Two and a half thousand years later, Classic Greek themes are alive and well in American politics. It’s the classic conclusion of a Greek tragedy that could have been written by Aeschylus or Sophocles.
Of course the names have changed— today’s characters don’t have Greek names. Instead they’re named Hyde, Gingrich, Livingston and the latest fallen demigod, Dennis Hastert, and the play— we can call it The William.
Clinton, that is— because this play is about the rise and fall of an American hero who led his people and family through the ups and downs of the human experience, complete with the complexities and frailties of power and leadership— and of course, hubris, hubris, hubris— the mother of all powerful Greek experiences.
But like any good Ancient Greek story, there’s a twist. And the fates have a way of coming back to bite our heroes in the ass.
The heroes, of course, were the righteous God-fearing Congressmen Henry Hyde, Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston and Dennis Hastert; who fought long and hard to protect American values from such a scandalous man as President Clinton.
Yes, these omnipresent fates, one by one, reared their beautiful faces, exposing not one, not two— but all four of these “heroes” who sought to defend American family values and rid the nation of the sinful Clinton.
Responsibility for recommending impeachment fell on the House Judiciary Committee and its Chairman, Henry Hyde, who eventually admitted to his own extra-marital affair, failing to acknowledge his own transgressions while zealously prosecuting Clinton for his.
The next domino to fall was Newt Gingrich who was forced to admit that during the impeachment of Clinton, which he was a vocal proponent of, he was cheating repeatedly on his wife with a Congressional aid. In fact, as he later admitted— he also cheated on his first wife too.
Next was Bob Livingston, another powerful Republican who— on the day of the impeachment vote he helped bring to the House floor— resigned when it was revealed that he had numerous sexual relations with women— none of which were his wife.
And it took a while— but 17 years later the third domino has fallen— the third of the Holy Impeachment Trinity who used their positions of power one after the other to push their morals down America’s throat, has fallen.
Dennis Hastert— once two heartbeats away from the Presidency of the United States and one of the most powerful men in the country had the audacity to stand before the American people and point his finger at Clinton, saying that he wasn’t above the law and saying that Clinton “abused and violated the public trust.”
Today, almost two decades later, Hastert is going to jail for skimming millions of dollars from money he raised for campaigns and passing it along as hush money to men that he sexually abused when they were children, and he was their wrestling coach.
Hastert’s speech then is shocking and mind-boggling in its hypocrisy.
One has to ask what was going through his sick mind when he was uttering these words? Was he thinking of the boys he sexually abused while critiquing Clinton?
Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus would be jealous of the unfolding drama— jealous that they didn’t write these dramatic, ironic experiences themselves.