Comments: Obstructionism

"(Nixon - crook - threat of impeachment. Clinton - Democrat - threat of impeachment.)"

You've said that before, and I've never totally gotten your point. While revenge may have been a factor, surely it was a fairly minor one? I should think the Republicans were mostly motivated by two things:

1.) The desire to hurt Clinton.

2.) The certainty that Clinton had committed a crime.

By the way, as near as I know, the fact is Clinton did a commit a crime - he perjured himself during sworn testimony. One can argue that the Republicans were making a mountain of a molehill (perhaps for reason #1) but I wouldn't want to argue that Clinton was blameless. Clinton screwed up, all the time. I recall being angry at him for about 7 and half years because he had such a great opportunity to do good and he constantly frittered it away.

Posted by Lawrence Krubner at November 15, 2005 04:42 PM

Lawrence - I think, in trying to understand my contempt for the Right during that whole thing, it's important for you to remember that I think Clinton's personal life should have been far out-of-bounds for that inquiry.

Investigating a potential crime is one thing, but targeting a man for a bit of illicit sex because you couldn't nail him on a bigger charge was just petty.

And, no, I'm not excusing his perjury. But the question he perjured himself on should never have come up. I'm discussing the investigation separately from his testimony that day. (I think it has to be said...he was under a heckuva lot of pressure for a long time...the fact that he slipped one day and told one relatively minor lie about a personal matter? Does not strike me as all that serious. At the same time, perjury is perjury.)

Also? The Right spent millions and millions of dollars, determined to prove Clinton had committed a crime. The investigation started with the flimsiest of evidence and there was never any real sign that they were going to uncover any real wrongdoing.

It was all just the Republican Attack Machine in action. Furious that GHWB had lost re-election, the Right was determined not to lose the reins of power entirely. They had a good chance of winning Congress at the mid-terms and needed the publicity to convince the public that Republicans were safeguarding the morality of the country.

Sex sells. Newspapers and television news programs that would probably have tired of the pointless investigation into nonexistent white-collar fraud were salivating at the idea of a major sex 'scandal' coming out of the White House. Morphing the story into one about Clinton getting a blow job kept the story at the top of the news cycle for easily two or three times as long.

But, you know, it's all just my opinion.

Posted by Anne at November 16, 2005 08:45 AM

Also? Thinking further, I think it's important to remember that yes, some Republicans may have pushed to investigate Clinton because they thought there was evidence of criminal behavior, but that evidence was never strong and the subsequent investigation never really looked like it was going to turn up anything. This is why the whole thing morphed into a sex scandal, because there was no actual criminal behavior they could nail Clinton on.

However it started out, it ended up as a witchhunt.

Posted by Anne at November 18, 2005 09:23 AM