The Breakfast Table

Let’s Do Lunch

Dear Erik–

Just you, me and a tunafish sandwich … I received two amusing e-mails this morning (okay, three including yours) regarding the Cronkite/Clinton boat ride. One suggested the following caption: “The Most Trusted Man in America with the Smartest Female Lawyer and the Most Ethical President” … The other was from someone who sails those very waters around Martha’s Vineyard and warned that everyone who sails there knows that Cronkite is deaf and half-blind, handles his boat recklessly and goes too fast among moored boats. One hopes they all got back to shore safely.

My only further comment on your Carrie Nation allusion is that somebody has to do it. I take your point about treating people as if they exist but see that as a live and let live attitude that lets corruption slide, and gross conduct go unaccounted for. I want more in national leaders whatever their politics. I kicked in no one’s bedroom door. They weren’t doing it in the bedroom–besides, Hillary was there. Clinton left the door wide open by carrying on in a public place with the knowledge of others. I did not hire Monica Lewinsky nor train her to ingratiate herself to the leader of the free world. And, I did nothing to help them cover up their misdeeds. The sex bothers me a whole lot less than the corruption that it exposed and will expose. None of this happened on my watch but the results were brought to me by a woman I trusted and believe. Her outrage became my outrage and from what I am now seeing in the country at large, that outrage is shared by many. When it is fully understood, I think this feeling will overwhelm everything else but possible forgiveness once this man is a private citizen. Those of us who take the public beating dished out to “whistleblowers” do it for what we feel is a higher calling than simply “caring.” Of course we care–if we didn’t we would coast along and become enablers. It is not that we “set ourselves up.” In my profession people simply walk through my door. I either agree with them or not and, like Linda, once I have the irrefutable facts I have no choice but to move. I do not pass bodies bleeding on the street either. All good citizens should report crimes. I know, I know, sex between two consulting adults is not a crime. We’ve been there.

Because nothing is happening newswise and my Newsweek stuff seems almost dated–see what waiting two days to read something does–I am going to watch the news reporters clinging to the side of piers in the high wind and wait for something-anything–to happen. Something that did happen from our little exchange here was a call from Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard apologizing for the fact that I have trouble getting his magazine. He is going to fix everything. From his horror at my predicament I thoroughly expect to have Robert Redford deliver my copy every week now if not Mr. Kristol himself. Frankly, I hope it’s Mr. Kristol.