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October 29, 2005
IS PERJURY BY HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS A SERIOUS OFFENSE? I'd have said yes (in fact, I did say yes), but here's an argument that the American people have already said no, by their electoral response to the Clinton impeachment.
I'm not at all sure I'm persuaded by this, but it's certainly an interesting twist on the argument. More here.
UPDATE: Michael Barone isn't convinced either, emailing:
I'm prompted to write by your posting on the blogger who argues that the American people rejected the idea that perjury by a high public official is an important crime because Republicans lost seats in 1998.
It's true that polls showed most Americans didn't want Bill Clinton impeached or removed for office. But the blogger relies on election returns. And the election returns showed Republicans won. They won more popular votes for the House than Democrats and they won more House seats than Democrats.
True, they lost a few House seats when they had expected to pick up a few. But they still won more votes. True, Newt Gingrich was out as speaker. But Denny Hastert, not Dick Gephardt, was in.