Monday, September 28, 1998

Week of 09/28/1998

What IS "It" About?
Whatever the politicians WANT it to be about!
- by David Matthews 2

There’s been a particular mantra being hummed out on a daily basis concerning Bill Clinton’s "improper relationship" with then intern Monica Lewinsky. You’ve probably heard this mantra at least once every other day..

"It’s not about sex."

Conservative talk show hosts recite that mantra on a regular basis.

"It’s not about sex."

You read it in every letter to the newspapers submitted by a conservative citizen.

"It’s not about sex."

Even one of my cousins, a regular reader of my articles, e-mailed me his comments about my take on "L’affair Lewinsky" and reiterated this mantra…

"It’s not about sex."

No matter the topic, no matter the spin, the conservatives have recited this mantra on a regular basis.

"It’s not about sex."


That’s right, I said BULLSHIT!

You know, it takes a lot for me to believe the assertion by liberals that conservatives are just mindless sheep, but this constant reciting of the mantra of "It’s not about sex," makes me sick to my stomach. It’s almost cult-like in how it’s being used.

Let’s be brutally honest here - It IS about sex!

Sex is the selling point for this scandal. It’s Bill Clinton’s Achilles heel. It’s the reason why every air-fluffed ego in the media, every political hack, every moralist with a chip on their shoulder and a book to publish, every talking head yearning for another talk show, and every lawyer who suffered from media exposure withdrawal from the OJ Simpson trial is trying to milk this for all its worth. Sex sells! Sex gets people to look at the story!

Listen folks, do you really think that the public would be this passionate over campaign finance scandals? The notion that Washington is for sale to the highest bidder is old news! What used to be called "bribes" and "political kickbacks" are now called "campaign donations," "soft-money," and "junkets." The motivations are the same, only the names were changed to protect the politicians.

Ditto for the flap over the travel office. Yes, it’s political nepotism and cronyism at work! The only difference was that it was more blatant this time. Did we care? Hell no! It’s Washington at it’s worst, nothing more!

Don’t get me wrong, it still sucks to high heaven, but how many of us cared about those scandals? Not enough to warrant this kind of media attention!

But let’s go with the conservatives on this for a moment and ask then what this whole "L’affair Lewinsky" IS all about if it’s "not about sex."

Unfortunately, you won’t hear a consistent answer on that one. Rather, you get a constantly shifting response.

"It’s not about sex, it’s about lying."

Let’s see.. in 1990, Governor Clinton promised the voters of Arkansas that he wouldn’t run for higher office if he got re-elected. Two years later, he goes back on his word. Was he lying then, or was he suffering from political amnesia? In 1992, he promised American voters that if he was elected president, he’d give working families a tax cut. He hasn’t yet. Matter of fact, he raised taxes and then created even MORE taxes you probably never even noticed yet but you’re paying for! (Check your phone bill lately?) I’d say that’s lying, wouldn’t you? Nothing new, and nothing that has involved sex either!

"It’s not about sex, it’s about lying under oath."

How about this oath: "I, William Jefferson Clinton, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my abilities, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God."

Sound familiar? He put his hand on his family’s bible and swore that oath to the public not just once, but TWICE! And has he fulfilled that oath? Just ask the Cato Institute and you’ll find that the Clinton Administration is by far the most UNCONSTITUTIONAL administration in the history of the nation! So if he could lie about his JOB, why should we trust him in a civil trial?

Okay, how about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about morality and values!" It’s the house special for the moralists.

Two words: Dan Burton.

Okay, okay, two more words: Henry Hyde.

Okay, okay, not enough.. two more words: Helen Chenoweth.

Okay, okay, okay, how about these two words: Bob Packwood.

One more? How about this: Dan Quayle. (Oops! Sorry, that’s for "It’s not about sex, it’s about spelling!")

The point of this matter is this, with the sexual inquisition at full steam, a lot of "morality and family values" politicians are having to check their closets for any undeclared skeletons, no matter how old those corpses are. So much for that argument!

Here’s a good one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about sexual harassment."

The possible perjury is based on a sexual harassment case that was thrown out of court, not because Clinton lied, but because the plaintiff did not prove quid pro quo, which is the substance of a sexual harassment charge. But the corollary on that one is:

"It’s not about sex, it’s about a chief executive having sexual contact with an intern in his office!"

Designed, of course, for those office Clinton supporters, and often posed by some Republican suit who is disgusted at the notion that his own freedoms as a man are being neutered thanks to sexual harassment policies. Never mind the fact that there is very little chance that you’d find a chief executive LIVING in his workplace. The White House is not just the president’s office, but it’s also his home for the duration of his tenure in office. Clinton doesn’t have the luxury to take his personal affairs out of the office like most stuffed suits in that position do.

How about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about a man being involved with a woman half his age!"

Oh, yes, the AGE factor! Perfect for turning off the "soccer mom" voters who reach for their Clairol hair coloring and still fantasize about Bill Clinton. Yeah, like AGE has a factor in all this. Funny, we never asked about the ages of all the women in Ted Kennedy’s life. Or the age of guys in involved in Barney Frank’s little scandal a decade ago. By the way, we seem to forget Kathleen Wiley - the Democratic supporter who allegedly got groped by Clinton while asking for a job. She wasn’t some young intern, was she? No, she wasn’t.

Folks, age is NOT a factor here.

How about this one: "It’s not about sex, it’s about the American system of justice!"

Or better yet.. here’s it’s ugly cousin: "It’s not about sex, it’s about upholding the Constitution!"

Waive the flag boys! Them patriotic HE-ROWS of JUST-US are in Congress!

Yes, the same institutions behind making Ted Kennedy pay for Chapaquiddik and OJ Simpson pay for Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman are here to make Bill Clinton pay for our disgust of this scandal!

Okay, okay, at least that response is a bit closer to the truth than the others, but it’s still off the mark. Upholding the law or upholding the Constitution are part of Bill Clinton’s job description, or at least they’re supposed to be. And Congress is doing their job by the impeachment inquiries. So this is really a non-issue.

Finally we get to: "It’s not about sex, it’s about obstruction of justice and abuse of power."

You know, if the conservatives and moralists had stuck to this statement, we’d all have no problem with the issue. Obstruction of justice and abuse of power are very serious and credible charges to levy against Clinton.

Okay, so we’ve got obstruction of justice and abuse of power.. in what regard?

Well, according to the Starr Report, the obstruction of justice and abuse of power was in regards to an affair with an intern that Clinton said he never had.

Hmm.. that brought us back to SEX, didn’t it? Every bit of the Starr Report dealt with Clinton’s sexual encounters and his attempts to conceal them from the public.

You know, it seems that ever answer that followed "It’s not about sex" had one common thread - that they didn’t want it to BE about sex.

And perhaps that is where the truth lies. The people who say "It’s not about sex" wish it WASN’T about sex.

Why? Perhaps it’s because they’re uncomfortable with the subject. Or perhaps they can’t discuss it because to do so would make them appear to be hypocritical or prudish on the subject.

Or just perhaps they’d rather want to take down a sitting president for something that was perceived as a serious threat to the nation, but can’t with the information at hand. Think about it. What sort of credible danger exists in the nation to know that the President is a tomcat in heat? None whatsoever. It’s simply a measure of how easily we’ve been conned by a master politician.

So for all those people who beat their chests and proudly proclaim this whole "L’affair Lewinsky" is "not about sex," just take a step back from the impeachment morass and think for a minute about what it really is all about. You might be surprised.

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