Rebuking the president: How much is enough?

I thought you did a respectable job in laying out the elements of the president's quagmire in "Historic Rebuke" (Dec. 14). I agree with your conclusion that he has no one to blame but himself. However, I disagree with the idea of the censure-plus option floated at the end of the column.

The reason for Mr. Clinton's repeated behavior is that so many people have given him a pass in the past. Letting him off the hook again will only reinforce his Comeback Kid mentality and behavior. If given what he hopes for, he will be incorrigible for the remainder of his term. Unfortunately, the Constitution leaves us with only impeachment as a remedy. It has no mention of censure. He has violated his presidential oath of office, his oath as a member of the bar, and the public trust. How do we explain to our children that the rules don't apply to some people?

John V. Hanson

Morris, Ill.

Regarding "Historic Rebuke": It's truly a sad day when The Christian Science Monitor fails to see that there is one person, and one person only, who can bring this impeachment issue to a conclusion: President William Jefferson Clinton. He has three choices, of which only one is being pursued. The choices are resignation, impeachment, or fighting it out. Mr. Clinton has chosen to fight it out (with little or no regard to the rest of the country and its pressing issues), and that likely will result in impeachment.

The Democrats have so many other credible leaders in their party. So why do they defend such decadence and dishonesty?

Wesley Johnson

Hurst, Texas

Voting for impeachment is the censure. It needs to be so stated in the historical record. This is the "Historic Rebuke" and does not necessarily mean "the destruction of this presidency." If it does not go any further than the House vote it is enough to make the point. The rule of law will be upheld.

Patricia Covey

La Habra, Calif.

Impeachment and the 2000 election

Your article "GOP push for impeachment holds risks for the 2000 election" (Dec. 16) left out the irony in the impeachment process. In trying to address the shortcomings of a president, who has relied nonstop on polls to substantiate his every action, the opposition party is having to stick its neck out a little. It is rather refreshing, after six years of hearing "Well, our polls show...," to see someone act on the basis of something they actually believe in, rather than the whim of the poll du jour.

Since President Clinton has made it clear that he doesn't intend to step down, one can only hope that our beloved pollsters find there is some moral backbone in the American public, and not just a "the economy is doing fine" mentality governing their responses.

Robert Dowcett

San Ramon, Calif.

Women's support for Clinton

It's hardly surprising that women are more inclined to support President Clinton. In "Readers wax, wane, wax again on Clinton" (Dec. 15), Godfrey Sperling apparently isn't aware of the old saying: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." The same people who bought their "Impeach Clinton" bumper stickers the day after his first election are the people many women consider their enemies: the NRA, the tobacco lobby, corporate polluters, abortion clinic vandals, and the religious right. I saw a sign in 1992: "A woman voting for the GOP is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders." It was true then and it's true now. Comparatively, Clinton looks downright statesmanlike.

Shay Lynn


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