Still, the sanction imposed last Thursday by a federal judge in Arkansas against the President for giving "intentionally false" testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit raises faint, if unlikely, hopes that Clinton might yet come to understand how he has sullied his privileged position. The fine underscores the important message that no one is above the truth, not even the President of the US.
It should be a sobering lesson for Clinton, who put the country through so much pain and showed such a lack of respect for his office. But his deftness at skirting around his responsibility, coupled with the timing of the Linda Tripp indictment on charges of illegal wiretapping, almost ensure that he will once again be able to substitute a theory of victimization for his own culpability.
San Francisco Chronicle
THERE IS something tawdry about a president paying his way out of a hole he dug himself into by lying under oath. Judge Wright took note of this, but also gave what we consider to be a good reason for ordering him to pay up:
"The Court has determined that the President deliberately violated this Court's disc-overy orders, thereby under- mining the integrity of the judicial system, and the sanctions must be imposed to redress the President's misconduct and to deter others who might consider emulating the President's misconduct."
In other words, boys and girls, it is time to find another role model.
San Jose Mercury News
THE COURTS will not respond to this President's contempt with contempt, any more than the system as a whole will respond to his disdain with its disdain. You can feel it in the heavy, unbearable air of an Arkansas summer. It is not contempt or disdain, but just a vast indifference. For Arkansas in particular, it's a rather poignant sensation, after all the hopes Bill Clinton raised. Light lie the ashes of our pride.