History 65

The Clinton Impeachment

May 2, 2006



I. The Aftermath of 1994


            1. Road to Democratic Defeat (early stumbles; independent counsels; collapse of health care plan)


            2. Triangulation (Gingrich Revolution and overreach—budget cuts, Rabin funeral; Dick Morris and concept of triangulation; significance of Rubin)


3. Reestablishing Executive Authority (role of “soccer moms”—incremental executive actions; foreign policy)


4. The Limits of Clintonism (triangulation as a political strategy; 1996 elections—weakness of Republicans, House recruitment, Dole collapse, role of Perot, congressional surge, fundraising scandal; a limited mandate?)


II. The Starr Chamber


1. Sexual Harassment Law (political—effect of Thomas/Hill hearings; legal—legacy of Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (1986) and “hostile work environment”; rise in EEOC filings; Molinari amendment (1994); merging of law and politics—Packwood, Clinton)


2. Starr (background and initial appointment; difficulties of Whitewater inquiry; struggles of D’Amato committee hearing; merging with Jones case; discovery of Monica Lewinsky; Tripp and perjury trap; unpredictable public reception; Starr Report and 1998 elections)


3. Impeachment (the House Judiciary Committee most polarized committee in Congress; Hyde and erratic chairmanship; effectiveness of Democratic opposition; impeachment vote on floor; “grand jury” theme, incompetent managers and Senate trial; Specter vote and non-majority; legal and political effects)