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The argument of the president and his henchmen is that by insisting
upon
following the proscription of the Constitution and actually trying the
case now before the Senate, a senator sitting as part of the court of
impeachment attacks the Constitution if he insists upon seeing that a
full case is presented. If he will not fold under White House pressure,
they say, he is attempting to overthrow an elected president which the
Constitution forbids. They say this is because the will of the people
as measured by the polls favors some other procedure, though they do not

tell us where in the Constitution this other procedure is found. They
insinuate that it exists and is “democratic” and “fair.” They have
peddled this vague notion to the gullible watching the TV and, only now,

when the public has been convinced by constant repetition have the poor
Republicans attempted to dispel this chimera. The idea they have
sold is that the actual language of the Constitution is irrelevant; what

matters are the twin pillars of “fairness” and “democracy.” Under this
theory the actual historical document is a sort of surplusage that is
not worth examining, having been replaced by polling, the true measure
of fairness and democracy. It then follows, they assert, that the
Congress, by following the impeachment procedure stated in the
Constitution, is attempting a “coup” against the president. In support
of this contention they assert that it was the intention of the Founders

that the executive be the strongest branch and the Congress, therefore,
is attempting to subvert the intention of the Framers.

This argument reverses the structure and foundation of the Republic
and
betrays, at best, woeful ignorance, and, at worst, duplicity. It is the
legislative, not the executive, which is the strongest branch in our
constitutional system and the one intended to be dominant. Our own
revolution was rooted in the Cromwellian one that the King must be ruled

by the parliament elected by the people, not the other way around. This
was finally put into law as a result of the Glorious Revolution, as
columnist Paul Craig Roberts recently pointed out, when “Parliament
established the supremacy of law over the sovereign.” It was the action
of King George the Third in attempting to re-establish a personal
government with his agent Lord North manipulating the Parliament at a
time when the aging and failing William Pitt the Elder was unable to
stop him despite the able assistance of Edmund Burke, that was the real
precursor to the American Revolution and why the Declaration of
Independence itself places the blame for it squarely at the feet of King

George.

Based upon the foregoing, one may question why the powers enumerated
in
the Constitution for the executive make the incumbent of the office one
of the most powerful heads of state that the world has ever known in a
republic. The answer falls into three of the checks and balances:

First: the founders were painfully aware of the part played by the
sovereign under the English parliamentary system in their struggle for
independence where the threat of dissolving the legislature always hung
over the heads of the incumbents coupled with the high number of members holding
office in “rotten” boroughs always subject to manipulation. This was
avoided in the Constitution by establishment of specific terms of
service by incumbents and the requirement that they be elected to the
House by the people who were resident in the same district, while the
Senators were chosen (initially) by each state’s legislature, which
in turn had been elected by the people of that state. The president
cannot dissolve the Congress.

Second: By inserting section 4 at the end of Article 2 of the
Constitution, which gave to the Congress the power to impeach and remove

the executive from office “upon conviction for treason, bribery, or
other high crimes or misdemeanors.” Simply put, the legislature has the
power to remove the executive at any time during his service while he
has no power to remove a member of either the House or the Senate.

Third: By the Founding Fathers designing the system for the executive

around the presiding officer of the convention who all assumed would be
the nation’s first president — George Washington. It was the character
of Washington, his iron will, integrity, courage and sense of honor
grounded in a combination of virtue and valor, that gave the delegates
to the convention the confidence that the first chief executive would be

an exemplary person to set an example for all those who would follow.
Should someone follow after General Washington who was not as
enlightened,
and the example fail, the first and second checks would have to balance.

One may well have asked how the founders would have reacted had they
foreseen an occupant of the president’s chair in the form of a coward,
bully and liar, one always pretending to befriend, while leaving a trail

of scandal and corruption in his wake, a proven master at assaulting and

improperly seducing by deceit those who have entrusted him with power,
but utterly ineffectual in opposing the real foes of America, those who
seek to harm the people who have entrusted him. It is time for the
members of the Senate to recognize that President Clinton and his
henchmen are not defending the Constitution nor the Rule of Law, but
rather seeking to overturn it. The people should demand of their
senators that they follow the example of Washington and finish the trial

as the Constitution and the sacrifices of those who pledged their lives,

their fortunes and their sacred honor so that we might have this great
nation demand. To do otherwise would be to be seduced by this
antithesis of Washington into following his example and not that truly
remarkable model upon whose behavior we were founded.

If you fail to find that he has committed the offenses charged, you
will
have failed to realize that it is your precious Senate which he attacks,

along with the rest of Congress. He will have destroyed all three of
the checks and balances, but most especially the check and balance of
Washington’s example. You will have been removed by one more like King
George than President George.


Admiral Clarence A. “Mark” Hill, Jr., was a submarine officer in
the
Pacific during WWII. He then went into Naval Air and commanded, among
others, the carrier Independence during the Vietnam conflict. He is
the chairman of U.S. Defense-American Victory, Washington, D.C., which
may be reached by e-mail. lawnet@erols.com

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