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Would Censure Hurt the President???

How would President Clinton feel about a Senate censure? Every indication is that he could care less. Marine One, his Presidential Helicopter, will not be parked one foot farther from the White House than it was the day before any proposed censure. Air Force One will not be less comfortable. The Navy Steward who brings his coffee will not be less deferential. The President’s pay will not be a farthing less. The President’s Valet will not place a lesser shine on the Presidential shoes.

Just hours after becoming the second President ever Impeached, the President held a party on the White House lawn, and there was not a tear in sight. In fact there was more gravitas in his announcing the fixing of the Y2K problems in Social Security System.

Even if the censure was made more punitive with a substantial monetary fine, not one dime would come from President Clinton’s pocket. He can raise millions of dollars in a day from supporters – heck, he can raise millions from Larry Flynt with one phone call!

So why do we go through this charade? I suppose it is like Iraq. We know that bombing a few palaces will not destabilize Saddam Hussein, but we go through the motions because it simply should be done. The Republicans continue to dog the President’s footsteps because it should be done. The results of Republican actions will be about as impressive to President Clinton as the loss of a few inconsequential soldiers is to Saddam.

Just look at what the President’s friends wrote about him in their proposed House Censure on December 12. His friends, elected House Democrats, say that the President, "has egregiously failed in this obligation (to set an example of high moral standards and conduct himself in a manner that fosters respect for the truth)". His friends say that he "through his actions has violated the trust of the American people, lessened their esteem for the Office of the President, and dishonored the office which they have entrusted to him."

His friends further said that he "made false statements concerning his reprehensible conduct with a subordinate", and "wrongly took steps to delay discovery of the truth".

And those exact, damning words were proposed and voted for by his friends! His most ardent supporters, including Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Charles Schumer, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, among others, wrote and voted for those scathing words of censure.

If his friends have already voted for such a censure, and the House of Representatives has already voted two articles of Impeachment, only to be greeted with a pep rally on the grounds of the White House, what can mere words from the Senate do? How do you shame the shameless?

The President sits in his glorious office, shamelessly, and sips coffee from his gold rimmed cup with a Presidential seal. If he has "dishonored the office", as his friends claim, it has not degraded the brand of coffee, or made the desk smaller.

The President leans back in his chair, which is not one inch lower, looks at his cigar humidor, and smiles. Softly, in the regal splendor of the unacknowledged if dishonored office, he says, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me."


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Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Allen Hemphill
Last modified: August 13, 2012