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It’s now up to Congress
By Jean Hay
Enterprise Column
Sept. 17, 1998

Last Saturday morning, I waited until I had a second cup of coffee, braced myself, then forced myself to read the extensive excerpts of the Starr Report printed in the Bangor (Maine) Daily News.

Salacious as it was, it actually turned out to be less than I had expected. What I read was no more than a vivid account of groping and heavy petting by two obviously consenting adults.

And I suddenly understood why millions of people all across America were on Clinton’s side. After all, how many of them as teens had engaged in such behavior? And how many of them, confronted by a concerned parent who asked pointedly "Are you having sex with Monica (or Jim or Heather)?" answered as Clinton did. And for the same reasons. After all, nothing they had done could have resulted in a pregnancy—unlike the sitting Republican Congressman who had fathered a child in an illicit affair 15 years ago, and only fessed up to it last month.

Clinton’s attorneys are being told to cut the legal technicality defense. But how many teens have hidden behind those same technicalities, so they could keep driving the family car, or keep from getting grounded?

Juvenile, yes. Unbecoming a married President of the United States, of course.

But impeachable? Hardly.

Which brings up two issues, now that Starr has placed this whole mess in the hands of Congress.

Do members of Congress who have similar situations in their own backgrounds (a few have already come forward) have a conflict of interest which would prevent them from voting on this issue? And if so, would we then have a quorum?

Secondly, and more importantly, do our members of Congress have the sense to understand the ramifications of an impeachment hearing?

So far, the Starr report is only embarrassing to Clinton and his family.

But if Congress forces a President of the United States of American to leave office, either by resignation or impeachment, because of lies about groping and heavy petting with a willing White House intern, then Congress, not Clinton, will be responsible for our great country’s loss of stature in the world community.

The many polls of real Americans show that I am not alone in my assessment. People have heard enough. They know it is none of our business. They want Congress and the President to get back to the business they were elected to do.

We all want desperately for Congress and Clinton to simply grow up.

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