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Author Topic: Sex Life and Politics  (Read 2495 times)

Bman

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2004, 12:21:31 AM »
"I didn't say that what he did was ethical or legal, but I find it interesting that the sex scandal was the highlight of a long list of less spectacular alleged wrongs."

Maybe so. Like I said, I opposed his impeachment at the time and have never changed my mind. But imagine that a Republican President was sued for sexual harassment, then proceeded to perjure himself on several occasions when asked about dalliances with a young intern in the oval office as part of an inquiry into his sexual history authorized by sexual harassment law (however, unfortunate this legal intrusion may be). Some might argue that the Democrats would have the same reaction as they did with a Democratic president: it's just sex, get over it, etc, and obviously neither perspective can be proven in any real sense since it deals with hypothetical events. I doubt it though. I bet they'd go after him just as fiercely as the Republicans went after Clinton. 

buster

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2004, 10:18:16 AM »
a few comments/questions, Bman

-- Please explain further regarding the requirement that someone's sex life be thoroughly investigated when they are accused of sexual harassment. I am unfamiliar with this. Thanks.
-- Are you sure Clinton perjured himself on several occasions? I don't think it's quite as clear-cut as that.
-- Provocative speculation: had someone other than Clinton been president, the sexual harassment case would not have been allowed to proceed until after the accused was out of office.

"I didn't say that what he did was ethical or legal, but I find it interesting that the sex scandal was the highlight of a long list of less spectacular alleged wrongs."

Maybe so. Like I said, I opposed his impeachment at the time and have never changed my mind. But imagine that a Republican President was sued for sexual harassment, then proceeded to perjure himself on several occasions when asked about dalliances with a young intern in the oval office as part of an inquiry into his sexual history authorized by sexual harassment law (however, unfortunate this legal intrusion may be). Some might argue that the Democrats would have the same reaction as they did with a Democratic president: it's just sex, get over it, etc, and obviously neither perspective can be proven in any real sense since it deals with hypothetical events. I doubt it though. I bet they'd go after him just as fiercely as the Republicans went after Clinton. 

nonobvious

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2004, 10:20:15 AM »
A worthwhile point to note about the NJ governor case-- it wasn't just about sex.

As this news story goes, McGreevey also apparently appointed the man he was having an affair with to the "newly created post of homeland security adviser without any background check or official announcement".
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040813_471.html

Which of course adds a dimension, and makes resignation seem like a more of a reasonable response.

As for the Clinton affair, I think it does bear some relevance on character and fitness to lead (esp. when there is a huge power/age differential as in the Monica case), and perjury should merit serious legal repercussions... but I was not a fan of the witch-hunt, and I think the whole thing was way overblown [put sorta not intended]. It was especially pathetic that when Clinton released his bio, the media concentrated 90% of their time re-hashing the saga, as if there were no important political issues worth discussing in retrospect... eh, but what else can you expect from the media here.

{Has anyone else heard the stat that the US had been rated I think it was something like 16th in the world in terms of journalistic freedom, behind Costa Rica? And I think the rating is several years old as well..}


Also: Buster, props on the amusingly extended cat metaphor
"Flying is simple. You just throw yourself at the ground and miss."

nonobvious

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2004, 10:22:05 AM »
oh and nice speculation, that sounds plausible
"Flying is simple. You just throw yourself at the ground and miss."

buster

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2004, 10:24:11 AM »
Also: Buster, props on the amusingly extended cat metaphor

Why, thank you. I was quite fond of it myself.

Bman

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2004, 10:40:49 AM »
"Please explain further regarding the requirement that someone's sex life be thoroughly investigated when they are accused of sexual harassment. I am unfamiliar with this. Thanks."

It's not a requirement. But in sexual harassment cases, the presumption is that the accused's sexual history is relevant and can be asked in depositions and, later, at trial. Similarly, in most states, a man accused of rape can have his sexual history and personal history admitted. In virtually all cases, the person making the accusation is shielded from similar inquiries. My whole point was that this two-tiered system was created by feminists so it was quite comical during the Clinton imbroglio to hear them suddenly discover the concepts of fairness and privacy for those accused of sexual harassment.

"-- Are you sure Clinton perjured himself on several occasions? I don't think it's quite as clear-cut as that."

It seems pretty clear to me. He was ordered by Judge Wright to answer questions about his sex life. He clearly perjured himself about his relationship with Lewisnky (which, unfortunately, is legally considered relevant). He also appears to have inadvertantly confirmed that he lied in his new autobiography (by conceding that the relationship began when she was an intern, which he steadfastly denied in the Grand Jury hearing). Don't think he should have been impeached but I do think he committed perjury.

"Provocative speculation: had someone other than Clinton been president, the sexual harassment case would not have been allowed to proceed until after the accused was out of office."

I definitely don't agree with this. To proceed. all you need is a willing accuser and a court that says the president can be sued while in office. The Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY that the suit could go forward. I don't see how it can be argued that Justice Stephens, Justice Souter, Justice Ginsberg, and Justice Breyer, among others, were prepared to apply a harsher standard to a Democratic president than they would a republican one.

buster

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2004, 11:06:45 AM »
It's not a requirement. But in sexual harassment cases, the presumption is that the accused's sexual history is relevant and can be asked in depositions and, later, at trial. Similarly, in most states, a man accused of rape can have his sexual history and personal history admitted. In virtually all cases, the person making the accusation is shielded from similar inquiries. My whole point was that this two-tiered system was created by feminists so it was quite comical during the Clinton imbroglio to hear them suddenly discover the concepts of fairness and privacy for those accused of sexual harassment.

Okay, but you described this earlier as a law.


It seems pretty clear to me. He was ordered by Judge Wright to answer questions about his sex life. He clearly perjured himself about his relationship with Lewisnky (which, unfortunately, is legally considered relevant). He also appears to have inadvertantly confirmed that he lied in his new autobiography (by conceding that the relationship began when she was an intern, which he steadfastly denied in the Grand Jury hearing). Don't think he should have been impeached but I do think he committed perjury.

In saying what did he perjure himself about his relationship with Lewinsky? (Look, to summarize my views on this, I think Clinton is personally a scumbag, and I think he intentionally gave vague, incomplete and/or misleading answers in proceedings which should never have been held. But perjury is a very specific thing: the statement has to be knowingly and explicity false as well as materially important to the case; technically true but substantively false does not perjury make, nor does lying about inconsequential facts.)


I definitely don't agree with this. To proceed. all you need is a willing accuser and a court that says the president can be sued while in office. The Supreme Court ruled UNANIMOUSLY that the suit could go forward. I don't see how it can be argued that Justice Stephens, Justice Souter, Justice Ginsberg, and Justice Breyer, among others, were prepared to apply a harsher standard to a Democratic president than they would a republican one.

I didn't say they applied a harsher standard to a Democratic president than they would to a Republican one. I said "someone other than Clinton." There are two reasons I think this:
1. Clinton's lawyers did a lousy job. Someone else would have had different lawyers.
2. The SC was, by its own admission, influenced by the tide of public opinion; editorial pages in prominent newspapers such as the WP and the NYT were excoriating Clinton for a claim that he was "above the law" which he never made and was not at issue. Clinton was subject to this sort of thing in a consistent and feverish manner unlike another president would have been. You will, I'm sure, disagree with this and I see no point in us arguing about it, but that's the basis for my thinking.

Bman

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2004, 11:17:32 AM »
I should have used my words more carefully (not said required for one). but the law itself does enshrine different standards for the accused (allowing broad inquiries) and the accuser. That was my point.

"In saying what did he perjure himself about his relationship with Lewinsky?"

His lie in the deposition was technically a lie (the definition of sexual relations was VERY broad), it was deemed relevant by the judge and it certainly was intentional. Insofar as the Grand Jury hearing was specifically for the purpose of examining Clinton's false statements in the deposition, certainly his lies were relevant there.

"I didn't say they applied a harsher standard to a Democratic president than they would to a Republican one. I said "someone other than Clinton." There are two reasons I think this:
1. Clinton's lawyers did a lousy job. Someone else would have had different lawyers.
2. The SC was, by its own admission, influenced by the tide of public opinion; editorial pages in prominent newspapers such as the WP and the NYT were excoriating Clinton for a claim that he was "above the law" which he never made and was not at issue. Clinton was subject to this sort of thing in a consistent and feverish manner unlike another president would have been. You will, I'm sure, disagree with this and I see no point in us arguing about it, but that's the basis for my thinking."

This may be the case. Certainly time has not treated the initial decision by the Supreme Court well. But a unanimous decision is pretty resounding (some Justices, like O'Connor, are constantly taking political cues. I rather doubt that all nine of them were.) There was also during that same time, rampant argumentation on the other side; let him do his job as president, there's no point to allowing this to go forward. You're right though. Ultimately, it's pointless speculation.

buster

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2004, 11:31:27 AM »
Quote
His lie in the deposition was technically a lie (the definition of sexual relations was VERY broad), it was deemed relevant by the judge and it certainly was intentional. Insofar as the Grand Jury hearing was specifically for the purpose of examining Clinton's false statements in the deposition, certainly his lies were relevant there.

Whose "definition of sexual relations?"

Bman

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Re: Sex Life and Politics
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2004, 11:57:23 AM »
The legal definition of sexual relations as defined for the purpose of the deposition. I think it was something along the lines of "giving or receiving contact with the intent to sexually gratify" or something like that