I don't listen to the radio all that much; Saturday morning for Linda Laz, and when I'm driving. This week, I got morning and evening 10 minute doses of the House Judiciary Committee proceedings as they considered whether to send Articles of Impeachment out to the full House.
I guess we were getting our money's worth in entertainment if nothing else. They were starting early and working late, and on into Saturday. (Thank goodness BSU radio has two stations so they didn't have to preempt Linda.)
I heard the first of the opening statements, the tussle over whether to bring in evidence that hasn't been released to the public, and then whether to go into Executive Session to decide that. I heard chairman Hyde's finale to the opening round (the next morning!). I actually turned on the radio at an unaccustomed hour to hear the posturing over Article III, but couldn't quite stay with it all the way to the vote.
I did tap into CSPAN's live web feed of the Saturday morning proceedings just in time to hear the roll call for the vote on Article IV, after it had been narrowed from the Republican original, to focus on the less than apologetic answers to the 81 questions from the committee. (But an assault? Give me a break.) It passed on a 21-16 vote, straight party line like two of the other three. (Lindsey Graham [R-SC], defected on Article II to give Clinton "the legal benefit of the doubt" based on the definition of sexual relations used in the Jones case, making that one only 20-17.)
As Mr. Conyers says, it's beginning to look like a coup. But it's still just attempted, as even if the impeachment gets through, no one thinks 2/3rds of the Senate will vote to convict. And of course, we'll have Al Gore for president, not a Republican. (That seems like a pretty good outcome for Democrats, actually. This Democrat thinks Gore would have been a better man for the job all along, and if the Senate can't get done before late January -- we're talking about the Senate here, does anyone think that could happen?! -- he could be an incumbent in the next two elections.)
And it's a polite sort of thing. Henry Hyde was happy to let an attempt to substitute censure for impeachment be in order, after the four Articles had been passed. And on Saturday!
That's an odd juxtaposition with the lofty (Republican), ridiculous, Realpolitik, and embarassing (Democrat) speeches that were made. What a lot of pompous windbags our House of Representatives is full of! I'd listen to one of the Republicans speak of our grand and glorious system of government that deserves better than Bill Clinton, and I'd be thinking "they're right, by golly, throw the bum out, or at least he ought to have the deceny to resign!" (Of course, if he had deceny, we wouldn't be here, now would we?)
Than I'd listen to one of the Democrats try to defend (well, there wasn't much of that), deflect, or dodge the President out of this. Not too impressive, really, although I think one gentle lady's criticism of the tactics of the Independent Counsel and his thugs is not out of order. Our leadership in incarceration, the masochistic War on (Some) Drugs, and the perversion of RICO capitalism is well on the way to inuring us to the police state we are building for ourselves.
It was definitely better than the letter from the 12-year-old Boy Scout being trotted out for the prosecution. Yes, our President should be every bit as righteous as a Boy Scout Troopmaster, but then how much do you know about his private life?
It's not about sex? Bullshit, it's all about sex, and Clinton's idiotic lack of discretion and non-Puritan taste. Paula Jones' suit was about sexual behavior, and in the absence of any convincing case of harrassment, she still got paid off handsomely for remarkably little trouble.
Bill's bad habits hadn't been reformed by the time he moved from Podunk to Foggy Bottom, and the prosecution wanted his continuing misbehavior used to swing a case that was stuck on "he said, she said." He didn't want to tell the truth about his despicable behavior, because, well, it was despicable. But a crime against the state? That really is ridiculous.
Are we setting a dangerous precedent by accepting less than exemplary behavior from our Executive? Would it be any more dangerous than the behavior we accept from the House and Senate? Does the President's perjury undermine our Judicial system?
Where in the hell were these people when Ronald Reagan's administration was subverting the constitution and trading in drugs and arms for purposes that Congress would not support?
I'm sorry, but I'm more concerned about the behavior of this circus when
they're in session than when they're cavorting in the cloakrooms.
The lofty rhetoric would be so much more persuasive if there were some
legislation that was as loyal to the high ideals our founding documents
describe. Action would speak so much louder than words.
How about some action on
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