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Views of a newspaper executive editor re: impeachment


I am in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been a long-time reader of the San Jose Mercury News, a medium size regional newspaper that endorses Obama. What struck me as odd was that the newspaper has completely ignored the impeachment movement out there. Not a word was printed about the impeachment attempts in the House against Cheney and Bush. I wrote several letters to the editor regarding this, which were not printed. So I sent email directly to the executive editor, and I'd like to share his responses here so that anyone who feels strongly about this can write to him at dbutler@mercurynews.com.

(Background: My emails meant to suggest that at least we should be informed of the movement, the causes for it, and its consequences, whether or not the newspaper supports it. I also tried to explain that impeachment will signal all future presidents that they must not assume they have the royal prerogatives.)

These are his replies:

"The impeachment chatter online is just that -- nothing is going to happen and the President is not going to pardon himself. He, like President Clinton, surely can pardon others and I suspect he will. I'm sure the Democratic leadership of both houses of
The Congress are keeping a close eye on the President and the press will too.

"Come on, the country is on the verge of making what may be it's biggest change ever. Look forward - not backwards.

"You fight the last "war" and I'll fight the next one. I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I think the next "war" will be tough enough. Let me know how the last one turned out.

"I don't want to leave you with the
impression that I think history is unimportant. Wrong. I'd say, for
instance, that Bill Clinton squandered his presidency over sex -- a real shame and we should learn from that. Much should definitely be learned from history -- but there comes a time when you have to decide where to allocate your resources. I'm just suggesting forward is better than backwards in the examples you gave."

So basically he's saying investigating any possible wrongdoing (i.e., looking backwards) is a waste of time and is distracting us from more important things in the future. With a new president, everything is going to be fine, as if we were like people who lived under a monarchy, hoping that the next king would be nice and kind. He totally missed the point.

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