Watergate reporter brought perspective to Monicagate...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

October 10, 1998

Watergate reporter brought perspective to Monicagate affair

Carl Berstein's Opinion Commentary article finally has brought realism to all sides in this sordid affair ("Current scandal no match for Watergate's gravity" Oct. 1).

His final words that Bill Clinton's "ultimate crime is that he has enabled a bitterly partisan house to vote impeachment, thus lowering the bar for every future president and suggesting that presidential elections are subject to congressional review and the campaigns of political enemies" resounds with truth.

This has been a war of character assassination from the beginning. It is not necessary, however, that it be the undermining of our institutions.

For perspective, Alexander Hamilton was accused of infidelity and then admitted it in a full-page ad.

The charges of infidelity were sadly true, but despite this personal failure, his public virtue as a government official had never been compromised.

Mr. Bernstein also points out the failure of the independent counsel to report on Filegate, Whitewater, and numerous other investigated material as Mr. Clinton has been hounded by his enemies.

What is truly egregious is that the people have shown their wisdom in their support of Clinton and not of the Congress or the press.

The people will uphold the institutions while the House and the press undermine them.

Franklin T. Clark

Baltimore

I just finished Carl Bernstein's comparison of Watergate to the current presidential difficulties. I found his arguments fairly logical until he posited that Mr. Clinton's poll numbers "testify to the sophistication and discrimination of most of the population. . . ."

Sorry. "Most of the population" is what kept "Married with Children," "Three's Company" and "Jerry Springer" on the air for a mystifying number of years. Mr. Clinton needs better references.

Milt Szimanski

Baltimore

Follow money to find root of investigation

Your editorial "Panel forges ahead despite people's will" asks three very pertinent questions. So put your best investigative reporters on them and get the answers.

I believe the saying "Follow the money" is most applicable here. Is there any real doubt that Kenneth Starr is a paid hitman? The whole mess has reeked of entrapment and collusion from the beginning. The Republicans loathe Mr. Clinton, and they will do anything to stop him.

This impeachment is not about sex but rather right-wing conservatives. I don't want to live in a country that is controlled by the "mores police."

As a lapsed Catholic who supports pro-choice, I'm sure to be on somebody's hit list one day if these people gain control.

I also would like to know where I can apply for a refund of my portion of tax dollars spent by Mr. Starr and the Republicans on this fiasco.

Maria Jackson

Pasadena

Implying that a federal prosecutor could be responsible for infecting a juror during the grand jury proceedings is the ultimate in "right wing conspiracy" theories and is truly despicable.

Your Clinton bias has warped your judgment.

Donna L. Topper

Owings Mills

Congress should lead, not watch the polls

I was dismayed that House Judiciary Chairman Henry Hyde is quoted as saying that there "is not enough public support to convict Clinton in an impeachment trial."

Isn't the outcome of a trial supposed to be based on evidence rather than popular sentiment? If the facts indicate that the president perjured himself or obstructed justice, he should be found guilty and removed. Otherwise, he should be vindicated.

The issue should not be decided by polling a public that has been bombarded by tons of information, some of which is misleading or inaccurate.

The question in these cases is: Do we live by the rules that we lay down for ourselves?

Will our leaders examine the facts to reach objective conlusions?

If so, we should applaud and re-elect them. Or, will they be motivated purely by popular whim? If so, they are not "leaders" in any sense and should be replaced.

Bob Heaton

Cockeysville

He's not King Clinton, and we're not serfs

The president is not a king, editors are not aristocrats and the public is not a herd of serfs, as much as you might wish that they were.

Bill Clinton himself has said that a president who lies to his nation should resign. He has forgotten this and changed his mind again. Why have you not called to him to have the strength of his own convictions, and to adhere to his own stated position?

Robert A. Rudolph

Reisterstown

Promote the basics, not unprepared pupils

It is often reported in the newspapers that the people in charge of education in Maryland are aware that the students who graduate from the schools do not possess the required skills in English and mathematics.

However, they do not know, they say, why they are not able to make the students learn better.

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