Comment Of The Day
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Monday, October 5, 1998

The President Going Down #12
How divided can we be... and on what line?

Parse It Up, Baby. The Presidency is becoming just another piece of parsable political kudzu. Nothing is really "stand alone" anymore. We can trade off Clinton's embarrassment for retaining a Senate seat here (and outdated bases) with a few advancing TV sound bites there. Everything is now up for grabs, media-wise. It's what you get when selfish "we're on top, and you're not" people hold the reins that control the direction, speed, and vitality of our horse of state. To see people practicing the misshapen, truncated modus vivendi of, "Do Unto Others," leaving out the balancing, soul-saving, second clause, "As You Would Have Them Do Unto You," watching Henry Hyde of Illinois yesterday quietly repeating the lie that "we are going to follow a prudent course of our constitutional duties," saddened many Americans. Remember that no one is making the case the WJC is a clean, lean presidential machine. He is not. Not at all. His screwed-up personal life, recklessness with the nation's trust, and crazy shenanigans with Monica in the White House are far from the example we would like to admire, but as we have stated before, Clinton is NOT the Presidency, he is a man. An imperfect man. Is all of this really such a surprise? Really? A rebuke is in order, but to take it beyond that to the level of Presidential Impeachment, is to lift these sophomoric acts and the accompanyingly childish attempts at obfuscation and tergiversation up to the alter of "checks and balances" where they clearly, clearly, clearly do not belong. Hilliary's response, after all, is far more appropriate: Personal disdain, marital dispair, but press ahead on the issues. That is also what the country at large is doing. The Congress should respond in this case, not Constitutionally (because the Constitution is not threatened by dilliance and following denial) but professionally. That is, if the power politicians in the Capitol have any of that left. Bill Clinton did it to Monica, but Gingrich and the boys are doing it to the rest of us. There are much more important things awaiting (and still waiting) their attention: a potential government shutdown in a few weeks, international finances cascading, social security, Kosovo and Afghanistan, and, oh, let's just scratch the surface, public education, defense spending, and there might even be something to do about environmental issues. If you've got the time, that is.

The only people now saying that this is a fair Constitutionally-mandated process are the conservative Republicans. Everyone else, including a strong majority of the American people are saying it's not an impeachment process, it's a witch hunt over sex lies. So, there you have it. On the 35-member Judiciary Committee the vote split, without exception, Republicans, yes, Democrats, no.

What does that say? It says either that the repository of American morals and standards resides strictly with Republicans, or that the Republicans are determined, and demanding, that this become a glacially slow-speed chase with a big political payday for them.

The one hand one should never overplay is a moralistic one. The best sermon ever preached is a good example. The example being set here is a very bad one, a pompous (we don't even care how it looks) one. That will not play out in America, where we all know that there are no all-good and all-bad people. Even Gerry Ford, honorable in his golfing retirement, said that the Republicans should get off of it. And, he went even further stating that what the Republicans are planning will be bad for the country.

So if they don't care about right and wrong, or about the country, what do they care about?

Power. Plain and simple. It's about power. Those of us who are independent, not affiliated, should at this point take a deep look. In 1974 there were no stabbing puncture wounds to the Grand Jury secrecy that protects us all; there were no salacious details released into American homes (remember the "expletive deleted" notations?); there were NO VOTES ON STRICTLY PARTY LINES. And the American people were fair witnesses who, in majority, encouraged the process and supported it.

How different is this?

As stated in previous comments, this bodes badly for the Republicans who look dastardly, political, and just plain mean. Worse, and fooling no one, they are wrapping themselves in a Constitutional robe (but, look, the cloven hoof peeks out), and are claiming the highest (but undeserved) moral ground. How bad do they look? Well, Barney Frank, an avowed and proud homosexual, who himself was snared in a grisly sex scandal, has become the main protagonist in the House against these Republigoons and he is winning.

In the history of the USA, the Republican Party stands tall and proud, both for its role as the "loyal opposition," and when it ruled with dignity and success (Lincoln, Harrison, Taft, Eisenhower, Reagan and Bush... hmmm, actually in reviewing the line-up, the pickings were and little scanty on the Republican side. I had to leave off Grant, Harding, Hoover, Nixon, and Ford, but, hey, who's counting, anyway?). The Grand Old Party, emphasis on old vs.current, saved the nation, ruled with law, dignity, courage, and ended the Cold War and the threat of World Communism (probably). But, from Teapot Domes to Tricky Dick, the big ethical problems have all been Republican.

We'll see. If the vote in the full House, reflects the vote on the Committee, it'll be too obvious to miss. I would suspect that some Republicans might jump and a few Democrats might slide. But maybe not. If the House leadership is determined to prove their point, then they just might prove the truth of this comment, too, in their gooney zealousness.

People hate the self-righteous, and prefer someone more like themselves:human and forgiving and flawed. I know you agree. In your heart. See you next time.