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Blind Chihuahua

More to religion
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People have lost their jobs, their careers, and are serving time in prison or under house arrest for commiting perjury and/or obstructing justice in civil suits in order to cover up sexual misconduct. Failure to convict and remove the President will create a double-standard of justice regarding perjury and obstruction: one for the President and another for the rest of us, effectively placing the President above the law, and setting a dangerous precedent.


Impeachment is meant to protect the machinery of our Republic from direct abuse by high officials. The President's actions, as described in Ken Starr's referral, did not constitute an assault on the Republic or on its electoral process (as did the Watergate break-in and cover-up, spying on political "enemies," etc., that were commited by President Nixon).

First Rebuttal

Although the President's sexual misconduct did not in itself threaten the machinery of the Republic, the President's original crime of sexually abusing an employee in the workplace would result in immediate dismissal from any major company or from the military regardless of rank. Indeed the penalty for such conduct usually increases with high rank. In and of itself, it constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor, and in fairness to those in the business and military communities, and in fairness to women in the workplace, the President's sexual misconduct alone should be cause for impeachment. However, since the Articles of Impeachment waive that point, so must we.

As for perjury and obstruction of justice constituting minor crimes that do not attack the machinery of the Republic: The founders of the Republic, including President George Washington in his Farewell Address, mentioned the necessity of upholding oaths as "sacred" in order for our system of Justice to function. It is a mistake to create a category of "minor perjury" and "minor obstruction of justice," that amount to little more than "We like this guy, so we'll let him get away with it." It amounts to leaving a felon holding the highest office in the land.


First Rebuttal

No double-standard of justice would be created by refusal to convict and remove the President in this case. The President, if he has indeed committed the crimes of which he is accused, can be dealt with by the civil and criminal courts just like anyone else, after his term expires.

Moreover, the President should never have been put in the situation where he was asked about his personal conduct. The Independent Counsel Statute is flawed: it should only cover crimes committed by the President, the Vice-President, and the Attorney General while seeking or holding their offices. Further, the President should be immunized from civil suits regarding matters that took place before his or her election, although tenure in office should not count toward the Statute of Limitations on such suits.

Given the flawed nature of the Laws that brought us to the present circumstances, it is fair and reasonable to discount the President's perjury and obstruction as too "minor" to merit impeachment, if they were indeed committed, and to leave this matter to the courts at the expiration of his term. The Rule of Law will still be preserved. Speaking of which, the presumption of innocence requires that we not consider him a felon unless and until he is proven guilty in a criminal court.

Second Rebuttal

The argument that this matter is best left to the civil and criminal courts after the expiration of the President's term amounts to this: "Leave our boy alone for now. You can do anything you want with him after we're done using him."

The argument that the Independent Counsel Statute and Tort Law is flawed, is ex post facto. You would not have made it if the President were from our party, and besides, the Independent Counsel Statute was passed by your party to make it easier to uncover wrongdoing by the Executive Branch in the wake of the Nixon scandals. You just don't like the result now that your man is in the dock. In other words, you are effectively pleading for yet another double-standard of justice: a harsh one for conservatives and a lenient one for liberals.

And you say, "if indeed [the crimes] were committed," indicating that there is doubt as to the facts in this case. There is no doubt - there is documented evidence. By casting doubt on the facts you engage in the same semantic and legal hair-splitting that the President engaged in, and that has led us to bring this case against him. He swore to tell the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth - an oath which leaves no room for the ridiculous evasion of the President's testimony, or his trying to influence the testimony of others. He further swore that he would ensure that the Laws of this country would be faithfully executed, and then broke them.

As to the idea of leaving the President in office: it exposes him to great temptation mis-use the powers of his high office to protect himself from future civil and criminal proceedings. Leaving him in office exposes us to the possibility that we may shortly meet here again to consider impeachment on a future charge.

Second Rebuttal

The President is not some evil genius who seeks to damage this country, and he will not use the powers of his office to protect himself from civil and criminal actions after his term expires, nor will we, the Congress, allow him to do so. Your suggestion that he might do so is immaterial to deciding whether to convict the President of high crimes and misdemeanors. It is only relevant to deciding whether to remove the President from office, if we decide to convict him.

The idea that we must live with the flaws in our own Laws is ridiculous. History has exposed the flaws, and we can begin to remedy them here and now. We do not advocate different standards of justice for conservatives and liberals - if the President had committed the same types of offenses as President Nixon, we would join you in calling for his removal. His offenses, however, do not rise to a Nixonian standard of severity.

And if we are engaging in semantic and legal hair-splitting there is a point to it. The President may indeed have intended to evade questions, and to give misleading impressions, but he did not intend to commit perjury or to obstruct justice. At worst he intended to skate close to the line, without slipping over it. Whether he indeed did slip over the line can only be determined by looking into the legal and semantic details.

Finally, the Paula Jones lawsuit was a conservative put-up job - she could never have brought it without funding from conservative groups, and the case was dismissed because she could not show that she was damaged by then Governor Clinton's actions. Under applicable Law - in Arkansas - the case never did have merit. And the Independent Counsel's charter would never have been enlarged to include a mere sex scandal without that suit.


Under present Law, the President has committed perjury and obstruction of justice regarding both a human-rights oriented civil suit (whose merit does not matter when establishing such crimes) and an investigation by federal grand jury. These are felony offenses that carry a maximum term of five years in prison. This is a serious breaking of the Law and dereliction of duty by the highest law enforcement official in the land, one who is sworn to see that the Laws be faithfully executed. It is serious enough to require us to remove the President without its rising to a Nixonian level. Failure to observe the Law as it stands and to convict and remove the President will diminish the Rule of Law, the cornerstone of freedom in this country, and expose the country to further abuses by this and future Presidents. If the Law needs to be changed, let us do so by legal means as provided in the Constitution - passage of a bill through both houses of Congress and signature by the President - to apply to future cases. For this case we must respect the Law as it stands. Failure to do so will result in rule by personalities, rather than the Rule of Law, making this country slide toward becoming a kind of tyranny - in which the application of the Law is subject to political whim.

Removing the President from office and leaving his hand-picked successor, Al Gore, (whom the People voted to be Vice-President) to lead this nation is the difficult and the correct thing to do. Censure is essentially meaningless.


It is yet to be established that the President did indeed commit the high crimes and misdemeanors of which he stands accused. Even if he did, the crimes and misdemeanors do not rise to anything resembling a Nixonian standard of severity. If there is a case to be made against the President, let it be made in the civil and criminal courts after his term of office expires. Finally, in a reasonable and civil society, the questions would never have been asked that led the President to his evasive answers. Let us amend the Independent Counsel Statute and Tort Law, and let us begin by dismissal of this case.

Dismissal (or acquittal) leaves open the possiblity of formally censuring the President, which is all this case deserves. Censure is also appropriate, because true justice is tempered by mercy and brings about reconciliation. And censure would be meaningful in that only one other President has ever been censured. It carries with it the stigma appropriate to the President's behavior, which was private behavior as an individual, not official behavior as President.

Last Question

What about all those other things, FileGate, TravelGate, the maipulated suicide of Vince Foster, all the dead people the Clintons know, WhiteWater, etc.?

Last Question

If there was anything to those things, why weren't they in Ken Starr's referral? You've been on a witch-hunt for four years now, and have found no witches.

The Result

The Democrats, who are by definition never partizan, cast all their votes to aquit on both articles of impeachment. The Republicans, who are by definition always partizan, cast a few votes to acquit on both articles. Acquittal carried the day. Now it looks like Mr. Clinton may also be a rapist, a charge carried in the "Jane Doe" testimonies in Starr's refferral, which the Senators presumably read. Ultimately the argument that Clinton's crimes do not rise to an impeachable level is the argument that we are not sufficiently outraged. Who would imagine not removing the President if he had committed murder?

My Turn

Anyone who can say under oath, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is," may be incapable of upholding the Constitution of the United States because he is incapable of accepting that words have meaning independent of what he wants them to mean, and the Constitution is after all, just words.

Your Turn

It is a matter of public record that, in Southern terms, Bill Clinton is a lyin', cheatin', SOB, but he does not pose a clear and present danger to the Republic. Honest people therefore disagree on whether he should be removed according to the importance they attach to his behavior. What do you think?

Actually, it does depend on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.