Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:30 PM
joebuck20 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,973

During the Clinton impeachment, did many people truly believe he would be removed from office?


Everyone pretty much takes it as a given that the Senate will acquit Trump.

I was in high school when the Clinton impeachment was going on, and while I followed the proceedings, I can't say I paid much attention to what the political pundits were saying. I did remember some comedians joking about Al Gore becoming president, and
recall a gag on the Simpsons featuring Gore measuring for drapes in the White House.

But during the Clinton impeachment, was there ever serious concern that enough Democrats would break ranks and vote to remove him from office? At the time, the Republicans held 55 Senate seats, so they would have needed 12 Democrats to cross over (in reality, five Republicans voted to acquit him on both counts).

Or, like with Trump today, did everyone assume that Clinton would remain in office?
  #2  
Old 12-22-2019, 08:32 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 16,267
I don't recall anyone thinking that Clinton would be convicted.
  #3  
Old 12-22-2019, 11:04 PM
dalej42 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15,255
Nope, there was more talk about the upcoming Y2K than serious talk about Clinton leaving office. Everyone, including Republicans, knew it was a sham.

A few political journals pointed out that it would probably mean an easy win for President Gore running as an incumbent. They also pointed out that’s why Reagan was never impeached over Iran-Contra. Impeachment is a political act and that scandal occurred too late in Reagan’s presidency.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42
  #4  
Old 12-22-2019, 11:15 PM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 16,204
Only a tiny minority of Republicans even entertained the thought seriously.
  #5  
Old 12-22-2019, 11:41 PM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 15,341
I seem to recall a whole lot of Republicans saying how absolutely certain it was that Clinton would be convicted for such dastardly Constitution-wrecking Republic-destroying behavior, how could any right-thinking (literally, right thinking, get it?) people imagine otherwise!!!!!!!!

But as others above say, it was pretty obvious that nobody (probably not even the die-hard Republicans saying that) really believed it. Okay, maybe some.

That's what I think I remember. Maybe it's just me remembering it that way because I thought all those Republicans were such f-ing jackasses.
__________________
=========================================
  #6  
Old 12-22-2019, 11:54 PM
squeegee's Avatar
squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Aptos CA
Posts: 8,940
I was 36 during the Clinton impeachment: nobody thought he'd be removed, if only because the vote threshold is so high. And because it was partisan bullshit of course.
  #7  
Old 12-23-2019, 08:49 AM
Horatius is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
I was 36 during the Clinton impeachment: nobody thought he'd be removed, if only because the vote threshold is so high. And because it was partisan bullshit of course.

And it was obviously partisan bullshit, that was arrived at after years of investigations into Clinton that turned up absolutely nothing else to impeach him on. Pretty much everyone knew it was a weak-sauce attempt to pretend that those years of effort weren't a complete waste of time and effort.
__________________
Where am I going, and why am I in this handbasket?
  #8  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:21 AM
BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Home 07 NCAA HockeyChamps
Posts: 21,959
No way. I think most people thought that lying about a blowjob was peanuts, and that if he had lied to cover up blackmailing foreign leaders then that would be serious stuff.
  #9  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:24 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,216
It was no surprise he cheated on Hillary , he pretty much admitted that before he was elected when they both went on 60 minutes. Of course he did not expect Ken Starr to ask about his sex life. So most people didn't really care about his affair with Lewinski. And of course the funniest thing was it turned out more than a few GOP politicians also were cheaters.
  #10  
Old 12-23-2019, 12:00 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 37,014
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
I was 36 during the Clinton impeachment: nobody thought he'd be removed, if only because the vote threshold is so high. And because it was partisan bullshit of course.
I was only 14, and these are what I remember--that it was seen as a partisan attack rather than legitimate, and that there was no way they would get all the Republicans plus enough Democrats to vote to convict.

Looking it up, it seems that, in fact, 5-10 Republicans crossed over to vote with the Democrats.
  #11  
Old 12-23-2019, 05:31 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,089
I was 22 at the time and the general thought among moderates was that what Clinton did was bad and deserved censure, but removing him from office was a little over the top. Even a lot of Democrats were in favor of censure.

IIRC, the Republicans thought that if they could get someone like Robert Byrd or Joe Lieberman on board that they might bring enough other senators with them, but it was going to be a tall order.

But nowhere near something like the slam dunk that Trump's acquittal will be.
  #12  
Old 12-23-2019, 06:14 PM
asahi's Avatar
asahi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: On your computer screen
Posts: 11,621
I never felt like Clinton was in danger of being removed, but I did wonder if the number of people who voted to remove him would exceed 50 and by how much. Even without being removed, I was concerned that he could be effectively delegitimized by that outcome alone.
  #13  
Old 12-23-2019, 06:15 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem View Post
No way. I think most people thought that lying about a blowjob was peanuts, and that if he had lied to cover up blackmailing foreign leaders then that would be serious stuff.
I don't remember anyone seriously thinking he'd be removed either, but let me correct the record: Clinton was NOT impeached for 'lying about a blowjob''. He was impeached for perjuring himself in a civil lawsuit, an action that he was also disbarred for, and for suborning perjury (attempting to get Monica Lewinsky to sign an affidavit that they had never had sexual relations, for use in his civil trial against Paula Jones, among other things).

The judge in that case hit him with contempt of court for repeated misleading or false testimony, and fined him $90,000. He also agreed to have his law license suspended for five years in a bargain to keep himself from being charged with a felony for perjury.

I think the impeachment was a bad idea, mainly because removing a president is such a big deal that it should only be done with bipartisan support and strong public opinion for removal. But that doesn't mean Clinton was innocent or that the serious charges against him were nothing more than 'lying about a blowjob'. He lied to a judge in court to thwart a lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. That's a big deal.
  #14  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:22 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
It was no surprise he cheated on Hillary , he pretty much admitted that before he was elected when they both went on 60 minutes. Of course he did not expect Ken Starr to ask about his sex life. So most people didn't really care about his affair with Lewinski. And of course the funniest thing was it turned out more than a few GOP politicians also were cheaters.
I joked at the time that all the Republican Senators found on their doorstep an envelope containing pictures of their girl/boy friends and mistresses.
  #15  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:25 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
He lied to a judge in court to thwart a lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. That's a big deal.
Paula Jones or Lewenski? Lewenski seems to have made every effort to get in bed with him.
  #16  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:57 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Paula Jones or Lewenski? Lewenski seems to have made every effort to get in bed with him.
He lied in the Paula Jones court case. He wound up settling with her for an undisclosed amount of money.
  #17  
Old 12-24-2019, 12:26 AM
squeegee's Avatar
squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Aptos CA
Posts: 8,940
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
He lied in the Paula Jones court case. He wound up settling with her for an undisclosed amount of money.
It was disclosed at the time, please keep up.

Clinton walked into an obvious perjury trap and didn't fall on the grenade like he should have and told the truth: "yeah, I fucked her, yup." Which had squat to do with his ability to run the executive branch or national security, but was the stupidest thing anyone has done, like ever. So yeah, it was a big deal, but a really small big deal in the grander scheme. The rest was a circus that nobody wanted, but served a longer game (see Bush, GW).

Kudos getting the "bipartisan with strong public support" dig in, I'm glad you're keeping current with this stuff.
  #18  
Old 12-24-2019, 10:12 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,216
There are people who think a BJ is not sex, I know someone who thinks that. But I'm pretty sure she would not be happy if her husband gets a BJ from another woman.
  #19  
Old 12-24-2019, 12:30 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by squeegee View Post
It was disclosed at the time, please keep up.

Clinton walked into an obvious perjury trap and didn't fall on the grenade like he should have and told the truth: "yeah, I fucked her, yup." Which had squat to do with his ability to run the executive branch or national security, but was the stupidest thing anyone has done, like ever. So yeah, it was a big deal, but a really small big deal in the grander scheme. The rest was a circus that nobody wanted, but served a longer game (see Bush, GW).

Kudos getting the "bipartisan with strong public support" dig in, I'm glad you're keeping current with this stuff.
Again... Clinton did not perjure himself in some House or Senate political trial. He perjured himself in a private civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones for sexual harassment.
  #20  
Old 12-24-2019, 12:41 PM
carrps is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
He perjured himself in a private civil lawsuit filed by Paula Jones for sexual harassment.
Ha ha ha. And in said lawsuit the only thing Paula Jones could admit to as "harassment" was not getting flowers on Secretary's Day.
__________________
  #21  
Old 12-24-2019, 12:45 PM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,216
Did Jones not put Clinton dropping his pants in front of her in the lawsuit? Or did she retract that claim?
  #22  
Old 12-24-2019, 01:01 PM
Velocity is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 16,204
Everyone knew there was a better chance of the Browns winning 10 Super Bowls in a row than Clinton getting removed from office.
  #23  
Old 12-24-2019, 01:36 PM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,559
I doubt that anyone really thought Clinton stood a chance of being removed. The Republicans were probably just looking to make the Democrats stand with the perjurer and portray them to middle America (i.e., the swing states) in 2000 as an unreliable, dishonest bunch. Looks like the strategy worked, too.
__________________
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
  #24  
Old 12-24-2019, 02:03 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,416
Actually, it didn't Approval of Republicans declined during impeachment, and Bill Clinton's approval rating went UP after the impeachment vote, before stabilizing back to where it had been throughout most of his Presidency - mid 60's. Trump can only dream of such approval ratings.
  #25  
Old 12-24-2019, 02:13 PM
Sam Stone is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 28,416
Quote:
Originally Posted by carrps View Post
Ha ha ha. And in said lawsuit the only thing Paula Jones could admit to as "harassment" was not getting flowers on Secretary's Day.
From Paula Jones' testimony:

Quote:
Q. O.K. Tell me exactly what he did.

A. He sat down on the windowsill, leaned up against it with his bottom. And I was standing in front of him just talking because I was the one looking out the window. And he proceeded to -- he just reached right over while we were talking and we were just talking in general and I don't know exactly everything we were talking about but nothing sexual. And --

Q. Do you remember anything you were talking about?

A. I think we were talking about the job or whatever and about working with the state or something. I really don't know exactly, but it wasn't nothing bad that we were talking about. Because what was so shocking to me is I'm sitting here talking to this man but nothing related to what's on his mind and he's over here while he's answering my questions pulling me over like he has done this a million times and grabs me and pulls me over to him to the windowsill and tries to kiss me and just didn't ask me or nothing. And I was just really shocked. And I pulled away. That was the first time I pulled away. I said, "No." I said, "What are you doing?"

Q. Now he was still --

A. I was so scared and nervous.

Q. Was his back to the window?

A. Yes.

Q. So why didn't you just go right out the door?

A. You know what? This is the Governor we're talking about. I had just met the man. A state trooper sitting outside the door with a gun. I know that. I'm terrified. And so what I'm thinking next is what was happening here and what am I going to do next to get out of this room? Is he going to stop here? I didn't know but that would be it. But the man kept on and on until he dropped his pants. That's why I didn't run out the door. I was scared.

Q. After he made a pass at you, you didn't go right out the door, did you?

A. No. Because the state trooper was out there and I knew he was out there.

And I did not know but what they were taping and had him out there to -- all kinds of stuff was going through my mind. Because I'm thinking, this is not happening to me. This cannot be happening to me. And I thought if I run out that door, he's going to catch me, because Bill will know I'm fixing to run tell somebody. I'm not that stupid. I was not going to run out the door. I was scared to death.

Q. So instead of running out the door, what did you do?

A. I just moved away from him and got completely away from him. He was still sitting on the windowsill.

Q. All right. And then what happened?

A. And I went way over like to the middle of the living area. And I was talking to him about Hillary. I mean, I was just kind of trying to ignore what he had just done. And I was talking to him about Hillary and she was working with children's things or something, children's schools at the time, and I remember I was complimenting her on how she was really good with children. And the next, you know --

Q. Then what happened?

A. I was -- he came over by the wingback chair close to where I was at. Then it's like he wasn't even paying attention to what I was saying to him. Then he goes, "Oh, I love the way your hair flows down your back. And I was watching you," and stuff like that. Downstairs. And then he did it again. Then he started -- he pulled me over to him while he was leaning up against the wingback chair and he took his hands and was running them up my culottes. And they were long. They were down to my knees. They were long, dressy culottes. And he had his hand up, going up to my middle pelvic area, and he was kissing me on the neck, you know, and trying to kiss me on the lips and I wouldn't let him. And then I backed back. I said, "Stop it. You know, I'm not this kind of girl." I mean. And it still -- and then I ran right over to where the couch was. I thought what am I going to do? I was trying to collect my thoughts. I did not know what to do. I was trying to collect my thoughts. I did not know what to do. After the second time -- after the first time, I had rebuffed him. And then when I got over there and I kind of sat right there by the end of the couch on the -- seemed like on the armchair part. And the next thing you know it, I turn around because he was kind of back over here, and he come over there, pulled his pants down, sat down and asked me to perform oral sex.

Q. What did he say exactly?

A. He asked me would I kiss it. He goes -- you know, I can see the look on his face right now. He asked me, "Would you kiss it for me?" I mean, it was disgusting.

Q. Were those the actual words he used?

A. Yes.

Q. He didn't use other words?

A. I think that was it.

Q. O.K. And what did you say?

A. I said, "No. I'm not that kind of girl." And that's when I jumped up. And that's when I said, "I'm going to get in trouble. I've got to be going.
Not buying flowers, huh?
  #26  
Old 12-24-2019, 02:17 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I don't remember anyone seriously thinking he'd be removed either, but let me correct the record: Clinton was NOT impeached for 'lying about a blowjob''. He was impeached for perjuring himself in a civil lawsuit, an action that he was also disbarred for, and for suborning perjury (attempting to get Monica Lewinsky to sign an affidavit that they had never had sexual relations, for use in his civil trial against Paula Jones, among other things).

The judge in that case hit him with contempt of court for repeated misleading or false testimony, and fined him $90,000. He also agreed to have his law license suspended for five years in a bargain to keep himself from being charged with a felony for perjury.

I think the impeachment was a bad idea, mainly because removing a president is such a big deal that it should only be done with bipartisan support and strong public opinion for removal. But that doesn't mean Clinton was innocent or that the serious charges against him were nothing more than 'lying about a blowjob'. He lied to a judge in court to thwart a lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. That's a big deal.
Agreed. After the Trump impeachment, I am reexamining my position on the Clinton impeachment, however it is ridiculous when people on the left continually say that Clinton simply lied about a blowjob.

That is terribly insulting to women in the #metoo movement. First, Paula Jones claimed that she was sexually harassed on the job and that Clinton pulled his dick out in front of her. If the defendant was anyone not named Bill Clinton, everyone on the left would have taken her word as gospel.

But, she certainly had a right to go to court for compensation. And previous to that trial, she had a right to take depositions, and due to rules of evidence which were enacted by the left and applies to every other defendant not named Bill Clinton, she had the right to ask him about consensual sexual acts with other people on the job. And she had the right to truthful answers.

So, in effect, the support for Clinton is support for frustrating the redress for a woman who was sexually harassed in the workplace which the left is also against unless the man's name is Bill Clinton. It is not "lying about a blowjob" or keeping adultery hidden from your wife. It denies women their equal opportunity to participate in the workplace without being treated like sex objects.
  #27  
Old 12-24-2019, 02:53 PM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,559
Sam Stone:

Quote:
Actually, it didn't Approval of Republicans declined during impeachment, and Bill Clinton's approval rating went UP after the impeachment vote, before stabilizing back to where it had been throughout most of his Presidency - mid 60's.
Clinton was a charming fellow, and managed to woo the public to see him as a poor, poor persecuted fellow. But when Gore ran for president two years later, he paid the price for his support of Clinton's dishonesty and sleaziness. And sixteen years after that, that same support undermined for Hillary any moral high ground she might have hoped that the Trump-Billy Bush thing would give her with voters in swing states.

Clinton's high approval ratings are probably reflected in that fact that both Gore and Hillary won the popular vote. But having California and New York very very deeply on your side doesn't help when you need Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania to win the presidency. And no doubt the Republicans of the time knew that (though I'm sure they weren't thinking about 2016 at all at that point, only 2000).
__________________
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
  #28  
Old 12-24-2019, 03:10 PM
dalej42 is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 15,255
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Sam Stone:



Clinton was a charming fellow, and managed to woo the public to see him as a poor, poor persecuted fellow. But when Gore ran for president two years later, he paid the price for his support of Clinton's dishonesty and sleaziness. And sixteen years after that, that same support undermined for Hillary any moral high ground she might have hoped that the Trump-Billy Bush thing would give her with voters in swing states.

Clinton's high approval ratings are probably reflected in that fact that both Gore and Hillary won the popular vote. But having California and New York very very deeply on your side doesn't help when you need Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania to win the presidency. And no doubt the Republicans of the time knew that (though I'm sure they weren't thinking about 2016 at all at that point, only 2000).
Umm, maybe. Or it could have to do with campaign mistakes by Gore. Keeping the popular incumbent Bill Clinton away. The inexplicable pick of Lieberman for VP who added nothing. Nader running to his left flank. Bushís brother being the governor and Florida having a Republican controlled assembly. The SCOTUS with a bizarre partisan ruling.
__________________
Twitter:@Stardales IG:@Dalej42
  #29  
Old 12-24-2019, 03:21 PM
Mr. Miskatonic's Avatar
Mr. Miskatonic is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Under a pile of books
Posts: 6,805
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
Actually, it didn't Approval of Republicans declined during impeachment, and Bill Clinton's approval rating went UP after the impeachment vote, before stabilizing back to where it had been throughout most of his Presidency - mid 60's. Trump can only dream of such approval ratings.
The whole mess did cause Gore distance himself from Clinton in the 2000 election, which meant he couldnít really use any of that approval rating for himself. You know the rest.
__________________
"When you kill the Morlocks, the Eloi tend to die too"
  #30  
Old 12-24-2019, 04:40 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
The whole mess did cause Gore distance himself from Clinton in the 2000 election, which meant he couldnít really use any of that approval rating for himself. You know the rest.
Indeed.
  #31  
Old 12-24-2019, 04:54 PM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Miskatonic View Post
The whole mess did cause Gore distance himself from Clinton in the 2000 election, which meant he couldnít really use any of that approval rating for himself. You know the rest.
Most of that approval rating was because we were at peace and the economy was smoking. Like all presidents, Clinton got the credit for the economy whether he was responsible for it or not.

I remember that the late 90s were a great time. The internet was supposed to mean good paying high tech jobs for the remainder of time and because the Soviet Union had collapsed, the world was going to be at peace forever because the U.S. and Europe were going to be the New World Order that kept everyone in line. We had a budget surplus and a plan to pay off the national debt in ten years. Plus, I was in my early 20s and could still get an erection on command. There was nowhere to look but up.

However, and more to the point, people were indeed tiring of Clinton, IIRC. Even the people who didn't think that he should be removed from office viewed him as personally very flawed and were happy to be moving on from him personally. They liked his policies and hoped that Gore would continue them, but the swing voters fell enough for Bush in large part because he was a conservative Christian and it was sort of nice to see a guy in the White House that you could like personally. I mean, things were so good, you could allow yourself the luxury of being concerned with what now seems like a minor thing.
  #32  
Old 12-26-2019, 10:30 PM
Saintly Loser is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Agreed. After the Trump impeachment, I am reexamining my position on the Clinton impeachment, however it is ridiculous when people on the left continually say that Clinton simply lied about a blowjob.
True (and you'd probably call me a leftist). Perjury is indeed a big deal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
And previous to that trial, she had a right to take depositions, and due to rules of evidence which were enacted by the left and applies to every other defendant not named Bill Clinton, she had the right to ask him about consensual sexual acts with other people on the job. And she had the right to truthful answers.
You've lost me. How are the rules governing civil trials, the rules of evidence and the rules allowing a plaintiff to take depositions, in the federal district courts of Arkansas "enacted by the left"? And those rules did apply to defendant Bill Clinton, who was deposed. That's how he got into trouble.

Seriously -- what are you talking about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
So, in effect, the support for Clinton is support for frustrating the redress for a woman who was sexually harassed in the workplace which the left is also against unless the man's name is Bill Clinton. It is not "lying about a blowjob" or keeping adultery hidden from your wife. It denies women their equal opportunity to participate in the workplace without being treated like sex objects.
Now you're really lost me. One can think perjury is a serious matter, and yet still believe that, in this particular case, it wasn't an impeachable offense, and still support legal avenues for women (or men) who have been the target of sexual harassment to seek redress.
  #33  
Old 12-27-2019, 01:31 AM
glowacks is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,232
Perjury is a crime. But it is not a "high crime" if it does not relate to the affairs of state. Crimes that one can commit only because of their position of power are what impeachment was intended for.
  #34  
Old 12-27-2019, 12:16 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In the vanishing middle
Posts: 908
I'm not sure how the right-leaning folks on this board can correctly point out that Clinton's behavior was very serious and merited impeachment, and then turn around and say that Trump's behavior -- which, unlike Clinton's, involved alleged misuse of public money and impacted foreign policy -- does not.

(I mean, besides IOKIARDI.)
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #35  
Old 12-27-2019, 12:48 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,578
I was worried at the time that Republican Senators would vote to convict so that they could be rid of him.
__________________
You callous bastard! More of my illusions have just been shattered!!-G0sp3l
  #36  
Old 12-27-2019, 03:32 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In the vanishing middle
Posts: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I was worried at the time that Republican Senators would vote to convict so that they could be rid of him.
Isn't that kind of the point? Why else would they convict?
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #37  
Old 12-27-2019, 04:25 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I don't remember anyone seriously thinking he'd be removed either, but let me correct the record: Clinton was NOT impeached for 'lying about a blowjob''. He was impeached for perjuring himself in a civil lawsuit, an action that he was also disbarred for, and for suborning perjury (attempting to get Monica Lewinsky to sign an affidavit that they had never had sexual relations, for use in his civil trial against Paula Jones, among other things).

The judge in that case hit him with contempt of court for repeated misleading or false testimony, and fined him $90,000. He also agreed to have his law license suspended for five years in a bargain to keep himself from being charged with a felony for perjury.

I think the impeachment was a bad idea, mainly because removing a president is such a big deal that it should only be done with bipartisan support and strong public opinion for removal. But that doesn't mean Clinton was innocent or that the serious charges against him were nothing more than 'lying about a blowjob'. He lied to a judge in court to thwart a lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. That's a big deal.
I am solidly Team Democrat, but this is definitely 100% true, and Democrats do themselves/ourselves no favors by pretending otherwise.

Bill Clinton was neither a good person nor a good policy-maker. Though we can say the same (and worse) of his accusers, he shouldn't get a pass because of that.
  #38  
Old 12-27-2019, 04:41 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In the vanishing middle
Posts: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
I am solidly Team Democrat, but this is definitely 100% true, and Democrats do themselves/ourselves no favors by pretending otherwise.

Bill Clinton was neither a good person nor a good policy-maker. Though we can say the same (and worse) of his accusers, he shouldn't get a pass because of that.
I've been thinking about this, and the parallels with today's landscape.

There's no doubt that, in the 90s, I eagerly dismissed and overlooked the evidence of Clinton being a scumbag, because I was excited about the Reagan/Bush years finally being over and the prospect of more progressive policies being enacted. I considered the Whitewater investigation to be nothing but a partisan effort to come up with something -- anything -- that could be used against the president the GOP loathed.

These days, Republicans eagerly dismiss and overlook the evidence of Trump being a scumbag, because they are excited about the Obama years finally being over and the prospect of less progressive policies being enacted. They consider the Mueller investigation and the current Ukraine investigation to be nothing but partisan efforts to come up with something -- anything -- that can be used against the president the Democrats loathe.

The difference is that, despite his character flaws and execrable treatment of women, Clinton was a superb statesman and an effective president. And the behavior Trump's supporters are willing to ignore would have had Clinton impeached and convicted several times over.
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #39  
Old 12-27-2019, 04:56 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
I've been thinking about this, and the parallels with today's landscape.

There's no doubt that, in the 90s, I eagerly dismissed and overlooked the evidence of Clinton being a scumbag, because I was excited about the Reagan/Bush years finally being over and the prospect of more progressive policies being enacted. I considered the Whitewater investigation to be nothing but a partisan effort to come up with something -- anything -- that could be used against the president the GOP loathed.

These days, Republicans eagerly dismiss and overlook the evidence of Trump being a scumbag, because they are excited about the Obama years finally being over and the prospect of less progressive policies being enacted. They consider the Mueller investigation and the current Ukraine investigation to be nothing but partisan efforts to come up with something -- anything -- that can be used against the president the Democrats loathe.
I agree with this but I would quibble over it being just about the loathing. When I got the full measure of Trump, I realized the man was outrageously unfit and capable of doing literally anything to further his interests, and would likely be on a continuous crime spree from day 1.

Clinton was of course not that bad, but in hindsight I think the Republicans correctly got the measure of him. He committed crimes in office to cover his present and past sexual misdeeds.

Quote:
The difference is that, despite his character flaws and execrable treatment of women, Clinton was a superb statesman and an effective president.
Because Clinton was a skilled orator and persuader, and the Republicans are such transparently hypocritical comic-book villains, I think we give Clinton way more credit than he deserves. I can't think of another modern Democrat so willing to bargain away his own party's priorities and values to secure his own survival and legacy.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 12-27-2019 at 04:57 PM.
  #40  
Old 12-27-2019, 05:15 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In the vanishing middle
Posts: 908
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
I agree with this but I would quibble over it being just about the loathing. When I got the full measure of Trump, I realized the man was outrageously unfit and capable of doing literally anything to further his interests, and would likely be on a continuous crime spree from day 1.

Clinton was of course not that bad, but in hindsight I think the Republicans correctly got the measure of him. He committed crimes in office to cover his present and past sexual misdeeds.

Because Clinton was a skilled orator and persuader, and the Republicans are such transparently hypocritical comic-book villains, I think we give Clinton way more credit than he deserves. I can't think of another modern Democrat so willing to bargain away his own party's priorities and values to secure his own survival and legacy.
Taking it as a given that Trump is several orders of magnitude worse than Clinton, I can now see why Clinton inspired such loathing and, furthermore, how that loathing metastisized into today's climate.

Time travel back to 1992, and GOP voters not only see their establishment guy beaten like a rented goalie, but the guy beating him is a smooth-talking philanderer and accused sexual assaulter. Those Democrats will back anyone so long as it gets them power -- they're utterly amoral and their policy proposals must be, too! No wonder Limbaugh and Gingrich found an audience.

Not that this in any way excuses today's disgusting, reality-averse GOP and their supporters. But we might have a little better foothold to fight back with if we stop defending Clinton.
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.

Last edited by Akaj; 12-27-2019 at 05:15 PM.
  #41  
Old 12-27-2019, 05:55 PM
HMS Irruncible is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 8,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akaj View Post
Time travel back to 1992, and GOP voters not only see their establishment guy beaten like a rented goalie, but the guy beating him is a smooth-talking philanderer and accused sexual assaulter. Those Democrats will back anyone so long as it gets them power -- they're utterly amoral and their policy proposals must be, too!
Yes... and crucially, "therefore we are justified in doing the same thing". I have to think Republicans were more gleeful than solemn in that particular reflection. This was the beginning of "How You Got Trump".

Quote:
No wonder Limbaugh and Gingrich found an audience.
Reagan ditching the Fairness Doctrine was a big part of that. But yes, Clinton was the gangrene bacterium that landed in that open wound. Just such a comically easy outrage target.
  #42  
Old 12-27-2019, 09:16 PM
carnivorousplant is online now
KB not found. Press any key
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 59,578
Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Irruncible View Post
Reagan ditching the Fairness Doctrine was a big part of that. But yes, Clinton was the gangrene bacterium that landed in that open wound. Just such a comically easy outrage target.
Horse puckey.
  #43  
Old 12-27-2019, 10:24 PM
squeegee's Avatar
squeegee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Aptos CA
Posts: 8,940
Which part(s)?
  #44  
Old 12-28-2019, 07:16 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,216
a lot of GOP members did not want Gore to run as the incumbent so they were not too upset Clinton stayed in office.
  #45  
Old 12-28-2019, 09:28 AM
Jonathan Chance is online now
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 23,305
I was covering Impeachment during the Clinton years. No one thought he'd be removed going into it. No one I knew in the press corps, no one on the Hill, no one except some real hardcore true believers.

Hell, you couldn't even get a bet on it and you can generally get a bet in the press corps on anything.

Remember, Impeachment ended disastrously for the Republicans. It cost Gingrich and Livingstone their seats, wounded Hyde and promoted chaos in their ranks for a solid year.
  #46  
Old 12-28-2019, 10:39 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 30,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
Perjury is a crime. But it is not a "high crime" if it does not relate to the affairs of state. Crimes that one can commit only because of their position of power are what impeachment was intended for.
So if the President shot and killed a business rival on 5th Avenue, using his own pistol that he bought before he was president, thatís not an impeachable offence?
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #47  
Old 12-28-2019, 11:06 PM
Triskadecamus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: I'm coming back, now.
Posts: 7,614
High crimes has no definition in law. Very convenient, and probably not accidental. Keep in mind fair plurality of the actual framers of the constitution were already subject to criminal prosecution before they sat down.

The phrase "and misdemeanors" is unmodified. It could mean high misdemeanors, also undefined, or shoplifting, or public lewdness. The whole point of the articles is If you piss off a majority of the House, and two thirds of the Senate, you're toast. That's never happened.

Nixon would never have been actually removed from office. But he lacked the grit to listen to the testimony, all of which was going to be true. Clinton committed multiple acts of perjury, as defined in law. He wasn't actually at risk of being removed from office, even though he was actually guilty of what has to be considered a high crime.

If the Democrats take two thirds of the Senate, and keep half the house, they can impeach, and remove him for failure to pay taxes, whether it's true or not. Or for being cruel to animals. Truth, and Justice are not elements of the American Way in this matter. Oddly, the Chief Justice of the Unite States could bang his gavel and call every single witness out of order, and dismiss any sort of charge for whatever trumped up reason he could come up with. Presiding judges have a lot of power during a trial. The duration of actions needed to correct any legal irregularity are greater than the remainder of the term.

President Donald Trump is a fair and accurate representative of the ethical standards of the Republican Party. They chose him because he is their best and brightest. They want the things he wants.
  #48  
Old 12-29-2019, 04:02 AM
UltraVires is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 16,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
So if the President shot and killed a business rival on 5th Avenue, using his own pistol that he bought before he was president, thatís not an impeachable offence?
I think it absolutely would be. However, I concede that the founding fathers never contemplated that anyone who won the electoral college would be of such low character to commit common law felonies. Like many things, the Constitution wasn't made to contemplate (hopefully) absurd hypotheticals. But if it came to happen, there is a mechanism to stop it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triskadecamus View Post
High crimes has no definition in law. Very convenient, and probably not accidental. Keep in mind fair plurality of the actual framers of the constitution were already subject to criminal prosecution before they sat down.

The phrase "and misdemeanors" is unmodified. It could mean high misdemeanors, also undefined, or shoplifting, or public lewdness. The whole point of the articles is If you piss off a majority of the House, and two thirds of the Senate, you're toast. That's never happened.

Nixon would never have been actually removed from office. But he lacked the grit to listen to the testimony, all of which was going to be true. Clinton committed multiple acts of perjury, as defined in law. He wasn't actually at risk of being removed from office, even though he was actually guilty of what has to be considered a high crime.

If the Democrats take two thirds of the Senate, and keep half the house, they can impeach, and remove him for failure to pay taxes, whether it's true or not. Or for being cruel to animals. Truth, and Justice are not elements of the American Way in this matter. Oddly, the Chief Justice of the Unite States could bang his gavel and call every single witness out of order, and dismiss any sort of charge for whatever trumped up reason he could come up with. Presiding judges have a lot of power during a trial. The duration of actions needed to correct any legal irregularity are greater than the remainder of the term.
1) Sure, it is a truism that impeachment can be for anything a majority of the House thinks it is, but the real answer is deeper. This feeling was put forward by Gerald Ford, but the real question should be something like, "If I was a member of the House, what should be my criteria for impeachment?"

2) Nixon was toast. That's why the famous incident of the GOP Senators going to the oval office to tell him he was toast caused his to resign. Goldwater told him he might get 15 votes.

3) As noted in the other thread, the Chief Justice presides only to maintain order. Anything he does can be immediately overruled by 51 votes. His power to preside is similar to the power of the chairman at your local Rotary Club meeting. He does not act with dictatorial power.
  #49  
Old 12-29-2019, 08:30 AM
Loach's Avatar
Loach is offline
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 25,799
To answer the OP I was 31 when Clinton was impeached. Although I was not happy about what he did I didnít even follow the procedures closely. It was guaranteed that he was not going to be removed and everyone knew that. Maybe with the current type of news cycle they would have been able to hype it better but at the time it wasnít very interesting.
  #50  
Old 01-07-2020, 11:21 AM
Fiddle Peghead's Avatar
Fiddle Peghead is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Harlem, New York, NY
Posts: 4,561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Stone View Post
I don't remember anyone seriously thinking he'd be removed either, but let me correct the record: Clinton was NOT impeached for 'lying about a blowjob''. He was impeached for perjuring himself in a civil lawsuit, an action that he was also disbarred for, and for suborning perjury (attempting to get Monica Lewinsky to sign an affidavit that they had never had sexual relations, for use in his civil trial against Paula Jones, among other things).

The judge in that case hit him with contempt of court for repeated misleading or false testimony, and fined him $90,000. He also agreed to have his law license suspended for five years in a bargain to keep himself from being charged with a felony for perjury.

I think the impeachment was a bad idea, mainly because removing a president is such a big deal that it should only be done with bipartisan support and strong public opinion for removal. But that doesn't mean Clinton was innocent or that the serious charges against him were nothing more than 'lying about a blowjob'. He lied to a judge in court to thwart a lawsuit from a woman accusing him of sexual assault. That's a big deal.
I agree with most of this, but for two exceptions: neither bipartisan support nor strong public opinion should be a requirement for impeachment. You need look no further than the Trump impeachment to see what lengths one side will go to justify not even considering listening to what may come out in a Senate trial. One can argue over whether or not the facts as we know them about Trump/Ukraine is impeachable and worthy of throwing the president out, but I don't see how you can decide that without actually listening to evidence. In this case, it comes down to partisanship, and that is bullshit. As for public opinion, our representatives take an oath to defend the constitution, and nowhere in that oath does it say they should consult the public first. As practical matter I suppose it makes sense, and in most cases hopefully the public would be in line with ousting a president for something obviously rising to the necessary level. But what if the public isn't? Then, it's up to those representatives to step in.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017