"Shame on you for ending the tradition of setting aside partisanship at the water's edge. You have set another dangerous precedent," charged Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Martin T. Meehan.
"Shame on you for playing into the hands of Saddam Hussein, who staged this last action of defiance to coincide with the impeachment process. You have empowered our nation's enemy."
California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman declared: "Never underestimate a desperate partisan whose lust for the president's blood will cause him to make statements that will give aid and comfort to the enemy."
Some Republicans quietly said they stand by their accusations.
Rep. Tillie Fowler of Florida said she does trust Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, a former Republican senator, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all of whom told Congress the attack had nothing to do with politics.
But she remains convinced that the president somehow manipulated the timing to bolster his grip on the White House.
Other Republicans expressed some regrets for charges made in the heat of the moment.
"I was stunned, and quite frankly, I was [ticked] off," conceded Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, an Eastern Shore Republican. "But that was my first reaction."
Pub Date: 12/18/98