Friday, May 11, 2007

Impeachment! Use It!! or Lose It!!!

Enough with the alibies for inaction! Sometimes you just have to say, WTF!

Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is coauthor along with Barbara Olshansky, of The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office. He has a diary up on the Daily Kos today in which he says of the impeachment power, basically - use it or lose it:
Congress has an obligation to defend the Constitution against attack. If it fails in its duty, then it should at least have the decency to give a proper burial to the impeachment clause that the Founders gave them to use for that purpose.
Lindorff details five spurious anti-impeachment arguments floating around:
  1. Impeachment would be a diversion from Democrats’ main goals of ending the Iraq War, and passing important legislation.
  2. Impeachment is divisive.
  3. The public opposes impeachment.
  4. Impeaching Bush would mean making Cheney president
  5. The president’s crimes and abuses of power need to be proven before any impeachment bill.
Follow the DKos link given above to see how Lindorff dispatches these aliblis for inaction. The only one I present here is Lindorff's answer to #5 (above):
This is completely backwards. An impeachment bill can be filed by any member of Congress who believes the president has violated the Constitution. At that point, it is up to the House Judiciary Committee to consider the bill’s merits and decide whether to ask the full House to authorize impeachment hearings. It is at an impeachment hearing where investigations should proceed. After all, only after the Judiciary Committee votes out an impeachment article can the full House consider whether to actually impeach. Calling for investigations before an impeachment hearing is like asking for an investigation before a grand jury investigation. It’s redundant, simply a dodge.
There are currently five sponsors to Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney (H Res. 333) for lying about Iraq WMDs, lying about a link between Hussein and Al Qaeda, and for illegally threatening to invade Iran:
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich
  • Rep. Albert Russell Wynn (D-MD)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky
  • Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO)
  • Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA)
OK, Okay, I fibbed a little. My own Congresswoman Capps is not yet a sponsor, but I'm so determined that she be among the next ten that I commit to calling her office every day until she signs herself up for reals. I'm going to keep it simple and be making only two points:
  1. Jefferson and Madison had people like Bush and Cheney in mind when they placed the impeachment clause in the Constitution.
  2. Our war occupation in Iraq cannot be ended until at least one of the two war-starters-in-chief is chased out of office.
Dave Lindorff also suggests that chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), also be similarly pestered with a demand that hearings on the Kucinich bill (H Res. 333) be scheduled.

And now for my public service announcement:
The main number for the House switchboard is (202) 225-3121.

14 Moderated Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The process is pretty much well defined, so go do, remembering that"Using it" and "making it happen" are not synonymous.

5/11/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Messenger said...

The crime family of Bush, Cheney, Delay and Rove have been nothing more than an under-opposed gang of bullies and thugs for almost decade. They have bruised their opposition into cowardice, bought off the media, and walked all over our Consitution as if it were a scrap of paper.

If Democrats don't stand up and punch back they might win the election of 2008. Maybe, and maybe not. But if they don't take a swing and land a punch on Bush and Cheney while they share the ring, then the American people will never trust national secuirity to them down the road, in 2012 and beyond.

If Democrats aren't tough enough to punch-out this flawed presidency, will Americans trust and respect them in the future to take a stand?

After all they have been put through, Americans expect Bush to be wounded at least. They want blood in the water. They are ready for a constitutional crisis.

5/11/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Don't forget this excuse: Impeachment would wreck the Democratic party.

Since when did it become irrelevant that crimes were committed, that the Constitution was violated, that lies were told?

We are supposed to overlook all if that because the Democrats might be wounded by the effort to impeach?

Forget that.

I'll be calling for impeachment until January 19, 2009. Hopefully, I won't have to last that long.

5/11/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Thanks for the book tip!

5/11/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Pink Liberty said...

awesome! Let's help those Democrats fight!

5/11/2007 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Well, there is a lot we can do with Impeachment, and one of the major things is that people are aware that it is a leagl option. One fo the things I will be doing to remind people of WHY Bush should be impeached is happening on Monday. I will be going to Wachington DC for the Mother of a March on May 14th (Monday) to protest the war. We're meeting in Lafayette Park at noon if anyone would like to join us.

5/12/2007 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

M.D., Impeachment won't wreck the Democratic Party. Look what it did for the G.O.P.!

5/12/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Boris said...

Yes! Call his sorry Republican ass up! I already placed my call. I made him an offer. I told him it 's either going to be Dick's ass now or his ass in two years.

5/12/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Impeachment would be a diversion from Democrats’ main goals of ending the Iraq War, and passing important legislation.
While Bush and Cheney are in the White House, any truly important legislation will be vetoed.

Impeachment is divisive.
For our nation to be more divided than bush has made us, would be like the Pope being more Catholic.

The public opposes impeachment.
The last actual poll done on the subject was in October. (Newsweek) 51% favored impeachment.

Impeaching Bush would mean making Cheney president
Impeach both simultaneously.

The president’s crimes and abuses of power need to be proven before any impeachment bill.
We have a smörgåsbord from which to choose.

Nuff said?

5/12/2007 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

'Nuff said, Tom. Totally!

5/12/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Just for sh*ts and giggles I have to bring up the possibility that as it becomes increasingly apparent the Iraq war will not get any better or more than likely get worse into the Fall that moderate Repubs like the ones that just had a chat with the Ferret last Tuesday might come to see impeachment as a way to save their sorry butts as the 2008 elections draw near. Russert reported on MSNBC Friday morning that one congressman told Bush that one part of his district was giving the him a 5% approval rating. That kind of overwhelming disapproval could ruin the chances of reelection for repub congressperson no matter how much Bush might be supported in other parts of that district. None other than Senator Lott from Mississippi and the House Minority Leader (can't remember his name) have both recently made comments that patience with the situation in Iraq will not last forever.

5/12/2007 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Keller said...

It is May 13, 2007 (Happy Mother's Day to all, by the way) and the nation is already deeply involved in the run up to the 2008 election.

Way, way, way, way, way too involved..... way, way, way, way, too early, in my opinion.

This provides a needless distraction from the debate on the war (occupation) and any debate on Impeachement. Why bother to impeach, when you're already busy election the next guy!!!

With Barack, Hillary, John and Bill all shouting every day "Elect me and I'll end the war," or "Elect me and I'll restore respect in the White House," why would the public worry about impeachment.

Our zeal for early presidential campaigning is a pacifier for the public, distracting them from the issues Lindorff and Olshansky raise.

the Wizard......

5/13/2007 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Wizard, raising the prospect of impeaching our own home-grown and self-elected WAR CRIMINALS focuses attention on ending the occupation. Bush has said our military will not pull out of Iraq on his watch. The most obvious solution is to end his watch ASAP. And Shooter's too! That's the only way to save blood and treasure we are otherwise going to be squandering between now and 01.20.09. Of course, if you just don't care about blood and treasure, then you're probable okay with politics as usual. . . .

5/13/2007 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

I think both of you have a point, which I will put this way: Bush either cannot withdraw from Iraq and cannot be trusted to withdraw. In other words, he would cluster-fook-up withdrawing from Iraq, just as has has fooked up invading it. Just as he has fooked up everything he has touched, for that matter. This point was made by Digby.

So, this is a second reason why regime change in Washington must precede withdrawal from Iraq.

5/13/2007 10:01:00 PM  

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