Newspapers once called for a disgraced president to resign. Where are they now? | READER COMMENTARY
For The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 09, 2020 at 5:28 AM
If you believe a president who lies to the country and Congress should resign, there is good news. Numerous newspaper editorials have called for just that, and some of them are scathing.
Just read the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “He should resign because his repeated, reckless deceits have dishonored his presidency beyond repair. He should resign because that is the best hope for sorely needed national catharsis. He should resign because it is the honorable thing.”
Well said. Good for the Inquirer!
And the Detroit Free Press said the president should resign, too. The paper argued that “his effective days are well past gone and his judgment and veracity will be forever suspect.” Agreed.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution really gave it to the president: “The American people have been doomed to a guided tour of hell. A president more concerned with the national interest than his own preservation would realize that resignation is his only responsible option.”
A guided tour of hell, indeed.
The Seattle Times said the president “must now face his duty and resign” and offered a compelling argument: “He lied to the country. He lied to members of his cabinet and let them continue the falsehoods for his personal benefit. He used other officials ... to stonewall, delay, deny. He took the lie into American homes.”
The Seattle Times is correct. That’s what he did.
The mind-blower came from the San Francisco Examiner: “He’s a liar…He’s tarnished the White House. He abused our trust and ripped to tatters our faith in him. As far as we’re concerned, he can swing in the wind. The institution of the presidency deserves better than to be held hostage.”
Swing in the wind? That seems a bit harsh, but it’s clear the San Francisco Examiner felt strongly.
The Baltimore Sun said the president is diminished and the nation embarrassed. However, The Sun stopped short of calling for his resignation. Well, good for The Sun because here’s the problem with all these other editorials.
They were all written in 1998.
About Bill Clinton.
Subsequent to these calls for him to resign, President Clinton went on to serve two more years during which he negotiated the Wye River Memorandum. He traveled to Geneva to urge countries to adopt an anti-child labor agreement. He led the NATO effort to achieve peace in Kosovo. He initiated a policy for Medicare to reimburse providers for the costs of participating in clinical trials. He initiated worker health and safety regulations. He initiated additional funding for before and after school programs, and he initiated nursing home quality standard regulations. In addition, he signed numerous bills passed by the Congress to improve the lives of Americans.
Does anyone expect Donald Trump to lead the country and the world in this way? Bill Clinton lied about being unfaithful to his wife. President Trump has done that as well (“What did people in other countries think of that presidential debate? It’s not great,” Sept. 30). What Bill Clinton never did was lie about a deadly disease that is still killing over 1,000 Americans per day while much of the rest of the world — including Wuhan, China — has reopened.