40 Years Ago This Week

In the auditorium of the Food and Agriculture Building on N. Street, where Jerry Brown was in the midst of delivering his longest, broadest and most conservative speech ever, Richard Silberman, his director of finance, and Grey Davis, his chief of staff, squirmed smugly in their metal folding chairs and looked at each other with an emotion that can only be described as wanderlust.

Behind the lectern, before a battery of prime-time TV cameras, the governor of California was in the midst of his 20-minute long paean to fiscal tight-fistedness. “The tax revolt is being heard,” he uttered coarsely, punctuating the air with right jabs.

Language a little less colorful than his predecessor’s, perhaps, but rhetoric redolent with rampaging Reaganism nonetheless.—Peter Anderson, Jan. 19–25, 1979

20 Years Ago This Week

Am I saying what Bill Clinton did was OK? Of course not. But is this offense an impeachable offense? I don’t think so. Bill Clinton has been an exceptional president. Our economy is better than it has been in decades. Our jobless rate is at an all time low, to name two of his accomplishments. To impeach a man who made a grave mistake in his personal conduct is bankrupting our government values. Should Bill Clinton be punished? I think he has been. By his family, friends, and the people of the world.

If there are 10 people in our government that can honestly say they have not had an “inappropriate relationship” and have not lied about it to their family and friends to protect themselves, their families and the people they love, then let them stand up, and let their votes be counted. Where is our generosity of spirit, and the forgiveness you would like bestowed on you, when a grave error in judgment has been made. After all, we all are only human.

—Letter to the Editor, Jan. 20–26, 1999

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