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The Senate's epic hypocrisy
Posted By Geoff Metcalf On 01/11/1999 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
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
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
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
The 27 Democratic senators who voted to impeach Judge Walter Nixon in
Max 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.
Hypocrisy: “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.
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