[NY Times] Dole on a "tough but responsible solution."

I Find Karma (adam@cs.caltech.edu)
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 08:30:39 -0800 (PST)

You gotta be loving life right now if you're Bob Dole. You're all hiked
up on Viagra, yet you have a good justification for being a crabby
grouch ("it's Clinton's fault!"), and you get to sit on the sidelines
and snicker while Clinton twists slowly in the wind...


And then you get to write an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times where you
get to offer Clinton a bone... Dole's plan, in a nutshell (which is
where it belongs), is to get Clinton to sign in public with all the
media present a humiliating document drafted by the House and Senate
detailing his inappropriate behaviors. That Dole, what a generous guy.

Dole takes the opportunity to take a nice little shot at the
intelligence of the average American

> I seriously doubt that half the American people understand the complex
> impeachment process.

knowing full well that the average American isn't going anywhere near a
New York Times.

Cobraboy was right all this summer when he spelled out the sequence of
events that was going to lead to the House voting for impeachment. No
big deal to Clinton, though: he's unembarrassable, and the Senate
clearly doesn't have the votes. The Republicans in the House will come
out looking petty and mean-spirited, and this will hurt their agenda for
the next two years.

> A Tough but Responsible Solution
> by Bob Dole, New York Times, December 15, 1998
> WASHINGTON -- While no longer a member of Congress, as the Republican
> Presidential candidate in 1996 I do have more than a passing interest in
> the pending impeachment proceeding.
> Without rehashing that election, suffice it to say that any chance of
> success I may have had was wiped out by an avalanche of negative
> television advertising paid for with money raised through questionable
> fund-raising tactics by the President and Vice President. Attorney
> General Janet Reno has buried her head in the sand on this serious
> matter, but let's hope that someone in Congress will hold the Attorney
> General accountable and pursue the alleged illegal fund-raising
> activities.
> Having said that, let me lay out what might be an imperfect but tough
> and reasonable solution to the pending impeachment matter.
> I have reminded myself that to impeach or accuse is the constitutional
> responsibility of the House; to convict or acquit is the constitutional
> responsibility of the Senate. I seriously doubt that half the American
> people understand the complex impeachment process.
> Let me also note, at the outset, that many large and small details would
> have to be worked out by Congressional leaders working with the House
> and Senate parliamentarians and legal counsels. I've been there and know
> how much work putting all this together will entail, including all the
> procedural hurdles.
> So, here goes:
> Step No. 1: Vote in the House of Representatives on any or all of the
> four articles of impeachment reported by the House Judiciary Committee.
> Step No. 2: Regardless of the outcome of the House vote on any of the
> four articles, the Senate majority leader would, at the earliest
> possible time, introduce in the Senate a joint resolution (numbered 1600
> if possible). The resolution would contain the essence or "guts" of all
> articles of impeachment considered by the House, plus any other
> necessary language, as determined by the Senate majority leader.
> Step No. 3: After suspending or amending the rules governing impeachment
> proceedings, the Senate would take up and consider the joint resolution
> under a time agreement. The Vice President (President of the Senate)
> would preside at all times. No amendments except technical amendments
> offered by the majority leader would be in order. All points of order
> would be waived.
> Step No. 4: Upon final action by the Senate, the House of
> Representatives would take up the joint resolution: no amendments in
> order, except technical amendments offered by the Speaker or his
> designee. Points of order would be waived.
> The resolution would be considered under a time agreement.
> Step No. 5: If a House-Senate conference is necessary, the conference
> report would be considered under a time agreement in both the House and
> the Senate.
> Conditions, Etc.
> 1. The President announces his intention to support and sign the joint
> resolution before any action on the resolution by the Senate.
> a. The President agrees to sign the joint resolution at a public signing
> ceremony attended by the Vice President, Congressional leadership and
> other appropriate members of the House and Senate recommended by
> Democratic and Republican leaders; the President's Cabinet; the Chief
> Justice of the Supreme Court, and others as recommended by House and
> Senate leaders.
> b. White House, Senate and House media -- television, radio, print and
> photographers -- shall be present.
> c. The site, date and hour of the ceremony is to be determined by the
> House Speaker, or his designee, and the Senate majority leader.
> d. Copies of the signed joint resolution, with an appropriate
> Presidential letter, are to be forwarded to members of the Cabinet,
> members of Congress and heads of other Government agencies. This is to
> be completed within seven days of signing the joint resolution.
> 2. The overall agreement is to be determined by the Speaker, or his
> designee, and the Senate majority leader.
> Possible items:
> a. All Congressional action completed and the President's signature
> affixed on or by Jan. 2, 1999. b. Bipartisan. Any agreement in the House
> or Senate with reference to the proceedings shall be inoperative if the
> President, Vice President and Democratic Congressional leaders fail to
> publicly and actively support the joint resolution. Support is to be
> demonstrated by the President, Vice President and Democratic leadership
> in House and Senate, prior to and throughout consideration of the joint
> resolution. Republican leaders also agree to publicly and actively
> support it.
> c. The Speaker, or his designee, and the majority leader shall outline
> procedure, rules, time and any and all other matters pertaining to
> debate and disposition of the joint resolution, and could, if
> appropriate, include provisions relating to the President's legal
> obligations upon leaving office.
> 3. Penalties. Any penalty imposed must be in accordance with the
> Constitution and could require the voluntary agreement by the President
> to overcome the prohibition against bills of attainder.
> Summary
> These are my ideas. They are offered in good faith. I have consulted
> with no one.
> They may not be worthy of a second thought, but I believe the
> suggestions could lead to a fairly broad bipartisan result.
> There is scarcely anyone who believes that the required 67 Senators
> would vote to convict the President on any of the four articles of
> impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee, notwithstanding
> what the full House might do.
> I hope these suggestions will be seen as a blending of responsibility
> and justice, which will permit an expeditious disposition of the entire
> matter before the new 106th Congress begins work in January 1999.
> It is also my hope that pursuing the above suggested outline, or a
> modified version thereof, would demonstrate to the vast majority of
> Americans that Republican Congressional leaders will fulfill their
> constitutional responsibilities, clear the decks and move forward when
> the 106th Congress convenes on Jan. 6, 1999.
> I cannot imagine a better way for Republicans to start the new year than
> by taking charge, and producing just results, at this historic moment.
> It is time for a tough but responsible conclusion. Maybe these ideas
> will be a starting point for a bipartisan ending.
> Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader, was the Republican
> candidate for President in 1996.


President Clinton, on a roll from apologizing for slavery, today also
apologized for "cancer, both world wars, Milli Vanilli and New Kids on
the Block, the metric system, Pauly Shore, New Coke, platform shoes, the
Betamax format, voice mail, the AMC Pacer, tofu burritos, the Boxer
Rebellion, high pressure sodium lights, telemarketing, Spam, and the
movies 'Speed 2: Cruise Control' and 'Batman & Robin'.
-- Martell Stroup