WASHINGTON – With talk of presidential impeachment in the air, again, one of Bill Clinton’s lead prosecutors is coming out with a tell-all book based on his extensive journaling through the historic trial – an experience from which he believes Barack Obama cut his political teeth.
James E. Rogan’s much-anticipated “Catching Our Flag: Behind the Scenes in a Presidential Impeachment,” doesn’t even release officially until May, but the former California congressman and current judge believes Obama’s entire approach to politics is based on the lessons he learned from Clinton’s handling of his biggest political crisis, as he writes in an exclusive commentary in WND today.
Noting recent statements from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., about the possibility of an Obama impeachment, Rogan writes: “I doubt that such impeachment talk rattles Obama. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if, deep in his heart, Obama is something of a Clinton impeachment ‘fan.'”
“How else does one explain Obama’s first two years in office: diving headfirst into an array of politically unpopular policy initiatives that sent his once sky-high approval ratings plummeting, and his apparent reception of the potential fallout little more than a shoulder shrug?” he asks rhetorically.
Rogan suggests Obama “lives within a new political paradigm with us ever since Bill Clinton’s impeachment” in which it is deemed advantageous to:
- “Attack opponents endlessly, but always end the attack by saying you want to ‘work with them,’ and demand they end the ‘bitter partisanship’ infecting Washington”;
- “Keep telling your story, no matter how much evidence (or poll numbers) undermines the claims”;
- When the voters respond initially with shock or disfavor, keep pressing forward. In time, they’ll grow tired and bored with the irritant. Given enough time, there is a good chance they’ll turn their ire on the people holding you accountable for whatever shocked or irritated them in the first place.”
Rogan points to Clinton’s stature today as a kind of respected elder statesman as the proof of the success of such an approach.
While Americans vaguely recall Clinton’s problems involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky, they know little about the other scandals that got lost in the shuffle:
- renting out the Lincoln Bedroom to political donors;
- trading pardons;
- Arlington gravesites for campaign donations;
- paying hush money to imprisoned former top aides;
- laundering Communist Chinese military money into campaign coffers;
- compromising military secrets to help major donors;
- “and the unending ‘gates’ – Chinagate, Filegate, Travelgate,” etc.
“Most people probably remember Clinton’s unending Lewinsky scandal denials, but who really remembers he signed a plea bargain on his last day in office admitting his lies to avoid criminal prosecution for perjury and obstruction of justice?” Rogan writes. “Who really remembers he resigned his law licenses before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Arkansas Supreme Court in order to avoid disbarment?
James E. Rogan
“Most people look at him today and see Clinton the Elder Statesman or Clinton the Humanitarian. Most don’t see Clinton the Perjurer (unless you are Paula Jones or Monica Lewinsky). Today people see many things in Bill Clinton, but for those who bother remembering the unpleasantries surrounding impeachment, they mostly see a guy who got away with it. For better or worse, that becomes the biggest lesson of the Clinton impeachment melodrama.”
Rogan concludes: “Today, our current president is neither Obama the Blind nor Obama the Ignorant: he is Obama the Gambler, and he may be gambling his presidency on the lessons learned from Bill Clinton’s impeachment. In 1998, the question seemed mild by comparison: whether a lame-duck president would finish out his term, despite his serial violations of law. Today, the lessons learned from that question may have far deeper implications for America’s future.
“The Senate acquittal of Bill Clinton on all charges in the late 1990s may be the last chapter in the saga: perhaps it was prologue to our current political landscape.”