What should happen to Bill Clinton?
January 5, 1999
Here's another sample of what AllPolitics readers are saying about President Bill Clinton's upcoming perjury and obstruction of justice trial in the Senate.
If you'd like to comment on that or other events in the news for the next installment of Voter's Voice, drop us an e-mail message, and be sure to include your name and home town.
'A full trial'
There should be a full trial of President Clinton.
-- Bill Benton, Lincoln Park, Michigan, January 4
'White trash we have earned'
I hope his future contains a full Senate trial with witnesses. The "American people" realize what a lowlife he is and decide they have had enough of his insincere attitudes. But alas, I do not believe this will come to pass. The "American people" are lazy and stupid. They cannot see beyond this afternoon. They worry more about their IRA's, 401K's and the stock market rather than the good of the country. This president has damaged the societal fabric beyond repair. He along with the liberals, Democrats and Hollywood elite have made the people good little sheep unable to think for themselves. A pity, yet something we deserve when we abdicate our responsibilities. I hope 1999 will yield a wake up call to all that are unable to think for the good of us all.
Clinton is white trash we have earned.
-- Gary W. Boettner, Spartanburg, South Carolina, January 4
'Already has been punished'
I think the American people should vote the president out of office, if that be the case. After all, we are the ones that vote him in. I know we have representatives in office to speak for us, but do the representatives really ask US what we want? It was wrong of the House to ... just vote. I'm not exactly happy with that, nor am I happy with what is going on. Where is my vote? What President Clinton did was wrong; I won't deny that. However, I personally think he already has been punished. How many other presidents mess around with their intern? No, the question is, how many actually get caught. Unfortunately for Clinton, he was caught and the world laughs at his mistake. How many other presidents will be known in children's history books as the person who...
I know, according to the Constitution, that we the people should have our representatives in all of Congress vote for us, but there should be a time, such as this, that we control this "democracy."
--Jennifer Reith, Rosamond, California, January 4
'All the evidence'
Don't let the efforts of Henry Hyde et al go down the drain through compromises.
Insist on listening to all the evidence without being hurried.
Weigh the evidence and let the "rule of law" be a key guide.
Insist on a full vote, senator by senator, up or down.
Forget censure. It has no lasting meaning.
Forget re-election worries. Do the right thing.
History will remember your actions, so do it right.
-- Don Davis, Venice, Florida, January 4
'More interested in running away'
I believe that the Senate should step up to the plate and conduct a trial of the impeachment articles passed in the House and presented to them. The senators seen on the daily/weekly political shows appear to more interested in running away from their Constitutional duty. However, they too need to face the situation head-on and do their duty.
I, for one, will be most anxious to hear the evidence presented to them and to then see how each and every one of the senators votes on this issue. It may in the end tell us much more about the Senate than the president and I do think that the American people deserve to see our government in action.
-- Cathi Stephens, Placentia, California, January 4
'Throw the bum out'
My grandpa told me many times, "If a man's word is no good, nothing else matters!"
Well, Bill Clinton's word is NO GOOD, and all of his good looks and good works doesn't matter! I do feel sorry for the Democrats; I went through the Nixon thing. The only difference is when I realized Nixon was no good I stood up and said throw the bum out! And that's what the Democrats need to do, realize his word is NO GOOD and throw the bum out!
-- Claude Hawkins, Jefferson City, Missouri, January 4
I believe that the president should not be censured but should go before the full Senate for a complete hearing on the impeachment process. This should include any witnesses and other related matters that the Senate should hear to give a just verdict in this matter. I have been a registered Democrat for 46 years and this is the first time that I have been ashamed of this affiliation. Clinton has defamed the office of president, he has no moral character and leaves the Senate with no recourse but to have a full and just hearing. Thank God for the Republicans that had the guts to vote for the articles of impeachment. From now on they have my vote.
-- Don Gutermuth, Sr., Hiawassee, Georgia, January 4
'A personal matter'
... the whole process has been a discredit to this nation. President Clinton was wrong in what he did, but nothing to compare to the Congress of the United States. It was a personal matter and should have been left as such. President Clinton is the best president this country has ever had and it is just a shame the Republicans can't take it. He can lead this country and he has proven it.
-- Jane Akin, Versailles, Kentucky, January 4
'Get him out of office'
After looking up the word MISDEMEANORS in the dictionary, I believe the forefathers intended any and all illegal acts by the president to be impeachable offenses. The word is defined as "any illegal act other than a felony." I say get him out of office.
-- Frances Gaines, Sumter, South Carolina, January 4
'Should be punished'
First, I am not a Clinton supporter.
Secondly, I believe Clinton perjured himself before the grand jury and should be punished.
I do not support his removal from office at this time.
I would support censure only on condition that Clinton admit beforehand to having lied under oath.
In the event that he is unwilling to meet that condition, (then) the Senate should proceed with a formal hearing toward his (Clinton's) removal from office.
He can't have it both ways!
-- Jack Mulhall, Spencer, Massachusetts, January 4
'A disgusting manner'
1. The trial should definitely be held in compliance with the Constitutional process.
2. Senators of either party should not be projecting the outcome of the trial before listening to evidence regarding the charges.
3. President Clinton has the right to "due process" as does any citizen.
4. He should be convicted or acquitted -- not censured.
5. If convicted, removed from office, if acquitted -- it's all over!
6. Trial is not "overturning an election" or disobedience to the "will of the people" but rather exercising a process designed to protect the people from elected officials when the Constitution is violated. (Just think, if the Germans had been able to rid the world of Adolph Hitler before 1939)
7. Each senator should make his/her decision based on the evidence. Partisanship politics should have no place in this trial. Many members of the House on "both sides of the aisle" behaved in a disgusting manner.
-- Louie Gibson, Eufaula, Oklahoma, January 4
'A full-blown trial'
I believe that the Senate should hold a full-blown trial on the case, allowing witnesses, TV coverage of the entire proceedings. I see no reason to have a short trial. It took over four years for Starr to gather the information and much of that time was necessary because Clinton didn't cooperate and did everything possible to delay and obstruct progress. I also think it is absolutely wrong for Trent Lott to be seeking advice on how to handle this trial from Dick Morris, or anyone else connected to the White House. This is serious business for our country. It is wrong for these senators to come into this trial with the minds already set on how they feel. They took an oath to protect our Constitution and the people of this great country expect them to do just that.
-- Richard Miller, Covington, Louisiana, January 4
The American people expect a full and impartial trial. No shortcuts.
-- A. Laker, Plainfield, Illinois, January 4
'Perjury is not acceptable'
The only way the impeachment question can go down in history as fair and completed is for a full trial. Anything else will be viewed as a partisan cop-out to protect a president that does not deserve to be protected from himself. The rest of the citizens of America have to answer for there mistakes. Perjury is not acceptable.
-- Alice Netherton, Fort Smith, Arkansas, January 4
'A different standard of law'
If any American other than Bill Clinton had lied under oath, and split legal hairs as Clinton has done while testifying, that American would be charged, tried and sentenced months ago.
If Clinton is allowed to get away with this, this event will reaffirm what most Americans already know. Namely, that the rich and influential have a different standard of law applied to them; and that they are allowed to get away with crimes that 99.99 percent of Americans would be sentenced for.
If Clinton is not found guilty of lying under oath, and punished as any other American would be, then our courts will be clogged with appeals by criminals trying to slither between the intent of our laws.
-- Paul Bungard, Atlanta, Georgia, January 4
'He should resign'
First thing I want to know is who are these people you polled that continue to give President Clinton such rave reviews? I talk to people about his actions and everyone I talk to agree that he should resign. The only thing President Clinton does is talk about issues that need addressing but does little else. President Clinton needs to remember that the laws he broke and there have been many, are the laws that govern all people and he is one of these people. If it's OK to lie under oath and obstruct the laws with double talk and meaningless definitions, then it's OK for everyone to do the same. Is this the signal we want to send to our children? President Clinton needs to resign and save this country any further shame. He complains that this investigation cost the taxpayers too much money; he should remember that it was him that provided the need to continue the investigation in the first place.
In plain and simple language, President Clinton needs to and should resign to save the expense of the impeachment and to save what face he has left.
-- Charlie Whaley, Mocksville, North Carolina, January 4
'A big waste of time and money'
I believe that it's all been a big waste of time and money. It only goes to show the hypocrisy of politics and the people directly involved. Anyone that is ignorant enough to think that there are many politicians that haven't at one time or another lied or cheated on their wives are living in a fantasy world. People are so quick in this country to point fingers at others for whatever the reason. This is not a perfect world. It never will be. The best we can all do is work on ourselves and stop worrying about what our neighbor is doing. Politicians in both parties already have bad reputations in the eyes of the working class and this just accentuates the fact that they will fight back and forth like children. It doesn't seem to matter how much they hurt this country or themselves. There is one thing for sure; this is not something that is going to encourage more people to vote. The president's sex life with another consenting adult is not any of our business. As far as not telling the truth there are not a lot of people that if they cheated on a husband or wife would not try to hide it. What the president did is wrong but he is human and I think all the people out there accusing him of his mistakes should take a long hard look at themselves. Let the president go back to his work. I think that he has paid for his mistakes more than the average person has already.
-- Michael Parr, Santa Monica, California, January 4
'Indicted on criminal charges'
Our colorful (in many ways) leader, Bill Clinton, should be given a quick, fair, and impartial trial in the Senate. Then the guilty bastard should be thrown out of office and indicted on criminal charges.
-- Neil Snyder, Germantown, Maryland, January 4
'Not a king or a god'
The Senate should do its job and hold a trial. The facts will speak for themselves. It's time the president was held accountable. He is a citizen, like the rest of us, not a king or a god!
-- Mary Jane Newell, South Paris, Maine, January 4
'Democracy is at risk'
... The American people have no voice. The polls have shown time and time again that the American people as a majority do not want their president impeached. Whether I agree with the majority or not is irrelevant because the heart of American democracy is at risk. The United States is supposed to have a government of the people, for the people and by the people; however if the people are ignored then we no longer have that claim.
-- Pat Alvarado, Los Angeles, California, January 4
Tuesday January 5, 1999
Hastert nominated as speaker
Democratic donor pleads guilty to illegal campaign contributions
Who are the new members of Congress?
Clinton Administration targets inmate drug use
Religious leaders ask Senate to raise level of debate
Ashcroft decides not to jump into 2000 race
The new Congress? An eclectic bunch
Ailing House members to take oath at home
House seeks to ease ban on gifts
Election date set for Gingrich seat