Friday, October 28, 2005

Remember the Ethical White House

Bill Clinton was probably the most investigated president in the history of the office. Contrast the tight-lipped Patrick Fitzgerald to Mr. Reporters in His Office Kenneth Starr. And after all of that:
The plain fact is that after a seven year non-stop investigato-rama, no senior Clinton White House official was ever even charged with wrongdoing. Much less indicted. Much less convicted. In fact, the highest-ranking Clinton official to be convicted of wrongdoing in connection with his public duties was the chief of staff to the Agriculture Secretary. Betcha five bucks you can't even name the Clinton Agriculture Secretary in question, much less his chief of staff. Unlike Nixon (whose Watergate crimes were manifest), unlike Reagan (whose White House was corrupted by the Iran-Contra crimes), unlike Bush 41 (who pardoned White House aides and Cabinet officers before they could testify against him), Bill Clinton presided over the most ethical White House staff in decades.

I miss those days, and I think the reason people are anticipating the indictments is because we want a return to days when ethics mattered. We want to see those who, as James Moore says, "see the law as only marginally instructive" and act thusly brought to justice. It's sad to see our country back in the same place it was with Watergate, Iran-Contra, but not surprising. The lying about going to war in Iraq has worse consequences than Watergate ever had, as in 2,000 deaths and thousands more wounded for life. Billions of dollars.

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