Friday, January 31, 2020

About that impeachment...

Ask ten random people why Bill Clinton was impeached, and at least nine of them will say "the blowjob."  Not many will remember that the actual impeachable offense was lying under oath. — and if he'd lied about something less newsworthy than his sleazy sexual predation, Republicans may not have made the effort.  The public was asked to make a moral judgement – but most of the public seemed willing to let him go on with his presidency.

Clearly, Clinton was guilty of abuse of power – not necessarily his political powers, just the usual power of an executive over an intern.  Democrats should have forced him to resign, but #MeToo wouldn't arrive for another eight years.  Although I'd like to believe today's Democrats would behave differently, somehow I doubt they would.

Tr*mp's abuse of power, especially his obstruction of Congress, goes far beyond anything Clinton attempted twenty-two years ago; but the Republican response follows the same pattern established by Democrats in 1998, and the outcome of his "trial" is sure to be the same.  Whether or not Tr*mp's overall moral degeneracy exceeds Clinton's is unclear: politicians necessarily are more circumspect than playboy real estate tycoons.

Meanwhile, plenty of Americans – Democrats as well as Republicans – are thinking, "They all do it."  In future administrations, that assessment very well may prove to be true.

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