McKeon and Impeachment

Congressman [Howard P. “Buck”] McKeon says the impeachment trial left him with an empty feeling because the debate was not about the “larger issues involved” (“An Enduring Source of Valuable Lessons,” Feb. 21). He says he respects those who believed that the president’s offenses did not give rise to his impeachment, but that was not what the debate was centered on.

Of course it was and he knows it.

Even the president’s supporters, whether or not they believed he committed perjury or obstruction of justice, said he was wrong, but they said the country was not harmed and thus Clinton should be censured, not removed, and then we should move on. But McKeon and members of his party in the House would not even permit a vote on censure. Instead the Republicans, in partisan lock-step . . . , insisted on impeachment or nothing. Dec. 19, 1998--and McKeon’s vote that day to impeach--will be remembered in 2000.

McKeon finesses the legitimate complaint most Americans have: Kenneth Starr is an out-of-control Republican partisan who was determined to build a case against Clinton to remove him from office. We don’t need the White House to spin the facts, as McKeon claims, regarding Starr’ misconduct, but only read what he has done from the materials the House released, as well as from independent sources reported in The Times. It would be refreshing if McKeon and others in his party would acknowledge their man Starr’s wrongful and probably illegal conduct, instead of constantly defending him.