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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10000996
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Former president Bill Clinton called Congress’ impeachment of him an “egregious” abuse of the Constitution and challenged those who say history will judge him poorly because of his White House tryst with Monica Lewinsky. Speaking at an academic conference examining his presidency here Thursday, Clinton challenged historian Douglas Brinkley’s comments in a newspaper interview that Clinton would be deemed a great president were it not for his impeachment.

“I completely disagree with that,” Clinton said in his speech at Hofstra University. “You can agree with that statement, but only if you think impeachment was justified. Otherwise, it was an egregious abuse of the Constitution and law and history of our country.”


Clinton was acquitted by the Senate of perjury and obstruction of justice at his 1999 impeachment trial, which he argued was not about what he called his “misconduct.”

“Now if you want to hold it against me that I did something wrong, that’s a fair deal,” he said. “If you do that, then you have a whole lot of other questions, which is how many other presidents do you have to downgrade and what are you going to do with all those Republican congressmen, you know, that had problems?”


Achievements highlighted
Clinton touted what he called the achievements of his eight-year presidency, from Middle East peace initiatives to turning around the U.S. economy.

His remarks were cheered loudly by the audience.

Clinton said his administration’s failures included its slowness to act to halt the genocide in Rwanda and the decision to allow federal agents to raid a cult leader’s compound in Waco, Texas. Nearly 80 cult followers died in a fire during the 1993 confrontation.

“We should have waited them out,” he said.

The presidential conference is the 11th to be held at Hofstra; the first in 1982 examined the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
I guess he still figures perjury committed by a President ain't such a bad thing
 

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Clinton behaved like an idiot. If idiocy were an impeachable offense ... well, you know where this is going. :)

Wonder if there'll be an impeachment over Iraq. Seems like a few pork-pies were flying out of the mouths of certain government officials over that.
 

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flying_scotsman said:
Clinton behaved like an idiot. If idiocy were an impeachable offense ... well, you know where this is going. :)
If idiocy were an impeachable offense ... George W wouldn't have lasted a month in office. What an agenda that office has had, huh?:thumbdown
 

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Where's that "eatin' ain't cheatin' " gif when you need it?
 

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Sharky said:
A knob polishing isn't a breech of national security, sorry.
...just keep ignoring the perjury and it'll all be true.
 

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Blah blah blah. Yes Clinton Perjured himself but look at the book ends to his Presidency! The Bush's? Hell he'll go down as a great President in simple contrast to those two monstrosities. Nothing makes shabbiness shine like surrounding it in shit huh?
 

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Spirare said:
Blah blah blah. Yes Clinton Perjured himself but look at the book ends to his Presidency! The Bush's? Hell he'll go down as a great President in simple contrast to those two monstrosities. Nothing makes shabbiness shine like surrounding it in shit huh?
Time wil tell.
 

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perjury about knob polishing in a bogus lawsuit is still more about knob polishing than real perjury, contrasted with perjury to a grand jury related to something like outing a CIA agent , for example.

Yes a lie is a lie, but what you are lying about, and under what circumstances you are lying about it, does make a difference in my book. If Clinton had perjured himself regarding misuse of national security information, i would say let him fry in hell. As it was, I agree with Clinton. His impeachment was a purely politically motivated abuse of the U.S. Constitution, just as it would be an abuse if the dems tried to impeach W over perjury related to a bogus flyfishing lawsuit.
 

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Was John Kennedy a great president? How about Lyndon Johnson? what would John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson had said were they to have been accused of the same thing Clinton was accused of? They were both womanizers, but they didn't get caught because the press was a little more discrete about privacy then.

fair enough, but now ask yourselves honestly, what did they accomplish? the true measure of a presidency ought to be more weighted in those regards than the BS surrounding Lewiniski. I happen to think that when you look at Clinton in terms of what he was able to accomplish, he was a pretty good president, especially when you look at the bookends mentioned above.

I agree with mfitz above: perjury about knob polishing in a bogus lawsuit is still more about knob polishing than real perjury, contrasted with perjury to a grand jury related to something like outing a CIA agent , for example.
 

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mfitz said:
perjury about knob polishing in a bogus lawsuit is still more about knob polishing than real perjury, contrasted with perjury to a grand jury related to something like outing a CIA agent , for example.

Yes a lie is a lie, but what you are lying about, and under what circumstances you are lying about it, does make a difference in my book. If Clinton had perjured himself regarding misuse of national security information, i would say let him fry in hell. As it was, I agree with Clinton. His impeachment was a purely politically motivated abuse of the U.S. Constitution, just as it would be an abuse if the dems tried to impeach W over perjury related to a bogus flyfishing lawsuit.
So it's OK for Presidents to perjure themselves as long as its about something inconsequential to the country? I can't believe you even feel that way.
 

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Urlik said:
So it's OK for Presidents to perjure themselves as long as its about something inconsequential to the country? I can't believe you even feel that way.
EVERY president lies to the country in some way, shape or form. I can't believe you think to the contrary.
 

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JayTheSnork said:
EVERY president lies to the country in some way, shape or form. I can't believe you think to the contrary.
Under oath in a deposition? I don't think so. The topic is perjury. Not puffery, lying, or whatever to the media or even the people. Two entirely different topics.
 

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jimbob said:
for some people.
I know. It just amazes me that people can honestly(and I do believe they really see nothing wrong with it) justify perjury. I won't even touch the topic of having an intern give you a blow job in your office but I recommend you never follow President Clinton's example because you won't keep your job.
 

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All the crazy things people say to protect something or someone they view as on their side of the ideological battle and this amazes you? :p If you want to see some examples on the "other" side, just check out any Ann Coulter article.
 

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Macabre said:
All the crazy things people say to protect something or someone they view as on their side of the ideological battle and this amazes you? :p If you want to see some examples on the "other" side, just check out any Ann Coulter article.
Then again, I don't support Coulter's way out crap so I guess it does surprise me.
 

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I guess I stopped being suprised about the human mind's capacity for accepting completely irrational thought the day I learned about organized religion :p
 

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Urlik said:
Under oath in a deposition? I don't think so. The topic is perjury. Not puffery, lying, or whatever to the media or even the people. Two entirely different topics.
you can think whatever you want. I'd wager that IFF (for those reading this, IFF means if and only if) we could read politicians minds, you'd be aghast at the shit they are intentionally covering up, polishing the apple on, telling part of the truth, or intentionally lying about.
it doesn't matter if it is under oath or not, because lying is lying, plain and simple. there's a penalty to be paid if you get caught doing so, regardless of the circumstances.
Clinton's was with his reputation.
 
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