On Clinton, impeachment and emperor's new clothes.
Has not the Democratic Party just purchased the "emperor's new clothes"?
Richard S. Dutton, Annapolis
The constant one-sided reporting against the impeachment of President Clinton by the news media, including The Sun, is missing an important point: Our government is a representative one. We who take the time to vote for our representatives in Congress do so with the expectation that they will vote on issues the same way we would vote a majority of the time.
The House of Representatives, which currently contains more elected Republicans than Democrats, impeached President Clinton according to the laws of the United States and represents the views of those of us who voted them into office.
When the president goes on trial in the Senate, the same fair process will take place. The constantly referred-to public opinion polls show that a majority of Americans are opposed to the impeachment vote.
Many of those polled, perhaps as much as 50 percent, did not vote for their House or Senate representatives. The only polls that really matter in the United States are the ones where a person's vote actually results in the election of a person to represent him in office.
Tom Decker, Severna Park
Did you watch the impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives? It was an impressive display of oratorical skills on both sides of the aisle.
There was far more agreement than one would gather from listening to the TV news. There was general agreement that:
Impeachment and Senate trial is a political remedy specifically provided in the U.S. Constitution for removing a president guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Criminal conduct of a president is answerable in a judicial setting when he leaves office.
The president did those things of which he is accused and they were wrong and deplorable.
The disagreements were whether or not a) the sins of the president rose to the level of impeachable offenses, b) censure is allowed by the Constitution and c) censure is the proper remedy in this case.
After rancorous debate and in spite of polls showing a majority of the people opposed, 228 courageous Representatives voted for two articles of impeachment. It was certainly not in their own best political interest. They must have believed that their votes were in the best interest of the country.
Now the case goes to the Senate for trial. Already many want to fix the outcome just as traffic tickets are sometimes fixed by a bribe. They want the president to pay money and agree to a statement of censure by the Senate. In exchange, he will not be tried for his criminal acts later and can serve out his term. Fear of conviction drives this shortcircuiting of the Constitutional procedure.
The president should be cleared or convicted in a political trial, period. The Senate should not take the easy way out and fix the president's ticket.
George W. Bauernschmidt Jr., Severna Park
In 1660, Charles II was restored to the throne. From guilt in his father's beheading, he pardoned all but the "regicides," the nutritans who signed the death warrant. The regicides were hunted down, tried, hanged, drawn and quartered. So it will be for the "presidentcides," the Republican members of the House of Representatives who vote for impeachment.
The people will hold them responsible for the spectacle of a government shut down so we can all watch on TV the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court preside over a Senate debating Zippergate. The Republicans don't care if anything gets done on Social Security, health care, transportation or anything else that matters to middle class and poor people.
Bill Clinton's big sin is that he is a Democrat who got elected and re-elected president. What pops the Republican cork is that the people confirmed him still again in 1998 by electing more Democrats to Congress. Republicans are apoplectic because the latest polls show that two thirds of Americans think Mr. Clinton is doing a good job and should not be impeached.
If the Republicans were statesmen, they would compromise on censure. But they would rather make Zippergate pay for Watergate. Vengeance, however, is a game that others can play. The "presidentcides" may find military bases in their districts topping the phase-out list. They may find their own sexual infidelities and other sins exposed. The presidentcides will do nothing in their lives more notable than casting this one vote. They will have an ignominious place in history. And election 2000 will be another spectacle of vengeance: George Bush Jr. won't have a chance.
James A. Hoage, Severna Park
If there is an award for photography, The Sun should receive it. The picture of the president and his wife on Dec. 20, "Clinton impeached, faces trial in Senate," portrays much emotion: In the president was shame, embarrassment, remorsefulness, while in Hillary Clinton, I see pity, understanding, love and hopefulness. Good luck, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton and a job well done to The Sun.
Marge Griffith, Pasadena
Remembering philanthropist Samuel Ready
The biography of Johns Hopkins, Baltimore philanthropist, by William R. Brody ("A gift for all ages," Dec. 24, Opinion Commentary) and the reporting of the graveside ceremony with eulogy by Dr. Muller honoring Johns Hopkins on the anniversary of his death on Christmas Eve in 1873 were most appropriate.
Green Mount Cemetery is, indeed, the resting place of many famous Baltimoreans. I recently attended a ceremony at this cemetery honoring less-known but equally as idealistic and hard-working a philanthropist as Johns Hopkins.
On Nov. 1, a ceremony rededicated the resting place of Samuel Ready. At 15, he came to Baltimore from his birthplace in the county to serve an apprenticeship, and later, having participated in the battle of North Point, was commissioned a lieutenant by Gov. Ridgley in the 27th Regiment of the state militia.
He remained a bachelor during his 46 years of businesses in sail making, mill and sash, and lumber factories. At his death in 1871, he had in place a Board of Trustees to plan a home and school for girls in need.
Though Samuel Ready School closed its doors after 90 years in 1977, his endowment had provided scholarships to the majority of its graduates. The funds of his legacy, successfully growing since 1977, had graduated more than 160 young women from six independent schools in this area designated "Supported Schools" by the school's successor, Samuel Ready Scholarships, Inc. So the legacy of Samuel Ready, philanthropist, continues.
Marjorie L. Sutton, Severna Park
The writer and her daughter are graduates of the Samuel Ready School.
Same old governor, same old tricks
I felt compelled to write about our "beloved" governor.
Although I didn't vote for him, I'm stuck with him just the same as those who did.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening's "in your face" thank you(s) to Maryland voters for re-electing him began this week. First, he reneged on his campaign promise to accelerate a tax cut. Now, he rewards his political cronies with pay raises of more than 15 percent. You can bet that there's more to come.
Same old governor, same old tricks. When will we ever learn?
Ron Parsons, Glen Burnie
Guns, crime and an incomplete picture
The Sun states that new gun laws and the Brady bill are responsible for the decline in crime ("Crime rates falling," Dec. 28). The Sun ignores the fact that nearly 40 states have gun carry laws and most of these were enacted around 1993 when the decline began. Missing is a comparison of crimes between gun carry states and those who don't have such a law. I suspect this is one debate The Sun would not enter into.
Julius G. Angelucc,i Severna Park
Volunteering is worth a try
I take my job-related skills as a cosmetologist to volunteer six to eight hours a month to a senior citizens' home. I have been doing volunteer work for more than 23 years. It is easy, fun, educational and rewarding. I've learned about World War II, how to bake a fresh cherry rhubarb pie -- residents are so interesting to talk to and they love to have someone that will lend an ear.
It is easy to volunteer. Find a facility that interests you. Contact the activities director and discuss what you do. Please give volunteering a try. It will make a difference in numerous lives, especially yours.
Denise Honeycutt, Pasadena
Not enough time to assess project
The National Capital Planning Commission has given citizens just 45 days to review the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed National Harbor project. It is unfair to penalize citizens with the burden of deciphering hundreds of pages of technical material during the holidays.
My organization requests a 60-day extension so that we can share this information with our members and prepare an informed response.
The DEIS states that the National Harbor project would have nearly the environmental impact as the old Port America project. However, the area would face the dual impact of the Wilson Bridge construction. There is also a proposed prison on the other side of Wilson bridge that would further impact the area.
The DEIS mentions that the views of some Oxon Hill residents would be affected. What about the residents who have deep concerns about noise and light pollution? What about concerns about the incomprehensible addition of 50,000 vehicle trips added daily.
Bald Eagle habitat would also be destroyed. This is a big deal anytime, but especially within sight of the nation's capital. As a patriotic American, I feel that protecting the sacred symbolism of bald eagles within view of our national monuments is far more important then building a Disney-style resort.
Bill Shepard, Glen Burnie
The writer is state natural resource and conservation director of the Maryland Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Federation.
Pub Date: 1/03/99