It is with dubious pleasure that I erase the previous Soapbox, and replace it with
a short conversation on the IMPEACHMENT of the President of the United States.
For SoCô¿ôL Bob, I guess the solution to the problem presented by the controversy over the President's sexual activities, and the testimony presented by himself and others, is a simple one. Simple, at least in it's conception. Now if everyone would just agree ô¿~
Whenever I walk onto strange ground, whenever I choose to pursue or not to pursue a certain activity, I try to follow the principles that are suggested to me by The Triangle of Success. I do other things, like pray and seek spiritual guidance, talk with my friends, and even an occasional enemy. I discuss, interact, create and I pray. I find even these fit into my notion of the Triangle because prayer is an action designed to improve the quality and content of ones goals, and ones attempt to achieve them. That action step, like so many others, has an impact on my Attitude, which I agree, should be positive and be taken with confidence that this action will indeed help me make progress towards the achievement of this, and higher goals.
I admit, that in an analysis of this situation, there is more involved than just pursuing the Triangle of Success in it's ideal form. Let's face it. Pursuing an antagonistic proceedure, taking an accusatorial posture, spending a great deal of time on 'perfecting' ones notion of wrong action, is not conducive to the achievement of higher goals. It probably is no accident that the Bible, when referrring to brothers and sisters in Christianity, suggests that you not take yo'er brother to court. Do not condemn, criticize and complain are human relations rules. Love others as you love yourself is a relgious prescription. Love yo'er enemy and turn the other cheek are similarly philosophical and religious doctrines, designed, many would agree, to help individuals and groups work together to achieve higher goals. Do the words ... a country divided mean anything ?
My first point then would be that pursuing an antagonistic relationship against the President of the United States, cannot help his performance. Isolating a single wrong, amongst many rights, and elevating it to the most important thing, is the kind of thing that a person interested in pursuing positive actions would have a very difficult time choosing. There are many more ways to pursue the improvement of this particular behavior.
So when I watch, with great interest, as the leaders of my country, and in my many ways leaders of the world, gather together to perform an action, I refer to The Triangle to determine if they are behaving their best, and/or what I would recommend if I am to participate.
What is the goal here ? Since today's conversation, December 13, 1998, must be partially confined to the body acting .. namely the Congressional committee who has just voted to impeach the President .. and the action in question is impeach the President, then we can confine this discussion to those in that body and the action they are recommending. What is their goal ?
If repetition is a clue, then the constant phrase pursuing 'the rule of law,' seems to be dominant.
Our goal, it would seem, from the eyes of the 'accusers' is to fulfill the rule of law. The law in question, I believe they pointed out, is the Constitution of the United States of America. I believe that the accusation and justification for this activity is that in order to preserve the Nation, to continue the Nation on the path of achieving it's goals, it is necessary to proceed with MAXIMUM reverence for the Constitution of the United States, and the 'rule of law.'
The President, in the course of this conversation of the rule of law, stands accused of a WIDE VARIETY OF THINGS. Pursuing high goals doesn't necessarily mean that the parties in question will always be able to concentrate on the goal. Most of the accusations constantly referred to by the proponents of impeachment, are not LEGAL accusations at all. Most, if the conversation is concentrated on LEGAL and ILLEGAL, of the accusations are EXTRA LEGAL. They involve complaints about activities that are not covered in the law.
The true or false nature of these accusations has not been determined by what we call due process:
- a formal and specific accusation
- the presentation of first hand witnesseses
- cross examination of witnesses
- presumptions in favor of the defendant including innocent until PROVEN guilty
- An absolute requirement that the 'accuser' be required to 'prove' their allegations
- An absolute requirement that the defendant should not be required to 'prove' his or her innocence
- an adjudication by the duly authorized body .. a court .. that the President has indeed been found guilty of a
crime, beyond any reasonable doubt
The accusation that justifies the ACTION, as described in the Four Articles of Impeachment, the one that these committee members must eventually be forced to FOCUS on, is that the President has committed the equivelant of high crimes and misdemeanors, when in his testimony before a civil court, before a grand jury, and before Congress, he has failed to acknowledge the PRIMARY allegation, that he touched someone other than his wife, in a place reserved by many, for spousal contact only. In the course of pursuing that primary wrongdoing, the President, it is alledged, has committed more wrongs, including LYING about that same fact to high officials in the US Government, his wife, a judge or two, the United States Congress, and the American people. The claim of PERJURY includes statements made under oath. The essential facts that justify the 'necessity' for this activity, in pursuing our goals, revolve around a variety of acts which ALL include not revealing the nature or the details of this 'unspousal' touching.
The argument, since this is what it is, begins from the other side, when having acknowledged a large portion of the TRUTH of these accusations, the committee members in question, believe and are acting upon the notion that this acknowledgement is not enough. These committee members certainly ought to include in their positive actions in the achievement of high goals, a determination of the significance of these acts. The committee members in question ought to determine if in fact a VIOLATION OF LAW is significant in the analysis of what the President has done. The committee, in the pursuit of IMPEACHMENT must know that they are required to find that the evidence is SUBSTANTIAL, nearly incontrovertable etc. etc., that the President, in these actions, has COMMITTED HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS.
It would seem inevitable that if the goal is the 'pursuit of the rule of law,' that the committee members would need to determine that what the President has done, is not just the 'equivelant of a crime,' any crime,
but the equivelant of a HIGH CRIME and MISDEMEANOR.
If what the President has done so far, is NOT EVEN A CRIME, it would seem a bit more difficult to justify the action in question ... HOWEVER .. if one wants to argue that it doesn't matter whether it's a CRIME or NOT, then one must do so and do so in the begining. Each of the four Articles of Impeachment makes specific reference to perjury .. a specific and defineable CRIME with a specific set of rules and proceedures ( the rule of law ) used to determine guilt or innocence.
May I pause to point out .. that the very pursuit of this line of conversation is a violation in many ways of the Triangle of Success. The Triangle of Success suggests beginning with a positive attitude. The Triangle might suggest, for example, the presumption that The President is a person acting in concert with many of our high goals. That most of his acts, may have demonstrated a committment to do so. The presumption would be that in the pursuit of these goals that neither he President, nor his opponents, nor can expect to be perfect. Occasional missteps may occur, without changing our whole definition of the Presidents behavior .. without suggesting that his goals are not high .. without suggesting that when he acknowledges wrong doing that some more need to be done. A GREAT DEAL OF TIME has been spent on discovering this action that everyone agrees, including the party in question, was not conducive of the achievement of higher goals. The Triangle would certainly say .. let's get on with it . let's get busy doing one and one and one more good thing. The Triangle would say make a list of ALL the possible responses to this less than positive act, and choose the best one.
If this process is going to move on .. in 'pursuit of the rule of law' as it's higher goal ... then at some point the conversation ought to get around to 'the higher goal. ' ... the rule of law.
- Certainly the rule of law would include HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS. Since the rule of law being invoked is IMPEACHMENT, then the rule is that the Congress shall recommend Articles of Impeachment if the President of the United States is believed, based on the rule of law, to be guilty of HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS. I frankly don't know how you get past this one .. HIGH CRIMES and MISDEMEANORS .. the equivelant of TREASON. Suppose you do ?
- What then is the 'rule of law' that we would use to pursue the 'rule of law.' Would it include notice to the plaintiff of exactly what he's accused of ? Would it include an examination of the witnesses ? Would it be a determination that the actions in question were ILLEGAL, CRIMINAL ? Would it include the active participation of all sides to the controversy ?
For me, the conversation breaks down rather quickly .. we're pursing a higher good, the rule of law, by ignoring the higher good. We are determining that this is more important than all other affairs of state, including his election. We almost have to call it a CRIME, but if busted on the notion that we have not followed the 'rule of law' to properly determine if a crime has been committed, we are greeted with it doesn't have to be a 'crime.' Nothing like the process used in America and described as due process to determine the guilt or innocence of a criminal, has been followed here. If it's not a CRIME, then how does it rise to the level of HIGH CRIMES? Because it is so significant where and when he touched her ?
I think in this process we inevitably fall off the Triangle. I think that in pursuit of our community goals,
we should recognize when this is being done, and correct our behavior. Change the goal ? I don't think so.
This seems to be a worthy and achieveable goal. Exalt the rule of law in the United States of America .. I think that can be done. I would suggest that it might best be done by following the rule of law.
I think it would be perfectly possible to declare that the process by which guilt or innocence is determined, has not been followed in this situation.
I also think that there is a better way to deal with the pursuit of the 'rule of law.' That better way, it would seem, should include following it.
However, in terms of consistantly following the most positive behavior to increase the greater good done with, for, and by American citizens of all kinds, American voters might do well to determine if Prosecuting Attorneys and the behavior pattern that has made it possible for them to 'succeed' is the primary behavior pattern the American people want to determine who might make a good legislator or statesman, or President of the United States. Or, should I have said prosecuting attorneys and talk show hosts?