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The double-standards between what the Democrats were saying during the Nixon impeachment process and what they are saying now grow more glaring by the day.
One of the latest examples of demagoguery emanates from the John Conyers wing of the House Judiciary Committee. The effort to follow the letter of the Constitution in impeaching President Clinton is being characterized in the latest rhetorical overkill as “a coup.”
My friend Jerome Zeifman, former chief counsel of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation, reminds us that, should Clinton be removed from office through the impeachment process, he will be replaced by Democratic Vice President Al Gore, his running mate in 1992 and 1996. That’s hardly a coup.
Yet, many of the same Democrats now calling the current impeachment process a coup were in 1973-74 actually trying to engineer just that.
“Ironically,” says Zeifman, “as reflected in my recent book and personal diary, at the time of Watergate the position then taken by Mr. Conyers and the Congressional Black Caucus was an effort to replace Republican Nixon with a Democrat, then-Speaker Carl Albert.”
Zeifman recounts in a memo to Henry Hyde and Bob Barr yesterday that during the confirmation hearings on the nomination of Gerald Ford as vice president, Conyers, Rep. Robert Drinan, Elizabeth Holtzman and others opposed Nixon’s selection, favoring impeachment first, which would have made Albert the president.
“The present House Democrats who are characterizing the pending articles of impeachment as an attempt at a ‘coup’ are bringing dishonor on themselves and the Democratic Party,” says Zeifman, a Democrat who favors impeachment on all four counts.
Is there any chance Clinton will actually be convicted in the Senate? John Fund of the Wall Street Journal had an interesting observation on Matt Drudge’s Fox News program this weekend.
“There won’t be a trial,” he said matter-of-factly.
Fund explained that any member of the Senate can move for adjournment of a trial before it even gets started. It takes only a majority vote to table it indefinitely. Only a handful of Republican votes would be needed to carry the day. Fund says he already knows of a couple GOP senators who would vote with the Democrats on such a motion.
Who are the key votes to target by Thursday?
The squishy Republicans are, along with phone numbers, fax numbers and, if available, email addresses:
Brian Bibray (CA-49) 202-225-2040; 202-225-2948
Sherwood Boehlert (NY-23) 202-225-3665; 202-225-1891
Tom Campbell (CA-15) 202-225-2631; 202-225-6788
Michael Castle (DE) 202-2254165; 202-225-2719
Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21) 202-225-4211; 202-225-8576
Jay Dickey (AR-4) 202-225-3772; 202-225-1314
Michael Forbes (NY-1) 202-225-3826; 202-225-3143
John Fox (PA13) 202-225-6111; 202-225-3155
Bob Franks (NJ-7) 202-225-5361; 202-225-9460
Wayne Gilchrest (MD-1) 202-225-5311; 202-225-0254
Benjamin Gilman (NY-20) 202-225-3776; 202-225-2541
David Hobson (OH-7) 202-225-4324
Sue Kelly (NY-19) 202-225-5441; 202-225-3289
Ray LaHood (IL-18) 202-225-6201; 202-225-9249
Steve LaTourette (OH-19) 202-225-5731; 202-225-3307
Jim Leach (IA-1) 202-225-6576; 202-225-1278
Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) 202-225-6572; 202-225-3318
John McHugh (NY-24) 202-225-4611; 202-225-0621
Constance Morella (MD-8) 202-225-5341; 202-225-1389
Bob Ney (OH-18) 202-225-6265; 202-225-3394
John Porter (IL-10) 202-225-4835
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18) 202-225-3931;
Marge Roukema (NJ-5) 202-225-4465; 202-225-9048
Jim Saxon (NJ-3) 202-225-4765; 202-225-0778
Clay Shaw (FL-22) 202-225-3026; 202-225-8398
John Shimkus (IL-20) 202-225-5271; 202-225-5880
Joe Skeen (NM-2) 202-225-2365; 202-225-9599
W.J. “Billy” Tauzin (LA-3) 2-2-225-4031
James Walsh (NY-25) 202-225-3701; 202-225-4042
Zach Wamp (TN-3) 202-225-3271; 202-225-3494
Heather Wilson (NM-1) 202-225-6316; 202-225-4975
Democrats who are not sure:
Gary Condit (CA-18) 202-225-6131; 202-225-0819
Bud Cramer (AL-5) 202-225-4801;
Pat Danner (MO-6) 202-225-7041; 202-225-8221
Virgil Goode (VA-5) 202-225-4711; 202-225-5681
Bart Gordon (TN-6) 202-225-4231; 202-225-6887
Ralph Hall (TX-4) 202-225-6673; 202-225-3332
Lee Hamilton (IN-9) 202-225-5315; 202-225-1101
Chris John (LA-7) 202-225-2031; 202-225-5724
Jay Johnson (WI-8) 202-225-5665; 202-225-5729
Carolyn Maloney (CT-14) 202-225-7944; 202-225-4709
Paul McHale (PA-15) 202-225-6411; 202-225-5320
Mike McIntyre (NC-7) 202-225-2731; 202-225-5773
James Moran (VA-8) 202-225-4376; 202-225-0017
John Murtha (PA-12) 202-225-2065;
Tim Roemer (IN-3) 202-225-3915; 202-225-6798
John Spratt (SC-5) 202-225-5501; 202-225-0464
Charles Stenhold (TX-17) 202-225-6605; 202-225-2234
Gene Taylor (MS-5) 202-225-5772; 202-225-7074
James Traficant (OH-17) 202-225-5261; 202-225-3719
If you prefer to use a toll-free number to Congress to make your viewpoint known, a number has been provided very graciously by People for the American Way. To reach the Capitol switchboard, call 1-877-866-6836.