Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Literally won’t have a Prayer

A letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott during the Senate impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton:

The Honorable Senator Trent Lott
The Senate of the United States
Washington D.C. 20510

Date. Jan 1, 1999

Dear Sir,

On the first Tuesday in November, 1992, I went to Republican Headquarters. My wife was there making calls on one of many phones. I recognized others too. Surprisingly, every phone was manned by someone from either my church or the Christian school my children attend. Even the woman coordinating the entire affair was a dear friend who worshipped with us. I remember reminiscing as I contemplated what the coming hours would determine: I recalled how my children had in the preceding weeks carried campaign literature door to door. I remember how my wife flawlessly hand addressed literally thousands of letters for local Republican candidates. I wondered what would come of the Saturday after Saturday I had spent with so many others of conviction in platform committee meetings, addressing the spiritual direction of the party. And I remembered the flyers in plastic baggies that I distributed in the rain the night before. Senator Lott, this was typical of the passion and conviction that believers once had for the Republican Party… passion and conviction that has all too often been replaced by feelings of violation, abandonment, and betrayal.

Over the last six years, the Republican Party has proven that conviction and courage are a rare commodity: Republican leadership allowed a pro-abortion governor to deliver the State of the Union response. Republicans failed to oppose the nomination of a Supreme Court justice whose opinions often resemble those of early 20th Century anarchists. The 96 Republican campaign was little more than a "going away party" for a nice old man who reportedly bragged that he had not even read the Republican Platform. I could go on Senator Lott, but I think you can see why I didn’t even bother to go to Republican Headquarters this last election… AND I WASN’T ALONE!

We now stand at the crossroads Senator Lott. The House has HONORABLY determined that it is the rule of law, not public opinion, that must be followed. The house has resolved that there IS to be a trial. And you also have said: "We [the Senate] need to go forward and do our CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to hear the evidence.'' (emphasis added) Yet, a day or two later, you proposed the means for terminating the implicit constitutional mandate for a full Senate trial! Senator Lott, how can you take what you have called your "constitutional duty" so lightly, the "constitutional duty" you swore in an oath with your hand upon the Bible? Senator Lott, have you forgotten that it is the "oaths" that we honor or dishonor, that is the substance of the matter that now confronts the Senate?

The Constitution gives the Senate "the sole Power to try" the President. No other authority on earth has that Power and no other individual has greater Power and responsibility in holding this man accountable then you do as Senate Majority Leader. Our President has forgotten his oaths…Senator Lott have you forgotten yours?

Your leadership in this matter will determine the future of the Republican Party. It will determine whether it is the party of conviction or merely the "moral" equivalent of its opposition. If you take a stand for a full Senate trial with witnesses and the admission of all relevant evidence, it will cost you something. Courage and conviction always cost something. The coliseum in Rome is still stained with the blood of those who refused to betray their convictions… and their contemporaries will not betray them now. Your leadership will determine whether those who have made the most significant contributions to the Republican Party will remain part of it or will consider it an abomination. Sadly, if the latter, the Republican Party literally "WON'T HAVE A PRAYER"!


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