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Jewish World Review / August 19, 1998 / 27 Menachem-Av, 5758

Roger Simon

Roger Simon Let's be blunt: Bubba really needs a shrink --- and fast!

MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. -- President Clinton normally does not find it difficult to apologize.

When it comes to things he had nothing to do with, he finds it easy to express his heartfelt sorrow.

Which is why he had no trouble apologizing for the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and slavery.

Billary: Gotta enjoy the good-life
while ya still can, huh?
You couldn't pin any of those raps on Bill.

But when it came to having 18 months of adulterous sex with a 22-year-old White House intern, that Clinton could not apologize for.

In one of his most masterful TV performances, Clinton addressed the nation Monday night and managed to make a clean breast of nothing.

He said he was guilty of a "critical lapse in judgment" and of "personal failure."

He said he "misled people, including even my wife."

"I deeply regret that," he said.

And then, pushing all those buttons his pollsters told him would get a good response from the American people, he bashed Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, said enough was enough, and urged everybody to "turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months."

By that, I imagine he meant the huge media extravaganza that has accompanied the Starr investigation.

But when you really get down to it, the biggest spectacle of the past seven months has been Bill Clinton himself.

And he showed the reason why Monday.

Faced with the possible destruction of his family and his presidency, he could bring himself neither to apologize nor to tell the whole truth.

I think he will come to regret both.

After lying to his family, his Cabinet, his top aides and the American people for seven months, he could not bring himself to say: "I'm sorry. What I did was wrong. And I apologize."

He could not speak those words. Even though all of the people he lied to deserved them.

Nor could he say: "I was not truthful when I told lawyers and the American people that I never had a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. I did, and I should not have lied about it."

Instead, Clinton continued with the kind of "modified limited hangout" that Richard Nixon made famous and found disastrous.

Clinton presented a shadow of the truth Monday night and pretended it was the whole truth.

And then, he declared the matter over.

"Now, this matter is between me, the two people, I love most -- my wife and our daughter -- and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so," he said.

I don't know what Clinton means by that, but I do know one thing: You can lie to your wife, you can lie to your daughter, you can lie to a whole country. But you can't lie to God. And I just hope that since Clinton found it necessary to invoke His name, he at least comes clean with Him.

There was a movie released in 1967 called "The President's Analyst" in which a president of the United States seeks psychiatric help in order to deal with the nearly unbearable pressures of his office.

Back then, this notion was considered a comedy.

Right now, I think it might be a necessity.


8/13/98: At home, with real, live FOBs
8/11/98: Bubba's new secret weapon: the Marine Band
8/07/98: Has the presidency been reduced to a 'Leno' joke?
8/05/98: Tell the truth?
7/30/98: All ya need is luv...and to deny, deny, deny
7/28/98: 'Man-of-da-people,' huh?
7/23/98: Can frequent-flyer miles alone earn Bubba a Nobel Prize?
7/21/98: San Francisco: not only 'gay,' but happy
7/17/98: Why Bubba claims Y2K is US' biggest problem
7/14/98: Close Amtrak --- PLEASE!
7/9/98: Flag burning is for nuts!
7/7/98: Forget about his legal defense fund, buy Bubba shirts!
7/1/98: Wall-nuts
6/26/98: Perks and the press
6/23/98: There's a good reason Bubba wants gun-control...
6/19/98: Why Clinton can get away with going to Tiananmen Square
6/16/98: Maybe Big Brother ain't so bad after all
6/11/98: He claimed responsibility for Rwanda, so why isn't Bubba stopping Serbian genocide?
6/9/98: The Internet president?
6/4/98: You can call me ‘slick;' and you can call me ‘sick;' but never call me ‘Dick' .... as in Nixon, that is
6/2/98: Being a 'talkin'-head' is hard work
5/29/98 Pay the pol, pick the policy
5/27/98 A 'loo' in London
5/21/98Buba is back from Europe ... but what did he accomplish?
5/18/98Roses for Buba
5/12/98: Just who is "Mr. Republican" these days?"
5/7/98:"Why Clinton keeeps "going and going and going""
5/1/98:"Bubba v. Tabacka"
4/29/98:"You may ask, but should they tell?"
4/24/98:"McCurry and the kids from the ‘hood "
4/23/98: "NOW" should change its name to "THEN"
4/20/98: Freedom to be a jerk?
4/14/98: Bill is Hef's kinda guy
4/7/98: South African memories --- and a paradise not yet found
3/24/98: Bill's 12-day safari
3/20/98: Peace for Ireland?
3/18/98: Flat tire? Spare me
3/13/98: Latrell Sprewell's genius
3/10/98: On truth and reality
3/5/98: No, I'm not harrassing Hillary
3/3/98: The Unforgettable Henny Youngman
2/26/98: Grow up, boys!
2/24/98: Go get 'em, Bill!
2/19/98: My 15 minutes
2/17/98: The manic-depressive presidency
2/12/98: Drip, Drip, Drip
2/10/98: Clinton tunes out the networks
2/5/98: The flight of the Beast: America's love-hate relationship with scandal
2/3/98: Speaking Clintonese
1/29/98: What the president has going for him
1/27/98: Judgment call: how Americans view President Clinton
1/22/98: Bimbo eruptions past and present
1/20/98: Feeding the beast: Paula Jones gets the full O.J.
1/15/98: Let's get it over with: it's time to deal with Saddam, already
1/13/98: Sonny Bono is dead, let the good times roll
1/8/98: Carribbean Cheesecake: First couple has cake, eats cake
1/6/98: PO'ed: a suspected druggie jumps through the employment hoops
1/1/98: Cures for that holiday hangover
12/30/97: Buy stuff now
12/25/97: Peace to all squirrelkind
12/23/97: Home for the Holidays: Where John Hinckley, never convicted, will not be
12/18/97: Bill's B-list Bacchanalia: Press and politicos get cozy, to a point
12/16/97: All dressed up... (White House flack Mike McCurry speculates on his next career)

©1998, Creators Syndicate, Inc.