It occurs to me that the two most famous statements of the last two presidents will be "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," and "We do not torture." And both were lies in plain English, were understood to be lies by the two men involved, and yet both were subject to mental and legal asterisks that could give both men some kind of formal, if absurd, deniability.
For one statement, we impeached. For another, we kept on walking.
Sometimes history is not tragedy repeated as farce; it's farce repeated as tragedy.