President Clinton’s vs Nixon’s transgressions
President Clinton’s vs Nixon’s transgressions. Describe how President Clinton’s transgressions in the office during the 1990s differed from those of President Nixon’s in the 1970s, and how they were the same.
“What is really fascinating to me is how public opinion changed during the year in which the Lewinsky scandal was the most prominent news story,” Basinger says. “Initially, Republicans and Democrats shared the opinion that if Bill Clinton had had sexual relations with Miss Lewinsky then he should be impeached. Where they really differed was in their assessments of whether Clinton had done what he was accused of.”
Over time, he says, Republicans and Democrats agreed Clinton had carried on an inappropriate sexual relationship with Lewinsky, “but their opinions about the reasonable punishment for that violation diverged.”
“Republicans thought that he should resign or be removed from office, and Democrats did not,” Basinger says. “This division also extended to assessments of the just punishment for Clinton perjuring himself and/or committing obstruction of government.” Democrats, Basinger says, were more willing to accept that lying about sex was less offensive.
Brown adds that the root of the Clinton scandal was an extramarital affair, which most people felt was a personal scandal and a private matter, not a political one.
“They resented Ken Starr for going far beyond his mandate, which was to investigate Clinton’s involvement in the Whitewater real estate development,” she says. “Most saw the Paula Jones lawsuit and what was understood to be a consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky to be Clinton’s personal problems.”
“The economy was a strong factor in the survival of Bill Clinton,” Rottinghaus adds. “With the U.S. economy booming, voters were reluctant to turn an incumbent president out of office. Party unity was another factor in the survival of Clinton. Nixon gradually lost the support of his Republican allies while Clinton maintained relatively strong support from his Democratic allies in Congress, even conservative members like Joe Lieberman.”