The president

To date, Commonweal has said very little about the national hog wallow. The president’s sexual infidelities and continuing deception, the independent counsel’s dogged pursuit into semen stains and the hidden meaning of presidential neckwear, the media’s mindless repetition of every detail have had all the marks of a production by The Ridiculous Theatrical Company. Leering and moralizing, low humor and high-minded pronouncements, pratfalls and grandiose gestures, limp apologies and loose lips-all news, all the time, all shameless. And most ridiculous-no one has known how to bring down the curtain.

Well, that is no longer quite the case. President Bill Clinton’s admission on August 17 of "lapses in judgment" and the question of presidential manipulation raised by the antiterrorism strikes in Afghanistan and Sudan may mark the beginning of the last act. Even before the special counsel has presented his report to Congress, there is a rising chorus of editorial writers and Republicans calling for the president’s resignation, a clear signal that Mr. Clinton is in deep trouble. Despite the danger of adding to the clamor, here are some of our thoughts.

Except in the further reaches of libertarian advocacy, there is a consensus about the president’s sexual misdeeds. Appalling and shameful. Desperate, deluded, driven, dumb, and just plain sad. It’s enough to give heterosexuality a bad name. Also youth. Also...

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