Impeach for the Future
This intent for this site is to focus on the future, which we dream up daily with our imaginations, our hopes, our actions and commitments. Baseball and personal observations get on here, too, but I try to limit the political commentary to subjects important to the future. So this site doesn't chronicle the hourly political events and issue debates, nor does it dwell on the outrages of the Bush administration, its lawlessness, its arrogance and its criminal conduct of the war in Iraq.
That's partly because the Bush administration has no future. But lately I've been becoming uncomfortably conscious that the damage Bushcorps has done is not going to end in January 2009, regardless of the 2008 election outcome. This country and the entire world have suffered potentially severe setbacks, making the tasks necessary to save the future, and to build the future, much more difficult.
Despite the high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Bush and Cheney, Congress has had little stomach for Impeachment, due in part to the short time left before Bush and Cheney go anyway. The political calculation for congressional Democrats has been that it's better to accentuate the positive, and spare the country another impeachment process.
On Bill Moyers Journal Friday night, Moyers discussed impeachment with conservative Republican Bruce Fein, and liberal journalist John Nichols. I met John Nichols many years ago, when he was a young reporter for the Toledo Blade. On Moyers, he presented arguments derived from his research into the Constitution and the Founders debates, for his book The Genius of Impeachment. He made a compelling case that the Constitution requires impeachment hearings in these circumstances. He made a convincing case that hearings into the impeachment of Cheney and Bush must begin in the House immediately, not in order to remove them months before the end of their term, but to defend the Constitution they are violating, for the future.
Left unchallenged, the extraordinary and unconstitutional powers they have seized for the executive branch, and specifically for the White House, will remain by default. These include international lawlessness. This is very dangerous to the future. We know what their crimes are, Nichols summarized, and if we don't impeach, it sends a new standard for what the presidency can legitimately do. It was to limit the presidency and subject it to law, to keep it from being a monarchy, that the Founders created impeachment.
Political parties, conventions, primaries--none are mentioned at all in the Constitution, Nichols said, but impeachment is, six separate times.
Both Nichols and Fein talked about impeachment hearings as an important educational opportunity, and a way to involve citizens in their government. Especially if they are televised (though in today's TV environment, who knows.) This time there will be real constitutional issues involved, concerning the conduct of the nation's business by the President and Vice President, and whether that conduct is constitutional.
It seems like the right argument to me. It's time to begin the process of impeaching Bush and Cheney.
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