The Definition of “Is” 

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California Congressman Gary Condit lie? He’s a politician, isn’t he? Republicans, particularly the Clinton-hating variety, would have us believe that all Democrats are lying, philandering so-and-sos. Remember not to mention to them that House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his successor resigned after revelations that they were having extramarital affairs with young women, too.

The fact that Condit’s association with missing intern Chandra Levy came during the doldrums of summer, when reporters and editors are turning over rocks for tidbits is, of course, a boon for news media. The story would have been a non-starter had it not been for the fact that Levy is presumed dead. That changes everything. It means Condit would rather protect his political butt than help find a missing woman. Not strangely, the focus remains on Condit’s sex life and his inability to come clean.

The Washington, D.C. police say Condit was not forthcoming and that it took them three interviews with the California Democrat before he admitted to having a “close, personal” relationship with the young woman. Condit threatened to sue D.C. police over a statement that Levy had spent the night at his apartment. Later it was determined that he wasn’t denying the fact, only that he’d made the statement to investigators. Does anyone know what the definition of “is” is?

Condit also allegedly attempted to coerce silence from two other young women who say they’ve had affairs with him. Not least, his spokeswoman hinted that Levy had a history of casual sexual encounters.

Is Gary Condit a scoundrel? Perhaps. But the notion that he stands alone among politicians as a liar is ridiculous.

Here in Utah, our governor has said that he knew nothing of the Olympic bid-buying accomplished by Tom Welch and Dave Johnson. Was he telling the truth? You be the judge.

More than one year ago, when City Weekly asked Sen. Orrin Hatch if he intervened on behalf of the Deseret News in its attempt to wrangle ownership of the Salt Lake Tribune away from the McCarthey family, he said no. We now know differently.

Then, of course, there’s former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini. We just don’t have time to go into it here.

Politics from the national level right down to city halls is fraught with hair splitting, parsing and prevaricating. Usually, those half-truths don’t revolve around disappearances or murders. But if you think Gary Condit is the only congressman using his prestige to get it on with young women and unwilling to admit it, you’re out of touch with reality.

And don’t worry about Condit. There’s a place for him when this is all over. He can always be a lobbyist.

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