Impeaching the President

By Brad Holtz

After one year of sex scandals, high crimes and misdemeanors, perjury and obstruction of justice, and prosecutor bashing, the unthinkable finally happened. William Jefferson Clinton, on December 19, 1998, became the first elected President to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He holds that same accolade with only one other man, Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States. We have seen that the truth and rule of law, not public opinion polls, have prevailed in this great land.

I will admit that I believed strongly in the view that Bill Clinton would never see the day of impeachment. Following the "huge Republican loss" in the November 5th elections, I believed that the tides had rapidly turned in favor of the President and the spin-doctors in the White House. We have now come to see that the White House has turned to an all new low; relying on the witch-hunts of a pornographer to continue the "politics of personal destruction." Yes, some things will never change and some men will never grow up.

Immediately following his impeachment, President Clinton held a beautifully staged pep rally on the lawn of the White House, complete with his biggest Democratic supporters, Dick Gephardt and David Bonior. At this rally the President decried the "politics of personal destruction" and made a heartfelt appeal to Bob Livingston to come back to Congress and assume his role as Speaker of the House. When later asked in the week how he felt about the impeachment, President Clinton was quoted as saying "it isn't really that bad" and he spoke of how he did not think it would be a huge deal in history. But the arrogance continues.

At the same time, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt was busy digging up dirt on top Republicans, the type of activity that exemplifies the "politics of personal destruction." When asked about this, President Clinton was quoted as saying he was "amused." If any sense of dignity and integrity could be found on this poor example of an American man, Clinton would have immediately made an appeal to Flynt, a well-publicized Clinton supporter and a personal friend of James Carville. His appeal for Flynt to stop dead in his vengeful tracks would have been as heartfelt and sentimental as his appeal was for Livingston to stay on in the House. Clinton can make appeals when any sense of integrity creeps through, as it was so apparent when Livingston stepped down on December 19th. But when witch-hunts occur that make the President look good to the public and make the Republican Party look bad, it's perfectly fine. That seems like partisan politics to me.

The bottom line is that on December 19, 1998, we witnessed history. We witnessed the impeachment of an American President. We were viewers of a great American principle put in practice: rule of law. We all saw that rule of law in this country will prevail far longer that public opinion poll numbers. We saw that the felonious activities of Mr. Clinton were at the heart of his downfall, not a partisan attack regarding private sexual activities.

The outcome of the Senate trial looks bleak at this point. 67 votes for removal seem far from reach. But we as Americans can hope and pray that 67 brave Senators will vote on their personal convictions and strong belief in the American cornerstone that all men are equal under the law, even the President of the United States. As more and more Democrats call for an end to the trial, a trial that some say will take a hard toll on the country, those who believe in justice and rule of law can take relief in knowing that this country will survive. America is a country that has seen a lot and that has been through a lot, yet it is a country that is stronger than ever. We are stronger than ever for the simple reason that our founding principles have always been intact. Lets hope that those founding principles which made this country so strong and glorious shall remain.

Eric Seymour

Robert Schiener

Joel Corbin

Bryant Lewis