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The Presidency

     We have already referred to the confusion concerning the Constitution's reference to "high crimes and misdemeanors"; the "high" refers only to "crimes."
     There is another amazing gap in all the talk about Clinton's morals. Many of those defending Clinton say that what he does in private is none of the public's business. It is. History is studded with women spies who use their intimacy to get state secrets. That does not seem to be the case with Monica; she is not bright enough. But is that principle is established, future Presidents' Monicas may be dangerous to national security.

Ronald Hilton - 02/04/99

More on The Presidency

     Elela Danielson comes to my rescue as a tooth-watcher. She writes: ^a "Re toothy grins: A very serious art historian, Tilmann Buddensieg, concluded that depictions of toothy grins are very rare prior to the twentieth century. Traditional smiles were sculpted or painted on a Venus or Madonna in a subtle, Mona Lisa-like way, and showing teeth was reserved mainly for depictions of demons or fools. The modern requirement to "say cheese" has to do with the demands of photography with an assist from modern orthodontia.-Elena"
     My comment: Is Clinton a Republican demon or a Democratic fool? Elena's last sentence should be expanded to say that "cheese" was in response to the new demand for manifestations of happiness and friendliness with people you don't know. The great unsmiling Tennyson was hailed in a hearty way by someone he did not know. He responded "I don't remember your face, but your manner is distinctly familiar." I never saw my classmate Gladstone smile, but he deservedly won elections.
     More Comments:
     WAIS mouth watchers disagree with me. Michael May says both Roosevelts grinned. That is to confuse Teddy's apples with FDR's oranges. The former laughed easily with his family, but his public laugh was a triumphant "bully!" FDR's was the quite different smile of someone selling a policy. Les Robinson points out that cartoonists stressed Jimmy Carter's teeth. That was just another journalistic misrepresentation, like getting him to say he had lust in his heart. In fact, it was a kind, almost papal smile of a man of charity, not of a salesman.

Ronald Hilton - 02/09/99