since Henry Hyde was kind enough to give us an opening.
I originally posted this as a comment to the first diary on dailykos on Hyde’s remarks yesterday. That diary had a factual error, which is noted in the expanded and corrected version below the fold. To me the difference between the two impeachment attempts is (1) the fact that the effort against Nixon was bipartisan, and (2) the clear vindictiveness of the effort against Clinton, shown to me by the invocation of the so-called death penalty in all 4 porposed articles, whereas it appeared in none of the articles against Nixon.
first, remember that Hillary worked as a staff lawyer for the Hosue Judiciary Committee. I’m sure that fact was well known to the Republicans. There are only a few people who were on Judiciary then who are still in Congress – Paul Sarbanes and Trent Lott in the Senate, Charlie Rangel in the House.
Second, the Articles of Impeachment voted out against Nixon, viewable here, were not as harsh as they could have been. The conclusion of each article was identical:
These articles do not include the so-called “death penalty” of “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” (Article I, Section 3, Clause 7).
All four of the Articles voted out of Committee against Clinton, which can be found, with the committee votes, here, do contain the death penalty, phrased identically as
To me the fact that the Republicans going after Clinton were prepared to deny him, in theory, a pension, a Presidential library, Secret Service Protection, – when NONE of that was proposed for Nixon who after all had done far worse, – makes it very clear that this had nothing to do with seeking justice, and everything to do with getting even.
Also worth considering — none of the four articles proposed against Clinton received a single Democratic vote, and two failed to muster a majority within the House as a whole because Republican crossed over to vote against them, those two going down by votes of 229-205 and 285-148 (I erroneously said these failed in Committee when I posted this as a comment. For full details on the full House votes on all four articles, you can go here
The first two articles against Nixon received 6 (out of 17) Republican committee votes, as well as all of the Democratic votes. These included several fairly Conservative Republicans, such as Caldwell Butler of Virginia. The final article of impeachment only received two Republican votes, and also lost two Conservative Democrats, Flowers (of Alabama?) and Mann (SC).
It is also well worth considering the difference in the Senate. When Nixon, knowing he would lost in the House, considered going on an fighting in the Senate, a group of Senate Republican, incluidng High Scott, the Minority Leader, and Barry Goldwater, went to see him. They told him he’d be lucky to get a dozen votes in his favor in the Senate, and I have seen sources where Godlwater is said to have told him that he (Godlwater) would not be one of those supporting him. Goldwater even called the Washington Post to tell them to ease off so that Nixon would resign.
To this contrast what happened with Clinton.
(NOTE to see the complete votes on the two charges, you can go here
On the perjury charge, the following Republican voted not guilty:
That charge received only 45 votes in favor of conviction. You will note that one of the Republican votes against conviction was Fred Thompson, who was minority counsel fo Senate Watergate Committee and thus had some udnerstanding of the relative seriousness of the two cases.
On the obstruction charge, the vote was a 50-50 tie, with the following Republicans voting against conviction: