President Clinton's long-awaited testimony has at last been aired and seen by millions. There was not much in it that most of the public did not already know. The focus itself was on Clinton. He exhibited regrets, fury, astonishment, nervousness and even distance. He painted himself as a concerned and tender friend of Monica Lewinsky. He was not evasive. Politically he answered well. He may get sympathy, not that it will change peoples' opinions. Those who liked him will still like him. Those who believe he is a liar and a cheat will not change their minds.
In essence, Clinton's testimony did not dwell on important matters such as Whitewater, Travelgate or other possible misdoings of which he has been accused. It was rather an inquest into his sexual conduct. It is true of course that a dark week is ahead for President Clinton. His chances of surviving rest on the generosity of Congress and on the opinion polls which indicate that the public is appalled at the way the Republicans have hounded him.
But what of the other figure in this drama? What of Monica Lewinsky? She has been portrayed as emotionally unstable, a victim, an innocent young girl who arrived at the White House only to be pounced upon by her evil boss; she has been described as a silly, infatuated girl, weak and feeble, who came under the calculated charms of a conniving boss. She is pictured as innocence itself which was subsequently abused.
At the risk of being called a male chauvinist, I believe it was Clinton who was seduced and abused. It was not he who made the first move. It was Monica who admitted that she started it by lifting her jacket at the back and showing him the thongs of her panties; she then told him she had a crush on him. Had a man who was a boss done that to a woman under him, he would probably be out of a job.
Monica gives the impression of a vulnerable, defenseless woman who should have been protected. The question is asked - protected from what exactly? It was she who started it. She ran after Clinton, showered him with many presents and sent him postcards that many would interpret as "come and get me". It was Clinton who called for an end to the relationship. It was Monica who persisted and continued to beg for his attention.
Yes, then, Clinton is to be blamed. He should have realized that Monica was an airhead. He should also have seen through her words and actions - that she was unstable, while promising not to tell anyone about what was going on, she was blabbing to a dozen people the minute details of their sexual encounters. She was 22, an adult and a graduate but she could not keep her mouth shut. Clinton's power and personality are said to have put Monica under his spell. But Lewinsky had power too. Sexual power. It was not she but Clinton who was abused.
It was not he who ran after her but it was she who used every pretext to get into his office, from bringing hot pizzas to signing mementos! That makes her an abuser of men. Looking at her throughout zippergate, I could not help concluding that she is seductive, cold blooded, conspiratorial and manipulative. As someone stated, "What normal woman would keep back a semen-stained dress for later examination unless she were preparing some pretty powerful revenge?"
She was obsessed with Clinton and she boasted of having sex with him. She wanted to possess him. Clinton may have been overcome by her charms. I personally don't understand why he fell for her. She is, as I have said, an airhead, a groupie - and there are dozens of silly girls like her all over America.
From the start, the president stressed the importance of keeping the relationship a secret. She falsely assured him that she had and Clinton believed her, little suspecting that the bubble would one day burst.
And now after Monday's broadcast, too much has been revealed for President Clinton to zip himself up and get on with the presidency. The power of the media, feminism and right-wing Christian zealotry have produced a situation where a man's personal behavior has become a matter of public concern.
Clinton is a Leo. Most of them - and especially those in power and high positions - are reckless, but they are good-hearted. No one surely can condone his behavior. And especially in view of the fact that all these trysts took place in the White House - arguably the most powerful building in the world. The president was caught off guard and, as they say in America, "with his pants down" - no pun intended. He has paid a heavy price - his wife and daughter have suffered a great deal. Media intrusion in what was a very personal matter has made life hell for them.
The future looks bleak for Clinton. Already in debt for a couple of million dollars in lawyers' fees, debased and defrayed, his presidency will be clouded by the Lewinsky affair. Monica however is set to make millions. She is already scheduled to model a blue dress in Milan this fall. Her book is expected to net $6 million. She has become a modern-day Delilah whose future Clinton will view with anger, envy and the thought :"If only she had kept her mouth shut!"