U voices mixed views about Clinton

Jeremy Taff

Josh Kapla, a second-year freshman, snoozed in the front-row of the Coffman Union television lounge while the question of whether Monica Lewinsky would appear on Oprah droned in the background.
Since the public release of Ken Starr’s report and President Clinton’s Grand Jury testimony, University faculty members are trying to redirect their efforts on research and teaching. But the topic does come up.
“We need to get on with our other business,” said Sally Kohlstedt, director of the Center for Advanced Feminist Studies. “Why it has to be on every morning talk show and every newscast puzzles me.”
Kohlstedt said the center still supports many of Clinton’s initiatives, despite the controversy. Clinton has backed many of the center’s main causes like affirmative action and equal opportunity in the past. “We’ve given him support because he’s done that,” Kohlstedt said.
Kapla said he’s kind of temporarily dazed from the barrage of details about the affair clogging the airwaves on campus and all over the world.
“It’s unprecedented in the 20th century, with the degree of sexual detail being disclosed,” said political science professor Larry Jacobs.
Jacobs said he doesn’t believe the president will be impeached, but talked about the possible consequences of such action.
“It would create a new political dynamic in which congress would execute more power over the president,” Jacobs said. “The president would know that nearly any legal infraction could land them in impeachment hearings.”
Prof. Jacobs said the presidency is as close as the United States gets to having royalty and said the president is seen as a ceremonial leader. He said he thought impeachment proceedings based on events not threatening the balance of powers or the constitutional system would be unwarranted.
Like other people in the lounge, Kapla said he’s heard enough of the Clinton-Lewinsky controversy to last him a lifetime.
“I don’t think he should be impeached,” Kapla said. “I think other presidents have been up to this before and Bill’s just the one who got busted.”
Others in the lounge disagreed with Kapla; Hakim Romaimoor, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, said the president’s actions were dishonest and merit impeachment.
“He lied,” Romaimoor said. “He takes away the trust that we have given him to run the country.”
Psychology junior Leonard Jones, who watched press secretary Mike McCurry’s speech televised in the lounge, agreed with Kapla that Clinton should stay in office.
“If he did something illegal concerning finances, fine,” Jones said, “but finding out the guy had an affair and trying to trap him into lying under oath — that’s garbage.”