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Clintonites Winning the Battle, Losing the War By: Larry Elder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, September 22, 1998


ONCE MR. HARRISON, MY JUNIOR HIGH-SCHOOL TEACHER, praised my solution to a difficult problem. That is, until he asked how I reached the answer. When I explained, he frowned, "Right conclusion, wrong reasoning."

Just for yucks, let's assume the Clinton defenders correct—that the President ought not resign or be impeached, despite allegations of perjury, witness tampering, subornation of perjury, and obstruction of justice.

But to arrive at their "right" conclusion, many Clinton defenders simply, openly, blatantly, outlandishly drop-kicked long-articulated principles and values.

Kathleen Willey, a long-time Democratic Party supporter, goes on 60 Minutes. She says the President put his hand on her breast, took her hand and placed it on his genitalia. The next day, White House Communications Director Ann Lewis tells us she is shocked, shocked! that Kathleen Willey made these allegations. After all, says Lewis, Willey stayed in touch with the campaign. Why, she even wanted a job!

Remember the old Ann Lewis during the Clarence Thomas hearings? She said then, "When Anita Hill stepped forward to talk about sexual harassment, she found herself savagely attacked; her integrity, morality, sanity called into question by the very same people who wanted to know why she didn't step forward sooner. This sends the message that if you step forward, especially against someone who holds power, you will be victimized again by his friends and allies. At the same time, your very reluctance to step forward will be held against you."

And what of Anita Hill? Her testimony about Clarence Thomas's "misconduct" nearly destroyed his nomination. Well, she says her case is "very different" from that of Paula Jones, "I have a hard time finding any adverse ramifications for her in terms of her employment based on the alleged incident in the hotel room."

Vice President Gore? In 1991, the then-senator from Tennessee explained his vote against Thomas's confirmation, "One of the things we've all been learning about on the subject of sexual harassment is what goes on inside the mind of a victim, which sometimes leads that person to keep silent about it and to continue maintaining a facade of friendship and an outward relationship so long as that secret is kept."

President Clinton? In October 1991, the then-governor blamed members of both parties for conducting a Senate hearing "that reminded me of a trial where someone accuses someone else of a sexual offense and then an attempt is made to destroy the character of the victim."

But our Jury Nullification Award goes to long-time feminist Gloria Steinem. In a recent New York Times Op/Ed piece, she said, "[Clinton] is accused of having made a gross, dumb, and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. [Willey] pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again . . . In other words, President Clinton took 'no' for an answer."

So, gentlemen, start your engines. We can place our hands on a woman's breast until she says "no." Whereupon the removal of the hand constitutes no offense. Football enthusiasts call this the "in the grasp rule." "O.K. I touched her, but I didn't squeeze." Muhammad Ali boxing fans call it the "grope a dope." Even better. Now we can take a woman's hand, and place it on our genitalia, until and unless we hear the word "no." Baseball buffs call it the "infield fly rule."

Fellows, let me ask you. Your wife or girlfriend walks down the street, and some veg-head puts his hand on her breast. She says "no." End of discussion? Have a nice day? Justice served? Or do you want directions to that guy's house?

Quite simply, the liberal 180-degree turn on Clarence Thomas vs. Kathleen Willey/Paula Jones/Monica Lewinsky demonstrates that side's inconsistencies, double standards, and failure to apply common sense. That is, when protecting one of their own. Shouldn't we now question the logic behind other liberal pet projects—taxpayer-supported childcare, expansion of Head Start, higher minimum-wages, health-care mandates, and the defense of public schools?

Liberals say, "Trust us on these issues. We know. We are good for America." When "conservatives" point out—that government involvement makes childcare more expensive; that studies show Head Start a non-factor in a child's ultimate development; that higher minimum-wage laws actually destroy jobs for teens, women, and minorities; that government involvement in medicine increases its cost and creates inefficiencies—liberals scream "mean-spiritedness"!

But, as my old math teacher, Mr. Harrison, might say, consider the reasoning applied by the pro-Clinton crowd in defending the President. See the abandonment of statements made in years past. Now that their President stands accused of sexual harassment, suddenly sexual harassment becomes more narrowly defined. Requires greater proof. Needs to occur over an extended period of time. Demands a pattern.

The Supreme Court soon takes up a Chicago sexual-harassment case. There, the plaintiff's boss demanded sex and threatened to fire her if she failed to deliver. She refused, but kept her job. She now sues despite no economic harm. So expect some clarification over the extent of damages, if any, necessary to make out a sexual harassment case.

Funny, perhaps the feminist/liberal gang now wishes that they had been kinder, gentler to one of the justices deciding this Chicago case. You might recall him. He possesses some expertise on these matters. He is now known as Justice Clarence Thomas.


Larry Elder is the author of the newly-released Showdown. Larry also wrote The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America. He is a libertarian talk show host, on the air from 3-7 pm Pacific time, on KABC Talkradio in Los Angeles. For more information, visit LarryElder.com.


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