The Writing on the Wall

Occasionally sardonic, these are meant as quick takes on news items, events, and discoveries around the world. Newest observations at the top. This page is devoted (?) to the sordid tale of potential / actual impeachment. To read this, backwards into time, is to read an evolution of political distress. I plan to make no more entries here.

January 24, 1999:

Representative Henry Hyde spoke in front of the Senate, begging for Clinton's conviction, with a virtual gallery of off-key violins playing "Hearts and Flowers", attempting to tug on the heartstrings of America, but only managing to tug on our barf bags. Why do I suspect that the Republican heavy players in this case are only trying to shoot themselves in the foot? The "Honorable" Hyde has been as dissembling in his own way as Clinton, least we forget this.

I grow worse than disgusted. Everyone this case touches, it sullies. And now, it is before the Senate.


However the Senators choose to vote, whatever choices they make in this case -- I no longer care. I ask only that they make them in dignity, in decorum, with disregard of the Party Line (whichever party), with statesmanlike vigor and in consideration of nuance and depth. The final outcome no longer matters -- it is the dignity and honorability and sense of ethics which should be brought to bear on this... lest the Senate succumb to the mud pits we see exemplified in the House of Representatives, and yes, too, in the Executive Branch of our government. There were more serious things to investigate Clinton on -- but, to me, it no longer matters, because they have been forgotten in the hoopla. The process itself has damaged the outcome, if nothing else can be said of this year-long trauma of State.

To paraphrase an earlier, and a better, Bill:

"A plague on both your parties."

This time, I really have finished making commentary on the topic here. This has been it. True national discourse and a coming-to-terms is not likely, no matter the vote.

Finis, except for the observation immediately below.

January 24, 1999:

One last word: Ever so often I stumble over the ravings and rabidness of certain radio yak-yak hosts -- you know the sort: rather than an intelligent discussion of issues, you merely taint your enemy with the label "liberal" a hundred times an hour -- an epithet which changes with the wind you are busily breaking, you rudely cut off callers who disagree with you, and you try to one-up the competition with new and more heineous accusations to lay at Clinton's feet. If Clinton and his folks did even half the things with which they've been lambasted, they'd be a heck of a lot more efficient and less bumbling than all other clues they've given off during this administration.

Granted, I'm still concerned with Filegate -- a situation which equals at least some of Nixon's abuses of power -- but these yak-folks are busily trying to "prove" that Clinton Is Worse Than Nixon, probably to hide their apologies and heads-in-the-sand behavior about him back in the seventies. If these radio yak-yak hosts yak up something enough, we'll believe it, rather than the more honorable sorting through their hairball deitrus for kernels of truth, if any, that this whole situation calls for.

December 28, 1998:

A lot has happened in the last couple weeks. Suspicious timing in the Iraqi attacks. Bob Livingston (almost Speaker-to-Animals, er Speaker of the House) resigned. Clinton impeached on two articles out of four.

Re Bob Livingston: He took the moral high ground by resigning because of his own extramarital affairs, asking Clinton to do the same. The moral high ground is thus obviously: if "they" find out, it's baaaaad. Otherwise, it's unimportant. Thank you, Bob, for this edifying lesson in Political Morality.

Re the rest of Congress: Please, most of you, look to your leader Bob Livingston, and consider the same. Such a result would be considered awe-inspiring! (Heads UP, Trent Lott!! Follow suit, for your overweaning hypocrisies!!)

Re Impeachment: Were I your Congresscritter, I'd have voted NO on Articles I, II, and IV. YES on Article III. As you all know, both Articles I and III resulted in Clinton's Impeachment. I still hold that lying under oath on a personal and consensual issue is not an impeachable offense, although it may be serious in other ways. I also still hold that allowing vultures to judge another vulture is immoral and unethical on the face of it -- and that is still how I consider most (not all) of Congress. I still hold that Clinton is, and has been, a trivial president. His triviality, however, should NOT be any indication of his impeachability.

(NO, I am NOT a "conservative", nor am I a "liberal", nor am I a "moderate". I am an Independent who chooses to look at EACH issue in a rational, emotive, ethical, considering manner. If you still gots to label me, it's on your head, and in your own narrow "reality-grid". I'm not on your left/right one-dimensional line. Tough.)

Re the votes: While a few who voted along party lines were no doubt sincere, my Kudos for Integrity go to those who bucked their political party:

Democrat Paul McHale (PA). He's retiring this year, so I guess there's no political favor to curry. Yet, kudos anyway, for supporting Clinton's election in the past, but voting now for impeachment. Maybe he's honest because he has nothing left to lose, but I honor that, whatever the reason.
Democrat Virgil H. Goode Jr., (VA). He's considered "semi-conservative", but thinks for himself. Another round of congratulations.
(The other two Dems voting for Impeachment are old-style conservative southerners, which don't count by my book.)
Republican Christopher Shays (CT). He's not from my district, but hey, a round of applause. He's liked Newt (why, I don't know...) but he stands up on this issue. It seems it took a bit of decision -- he wasn't sure at first, but I respect people who have to take that time to decide on serious issues.
Republican Peter T. King (NY). I suspect I'd dislike lots of his social views. So what, at least I feel he has integrity after this vote. I'm really impressed by him.
Republican Amo Houghton (NY). A "moderate", whatever that is. He's criticized Kenneth Starr -- not a bad thing -- Kenneth Starr answers questions almost as badly as Pres. Clinton.
Republican Mark Souder (IN). He voted as I would have voted (for article III, against the rest).

December 15, 1998:

Massively tired of the Impeachment Process. Not so much because the process takes time, but because I believe we are allowing a body of vultures to sit in judgment on yet another vulture, with little effective distinction between the bunch except for time and place.

October 14, 1998:

I look at hypocrisy and I look at heroism.

There is a Democratic Congressman who is retiring this season who has voted to pursue and investigate many channels of potential Presidential impeachment. I forget his name; he came from a mid-western state I believe. So far, he is the only politician from either party who seems verifiably above reproach in this case. He voted as he did because he believed that the (Reagan) Iran-Contra investigation should have gone further, but was stymied by a limited investigation. He had the integrity to believe that this should not happen a second time. Kudos for this man, and it is a shame he is retiring into a presumably well-earned retirement. Just about the rest of Congress, no matter how they voted, can go Fry. It's all a political game, and We the American People are the victims.


Trent Lott: Supported Nixon in his investigation. Lambastes Clinton in his. Hypocrite. Nixon's investigation pertained to the subugation of the government to Nixon's own purposes. To a (so far) lesser extent, Clinton's does as well. It is on the basis of both subugations that I condemn both men (NOT on their personal lives). Lott, by these lights, is a hypocrite. Pure. And. Simple. He has no business passing Judgement. More than obviously (except to those who enjoy blinders on their eyesight) he Has His Own Agenda. BIG SECRET: He's NOT the only one...


Name the author of this quote:

"Yes, the president should resign. He has lied to the American people, time and time again, and betrayed their trust. Since he has admitted guilt, there is no reason to put the American people through an impeachment.

"He will serve absolutely no purpose in finishing out his term, the only possible solution is for the president to save some dignity and resign."

Yes, folks, this was spoken by a candidate for Congress in the 12th District, Arkansas, during the Nixon days. If you need any more clues... Just note that I'm going to be brutally honest on these pages, and let the partisan party politics fall by the well-deserved wayside... There are barely any heros in this story. And I still don't know what the word "Liberal" (or Conservative) means, especially since the definition changes at the whim of whatever opposition gets mustered up.

October 14, 1998:

I am failing at my resolve mentioned below. Sorry.

September 18, 1998:

It is so easy to pontificate on the matter which takes up too much space below. From now on, I'm going to resolve to pontificate on more interesting and important matters.

September 16-18, 1998:
(In honor of the occasion, music for those who can hear it is by that original inaugural band, Fleetwood Mac.)

"And is it over now, do you know how to pick up the pieces, and go home?"


My suggestion to Clinton now is that he resign. No, his actions in obstruction and abuse of power do not seem to be as horrendous as earlier Nixonian levels, but obstruct and abuse power Clinton does seem to have done. At this point he is essentially a lame-duck president, and, frankly, I don't feel like sitting through the next couple of years (or whatever) listening to a batch of two-faced hypocritical men on Capitol Hill fly with whatever political breeze will blow, as they bandy about impeachment. If Clinton does it quickly enough, he might even earn some statesmanlike brownie points with the peanut gallery.

I know he won't listen to me, although I make the suggestion anyway. GOOD BYE, CLINTON! GO AWAY! (I will miss Socks, however. Socks would have made a good president. Everyone should have a First Cat.)

"Rulers make bad lovers; you'd better put your kingdom up for sale"

September 16, 1998:

The debate now is whether or not the videotape of Clinton before the Grand Jury should be released to the public. I say, go for it. (The argument against this is that no one else was videotaped, and thus Clinton's shouldn't be released. Oh, well. It's just going to football around until the thing is released, so let's get it over with and release it already.)

September 14, 1998:

I haven't had time to read the Kenneth Starr report on Clinton. (And yet I have time to write this?? Well, writing this will take up a lot less time than the reading of 400 plus pages... I intend to read the report, or at least skim the salient (not salacious) portions.)

In a nutshell???

They asked me that at work today. I'm on the fence as to whether Clinton should go or not.

People are dividing down party lines. (Well, sort of. I know some really die hard liberals who answer to that word who want him to GO, and don't let the door stand in the way... I DON'T answer to either "liberal" or "conservative", personally -- ever since those two adjacent days in college where one moment I was lambasted and roasted as a "bleeding heart liberal" and the next one as a "reactionary conservative" by separate imbeciles (er, individuals) for two distinct viewpoints. The only lesson I learned from THAT, is that political labels are for people who have abrogated their right and priviledge to THINK. Yes, it is okay to Think Outside The Box. Even if the political system we've got does its best to void the notion of anything other than the stupid left-right liberal-conservative dicotomy. And even by their self-proclaimed rules, Clinton is not truly a liberal; he's just merely another opportunist, which is what the system selects for, no matter what these folks call themselves on any given day. He's got one or two left of center opinions -- Big Deal.)

Do I care that Clinton had an affair? No. (See below for brief earlier commentary). Do I think he (and Monica) are sleazy? Yes. But that's not impeachable. Do I think Ken Starr was out of line releasing the info onto the Internet? Yes and no. (Geese louise, there's that fence again...) I think he should have gone thru Congressional channels first; then eventually the whole body of evidence should be released. It will find its way to the Internet, no doubt about it. Sleaze and all. Being as I am against censorship, I can hardly count myself in the camp that wishes it never had been released to sully pristine minds. (This is one reason I think by issue, not by label...) Do I think Starr should have asked Clinton about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, back in the beginning? No, because anything that did happen was volitional between consenting adults. It had a slight bearing to the Paula Jones case, but only slight. (The sexual adventures with third parties of a rape victim likewise have no bearing on actual rape cases -- for good reason).

Do I care that Clinton lied about the affair to a grand jury, under oath? (Yes, I hold to the opinion that it was a lie.) I don't know. As it was a question that should never have been asked, I am conflicted here. But, again, it was a lie, no matter how Clinton moves the technicalities around. (But I expect this of national-level politicians. There are indeed a couple honest ones, but they'll never get close to the Presidency...)

The serious, and impeachable, offense is if he got other people to lie for him. Evidently, that's what the Starr report indicates. I haven't read it yet.

The sad thing is, that if he is impeached (or is forced to resign), it will be because of political delineations, not out of any honest caring about the Truth. If he remains in office, it may well be the same. As at least one person pointed out, he seems to have 70% of the public behind him and supporting him -- implying that, for herself, this as sufficient reason to keep him. Frankly, I'm not going to play a numbers game with my own opinion -- I'd rather be an opinion of one percent than an opinion of thirty or seventy, assuming that what I really do believe is truly my own thoughts on a matter.

The point has been raised as to whether we can trust a President who can lie under oath to us. Can we believe such a person on foreign affairs issues, for instance? Well, considering that Clinton essentially led rebels against Saddam astray on how much support we'd give them -- no. Bush of course did the same, leading the Kurds astray on how much support we'd give them as well. Peas in a pod. And, while these indications were not given under oath, they are serious indicators of the character of both men (and are the sorts of reasons I regret voting for both of these men on their first go-rounds). Something doesn't have to be under oath to make it smell rotten, especially when the matters do pertain to governance.

We need a reliable third party (not one raised up on a Cult of Personality, like Perot).

Linda Tripp??? Oh, yes, innermost Circle of Hell. This is totally emotional -- I had a "friend" who decided to secretly tape me once -- he didn't get anything worth getting (and there wasn't anything incriminating to get), but it's the principle that rankles, that someone would stoop so low, whilst pretending friendship and concern. Anything any of the other participants in the case have done or not done pales in comparison, no kidding. Poor little Linda. No, I won't make fun of her appearance -- since I don't watch TV, I'm not likely to give a hoot what it is, anyway. Making fun of someone for their appearance is childish and unsporting, anyhow. But of her actions... No Holds Barred.

June, 1998:

After watching the press zero in on the alleged Clinton/Lewinski affair and mud-fest this past winter, at the expense of covering the near-war we almost had with Iraq, I lack any confidence at all that the media will see fit to cover in depth other potential world-shattering events until, again, it is almost too late. This goes for the fit of machismo between India and Pakistan as well as that perennial back-page filler we know as global warming. In other words, the press and media overall is neither politically "liberal" nor "conservative", it just focuses in on the sensational.

Do I care if Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinski? That's up to Hillary; I don't get a say. Do I care that he may have lied under oath about this affair? Perhaps to a degree, but it was a question that never should have been asked (other than by Hillary). Am I a "Clinton apologist"? No. I have intensely disapproved of the man ever since Filegate. (Remember that?? Or are memories selectively too short??)

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