Lewinsky scandal still poisons politics today (Jan. 17): If any one day in my lifetime changed America’s politics for the worse, it was 25 years ago on Jan. 17, 1998, when President Bill Clinton first lied under oath about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

The lie set in motion an explosive growth in the tawdriness and viciousness of U.S. politics that has poisoned the civic arena ever since. Also, its spinoff effects put the wrong people in power at the wrong time, with few statesmen-like “adults in charge” to mitigate the scandal’s reverberations.

From my perch as an editorial writer in Clinton’s home state, where we at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote that the state’s prodigal son made even scandal-plagued former President Warren Harding look saintly by comparison, to the congressional office of my former boss Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), who would almost become speaker because of the Lewinsky fallout, the Lewinsky sex account seemed less an unexpected bombshell than a disgusting continuation of a long-running disgrace. The Clinton governorship and the Clinton presidency both were stinking ethical refuse piles that never could be capped.

Nevertheless, while politics for time immemorial have never been for the faint of heart, they remained even five years into the Clinton presidency (and Rep. Newt Gingrich’s fiery counteraction thereto) a realm where certain outer standards would not break, even if they sometimes bent. Alas, the ill will engendered during the 12 months of the Lewinsky saga ripped those standards to shreds….

FBI should have stepped in sooner to oversee Biden document search (Jan. 18):

The sickening, pro-Democratic double standards at the Justice Department and FBI continue in full force.

The Justice Department’s decision not to have FBI agents or other federal officials present as President Joe Biden ’s personal lawyers searched for more classified documents is compelling evidence, yet again, of two-tiered law enforcement. The department’s excuses, meanwhile, are farcical…. [Note: Several days after I wrote this, the FBI did decide to undertake the search themselves, and found six more documents.]


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