This Week

Issue: "Life is not a party," Oct. 3, 1998

But so what?

Hit the pause button. More than 22 million Americans tuned in a network or cable broadcast to view President Clinton's grand jury testimony, but the most immediate poll numbers revealed the tape had little effect on them. The latest USA Today/ CNN/Gallup poll found that although 81 percent of Americans believe the president was lying in his grand jury testimony (which means the televised videotape showed a felony in progress), Mr. Clinton's job approval rating actually rose. Also rising was the number of Americans who think he should not be impeached. Fully two in three Americans feel that way.

A corrupted nation

The Clinton strategy is clear. He seeks to wear us down. The hot rumor now is that a "deal" short of impeachment could be struck, but only if Republicans shirk their constitutional duty to move forward with impeachment. The president's legacy is now set:
He has corrupted the law. What would be perjury for anyone else is not perjury for him. Various investigations may lead to new evidence of illegalities for which Mr. Clinton will offer new obfuscations and excuses. He has corrupted the truth. While swearing to tell the "whole truth," he tells anything but the truth. He blames others for his predicament, while acknowledging "inappropriate" acts that he refuses to detail and, when pressed, claims to have participated in activities that are sex to everyone but him. He has corrupted women. Personally and culturally, women are worse off because of Mr. Clinton. Men who would stray from their wives have a role model for presenting a corrupted father-image before their daughters. He has corrupted the language. Words have meaning unique to Mr. Clinton. He doesn't split hairs. He splits rhetorical atoms. Reading through the transcripts of Mr. Clinton's testimony before a grand jury (or watching the tape) is an exhausting experience. Instead of "letting your 'yes' be 'yes,' and your 'no' be 'no,'" Mr. Clinton takes us on a semantical forced march at the end of which we don't know where we've come from or where we are. All we know is that we can't take much more, and we want to escape while we still have our senses. He has corrupted our highest office. Like despotic armies that pillage those they seek to conquer, Mr. Clinton has gone through the presidency in a manner that should shame civilized people. He has corrupted our politics and his party. Instead of debating issues-the size of government, taxes, and the social agenda-Mr. Clinton has forced us to focus on him. Since he's been in office, his party has lost power and influence at every other level of government. He has corrupted himself. Surrounded by enablers and others who care only about political power and not the higher things-such as honor, integrity, duty, and country-a corrupt Clinton continues his search for "a way out." Mr. Clinton always has people exploring avenues of escape so he can avoid ultimate accountability for his wrong, illegal, and immoral acts. Our politics and our nation need a bath after Bill Clinton.

We see you’ve been enjoying the content on our exclusive member website. Ready to get unlimited access to all of WORLD’s member content?
Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.
(Don’t worry. It only takes a sec—and you don’t have to give us payment information right now.)

Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.

by Cal Thomas, © 1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Nostalgia, reality: Ira Einhorn's strange case

Two decades ago, ex-hippie, anti-war protest leader, and radical environmentalist Ira Einhorn made war, not love. Accused of the murder of his girlfriend, and before prosecutors could bring him to trial, Mr. Einhorn fled the country. After a dozen years of legal wrangling, he was tried in absentia and a jury in 1993 found him guilty. Last week, French authorities arrested Mr. Einhorn and placed him in a prison cell he describes as "homey." Prosecutors in the United States are not offering homey accommodations, but in their extradition battle with the French they are promising a new trial. Police first nabbed Mr. Einhorn in 1979, after they discovered the mummified corpse of ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux in a trunk in his apartment closet. She died, laboratory tests revealed, from blunt, violent, multiple blows to the head. Prior to and shortly after his original arrest, Mr. Einhorn was a respected-if eccentric-intellectual. Known by his body odor, unkempt hair and beard (he evidently considered personal hygiene bourgeois), and disdain for clothing, he was well entrenched in academia, a fellow at the thoroughly mainstream Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Charged with murder, Mr. Einhorn relied on mainstream legal talent, beginning with defense attorney (now Republican U.S. senator) Arlen Specter, who won his release on $40,000 bail. The wealthy ex-wife of a corporate heir then paid up and sprang Mr. Einhorn, who went into hiding in Europe. Nevertheless, Mr. Einhorn argued that he was the victim of a federal, even international, conspiracy by establishment political figures to frame and discredit him. But today his lawyers are using the arcana of international laws to shelter him from justice. He's beaten the extradition rap once already. After French authorities first collared him in June 1997, when he was hiding under a false identity with a new girlfriend, Mr. Einhorn's lawyers argued that, for extradition to proceed, their client must be promised a new trial. At that time, Pennsylvania law contained no such provision. By the end of the year, France officially rejected the extradition. This January, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed legislation that would grant a new trial. Entertaining a new extradition request, the French rearrested him. Now his lawyer says, "The legislature cannot invade the territory of the judiciary." In other words, Mr. Einhorn doesn't want a new trial, after all. Will he finally face legal punishment in the United States? He's already facing the judgment of history. Liberal journalist Steven Levy, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone when he wrote a 1989 book about Mr. Einhorn, said the case raises unsettling questions. In publicizing his book-subtitled Murder in the Age of Aquarius-Mr. Levy told the Boston Globe: "We had a lot of great ideals, but we didn't really hold ourselves to the same standards as we held the world. In retrospect, the case sheds light on aspects of the '60s that some of us forget in our nostalgia for it."


You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading


    Troubling ties

    Under the Clinton State Department, influence from big money…