Nap Time in the Lincoln Bedroom
Or: What The Secret Service Saw

by Janis Cortese

Well, looks like it's time for the next round of Trash-TV politics. Lately, it's gotten to the point where you can't tell the difference between Jerry Springer and a presidential news conference anymore.

And oh, but lots of pollsters are talking a good game about how women will desert the Democrats over PenisGate, a.k.a. What The First Penis Did Last Weekend. Well, we've got our own opinions on the matter ... and according to polls, we're not alone.

Kim's Response

At tea time yesterday, a couple of older profs were all up in arms about PenisGate -- they thought it was great that we were investigating this "scandal" and "getting it all out in the open." Their motives were based in "morality issues."

One prof said, "I think people today are concerned about morality, and that's why this investigation is going on."

I nearly choked. MORALITY???? This is not about morality, this is about SEX, and the fact that everyone wants more of it, and is secretly concerned that everyone else is having better sex than they are.

People are interested in PenisGate for the same reason they are interested in soap operas -- their own lives are dull, so they live vicariously through the lives they fantasize others are living. The only reason PenisGate is popular at all is that there are no major world crises going on. Ironically, Clinton is in trouble because everything is going pretty well right now.

And in the mean time, what used to be reputable media publications and productions are transforming into National Enquirer look-alikes. I have a simple message for America: GET A LIFE. Your own life, that is, so you'll stop being so concerned about other people's.

Sidra's Response

I couldn't care less about this. I have much more important things to think about than whether or not the President may have committed adultery. That's a matter between him and his wife, and Kenneth Starr, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, Reuters and AP can all take a flying leap.

I'm MUCH more interested in the political situation in Iraq, in how entrepeneurs are surviving (or not) in Russia, and in the fact that Netscape is freely licensing their browser.

I really just do not fucking care about Clinton's dick, fucking or not.

Alana's Response

It's interesting that conservative columnists are throwing hissy fits about Clinton's alleged (and quite possibly actual) adulteries. I'd like to throw out this little reminder to those who object under Christian religious grounds:

"Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." -- Luke 16:18, Scofield Reference Bible translation

In other words, if you accept the Bible literally, then according to the words of Jesus, Newt Gingrich is an adulterer, as are many other major Republican figures. Why the focus on Clinton?

No, I'm not particularly impressed with his record on his personal life. But how many government and business leaders have pure and spotless lives? For that matter, how many of us, if we were subjected to the same intense probing and investigation, would come out clean?

What Clinton does with legislation and foreign policy is our business; what Clinton does with his penis and consenting adults is not.

Besides, why is it that according to these people, Morality really just means Sex? All that other stuff like stealing and cheating and abusing people is all in that namby-pamby ethics stuff. Real Morality means having sex with your lawfully and religiously wedded spouse for procreation purposes only and in the missionary position.

(What? That stuff in the New Testament about "Begone from Me, for I was hungry and you did not feed me, etc.; when you didn't help these people, you didn't help Me"? Nah, that's not important to Real Moral Religious Folks.)

Janis's Response

WHY is it that so many idiot commentators are convinced that this will demolish his standing with women? Because as far as these commentators are concerned, the center of every woman's universe is a *P*E*N*I*S*, so of course that would be the center of our political universe. Child care? Global warming? Iraq? Those subjects are too complex for our limited female minds. Women are simple creatures, and of course we spend every waking moment obsessing about, thinking about, dreaming about, penises. So naturally we'd be more concerned with where the First Pee-Pee spent last Saturday night than with any of the myriad issues confronting the country and the planet. What else about the president could possibly matter more to a woman than his goddamned dick?


Thank you, but I'm far more interested in child care, the situation with Iraq, and the International Space Station than piddling garbage like the president's sexual habits.

What is morality, too? Is it being a laissez-faire moron, or an incompetent despot, refusing to raise the minimum wage, cutting taxes for rich people while families lose out, instituting gag orders on doctors for women -- but sleeping with only one woman at a time?

Or is it passing legislation on family medical leave, child care, education, reproductive choice, raising the min wage, and maybe fucking around in bed once in a while?

Which of these situations is REALLY the more moral? I mean, let's be REAL here. What counts as more moral -- letting your own citizens that you're supposed to be responsible for LIVE ON THE STREETS AND DO NOTHING, or having some religious Certificate Of Boring Sex?

I think the fact that the Republicans, with their abysmal track record on caring about people, are so obsessed with sexual habits, really shows what they spend all their time thinking about.

Fazia's Response

My two cents?

I've seen what's probably the 40 bajillionth sex scandal commentary on the news yesterday. And the frustration of not being able to get news on anything else unless I go to the Internet (thank goodness for the Internet!) is starting to get me REALLY annoyed ...

[rant on]

I don't understand all the fuss the media and Washington is making over this. Or rather, I don't understand the *kind* of fuss they are making over it. I know that sounds weird, but I just don't get it. Roosevelt had an affair that his daughter was helping to keep covered up from Eleanor, Kennedy seemed to want any pretty young thang that moved, and all his bodyguards and staff were lying and covering up for him. But they did they their jobs as President just fine. (Depending on your political leanings I suppose.) There's been any number of other foreign heads of state, including female ones (Benazir Bhutto, Princess Diana), that had affairs while married and either quietly kept mum about it themselves or had legions of people covering up for them. But it's never really been deemed enough to think that they were not suited for the job of leader.

UNLESS of course there was already a political battle going on. It might make them an object of scorn to some, yes. They might lose some of the respect they'd earned from others, yes. Perhaps they might even be made into an object of ridicule by a few. But it was not usually deemed a reason to believe they'd suddenly be incapable of their job. (While Clinton may possible be guilty of something immoral if the accusations are founded, he's not guilty of doing anything *illegal* with the intern. I'd be concerned about his ability to do his job if THAT was the case.) But *that's* the kind of fuss the media is making.

This media circus aspect of it just makes me want to avoid any and all news about it like the plague - just like I reacted to the OJ Simpson trial. I know the basic facts: I know he's been getting sued by Paula Jones for a while; I know that the intern has come forward saying that she had an affair with him and that he asked her to lie about it; And I know that it's all being investigated. And that's ALL I wanna know right now! That's IT. Period.

When some conclusive proof shows that "Yup he did it", then I'll probably think "What a loser," and go right on being concerned with which way he's going to lean on some issue and whether he'll sign a certain bill or not. If that same conclusive proof says, "Nope, he didn't do it." Then I'll think, "Good for him ..." and go right on being concerned with which way he's going to lean on some issue and whether he'll sign a certain bill or not.

[sigh] I just wish TV news programs and CNN and newspapers and magazines, etc. would cover other things too! Cover something else that makes a difference in my life, and not the latest gossip about where they think another man's dick has been.

I don't hate Clinton's politics, so I'm not interested in seeing him being hung by his own petard (if he did think with the wrong head), but I also don't like his politics enough to care about the details of his personal life. I just wish, like I did during the OJ Simpson circus, that it wasn't all the freakin' news there was! I was actually more interested in how the Pope's visit might affect Cuba and Castro's lingering hold there than in all this sex scandal gossip. I'm concerned with what's happening in the Asian stock markets. I'd like to hear some more about what's going on in Indonesia environmentally and economically. I'd like to know if ANYBODY has been able to step in and do something about what's going on in Algeria. Hell, put some of the science news on the headlines. Has a decision been made about the Kennewick man? The Internet has made our world smaller. What's going on around the world truly matters to us now. So why is the political equivalent of a Hollywood scandal the one thing our trusted journalists give us heavy helpings of?

[rant off]

I guess I'm trying to avoid all the gory details. :-/ It ain't easy though. Just like the OJ stuff, I can't really avoid it even though I'm trying.

Cindy's Response

IMO, the investigation is tainted from the get go by "independent council" *puke* Starr. *Why* is this man, obviously bent on a personal vendetta against Clinton, allowed to spend millions of taxpayer dollars investigating *everything* in the Clinton's lives? Remove him and put someone truly impartial in his place.

And then, like Faz says, WHO THE FUCK CARES?

*I* want to know what is happening with the Asian economies and the state of the union addresses. Silly me.

Copyright © 2000 by Janis Cortese

02/08/07 at 21:44