I got into a testy email exchange with a good friend and former colleague recently about Donald Trump, his behavior and the general state of his presidency.
My friend, a loyal Republican and staunch political conservative, compares Trump’s behavior toward women with what transpired with former President Clinton and the impeachment he endured during his second term in office.
He lambasted Democrats and progressives for giving Clinton a pass for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky and for what he allegedly did with her “in the Oval Office.”
I don’t intend make too much of a deal of this, except to say I, who supported Clinton’s election and re-election, never excused his behavior. In fact, I wrote editorials applauding his impeachment in 1998 on the basis of his committing perjury before a federal grand jury that questioned him directly about whether he had “sexual relations with that woman.”
I get that Republicans had a case for impeachment based on his perjuring himself under oath.
Trump likely would never get impeached because of his serial philandering and his admitted groping of women. There quite likely won’t be a grand jury to summon him to testify about any of that hideous conduct.
My issue with Trump and his ghastly behavior simply is that he brought all of that with him into the White House, yet enough voters in just the right states endorsed him and elected him by a narrow Electoral College margin. Yes, he is the president of all Americans and I do not question the legitimacy of his election.
I just question the wisdom of voting for a guy with an acknowledged record of behaving like a sexual predator.
As for Clinton’s impeachment, the founders set the bar high for conviction. The GOP didn’t reach that bar and the Senate acquitted him on all the charges brought by the House.
The U.S. Constitution, therefore, did its job in that case and it lends nothing to the argument over the here and now to dredge up what happened 20 years. ago.