Mr. DePass was formerly chairman of the S.C. Election Commission and is very active in the Republican Party.
By RUSTY DEPASS
Special to The State
I never thought the Republicans in Congress would vote articles of impeachment against the president, but I was proud of them when they did so.
The media have lobbied so ardently against it. The president is their boy, their creation. Manifestly, he would not be president had they not protected him, defended him, picked him up and dusted him off every time he got flattened. I wonder if they would feel the same about former Presidents Reagan or Bush…
While I believe the polling being done is basically a fraud, it does raise a question worth asking: Why in the face of such wide public disapproval would the Republicans in Congress vote to impeach a very popular, twice-elected president? Follow me closely on this one because it is tricky: He broke the law!
How can you square saving Clinton after B-1 Pilot Kelly Flynn was discharged from the Air Force for lying about an affair with a married man? Gen. Joe Ralston, chairman-designate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted his 15-year- old affair and was still canned. Remember the Tailhook crowd? Gone! Bob Packwood only groped, yet he had to go. Is there a pattern here?
I submit that Republicans and Democrats have vastly different standards, and they have correspondingly different reactions to moral lapses. Consider for a moment the cases of Jon Hinson and Bob Bauman, Republican congressmen from Mississippi and Maryland whose homosexuality became public knowledge. Both resigned and went away. Then consider the cases of two Democratic Congressmen from Massachusetts, Gerry Studds (that’s really his name) and Barney Frank, both of whom were re-elected after their homosexuality became known. Frank, who, of course, is still there, was allowing his “roommate” to run a brothel out of his apartment, but no one in Bean Town seemed to care. There are exceptions, but they are few…
A substantial number of Republicans joined the effort to punish Nixon because they knew he was wrong. Democrats know Clinton is wrong, but only a few of them will join the effort to punish him. It’s not that Democrats don’t know any better; they just have a different rule book, one that says you protect a Democrat at any cost. That’s the weakness in the structure we decry as “partisanship.”
“The politics of personal destruction must stop!” What a great line! But where was that concern when Clement Haynsworth, Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas were being considered for seats on the Supreme Court? Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich were utterly trashed for no other reason than that they are conservatives who held positions of influence.
Bill Clinton is where he is today because of personally destructive behavior over which only he has any control, but he and his little band of thieves have attempted to ruin everyone involved — Ken Starr, Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, Bob Livingston, etc., anyone who has ever wandered off the reservation (that could be any of us) plus Monica, Kathleen, Gennifer, Linda, Lucianne and who knows how many others? Somehow, he thinks embarrassing his accusers pasteurizes his conduct.
This guy has thumbed his nose at the American people and at the legal system. I don’t think it’s a hard call that he should be removed from office. The republic would not fail. The Constitution would still stand.
We would then have a president whose only crime (so far as we know at this time) is insufferable dullness, and that’s probably not impeachable.