A LETTER FROM MY CONGRESSMAN
Oct. 19,1998 Congressman Tom DeLay
Dear Mrs. .....: Thank you for contacting me regarding President Clinton. It is extremely valuable when considering important issues to know the views and concerns of my constituents and I appreciate your taking the time to comment.
Like most Americans, I too wish this whole sordid mess was over. That President Clinton should have to take to the national airwaves -- without a trace of contrition -- and admit that he has lied to his family, his friends, and to every American truly degrades the office he occupies and threatens to tear an irreparable hole in the fabric of the rule of law, upon which our great nation was founded.
In a recent editorial, The Houston Chronicle raised a simple question, "Whatever happened to telling the truth for the simple sake of honesty . . . trust?" And that's what this is ultimately about -- trust. Public trust is the lifeblood of leadership, and the cornerstone of the legitimacy of any government leader. And the higher the position, the more important that trust becomes because of the seriousness and complexity of the issues the leader confronts. When the leader is in the position of putting countrymen in harm's way, protecting his nation's interests abroad, or making daily decisions affecting literally everyone in the country, that leader has an even greater responsibility to protect that trust against all threats, temptations, and misdeeds.
President Clinton has squandered this trust, sullied the office of the presidency, and betrayed the American people. While some people argue that this is merely about sex, they are gravely mistaken.
This crisis facing our nation is about whether the President broke the law of the land and, by extension, whether he broke his sworn oath of office. Furthermore, if the President of the United States cannot be held accountable for his actions, and face the resulting consequences, why should any other American citizen believe in the rule of law? How do you teach your children that bad actions yield bad results when the President can cheat and lie without consequence and still be allowed to carry on his duties?
A proclamation by author C.S. Lewis fits this situation, "The very idea of freedom, presupposes some objective moral order which overarches rulers and ruled alike. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law."
It is bad enough that our President is guilty of having an extramarital sexual relationship with one of his young interns. But it is much more damaging that this President looked the American people in the eye and knowingly lied to us for months. Unfortunately, this has been a pattern for this Administration. From the various abuses of the Clinton campaign to Filegate, from Travelgate to Chinagate, the President has always shown the same pattern: stonewall, delay, obfuscate, and lie. This conduct is simply unacceptable.
As I have said before, I believe the President should resign for the good of the country. The American people deserve to trust and respect the leader of our nation. This President has abandoned that trust and respect, not only because he has cheated and lied, but also because he has engaged in a pattern of unacceptable conduct.
In 1974, as the House Judiciary Committee prepared to embark on an inquiry of impeachment, a Democratic representative from New York made a statement on the House floor that applies to the situation today. "The president is not a privileged citizen; he must be the model citizen. Mr. Speaker, the Presidency is not under attack as some would have us believe. It is rather the conduct of that office within a specific time frame that we are undertaking to examine on behalf of the American people.
That the Presidency is held in low repute today is not the fault of Congress, the press, or the public. The simple truth is that what loss of public trust there has been in the Presidency is the result of activities engaged in on behalf of, in the name of and through the authority delegated by the incumbent of that high office."
I take my responsibilities as a Member of Congress very seriously, which is why I am actively urging this President to resign. As painful as this ordeal may likely be for our nation, it is something he must do to preserve and protect the integrity of the executive branch for future presidents.
Again, thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Please feel free to write or call anytime I may be of assistance. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Congress.
Member of Congress