Keeping up with the Joneses. An open letter to the woman who, like Betsy Ross or Eleanor Roosevelt, has done so much for this country. With her court case now deservedly thrown out, she may not get rich, but she’ll always have her reputation.

April 17, 1998

Dear Paula:

Thanks for your on-going political soap opera of the last few years. It’s really been a hoot. Trailerpark entertainment at its best, up there with Jerry Springer and Monster Trucks, I assure you. Get a nose job, and you’ve got my vote for Miss Arkansas ’til at least the turn of the century.

In that vein, I was sorry to hear that your court case has recently fallen apart. How will I get my recommended daily allowance of tawdry news? Up to this point you’ve done so well in flooding the political airwaves with sexual allegations involving the president that I fully expect to go into withdrawals at any moment.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think you’ve left any doubt left in the minds of Americans that Bill Clinton did, in fact, proposition and perhaps even touch you in that hotel room back 1991. Too many women have come forth—some reluctantly—for yours to be anything other than the sequel to Gennifer Flowers episodes.

But Paula, Paula, Paula…Did you really think this would keep your ludicrous sexual harassment case from being thrown out of court? Can’t you see that legally your claims have no merit whatsoever? The law simply doesn’t care if Clinton dropped his pants and asked for oral sex. That’s why Judge Susan Wright, while calling Clinton’s “alleged” actions “boorish and offensive,” correctly dismissed your claims in the first place.

And of course your lawyers want to appeal Judge Wright’s summary dismissal. They get paid by the hour. Trust me, you’re not doing yourself (or, it hardly needs be said, the country) any favors by continuing to pursue your 1994 civil lawsuit.

Under the law, the burden of proof for a sexual harassment claim is “tangible job detriment,” something you’re so far from being able to prove that it’s almost more funny than sad that you turned down the President’s earlier offer to settle for $700,000 and a folded up napkin with the word “sorry” written on it.

As far the courts are concerned, the only alternative to the “tangible job detriment” claim is to be able to prove that Clinton, as Arkansas governer, created for you a “hostile workplace environment.” Let’s face it: Bill might be a sex-addict, but he’s not malicious or stupid, and he’s certainly not guilty on the “hostile workplace” account either. So I really think you’re barking up the wrong tree on this one.

It’s about time for a much needed dose of reality, something your lawyers are clearly failing, among other things, to provide for you. Yesterday, for example, you said, “I believe what Mr. Clinton did to me was wrong, and the law protects women who are subjected to that kind of abuse of power.”

Unfortunately, there are no points here for being half right. While what Bill did was wrong, it doesn’t mean that he’s in any trouble whatsoever legally. It just means that in America, as one wag pointed out, the first grope is free.

Yours is now a non-issue in the legal court and court of public opinion. In fact, it turns out that most Americans don’t care who the President is boinking or displaying his privates to so long as he shows some discretion in terms of time (if not place). “If Hillary doesn’t mind, why should we?” seems to be the prevailing attitude, and it’s hard to fault that logic.

At the same time, you’ve got nothing but my thanks for your pre-trial efforts to expose Clinton as a lying two-timer. You’ve given us a president perjuring himself, everything that goes with the Monica Lewinsky brouhaha, plus a years-after-the-fact “okay, it’s true” on the Gennifer Flowers thing. America can hardly complain that your efforts have not been entertainingly fruitful.

Indeed, without the continually newsworthy developments from your case, I don’t know if we’d ever have been able to see so clearly that the Clinton White House is deceitful, disingenuous, and devoid of morals. You been a big help. Thanks.

I don’t think there’s any money in it for you, though.

Better luck next time,