Saturday, Dec 19, 1998
Zealots, Hypocrites, and Naives
Barry D. Bowen
On Saturday December 19th, 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives culminated its headlong rush over the impeachment precipice. This grossly unfair partisan process was driven by zealots, aided by hypocrites, and blindly followed by naives.
The president, by publicly and repeatedly denying his personal peccadilloes, disgraced himself and embarrassed his family. House Republicans, by assuming non-existent evidence, ignoring contrary evidence, and refusing to ensure even the pretense of fairness anywhere but in its press releases, disgraced themselves, denounced the people's will, and trampled upon the constitutional standards for impeachment.
Which was the greater transgression? No Contest!
In a press interview following the White House press conference, minority House leader Dick Gephart noted, "Politics is a substitute for violence." He explained that what we have today is coming right up to the threshold of violence. "When you have this back and forth of character smears people may begin to go beyond politics", he said, and look to violence.
This is the first time I've heard a national political figure echo my assertion that we have seen the first step toward a US "Belfast", where political enemies are not fit to live. We already see this attitude is some local commentators in Whatcom County. This is grave national tragedy.
I said at the top that this process was driven by zealots, hypocrites, and naives. The zealots cannot help themselves. It is folly to put our hope in the hands of naives. That leaves the American people with little to trust in Republican leadership.
Republican zealots argue this is all about trust. Well the American people know one thing for sure, they cannot trust House Republicans to respect the clear will of the people. It is also clear to most that the GOP trampled upon the constitutional standard of impeachment in its lynch mob commitment to get a president they hate.
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