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

The impeachment debate goes on

The impeachment e-mail just keeps on coming. If you'd like to comment on President Clinton's trial or other events in the news for our next installment of Voter's Voice, drop us an e-mail message, and be sure to include your name and home town.


'The fix is in'

We are in the midst of a very UNdemocratic process regarding the impeachment debacle. The ruling junta represented by the Republicans who control Congress are attempting an illegal overthrow of a democratically-elected President. When we hear of this happening in newly democratized countries, we shake our collective head and wonder when will they get it right? Well, wake up American citizens, the ruling party is Republican and they are controlled by a small but powerful group of corporate interests so we have absolutely no power to sway the outcome with our tiny voices. Republicans in power mean more money for business and big business runs this country. The fix is in. We should all hang our heads in shame over this country and what the Republicans are doing to a very fine President (if not such a fine husband -- but that's Hillary's business and not ours!)

-- Susan Evans, Montrose, Colorado, January 11


'A criminal'

We have a political system based on bribery. Anyone with an IQ equal to Forrest Gump has to know that anyone who contributes to a politician expects a return on their investment. In my opinion, we will finally witness a trial "by a jury of his peers," in which all the participants have an agenda. Bill Clinton is at least as much of a criminal as Clyde Barrow, Al Capone or John Gotti and has probably ruined as many careers and lives as their combined efforts. If you will recall, they had a huge "fan" following also. THAT DID NOT JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS.

-- Bennie Gosney, Pinole, California, January 11


'Digging their own grave'

The alleged acts that Bill Clinton made in order to conceal his relationship with Monica Lewinsky do not in any shape or form, even if all of them are true, constitute an impeachable offense in my opinion. I think that the Republicans will suffer for a long time after these hearings. Why don't our representatives listen to the people's opinion? The majority of the American people do not feel that the president should be impeached. So why has the majority of the House and Senate voted to impeach? The Republicans are digging their own grave.

-- Chris LeBlanc, Boulder, Colorado, January 11


'Family values'

Is it just me, or has everyone forgot what William Jefferson Clinton ran for in the 1992 election -- family values. He was the man of the future, the man who could stand up and be counted when it came to family values. Now look at where we are. Here we have the leader of the free world lying and then making a mockery of the laws of the land with his typical lawyer legalese language. If this doesn't disgust the people of this country, then what does? This President is a politician, nothing else! He has never held a job, has no idea of what the American people need right now and thumbs his nose at OUR system.

Perjury, and that's what he has done, is a punishable offense for EVERY person in this country. Does the content of the lie make a difference? No, he raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth and NOTHING but the truth, so help him God! He lied and for that he should be punished. He has NO ONE to blame for this mess but himself. Do the honorable thing and resign, but then again this man, a term I am loathe to use, knows nothing about honor and never will -- we, as a country, have already seen that.

-- P.J. Dennis, LaJolla, California, January 11


'Guarded optimism'

I view the bipartisan agreements in the Senate with guarded optimism and do not underestimate the ability of both parties to further alienate the public from the voting process. I remember a bipartisan beginning in the House which quickly broke down with both parties putting party loyalty above constitutional duty. The most blatant example of this being prior to the November elections where the House Democrats were begging the President for permission to vote their conscience; why would they need permission to perform their duties?

It seems that they will sidestep the actual issue of whether or not Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice. As far as I can tell, there are no degrees of perjury or obstruction of justice such as you would find in manslaughter or murder. That being said, this is also a political trial which implies that they do not need to parse the legal definitions either.

It seems that the only option for the Senate to keep the integrity of the political system intact is to push for conviction of the President and urge Al Gore to pardon him. The executive branch has already sought to destroy the integrity of our government and we will see if the Senate will join forces with the House to do the same. It seems that in the Republicans and Democrats will get what they are pushing for -- fewer Americans taking part in the voting process and the judicial branch being the last to hold integrity under our Constitution.

-- Alan Figuracion, Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 11


'Using the Oval Office as his sex shop'

A few weeks ago after the House vote yes to impeachment proceedings, a reporter asked President Clinton how it felt to be impeached. His reply: 'Not too bad.' This is the type of person that we have for a president? Making fun of the of the vote. He has so many liars and people bought off that he will never be convicted of anything. People that side with him must have the same type of morals that he does. People keep talking, stay out of his personal life, there's no problem with having an affair. The problem is not with the affair, it's with lying and cover-up, and using the Oval Office as his sex shop. Is this what the Democratic party stands for?

-- Ben Meade, January 11


'The arrogance of William Jefferson Clinton'

There should be a full and thorough impeachment trial in the Senate. It is the Constitutional thing to do, and the right thing to do. We as a nation have been brought to this point by one thing -- the arrogance of William Jefferson Clinton. It was this man's unmitigated arrogance and overblown ego that led him to pass up dozens of opportunities to end the Lewinsky scandal. To end it would have required humility and an inner sense of right and wrong, qualities which Clinton apparently lacks. Slick rhetoric and telegenicity aside, Bill Clinton is a man who considers himself to be above the law. My guess is that the founding fathers formulated the impeachment standards with just such a man in mind.

-- William Stark, Atlanta, Georgia, January 11


'Let the lame duck waddle'

I agree with the writer from Eufaula, Oklahoma. Let the process proceed in accordance with the Constitution. Have the trial. If convicted (not likely) remove him from office. If acquitted, let him finish his term. The impeachment process on his record will be permanent punishment.

I really don't think it is necessary for a long, drawn-out trial. The senators have not been hiding from what has been reported. They have the transcripts. Get the vote, get on with it.

Lord knows it has been drawn out long enough -- mainly because Clinton stalled so long.

He will never admit to lying under oath; he is not that honorable a person. Let the lame duck waddle through the rest of his term.

-- Roy Windham, Andalusia, Alabama, January 11


'Completely ashamed'

I have always been patriotic. I love my country and I'm proud of our Christian heritage. But in light of Clinton's actions, I'm now completely ashamed. If Clinton is not removed from office, no American can hold their head up high again.

-- Rob Campbell, Powder Springs, Georgia, January 11


'Forgive and move on'

Shame, shame, shame. To err is human; to forgive is divine, says the Lord. You republicans and others so desperate to punish this man should, instead of reading the Bible, live as the Bible speaks. Are you so myopic and insular, are you so unforgiving and vengeful, are you so interested in sexual behaviors of other consenting adults? I know that history will look on you as what you are; get on with life and grow up, forgive and move on, the man his wife, his daughter, the country, the world and even God has had enough. He made a mistake, who hasn't, be Christians for once in your lives and attempt to address the real issues, the starving children, the environment, to name just two.

-- William Foran, Sydney, Australia, January 11


'The pagan media'

This is a Republic, NOT a democracy. The voice of the American people has been heard by Congress. There's just no provision for censure in the Constitution as the pagan media would like to have us believe. While the president's behavior in this situation was a private matter initially, it became public concern a) because it happened in the White House, a public place, b) because at the time there was a relevant lawsuit in which the president was involved, and c) he lied to a grand jury to the independent counsel and the American people in order to try avoiding embarrassment. Now, he is reaping what he hath sown! ...

... President Clinton has brought ALL of this on himself because he is a afraid of the truth. And if a California businessman can't trust someone in his own political party with his daughter, then why should the American people trust him with the "nation's business."

-- Ralph Hardebeck, Indianapolis, Indiana, January 11


'What kind of ego pills is he on?'

I have never supported the Clinton White House and I am a Democrat. How a husband/father could do what he's done to his family is inexcusable. Then to blatantly rub our (the American population) noses in it with things like, "What's the definition of is" and "I'm going to say it again..." What kind of ego pills is he on? Is it now time to drug test the president?

-- Gary Thompson, Greensboro, North Carolina, January 11


'The downward spiral'

The behavior of Bill Clinton, our top governmental officer, is consistent with the behavior of many of today's baby boomers and their children -- do whatever feels good and don't take responsibility for your actions.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior is what is causing the downward spiral of the morals in this country, contributing to the increase in crime, and the lack of respect for authority. This is leading to the decay of our cities. Where do we go from here, and how long before we hit bottom? I, for one, feel that Bill Clinton should take his lies and arrogance out of public office and resign. I can't look at a picture of him anymore without thinking of cigars and him having sex in the Oval Office. Has he no respect for himself? He has cheapened himself and the office of the presidency, and doesn't seem to care.

-- Edie Countryman, San Jose, California, January 11


'Not a popularity contest'

I've been following the impeachment case and process since its inception. It alarms me that many at present feel that because they "like" Bill Clinton, he should be excused from a full trial. This is not a popularity contest and the president of such a powerful country must be held to a standard above the average John (no pun intended). He is an example for our young and supposed to be a leader that we will rally around in times of trouble. We need a commander and good manager with a take-charge approach to our complex world position. Mr. Clinton does not fit the role.

-- Jeffrey Wilinski, Greenbelt, Maryland, January 10


'A full trial'

I think that the Senate should hold a full trial. It seems hypocritical for the Senate to claim "bipartisanship" rules, but then the Democrats still prejudge the trial, call the House Republicans names, the impeachment resolutions a "pile of dung" and threaten dire consequences if the Senate Republicans don't follow their lead.

The only way for the people to feel the Constitutional process has been served is for the Senators to "let the light in" by holding a full trial, complete with witnesses. The country will NOT fall apart, the stock market will NOT collapse, and people will go about their lives as always. Those who don't want this process to go forward are the ones who are afraid of what "truths" will come out.

-- Jan Robichaux, O'Fallon, Illinois, January 10


'What insanity'

What this entirely partisan process -- from right-wing sponsorship of the Paula Jones fishing expedition to obviously partisan and Jones-lawsuit-connected "independent" prosecutor Ken Starr to the party-line vote in the House -- says about our country isn't anything of which Americans, Republicans or Democrats, should be proud. Around the world, citizens and world leaders are shaking their heads. Yes, it's true the President's private life is nothing for Democrats to be showcasing, but it shouldn't be an issue in the first place.

The Senate impeachment trial, like the House vote to impeach, is a tragicomic farce. Students of history only a generation from now, if not sooner, will look back and wonder what insanity had taken over the United States. They will wonder if the ghosts of our Puritan founders had returned to haunt the corridors of power, they will be amazed by the hatred infecting the political process, they will be convinced "Millennium madness" had taken hold of our leaders.

They may also be having a good laugh. If the personal lives of our leaders become a valid pretext for overruling the electorate, we won't just be removing our President from office. The entire Congress will be out on its ear.

-- John Barton, Glastonbury, Connecticut, January 9


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Tuesday January 12, 1999

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