Monday, June 27, 2016

Ken Starr: Grudging Admiration for Bill Clinton

Oh, sweet irony. Ken Starr, the disgraced (former?) president of Baylor University and the central figure of a sex scandal there, says this (here) about Bill Clinton, the president he tried to impeach in a ... sex scandal:

“His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear. It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him — that he genuinely cared. The ‘I feel your pain’ is absolutely genuine.”

Starr, who headed the special prosecution of Clinton during Clinton's administration, has been the president of the country's largest Baptist university, Baylor, for the past six years and is something of the paper prince of "family values." His reaction to the sizzling rape scandal at Baylor--involving eight football players and other students--may have led to his firing this past week. The Baylor honchos won't reveal that, but a couple of pretty good sources (WaPo and the NYTimes) say it's so.

Starr, whose ruthless pursuit of Clinton basically tortured a young woman (Monica Lewinsky, who was caught in the middle of the power game), is now the disgraced party. Clinton was never convicted by a non-political body of anything of substance. (I am not sure a partisan political body convicted him, either. He was not convicted in his impeachment trial, otherwise he would have been cast from office.) Starr is effectively getting what he tried to hand Clinton: trial by popular opinion and marketing. And he's being fried ... and fired.

Starr has apparently had something of a grudging admiration for Clinton all along. He has called Clinton "the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation." He also says that Clinton has redeemed himself since his presidency: "We have certainly seen [redemption] powerfully.”


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