Sex, the whole sex and nothing but the sex

September 15, 1998

Tim RowlandThat giant whooshing sound you heard Friday afternoon around 3 was American productivity going right up the flume.

All at the same time, millions of normally hard-working office employees turned their backs on their computer solitaire games and tried to be among the first to log on to the Starr Report - the long-awaited document that was to tell all about Whitewater, Filegate Travelgate, Vince Foster, Clinton's drug dealings and all the other foibles that Rush Limbaugh has been yodeling about over the past six years.

And boy was I disappointed. Why, I couldn't find one interesting thing in the entire 400-plus pages.

I looked in the index for Web Hubble. He wasn't there. I looked for the McDougals. They weren't there either.

There was a lot of stuff about some chick named Lewinsky, but it never did in my opinion conclusively tie her in with the Madison Savings and Loan.


Yikes. Remember all those people who told us the Starr Report wasn't going to be just about sex? Boy were they ever wrong.

This is sex, the whole sex and nothing but the sex. It cost us four years and $40 million to get into the president's trousers, but we did it. Beautiful. As for this Lewinsky girl, she should shut up and be happy the president doesn't smoke a briarwood pipe.

The report is like one of those form letters you get at Christmastime - it's just a whole lot more information than you ever wanted to know. After reading the Starr Report, I no longer think lying about sex ought to be a crime, I think it ought to be required. I'm much more comfortable with lies than I am with - with this.

Not that I'm complaining entirely. As a national pastime the investigation has been twice as entertaining as the movie "Titanic," at half the cost to produce - although so far at least, it hasn't gone on quite as long.

Here's my take: The president is creepy. And anyone who has had a hand in dragging this bleeding sexual carcass into public light - Starr, Linda Tripp, the media, Congress - is just as creepy as he is.

Incidentally, didn't you just love the way all those "pro-family," get-porn-off-the-Internet Congress members were falling over each other to vote for putting this smut online where any school child can read it?

I guess prurient interest is trumped by political interest.

And of course Congress completely missed the one positive that could have come out of this mess. The Starr Report was a document clamored for by millions of people - think how much money this could have generated for the public treasury had Congress sold corporate sponsorships - sort of like the MCI Center, or the Bell Atlantic call to the bullpen. The Starr Report, brought to you by Garcia y Vega. A little Nike swoosh on every page. We still would have suffered knowing the gamy side of the president, but at least it would have saved Social Security.

The people I really feel for are the parents of young kids. "Daddy, why is it bad for the president to 'gratify' someone?" When I was a kid I thought gratification was something that happened when you put a tooth under your pillow. Who knew?

Another part that's really funny/sad is that Monica said she liked to share her public policy ideas with the president.

Hoo-boy. We're just lucky Clinton's State of the Union speech didn't include an American Access to Shopping Mall Act. "Oh Billy, you should like totally shut down the government over the Medicaid issue, or what-ever."

You laugh, but maybe this economic boom is all thanks to Miss M. "The Greenspan boy says interest rates are too low. As if."

Move over Hillary, let's give Monica a crack at health care.

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