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Sites rage with debate over Clinton

Sites opposing and supporting President Clinton have engaged in intense debate on the Web since the independent counsel's report was posted.

    It would seem that the only link between Ginger Spice and President Clinton is the magnitude of publicity and proximity in age she shares with Monica Lewinsky.

    There may be one other thing.

    The redheaded A reason to go online Spice Girl (a.k.a. Geri Halliwell) abruptly resigned in a scenario detailed on a Web site launched yesterday that calls for Clinton to do the same.

    Resignation.com is the brainchild of Republican pundit and Los Angeles Times columnist Arianna Huffington.

    In light of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's allegations that the president lied about his sexual relationship with Lewinsky and obstructed justice, Huffington's site asks visitors to sign a petition demanding that Clinton step down, features a resignation-speech writing contest, and gives the history of other prominent people who quit their jobs, including Richard M. Nixon.

    Political satire or no, Huffington is dead serious about the site. "There may be some humor, which is deliberate, but the essence of what we are doing is a grass-roots effort," she told CNET News.com in an interview today.

    The Net has helped generate momentum in the White House sex scandal--from news outlets breaking stories online to the House decision to release the report on the Web.

    The dialogue about Clinton's future also is heating up online. For example, Resign.org and ImpeachClinton.org also are campaigning for Clinton to voluntarily leave office.

    Resignation.com says it already has received 100,000 emails that state the president should bow out now.

    "People on the Net are better informed and more engaged," Huffington said. "The intersection of politics and protest is going to on the Web. We provide a forum for people to express their own views about the president."

    Huffington, a staple on political talk shows, is clear about her own opinion. "As a country we are facing many serious problems that are being ignored. We won't be able to focus on them until he is no longer a part of the picture," she said. "There is no faster way to put it behind us than resignation. Impeachment hearings will draw things out."

    However, Huffington isn't the only one taking her case to the Net. Some of the First Family's supporters are rallying online too, though seemingly in smaller numbers. There are sites urging Clinton not to resign and others warning Congress not to impeach him based on the Starr report.

    The Hillary Clinton Defense Forum, for example, calls on Clinton to "NEVER RESIGN" and "Hang in there!" The site also invites visitors defend the First Lady against the "abusive and savage personal attacks" and then promises to send the comments to Mrs. Clinton.