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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Analysis - Voter's Voice

Bill, Monica and Ken: More reader letters

Here's some of the latest reader e-mail we have received. If you'd like to comment on anything in the day's news, drop us an e-mail and be sure to include your name and home town.

'Partisan overkill'

I am really disturbed by this attempt to impeach the president. To me this appears to be a partisan overkill response to the president's indiscretions which I certainly do not condone, nor do I condone the Starr Chamber procedures in this matter.

The piecemeal release of documents relating to the president is to me another indication of the desperation of those forces who want to impeach the president come hell or high water. It appears that they are afraid to impeach until they can lower the high approval rating that the president continues to attain in all national polls. As long as I feel that he is being treated unfairly, I will continue to support him, and I have a gut feeling that his high approval rate is due to that same perception. I say to my president, "Do not resign." You deserve a kick in the pants from your wife and daughter, but that is it!!

If they dare to impeach Clinton and thereby disenfranchise the citizens who voted for him, I for one will be part of what I believe will be a significant backlash movement against anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- who voted for this obvious political lynching! ...

Yes, I most emphatically support the president and the presidency in this matter. The balance of power between the executive and the legislature branch must be maintained. Our democracy depends upon it!!

-- Boris Pritcher, Miami, Florida, September 28

'Complete lack of understanding'

To those of your readers who are quick to point out that the Clinton-Starr scandal is not about sex alone but rather about something much more important -- perjury -- the only thing they make clear is their own complete lack of understanding as to what perjury really is. Merely telling a lie under oath, whether during a deposition or while testifying in court, DOES NOT necessarily constitute perjury. The lie must be about a matter MATERIAL to the proceeding. Therefore, Bill Clinton could have testified that he was 35 years old, clearly not the truth, but because saying he is 35 rather than 52 is not relevant to this matter, IT IS NOT PERJURY.

And because Judge Johnson found the Lewinsky matter not to be relevant to the Jones suit, Clinton's testimony about Ms. Lewinsky was not material, and thus NOT perjury.

Even as a practical matter, however, rather than a legal one, Clinton did not initially tell the truth because he was trying to save his own political career as well as trying to save the feelings of his family and others. I would expect any intelligent and sensitive person to do the same (although the more intelligent response, in hindsight, would have been to take the "none of your business" avenue).

-- John O'Quinn, Atlanta, Georgia, September 28

'So sick'

Haven't the American people heard enough? I know I have. I am so sick of turning on the news to hear what Starr is going to do next to further humiliate and embarrass President Clinton. I think Starr has long ago made his point. President Clinton needs to get on with running this country. Maybe a turn of events should occur and someone should start investigating Starr! There's bound to be piles of dirt on him.

-- B. Brassard, Cheshire, Massachusetts, September 28

'Carrying on in the people's house'

As a public school teacher, I find all of Clinton's shenanigans's totally embarrassing. This is a role model for our country? I think not. True, sex is supposed to be a private thing, but he changed that by carrying on in the people's house. Is this not parallel to a CEO using his power? They get fired and usually end up in a civil suit. If he would resign, we could move on to more important issues. If he really cares about our country, this shouldn't be a problem. Every time someone sees him, his/her thought has to be "scandal." I also feel he should have to pay back the money to us taxpayers for all of this. He is the one who did wrong. Once again our system tries to favor the perpetrator over the victim(s). Let him leave, put his family back together (if he can), and work on behaving for the rest of his life.

-- S. Douma, Enid, Oklahoma, September 28

'Moral baseness'

I strongly feel that Mr. Clinton has disgraced both himself and the office he holds. I also feel that his integrity is questionable. Further, he has shown a remarkable lack of judgment in jeopardizing the reputation of the office of the President of the United States. His actions are not just those of an individual of moral baseness, but also of a person who has violated the trust of his family and our nation.

He has shown that he is capable of performing acts of a nature that could subject him to blackmail; do we want a president of our nation who can be blackmailed? Isn't that an unnecessary national security risk?

-- Tom Bertenshaw, Stillwater, Oklahoma, September 28


Don't you guys think it's a bit ironic that your "click" poll entitled "Should Congress vote to begin an impeachment inquiry?" is showing a completely different story than your CNN/Time poll, which is supposedly more "scientific"? Your click poll, with over 84,000 participants so far, is showing that a clear majority of Americans DO favor an impeachment inquiry. Don't you think 84,000 respondents takes the pulse of Americans a little better than 1,016 people polled by professional pollsters?

-- Joshua, September 28

(Editor's Note: CNN's public opinion surveys use random digit dialing to insure interviews with a representative cross-section of the population. The "Quick Vote" feature is based on a self-selected sample of people who visit our Web site and vote. For a fuller explanation of how CNN does its public opinion surveys, visit Frequently Asked Questions in our polls section.)

'Bill Clinton has seduced our nation'

I have just completed reading the e-mail you have received regarding the President's conduct. I am shocked and disappointed that there is such a low level of understanding of what this is about. It is not about the fact that the President had a sexual relationship outside his marriage. It is about the following:

1. The President had a sexual relationship with a subordinate employee. He conducted that relationship in the workplace. Furthermore, he offered his assistance to Ms. Lewinsky to advance her career. Every woman I know in the workplace would define that as sexual harassment. It is not a crime but it rightly disqualifies many people from the opportunity to lead.

2. The President lied to a grand jury. It doesn't matter that what he lied about was not a crime. Clinton knows very well that alleged or actual sexual harassment has led to the resignation of political figures, the demotion of military officers, and the firing of managers in the private sector.

Many people in the general public are failing to see this distinction. They have bought hook, line and sinker the spin that this is just a consensual relationship outside the marriage which is a private matter. If President Clintons relationship with Monica Lewinsky had been outside the workplace, it would be a private matter. It was not. He needs to be held accountable for his actions. They have demeaned the office of the President and violated everything that the womens movement has tried to accomplish over the past 20 years.

Why is the media not doing a better job pointing out this distinction? Why does the womens movement continue to support the President? Have we so lost our sense of right and wrong that we now define it by what the polls say?

In conclusion, the President admitted that he lied. He lied to a grand jury that was investigating a previously alleged instance of sexual harassment about his continued sexual harassment. He clearly committed perjury. This is hardly the first time we have questioned the President's truthfulness or integrity. I will not believe him again. Many a philanderer has seduced a woman. Bill Clinton has seduced our nation. He has committed sexual harassment and lied about it. He has committed perjury, lying to cover up his pattern of sexual harassment. He is unfit to lead the United States and should resign.

-- D. Johnson, Wayzata, Minnesota, September 28

'Time to leave him alone'

More appalling than Clinton's sin is what the Republicans are trying to make of it and the constant barrage of media reporting on it.

Our position as a nation in the world would not be bettered by Clinton's impeachment or resignation or an Al Gore presidency.

I usually have voted Republican, and supported Perot in '92, but I think now it is important to support the man the majority of the voters elected President, and not to keep dragging up more issues that deal with his sexual life. If he governs well, which this man has done in spite of a kind of scrutiny no President has ever been subjected to, then I think it's time to leave him alone. Another man will be elected soon, and how we, the Congress and the media treat the current President may well affect the quality of the man who runs for the office next.

-- Martha Lillard, Shawnee, Oklahoma, September 28

'Time to rearrange the office'

When are the American people going to wake up? It is my firm belief that our President's infidelities are between him, his wife and God. So what if he committed adultery, he will be judged by a higher authority than me, so I won't go there. But where I will go is here: Why don't people look at the President for what he really is. He is an EMPLOYEE. He is OUR employee. He was hired by the American people to fill a specific position and I cannot think of one single employer that would tolerate such activities in the office, from one of its employees and then allow the company to shell out millions, just so that employee could lie about it for another seven months. Such an employee would have been fired a long time ago. We Americans shell out A LOT of hard-earned money and I believe that it was squandered. I am sure that there were better causes that it could have gone to. People should truly think about this. Who pays for the White House? Who pays for the cars, planes, clothing, servants, lawyers and the hundreds of other perks that government officials receive? WE DO! It truly saddens me that the American people as employers allow themselves to be disrespected in this way. One of our most trusted employees has lied to us (which we already knew) and cost us millions in the process. From one employer to another, I think it's time rearrange the office.

-- Dora McLean, Odessa, Texas, September 28

Investigating the President


Tuesday, September 29, 1998

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