as such a scenario would seem, it may be possible for someone who consciously and continually chooses a path of deception and defiance.

Covert hanky-panky by the unrepentant is always followed by cover-up. Clinton has repeatedly shown himself to be sewn of such immoral fabric. His track record makes even the wildly unimaginable believable; his poll-driven ethos makes anything possible. For the president, this may all be a zero-sum political game he refuses to lose.