The duplicity and unbridled hypocrisy being demonstrated by United States Senate is sufficient to gag a maggot. Years ago an old family friend in the Senate presumed to clarify for me the difference between the House and Senate. He said, "The House of Representatives is inhabited by politicians ... the Senate is a collection of statesmen." What a pretentious, arrogant and flat out wrong claim.
Those Americans (both of you) who thought that the U.S. Senate would approach the most historically significant congressional event in 131 years with at least the perception of nonpartisan objectivity are in for a cruel reality check.
Before we even got to this muddy, tenuous and fuzzy procedural point, the stench of partisanship was wafting through the hollowed halls of Congress. Reportedly, the Senate has now (kinda, sorta) agreed to agree, on "something." The real trial of the century has begun. However, we as observers are not only witnesses to history, but an example of how "statesmen" herd cats.
Last week Democrats were apparently prepared to punish a Democratic president of the United States without providing him the opportunity to hear and refute evidence and witnesses. Republicans were apparently prepared to offer the form of a trial, but with no resultant punishment. Now, in the wake of all the rancor, itching and moaning, they have agreed to agree to agree to change what they have agreed to ... maybe, as the process unfolds.
One of the best examples of the disingenuous duplicity of the Democrat defenders of the indefensible was revealed in the Jan. 1 Human Events piece about the impeachment of federal district Judge Walter Nixon. In 1989 the Senate voted 89--8 to approve an article of impeachment removing Nixon from the bench for making "false or misleading statements to a grand jury." Gee, that sounds familiar. So, in 1989, 27 of the 45 Democrats, who will sit in the next Senate to try William Jefferson Clinton, voted to remove Judge Nixon for ostensibly the same offenses they now claim are not sufficient to remove Billy Jeff. It is especially significant (at least to me) the similarity of the charges Judge Nixon was brought up on, and the charges against President Clinton, specifically: 1. Perjury and; 2. Obstruction of Justice.
OK, so who where these alleged "statesmen" who considered perjury and obstruction of justice impeachable offenses which warranted removing a federal judge from office? Some of them are conspicuous because of their stated positions on the current impeachment process. It is interesting (and hypocritical) that many of those 27 who voted to kick out Judge Nixon, now claim that although the president's conduct has been "reprehensible and egregious," there is (they claim) not sufficient reason to remove Clinton from office. Sen. Tom Daschle has been struggling to maintain the partisan iron curtain. Daschle voted to dump Judge Nixon for lying to a grand jury. Sen. Joe Biden has been petulant, adversarial, and absurd in his impeachment comments. Biden voted to dump Judge Nixon in 1989. Some of those who are posturing as reasonable and statesmanlike (like Sen. Robert Byrd, Sen. Joseph Liberman, the Sens. Kerry, Joe and Bob) also voted to impeach in 1989 because Judge Nixon lied to a grand jury.
Alright, so here are the names of 27 Democratic senators who voted to impeach federal district Judge Walter Nixon for lying to a grand jury. I suggest that you contact these senators. They should to be hearing from all of us congratulating them on the wisdom of their vote to impeach in 1989 and demanding that they hold the president of the United States to at least the same high standard that they have set for federal district judges. If you are uncomfortable "demanding" perhaps you could ask them to explain the difference between their 1989 vote and their current position?
Eventually someone will challenge this as potential jury tampering. However, here is the dilemma of the political trial as opposed to a normal judicial proceeding. The White House will maintain communication with the Senate (the jury). They will claim the executive branch has not only the right but the fiduciary responsibility to communicate with Congress on non--impeachment matters. Presidential defenders will argue the impeachment proceedings should not gridlock routine business. Sen. Barbara Boxer, who claims there is no need for her to recuse herself because of the family connection recently had dinner with the president to celebrate her husband's 60th birthday. Well, they can't (or should not) get to have it both ways. If the president is to be permitted to communicate with the senators who will sit as his jurors, then constituents should likewise have the right to communicate with their elected representatives.
These senators need to be reminded of how they voted for conviction of Judge Nixon and that to treat President Clinton (who has admitted his crime of perjury before the American people) to a lower standard is, at best, inappropriate, and at worst, hypocritical. His actions and those of the White House also clearly implicate him in obstruction of Justice as well.
The 27 Democratic senators who voted to impeach Judge Walter Nixon in 1989 are:
Baucus -- Mont.
Joseph Biden -- Del
Jeff Bingaman -- NM
John Breaux -- La
Richard Bryan -- Nev.
Robert Byrd -- WV
Kent Conrad -- ND
Tom Daschle -- SD
Chris Dodd -- Conn
Bob Graham -- FL
Tom Harkin -- Iowa
Fritz Hollings -- SC
Daniel Inouye -- Hawaii
Teddy Kennedy -- Mass
Bob Kerry -- Neb
John Kerry -- Mass
Herb Kohl -- Wis
Frank Lautenberg -- NJ
Patrick Leahy -- Vt.
Carl Levin -- Mich.
Joseph Lieberman -- Conn.
Barbara Mikulski -- MD
D. Patrick Moynihan -- NY
Harry Reid -- Nev.
Chuck Robb -- VA
Jay Rockefeller -- WV
Paul Sarbanes -- MD
By the way ...Vice President Al Gore was also in that senate, and HE voted to convict Judge Nixon.
"the act or practice of pretending to be what one is not or to have
principles or beliefs that one does not have." Gee, that definition
seems to not only crystallize the current status of the U.S. Senate, but
also, defines a politician.