Two Different Impeachment Playbooks

Following are some of my thoughts related to this article.

I don’t know about you, but on several occasions I’ve considered the differences between Clinton’s impeachment and what’s happening with Trump. Although Clinton didn’t “own up” at first, he finally did … apologized … and got back to running the country for the American people. Trump, on the other hand …

Well, I’ll let you read this excerpt from the article:

While Trump rarely goes more than a few hours without weighing in on the impeachment inquiry, Clinton’s strategy was to appear above the impeachment fray, a figure too busy working on behalf of the American people to spend his days focused on the investigation by Ken Starr or the impeachment proceedings that followed.

Take note: Clinton’s strategy was to “be a figure too busy working on behalf of the American people.” (He has said he would advise Trump to do the same.)

And Sen. Lindsey Graham (Yes, that Lindsey Graham) actually said this:

President Clinton defended himself but he never stopped being presidential. The public may not have liked what the president had done, but believed that he was still able to do his job, and as he governed during impeachment, I think that was the single best thing he did.

Some of you may remember when Clinton apologized and asked for forgiveness for the hurt he’d caused his family and the American people. He added that he was “genuinely sorry” for the pain and the damage that he had caused and for the wrongs he had committed.

Trump, on the other hand, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, frequently reiterating that his call to the Ukrainian president was “perfect.”

The article does point out that at the beginning, Clinton attempted to discredit and dismiss the investigation and the individuals conducting it. Eventually, however, he took his lumps and admitted the error of his ways.

One can hardly deny the difference between the two presidents.

Clinton acted like an adult and came out ahead in the end. Trump has acted like a child who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, all the while insisting the cookie jar doesn’t even exist.

As he commented at one of his recent campaign rallies: “How do you impeach a president who didn’t do anything wrong?”

Religious Liberty

I recently came across an article entitled, “The Continued Threat to Religious Liberty is Undeniable.”

It was difficult for me to read because the writer seemed to overlook the fact that “religious liberty” is not limited to a particular faith. In fact, as I was reading the article, I was reminded of the slogan on the Gadsden Flag — “Don’t Tread On Me.”

Let me explain.

The phrase was originally on a Revolutionary War flag and was intended as an historic expression of American patriotism. Over time, however, the words became associated with a more general expression of personal freedom and individualism. Unfortunately, in the 2000s, the phrase became associated with a variety of libertarian, conservative, gun-rights, and far-right political groups as a way to express their beliefs.

Nonetheless, for me, the phrase clearly means … Don’t trample on my personal freedoms and I won’t trample on yours.

Back to the article — it’s apparent the writer supports his version of “religious liberty” because he cited the couple who was asked to bake a custom wedding cake and refused because it violated their faith. He also mentioned the instance of a coach who was fired for kneeling in silent prayer at midfield after a high school football game. Further, he praised certain judges who were willing to reconsider the Free Exercise Clause* (which he indicated has been dormant for decades).

He was also quite excited that Justices Bret Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch were confirmed, along with the confirmations of several (Trump-appointed) federal judges to the District and Circuit Courts of Appeal since, in his opinion, this indicated a “renewed respect for the text and original intent of the Constitution” and promised more protection of “religious liberty.”

There’s little doubt that one person’s definition of religious liberty is not always the same as another. For example, an individual left this comment (which I agree with) related to the article:

Religious liberty is the freedom to believe in anything you like, or to believe in nothing at all. But it certainly does not carry with it the right to force others to live by those beliefs.

Even so, we continue to see those on the religious front trying to hijack the phrase “religious freedom” and assign to it a meaning that supports their viewpoint.

Sidenote: While searching for a picture to accompany this story, I typed in the word “religion.” The extensive choice of images confirmed that the word is not confined to one particular faith. And, IMO, this is something that many who advocate”religious liberty” often overlook.

*The FreeExerciseClause of the US Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees the right to hold religious beliefs and engage in religious practices that are part of a person’s religious beliefs. (See for a more detailed discussion.)