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Jewish World Review / Sept. 11, 1998 /20 Elul, 5758

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas Faithfully executing:
Congress vs. the President

A SOMBER AND, IF PROPERLY DONE, CLEANSING MOMENT is about to occur in America. In taking possession of the Office of the Independent Counsel's findings about alleged lawbreaking by the president of the United States, Congress is embarking on a process which must be performed with careful deliberation and gravity if the principles of our free society are to be upheld. The debate is about the president and the Constitution; it should not deteriorate into a personality clash between Ken Starr and Bill Clinton.

The dwindling number of President Clinton's defenders have cited opinion polls as a reason for keeping him in office. Though the public's view of his "job performance'' is declining, it remains above 50 percent. This is reason enough, say the defenders, to keep him "doing the job the American people twice elected him to do.''

Arguing for not undoing the results of the last two elections might have some validity if we lived in a pure democracy. But we live in a constitutional republic. The people decide who they want as their leader, but that leader does not assume the powers, privileges and responsibilities of the office of president of the United States until he takes an oath before the American people. It is then that he is subject to another and higher authority when he swears to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States'' and to "faithfully execute'' the office of president of the United States, which implies upholding the law.

When a president is shown to have violated his oath, the Founders established a process by which he might be removed from office, no matter what the polls may say. The process is rooted in the law, not the feelings of people who may still like an elected leader.

Article One, Sectigress fulfill their duties, the system suffers -- lawbreaking becomes easier for future presidents, and average Americans will properly want to know why they cannot be allowed to escape punishment for violating the law, but the president can.

If the evidence of lawbreaking compiled by Starr is irrefutable, the constitutionally mandated impeachment proceeding should begin. Impeachment is a purifying instrument given us by the Founders to expose and punish wrongdoing at the top before it corrupts us all.


9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.