Am currently reading The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr by Ken Gormley. It’s a book I picked up in the vast Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology Library.
It’s an excellent read, an I think fair-minded account of this insane chapter in America’s history.
I can try to read it and not reflect my own biases all over it. I can try. And even trying as hard as I can to do that, this book tells me what I already knew long ago, that the Whitewater – Lewinsky hubub was pretty much a bunch of politically motivated bullshit.
A few things have surprised me in reading it (bear in mind, I have yet to even get to the stuff about Lewinsky).
It is amazing how much happenstance and insanity (mostly the insanity of Jim McDougal, but there were plenty of other crazies involved here) played into the mix, what a mix of serendipity and straight up politics went into the decision on the part of a three judge panel to replace Robert Fiske with Kenneth Starr (no relation to Brenda) and how vital that change actually was to what unfolded later. It is amazing to read how many wide-eyed missteps were made on the part of the Clinton White House in trying to defend itself against this nonsense. It is amazing to me anyways, how tinny it sounds when the book tries to explain how Starr was not a partisan maniac (even though the effort he led was entirely partisan and motivated by the glowing rusty jagged suppositories).
Mostly, it’s just a damned shame.