Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 11, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Interesting how Dems are all on board the “impeach Trump” train.
They claim it’s not politics, it’s their constitutional duty to charge a president who had the audacity to talk to his Ukraine counterpart and ask the question the mainstream media won’t: Just what exactly were former Vice President Joe Biden and his derelict son doing that got Ukraine’s prosecutor general fired?
Today, Democrats are sold on what they are selling as the noble road to impeachment.
But 21 years ago, the same folks out for Republican Trump’s blood in 2019 thought impeaching then-President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, constitutional blasphemy. Not surprising, many of the career politicians serving then are around two decades later. Here’s what the would-be impeachers had to say before the vote was called in December 1998, when Clinton became only the second U.S. president to be impeached.
Nancy Pelosi The Speaker of the House last month took the unprecedented step of launching, without a House vote, “a formal impeachment inquiry” into the president.
“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Pelosi said in announcing the inquiry.
The actions taken by Bill Clinton in the late-1990s, you know, the whole perjury tied to the “sexual relations” he did not have “with that woman” did not rise to impeachable offenses in Pelosi’s eyes.
“Today the Republican majority is not judging the president with fairness, but impeaching him with a vengeance,” then-House Minority Leader Pelosi said on the House floor in December 1998. “In the investigation of the president, fundamental principles which Americans hold dear, fairness, privacy, checks and balances, have been seriously violated and why? Because we are here today because the Republicans in the House are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton … Until the Republicans free themselves of that hatred, our country will suffer.”
The left’s visceral hatred for Trump, of course, has nothing to do with their impeachment quest.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, like many of his colleagues on the left, has been on the war path since Trump was elected nearly three years ago. And he has used — and abused — every bit of his congressional power to go after Trump.
Nadler brushes off critics who say the Dems’ impeachment drive is an attempt to undo an election. Here’s what he had to say about the Clinton impeachment in 1998.
“(A)n impeachment of a president is an actual undoing of a national election …They are ripping asunder our votes, they are telling us our votes don’t count, and that the election must be set aside.”
The California congresswoman was the first to call for impeaching the president, and among the first to decry the Republicans’ impeachment campaign against Clinton. In 1998, Waters even had the temerity to tell the Judiciary Committee that she was “of sound mind,” as she railed against her political enemies. Here’s what she said then:
“I will not violate the Constitution of the United States. I will vote no on each and every vague and general article of impeachment that will be presented to this committee today. Let history record I have fought against the impeachment of the president of the United States in every way that I know how, that my Democratic colleagues have shown in every possible way that this president has not committed perjury, obstructed justice or committed any actions or crimes that rise to the level of impeachment.”
No one but fierce partisans dispute Clinton perjured himself.
The Georgia Democrat, too, was in the first wave in the impeachment movement. He saw a political witch-hunt in 1998. He sees nothing of the sort today. At the time he called the Clinton impeachment “a deliberate and systemic effort” to bring down Clinton almost from the beginning of his presidency.
Also a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1998, the California Democrat scoffed at the charges against Clinton.
“The impeachment may occur only if the president is guilty of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. What does this mean? Ben Franklin said that impeachment was a civilized alternative to assassination. The founding fathers’ discussion was that impeachment could be used only when a president’s conduct threatened to destroy the entire constitutional system of government.”
So that’s the key question: Did Trump’s alleged conduct threaten to “destroy the entire constitutional system of government?” Or is the 2019 impeachment movement the real threat to the constitutional republic?