Why Al Gore will be president

By Joe Schembrie
web posted June 19, 2000

It doesn't matter what the polls say, Al Gore will be President of the United States, and he has Dan Burton to thank for it.

According to CNSNews.com, "House Government Reform Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) said on June 11 that he will seek criminal prosecutions of President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno if likely Republican presidential candidate George W Bush wins the election."

Burton is confident that Clinton, Gore, and Reno were well aware that the Administration had accepted illegal campaign contributions from foreign governments, and that it can be proven in hearings. Discussing the gravity of the charges on NBC's Meet the Press, Burton said, "After this election, assuming we get a new attorney general, I think I will be sending criminal referrals."

Don't bother, Dan. These hooligans have seen you coming down the road, and they'll be prepared.

They know full well that if George W. Bush becomes President, he will replace Janet Reno. Assuming the new attorney general has a pulse, he will start turning over rocks -- Democratic Administration rocks. There will be a real investigation into why Al Gore's e-mail is missing. And why 900 FBI files illegally turned up in the White House. Waco may finally get serious attention. Maybe we'll even get to the bottom of the Vince Foster suicide. This time answers will be found.

It's not going to be pretty, all those creepy things crawling under those Democratic Administration rocks. And the new Justice Department will be aiding the investigation -- rather than getting in the way.

To save their collective hides from judicial onslaught, President Clinton has no choice but to pardon everyone involved in the high crimes and misdemeanors of his Administration. Why not? As Governor of Arkansas, he pardoned a convicted drug dealer who happened to be his friend. What's Al Gore's bungled bribe-taking next to that? And so all the rest of the Democratic vermin will go loose, too.

Of course, there's one person whom Clinton can't pardon -- himself. Or maybe he could pardon himself, but the Supreme Court might look askance at that. It's tantamount to admitting that Constitutional restraints are useless, if the President is allowed to easily excuse himself for violating them.

But no one can complain if Al Gore becomes President, and then pardons Clinton. After all, when President Nixon resigned, his Republican successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned him for Watergate. Congressional investigations were stopped in their tracks. The country was outraged -- but the Constitutional precedent was recognized.

If Al Gore wins the election, there's no need for pardons; the Justice Department will continue as a Democratic Administration lap dog. But if Al Gore loses, then a convoluted procedure must be followed in order to pardon everyone involved in the Clinton Scandals -- including Bill Clinton himself.

First, following the election, Clinton will issue blanket pardons for all his cronies -- including Vice President Al Gore. Then, Clinton will contract a 'health problem' or some other pretext, and resign from the Presidency. Vice President Al Gore will then constitutionally succeed him to fill out the remaining days of Clinton's term. And then, as the new President, Gore can pardon Clinton.

Dan Burton may as well take his toothless criminal referrals and toss them in the trash.

When Ford pardoned Nixon, he did it just weeks before the 1974 Congressional elections, and the Republican Party got hammered from the adverse public reaction. Clinton is politically savvy enough to hold off pardons until after this year's elections. By the 2002 Congressional elections, we'll have moved on. At least that's what the Democrats hope.

"They did it to us, so we get to do it to them!" will go the Democratic Spin Machine. But in both cases of pardoning scandalous presidencies, Nixon's and Clinton's, the American public is victimized. Do the Democrats also feel entitled to have their own Teapot Dome scandal, seeing that a Republican was President when that happened? Proudly proclaiming that you feel your party is entitled to commit scandals may not go over well with the public. Maybe the American people won't be so quick to move on.

As for Clinton, thanks to the Constitutionally-mandated power of the presidential pardon, he may well escape the judgement of the courts. It's galling to think of how liberal 'revisionist' historians will upgrade his legacy so that he might escape the judgement of history, too.

If there's any consolation, it's that a Gore 'Pardon-Me-Presidency' will be brief. And then he and Clinton can never harm the Constitution again. And once out of office, they'd better be on their best behavior -- for come January of next year, Dan Burton's criminal referrals could grow a new set of very sharp, unpardoning teeth.

Joe Schembrie is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right.

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