Clinton: Impeachment a Badge of Honor

Drudge is fronting an AP story on the forthcoming Clinton auto-lieograpy that demonstrates pretty much what I expected: not a lot of new revelations but that the compilation of old material that, in concentrated form, is rather sickening:

AP — Clinton Says He Never Considered Quitting

Former President Clinton tells CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he never considered resigning and is proud he fought efforts to impeach him amid the scandal over his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

“I stood up to it and beat it back,” Clinton says of the impeachment process, which he describes as “an abuse of power.”

“The whole battle was a badge of honor. I don’t see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate.”

As with anything Clinton, every other word is a double entendre.

Clinton sees the Lewinsky affair as “a terrible moral error” whose disclosure to his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, put him “in the doghouse.”

“I did something for the worst possible reason. Just because I could,” Clinton says of his infidelity. “I think that’s just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything.”

Yet, oddly, also simultaneously a badge of honor.

While I saw as early as the 1992 primaries that Clinton was a morally corrupt figure, I nonetheless disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision that allowed Paula Jones to sue a sitting president for civil damages for actions that had taken place years before. Not only does it pose serious separation of powers questions, but from a practical standpoint, presidents shouldn’t be burdened with that sort of distraction. (I would stop the statute of limitations clock to preserve plaintiffs’ rights.) Still, once the Court ruled, unanimously, that Clinton had to face the trial, he was obligated to act honorably. He didn’t. Despite his successful spin to the contrary, the case was never “about sex” but rather about lying–in a sexual harrassment case, no less–under oath.

Clinton is one of the more talented presidents in the modern era and accomplished some important things. Unfortunately, his fundamental self-absorption and lack of an ethical core undermined much of his tenure.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jen says:

    Sickening, indeed. He is the picture of amorality. And a class-A jerk. *huffy sigh*