Perilous Road Ahead For Clinton

As expected, Republicans voted unanimously in the House for impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, in what they say was a non-partisan vote.

Since House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his party dominate the House, the issue never was in doubt. Thirty-one Democrats crossed the line to vote with Gingrich and the Republicans.

This was fewer than the White House feared, and more than they had hoped. Naturally, they would have preferred that no Democrats cross over. The 3l crossover Democrats were fewer than Republicans had hoped, but more than they had feared might be the case.

Naturally, they wanted some Democrats to cross over and pretty much knew some would. They would have liked the number to have been l00 or more or at least 50.

Overall, it isn't going to matter much - at least not now. House members are returning to their districts to run for re-election.

Where does all of this go from here? Not much of anywhere until after the November elections. Then, depending on how the elections go, the Republican-led impeachment inquiry resumes.

Sometime at or around the first of the year - probably - Republicans in the House will decide whether to push for actual impeachment and a trial in the Senate.

That is, unless some deal is struck for a reprimand short of impeachment, or unless the president resigns. Many of those considerations, again, will depend on the outcome of the elections. This is a long way from being over, and the Clinton presidency remains in dire peril.

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