Roger L. Simon

An Impeachable Offense in Advance?

Despite John Kerry having brought this on himself by making his four months of Vietnam service in the sixties the centerpiece of his campaign for president in 2004, so far it seems only bloggers and the usual right-wing mainstream media suspects are carrying water in the Swift Boats vets campaign to unmask Kerry. But I predict this will soon be changing because the accusations are too important and too well documented. Some are already doing it.

Many of the accusations seem to center around Kerry’s medals. His commander, Grant Hibbard, is quoted as saying: ”I didn’t recommend him for a Purple Heart. Kerry probably wrote up the paperwork and recommended himself.” Well, if true, that’s pathetic and makes Kerry something of creep. But he’s not the first creep to be elected President, alas, and much as it, well, “creeps me out,” I’d give him a (rolling eyes) pass and move on.

But I won’t move on from his lying about Cambodia (on the Senate floor and elsewhere). If true, that is an impeachable offense in advance.

Now them’s fighting words, so I’m going to take a moment to explain myself. Some have accused me of going to the right, but that is only true in a limited area (and that depends on your definition.) I support Bush for reelection because of the War on Terror. I oppose him on gay marriage (I’m considerably to the “left” of Kerry on that issue; he recently even backed the Missouri amendment!). I support a woman’s right to choose. I think the War on Drugs is a ridiculous mistake and support the legalization of marijuana (although I don’t lose any sleep over the issue). So am I some kind of right winger anxious to nail a “liberal” candidate? Well, it is so if you think so.

But let’s move on to the impeachment issue. I thought the attempt to impeach Clinton was a partisan charade. Even though the man was highly insulting to the public and hugely disprespectful to the people who voted for him (like me), not to mention his family, all he did was lie about a private matter, if under oath. For me that is not enough to overthrow an election, because it has nothing to do with state policy.

What John Kerry allegedly said on the floor of the US Senate in 1986 (not that long ago, actually)had everything to do with state policy. He was using his own supposed experiences in Cambodia to advance a political agenda that would have changed the position of our government in a life or death situation of immense importance (Nicaragua). Only according to what I’ve read so far, Kerry was never in Cambodia.

I am astounded that much of the mainstream media, even the conservative media, is choosing to ignore this. Kerry should be dogged by questions at every campaign stop. “Were you ever in Cambodia?” “If you weren’t, why did you lie to us about that?” “Will you lie to us about such things in the future?”

Enough.

UPDATE: To be clear, when I say “impeachable offense,” I am not talking in the strictest legal sense. I realize many have lied on the Senate floor (sigh). But in the case of a lie like this, I believe it rises to the level of someone who should never be allowed to become President — hence the idea of impeachment (perhaps a tad too metaphorical, but I am a novelist). I didn’t mean this post to devolve into impeachment legalisms.