Republicans gone overboard with attacks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (U-WIRE) — It’s official — Judge Susan Webber Wright has dismissed Paula Jones’ sexual harassment case against the president, stating Jones “failed to demonstrate that she has a case.” Now this lawsuit can be seen for what it actually was — one in a long line of political melees launched against a popular, proficient Democratic president by the hard right.
Though they have already begun their assaults, conservatives will have a rough time trying to discredit Judge Wright for her decision — she is a lifelong Republican appointed to the bench in 1990 by President Bush, and an Arkansas lawyer who has never supported Bill Clinton.
Though the ruling has vast popular support throughout the country, GOP congressional leaders are preparing for impeachment hearings against President Clinton on charges stemming directly from the Jones case. But like the gutless wonders they are, Lott and Gingrich are waiting until after the 1998 midterm elections to launch their inquiry, for fear that if they begin hearings now, there will be severe voter backlash against Republicans. GOP congressional leaders claim the charges against Bill Clinton are more serious than those leveled against Richard Nixon stemming from Watergate. Republican leaders figure that it has been 25 years since that scandal, and that people have forgotten the specifics. Let me refresh your memory.
The charges against President Nixon related to a conspiracy to obstruct justice. He conspired to influence testimony with cash payoffs and clemency offers to witnesses, diverting and thwarting the investigations of both the justice department and Congress. Nixon authorized the infiltration of rival campaigns, and the vandalism that followed, which was paid for with illegal cash running into the millions of dollars. It brought forth a constitutional crisis unprecedented in our history, that forced Nixon to resign in disgrace, and laid the bedrock of public cynicism regarding politics and politicians.
In contrast, the accusations against President Clinton have been, for the most part, discredited. Though Whitewater special counsel Kenneth Starr has been hot on the trail of whisper and innuendo — at a cost of over $25 million dollars to the taxpayer — he has offered nothing which corroborates his charges. Starr has been a partisan source of questionable actions ranging from the leaking of confidential deposition testimony to imprisoning hostile witnesses without charge. It is time his long-running game of “gotcha” be brought to an end, and the extra-constitutional powers of the Independent Counsel Law be done away with once and for all.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche predicted that when mediocrity acquired political power, it would be the end of civilization. The Paula Jones lawsuit and the campaign of sleaze which accompanied it has been an excellent proof of that argument. Though we have had the most effective president in many a decade, the mediocre of this country have spent six years trying to tear him down. These obstructors must either provide incontrovertible proof that the president has done the things they claim, or end this childishness. The time has come for Republicans to either put up or shut up.

— Michael J.C. Taylor’s column originally appeared in Wednesday’s edition of the University of Missouri-Kansas City University News.