In sum, the message being conveyed could not have been clearer, "Even if every allegation about Bill Clinton's womanizing that you have heard is true, what's the big deal?" That essential message was not challenged by her female interviewer. Rather, she played "straight man," as it were, appearing only to challenge the exculpating assertions by interjecting, "But this is the president who should set an example and be held to a higher standard, shouldn't he?" giving the smug psychologist the opportunity to explain that, no, such lusty, larger-than-life leader types really ought to be held to a lower standard in the sexual realm. That was also the between-the-lines message to be gleaned from Primary Colors, the book, and probably from the movie as well. One could almost believe that it would be wrong for such men to deprive American womankind of their favors. "Let's be realistic and adults about this," said the Kinseyite in so many words.
Now I am among the first to say that there is something essentially phony about the current media frenzy surrounding the latest revelations about Bill's sex life. This is the same press that will not tell us about much more serious crimes connected to the Clinton administration, the Waco Holocaust, the Oklahoma City bombing, the murder of Vincent Foster, the cover-up of the real causes of the downing of TWA 800, the ongoing complicity of the CIA in drug smuggling, etc. One must wonder why they should consider these sexual matters so important by comparison. Be that as it may, that certainly does not mean that the sex-related charges related to Bill Clinton are of no consequence. Let us take a critical look at what the Kinseyite psychologist, with her ABC megaphone, was telling us.
Completely lacking was any discussion of concrete specifics, though the subject was indisputably Bill Clinton. The deductive approach that dominates modern social science was very much in evidence. Once the general principle was established to the satisfaction of the speaker--thence presumably the audience--that sexual license among leaders is the American and the historical norm, looking at the dirty details became unnecessary. I saw the method on display at its worst in my profession, economics, with regard to the national debate on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Economists went on record overwhelmingly favoring it because they favor the principle of free trade. Not only do most of them know nothing about Mexico or the history of U.S.-Mexico relations, they don't even think it necessary to know anything about that to render a judgment on this public policy issue. What is worse, I would venture to say that most of those economists weighing in on the NAFTA didn't know very much about the actual details of the NAFTA itself, or even thought it necessary to know them.
When we look at the details of Bill Clinton and sex what we see immediately in every case is gross abuse of power, personal corruption shading over into corruption of the office, itself. Should we really think that such a thing is okay? Let's take some of those we know about and proceed upon the Kinseyite-conceded premise that the allegations are true:
A volunteer worker makes a personal plea to Clinton for a full-time paying job because she and her husband have fallen upon desperate financial straits. He uses the occasion to fondle her sexually, conveying the message that the granting of the employment favor will be contingent upon Willey's reciprocation with sexual favors. He knows that she is a married woman (assuming that he does not, at that point, know something that she doesn't) and, of course, that he too, is married, in a manner of speaking.
Should we Americans really treat such behavior as acceptable in our president, or anyone in a similar position of authority? Is this how one gets on a research team at Kinsey?
A 21-year-old intern worms her way (unfortunate image) into the good graces of the president by performing oral sex on him repeatedly in his study over a period of several years. She is made a full-time White House employee and then gets a well-paying job at the Pentagon, continuing to pay visits to the White House, ostensibly to service the president. Coincident with her impending testimony in the lawsuit of Paula Jones, she is offered good jobs at the United Nations and then at Revlon. All positions except the one on her knees are apparently beyond her qualifications.
Imagine that what we have here is a corporate CEO and a summer intern. Should the board of directors tolerate such behavior? What if it were an authority figure like a school principal and a student teacher? What would our Kinseyite have the school board do, I wonder? What if she had children at the school? Or let's take some other examples of someone abusing his power to obtain sex: A teacher with a pupil? A lawyer with a client? A judge with someone accused of a crime? A judge with a lawyer who represents clients before him? A doctor with a patient? A psychiatrist with a patient? Is the putative behavior of Bill Clinton really much different from any of these examples?
What is alleged is a 12-year affair with Governor Clinton. Clinton also gave a state job to Ms. Flowers that a black, female state employee was in line to get. Ms. Flowers lived in the Quapaw Towers apartments in Little Rock. A neighbor, a lawyer by the name of Gary Johnson, had a security camera that captured Governor Clinton coming and going from the Flowers apartment. He made the mistake of mentioning his possession of such a tape at a Little Rock bar, and was soon set upon in his apartment by a couple of burly men and beaten within an inch of his life and his tape was taken.
I suppose our Kinseyite would argue that the real problem in this case is the social disapproval that in our still unenlightened country accompanies such sexual behavior, which necessitates such extreme concealment reactions. But now who's being the realist? Lying and concealment are integral to illicit sexual behavior. Society disapproves, and spouses, reacting typically in a more natural and human way than Hillary Clinton has done publicly, also disapprove, sometimes quite violently. One who engages habitually in illicit sexual behavior must always live in fear of its exposure and of the consequences of its exposure. He must compromise himself to some degree with anyone in a position to reveal his carryings on. Those in such a position are often already on the shady side of the law and the public interest, as are those who would be inclined to use such knowledge to their advantage. So even if one doesn't regard illicit sexual activity as corrupt behavior in itself, he nevertheless must concede that it very easily leads to corrupt behavior. Especially in the case of Bill Clinton, personal and political corruption would already seem to make up a seamless web.
Sally Miller Perdue:
The major problem in this case, as well, is not so much the sexual behavior but in the extreme, criminal measures taken to conceal it, though Ms. Perdue's liaisons with Governor Clinton were among many facilitated by Arkansas state troopers in the employ of the governor. According to Ms. Perdue her affair with Clinton was of a few months duration in 1983. During the 1992 presidential campaign she was approached by a Democratic Party functionary who told her that a well-paying federal job would be waiting for her if she would keep her mouth shut about her relations with Clinton, but that if she would not, something unfortunate might happen to "those pretty little legs" that take her on her regular jogging excursions. She did talk to a TV station that suppressed her story. Soon she received death threats and she lost her job as a result, she believes, of outside pressure.
So if abusing one's power to obtain illicit sex is bad, abusing one's power to conceal illicit sex is oftentimes worse. Except for a necrophliac it is self-defeating to kill someone from whom one desires sexual pleasure; not so the killing of someone from whom it has already been obtained and whose subsequent eternal silence is deemed desirable. Furthermore, it is the desire, and often the necessity, to conceal that makes one vulnerable to blackmail, not just by domestic low-lifes, but by political opponents and foreign powers as well.
So what is at issue here is not harmless, boys-will-be-boys playing around as the Kinseyite would have us believe, but ugly, disgusting old-fashioned abuse of power. And before we leave that subject, is it not almost as bad an abuse of power for ABC News to use its own "bully pulpit" of the airwaves to attempt to degrade national standards of morality and to defend indefensible behavior in our leaders by putting the unchallenged views of such a shameless wrecker of traditional virtue as this before the American public? And is this not one just more example, as with the teaming up of the mainstream media and such stalwarts as Dr. Sidney Blatt and Dr. Alan L. Berman in the creation of the false Vince Foster depression story, of the utter Soviet-like corruption of our press and of our psychology profession?
David Martin, March 23, 1998
Apparently, it actually gets much worse. Check out this 1999 article from Capitol Hill Blue.
December 5, 2007
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