To consider impeachment merely as a political exercise is to disregard the intent and spirit of the law. To think that impeaching no less than a President is merely a showdown of partisan interests is to convert the serious to the ridiculous.
Impeachable offenses are not purely political in nature. They are accusations of grave dereliction of duty and/or commission of serious misdeeds contrary to the fundamental law of the land. And these are highly charged moral issues.
Even the over-all accusation of betrayal of public trust is anything but simply a political matter. This is especially true when the betrayal is said to come in form of lying, cheating, deception. To hide the truth, to cover the fact, to forward falsehood are all basically immoral actuations even if done by a key political figure.
When impeachable offenses are attributed to no less than the President of the country, this has the basic right to defense and to be absolved if the accusations are disproven.
It is so unfair for someone to be accused with grave offenses only to be subsequently told that everything is all right—without benefit of trial. The accused then remains always suspect, discredited, distrusted.
That is why the quest for truth is imperative in the presence of an impeachment complaint. And truth knows no party. There are no party lines when the pursuit of truth is called for. This is especially true when a good number of citizens want to know the truth—which is their rightful demand.
In fact, the test of the integrity of Congress and of the Senate is when they abide by the known dictum “my loyalty to my party ends when my loyalty to my country begins”. And the testing is on.
At the end of the day, no politician answers to the party but to his conscience. The party simply discards the politician who can no longer serve its interests. This is standard practice. This is the lesson of history.
30 August 2005