By putting his own semantic road-blocks in the way of censure, Mr Clinton is giving new meaning to political self-destruction. He is daring a Republican Congressional majority that should not be dared.
The New York Times
AS THE House Judiciary Committee was voting out the first article of impeachment, President Clinton emerged from the White House to deliver himself of one more act of contrition. There is little in this type of ritual apology that ought to help Mr Clinton's case. Even for those of us who oppose impeachment, there is something objectionable about yet another example of verbally excessive breast-beating combined with the appearance - devoid of the reality - of candor.
What would be right is for him to admit finally the now obvious facts that he lied under oath and either encouraged others to do so or at least knowingly tolerated their doing so on his behalf. Then he could make the case, a case we grudgingly support, that his offenses, while grave, should not cause his impeachment.
The Washington Post
THE EXTREME punishment of removal from office is disproportionate to Mr Clinton's misconduct. Instead, both houses of Congress ought to pass a searing condemnation of Mr Clinton's disregard for the law. This joint resolution would require the President's signature, which he indicated Friday he would consider.
Some critics have called such a censure an affront to the Constitution, which specifies the process of impeachment and conviction. On the contrary, it is a sensible middle ground between the overreaction of impeachment and the unacceptability of doing nothing.
The Philadelphia Inquirer