For the President, Character Matters

by Matthew Berry | 5/9/94 5:00am

Clarence Thomas, Bob Packwood, Bill Clinton...The President of the United States is being sued for sexual harassment. According to a complaint filed by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, Bill Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, used an Arkansas state trooper to bring Jones to Clinton's hotel suite during a state-sponsored conference.

Once Jones was there, she says, Clinton made unwanted sexual advances towards her. When these were rebuffed, according to Jones, Clinton dropped his trousers and asked her to perform oral sex on him. Stunned by Clinton's behavior, she immediately left the suite. After the incident, Jones was demoted within the Arkansas state bureaucracy.

Bill Clinton ran for President on a platform promising change, and once in office, he has carried through on this threat. Clinton has signed into law the largest tax increase in American history. He has proposed a scheme to socialize the American health care system. And he has undermined America's credibility in the world by establishing the most incoherent foreign policy of any President this century.

The most damaging change, however, that Clinton has brought to Washington, D.C. is his assault on the dignity of the Presidency. While many Americans disagreed with George Bush's policies, few disputed that he was an honorable man worthy of respect. Bill Clinton, on the other hand, is a moral degenerate and an embarrassment to the nation.

There is no need to recite the long list of previous scandals that have plagued the Clintons during the past two years. You know them well by now. With each revelation, Bill and Hillary have slowly lost their moral authority to govern and in the process become national laughingstocks.

Some have dismissed as politically motivated the latest charges against Clinton. Ironically, many of these same people were fervent supporters of Anita Hill when she made similar allegations against Clarence Thomas three years ago.

The same feminists who proclaimed "We believe you Anita!" should now be exclaiming "We believe you Paula!" Not only are Paula Jones's charges far more serious than Anita Hill's, but Jones also has more evidence than Hill to support her charges.

Hill only alleged that Thomas repeatedly pressured her to date him and discussed sexual matters with her at the office. Jones, on the other hand, is charging that Clinton made unwanted physical advances towards her, removed his clothing in front of her and used his power to demote her because she rejected him.

In terms of evidence, Hill had practically none to support her claims. She told four people at the time that she was being sexually harassed but did not specifically identify the harasser to them. No person who worked in the office with Thomas and Hill saw any evidence of sexual harassment, and all of their co-workers believed Thomas's denial.

Furthermore, Hill's testimony was inconsistent with everyone else's opinion of Thomas's character. Thomas had no history of sexual harassment or sexual aggressiveness.

Paula Jones's story, however, seems quite credible. Immediately after the alleged incident, Jones told at least six people about Clinton's behavior. Their corroborating testimony is included in her lawsuit. The state trooper who she says brought her to Clinton's suite has admitted that he solicited women on behalf of Clinton.

Jones's allegations also are consistent with Clinton's character and known behavior. He has had numerous extramarital affairs and used Arkansas state troopers to facilitate these encounters. Furthermore, previous stories have revealed Clinton's fondness for oral sex. Because these reports were not known at the time that Jones told her friends about the incident, her specific mention of oral sex would have been an incredibly lucky coincidence if her story was not true.

If Anita Hill's charges warranted a Senate hearing to publicly explore her allegations, then Paula Jones clearly deserves her day in court. While her cause may not be politically correct in the eyes of the left, her story is objectively far more persuasive than Anita Hill's ever was.

As a Republican, I am delighted by the thought of CNN covering the Jones/Clinton trial. Clinton deserves as much embarrassment as possible. As an American, however, I am saddened that we have descended to the point where the president could be credibly charged with sexual harassment. The American people must be more careful in 1996. Character matters.

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