Virtual Bill

Assault Charges Hit President, Right Revives

The right's rearguard sap attack on Clinton with the Juanita Broaddrick story has been an unexpected success for Republicans, who until last week were nursing impeachment blues. The political effect of pumping Broaddrick's accusations into the mainstream, where it has won wide acceptance— even eliciting sympathetic comments by NOW's Patricia Ireland— has been to wipe out Democratic hopes of any serious "retribution" against conservative politicians.

Now it's the Rebublicans— also energized by the prospect of running against Hillary— who are launching fundraising drives. And transforming the president from lighthearted rogue to a Jekyll and Hyde figure, who ought to register with the police along with other sex offenders, can't help either Gore or Hillary. Question is: will entertainment industry moguls, so far almost solidly for Clinton, begin to back off?

As Clinton's image grows darker, he looks weaker, a shadowy front man for a nation whose affairs are run by others, preeminent among them Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve— who is the real figure watching over the economy. Now president in all but name, Greenspan has begun to speak out more freely on matters of state, dressing down obscenely overpaid CEOs, warning of an inflated stock market, bluntly telling even Clinton to shelve his nutty ideas of government investment in the market lest they injure the economy.

Actual President Greenspan
AP/ Wide World
Actual President Greenspan

Sexual Predator President
More Clinton Attacks Alleged

Shaking the Clinton albatross won't be an easy matter. Vermont's moderate Republican senator, Jim Jeffords, who voted against impeachment, and who is up for reelection in 2000, provided an object lesson last week for any politician foolish enough to comment publicly about the president's sexual peccadillos. (It didn't help, of course, that Jeffords's incredible statements seemed almost calculated to offend feminists.)

Asked on a talk show last Friday about Juanita Broaddrick's charges, Jeffords responded: "I don't know why it wouldn't be a private matter. If something that happened 21 years ago with a woman who invited, at least under her story, the president to her hotel room and she was not happy with what happened, I don't know why that's not a private matter." By the end of the day, faced with a storm of protests, Jeffords reversed himself, saying: ". . . I truly apologize if my inarticulate comments this morning gave anyone the wrong impression."

Then, over the weekend, Capitol Hill Blue, a conservative online news service, alleged additional sexual assaults by Clinton, going back to 1969, one reportedly involving a woman when he was a student at Yale Law School. Follow-up articles based on the report appeared in the Progressive Review in Washington and the Daily Telegraph in London.

Capitol Hill Blue also charged that female students at the University of Arkansas Law School alleged efforts by Clinton to force himself on them while he was teaching there in the '70s. The online service, which gave the names of the women reportedly making the charges, also said a British woman had claimed that she had been assaulted by Clinton while he was at Oxford.

These reports followed yet another allegation by Lucianne Goldberg, the literary agent who was Linda Tripp's handler in the Monica imbroglio. Goldberg told a reporter for the Canadian National Post that she knew of an instance of forcible assault by Clinton while he was president, although, according to Goldberg, it was "not rape because there was no sexual entry."

In addition, Capitol Hill Blue quoted a woman who was a legal secretary in Little Rock in 1979 describing a fundraiser at which she met the governor, and after which, she asserted, she was escorted to his hotel room by a state trooper.

"When I went in," she said, "he was sitting on a couch, wearing only an undershirt. He pointed at his penis and told me to suck it. I told him I didn't even do that for my boyfriend, and he got mad, grabbed my head, and shoved it into his lap. I pulled away from him and ran out of the room."

Capitol Hill Blue reported that when it asked for additional details, the woman said, "I'm sorry I ever talked to you about this. Please don't call again."

Meanwhile, Washington eagerly awaits news of George W. Bush's Animal House days. Not to mention Matt Drudge's weekend exposé about the potential presidential candidate who once danced naked on top of a bar.

Jax Jr. Tangles With Rangel
Split in Black Caucus Over Trade Bill

Jesse Jackson Jr. of Chicago confronted New York's Charles Rangel recently in the first-ever open split in the Congressional Black Caucus.

Last year Rangel became the lead proponent in the Caucus for the Growth and Opportunity Act, which had been rammed through the House 233-186 by Phil Crane, the Illinois arch-conservative, and Speaker Newt Gingrich. The bill envisioned quota- and duty-free exports to the U.S. from 48 sub-Saharan African nations— among the world's poorest— and the creation of a U.S.-Africa free-trade zone. The measure was overwhelmingly opposed by pro-labor House members, including a third of the Black Caucus led by Jackson, who argued that it was a device to exploit African workers. Jackson compared conditions the bill would have allowed to slave labor.

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