It’s Been A Long, Strange Trip

The Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr seems to sum up the history of the past two decades quite succinctly:

If I understand the history correctly, in the late 1990s, the President was impeached for lying about a sexual affair by a House of Representatives led by a man who was also then hiding a sexual affair, who was supposed to be replaced by another Congressman who stepped down when forced to reveal that he too was having a sexual affair, which led to the election of a new Speaker of the House who now has been indicted for lying about payments covering up his sexual contact with a boy.

Yep, that’s about it.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Xenos says:

    Karma. Wow.

    The worst fate is that of Boehner, who is doomed to be Speaker for a group of certified morons.

  2. ernieyeball says:

    Karma schmarma.
    All these citizens made conscious decisions to act the way they did.
    Don’t let them off the hook by attributing their behavior to some hocus pocus mumbo jumbo that implies it is out of their control.
    karma: (in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
    informal destiny or fate, following as effect from cause.

  3. Argon says:

    Sex and politics are new things?

  4. Tony W says:

    The party of family values strikes again.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somebody somewhere, at the moment of my birth, invoked the ancient Chinese curse of, “May you live in interesting times.”

  6. wr says:

    Interesting synopsis. Still, it seems to me that there’s a word missing once you start talking about that long string of hypocritical moralists fighting to impeach a popularly elected president based on sexual behaviors far less egregious than their own. What could it be? I feel like it begins with an R…

  7. wr says:

    Does “both sides do it” begin with an R? No, guess that’s not it…

  8. Xenos says:

    @wr: hmmmm… does it rhyme with Bloopert Burdoch?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Xenos: Maybe… I think it might rhyme with O’ Liely tho.

  10. Fred Beloit says:


    The ignorance of Mr. Kerr and worse ignorance of WAPO commenters is appalling on this subject of the Clinton impeachment: From Wiki:

    ” Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998.”

  11. ernieyeball says:

    Despite being so common in English as to be known as “the Chinese curse”, the saying is apocryphal and no actual Chinese source has ever been produced. The nearest related Chinese expression is “宁为太平犬,莫做乱世人” (níng wéi tàipíng quǎn, mò zuò luànshì rén) which conveys the sense that it is “better to live as a dog in an era of peace than a man in times of war.” WikiP

    Veerrry Interesting!

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @ernieyeball: Thank You!

  13. ernieyeball says:

    @OzarkHillbilly…thank Al Gore. I just use the internet.

  14. Ian says:

    I retain a certain nostalgia for the golden old days of Congressional sex lives when all politicians needed to do was avoid being caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.

  15. C. Clavin says:

    And yet Doug is convinced that it’s the Clintons who are sleazy.