In the latest onslaught of tawdriness from the Monica Lewinsky affair, one thing remains clear - the lack of judgment on the part of Bill Clinton was monumental.
Whether or not an impeachable offense has been committed, this alone would disqualify him from holding most adult executive positions, let alone the highest office in the land. Americans need to be concerned about the decisions made by someone with this almost adolescent lack of understanding about what is right and wrong.How could Clinton not think that what he was doing would jeopardize his presidency? Did he expect that this 21-year-old with raging hormones, and reportedly low self-esteem, wouldn't tell someone about her relationship with the world's most important leader?
So, conceding that he probably isn't that naive, one could probably chalk it up to reckless arrogance. But that won't suffice as an explanation. Even the supremely arrogant, John F. Kennedy, after whom Clinton seems to have modeled his entire career, had better judgment than to put everything on the line with an intern.
It now turns out that Monica told not only Linda Tripp about her affair but at least 10 others, sent revealing e-mail messages from the Pentagon and kicked off a fuss at the gates of the White House. The Starr report discloses that she told a former boyfriend, and six friends and her aunt, her mother and a therapist. The aunt found her explicit descriptions so disgusting she shut her off.
In other words, she did everything possible to reveal her activities with the president except place an ad in the local newspapers.
Those who have seen the movie "Wag the Dog" where the character played by Dustin Hoffman wants the world to know that he is responsible for the fairy tale that re-elects a president will recognize the syndrome. Hoffman's character is so utterly ego driven he is self destructive.
What is the use of carrying on so intimately with the president of the United States if no one knows about it? The consequences be damned. There is a story about a famous movie beauty who is stranded on a desert island with a man she doesn't know. Finally after days of sharing, they sleep together and in the morning he asks if he can call her "Fred." With some trepidation, she says yes. "Well, Fred," he says giving her a playful elbow in the ribs. "You'll never guess who I slept with last night!"
Shouldn't we expect someone who occupies the Oval Office to understand this simplest of concepts? After all, we trust this person to have the judgment to represent our interests in peace and war.
The failure in judgment extends to his obvious lying about it when caught. Any one who has a degree from Yale Law School immediately should have seen the peril of not telling the truth under oath even in a civil suit and avoided it at all costs.
And what about one of the president's first acts after this all began? He called his former adviser Dick Morris, whom he had fired for somewhat similar behavior before the 1996 election, seeking Morris's advice on how to handle it. Morris even conducted a poll for him.
The semantics and legal arguments over what is sex and what isn't; what is perjury and what isn't just don't make a whit's worth of difference. The real problem for Clinton is a growing public feeling that he is seriously flawed.
In some sort of limp try to explain his actions, it is reported that he at one point blamed Kenneth Starr for hounding him so that he drove him to seeking solace in a relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Anyone who would pass off this tortured explanation for wrong doing is not someone I want to trust with my security.