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View Diary: Sanford Voted To Impeach Bill Clinton, Demanded He Resign (154 comments)

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  •  There never were any convictions of any (14+ / 0-)

    of those charges and he was not found guity in the senate.  

    While what Clinton did was morally wrong in my view (because it involved using a position of power to obtain sex with a much younger person), there was no crime or civil liability.

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    by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:28:23 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Excuse me (12+ / 0-)

      how exactly did Clinton use "his position of power" in those events?

      He cheated on his wife. He did not coerce Ms. Leinsky in any way.

      •  We differ in our views. (5+ / 0-)

        I think the President of the US used his position as President to have sex with an immature young woman.  Based on my moral beliefs, that was wrong.

        Other people may have different moral beliefs.

        I would say the same with a professor screwing an undergrad.  

        Some folks think it is ok.  I don't and would not use my position in that way.   I tend toward serial monagamy and meet women outside the workplace.

        You and many others may have different moral ideas.  I don't say my moral should be law, but they are my views of right and wrong.

        As I said, Clinton was never convicted of a crime or found liable.  He agreed to lose his law license.  I was not impressed by his lying under oath in a deposition, but he paid for it in public disaproval.

        You may think differently.

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        by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:48:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She was a legal adult (5+ / 0-)

          But I asked you about your allegation, disputed by Monica Lewinsky herself, that Clinton used his "position of power."

          The evidence does not support your allegation, whatever your moral beliefs.

          You can say that Clinton should not have engaged in the relations with Lewinsky based on your moral beliefs.

          What you can not state based on your moral beliefs is an assertion that is, based on the available evidence, not true.

          Your moral beliefs are not evidence.

          •  We're not in court. (0+ / 0-)

            You are being ridiculous and interpeting my statement as a legal assertion when it is not.  Since it is not a lkegal assertion regarding any cause of action, what is your point?

            I explained it.  

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            by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:59:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are being ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrblifil, Eyesbright

              You made a factual assertion which is, based on the available evidence, not true.

              I am pointing out that your factual assertion is not supported by the available evidence.

              Why do you object to that?

              I am not interpreting your factual assertion, I am pointing out it is not supported by the available facts.

              Try to stick to the evidence in the future.

              •  We're talking past each other. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MRA NY

                We disagree.  You make unsupported assertions and call them "evidence. "

                Maybe it's the word "power" or "position" that drives this dispute.  I would not screw a young associate for a number of reasons (inlcuding that I'm in a monagomous relationship), but to me, it also would be a moral abuse of power, even if it were legally irrelvant (although it would set up a possible sex harrrassment claim in my case depending on the future).

                We beleive different things.  You can call your position "fact-based," although I disagree with that depiction.  You have not convinced me.  

                Take care.  

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                by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are you denying (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eyesbright

                  that the evidence from the mouths of the participants is that that there was no coercion?

                  That is the fact based nature of my point.

                  You raise moral objections to Clinton's conduct.

                  Let me surprise you be joining in them

                  But I strongly object to your unsupported, indeed completely contradicted assertions that Clinton "used his power" to get sex from Lewinsky.

                  Are you arguing that the evidence is not what I say on that point? Perhaps you have some basis for your statements?

                  I can point to the statements of Monica Lewinsky.

                  •  Heaven forbid I wade in to this (12+ / 0-)

                    But here goes.

                    I have to side with Tom P on this one, while at the same time agreeing that you are factually correct.

                    You're correct because there is no evidence anywhere of coercion.  Both parties said they wanted it, and I believe them.

                    Nevertheless, in my mind (and what I think Tom P is saying), any relationship between The President of the United States, and a 23 year old intern, is inherently asymmetric.  (I'm trying to avoid the word "coercive".)  One party has all the power.  Overt intimidation or coercion is not necessary to make the relationship unfair to the younger, powerless party.  As Tom says, it's the same as a college professor having an affair with a much younger student.  I think most people would agree that is wrong, even though not illegal.  And the reason it's wrong is that there is an inherently coercive aspect to the relationship.  For the  same reason it is highly unethical for a psychiatrist or therapist to date patients.

                    I'll also say, I thought the Republican hissy fit was outrageous, that Clinton should not have been impeached, and in fact that there should not have been a whitewater investigation in the first place.  The whole persecution of Clinton was outrageous.

                    But that doesn't mean I approve of his actions, and in addition, I am to this day upset with him.  One can never prove a "what if?", but I have always thought that Gore would have been President if Clinton had kept his pants on.  The election would not have been close enough that Bush could steal it.  "Of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these:  'It might have been.' "  

                    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

                    by RenMin on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:56:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Arguing with a lawyer is like.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TomP, mikejay611, OldSoldier99

                  mud wrestling with a pig.  You know the joke.  This all started way back up the thread with a false equivalence between Nixon's criminal behavior and Clinton's incontinence and the ensuing witchhunt.  If there were time, we could bring Reagan and Bush into the discussion, where fact-based positions might well point to impeachable behavior.  But, we're just talking about a single, hypocritical, former Republican congressman, and there are so many to choose from it might want a separate diary.

                  •  Reagan should have (0+ / 0-)

                    been impeached for Iran-Contra. Selling weapons to our sworn enemies in order to illegally fund a rebel army eclipses getting blowjobs from a woman not your wife. IMHO.

                    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                    by happy camper on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 05:20:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Illegal too (0+ / 0-)

          Actually, there is a law that says that if a person in power has sex with a subordinate, then even if it is consensual, it constitutes sexual harassment.  And that law was signed into existence by Bill Clinton himself.

        •  She was willing and actually, according to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini, Eyesbright

          some reports, bragged to her girlfriends that she was gonna get in the President's pants.....

          •  She said (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mikejay611, Eyesbright

            ""I'm going to the White House to get my presidential kneepads."

            This was long before she met Bill Clinton.

            Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

            by delphine on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 12:14:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Coercion was implied (0+ / 0-)

        There may have been no actual coercion but the perception was plausible.

        •  Perception from whom? (4+ / 0-)

          Lewinsky has consistently denied that she was "harassed" or "coerced."

          The evidence is clear - it is no longer "plausible" to state  that.

        •  I think she had stars in her eyes and (5+ / 0-)

          Bill should have known better.  He used her.  It's sexist in some ways.  

          It's all very sad. Glad he was not convicted and there never should have been an impeachment.  

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          by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 09:57:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your comment sexist? (0+ / 0-)

            Maybe.

            Pretty close I'd say.

            •  I don't think so. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MRA NY, JoanMar

              This is a big issue for you.  Whatever.

              Monica could make her own decisions.  But as a father, I know how I would have felt when my daughter was 23.  I also refrain from such conduct with young women.  My choice.  I would not screw an intern.

              I have my views on Bill Clinton's conduct and have expressed them.  You have your views.

               

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              by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:05:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree Tom (7+ / 0-)

                He may not have 'used' his position directly in the sense of, say, threatening her that she would be fired otherwise, or anything like that. But they were not in two equal positions by any stretch of the imagination.

                •  Is any relationship (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Swig Mcjigger

                  between persons of unequal position by definition "a use of a position of power?"

                  I assume your answer is no.

                  The question I would then have is what was it about this situation that constituted a "use of a position of power?"

                  •  Well (6+ / 0-)

                    I think we have two things going on here.

                    Was it something he should have been impeached over? No. It was a relationship between two consenting adults and did not rise to the level of a crime or anything like that.

                    Was it the "right" thing to do? I would also say no. A, he was married to someone else, who apparently was not OK with it (although perhaps was somewhat resigned to the fact that he ran around a lot, but I get the sense she was hoping he had left that in Arkansas). B, it was a bad idea for political reasons; when found out it severely damaged his ability to get anything done in office. C, to the point of your question, Monica was much younger and easily influenced by his position. Would she have acted the same way if he'd been another intern at the next desk? Seems doubtful. Therefore his power played a role in her decision making. I don't doubt that she went into it willingly but it doesn't mean he wasn't taking advantage of the situation to some degree.

                  •  In grad school (I have a Master in Human Reources) (3+ / 0-)

                    Sexual harassment can take on different forms. One is the type you are thinking about where a person can make your job dependent on having sex, which is not consensual even if the person seems to have willingly entered into an "affair".

                    Another was when someone is a position of power, say a CEO, enters into an affair with someone down the employment chain, say an intern (which is the example given by my professor).

                    Promises for future employment, like I'll introduce you to some people who could help you find a job (like Clinton supposedly promised) is also harassment.

                    It doesn't matter that Lewinsky may have wanted to have an affair, it doesn't matter if she was the pursuer... Clinton was in a position of power and he was obligated to walk away. If she was some random girl he met through mutual acquaintances, game on, but President and intern = harassment.

                    First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

                    by theKgirls on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:47:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Clinton supposedly promised" (4+ / 0-)

                      I know of no evidence of such supposed promise.

                      Of course a quid pro quo is the quintessential form of sexual harassment.

                      The point is, based on the evidence, it was not present with regard to the relationship itself.

                      The allegation, unproven, was that Clinton friend Vernon Jordan promised Lewinsky a job in exchange for false testimony.

                      This would go to obstruction of justice, not sexual harassment.

                      The allegation was unproven as Jordan did not deliver.

                      •  Okay Armando: Enough. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SilentBrook, Larin

                        I've been scrolling down the comments and you seem to be a hi-jacker whose only discernible  motivation is to stubbornly split hairs in an effort for TomP to cry "uncle".

                        On the subject of the diary, I think there may be an opening on Sanford's hypocrisy re: Clinton.  No redemption for thee but for me.  Then this is the home state of Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham (the latter was one of the few rewarded with a senate seat for his role in President Clinton's impeachment proceedings).

                        I have to wonder if an R+11 district in South Carolina is really up for grabs.  Any South Carolinians out there who wish to comment?

                    •  Not exactly (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Armando, elwior

                      Your statement of law is correct re: Quid pro quo sexual harassment. (Have sex with the boss in return for promotion, keeping your job, a bigger bonus) but that is not consistent with the facts of the case.  The job efforts, such as they were, from Vernon Jordan about getting her a job happened after the fact.  Viewed in their worst light, they don't amount to quid pro quo sexual harassment but an attempt to keep her happily employed so she won't  turn hostile/

                    •  While the power relationship was unequal (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Dr Swig Mcjigger

                      She was an adult fully able to consent to the relationship. Your advanced training in human resources must have alerted you to the fact that any organization that puts humans together ends up creating romantic entanglements of one sort or another. Therefore it would be possible to view any and all romantic encounters and relationships as by-products of power negotiations, and therefore inherently signifying harassment. But at what point must intent be taken into account? Surely genuine harassment consists of a conscious intent to oppress and degrade. I never viewed Clinton's intentions toward Monica as an intent to subjugate, whether or not the relationship was "proper" (which he knew it was not). I think the stresses placed on the person serving as President are too great, the isolation too severe, for any person to bear. So it's not surprising when odd behavior is brought to light, and in the case of Bill and Monica, none of the behavior was all that odd, until it came to the aftermath and the concealment. That's when the craziness really took off.

                      •  Somehow when I tried to correct a capitalization (0+ / 0-)

                        error, I managed to delete my entire first paragraph, which was a caveat that I graduated in '94 and worked in Training and Development, so I never put any of this into practical experience.

                        The classroom discussion centered around the gray area. I'm sure there are lots of interactions that harm no one. However, when there is such a skew in title, things can get very nasty when the affair ends.

                        So, just like everyone should be aware that telling racist or sexist jokes, even among friends, creates a hostile work environment, management must understand that power can lead to abuse. And when HR has to get involved, the bigwig will be let go (again, in theory -- I imagine that more often than not, the underling will be fired "for cause")

                        I agree with you -- I don't think there was intent to harm on Clinton's part.

                        I think the whole Clinton fiasco was political more than sexual harassment. But having recently graduated (and I still remembered all the particulars about the law) at the time I thought it met the criteria. It wasn't quid pro quo, but could be viewed as an abuse of power...

                        First the thing is impossible, then improbable, then unsatisfactorily achieved, then quietly improved, until one day it is actual and uncontroversial. ... It starts off impossible and it ends up done. - Adam Gopnik

                        by theKgirls on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 01:10:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly. (5+ / 0-)

                  Thanks.  

                  It's just common sense.  

                  I don't think Bill is the kind of person who would threaten her, and I suspect he cared a little, but I also think he manipulated her feelings and never intended anything more than using her for sex.   That's not illegal, but it's also not very nice.    

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                  by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 10:20:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Let me see if I follow (0+ / 0-)

                    Your argument is that "manipulating feelings" is using power?

                    And that is common sense to you?

                    It is not to me. It is the opposite of common sense.

                    In my VIEW, you confuse your moral beliefs on the issue with facts.

                    If you expressed your moral beliefs without the incorrect factual assertions, I would have no quibble with you.

                    You did not.

                •  Ok but (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elwior

                  How many relationships are truly equal then, even when both parties consent? It's very common for one party to be  substantially older, better educated, stronger, more experienced, have more money etc. They weren't equal, but equality isn't necessary to make your choice voluntary. I don't have nearly the power of Fox News, but it's still my fault if I watch them.

              •  I have not expressed my views (0+ / 0-)

                on Clinton's conduct.

                For some reason, my corrections to your factual inaccuracies has gotten under your skin.

                To coin a phrase, calm yourself down.

                •  Not correct. (0+ / 0-)

                  This is becoming like a discovery dispute where you have to respond to each inaccuracy.  First, you have not corrected any factual inaccuracies.  You mistake assertion for evidence of "facts."  Second, you have not gotten "under my skin."  You flatter yourself a bit there.

                  There is a whole thread about what it an irrelevant issue to this diary.  I don't care about the pristine nature of comment threads in my diary, so it does not matter, but it is amusing to see.  

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                  by TomP on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 01:16:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

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