CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnPRESIDENT CLINTON lied underrnoath as well as on television: About that,rnfew have disagreed. So wh- wasn’t lyingrnunder oath simply regarded as perjury?rnBecause weighty conservatives, famousrnfeminists, and legal scholars, among others,rnhave tended to excuse the President,rnclaiming that he was just lying to concealrnan affair. Said Arthur M. Schlesinger,rnJr., “A gentleman always lies about sex.”rnThis is a depressing line, quite asidernfrom calling Mr. Clinton a gentleman —rndepressing because of what it omits, andrnbecause so many well-regarded peoplernhave used it on the public.rnThe President could hardlv have liedrnabout sex without affecting other people,rnand indeed he has repeatedly shown hisrnwillingness to discredit his accusers.rnGennifer Flowers was vilified in thern”mainstream press”; an immense politicalrnmachine geared up to deal siunmarilyrnwith Paula Jones; the administrationrnbegan handing out materials impeachingrnKathleen Wille’s credibility’ immediatelyrnafter her persuasie appearancernon 60 Minutes; and the President himself,rnsurrounded by his phalanx of advisors,rnaides, and a Secret Scricc detail,rnmurmured that Monica Lewinsky was arn”stalker.”rnThat last one beats out even GeorgernBush’s claim—surrounded by his SecretrnService agents —to have kicked GeraldinernFerraro’s butt, winning the covetedrn”Not Errol Flnn” award. And }et somernleaders of the women’s mo’ement andrnold-time members of the civil-rightsrnmovement, among others, have gonernalong with a performance that is the vcr’rnopposite of equal justice and conspicuouslyrndevoid of anything dashing orrnswashbuckling. Kremlin or no Kremlin,rnit would be nice to have a President maturernenough to deal with twent-somethingrnpolitical groupies.rnNot that the President has gotten aw ayrnwith personal attacks scot-free, of course.rnPaula Jones filed suit against Mr. Clintonrnafter reading about some version ofrnherself in an American Spectator article;rnLinda Tripp started recording her phonernconversations after she was described inrnnewspapers by the administration as unreliable;rnand Monica Lewinsky wentrnback to the grand jury irritated by thernPresidenfs testimony that their relationshiprnwas so clinicallv one-way as to avoidrntouching.rnSo the President’s efforts to tear downrnthe reputations of others, successful to arnpoint, have also boomeranged againstrnhim—with some justice, since even hisrndefenders seem to be sa’ing that he hasrnjeopardized his presidency by lyingrnabout something so trivial it need notrnhave been lied about. But it must be rememberedrnthat this was his effort, andrnthe effort of his administration and alliesrnin the press and in socieh”: He has triedrnsystematically to discredit people whornhave discovered something to his discredit,rneven though what they discoveredrnwas his own conduct, and they discoveredrnit from the man himselfrnThis is the context for those cries forrn”forgiveness” and “a return to civilit)-.” Itrnwould be noble for an’ of us to forgivernthe man for lying about us, but is it reallyrnso noble to forgive him for King aboutrnsomeone else? Was tlie time before thernpublic knew about the President’s treatmentrnof an intern —the same time thernPresident’s men were trashing anotherrnyoung \oman, a former low-level staternemployee-really one of greater civility?rnGennifer Flov’ers, Paula Jones, KathleenrnWillcy, Monica Lewinsky, and othersrnare not “sex”; they are human beings.rnBill Clinton is not lying about sex; he isrnlying about women. Put that way, itrnseems a bit less gallant.rn— Margie BumsrnP R E S I D E N T CLINTONS $1.77 trillionrnbudget proposal is an insult, and notrnjust to the GOP-dominated Congressrnthat will not pass it; It is an insult to thernintelligence of the American people.rnPredictably, Sen. Pete Domenici, Republicanrnpoint-man on budget, and newrnSpeaker of the House Dennis Hastertrnboth condemned the plan to raise taxesrnb’ cutting corporate loopholes and imposingrnnew taxes on tobacco. W’liile thernRepublicans were noisily pointing outrnthat any budget surplus belongs to therntaxpayers, they were quietly agreeingrnwith the President that as much as twornthirds of future surpluses should be usedrnto bail out Social Securit)-. Allan Greenspan,rnhowever, has told both the Presidentrnand Congress that such surplusesrnfall short of what is required to fix SocialrnSecurity (that is, to pay this baby-boomerrnoff). To make the system solvent, saysrnGreenspan, we need to raise taxes, cutrnbenefits, or both.rnSomeone (or nearly ever’one) is lying.rnEither Mr. Greenspan is telling therntruth—and both the Democrats and Republicansrnare lying to us about the surplusrn—or the Federal Reserve Boardrnchairman is a liar who has to be removedrnfrom office. The dirt)- secret that everyrntalk-radio listener knows is that there isrnno budget surplus: The national debtrnwent up in 1998, not down, but we arerncontinuing to spend Social Securityrnmoney on the boondoggle projects demandedrnby those who contribute to thernpolitical campaigns of both parties, andrnthe best plan our beloved President canrncome up with is to add a 5 5-cent tax tornsome poor nicotine addict’s pack ofrncigarettes.rnConservative viewers of the impeachmentrnproceedings occasionally wonderrnwhy the hard-working house managersrnhave been gien so littie opportunit}’ torndo their job. Doesn’t Trent Lott want arnconviction? The question is pointless.rnWhen both parties have entered into arnconspiracy to deceive the American publicrnon the state of both Social Securityrnand the budget, they are incapable of opposingrneach other on any other matterrnthat is significant for our future. Unfortunatelv,rnin insuHing the American peoplernw ith his fiscal lies. Bill Clinton hasrnonce again judged his audience — andrnhis opposifion—to a “t” which stands forrn”tool” that rhwues with “fool.”rn—Thomas FlemingrnCULTURAL SYMBOLS are sourcesrnof contention eerwhere. In Russia, arnsquabble over a monument rings a bellrnwith this proud Southerner. The powerfulrnCommunist (CPRF) faction in thernDuma recently raised the question of returningrn”Iron Feliks” Dzerzhinsky, thernSoviet Unions first secret policeman, tornhis pedestal facing the Lubyanka, thernone-time home of the KGB. The uproarrnthat followed shows that old woundsrnhave not entirely healed. To some Russians,rn”Iron Feliks” symbolizes the murderersrnof their ancestors. For others, he isrn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn