Soap Box:  President Clinton's Impeachment

April 23, 2001

I do not think that President Clinton should have been impeached.  I don't think his actions, especially given the circumstances, warranted his removal from office.  Now before all you Republicans get out your hanging rope, let me explain my reasons and line of thought.

Despite the general hatred and "do anything to get Clinton out of office" attitude and mindset of the Republican party, we basically had two things going on before the impeachment trial.  First of all, President Clinton was being sued for sexual harassment by Paula Jones, for some alleged event that happened years before the presidency.  And second of all, Clinton was having an affair with Monica Lewinski, an intern in the Whitehouse.  During a deposition regarding the lawsuit, Clinton denied having sexual relations with Lewinski.  When news of the affair finally became public, the Republicans impeached Clinton for the deception, in an attempt to get him out of office.  As we all know, Clinton survived and was cleared by the impeachment trial.

If Clinton did exactly what Jones accused him of doing, he still did not sexually harass her.  This was also the ruling by the judge in the case.  Sexual harassment is repeated, unwanted harassment, sexual in nature.  Even if Clinton had dropped his drawers, pulled out little willie, and asked Jones to take a toot on the meat flute, it still wasn't harassment.  It might be vulgar, rude, and offensive, but by definition it is not harassment.  Assuming he did do this, and then had repeated it after Jones made it known that it wasn't wanted, then it would have been sexual harassment.  My main point is that Jones was after money and possibly fame.  Nothing else.  So I consider this lawsuit a sham to begin with.

Clinton, although he originally said he never had sexual relations with Lewinski, did finally admit he had an affair with her.  I don't usually like to play semantics, but technically he did not lie.  And the law is always very technical and exact.  The lawyers were so intent on setting the perfect trap for Clinton that they stumbled upon themselves and gave him the wording to deny the relationship yet still technically tell the truth.  For those scratching your head, sexual relations is defined as sexual, genital intercourse.  Clinton and Lewinski had oral sex, or rather she "serviced" him.  And despite the portrayal of an older Clinton preying on a younger, naive Lewinski, it was later revealed that she was quite sexually aggressive and actually made the advances on him.

Was Clinton wrong?  Yes!  He deliberately misled the lawyers and steered them away from the true facts (and cheated on his wife).  But I think it's expected behaviour (though not excusable).  Ask any man is he cheating on his wife and he'll always deny it.  He was being sued in a trumped up sexual harassment case and he was also trying not to get caught cheating on his wife.  Of course he is going to lie.  Is is right?  No.  Is it amoral?  Yes.  Did it effect his presidency or the security and well being of the United States?  No.  Should he be punished for this "lie"?  Maybe.  He didn't technically lie but he did deceive.  I'm not sure what should be done in this matter.  It still doesn't mean he should have been impeached.  I'm of the mind that unless an action directly affects the security and well being of the nation, then it should not be considered an impeachable offense.  The sexual harassment lawsuit should have been dismissed from day one and what two consenting adults do later has no bearing on the claims made by Jones.  The lawyers should not have been asking such questions of Clinton in the first place.  The only reason they did it was an attempt to paint Clinton in a negative light in order to get sympathy in the lawsuit.  This evil adulterer "must" also be guilty of sexual harassment.  Right?  This is similar to the tactic of defense lawyers trying to show that a rape victim is a tramp and somehow responsible for being attacked.

Some may argue that the country was hurt by the world's perception of Clinton.  This is kind of like the wife beater screaming at his victim, "see what YOU made me do!".  The fact that the Republican party (supposedly loyal Americans) and the media were so quick in selling their president down the river is the reason his image may have faltered in the eyes of the world.  Despite how Clinton may  have conducted his personal life, the Republicans should still have given him the respect he deserved since he was the President of the United States.  They basically assassinated the image of the president before the nation and the world in an attempt to benefit the Republican party.  And I also think it was an attempt at revenge for three events,....losing the 1992 election, losing the 1996 election, and losing Newt Gingrich.  I don't condone Clinton's actions, but I was more shocked and disgusted at what the Republican party was willing to do to try and get Clinton out of office.  When "Americans" treat their own president this way, how do you think the rest of the world will view him?

Jeff Polston

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