Henry Hyde: From Henry To Hyde - Two Different Types of Leaders

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Henry Hyde: From Henry To Hyde - Two Different Types of Leaders

Henry Hyde was preaching to a small constituency during the Impeachment trial. Though the information spread through the internet and mass media, those who supported Hyde’s views remained the minority throughout the Impeachment process, and if anything, his support only decreased. Because Hyde felt that Clinton’s lying under oath about his relationships with Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones was morally wrong, he took steps to punish Clinton for those actions. However other people, from all across the political spectrum, felt differently, and due to the divisive nature of issue, the only people who listened to and supported Hyde was the small conservative Republican constituency that had elected him and the other House Managers initially. For Hyde his core Catholic beliefs formed the basis for his political agenda. Those consisted of Catholic, family values issues, primarily pro-life ones. For example, he was on the Advisory Board of the Illinois Citizens for Life.

Therefore the way that Hyde related to his audience was through a mutual agreement that family values, especially monogomy between spouses, were very important concerns, amplified by their percieved degredation of American culture. Clinton had a wife and a daughter, and during both campaigns ran as a women friendly president. Therefore the House Managers, who were all similar in ideology to Hyde conspired together to make the Impeachment a political statement.

There were so many other reasons that they wanted to convict him and ruin is career, ranging from that fact that he had smoked pot to needing to discredit the Democrats before the 2000 election, that the Managers pursued Clinton ruthlessly. Often they were vindictive and bitter, as exemplified by Hyde’s rejection of the Joint Resolution of Censure which would have been politically advantageous to the Republicans offensively and diverted the thrashing they later took in the polls. However during his closing argument before the Senate, Hyde spoke venerably and grandfatherly, and limped up to the podium with the support of a cane, as if America had wounded him.

It was during this speech that Hyde introduced his Henry V analogy, comparing himself to Henry V and the Managers to the English longbowmen as they prepared to die in defense of their country. Hyde saw himself and the Managers as protecting America from Clinton and what would happen if he was acquitted. If Clinton won, the president would have defeated America’s saviors and snaked his way out of punishment and justice, forever damning American culture and making a mockery of its system of justice.

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