“Diminished Credibility”?

By Larry Ray Hafley

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott spoke of President Clinton’s trashing of the office of the presidency. Said he, “I am disappointed in the way the highest office in the nation has been reduced in stature and diminished in credibility.”

“. . . Asked about Lott’s assertion that Clinton had diminished the credibility and stature of the office, (Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle) said: ‘I don’t believe so at all’” (USA Today [September 1, 1998], 5A).

Senator Daschle’s misguided defense of Clinton is about as frightening as the president’s brazen behavior. If Mr. Clinton has not “diminished” the credibility of the presidency, let Daschle tell us what forms of immorality would be required to do so. Specifically what would it take to reduce the stature of the oval office? Suppose Trent Lott or Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House, had done what Clinton has done. Suppose they had been sexually involved with one of their secretaries, lied about it, and then had been exposed. Would Mr. Daschle say, when asked if they had “reduced in stature and diminished in credibility” their respective offices, “I don’t believe so at all”? Would he draw that conclusion? I don’t believe so at all.