Listen To The People, Mr. President!
By Gene Frost
Our nation has just gone through the trauma of the impeachment trial of our president, William Jefferson Clinton. He was acquitted, even though many (if not all) of his own political party, who voted "not guilty" to the charges, indeed judge him to be guilty. We have witnessed an extraordinary display of contradictions and hypocrisy.
Did the president in fact lie under oath and did he obstruct investigation and impair the proper administration of justice? Members of the Democratic Party, in part or whole, offered to censure him for these very charges in an effort to avoid a trial. They proposed several resolutions, which they were willing to affirm. To note a few (emphasis added):On November 24, 1998, Representative Paul McHale (D-PA) sponsored a "Joint Resolution of Condemnation of William Jefferson Clinton" in which it charges the President:
"WHEREAS, in his conduct of the office of the President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration by providing false and misleading testimony under oath; and
"WHEREAS, William Jefferson Clinton, engaged in personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation into and the disclosure of information about the Presidentís improper and reprehensible relationship with a subordinate employee; and
"WHEREAS, by engaging in the foregoing course of conduct, William Jefferson Clinton has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, impairing the due and proper administration of justice in the conduct of lawful inquiries, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.
"NOW THEREFORE, the Congress of the United States, in the House of Representatives and Senate assembled, does hereby censure and condemn William Jefferson Clinton for having engaged in a pattern of deceitful and dishonest conduct that was grossly inconsistent with his constitutional obligation and sacred duty to faithfully execute the laws of the United States of America."
On December 9, 1998, a draft "Democratic Censure Resolution" was released, calling for a joint resolution of censure:
"On January 20, 1993, William Jefferson Clinton took the oath, prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, faithfully to execute the Office of President: implicit in that oath is the obligation that the President set an example of high moral standards and conduct himself in a manner that fosters respect for truth; and William Jefferson Clinton has egregiously failed in this obligation, and through his actions has violated the trust of the American people, lessened their esteem for the office of the President and dishonored the office which they have entrusted to him,
Be it resolved that:
1. The President made false statements concerning his reprehensible conduct with a subordinate;
2. The President wrongfully took steps to delay discovery of the truth;
3. No person is above the law, and the President remains subject to criminal and civil penalties for this conduct;
4. William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, by his conduct has brought upon himself and fully deserves the censure and condemnation of the American people and the Congress; and by his signature on this Joint Resolution, the President acknowledges this censure."
On January 29, 1999, following a report that Diane Feinstein (D-CA) was working with other senators toward obtaining a censure resolution, the Washington Post released a resolution suggesting that the Senate should agree to a censure along those lines:
"Whereas the American people are entitled to expect that their president will in all his actions enforce and uphold the law to the best of his ability, and
"Whereas President William Jefferson Clinton twice took the inaugural oath committing him to do so on, and
"Whereas this oath and this expectation of the American people both require that President William Jefferson Clinton at all times respect the functioning of legitimate governmental processes even when those processes stand to affect him adversely, and
"Whereas President William Jefferson Clinton gave, in a civil deposition, testimony that was false and, whether or not in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, an attempt to corrupt the evidence used in litigation in a federal court, and
"Whereas President William Jefferson Clinton engaged in a course of conduct that, whether or not it violated the criminal laws of the United States, was obstructive of the ability of that federal court to act with a reasonable apprehension of the evidence in a case duly before it, and
"Whereas President William Jefferson Clinton, before a federal grand jury, gave tesimony that was false and, whether or not in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, intended to mislead a legitimate investigative body as to the nature of his prior false testimony,
"It is, therefore, resolved by the Senate of the United States that William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, has demonstrated contempt alike for his oath of office and his obligations both as a citizen of the United States and as an example to all other citizens of the United States. In so doing, he has lessened the esteem held for his office by the American People and has earned the censure of this body."
On February 7, 1999, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) was interviewed on "This Week" by Cokie Roberts. In his interview, it was noted in the censure resolutions, which had been proposed, that the President had dishonored his office. He was then asked if he thought the president should continue to serve.
In the course of his response, Sen. Byrd said,
"The question is, does this rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors? I say, Yes; no doubt about it in my mind."
In spite of the fact the President was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, crimes the Constitution sets forth as cause for impeachment and removal, the Democratic senators declared the President, "Not guilty," in unanimous voice. How can this be?
The answer is found in Senator Byrdís interview. Having affirmed that the President was guilty, he followed with, "But the issue is, should the President be removed?" He followed shortly in his interview with his justification of acquittal:
"if I vote not to convict, Iím voting not to remove because conviction carries with it removal. I have no doubt that he has given false testimony under oath, and that he has misled the American people, and that he has Ö There are indications that he did indeed obstruct justice. But having said all of that, under the circumstances, he has less than two years to serve. He has done a lot of good things. And the American people donít want him removed. And in the interests of our country, I may come to the conclusion that we should not remove him for these reasons."
The people do not want him removed. Throughout the impeachment and trial, this became the constant appeal of the Presidentís defense team, of the Democratic Party, and the liberal press. We were cited polls, reminded of his popularity. The theme was hammered over and over that the will of the people must be respected. "The American people say they donít want the President removed from office! You canít ignore the voice of the people! The will of the people must prevail!" Does the Presidentís defense team, the Democratic Congress, and the liberal press sincerely believe this argument Ö or was it just an argument for the moment? If, indeed, the voice of the people, as reflected in the polls, is to be respected, then let them be consistent and honor it at all times.
The Voice of the People
Why do I bring this up? It is not just to rehash the impeachment and trial. I am searching for honesty and consistency. Do our elected officials really listen to the American people, or do they use the polls only to bolster their agenda when convenient, while ignoring them when the people express themselves in matters contrary to their interests and plans?
To address a specific, I remind the President and his party that the American people overwhelmingly reject "partial-birth abortion." A ban against partial-birth abortion, supported by the American people, was passed by the Congress, only to be vetoed by the President. The veto could not be overturned because the Senate reacted just as it did to the articles of impeachment. (There were enough opponents in the House to override his veto but not in the Senate.)
Partial-birth abortion, to which liberals assign the innocuous description of "intact dilation and evacuation," is a procedure that interrupts the birthing of a baby and kills it before it is fully delivered. As the child emerges from the birth canal, turned so as to allow the feet to emerge first, and just before the head clears it is crushed and the brains suctioned out.
" It is a form of killing," Ron Fitzsimmons, then director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, admitted. "Youíre ending a life." The vast number of cases of partial-birth abortions involved healthy mothers with healthy fetuses (unborn babies).
Yet polls have shown, and do show, that a ban of partial-birth abortions has popular support. The "voice of the American People" cries out, "Ban partial-birth abortions. Stop the killing." Mr. President and the Democratic Party, how can you ignore the American People when it comes to saving babies yet unborn and in the process of being born? Do you respect the will of the American people only when it is self-serving?
Killing of the innocent is a national shame. Listen to the American people, Mr. Congressman! Listen to the American people, Mr. President!