All the neat things I've learned from Bill Clinton

By Shelley McKinney
web posted November 6, 2000

After the members of the Senate cast the votes which allowed Bill Clinton to escape being summarily pink-slipped, I decided to do a little bit of character testing all on my own, just to find out if my opinion that lying under oath and encouraging others to do the same was as bizarre as the liberal mainstream media kept telling me it was.

I obtained a spool of black satin ribbon -- which I cut into four-inch lengths -- and a packet of tiny gold safety-pins and determined to wear a loop of mourning on my shoulder for the next hundred days following that vote. People are used to seeing be-looped celebrities, all of whom wear snippets of ribbon "supporting" one cause or another to all public star gatherings, and I know that most folks, especially those trapped on long lines at the bank or the grocery, which is where I so often lamentably find myself,  are generally incurably nosy: I wanted to test their reactions when I explained The Loop.
Although I live in a steadfastly Republican state, my particular little city is a Democrat hotbed. I figured I ought to have some very enlightening discussions with people, such as the time when I said at the market that I thought Titanic was the most vulgar PG-13 movie I'd ever seen and a woman and her two young daughters nearly beat me to a pulp with rolled-up issues of People and Seventeen.
Bill ClintonWhat I learned from Bill Clinton's predicament is that many people were disgusted by his behavior with the intern and repelled by his arrogant dismissal of the truth, both while under oath and to the American public who watched all of that televised finger-wagging and very much wanted to believe -- heck, I don't even like the guy and I wanted to believe --  that he really couldn't have been so crass.
Then there were the others, who would begin turning an unhealthy and unbecoming shade of magenta as I started talking about The Loop. Those people tended to act as if I had full-body tackled them in order to get them to listen to my little spiel about the United States Senate. They were behind Bill all the way, and few of them wanted to hear anything about how the impeachment was about the perjury, not about the sex.
What I learned from Bill Clinton in talking to my fellow citizens is that some people really do think that the economy is more important than integrity or character. "Hey, we're making more money now than we ever have before, and what he's doing in the Oval Office doesn't hurt me, so who am I to care?" one woman said to me.
I toyed with the idea of asking her if she'd be so forgiving if she caught her own husband frolicking nakedly in the living room with the kids' baby-sitter -- would it make it okay if her husband gave her fifty dollars and told her to just ignore what she'd seen? What if she knew what she'd seen but he told her that what she saw never really happened and then gave her fifty dollars anyway? Money can't fix everything, honey, even if you hold out for a hundred.
Another thing I've learned from Bill Clinton is that, no matter what happens to you, you should never, ever learn personal dignity. He discussed his underpants on MTV, and he was scorned. He said that he smoked pot yet didn't inhale, and he was scorned. He signed a young lady's shirt while she was still wearing it, and he was scorned. He declared vehemently that oral sex isn't sex, and he was scorned.
Even the people who like him, scorn him. (But Hillary throws things, so scorn is better.) And I have read that pot-smoking by teenagers has increased dramatically since 1993 and that oral sex is now the naughty deed of choice among high school kids. I might be going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that these things might be related to our President's conduct. Whaddaya think? 
Bill Clinton on EsquireBill Clinton is posed for a free-'n'-easy crotch shot, grinning like the Cheshire Cat on the cover of the latest issue of Esquire magazine, and he is being scorned. In the accompanying article, he petulantly whines that those mean ol' Republicans in the House never did get around to saying they're sorry that they foisted that whole heap of trouble off on him, and he gets laughed at by citizens from sea to shining sea, some of whom are still hiccuping and wiping their eyes and dusting off their clothing from where they rolled around on the floor shrieking.
One really neat thing I've learned from Bill Clinton is that you can make a good ol' boy the President of the United States of America, but you can't stop him from using a pocketknife to pick out the possum meat from between his teeth.

But the best lesson of all is this: terms of office do come to an end, but impeachment is for keeps.

Shelley McKinney is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right. Readers can reach her at

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