Listening to Barbara Jordan #5: “Indignation so great as to overgrow party interest”


from Say it Plain:

It was a speech she did not initially want to make. In her autobiography, Jordan said she thought the committee should stick to fact-finding instead of speechmaking. “The reaction from the other committee members was: ‘You must be out of your head.’ It seemed they all wanted that fifteen minutes on television,” Jordan wrote.


In methodical and determined tones, she unfolded the constitutional standards that President Nixon had appeared to have violated. Two days later, on July 27, 1974, Jordan voted to impeach the president (Nixon would resign before the Senate commenced a trial). Telegrams and letters poured into Jordan’s office in the days following her speech. A man put up billboards all over Houston thanking Jordan for explaining the Constitution.

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Listening to Barbara Jordan #4: “We know the nature of impeachment. We’ve been talking about it a while now.”


The remaining posts in this series will focus on the Watergate hearings. From the transcript of KUT’s Remembering Barbara Jordan:

After six years at the height of Texas politics, Barbara Jordan arrived in Washington. It was her first term as a U.S. Congress woman, and she was once again compiling a list of firsts.

JACQUI GALES WEBB (CONTINUED) But her tenure in Washington would be marked by what was a defining moment in the country’s history. Within what seemed like moments of her arrival, she was drawn into the national crisis known as Watergate. Wayne Bell begins this next chapter, with Barbara Jordan’s own recollections.

BARBARA JORDAN I went to Congress in January of, of 1973. Now, there were rumblings about impeaching the president, but no serious rumblings. I had always had the highest regard and respect possible for the presidency. And I could not imagine that I would be engaged in a process which would, could lead to the end of the presidency.

WAYNE BELL That’s Barbara Jordan from an interview she recorded with Washington’s WETA in 1984. The rumbling she’s referring to was of course the Watergate scandal, which landed in her lap because she was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. That committee, 21 Democrats and 17 Republicans, was the nation’s point team in determining whether or not to impeach the president. Barbara Jordan, a freshman, brand-new to Washington, would end up playing a crucial role.

MALE THREE Good evening from the U.S. Capital in Washington, where today the House Of Representatives began its formal inquiry into the impeachment of President Nixon.

JOHN DOAR My name is John Doar. I was special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee. In some indication that President Nixon believes that, that that committee can never work, said it would disintegrate into partisan wrangling. And he was counting on that, I believe. And it didn’t come out that way.

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Edwards Bloggers Brouhaha on Blog Talk Radio

McEwen and Marcotte discuss their experiences and first hand impressions of Bloggergate. It’s a lively and informative discussion, and the good thing is that it deals a lot with the underlying topic of political action in the blogosphere vs. the “corporate” media environment. The bad thing is that it’s overly dominated by hosts James and Nate, who should have STFU and let their two very articulate guests speak more.

Still, worth a listen.