Sunday, 18 February 2007

Impeachment for Bush and Cheney

Most of the impeachment talk that was swirling around last November after the elections has died down, sadly. There was quite a bit of hand-wringing from liberals. 'But is impeachment the right thing to do?' they would ask.

Well, if the president has committed a crime, which wiretapping is (but that's just one example), and if he's admitted to committing these crimes, which he has, then yes, charging him with a crime is the right thing to do and not a partisan thing at all. The only reasons not to impeach the president is that you lack the gumption to stick it to Bush/Cheney (sadly true for most of the Democrats in Congress), or you are sufficiently not committed to the rule of law (sadly true for most of the Republicans), or you are trying to see if that's the best way to 'play it'. Which is so cynical I can hardly believe it.

Lots of people have argued against impeachment, among them Kos. The argument is that Democrats can try for an unsuccessful impeachment bid, or Democrats can show American voters that they can run the country in preparation for 2008. Hey, why not both?

So I'm quite pleased to see that my home state of Washington is starting (and I see that New Mexico has already passed) an impeachment resolution of its own.
Washington State is one of several states racing to see which will be first to send the U.S. House of Representatives a petition to impeach Bush and Cheney.

State Senator Eric Oemig, on February 14, 2007, introduced a resolution (PDF) calling on the Washington State Legislature to petition the U.S. House. Please thank him:
Having this come at the state level is great: it costs Congressional Democrats nothing, and keeps the heat on Bush/Cheney. With these psychos, anything that can keep them off-balance and not invading Iran is good.

This is the way the right wing has done it for years. People like Limbaugh and Coulter say outrageous things, and listeners say, "Oh, that's far too extreme," and maybe the blowhards even cop some heat for saying it (but more likely they make money). But in the process, they push the dialogue over to the right. Then 'moderate (by comparison)' Republicans get to split the difference:

Interviewer: Right-wing Pundit, do you agree with these statements that liberals should be killed?
Right-wing Pundit: No, I'm advocating the rather more sensible step of imprisonment for treason.

And this is how American discourse has gotten to this sorry state. So I'm happy to see some pushback toward the left at the state level. Hey, aren't conservatives the ones who are so big on states' rights? Here it is in action.


  1. Hey Dan.
    First whats up with your recent comments? I'm seeing comments from months ago?

    Wow, this is really a hard one for me. I feel like I am being chastised. And maybe I should be. I'll let you know that I did go to the Thurston county Democrates meeting on impeachment and did vote to move forward so I have had at least a voice in Washington state's movement towards impeachment. I do have however some conflicting feelings about it and I don't think that readily proves that I "don't have the gumption to stick it to bush/cheney."

    I think there is far more evidence of bush having broken laws and having thwarted the constitution than there was for Nixon and I also think what Bush has done is far more dangerous to the nation. I have no problem with the impeachment of bush and I would actually love it, more so even if we sent him and cheney to the hague (which is where I really think they belong).

    Here is my problem.

    Much like I voted for Kerry rather than Kucinich I worry that pushing for impeachment might be the right thing to do but in the end give the republicans another 12 years in charge. Lesser of two evils. In other words, think through what we get for impeachment Vs. what do we get for forgoing impeachment and focusing on getting the business of America done. ( this includes ending the war, drug and health coverage etc.)

    I would however like to see the democrates talk tougher about why the prez could be (and should be impeached) and then go into talk about why they aren't doing it in order to get x,y,and z done) I do think, as a practicle amtter, to point out that if we did move forward with a n imopeachment nothing else would get done.

    Having said all that my heart wants to get rid of bush/cheney and see America agree that what they did to our constitution was illegal and a breaking of his sworn oath as president. So here is you opppertunity to convince me that you have thought through the whole spectrum of possible outcomes from both actions and explain to me why impeachment is better for democrates and americans than the other choices.

  2. I don't know what's going on with comments. One of the hazards of not programming the widget myself -- I have no control over bugs.

    I'm glad that you're in there taking part in state politics. You've got gumption to spare. But I don't see how impeachment hurts Democrats' chances in 2008 or indeed at all. The 35% dead-enders still with Bush will never vote Democratic anyway.

    I think getting states to take care of the impeachment issue is good short-term and even better long-term.

    Short-term, as I said, it'll give BushCo one more headache, and one more message that the nation is against them. I don't see it as frivolous, as Clinton's impeachment was.

    It's even more important long-term. You mentioned Nixon. One thing often forgotten in the wake of Gerald Ford's death was that pardoning Nixon didn't help to 'heal the nation' as the news claimed. It made it so that Nixon never had to pay for his crimes committed in office. No president would ever be accountable for anything again. And guys like Cheney and Rumsfeld (who were around at the time) never forgot it. For the good of the nation, we need to show people in high places that their actions have consequences. They've forgotten.

    Are you perhaps worried that Bush will actually leave office before the end of his term? Don't worry -- it won't work! Bush is above the law. They'll have to carry him out.

  3. Well I sure wouldn't want you on the re election commitee. While it is fun to spout off about how criminal his actions have been if you can't come up with at least some POSSIBLE negatives to the democrates for pushing an impeachment and see some positives for not taking that action I don't think you are really trying very hard.

  4. No, I mean 'work your magic'. Tell me where the negative effect is. Honestly, I really do not see any downside to a vigorous impeachment campaign on the part of the states. It's good tactics and good for cleansing the body politic.

    Will people think Democrats are being too mean and petty, as Republicans were with Clinton? This situation is a bit different -- Bush is uniformly reviled by all but the 35%ers, whereas Clinton really was quite popular.

    Should we be directing our efforts to domestic tranquility? Having the states involved keeps heat on the President while allowing Congress to focus on other issues.

    Is it because it won't actually lead to an impeacment (or at least I think it won't)? I still think it'd be valuable to keep Bush/Cheney off balance.

    Okay, maybe I can think of one reason not to do it now, and that would be that the case is insufficiently ripe.

    What else?

    And I guess I should ask: why did you vote to move impeachment forward?

  5. "I really do not see any downside to a vigorous impeachment campaign on the part of the states. It's good tactics and good for cleansing the body politic."

    ok. Now I understand your aurgument better and I agree with you. Yes, lets let the states keep the pressure on the prez and Nancy to pass all the legislation that the Americans have been waiting so many years for.

    Part of my problem is that I am a demoralized democrate still. I have really lost faith in my fellow americans. We are still only at 53% that want troops out now and I could see that swinging back the other way easily. To my way of thinking we should have at least 75% of americans realizing this was a "bad" war and wanting out as soon as possible. I just don't understand. :(

  6. Yes, lets let the states keep the pressure on the prez and Nancy to pass all the legislation that the Americans have been waiting so many years for.

    Should read:

    Keep the pressure on the prez with impeachment movements from the states and give Nancy the political room to pass....


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