The Democrats in DC have been long talking loud and long about Republican corruption (Tom DeLay's non-existent ties to Jack Abramoff), while totally ignoring their own (Harry Reid's very real ties to Jack Abramoff). Many in Democratic circles are talking impeachment (if they can get control of the House and Senate). Which is why I found this editorial in the NY Time curious at first. The headline seems to sound as if it is calling for restraint in the censure/impeachment process
"Be sure before you Censure"
The editorial then goes into the history of the last successful censure motion:
"While many have compared the censure proposal to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, there is a more relevant precedent: In 1834, America's most famous political orator, Henry Clay of Kentucky, arranged the Senate's only successful censure of a president, Andrew Jackson — and he never stopped paying for his accomplishment." (emphasis mine)
It then details the bad blood between Clay and Jackson which started in 1824. It talks about how the animosity came to a head in time for the 1834 midterm elections:
"Clay thought he had won a great triumph. But the 1834 midterm elections returned control of the Senate to the Democrats, as the Jacksonians were called by then. And the Democrats refused to let the censure issue rest...The Democrats celebrated Van Buren's victory by voting to expunge the censure resolution from the records of the Senate." (emphasis again mine)
but the closing paragraph makes clear the Times intentions:
"Russ Feingold is no Henry Clay, at least not yet. And if he hopes to discredit Mr. Bush, as he doubtless does, I'd suggest he find means other than censure. The last thing today's Democrats want to do is to make George W. Bush look like Old Hickory."
There you have it....go slow on censure...you don't want to make President Bush look good now do you? You don't want to loose the mid-terms do you? There you have it...the Times is giving tactical advise to the Democrats on the campaign.