A Nation and a State
Jude Wanniski
January 27, 1999


Memo To: House Impeachment Managers
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Confusion on Nation and State

There is a definite confusion in the minds of the Senators on the difference between "the state" and "the nation." Some seem to use it interchangeably, when in fact they are two different animals. The White House wants this confusion to continue, because it allows many Democrats to believe that an impeachment must be a crime against "the state," when in fact the far worse crime of a President is that which is against "the nation." A mechanism can be more easily repaired than the nation that it serves. I'm constantly surprised to see the television lawyers, such as those who do the legal prattling for CNN, agreeing with each other that even if the President strangled the First Lady, he could not be removed from office, because her departure would not damage the state. Only treason and bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors are interpreted as messing up the state. The law would have to wait until a new President took office in 2001 before they brought out the handcuffs for Bill Clinton.

This is because it has not occurred to many folks that ours is the only nation that was brought forth by a state. In the history of the world, all other states were preceded by nations, as national interests led to the creation of a mechanism to serve the state. The state is only a task-oriented mechanism. A nation is a community of interests social, political, commercial, and religious. The United States is a union of diversified states that in combination make up a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal. We became the nation of nations.

In her interviews, Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA] always exonerates the President because he did nothing to damage the state, which may or may not be correct. Another California Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, confuses "state" and "nation." She says Clinton did nothing to damage the nation when she means "state." Practically everyone agrees the President has damaged the nation to one degree or another, even if the Senate decides the damage is not sufficient to remove him from office. The constitutional framers clearly indicated that high crimes and misdemeanors include ethical lapses that undermine the fabric of society. As Rep. Lindsey Graham [R-FL] put it, we know the damage that results when a father is forced to tell his children, do as I say, not that results when a father is forced to tell his children, do as I say, not as I do. The children are confused and the standard is devalued. The President not only is father to the country, but also father to the whole world. For the Senate to conclude that it is okay to commit these crimes against the nation sends a cultural wave that will ripple to every corner of the world. For the Senate to expel the President and cleanse the office also sends a positive and wholesome cultural wave around the world and into history.