Sunday, October 23


Bill Kristol is just unbelievably mendacious and hypocritical. It is not possible that he truly believes what he is saying, that Rethugs have engaged in "less than admirable behavior" but Clinton was impeachable because he was guilty of obstruction of justice for lying under oath, and his White House waged war against Kenneth Starr in order to deliberately and unlawfully thwart Starr's investigation.

It is fundamentally inappropriate to allow the criminal law to be used to resolve what is basically a policy and political dispute within the administration, or between the administration and its critics.
It seems to me quite possible--dare I say probable?--that no indictments would be the just and appropriate resolution to this inquiry.

I say this knowing that administration officials may have engaged in behavior that is not altogether admirable. I say this knowing that legions of Clinton defenders will complain that conservatives were happy to support the impeachment of a president for lying under oath seven years ago. My response to the second charge is that if anyone lied under oath the way Bill Clinton did--knowingly and purposefully in order to thwart a legitimate legal process, or if anyone engaged in an obstruction of justice, the way Bill Clinton did, then indictments would be proper. What is more, the Clinton White House mounted an extraordinary--and successful--political campaign against the office of the independent counsel and the person of Kenneth Starr. All the evidence suggests that the Bush White House has been fully cooperative with, even deferential to, the Fitzgerald investigation. And as for the first point, many people in government and politics engage in behavior that is less than admirable. That said, defending one's bosses against criticism, and debunking their attackers, is not a criminal conspiracy. Spin is not perjury. Political hardball is not a felony.

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