All this talk of polls is driving me batty. The polls say this, the polls say that. Why does it matter? The argument that the American people don’t want Clinton impeached is bogus and irrelevant. For one thing, the polls can be made to support any point of view. For example, a CNN/Time poll now shows that more people want Clinton removed from office than actually voted for him to become President of the United States. So to the pundits who quote polls and then go on to say impeachment would be “overturning the will of the people” are talking out of both sides of their mouths. A poll vs. an election. Evening news vs. the Constitution. The election no one is talking about is the one that put all these people in Congress. You know, the one that takes place in about a month? That is the poll that counts.
And as I said, it’s all irrelevant anyway. The Constitution provides for no polls to determine weather or not the president is impeached or removed from office. It doesn’t matter what you or I or anyone else wants. Ours is a government of laws, not of men–it’s what makes our system of government the great equalizer. No one is above the law. In fact, if anyone should be held to a higher standard it should be the President. The Congress makes the laws, the Supreme Court interprets the laws, and the executive branch–headed by the president–is charged with enforcing the law.
There are many other reasons why the President should be held to a higher standard. I feel that greater privilege, responsibility, and power demand a person of a higher caliber than your average shmoe. Bill Clinton is certainly not that person. I’m not asking for much, really. But when We, the People elect a Chief Executive, he instantly becomes the most powerful, well-known human on earth. His name is placed along those of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman. He lives at the White House, a building of indescribable history, beauty, convenience, and luxury. He travels aboard Air Force One, a $200 million flying mansion (actually, there are two 747s at the President’s disposal). He receives Secret Service protection, limousine service, the finest staffing, meals, etc., and instant media coverage whenever he demands it. He also is followed around by a military aide carrying codes to enable our nuclear weapons. He single-handedly can order Americans into battle. Of course, the cost of this, every stinkin’ penny, is borne by the American public.
In exchange for all this fame, power, and responsibility, I would like to have a respectable, honorable person fulfilling these duties and representing me to the rest of the world. Someone who accepts responsibility for his actions rather than hide behind the definition of the word “is”. Someone who doesn’t send his colleagues onto television to defend him when he knows he is guilty. Or at the very least, someone who won’t be having sex with someone his daughters age while his daughter and wife are at the White House.
Even so, from a legal perspective the sex is meaningless. As it concerns impeachment I don’t care about the sex. He can legally have sex with everyone at the White House. On the other hand, lying to a Grand Jury is a serious offense, whatever the subject matter. I realize Clinton is a lawyer, but I would hope that as President he would, for once, stop hiding behind the sly tricks and loopholes of your average personal injury attorney.
What the president doesn’t realize is that the legal pothole which allows him to squeeze out of a perjury charge on a technicality was more than adequately filled by the framers of the Constitution when they intentionally left the impeachment clause open to some interpretation by Congress. It’s all part of the system of checks and balances that nailed Nixon twenty-five years ago. That much has remained the same. It’s only the media savvy spin that has intensified, a spin which relies on polls rather than laws to conduct the country’s business.