The Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon, which would have resulted in a trial before the Senate had the besieged and increasingly unpopular chief executive not been coaxed into resigning.
Republican elder statesman, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, along with the party's leaders in the Senate and House, Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and John Rhodes of Arizona, achieved that result in a private White House meeting that devastated Nixon.
As a lawyer with the rare background of personal experience in a historical first with the only president in American history resigning, it is only natural for Holtzman to set her sights on what is occurring today amid the severe and frequent demolition of the U.S. Constitution, with a special emphasis on the Bill of Rights, on the part of the current regime.
Holtzman was a featured speaker at the recent rally held on the steps of Constitutional Hall in Philadelphia calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. She continues to articulately make that case.
Prior to the solid victory of the Democratic Party in the November mid-term election, in which she thereafter was assured of becoming the first Speaker of the House in American history, Representative Nancy Pelosi of California said in the October 22 edition of CBS' 60 Minutes:
"Impeachment is off the table.... It is a waste of time. Wouldn't they just love it if we came in and our record as Democrats coming forth after twelve years is to talk about George Bush and Dick Cheney. This election is about them. This is a referendum on them. Making them lame ducks is good enough for me."
Read with any kind of careful scrutiny, Pelosi's aforementioned statement embodies grand ignorance, audacious arrogance, or a combination of the two. Pelosi appeared to be paying little if any attention to what candidates were saying on the campaign trail about the major issues that would ultimately get them elected.
Contrary to what right wing propagandist David Brooks wrote in his jaundiced analysis of the November 7 results in the New York Times, that voters had "exchanged moderate Republicans for conservative Democrats," a CNN exit poll on Election Day revealed a distinctly different result.
The CNN poll revealed that the largest number of voters surveyed, 42 percent, rated corruption and ethics in government as the most important issue determining their vote. According to The Washington Spectator, "Scandal-conscious voters favored Democrats by a 22 percent margin. As the indictments go, so goes the nation."
To summarize, voters were seeking significant change. They were not interested in preserving a status quo-take care of business approach. The remarks of Pelosi unfortunately appear to be reflective of a status quo attitude.
Pelosi should be reminded that officeholders take an oath to preserve and defend the U.S. Constitution. In so doing, it is the responsibility of a Member of Congress to oversee that the document crafted by our Founding Fathers is not shredded in the interest of political expediency.
With so much scandal having pervaded the Washington scene recently, it is up to Members of Congress to launch investigations and follow the ensuing trails wherever they lead.
Given what we already know, any kind of conscientious efforts by the likes of Congressmen Henry Waxman of California and John Conyers of Michigan, two notable congressional investigators, will likely result in evidence pointing toward the commission of acts falling within the purview of impeachable offenses.
Nancy Pelosi needs to be brought in touch with current realities. Angry voters made the difference in the Democratic victory of November 7. These individuals are seeking justice. That means following the trail of corruption wherever it leads, including the White House.
This is not a game of political "gotcha," as Pelosi seems to be indicating in her remarks on 60 Minutes. This is not political gamesmanship. This is what voters who made the difference, those who voted for Democrats, do not want. This is not what officeholders are expected to do in conformity with their oath of office to preserve and defend the Constitution.
Lastly, the comment that Bush and Cheney being lame ducks is "good enough" totally misses the point. Two years is plenty of time to trash the Constitution some more. If evidence clearly indicates previous trashing to the level of impeachable offenses, is a license to be granted due to lame duck status?
In my next article I will analyze the points raised by Elizabeth Holtzman in her Washington Spectator article and dovetail them alongside those raised earlier in that sphere in this column.
KEYWORDS: Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Holtzman, The Impeachment Issue
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