I DON'T CARE, and no one cares!
I don't care -- or rather I have stopped caring -- that the president in whom I saw my generation and my social conscience manifest is nothing more than a groping frat boy who thinks oral sex is his birthright.
At first I was disbelieving. Then I had to face the fact that it was true and then I was disgusted and then I was angry and then I grieved for all the opportunity that had been lost.
But now I don't care.
I have moved on, if not to the nation's business, then to my own business, where I am joined by every American who has spoken to a pollster in the last six weeks.
Every single one of us wants this impeachment spectacle to end, and not one of those who claim to represent us in government will end it. They don't care what we want!
That baying pack of jackals from the House is done with its opening epic and today the president's lawyers begin their defense of his indefensible behavior. Those who were watching -- those who want to see the president stoned in the public square -- have switched off their televisions refusing to hear a good word about this man. And they will not be replaced by any of us -- the ones who don't want to hear it anymore.
I have told everyone who will listen that I don't want to hear it any more.
I don't want to hear it from Geraldo or C-Span or the "NBC Nightly News" or at family gatherings that include my brother-in-law, who is not only outraged at the president's behavior, but is also outraged at people such as me, who don't have the stomach to see this matter through to the gallows.
I do not believe that the impeachment of President Clinton is solemn or majestic, or a constitutional crisis, or the legacy of our Founding Fathers played out as they envisioned it.
I think this is a case of a spoiled '60s mama's boy who has never suffered the consequences of his misbehavior going up against a bunch of paternal relics who think that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child.
This is an inter-generational fight about sex and the price you must pay for pleasure, and all the judicial robes and solemn oaths aren't going to dress it up.
Congress thinks it is saving the country from the anarchy of a sexual revolutionary and a moral relativist. But the members are too out of it to see that this isn't Ken Kesey they've got by the collar, it's the class president and a member of the band! Give Bill Clinton a few years and a prostate scare, and they will be clapping him on the back and welcoming him to their club.
Both sides could declare an end to this hideous mess and fall on each other's necks in weepy embraces. But I would not look up from reading the comics to take notice.
The devil take the lot of you. I don't care. I feel like I am in a dream and I am shouting and there is no sound: "Everybody shut up and get back to work!"
I want the president to stop having silly photo ops in the East Room announcing the Happy Little Initiative of the Day. And I want the members of Congress to stop acting like they all have parts in a Book of Revelations tableau.
No matter how much pontifi- cating I do, I still have to get to the grocery store and get dinner on the table and so do you. You can't put the country on pause while everybody untangles their sexual politics because you will never find the end of that ball of yarn.
The guy behaved as though one part of his anatomy controls all the others and it is not his brain. Then he lied to cover his shame.
OK, you don't put his face on a stamp for it. But you turned up the heat under him, and he didn't resign, so we are stuck with him. Heavy petting is not a high crime or a misdemeanor and you don't overturn the results of two elections because the president didn't have the guts to admit to it on national television.
Get over yourselves. He is not the anti-Christ and none of you is Pontius Pilate.
Now, everybody: Shut up and get back to work.
Pub Date: 1/19/99