(U-WIRE) MINNEAPOLIS – It is clear: This country has gone blind from too much sex. President Clinton finally has testified before both a grand jury and the nation about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
However, the news the nation has been waiting to hear is far from over. The president still can be impeached, but it is unclear what offense will constitute “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Lewinsky testified prior to Clinton’s testimony, and both have stated no one was told to lie.
Clinton is telling the country to get out of his bedroom – what happened is private and a family matter. But not enough people are listening.
What is appalling is the media circus that surrounds the current presidential sexcapade supersedes all other priorities. Sex is foremost on far too many people’s minds. No terrorist attack, workers’ strike or failing foreign economy is enough of an issue to match the Clinton controversy. It is truly sad that national and international affairs are so dwarfed by the Clinton-Lewinsky liaison. Much of the country suffers from a serious tabloid mentality.
Independent counsel Kenneth Starr still may call witnesses, including the president and Lewinsky. Starr will now hunt for “substantial and credible information” that could lay the groundwork for impeachment. Starr’s report first will go to House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), then to the House Judiciary Committee. The panel votes and then the report moves to the Senate, where it must be passed by a two-thirds vote. If the Senate reaches a “resolution of inquiry,” impeachment proceedings will begin.
Starr also must submit a second report to the three-judge panel that appointed him. The report will be a full account of his investigation. While the panel decides if the report should go public, it undoubtedly will mean inevitable leaks. With Starr’s report to the House and Senate and all the panels and judges in between, the media will wait voraciously at every turn, hungry for a tip or leak.
Religious leaders clamor about sin. Moralists fall in behind them, calling the president a lustful liar who has failed to lead the public toward moral perfection. Democrats fear for Vice President Al Gore’s chances in 2000. Republicans couldn’t be happier, despite their own riddled and jaded histories. Meanwhile, important work by the president, Congress and the media is not getting done.
Clinton confessed his transgressions to the public, although many people don’t think it was enough. Isn’t it time to move on to more important issues, like world starvation, Third World economic collapse and the fight against terrorism?
-Staff editorial from The University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Daily.