The push to impeach Trump is political theater. I state the obvious. I recall the uproar among liberal celebrities and prominent academics when Clinton was impeached. I covered a Harvard rally to which, among other luminaries, Carly Simon made the long trip to Cambridge ( though she did not speak, or sing) As a sample of the pedigree of the protest arguments, the celebrated theatrical producer/ playwright Robert Brustein – speaking of theater — angrily suggested, in prepared remarks, that we remain under the sway of New England’s Puritanical ancestors when we insist on impeaching a political leader for his sexual conduct. Harvard professor and author Wendy Kaminer bluntly summed it all up in a Yiddish word — and to great applause — when she said, “The President is a putz, but that’s not impeachable.”
Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Prior to that, he merely lied. ( I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.) I’m glad an oath still means something
But ultimately, again, it was perjury that put Clinton on trial. His partisans and doubtless many other souls across the nation — male and female — would proclaim that everybody lies about sex. That’s what I heard during person-on-the-street interviews on the streets of Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard after Clinton arrived there one day after finally admitting on television to a relationship with “that woman.” True, prevarication out of shame, embarrassment or in instances of romantic or marital infidelity is understandable but nonetheless cannot be excused under oath. That’s the rule, the law. But then, we shouldn’t lie about anything anytime, right? This goes for Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and the whole bunch of us, be we peasants or holders of the highest office of the land. I state the obvious — and obviously know politicians of every Party are too often given to shading the truth. No wonder the Democrats would like to get Donald Trump under oath.
Had Tip O’Neil been House Speaker and the Democrats in control of the House when Bill Clinton committed his improprieties, Bill would ever have been impeached. Were Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats NOT currently in charge of the House, Donald Trump would never have been under Congressional investigation for some likely improper or, at the very least, lug-headed and “inappropriate” words during a phone conversation. Were Democrats in charge of the Senate, or were Republicans in charge of the House….I could go on stating the obvious, It’s obviously all politics!
But, lest I be too dismissive of such serious matters, politics IS serious business and reflects our personal and national values. I don’t know whether DT committed what can be defined as “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the course of his Presidential duties.
But, consider this:
I recall how some of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, when they found some action of their elementary school charges beyond the pale, would say, with high indignation, “some of you, the way you’re acting, why — the very idea….”
What’s Democrats are attempting to impeach is the VERY IDEA of Trump.
I state the obvious again when I say that, currently in our nation, many millions of people truly like THE IDEA of Donald Trump, be he rogue or redeemer. The same went for that rascal Bill Clinton as well, who was only a pale pastiche of the kind of the rascal we have living on Pennsylvania Avenue now. Good or bad? That’s what the next election will be about after the Democrats are forced to bring the curtain down on this drama. (I’ll reluctantly paraphrase Karl Marx here: “History repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce.” Clinton’s impeachment was very much a tragedy for the nation. Trump’s, it seems to me, is very much a farce. I guess there’s a partisan edge to that evaluation. During the height of the Clinton impeachment, a network person-on-the-street interview yielded the following opinion from a California woman: “I don’t care who he’s ‘umping’, as long as he isn’t ‘umping’ the country. Well, it’s very much an open question what Bill Clinton was doing to or for the country — or what Donald Trump, by his official and unofficial actions, tweets or statements is doing to or for the country. What I personally like or hate about him is irrelevant. History will be the judge.
I hereby stop stating the obvious. “The very idea!”