Re: Clinton & Lincoln

Andrew –

Great word: uxorious.

(Figures you’d use it considering how you Brits think American men are too beholden to their wives).

Of course, I think you’re wrong about Clinton. You may call it “routine hypocrisy,” but that begs the question of how you would define astounding, jaw-dropping hypocrisy. Moreover, while I agree that the perjury raised the stakes, they did not raise them from zero to impeachable, as you suggest. They raised them from huge scandal to impeachable scandal. Nobody wants to revisit all that stuff. But I reject the standard you — and many others — put forward that because Clinton wasn’t breaking the law, his behavior was irrelevant. At least two of the pertinent events which illustrate my point: his famous 60 Minutes interview in which he and his wife swore to the public that such behavior was behind them and that if it happened again it would be a huge deal. It happened again. The second event was his strengthening of sexual harassment laws which made what he did technically illegal whether he lied about it or not and incandescantly — not routinely — hypocritical. The guy had an intern under his desk while he was on the phone talking about deploying troops.

As for your point about Lincoln, I think your real disagreement is with Ramesh. I find the campaign against Lincoln tacky because of the obvious motives and questionable history behind it. But if it’s true, it should be discussed, put in context and dealt with.

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