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The Morning After: An Editorial Roundup

Impeachment Debate
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  • By Dan Froomkin Staff
    Sunday, December 20, 1998

    For months, newspaper editorial writers around the country largely endorsed an agressive investigation of President Clinton's misconduct in the Monica Lewinsky affair. But on Sunday morning, many editorials were considerably less charitable about what Congress had wrought.

    Following is a roundup of editorials from newspapers around the nation.

    Washington Post: "Impeachment's supporters, in their enthusiasm to defend the legal system against President Clinton's abuses of it, ignored the long-range implications of their own votes."
    A Dubious Impeachment

    New York Times: "[After] an orderly, if misguided use of the constitutional process.... The way back to stability is adoption of a censure resolution that condemns Mr. Clinton for lying under oath, but allows him to remain in office."

    Los Angeles Times: "Clinton's wrongdoing demands a strong official rebuke of some form. But it's important to remember that impeachment is a legal means of taking out of office a president who threatens the well-being of the republic. Even Clinton's most committed enemies, and he has made many, can't claim that standard has been met."

    New York Daily News: "The stain will live for centuries, as long as the Constitution stands and the Republic endures. That is what Republicans have wrought on the narrowest of party-line votes over some lies about a sexual affair. We damn them today. History will damn them forever."

    Chicago Tribune: "The House Republicans acted unwisely in resorting to impeachment, the biggest disciplinary stick in the constitutional arsenal, instead of censure. But Clinton acted immorally and illegally – several times over – and his Democratic supporters, by embracing him as they did, also embraced his offenses. He will not do it, but we once again call on Clinton to resign."
    Impeached But Unrepentant

    New York Post: "The fact that Bill Clinton will not [resign] – indeed, probably will not even spend a minute considering the option – is the ultimate proof that he is unfit to hold office one more minute."
    It's Time for Clinton to Resign the Presidency

    Philadelphia Inquirer: "Now, with this leader's flaws written indelibly into the history books, the Senate must interject wisdom and proportion into this high-stakes duel."
    A Day of Grim History

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "In taking that extreme step – and in barely avoiding the adoption of two accusations that were even more ridiculous – the Republicans thumbed their noses at the U.S. Constitution, at fairness, at common sense and at the people"

    Cincinnati Enquirer: "Dismissing impeachment as "purely partisan" is itself a partisan attack – a shameful insult to the men and women of conscience and integrity who agonized over their votes."
    Bill Clinton Should Resign for Good of our Country

    Detroit Free Press: "Do not think what we witnessed Saturday in Washington is a victory for anyone or anything but blind zeal and base politics."
    Sordid Mess Tarnishes President's Office

    Miami Herald: "Partisanship and precipice met in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, and the Republican majority leapt into the abyss by impeaching President Clinton on two articles."
    'Justice' Gone Amok

    Wichita (Kan.) Eagle: "As long as Americans trust the process outlined more than two centuries ago by the framers of their Constitution – and the vast majority does – their nation will endure."
    Be Calm

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Has everyone in Washington gone nuts?"
    Punish Clinton with Condemnation

    Dan Froomkin can be reached at

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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