by: F.R. Duplantier
The impeachment of President Clinton may not have led -- as it should have -- to his conviction and removal from office, but it was a necessary and meaningful public reproach for his gross misconduct.
The Last Comeback
It is regrettable that the House of Representatives chose to focus its impeachment inquiry on the least serious of the President's seemingly endless array of high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the Senate balked at holding him accountable even for these indiscretions. Of course, solons with secrets did have reason to fear retaliation from the Lord of the (FBI) Files, and the prospect of bodily harm may have unnerved others, but still one wishes that more of our foundering fathers would have braved the threat. While nothing in the Constitution prevents a President from being impeached twice, or more, Clinton's strategy clearly was to beat the lesser rap and protest with cries of "double jeopardy" any subsequent pursuit of graver charges. Perhaps only when his Presidency ends will blithe Bill be deprived of the power to pervert justice.
Impeachment may not have removed Clinton from office, but it did offer certain fringe benefits. The exquisite ordeal of shrews and shysters defending the indefensible was surely one of the great spectacles of our time, and a fitting way to end this century of self-absorption. The histrionics in the House and somnolence in the Senate offered similar delights for connoisseurs of hypocrisy, and the public record of votes against a well-deserved impeachment and conviction may haunt incumbents in the upcoming election as the evidence of Clinton's crimes and Congress' obliging coverup mounts inexorably. Our venal and fatuous President may have his legacy at last. He may be remembered as the man who singlehandedly destroyed the Democratic Party, by wedding its fate so completely to his own.
We'll be rid of Bill Clinton in January (assuming he consents to leave office), but his legacy of lechery and loutishness will live on for decades. The ill will he generated among foreign populations with his wanton meddling and destruction will ensure spates of anti-American terror well into the future. The perversions he introduced into the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, the armed forces, and the Presidency itself in time will contaminate our entire political system. The cynical rationalizations he offered for criminal misconduct will undermine the morals of generations to come.
White Trash in the White House
Clinton and his comrades made a mockery of the Preamble to our U.S. Constitution. Instead of striving to form a more perfect union, they sought ever new ways to concentrate powers that had been carefully separated; instead of establishing justice, they implemented an agenda; instead of insuring domestic tranquility, they fomented factionalism; instead of providing for the common defense, they converted U.S. troops into global gendarmes; instead of promoting the general welfare, they bestowed favors on their cronies and contributors; and, instead of securing the blessings of liberty, they blithely bartered away our freedoms to special interests at home and abroad. The wonder is that so few Americans recognize the vital importance of a trustworthy President.
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