Some Lies Under Oath Are More Important Than Others

Remember when the Beltway thought "lying under oath" was an affront to the Constitution? No? Okay, let me try this -- do you remember when the Beltway thought "lying" under oath about oral sex with an unrelated consensual third party in a civil deposition in a case funded and promoted by right wing extremists was an affront to the Constitution?

Lying to Congress? About politicizing the Justice Department? The Beltway says, "who cares?" After all, "what would Dick Do?" is the key question President-elect Obama should be asking himself according to the Beltway Gasbags.

Speaking for me only

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    Yes, the salad days (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    when the gasbags didn't even bat an eye at spending $30 million+ to investigate
    "lying" under oath about oral sex with an unrelated consensual third party in a civil deposition in a case funded and promoted by right wing extremists

    How could I forget Lindsey Graham whining "rule 'a law" day after day?

    I hope Leahy is planning to make some hay with this in the Holder hearing this week.

    well BTD, (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:37:03 PM EST
    sex in the oval office period is clearly a national security issue. politicizing DOJ and basically destroying the rule of law is pffft by comparison.

    where are your priorities man?

    Didn't Powell lie (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:43:06 PM EST
    when he claimed in a sworn deposition during the Iran-Contra hearings that Weinberger had not kept a diary of the meetings and then several years later admitted that he had and the he, Powell had helped him keep up with it?

    The gasbags ignored this, too.

    Good Point (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:47:40 PM EST
    Although I doubt that the GOP will ever change or be held accountable for their making believe that they operate with any regards to moral ethical or legal principals. They operate almost exclusively in order to gain more power despite the trail of damage left behind.

    And the Democrats don't? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:22:45 PM EST
    Tis the nature of the besties.

    Ollie North, as I recall, admitted (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by oldpro on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:59:02 PM EST
    lying to congress, said he was proud of it (re Iran/Contra) and said he'd do it again!

    Holding him accountable was out the window because congress gave him immunity for his testimony.

    Since then, he ran for the US Senate and became a 'celebrity host' for a television series.

    It was all OK with Republicans to lie to congress for 'national security reasons' like Iran/Contra.

    What hypocrites.

    What is the political goal of the Making (none / 0) (#2)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:31:30 PM EST
    Holder confirmation a big deal?  I just don't see this Rich thing as something that is going to rally anyone for any extended period of time.

    Arlen Specter and the 2010 Republican primary (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:36:54 PM EST
    that's what this is about.

    Isn't that just a little far away to matter? (none / 0) (#8)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:53:57 PM EST
    I don't see culture war points being scored here.  If this country was in a better place, maybe this fight is politically helpful, but it is not.  I just seems like a big waste of time.

    It's politically helpful to Specter (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:01:48 PM EST
    He's looking to scare away primary challengers. Raising the shibboleth of the Clinton wars is a great way to do that.

    My new word is shibboleth (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:16:49 PM EST
    I love it.  Here is the definition/ meaning of this hebrew word for anyone else who was thinking of looking it up.

    "Gilead then cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever Ephraimite fugitives said, 'Let me cross,' the men of Gilead would ask, 'Are you an Ephraimite?' If he said, 'No,' they then said, 'Very well, say Shibboleth.' If anyone said, 'Sibboleth', because he could not pronounce it, then they would seize him and kill him by the fords of the Jordan. Forty-two thousand Ephraimites fell on this occasion."


    shibboleth (none / 0) (#18)
    by weltec2 on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:38:17 PM EST
    Yes, it seems to me Monty Python did a sketch about that... or in any case, if I am misremembering and they didn't, they should have.

    Even for Congressional Dems, IOKIYR (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 03:37:30 PM EST
    Especially if you're involved in what it's okay the Republicans did.

    "Beltway Gasbags", you're too kind BTD (none / 0) (#11)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:17:07 PM EST
    We've come to expect a lot more than this from you in terms of derision: at least Beltway Blowholes, no?

    However, you've written the consummate sentence on the Clinton impeachment debacle. I've never seen it summed up so well, with such brevity, wit, and appropriately assigned condemnation:

    Do you remember when the Beltway thought "lying" under oath about oral sex with an unrelated consensual third party in a civil deposition in a case funded and promoted by right wing extremists was an affront to the Constitution?

    For those who weren't there at the time, the "civil deposition" you're referring to was Bill Clinton's deposition in the sexual harassment suit that Paula Jones brought against the President with pressure and funding from "right wing extremists". It was in the context of that testimony where BC was blind-sided with a question about sexual relations with Lewinsky - which he denied. I'm assuming that's an accurate reading of the lead-up.

    So, BC was impeached for that apparent falsehood. Here's the part that I'm not clear on, legally speaking. Aside from the gigantic bogosity of the situation, why wasn't he convicted. Was it because oral sex is not, by legal definition, "sexual relations"?

    If you're talking (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:25:40 PM EST
    about the impeachment, the process has zippo to do with legalities.  It's entirely political.  That's not a criticism, I'm just stating a fact.  Bill Clinton wasn't convicted by the Senate because not enough senators, including one or two Republicans, thought he should be.

    Gyrafalcon, it was a GOP controlled Senate? (none / 0) (#20)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 05:04:45 PM EST
    Going in, there were enough votes to impeach, but not to convict at the end.

    No doubt the continual rise in public approval of Clinton (76% during the impeachment) had an effect on the outcome.


    The HOUSE (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 06:13:36 PM EST
    impeaches, the Senate then has a trial and votes whether to convict.  It has to convict by a two thirds vote, and they didn't come close on either charge.  The first charge was defeated something like 55 to 45, the second was a 50-50 tie.

    Clinton's poll numbers had pretty much zero effect on either the impeachment or the vote in the Senate.  They all convinced themselves that each new event would be the tipping point and his approval would sink, but it kept rising instead.  I don't believe they ever figured that out.

    You might want to find a good book on the whole thing.  It was excruciating and seemingly never-ending, but fascinating now that it's old history.

    After he left office, Clinton plea-bargained a contempt of court charge for the perjury and agreed to a temporary disbarment in order to close the book on the whole business.

    It remains a considerable matter of dispute whether his denial of "sexual relations" with Lewinsky was perjury or not, given that many, many men, maybe a majority, consider "sexual relations" to be only intercourse, not any other sexual activity.


    Right, understand the respective roles (none / 0) (#22)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:29:25 PM EST
    of the House and Senate, etc. Just saying it was a fascinating trajectory of events, with the rise and fall of each party in successive elections and the continual rise of Clinton in his final so-called, "lame duck" years.

    2008 takes me back to 1992: after 3 terms of tyrannical GOP governance, it was glorious when the Dems took POTUS, the House and the Senate. Unfortunately, with the advent of the radical religious right and Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America", the Dems lost both Houses in the 1994 midterms and again in 1996 - despite BC's re-election.

    Strategically, Ken Starr's Lewinsky report and the House initiation of impeachment hearings preceded the 1998 midterm elections. Amazingly, against all expectations, the set-up failed to increase the GOP Senate majority and seemingly caused the weakening of the GOP majority in the House.

    Long story short: the GOP-controlled House voted to impeach on two articles: "perjury before a grand jury", 228-206; and "obstruction of justice", 221-212. The subsequent trial in the GOP-controlled Senate failed to attain the requisite 2/3 majority vote for conviction and ended in acquittal with the stats Gyrfalcon cited: count one, defeated 55-45; count two, defeated 50-50.

    *Some impeachment hearing are warranted (Nixon), some aren't (Clinton). However, 'going forward' and all, many pols would have us believe that impeachment hearings are inherently tedious.  Definitely not true.


    I'm Reminded Of That Old Classic (none / 0) (#25)
    by Blue Jean on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:28:02 PM EST
    No, not "J'Accuse"; I'm thinking of "Blazing Saddles".  The Sheriff is strapping on his six guns so he can face down the big, strong (but dumb) Mongo, when the Kid tells the Sheriff; "I'd advise you not to shoot Mongo; you'll only make him mad."

      Like Mongo, the GOP congress was big, tough, and had one mission in life; to take down the Sheriff, I mean, Bill.  If Mongo had lost enough seats in '98 to lose their majority, then impeachment would have quietly died in the House.  Likewise, if they had gained even one or two seats, Bill might have quietly resigned.  When they lost five seats, they were wounded, but they weren't dead; they were just madder.  (and I mean that in both senses of the word)

    However, like Mongo, they were outwitted by Bill, albeit after a lot of damage had been done.  And, like Mongo and the Sheriff, they became good friends afterward. (or at least, not total enemies.)


    I'm reminded of... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:42:02 PM EST
    Bill's answer to a question during the impeachment process, when he said: "It depends on what your meaning of the word "is" is".

    That was brilliant. i.e. whether the inquisitor was using the word "is" in the past or present tense. There's a world of difference.


    Impeachment is a political act (1.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:30:24 PM EST
    Simply put, not enough Senators thought that he committed a high enough crime and misdemeanor to warrant being thrown from office.

    But I thought he lost his license to practice law over the PJ thing, and the impeachment was his lies re Monica L. But I am probably wrong, having more or less ignored it when it was going on. Expecting a man to tell the truth about sex is well beyond reasonable expectations.

    Besides, a gentleman never tells.


    Bill's Real Crime (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Blue Jean on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:16:36 PM EST
    was being a Democratic President in the time when the Republicans in charge (like Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich) thought they had a divine right to rule.  Bill had a target on his back from Day One; Monica was just the gun, and the stained dress was just the bullet.

    And Linda Tripp was the match (none / 0) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:44:22 PM EST
    that lit the fuse. The presumed confidant who told Monica to "keep" the dress with the stain.

    If the Clintons had any integrity... (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 12:07:37 AM EST
    If the Clintons had any integrity or class, then Monica wouldn't have needed the blue dress to protect herself from allegations that she was some sort of troubled woman who made all this up.  Bill would have confessed to all as soon as it came out and the scandal would have disappeared.  The fact that Bill and Hillary could not pursue this obvious path to manage a scandal tells you something about them, not about Linda Tripp.

    Did you read Lewinsky's book? (none / 0) (#29)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Jan 15, 2009 at 01:11:26 PM EST
    Which part did you like best?

    I liked the part where she said that Linda Tripp was part of the set-up to ensnare her (Monica) in a plot to bring down the President for fudging the truth over his affair with her.

    Have you written a lot of comments demanding that Bush and Cheney be impeached for the high crimes and misdemeanors of violating international treaties and our own constitution? Where is your outrage over: 1) waging a war of choice; 2) suspension of habeas corpus - indefinite detention without charges or trial, even of US citizens; 3) warrantless wire-tapping, even of US citizens; 4) torture and systematic abuse of detainees; 5) extraordinary rendition - outsourcing of torture, etc, etc.

    *Or do you conserve and reserve your outrage for 12 year old semen stains on Gap dresses? If so, turn the page already, please.


    Specter just needs to move the needle a little (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 04:30:17 PM EST
    bit further in his direction. Anyone who would vote against him for his Scottish law tangent isn't likely to be persuaded by this.