Did you know that 10 years ago today President Bill Clinton was impeached behind the Lewinsky scandal?And that the repercussions from that impeachment can still be felt as the Obama administration takes shape. Here’s more on that from the International Herald Tribune:
“It came to John Podesta during a jog through Rock Creek Park over the Thanksgiving weekend. His boss was going to be impeached and there was no way around it. It took Rahm Emanuel a little longer to reach that conclusion. And it fell to Gregory Craig to pick up the pieces once it happened.
Ten years ago this week, Bill Clinton became the first elected U.S. president ever impeached by the House of Representatives, the culmination of a sex-and-lies scandal that consumed the United States and fractured its political system. Although he was eventually acquitted by the Senate, the scars run deep even as veterans of that showdown return to power under a new president promising to repair a breach that still divides Washington.
As key members of Clinton’s defense a decade ago, Podesta, his chief of staff; Emanuel, his senior adviser; and Craig, his special counsel, bring the lessons of that searing moment to the table as they now serve in President-elect Barack Obama’s inner circle.
They learned the imperatives of moving quickly, closing ranks, controlling information and never conceding an inch when the president faces a threat, strategies employed with varying degrees of effectiveness back then.
Those instincts took over again last week with the furor surrounding the alleged scheme by the governor of Illinois to sell Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat for personal advantage, perhaps a cabinet position or other favors from the incoming president. Podesta, now Obama’s transition co-chairman; Emanuel, the incoming White House chief of staff; and Craig, tapped to become White House counsel, knew the playbook.
Even though Obama had no known personal involvement, the Clinton veterans understood that was only part of the issue. They had Obama publicly declare he had never spoken with Governor Rod Blagojevich about the Senate appointment. They imposed a cone of silence on colleagues so they would not make a remark that could come back to haunt them. And they ordered an internal inquiry to document any contacts with the governor’s advisers.
Republicans were ready to pounce, rushing out statements linking Obama to Blagojevich within an hour or so after the governor’s arrest was reported. They, too, knew the script and that any opening must be exploited. Politics in this hyperpartisan age, after all, is the ultimate contact sport.
Except for brief interludes, Washington in the last decade has been governed by a climate of anger and animosity, a modern-day tribalism pitting faction against faction that some people trace to the days of the impeachment.
“It definitely poisoned the well on both sides,” said Representative Peter King of New York, one of the few Republicans to vote against impeachment. “Without getting into the merits of anything, there’s no doubt there were Democrats waiting from the day George Bush took office to even the score for Bill Clinton. And Republicans are the same today with Barack Obama and the Rod Blagojevich scandal.”(End of Excerpt) Read the whole article here:(http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/14/america/poison.php
In this video, Bill Moyers conducts an interview with Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar who wrote the first article of impeachment against Clinton. Bruce Fein felt that Clinton should be impeached because, as the president, Clinton thought that he was “above the law“. Fein goes on to say that” Bush’s crimes are “more worrisome than Clinton’s because he has crippled checks & balances.” Bruce Fein goes on to lay out in more detail why Bush should be impeached.Basically, Bush tried to make his role as president into more of a dictatorship.It’s really boggles my mind that George Bush is even trying to dictate to the American public how we should record him in our collective memory.Too bad this isn’t “Men In Black“. Then, Bush can just use the little memory eraser that Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones used in that movie.Unfortunately, this is real life & no one will ever be able to forget these Bush years! It would take a miracle device like that for him to be remembered favorably! He should just thank his lucky stars that he won’t go down in history as an impeached president!