Speaking at an academic conference examining his presidency here Thursday, Clinton challenged historian Douglas Brinkley's comments in a newspaper interview that Clinton would be deemed a great president were it not for his impeachment.
'I completely disagree with that,' Clinton said in his speech at Hofstra University. 'You can agree with that statement, but only if you think impeachment was justified. Otherwise, it was an egregious abuse of the Constitution and law and history of our country.'
Clinton was acquitted by the Senate of perjury and obstruction of justice at his 1999 impeachment trial, which he argued was not about what he called his 'misconduct.'
'Now if you want to hold it against me that I did something wrong, that's a fair deal,' he said. 'If you do that, then you have a whole lot of other questions, which is how many other presidents do you have to downgrade and what are you going to do with all those Republican congressmen, you know, that had problems?'
Like most people, I agree with Bill that he was set up by the Republican Congress and he really didn't do anything that should have risen to the level of impeachment, but he got caught in what he considered a "little white lie" by an overzealous and unforgiving prosecutorial process driven by political motives. His dalliance with Monica was an act between consenting adults and though unseemly should not have been dragged through the courts and public stage. Starr far exceeded his appointment in a desparate attempt to take Clinton down. The rumors of sexual harrassment never convinced, coming as they did from floozies of the conservative conspiracy that so many tried to ridicule Hillary for mentioning but existed nonetheless.
Clinton did something wrong, but thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians didn't die because of his actions. Compared to a majority of his peers, he was a saint. I kind of miss him. It will be fun to have him back in the White House as First Gentleman. He's gotten wittier and more entertaining with time.