Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gingrich Defends the Clinton Impeachment

Whatever you think about Newt Gingrich, you have to admit he is a powerful orator. I wish I had the ability to speak so powerfully and concisely. In his appearance on Meet the Press last week, I was impressed and persuaded by his defense of how he pursued the impeachment of Bill Clinton. You can see the full video of the program or watch the small clip below. Also included is the transcript of the question and answer.

MR. RUSSERT: But do you, do you regret pressing the impeachment of President Clinton so hard?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: President—you know, I’m—I’ve been divorced twice.

Both times I’ve been deposed. Both times I was told, “Perjury is a felony. You should tell the truth under deposition.” President Clinton lied under oath as a lawyer in front of a sitting federal judge in a civil rights case. This was not about his personal behavior in the Oval Office. That’s a matter of judgment, and people can render judgment. The question is, do you want to go down the road of Nigeria and corruption and have a country in which, as long as he’s popular, he can break the law? And if Clinton gets to commit perjury on this topic, then what does the next president get to commit perjury on, and then what does the next president get to commit perjury on? This was entirely about something I knew personally. We have an obligation as citizens to tell the truth to a federal judge under oath. The president failed that.

It is interesting to note that in this same interview, Gingrich also talks about how the the time for super-partisanship (regardless of whether it was ever right in the past) is behind us. The country faces serious problems and we need to get together and tackle them. His call to candidates is to share a positive message rather than simply maligning your opponent.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmmm, does make one think. He sounds intelligent, even credible. But I just can't get over how he started all the fierce partisanship turmoil. And besides, his Contract on America - while sounding good, was such a flop in the sense of actual beneficial product - more Congressman getting arrested and jailed, receiving more PAC monies, fewer personal term-limits... all despite their promises.

Yes, he sounds intriguing, but I just can't get over the past.

And I would post my name but I'm angry at Google b/c I can't ever log in using either my username or password. This system sucks!

Dad's Thoughts said...

I have watched Gingrich's career for many years and find him to be a man of integrity, intelligence, and good ideas. I would vote for him in a minute. He has the guts to do what it takes to turn America around. All the other contenders are more interested in simply grasping power.

Reach Upward said...

The party that is out of power always talks about how important it is to get past partisanship. But it never works that way in practice. We have political parties for a reason.

Cliff said...

Do I smell the blood of hard core conservatives here?

May I assume you apply the same logic in support of the Clinton Impeachment to advocate for the impeachment of Bush, or does that logic suddenly change?

Bradley said...

If we find that Bush committed perjury, I would probably have to conclude that he is equally deserving of impeachment. Do you have evidence of that crime that I'm not aware of?

The Deseret Spectacle said...

I remember the good old days when extolling the virtues of truth didn't have all of the qualifications Gingrich put on it.

Thanks to the unholy moral relativism that Republicans have resurrected and made their own, there is always a reason why what they do is "a good thing." We don't even call 'lies' lies anymore. We pretend as though the lie was simply a mix up, or that they thought they were right, but were simply mistaken, and that it's probably the fault of the person who told them that falsehood who's to blame anyway.

Anyway, as far as I know President Bush hasn't committed perjury, but he has broken other laws. Is perjury the only crime worth impeaching a President for?

DS

Bradley said...

There are certainly other crimes that would make a president a candidate for impeachment besides perjury. It is something we should be hesitant to do. After all this time, I'm still not sure it was a great idea with Clinton.

I suppose there are times when the president and his associates won't tell us everything or be totally honest with us. There may even be times when that is morally right, such as in cases of national security.

But I don't think incompetence (or perceived incompetence) is grounds for impeachment. Most of the time I hear people calling for Bush's impeachment, they are doing so because they disagree with him rather than because they think he committed a crime. The argument that "Bush lied" is one I find the least compelling for evidence of a crime.

Frank Staheli said...

Bradley,

I didn't know how to comment over on Bloghive, so I thought I'd drop a line here!

Bloghive is an excellent idea. I'll spend a great deal of time informing myself over there in the coming days.

Jim said...

Gingrich also talks about how the the time for super-partisanship (regardless of whether it was ever right in the past) is behind us. The country faces serious problems and we need to get together and tackle them. His call to candidates is to share a positive message rather than simply maligning your opponent.

Newt punches Democrats in the back for years and then cries to mama as soon as they start to fight back. What an ass.

Ron West said...

The Newtster does make an interesting point - and Clinton DID look at the camera and said I never diddled that woman with a cigar. A lie under oath - and to the American people - is certainly serious business, and people are right to criticize.

That said, two important points:

1. Clinton's behavior didn't hurt anyone, outside of his family.

2. This same standard should be applied to the Bush administration, particularly Dick Cheney, and the rationale used for the run-up to the war, and long after. For Dubya, I tend to give him a break; he's an empty suit and only recites what others tell him to say.

http://revolttoday.blogspot.com/