As Thursday's impeachment vote loomed, President Bill Clinton seemed to have only two choices:
- Be only the second American president to be impeached
- Or resign
However, being a creative politician, Clinton came up with a third solution: bomb a foreign country. Spending millions of dollars, and putting American lives at risk, Clinton opted to cause mass destruction and death in order to postpone a trial by the Senate.
Here at the Outrage, we thought we'd seen it all, but even we were shocked that a US President would grossly and nakedly abuse his power as Commander and Chief in order to delay impeachment.
Despite the fact that the situation in Iraq is no fundamentally different than it has been for the last 18 months, Clinton just happened to choose the night before an impeachment vote in order to decide to launch an attack. It just so happened that the White House had just figured out that Clinton was sure to lose the vote.
As Congressman Henry Hyde commented, if Nixon had launched a foreign attack while he was facing impeachment, there would have been riots in the streets. But the current American public, docile and well-fed, seems willing to tolerate even this sort of gross, and deadly, abuse of power.
Can the tactic really work? Minority Leader Richard A. Gephard says the impeachment vote should be delayed: "It shouldn't come up as long as our troops are in harm's way," he said. And, of course, Clinton can keep the troops in "harms way" as long as necessary. The action gives hostage taking a whole new meaning.
With Christmas coming and Congress anxious to return home, Clinton could really pull it off. With every day of delay, the master manipulator realizes he has a better chance of avoiding impeachment and the embarrassment of a Senate trial. And if he can delay the vote until next session in January, the balance of power may well turn in his favor.
Did Clinton use the bombing to delay the impeachment vote?
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