I’m moderating a four part Senate Colloquy series at the 1782 founded liberal arts college in Chestertown, Maryland on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay — Washington College. All four meetings feature former Senator Birch Bayh (D-IN) who is a Senior Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.
Tonight’s meeting is with the oratorically mesmerizing Dale Bumpers (D-AR), who gave one of the most memorable and stirring defenses of both the Constitution and President Bill Clinton during Senate impeachment hearings.
This is one worth the drive if folks in Washington, Philadelphia, Dover, Wilmington, Baltimore or Annapolis are available for. I do plan to ask Senator Bumpers tonight how he would compare the very real impeachment trial of Clinton vs. a hypothetical impeachment effort today against either the President or Vice President.
Read Bumpers’ speech given in Senate chambers in 1999. And when he poses the questions about the crime at hand, the seriousness of the vote, and the fear that Hamilton had that justice would be determined along party lines rather than on the merits of the case — think about the situation today.
I remain skeptical of impeachment because the Dems remain inchoate and unable to maintain discipline when fighting the big fights. Kyl-Lieberman and the Mukasey vote come to mind. I also think impeachment proceedings against Bush would fail, and while they might have more traction against Cheney, such action might move the White House to distract national attention by hatching another debilitating war.
But Dale Bumpers is the former national leader with whom to have this discussion — which Senator Bayh and I will do tonight at 5 pm EST.
If folks want to attend, here is a website that can help get you to the college and then to Hynson Lounge at Washington College’s Hodson Hall.
The first two sessions featured former Senators Gary Hart (D-CO) and Paul Laxalt (R-NV).
Next Monday, 12 November, I will be moderating a discussion between former Senator Bayh and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Richard Lugar.
— Steve Clemons