And yet, I suspect future historians will look back at Jan. 26, 1998, as a turning point. With the Soviet Union, our nation’s major enemy, defeated, and with a booming economy fueled by technological innovation, Clinton had enormous running room. Rep. Henry Hyde, who headed up the House impeachment team, told author Gormley, “Bill Clinton could have been one of our great presidents. I think he had the brains and the energy and the ambition, but he lacked the vision. And the character. And that’s the sad part. What might have been.”
What might have been. Clinton administration officials at the time said the scandal had no policy effect, but acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger later told Gormley about his long discussions with Clinton concerning the president’s legal challenges, and concluded, “You think this stuff isn’t distracting?” Steven Gillon’s The Pact shows that Clinton and Newt Gingrich, until the Lewinsky scandal hit, were ready to push forward with bipartisan measures to reform Social Security and entitlements. Others have noted that a preoccupied White House treated al-Qaeda’s rise as of minor interest.
What might have been. The United States could have come into the new millennium with entitlements under control, al-Qaeda taken down before it could make Sept. 11 a date that will live in infamy, and cynicism diminished. Instead, the music died, and we are left with the sense that stories too good to be true—a president who could bring us together, a cancer-surviving cyclist who could win the Tour de France seven straight times—are always lies.
But are they? What if one hard-to-believe story is true? What if the original tellers of the story—about a leader executed as a common criminal, a God who died in an excruciating way, His resurrected body witnessed by women—didn’t get rich by telling it?
Reprinted with permission of WORLD Magazine. To read more news and views from a Christian perspective, call 800-951-6397 or visit WORLDmag.com.