After the Clinton/Monica Lewinski fiasco a couple of messages seemed to resonate with the public:
First: It is okay to lie under oath if it is just about sex; and
Second: Oral sex is not sex.
I never cared who Bill Clinton slept with,I figured that was between he and Hillary and if she got over it, so should the rest of us. Frankly it was none of our business. I did care that he lied about it under oath, but even more so I cared that democrats were willing to give him a pass for lying under oath.
The real lasting message that came from that sordid episode was the second one. Oral sex is not sex. Bill Clinton gave an entire generation of young people a pass on risky behavior. No matter how you look at it, or how much you like Clinton, that’s a bad thing. Whether they want it or not, presidents are the ultimate role models in this country, and for that reason alone they should watch their step.
President Obama had great appeal to young people in this country, so we can assume his has great influence. This generation has now been subjected to two years of disrespect by this president of people he disagrees with.
Victor Davis Hanson gives us a taste:
The president does not conduct himself in a sober and judicious manner and neither do those around him. On any given day he can slur Arizonans as wanting to round up innocents on the way to ice cream. He can slander police as stupidly acting stereotypers. The attorney general can call us cowards and swear without reading a bill that it profiles the innocent. Legitimate worry over a Ground Zero mosque translates into anti-constitutional efforts to stifle freedom of worship. Those with money — defined by an arbitrary annual income level of $250,000 — owe the rest of us their ill-gotten gains. Surgeons transmogrify into tonsil-loppers, insurers are greedy, investors are put back at the end of the creditor line; all are worthy of a boot on their necks and a kick in the ass.
The first lady can likewise say anything at anytime that would earn about a 10% approval rating. “Deign to run,” “raise the bar,” “never been proud before,” “downright mean country,” and all that have gone somnolent only because of a fleeting January 2009 70% approval rating. When polls hits 40% , expect the 2008 tropes to return. The result won’t be pretty. Bush was stoic and philosophical at 38% after six years; the aggrieved Obamas will not be after two.
Will the Obama generation grow up to believe that there is no reason for the powerful to be respectful of those they disagree with? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t underestimate the impact.