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Monday, September 14, 1998

The President Going Down #6

It all comes down to the Constitution in the final analysis, you know.

The years1787 and 1788 may seem to be a galaxy far, far away, but they're back again like just yesterday. Well over two hundred years ago, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, in making the case for the adoption of the Constitution, amplified on the "high crimes and misdemeanors" vagueness of the impeachment provisions. It was Hamilton, of course, who offered the most meat for those bones. He stated that, "A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained...." Watching the U.S. Representatives, and the U.S. Senators mentally wrestling with their sudden responsibilities. Hamilton writes that impeachment was intended, "for those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be donominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself." (Hamilton capitalized that word, not me.) Some have construed that capitalization to indicate "official misdeeds of a high order," not mere political squabbles. The founders also addressed the issue of embarrassment to the president, stating that, "the one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other (the king) is sacred and inviolable." They knew that this political process would be painful. "Is it not designed as a method of NATIONAL INQUEST into the conduct of public men?" he asked.

So, the Congress has a green light to impeach and dismiss the President. They are completely justified on Constitutional grounds and the President has clearly conducted himself in a way to expose himself to the perils of impeachment. Any Congressman who looks at this whole issue, should come to the same conclusions. Impeachment is a political process and the decision to impeach or not impeach is a political decision. So, then, the question is:

Is the country (and the majority of Congress)
better off without Bill Clinton in office?

The answer to that question is "No."

The country will be thrust into a lengthy and consuming process that will take on a life of its own with a predictable outcome (not guilty) in the Senate, well after the elections in November, and during the upcoming Presidential campaign in 1999. The Republicans will look stupid because the country will be sick of all of this by then, and the Democrats will desperately want to get away from the Clinton Center Stage.

But once begun, impeachment cannot be undone, and its ineluctable, tediously thorough, and ultimately universally damaging outcome will have its day. Impeachment is clearly a lose-lose option and no one in their right political mind is going to go for that. They may censure, and condemn, but to keep him in office is the one thing everyone should agree on.

So, President Bill is safe from everyone and everything, except himself. Unfortunately, that is the problem. His constant apologizing and bible quoting lately is like a mood swing that precursors more problems and farther declining approvals to come. If he doesn't start to buck it up soon, this could turn pathetic and then extremely pathetic. So, look for a few things to happen soon: the flame of impeachment will turned into the laser of censure; Clinton will duck out of the public eye somewhat for a time, and reemerge, theoretically reformed; and the remainder of his Presidency will be very clean, if less aggressive.

There's your win-win.

Monica, however, will be one of the walking wounded. Her life has been forever stamped with that famous misstatement: ..."that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Prediction for the year 2000? Democrats return with a new President and new Vice President, bringing in a new era of fiscal prosperity, social security reform, and public education. The campaign will be the final thrust into the heart of the Republican bad guys in Congress, as Newt and his gang disband and dissipate. A new era of humanity and progressiveness will be ushered in with a much-stronger President and a more focused, less power-hungry Congress. They work together for the good of the nation.

The next Democratic Presidency will be one of the best in US history, and that President will owe it all to Bill Clinton. You just watch and remember, you heard it here first.

UPDATE NOTE: No one could have predicted that the Republicans would actually lose and then steal the election, using the Supreme Court and George's brother, Jeb, Governor of Florida where it all happened. The reason the exist polls were wrong is that they were right. The people stated how they THOUGHT they had voted, but in the end the system cancelled their votes and would not allow a clean revote or a thorough recount. Can you blame me for not seeing that coming? But, I stand on my prediction of "the next Democratic Presidency." See you next time?

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