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You Can’t Swallow the Truth: The Ethics of the Clinton Impeachment Essay

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Almost ten years in the past, Bill Clinton’s story in the White House is all but written in stone. No matter the accomplishments the administration accomplished in its time, Clinton’s extramarital affair and subsequent impeachment will pervade, if not dominate, the president’s legacy. The major facts stand mostly undisputed: the president engaged in sexual activity with Monica Lewinsky and maneuvered to keep the affair secret, culminating in explicit lies to a grand jury. Republican opponents of the president had unreserved political motivations to remove the president from office. Revisiting this scandal with these facts would be both fatiguing and evasive of the underlying issues at stake. To truly gauge the justness of Clinton’s impeachment, one must look at the original intent of impeachment as well as its history with regard to other presidents. Furthermore, analyzing the investigation itself requires understanding specific motives and laws that both Democrats and Republicans took advantage of. Here we examine the ethics of the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton with regard to original Constitutional intent, historical precedent, and the political climate during his administration.
To begin evaluating Clinton’s indiscretion as an impeachable offense requires understanding the original purpose of impeachment when the American government was first defined and justified in 1787. The Philadelphia Convention, tasked with laying the groundwork for a new government, was the result of failing autonomous states and too weak a central government set by the Articles of Confederation. James Madison, the ‘Father of the Constitution,’ recognized that such interstate futility led to the “mischief of factions” (Madison, 1787). Th...


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...ormational Leadership: Towards a Federalist Ethic for Organization. Ethics, the Heart of Leadership (pp. 111-140). Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Paperback.
Linder, D. O. (n.d.). An Introduction to the Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson. UMKC School of Law. Retrieved May 23, 2010, from http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/impeach/imp_account2.html
Madison, J. (1787, November 27). Federalist, no. 10, 56--65. Electronic resources from the University of Chicago Press Books Division. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch4s19.html
McGann, E., & Morris, D. (2004). Because He Could. New York: HarperCollins.
Otto von Bismarck quotes. (n.d.). Find the famous quotes you need, ThinkExist.com Quotations.. Retrieved June 5, 2010, from http://thinkexist.com/quotation/politics_is_the_art_of_the_possible-the/170888.html


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