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Re: Ken Starr's Report to Congress Online

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Bill Polhemus wrote:
> Christopher Wright wrote:
> > >So you're saying that, since "some of us never really got over Watergate,"
> > >that we need to ignore Congress' responsibility under the Constitution
> > >(namely Article I, Section 2) with regard to its impeachment authority?
> >
> > That's a non-sequitur. The Congress's impeachment authority covers high
> > crimes and misdemeanors. What Clinton did (Boinked someone he wasn't
> > married to and lied about it)  was reprehensible and stupid, but no
> > ordinary citizen would be prosecuted for it.
> THERE'S your non-sequitur.
> In the first place, "high crimes and misdemeanors" are whatever Congress says
> they are.  Do yourself a favor: Read Federalist No. 42.
> Secondly, "no ordinary citizen would be prosecuted" for adultery in this day and
> time, but that's not what the report alleges.  It alleges that he committed
> adultery, THEN lied about it under oath, both to the Paula Jones jury, and later
> to the grand jury.  THEN he tried to cover up by "rehearsing" others to say
> things that weren't true, THEN he abused the power of his office by having
> government employees in the White House go out and lie about it (although THEY
> were probably unknowing, most of them), THEN he abused the power of his office by
> directing that White House personnel such as the Secret Service and Bruce
> Lindsay, put up a fight to keep from having to testify about what THEY knew.  He
> did this, KNOWING that he was using the fig-leaf of "executive privilege" to
> cover up his own lies.  If you'll remember, this is what Nixon got in deep
> doo-doo for doing.
> In short, if you want to believe the White House spin, go right ahead.  But this
> is NOT about a legal matter under juridical law, it is about "high crimes and
> misdemeanors" of the President, under the Constitution.  There is a distinct
> difference.
> > Politicians aren't in the moral leadership business, and we all know it.
> That's funny, apparently Joseph Lieberman, Barbara Boxer, Pat Moynihan and other
> members of the President's own party aren't quite so sanguine about that as you
> are.
> The fact is:  The President is required to uphold standards.  This one does not,
> and I am one of those who believes he really never has (although even THAT is
> beside the point).  And his lack of moral leadership extends to all areas of his
> job performance.  For example, he has never had any problem with lying about
> those who oppose him in matters of policy, or about the effect of his
> administration on such things as the economy.
> Like Mr. Nixon, it is far, far more important to this man to hold onto his power,
> no matter what and come what may, than to uphold the office.  The most righteous
> thing that Mr. Nixon did was to resign, realizing that he had failed in his
> attempt to hold onto that power.  It remains to be seen whether the present Chief
> Executive is made of as stern a stuff.
> > We've also known they've told whoppers since the political promise was
> > invented. I don't like it but I'm not going to cast my eyes skyward and
> > invoke divine judgement as though a president never got caught in a
> > whopper before. I also can't get terribly exercised over lying to
> > Congress. They do it to each other, to the public and to anyone else
> > who'll listen so often no one pays attention, in fact we expect it.
> Then you are an example of why the tenor of public service has become so
> downcast.  Imperfect people are elected to office with high hopes.  It's true
> that none of us meets every challenge.  But to equate campaign promises, e.g.,
> with the kinds of abuses of power that we now have hard evidence concerning with
> this President, is very foolish.
> > Clinton's real crime is that he wore his hair long in the '60's, smoked
> > dope and married an ambitious, non-dowdy woman with brains.
> Again, it saddens me that one obviously so intelligent as you would prefer to
> stick his head in the sand, and recognize the truth.  The "60s mentality" does
> pervade much of what the President and First Lady are about, it's true.  But the
> problem isn't those who are averse to the "legacy" of that era.  The problem is
> that the "morally relativistic" chickens have finally come home to roost.  These
> people don't see anything wrong with anything they do, and the fact that other
> people have absolute moral precepts is lost on them (except that they know enough
> to be able to exploit it--witness the bravura performance at the "prayer
> breakfast" yesterday morning).
> > (a
> > description that fits a great many men we call 'successful') Starr
> > couldn't find a real crime so he settled for small potatoes and smarm. He
> > couldn't even make sexual harassment stick.
> Actually, he was not involved in the sexual harrassment proceeding against the
> President, as I'm sure you realize.
> > >N.B.:  I think it hilarious, that the same sorts of people who were so angry
> > >when "the system" allowed Nixon to resign, and then be pardoned, are the
> > >ones who think all this stuff needs now to be "dropped."
> >
> > There are a lot of parallels. Lots of people hated them both obsessively;
> > both had some shady dealings in their past and Nixon's associations with
> > Joe McCarthy carried the same stigma among some as Clinton's hippy image
> > carries among others.
> I've never really thought so much of his "hippy" image, as I have of his image
> that he will do anything, not excluding possible treason, to hold onto power.
> I would remind you there are more shoes to drop.  I believe the White House has
> made a tactical error in reminding us that there are no mentions of "Whitewater"
> or "travelgate" or "filegate" in the report.  The conventional wisdom is that
> there is considerably more to come on these.  There is even speculation that an
> indictment of Mrs. Clinton is forthcoming--which does much to lend understanding
> to her desire to be seen on the "moral forefront" of forgiveness of her husband.
> She may still need his protection.
> > As a result lots of people wasted lots of time
> > trying to compile evidence of conspiracies and skullduggery. The
> > difference is that Nixon was an accessory to a real crime, and he did in
> > fact obstruct justice.
> No difference.  Both Clinton and Nixon committed real crimes.  Yes, Clinton's
> crimes are real.  The "naysaying" of his lawyers notwithstanding, he committed
> perjury and obstructed justice, and used his office to accomplish same.  He is in
> deep trouble, and no "spin" is going to save him.
> > In Clinton's case the evidence of a crime is
> > sketchy at best, and I daresay you can't prove obstruction of justice if
> > there's no crime involved.
> There is a crime involved:  Perjury.  This President committed perjury.
> He committed what alone are impeachable offenses, merely by having sex with the
> woman in the White House.  Read Federalist No. 42.
> > If you find political or ideological battles hilarious, you got a strange
> > notion of how a representative government works. Congress is pissing away
> > good economic times being self-righteous when they should be taking care
> > of business.
> I agree that they should be taking care of business.  It's too bad that the
> Clinton camp doesn't see it that way, since his prompt resignation would help us
> all get back on course.  Clinton is determined to fight this, to spare his
> "legacy."  He doesn't give a d*mn about this country without himself as its
> President.
> > I think that's the reason people outside the Beltway
> > generally aren't all that worked up--they have more on their minds than
> > scoring points on the opposition.
> I disagree with your assessment.  I think the Starr Report is having a great deal
> of impact.
I would really appreciate it if we could reseserve this site for
technical issues.  Surely there are other, more appropriate forums for
this discussion.
chuck Utzman