[NYT] Clinton Weighs Admitting He Had Sexual Contacts.

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Fri, 14 Aug 1998 04:53:44 -0700

I've been thinking about Dan Kohn's mutation of the TSEliotism, "August
is the cruelest month."

This August has been particularly cruel, to me. I'm directly in between
my marriage on July 4 and my to-be marriage on September 7. I've been
dealing with issues such as a homosexual friend outing himself, a
teenage friend losing his virginity, another friend who just started
taking ritalin (she's doing the right thing, right joebar? please tell
me she's doing the right thing... :), Dan Connolly threatening to kill
me (can you tell how much this jarred me? :), my visiting Bill Gates'
house, and my own personal work goals being frappeed in the blender of
life. My brother, 3 years younger than me, just became the first Doctor
in my family; my sister, 7 years younger than me, is threatening to
graduate from school and get a job before me; and my teenage unwed
cousin is pregnant, is keeping the baby and dumping the father, and is
expecting the child the weekend of my Sept 7 wedding. And then there's

So once again, Tim Byars proves he has the insight to go the distance.
The persona of "CobraBoy" gets it right not just in his Apple posts, but
in other things as well -- as he put in his posts "What it's going to
come down to":




well, let me just quote it:
> Regardless, it's going to come down to sexual relations vrs a sexual
> act. Which should, if my crystal balls are correct, land the whole
> thing in the Supreme Court. What is pornography? What is a sexual
> relation?
> Personally I hope Clinton comes on TV with Hillary and says what an out
> moded concept marriage is and how they have an open relationship and
> that works just fine. I hope he destroys the institution of marriage in
> this country.

I can't say I agree with the sentiment that marriage is outdated. I
like marriage. Like the research by sociologist Linda Waite of the
University of Chicago points out, married people are healthier than
their unmarried counterparts:

1. Because they pool resources, married people tend to be better off
financially, and that translates into more healthful food, safer
surroundings and other things that reduce stress.

2. Because of their sense of obligation to each other, marrieds may
be less likely to smoke, abuse alcohol or take other health risks.

3. Couples usually monitor each other's health habits and urge each
other to seek medical help when a problem occurs.

4. Spouses offer affection, a sympathetic ear and moral support in
tough situations--all of which are thought to boost the immune system.

I think Clinton likes marriage, too. He's just a fallible person. A
very fallible person. An *extremely* fallible person.

It's unclear whether or not it's in his best interest to get up there in
front of the world and admit his fallibilities, though. Apparently, the
New York Times says


he is weighing the alternatives as we speak (and yes, Drudge, like
Byars, was right on this one)...

> President Weighs Admitting He Had Sexual Contacts
> New York Times, August 14, 1998
> This article was reported by James Bennet, Richard L. Berke, Neil A.
> Lewis and David E. Sanger and was written by Berke.
> WASHINGTON -- President Clinton has had extensive discussions with his
> inner circle about a strategy of acknowledging to a grand jury on Monday
> that he had intimate sexual encounters with Monica S. Lewinsky in the
> White House, senior advisers have said.
> Although Clinton has not settled on this approach, discussions have
> centered on a plan that would allow him to acknowledge a specific type
> of sexual behavior while still maintaining he told the truth when he
> testified in January that he never had "sexual relations" with the
> former White House intern, the advisers said.
> Clinton would say he based his previous denial, in a deposition in the
> Paula Corbin Jones lawsuit, on a definition of sex approved by the judge
> in the case. His advisers believe this definition does not cover certain
> activities, including oral sex.
> For months Clinton has publicly denied any sexual relationship with Ms.
> Lewinsky. So politically, an acknowledgment of some kind of sexual
> encounter poses considerable risk, particularly if it were linked to a
> legal argument that rests on a narrow definition of sex.
> But Clinton's advisers have said it poses a greater risk to tell
> anything less than the truth to a grand jury about sex with Ms.
> Lewinsky. It is not clear how precisely Clinton has described his
> relationship with Ms. Lewinsky to his lawyers.
> Once Clinton settles on what to say to the grand jury on Monday, he must
> decide whether, and how, to explain his testimony to the American
> public.
> Several Clinton advisers said there was a consensus that Clinton should
> speak out publicly, perhaps in a brief televised speech, after he
> testifies. Several advisers said the feeling is that the President's
> testimony will somehow be leaked to the public anyway, so he should
> portray it from his point of view, which would oblige him to offer some
> specifics about the relationship.
> The advisers cautioned that preparations for the grand jury appearance
> were continuing and that the strategy could still change as the
> President continued to examine the legal and political implications of
> various courses.
> It could be that some of the President's advisers are discussing his
> possible approaches with reporters to gauge the political reaction. The
> President has been severely limited in his ability to take political
> soundings, because anyone he talks to other than his private lawyers and
> his wife, Hillary, is vulnerable to subpoenas from Kenneth W. Starr, the
> Whitewater independent counsel.
> The most crucial discussions have been confined to a small group of
> advisers, all of whom have some recognized privilege that may be invoked
> against prosecutors seeking to learn of their advice. They include Mrs.
> Clinton, Clinton's lawyers Mickey Kantor and David E. Kendall, along
> with other lawyers in Kendall's firm of Williams & Connolly.
> Even as the President's advisers review his options, some have prefaced
> their remarks by saying it is still possible that Clinton will say
> again, as he has publicly, that he never had sexual relations with Ms.
> Lewinsky.
> Rahm Emanuel, a senior political adviser to the President, declined on
> Thursday to discuss Clinton's legal options. "We're not going to
> speculate on the latest theory of what the President is going to testify
> to," he said. "As the President said just the other day, he will testify
> completely and truthfully."
> Some See Merit In a Public Explanation
> As Clinton prepares to navigate the most politically and legally perilous
> moment of his Presidency, the argument for a public explanation of some
> sort reflects the sense of many politicians that the country wants to
> see an end to the Lewinsky saga. Democrats and Republicans alike have
> suggested that even a mild and delicately worded confession from the
> President might reduce the threat of impeachment hearings based on a
> report to Congress from Starr.
> Even if the strategy of acknowledging some sexual activities with Ms.
> Lewinsky succeeds in inoculating Clinton from perjury problems, he may
> still face other legal shoals. Starr's grand jury has also been
> investigating whether Clinton may have obstructed justice if they
> discussed ways that Ms. Lewinsky could conceal a relationship with the
> President and avoid having to produce gifts that he gave her for the
> Jones lawsuit.
> After Clinton testifies on Monday, what else he should say is a subject
> of considerable debate. Some aides have argued that Clinton could blunt
> the political repercussions by offering the public at least a brief
> explanation of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky. Other Clinton
> advisers, including some outside the White House, have argued that he
> should say as little as possible about his testimony -- that he should
> not do much more than smile and announce that he is leaving on vacation.
> Precisely Defining Sexual Relations
> An option that is increasingly being considered would be for the
> President to testify that he was telling the truth last January when he
> followed a precise definition of sexual relations that the presiding
> judge had approved in the Jones sexual misconduct lawsuit.
> Under that definition, some advisers believe, Clinton could plausibly
> assert that his contacts with Ms. Lewinsky did not constitute sexual
> relations.
> The issue of how to deal with Clinton's testimony in the Jones case in
> January is such a critical matter that Kendall reviewed a videotape of
> the testimony on Monday. He had already seen a transcript.
> In that deposition, when the President was asked whether he had an
> affair with Ms. Lewinsky, his response seemed to be straightforward: "I
> have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an
> affair with her."
> But Clinton was responding to a definition of "sexual relations" that
> was prepared by Ms. Jones' lawyers and then narrowed by Judge Susan
> Webber Wright of Federal District Court.
> Ms. Jones' lawyers asked Judge Wright to allow them to use this
> three-part definition of sexual relations when it came up in the case:
> "For the purposes of this deposition, a person engages in 'sexual
> relations' when the person knowingly engages in or causes --
> (I) contact with the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or
> buttocks of any person with an intent to arouse or gratify the sexual
> desire of any person;
> (II) contact between any part of the person's body or an object and the
> genitals or anus of another person; or
> (III) contact between the genitals or anus of the person and any part of
> another person's body. 'Contact' means intentional touching, either
> directly or through clothing."
> Clinton's lawyer, Robert S. Bennett, objected, arguing the definition
> was too broad and could include such benign activities as handshaking.
> Judge Wright readily agreed and limited the definition to Part I,
> excluding the other two.
> Clinton was apparently attuned to the nuances of the definition of
> sexual relations that remained after Judge Wright's ruling. When he
> responded to a question of whether he had ever had relations with
> Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas singer and television personality, he
> replied, "The answer to your question if the definition is Section I,
> there in the first piece of paper you gave me, is yes." He had never
> before publicly admitted to any sexual relationship with Ms. Flowers.
> When the subject was Ms. Lewinsky, Clinton, consulting the same
> definition, denied a sexual affair.
> "There is no perjury here," one adviser to Clinton said, calling the
> definition of sexual activity the President was working from
> "cockamamie." The President's advisers believe the definition used in
> the Jones case may not cover oral sex. Under this interpretation, the
> definition of sexual relations appears to be limited to whether he had
> contact with certain parts of her body, but not others.
> The discussions of this strategy have been extensive enough to include
> consideration of its major political drawback: it would reinforce his
> critics' notion of Clinton as a lawyerly manipulator of language used to
> evade responsibility, as someone who may be technically truthful but not
> fundamentally honest.
> The President's advisers said they feared that this strategy would
> invite charges that he is ducking and weaving, exploiting a definitional
> loophole to muddy the truth.
> They fear it would remind people of Clinton's careful weighing of his
> words in 1992 when he and Mrs. Clinton appeared on the CBS News program
> "60 Minutes" after Ms. Flowers said that she had been sexually involved
> with him.
> Before the television appearance, a campaign aide said, the Clinton
> campaign conducted focus groups with voters and learned that older women
> would react negatively to any discussion of cheating or adultery. As a
> result, the aide said, Clinton chose a more ambiguous phrase to use
> during the program, that he had caused pain in his marriage.
> "I don't think there's a legal risk here," said one lawyer. "The risk is
> really sort of political and public relations."
> Since polls show that many Americans believe that Clinton and Ms.
> Lewinsky had an affair, some White House advisers hope that changing the
> essence of the President's story would not be as damaging as it would
> have been months ago.
> But the advisers said neither they nor the President had settled on the
> format in which he should make his case -- or on how far he should go in
> discussing his involvement with Ms. Lewinsky. Part of the uncertainty
> stems from the fact that many of the advisers who are debating political
> strategy are not privy to the legal discussions.
> Clinton's political advisers have not directly asked him about the
> nature of his relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, although they do discuss
> the politics surrounding it. And while they stand by his denials in
> public, some have privately concluded that Clinton had some sort of
> sexual affair with her. They express confidence that he found a
> linguistic loophole to avoid perjuring himself.
> If the President argues that he was using a narrow definition of sex in
> denying an affair with Ms. Lewinsky, he will undercut several of his
> senior aides, who assured the public in January that he was not
> splitting hairs. Some White House officials told reporters in January
> that they had been specifically told by the White House counsel's office
> that Clinton was not playing word games.
> "Sex is sex," Ann F. Lewis, the White House communications director,
> said on Jan. 25 on the program "Fox News Sunday." "Maybe only in
> Washington is this considered something we ought to spend a lot of time
> on.
> But, no, a sexual relationship means what it says, and that includes
> sex."
> In the seven months since the Lewinsky matter became public, Clinton has
> flatly denied that he had an affair with the former intern in the White
> House -- an assertion that he could, of course, still repeat to the
> grand jury. But Ms. Lewinsky testified to the grand jury last week that
> she and the President had had sex on several occasions, people familiar
> with her account said. And she turned over to Mr. Starr a dress that is
> being tested to determine whether there is semen on it.
> Now, Clinton is working with his legal advisers on answers to potential
> questions from Starr and his colleagues.
> Perils in Contradicting Testimony of Lewinsky
> The President could stick to his statement that he had no sexual
> relationship with Ms. Lewinsky whatsoever -- though that would directly
> contradict Ms. Lewinsky's testimony. If the grand jury believed her,
> that would open the question of perjury on a much more serious level --
> in a criminal rather than a civil case.
> Clinton could also resist questions about the nature of his relationship
> with Ms. Lewinsky, claiming that they violate his right to privacy, or
> he could try to use vague language in response to specific questions.
> Yet it is unclear that the courts would sustain a Fourth Amendment claim
> to some kind of privacy privilege. Moreover, there is a risk that he
> would appear nonresponsive if Starr's team asks him very specific
> questions about the nature of his involvement with Ms. Lewinsky.
> In Clinton's practice sessions, his advisers said, his lawyers are
> questioning him and designing answers that allow him to acknowledge a
> relationship with Ms. Lewinsky without going into graphic detail.

Heck, at this point I *want* the graphic detail. Tell us everything,
Bill. Don't make us wait for Lewinsky's tell-all book...


Ritalin is easy, ritalin is good, even all the ones who watered down the
-- Foo Fighters, "This is a Call"