Indiscretions: A Guide to Getting It On
August 6, 2001
If you want to break the law, go for it. If you want to be
immoral, go for it. If you want to sleep with your neighbor's
wife, do it. If you want to snort coke and drive drunk, go
for it. If you want to desert the United States military,
go for it. If you want to run for president on a segregation
and anti-civil rights plank, go for it.
And when you get older and someone calls you out for it,
just claim it was a "youthful indiscretion."
Apparently, this is the new line in Washington. From Bush's
coke binges to Henry Hyde sleeping with married women to Bush's
nominee as Ambassador to Ireland Richard Egan going AWOL from
the Marines and breaking campaign finance laws to Strom Thurmond
running as a Dixiecrat on a plank dominated by segregation
and racism, the arrogant claim of "youthful indiscretion"
has never been more in vogue than it is now.
So my advice is to jump on that ship now! But do it now,
because by the time that the next Democrat seems likely to
win the presidency, all of this will be swept under the rug.
If you'll recall, it was only 1992 when Bill Clinton was
running for office and his personal morality was called into
question. Then-governor of Arkansas, Clinton was harassed
by the right-wing establishment for:
Smoking marijuana as a youth
Unsubstantiated claims of infidelity
Being a draft dodger
Breaking the law with the Whitewater deal.
Then and now, Clinton was the anti-Christ with a low sense
of morals and even a lower sense of common decency. He was
lambasted by the right and we were all told that he was unfit
But man, how times change. Now, a stable of the right's finest
claim that their "youthful indiscretions" should be overlooked
because they all occurred in the past.
So let's review. Which is worse:
Smoking marijuana in college OR coking up as late
as your early 40s?
Discredited claims of infidelity where political opponents
financed alleged victims OR breaking up a woman's marriage
after you've turned 40?
Going to school in England and disagreeing with the
war in Vietnam OR going AWOL for a year (Bush) or going AWOL
for a year and being convicted (Egan)?
Being accused of illegal dealings in White Water with
no proof or convictions after 6 years of investigation OR
breaking federal law and agreeing to pay a stiff fine instead
of jail time or a trial?
Opposing a law that allows unsafe Mexican trucks onto
already unsafe Texas and American highways OR making America's
highways unsafe after being arrested for DUI twice?
Clearly, it's a great time to be a Republican with a past
of shady dealings. There may be no other time in our country's
future to exploit unlawfulness as there is today. Embrace
it and make the most of it. But make certain you are well
versed in mentioning Clinton's cock or Whitewater or socialist
health care. There's no defense like an avoiding-the-issue
Monceaux is a writer in Houston, Texas. He's genuinely embarrassed
that George Bush was his governor for six years. You can e-mail
him at firstname.lastname@example.org