Bankruptcy and Zeal: The Republican Dialectic

Bankruptcy and Zeal: The Republican Dialectic

Now that the dust has started to settle, it’s time to assess why the congressional Republicans, in the face of overwhelmingly hostile public opinion, pursue the impeachment of President Clinton to the bitter end. Overwrought idealism was partly responsible, as was the intimidation of more moderate members by the hard-line party leadership, as were the whims of fortune. But one of the dirty secrets of impeachment may be that the Republicans had nothing better to do. By setting their sights on removing an already besmirched Bill Clinton, Republicans unwittingly exposed their party’s intellectual bankruptcy, especially at the national level. And by pursuing impeachment as zealously as they did, they compounded that bankruptcy by alienating millions of voters.

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