As sent to US Senators Spector and Santorum, February, 1999
Constitutional Crisis should awaken Conscience
As I was driving in to work today, I heard on the radio that the Senate is considering a course of action in the impeachment trial that would find the President guilty of the actions alleged in the Articles of Impeachment, but not remove him from office.
My first reaction was that I can't believe that this could happen. If the President is guilty of the crimes changed, he should be removed from office. There's precedence in the Senate's removal of federal judges for commiting the same crimes. Are we going to lower that acceptable standard of behavior for a sitting President by allowing President Clinton to remain in office? There's no room in the Constitution, or the Articles of Impeachment, for cowardice. Motions to dismiss notwithstanding, in order for the Senate to fulfill its duty to the American people, it must vote to either to convict or acquit. Whatever you do, make a decision. The American people need to know whether the Senate as a whole, and the Senators as elected officials, condones the behavior exhibited by the President.
The Democrats in the House turned the impeachment process into a partisan issue. Knowing that the Republicans had sufficient votes to impeach the President, the Democrats had the best of both worlds. They could satisfy their would-be critics by voting against impeachment, and satisfy their conscience in knowing that he would be impeached anyway. They were cowards, in that they did not step up and take the appropriate action. They were politically expedient, rather than doing what was best for the country.
The Senate is in a similar position now. Please don't be politially expedient in this case. Don't allow your desire to quiet your critics to compromise your duty. The United States government is a representative republic. If polls were allowed to direct governmental decisions and policy, slavery would be legal and the budget would never be balanced. You were elected to make the best decisions for your constituents and your country -- even if it might be unpopular. Please get your vote on record for all Americans to see if you believe the President committed the actions alleged in the Articles.
Perhaps the Chief Justice can make a ruling whether or not the proposed action of a guilty verdict without removal is Constitutional. Or perhaps a lone voice from rural Montgomery County can be heard in Washington, and cause you to search your conscience.
It is up to all Americans, the President and Congress included, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Please do the right thing.
Alan M. Impink