#11 Clinton - To hold impeachment hearings or not?
Tomorrow Congress is to vote on whether to proceed with an impeachment inquiry on Clinton in the Monica matter. As each person I the United States, including our Congressmen, has faced the difficult decision of what to do tomorrow.
Many have compared Clinton's Monica problem to Nixon's Watergate. In many ways are similar and we need to consider the comparisons. I was in the Washington area during Watergate, delivering the Washing Post each day and reading the paper daily. I also did some volunteer work for the Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972, but did not vote, as I was about four months too young. I have followed Clinton since he has been president and had heard of him as far back as 1979. I did not vote for him in 1992 or 1996.
In Watergate, Nixon continuously stonewalled any requests for information, and in the Monica matter, Clinton has done the same. In Watergate and the Monica matter both Nixon and Clinton lied to the public about their involvement. In both situations they have continued to hold high poll figures with Nixon even winning by a landslide in 1972. Both have had high members of their administration, from the Justice Department no less, go to jail. Both men have been convinced they represent the real America. Both have gone to China during their crisis. Both men have been convinced, and publicly stated, that the special, or independent, prosecutor was out to destroy their presidency. Both men have involved their secretaries in the affair, Nixon had Rose Mary Woods handle the tapes, and Clinton had Currie cover Monica's visits. Both have tried to get close associates to commit perjury, Clinton with Currie and Nixon with Dean. Both have presided over the Dow Jones Average reaching heights only dreamed of, Nixon with it breaking 1000 and Clinton having it break 9000. Both men are highly religious with Nixon having services at the White House weekly and Clinton attending Foundry United Methodist Church each Sunday. Nixon and Clinton have been the last two presidents to have a budget surplus.
Now for the differences. Nixon was viewed as an expert on foreign affairs and Clinton is viewed as an expert on domestic matters. Each is viewed as weak in the opposite area. Nixon had a wife who was quiet and stayed in the background, and Clinton has a very visible and vocal wife.
In relation to other world leaders sexual matters, we need to realize this is different. The new German premier never hid his affair from the press or the public. In the case of the late French prime minister and his mistress there was no cover-up or denial. The people were aware in both cases and chose any way. In Clinton's case there were allegations that he continuously denied until January. From all indications, in both the French and German case, there have been no sexual harassment charges as have been made against Clinton. Lastly Clinton did this while in the office area of the White House and not in the private quarters. If he had been the head of a firm in the United States behaved in this way he would have been fired, and in some cases while it was just an allegation.
Now where should our stands be made? The directions given by the Republican leaders, Democratic leaders, and the White House to Congress today I believe are correct. All have been urged to vote their conscience. This means decide as an individual what is right, not necessarily what your poll is showing, and follow that path. Now what would I do if I were sitting in the House tomorrow? After weighing all the evidence, my vote would be no, to oppose the impeachment hearings occurring on the Monica matter. My reasons are that although Clinton has lied, committed perjury, and obstruction of justice, his actions are not high crimes and misdemeanors as they were not committed to advance or retain his power in office. Whereas Watergate does fit this definition as it was to help assure Nixon's re-election. However this does not mean that Clinton is off the hook. First he needs to settle the Jones lawsuit, or the trial should proceed immediately. Second if he was involved in the campaign finance mess, Chinese contributions, illegal fundraising, etc., as the Thompson committee has alleged and the Justice department is investigating, he should resign or be impeached as it is the same as Watergate. Third he owes us an apology for his behavior to us for the lies and the inappropriate behavior and he needs to call the dogs off. I he does not do this then indictment and prosecution for those acts should proceed when he leaves office in 2001. Lastly since the majority of Americans, including NOW, do not believe this Monica matter or Jones matter to be sexual harassment the courts, the EEOC, Congress, and the business world need to re-evaluate our sexual harassment laws and policies.
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