Outraged over the Starr report and the Monica Lewinsky scandal? Of course we're outraged! In fact, we're outraged at almost everyone involved in this sordid affair.
Use our Rageback section below to cast your vote for the individual or group who has had the most disgraceful role in this whole sorry spectacle. (We've numbered the contenders, to make voting easier.)
1) Bill Clinton, our glorious leader
The obvious choice is William Jefferson Clinton, president of the United States, at least for the moment. You've already heard some of the charges: lying to the American people, perjury, obstruction of justice, abuse of power - but here at the Outrage we're most offended by:
- The president's appalling choice of sexual partners. We're certainly not surprised that any man who made the unfortunate decision to marry Hillary Rodham would be unfaithful - in fact, we might be more appalled if Bill admitted to sleeping with his wife. But, given the fact that he's the most powerful man on the face of the earth, we'd think that Bill could do a whole lot better than Monica, Jennifer, Paula, et al. Clinton's not a bad looking man, he's got the world's most prestigious home address, he's said to be quite charming, travels in Air Force One, etc. - you'd really think the guy could find a better class of bimbo. Regardless of other crimes, we view his choice of lovers as a clearly indictable offense.
- The president of the United States has the most interesting job in the world. He literally holds the power of life and death for many people; he can pardon men or women destined for execution; as Commander and Chief he can send soldiers and sailors to their death in foreign lands. He can change people's lives with a single Executive Order. He's the sole and undisputed head of the vast US federal government. He can move markets around the world with a few well-chosen words. Billions of tax dollars are affected by his budget priorities. Yet, with all this to occupy him, he chooses to spend his time talking dirty on the phone with Monica.
- His perverse use of cigars should leave a bad taste in the mouth of every man who enjoys one of the few remaining pleasures of life in modern America. "Cigar-abuse" may not be a statutory crime, but we believe nothing short of the death penalty is adequate punishment for this heinous offense.
Is Kenneth Starr the most worthy focus of our Outrage? After spending more than four years, and over $40 million tax-payer dollars, what do we end up with? A long and pornographic account of Clinton's sex life. Was it really worth this amount of time, money and effort to learn the gory details of Monicagate?
Having failed to nail the Big Bopper with Whitewater, Filegate, and Travelgate, Starr finally struck pay dirt with Zippergate. Is it a sign of his incompetence that the only way Starr could be effective was through gross invasions of privacy?
Conservatives who view Starr as some kind of Clinton-killing hero should pay close attention to what the Grand Inquisitor really says: "To excuse a party who lied or concealed evidence on the ground that the evidence covered only 'personal' or 'private' behavior would frustrate the goals that Congress and the courts have sought to achieve in enacting the nation's sexual harassment laws." In other words, if someone sues you for sexual harassment, even if the case turns out to be totally groundless, they have a right to full disclosure of your private life.
Starr is really acting as a warrior for sexual harassment laws; probably the most abused legal tool in modern America. It's interesting to note how his report has been received outside of America. France's Le Monde had this to say about the Starr report:
"...a monster...worthy of the reports of the Inquisition...where deviants and heretics were hunted down to the depths of their souls... By the magic
of the Internet, the four corners of our universe were turned into a planetary audience and we all became Peeping Toms by the choice of the American Congress."
"After four years of investigations at a mind-boggling cost, prosecutor Starr has found nothing but the pitiful lie of a seducer," it said.
Le Monde accused Starr of trying to impose "a terrifying moral order where sex is never far from sin, where even sexual relations between consenting adults is always something terrible."
The daily described the mood in Washington as "a new McCarthyism, which has replaced the panicky fear of communism with the dread of sexuality."
3) Stand By Your Man
Our third candidate for most disgusting player in the Washington circus is Hillary Clinton. It's hard to have much sympathy for a woman who blames
her husband's continual philandering on a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Hillary appears to be so hungry for power that she'll put up with anything
- even Bill's continual antics - to hang on to the mantle of "First Lady."
If anyone is impeached for lying it probably ought to be Hillary, who steadfastly pronounces her belief in the integrity of her husband, despite the fact that she probably knows as well as anyone the extent of his infidelities and lies. In the great Washington drama, where appearance is so much more important than reality, Hillary wins our vote for actress of the year.
4) Why aren't our dates ever this aggressive?
Number four on the ballot is little Miss Lewinsky herself. By all accounts a scheming sexual adventurer who plotted to gain access to Clinton and then seduced him at the first possible opportunity, Monica deserves nothing but contempt. Not only did she willingly degrade herself to amuse the president (see cigar-abuse above) but she didn't even have the sense to be discreet.
Lewinsky did the most unspeakably stupid thing possible by supplying the graphic details of her sex life to investigator Starr, who in turn made her
the soft-core porn star of 1998 by publishing all those details. Like all good actresses, Lewinsky is allegedly negotiating a book deal worth $2 million, although with Ken Starr publishing all the steamy details we're not quite sure who the audience for this literary masterwork will be.
5) Authors and Lovers
Ballot item number five is the cast of supporting actresses, including, but not limited to, Kathleen Willey, Jennifer Flowers, and last, but certainly not least, Paula Jones. Every single one of these women have attempted to financially profit from their alleged relationship with Clinton: in the case of Flowers and Willey both have sought book deals. Willey also sought employment from Clinton; the day that he allegedly groped her in the Oval Office she was pleading financial desperation and asking for a job. (And continued to contact Clinton in search of a job after the alleged traumatic incident took place.)
Poor Paula sought revenge, American style, by filing a sexual harassment suit. Instead of just slapping his face and getting on with life, Jones had
to make a federal case, literally, of Clinton's crude attempt at seducing her. And why was Paula Jones in the governor's hotel room? She thought she might be able to get a better job - more money - by meeting the governor. She later had delusions that she was being relegated to lower level jobs because she didn't accept Clinton's advances.
6) Spin doctors, lawyers, and other deviants
Next on the list of most likely to degrade the spirit of American public debate are Clinton's advisors and lawyers. Clinton's personal lawyer, David
Kendall, published a 73 page rebuttal to the Starr report BEFORE he had even read the report. We guess that only the really good lawyers know how to
counter charges that have not yet been made.
Kendall and Clinton's other lawyers have also insisted that Clinton's lies are not really lies, but legally the truth. We've always known that the truth and the law were not close friends, but we had no idea that the relationship was quite this strained.
And what about people like Sidney Blumenthal, also known as "Sid Vicious" in the Washington journalism community. Blumenthal is a Clinton hatchet man who tries to dig up dirt on those who attack the President. While working hard to dish it out, he doesn't take it too well - he filed a $30 million libel suit against Net gossip-monger Matt Drudge and AOL when Drudge accused Blumenthal of beating his wife. Blumenthal was the creative mind behind Hillary Clinton's "vast-right wing conspiracy" charges.
Former star spin-meister and Clinton advisor Dick Morris may deserve a vote. The Starr report reveals that Morris was one of those who Clinton had phone conversations with while being serviced by Monica. Morris had previously revealed that he talked to the president while his regular prostitute listened in. Let's see; that means America's policies are being decided by Clinton, while having sex with an intern, and Morris, while having sex with a call girl. We wonder if that's what the President meant in his most recent radio broadcast calling for Congress to "stay focused" on solving the nation's problems.
7) The hypocrites on Capitol Hill
The United States Congress is also a contender for "Most Outrageous" character in this sorry drama. We have a hard time controlling our laughter as congressmen and senators adopt grave manners to discuss the President's offenses. Most of the 535 people who may sit in judgement on the president could also be found guilty of misleading the American public, committing perjury, and abuse of power.
A classic example of Congressional hypocrisy is conservative Congresswomen Helen Chenoweth. She first won office by campaigning on a family values platform after her opponent was accused of having an extramarital affair. In her most recent campaign she took out ads attacking President Clinton for his infidelities, saying "I believe that personal conduct and integrity does matter." Chenoweth recently admitted that she had a long-term affair with a married man in the 1980s.
About a week ago another conservative Republican and Clinton critic, Representative Dan Burton of Indiana, admitted to fathering a child from
an extramarital affair in the 80s.
Representative Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat, said that during the current impeachment debate some members of Congress "are demanding a moral standard for the president that is higher than they would set for themselves." Quite true. And of course moral paragons like Ted Kennedy will be sitting in judgement on the president. Sort of like having Ted Bundy sitting on the jury for a trial of Jack the Ripper.
The congressional decision to publish the Starr report before even having read it also reeks of catering to the worst elements of public interest in the graphic details of Clinton's sex life. The Roman masses got bread and circuses. We get the Starr report. It's interesting that the same Congress that passed the Communications Decency Act, supposedly to help fight pornography on the Internet, rushed to publish the Starr report on the Net, a report that is essentially porn without pictures.
8) Which God said that?
Organized religion may be worthy of a vote. The Southern Baptists recently renounced Clinton, which may be their interpretation of the biblical theme of forgiveness.
Meanwhile, other religious leaders attended a White House breakfast and demonstrated how gullible they really are when they actually bought into Clinton's contrition speech. (He had tears in his eyes - how very touching.) We're not sure if Jesse Jackson, America's favorite manufactured-for-the-media preacher, attended the breakfast. He may have been busy praying with Hillary and Chelsea.
9) Well, he's done so much for women
The women's movement certainly deserves at least an honorable mention in the Most-Outrageous-Player category. The silence of organizations like NOW has been deafening. If the president involved with Monica Lewinsky happened to be Republican, the National Organization for Women and other feminists would have had him crucified long ago.
One good reason for casting your vote in favor of the women's movement has been their unflinching support of a double standard whereby:
- Women are encouraged to have the sexual liberation and freedom society accords to men in the 20th century, but also
- If a women receives an unwelcome advance from a man, her Victorian sense of morality is supposed to be mortally wounded, and she is entitled to millions in punitive damages via sexual harassment suits.
10) With friends like these...
Who needs enemies like Kenneth Starr? Linda Tripp secretly recorded her "friend" Monica's conversations, leading to the Starr investigation. And then there was Lewinsky's lawyer William Ginsberg, who seemed much more focused on appearing on as many talk shows as possible than on keeping his client out of jail.
11) The American public, what could you have been thinking?
That Bill Clinton was a liar, adulterer, and general sleazebag was fairly well established before he was ever elected president. His draft-dodging, his affair with Jennifer Flowers, and other moral failings were all brought up during his first campaign. Yet he was elected. And elected again. Many of those same people who voted for him twice now profess to be shocked by his admitted actions. All of the scandals that have followed Clinton's presidency could have been predicted from the very start. If we elect a dog to be president, do we really have a right to be surprised when we find that the president has fleas?
12) Al Gore, man of the people
The only thing more Outrageous than Clinton's lying is the prospect of Al Gore becoming president. Conservatives who hope for Clinton's downfall should note that Gore was rated the most liberal member of the US Senate before he moderated his views to become vice president under Clinton.
Whatever you may think of Clinton, he is, at least, a self-made man, who rose from nothing to become the world's most predatory - we mean powerful - man. Nothing could be less true of Gore. His father served in the US Congress for 30 years. Al Gore was groomed for high political office from birth, was first elected to the US Congress at age 28, and to the US Senate at age 36. He has never worked in the real America, and has absolutely no idea what life is like for most Americans.
Gore, of course, is involved in his own scandal. It may eventually lead to his being charged with perjury, abuse of power,
lying to the American people - well, you know the list by now.
13) The US Media: This is disgusting - read all about it
Any scandal is a good scandal as far as the media is concerned, and while many reporters questioned the need for graphic descriptions of Clinton's sex life, every single major media website either republished the Starr report or provided links to it.
Well, that's the leading list of those who have done the most to degrade the standard of American political debate. Use the Rageback section below to cast your vote, or to nominate your own candidate.
Cast Your Vote by Commenting Below!
Our personal recommendation is that all of those above be sent to an island and forced to live together. We realize this might violate the Constitution's mandate against cruel and unusual punishment, but desperate times require desperate measures.