Vice President...

Bill Clinton.

But before you move rapidly on to look for naughty pictures, having in all likelihood heard more than enough about what an evil, dissolute, reprehensible man he is over the past few days, let's just pause for a second. What precisely IS the problem?

The first part is the sex. Sure, the guy had sex in the Oval Office, and while he was on the phone to congressmen. But coming from the guy who is notorious for not grasping the concept behind how to smoke dope, this can only be seen as a major step forward -- one just wonders whether Monica Lewinsky could also say, "I didn't inhale"... Okay, he's still got a bit to learn about the sex thing - penises were not specifically designed to go into your partner's mouth, but he seems to have a handle on the basic principles, even if the bit with the cigar was somewhat mind-boggling. [Deeply amusing to watch the various news reports here, all of which managed to raise Hinting Darkly to an artform, without actually mentioning precisely what it was he DID with the cigar.]

My major qualm is less what he did, than who he did it with. Take a look at JFK: he shagged like a bunny rabbit, but got his brains blown out in Texas, and is now a national icon, a status unlikely to be given to Clinton anytime soon. The difference is less that between Clinton and Kennedy, and more that between Monica Lewinsky and Marilyn Monroe. Bill: you're the most powerful man in the world. YOU CAN DO BETTER! If it ain't a top-class actress, singer or supermodel, don't touch it.

And then, there are those who say, "Well, of course what he does in the bedroom is his own business, but he lied about it, and abused his position" -- a nice compromise between the politically correct liberal, and the moral fascist. This is forgetting one major thing:

He is a politician

What did you expect? OF COURSE he lied! OF COURSE he abused his position! It's what they DO! If he were a teacher, or a priest, or God help us, even a reporter, it would be a matter for some concern, but he's not -- he's a bottom-dwelling, scum-sucking, politico. Condemning him for lying is like complaining because an estate agent was a bit economical with the truth. It only comes as a shock if you are taken in by the sax playing, the golf, and the general air of benign stupidity which all American presidents since Nixon seem to have cultivated.

I may be missing the point here, but then I haven't bothered to go through all 400+ pages of the Starr report. This isn't surprising, given that what's on the web appears to be SCANS of the pages, which take so long to download that by the time you discover what Slick Willie's supposed to have done, he, Monica, Hillary and, indeed, yourself will in all likelihood be dead. Two words, guys: "text" and "files".

The more cynical amongst us will simply sit back and enjoy the spectacle; in my case, I'm especially joyed to be watching the humiliation of his wife. I don't think he's going to go (I hope not -- Hazza may be a dreadful women, but at least she isn't Tipper Gore), but I fully expect a lot more dirt to come out from under the couch regardless. Rarely has the Chinese threat 'May you live in interesting times' been more appropriate.


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