12.28.2005

impeach

Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, writes on her blog that "the I-word" is picking up some traction in mainstream media circles.
The I-word has moved from the marginal to the mainstream--although columnists like Charles "torture-is-fine-by-me" Krauthammer would like us to believe that "only the most brazen and reckless and partisan" could support the idea. In fact, as Michelle Goldberg reports in Salon, "in the past few days, impeachment "has become a topic of considered discussion among constitutional scholars and experts (including a few Republicans), former intelligence officers, and even a few politicians." Even a moderately liberal columnist like Newsweek's Alter sounds like The Nation, observing: "We're seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator."

As Editor & Publisher recently reported, the idea of impeaching Bush has entered the mainstream media's circulatory system--with each day producing more op-eds and articles on the subject. Joining the chorus on Christmas Eve, conservative business magazine Barron's published a lengthy editorial excoriating the president for committing a potentially impeachable offense. "If we don't discuss the program and lack of authority of it," wrote Barron's editorial page editor Thomas Donlan, "we are meeting the enemy--in the mirror."

Public opinion is also growing more comfortable with the idea of impeaching this president. A Zogby International poll conducted this summer found that 42 percent of Americans felt that impeaching Bush would be justified if it was shown that he had manipulated intelligence in going to war in Iraq. (John Zogby admitted that "it was much higher than I expected.") By November, the number of those who favored impeaching Bush stood at 53 percent--if it was in fact proven that Bush had lied about the basis for invading Iraq. (And these polls were taken before the revelations of Bush's domestic spying.)
Check out vanden Heuvel's informative post, full of links.

Writing in Common Dreams, Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor and a progressive writer, reminds us that we have to call for Bush's impeachment - and an end to the occupation of Iraq - despite the odds of success. De la Vega compares the fight to re-establish democracy in the US to her sister's decision to have cancer treatment:
Throughout her ordeal, one of my sister's persistent concerns was what other people would think. Would her medical colleagues consider her irrational, if not crazy, to pursue treatments that were so uncomfortable and painful, not to say unproven or improbable in terms of success? And what would her patients think? Kathy would call me regularly and ask just these questions.

In the end, though, she answered them herself. As long as there was uncertainty, the slightest possibility that she could land at the odds-defying edge of that bell curve and have a longer life, it made sense to her to do anything she could bear to do, regardless of what others thought.
Her interesting essay is in response to readers' reactions to an earlier piece she wrote:
I have to admit that some of the responses to my recent article The White House Criminal Conspiracy (published in the Nation and posted at Tomdispatch.com), in which I argued that the Bush administration should be brought to account in Congress or a court of law for defrauding the American people into war, kept me up at night. No, not the ones that questioned my sanity or sobriety. The letters that have given pause are from people who wholeheartedly agree that the Bush administration lied about the war. Yet there's "zero chance," these writers contend, that a completely Republican-controlled government will ever do anything about it, so it's pointless to pursue the matter. While lying awake beside my sleeping husband with my dog staring up at me in the dark, I've wondered, is that true? Is it futile, or foolish, to act when there is little apparent chance of success?
I struggle with this, too.

I believe in the eternal struggle for justice, in our responsibility to join that battle wherever we find it, in the importance of small symbolic acts, in the power of organized people to make change. At the same time, I despair at our odds. I don't go so far as to think, what's the point, we can't win, so why try. My activist sensibility is to strong to permit that. But regarding a goal like impeachment, I don't feel hopeful. What's more, I don't know if removing Moron from the White House would necessarily topple the junta.

But those are just feelings. They are easily ignored.

Who cares what our chances? The man living in the White House is a criminal. We must demand impeachment.

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." Mohandas K. Gandhi

Lots of impeachment info and links over at After Downing Street. Google "impeach bush" for lots of other good sites.

11 comments:

Lone Primate said...

It fills me with hope to see that the idea is being taken seriously by people in the United States. I saw Jesse Jackson call for impeachment the other day. Admittedly, he's not a person I'd describe as sanguine, but he is on the front tier of US politics. And someone had to be the first big name to say it. Who knows what may happen? It's still early in Bush's term. What with all this spine-chilling Orwellianism being flushed out without shame in front of this man, I think this is the make or break moment. If this gets past the American people, their experiment is over and democracy there is, in reality, dead, with worrying implications for the rest of us. If not, the buds will emerge from this sudden freeze and blossom again. But that's going to take hard work, as it did before...

Interesting that "Downing Street" gets thrown in there. In the dual monarchy of the Anglo-American Empire, Blair's on even thinner ice than Bush. The US never put itself under the jurisdiction of the ICJ, but the UK did. Blair could conceivably be tried internationally for crimes against humanity.

L-girl said...

If this gets past the American people, their experiment is over and democracy there is, in reality, dead,

I agree.

James said...

But regarding a goal like impeachment, I don't feel hopeful. What's more, I don't know if removing Moron from the White House would necessarily topple the junta.

This is one of the reasons I prefer floating elections to fixed, US-style ones. If Bush is impeached, then what? Cheney becomes President? The only improvement there is that it actually admits what's already the case.

You need to throw out the whole Executive and re-stock Congress.

Which brings up another thing I prefer about the Canadian system: having an almost completely powerless Head of State. The queen is useful for decorating coins and such, but otherwise keeps out of our way.

Ironically, Texas's constitution keeps power out of the governor's hands as well -- Bush was very constrained in what he could do down there (his administration still did a fair bit of damage, though).

doug said...

I feel that there is no way Wolfowitz,Rumsfeld,Cheney, and Bush will allow this impeachment talk to go much further. They are on a mission and will take whatever means, actions necessary to remain on that task. Both Rumsfeld, Cheney were assistants in the Nixon administration so they have learned, so they will do what they have to...you may say it's lunacy but it's not Cheney for one feels he is above the law and proves it everyday through his actions. So people are naive to think that this impeachment talk will go on it's merry path...look for a "terrorist" threat or something to interfere with national "security" to show up in the proceeding months thereby taking the press, politicians, and the American people off this spy scandal...they will stop at nothing, remember a few days before the last election a videotape of Bin Laden shows up out of the blue (yea right), it was planted and I feel as well as others that it pushed Bush over the top...they are masters of manipulation, plain and simple..just watch them now....

L-girl said...

Doug, it's not lunacy, it's not even far-fetched. What you're saying makes perfect sense. I agree with you completely.

Nevertheless, we have a duty to do what we can. Every great people's victory in history was fought against tremendous odds. Gandhi helped people bring down an empire. The people of South Africa turned their world around. We have to keep up the fight, no matter what the odds. This empire won't last forever either.

It's not a question of naivety. There is no "merry way". It's our duty. We have to fight them.

doug said...

I agree but in history we look at and see evil and are able to recognize it...well whether people want to acknowledge it we are in the midst of evil in Cheney we have a very "disturbed" individual from his Haliburton dealings, to his total disregard to the Geneva convention, what his view of presidential "powers" are, to rigging elections...he is a man use to getting what he wants, when he wants and gives a dam about killing to get it...he is a scary man moreso then anyone has seen before in our political landscape...he is not a politician ...so all I am saying is he will stop at nothing...even rublicans like Arlen Specter are waking up, and it may be to late...the monster is out of the bag...

nolocontendere said...

Unfortunately, we aren't living in the same world as the vicious cabal in Washington. They don't play by any rules whatsoever. Their agenda will be furthered no matter what.
They have it all and will not give it up. They always have plan B, plan C and so on, and are always thinking far nore ahead than us in this chess game.
I'm all for impeachment myself, it's an optimistic endeavor that may slow them down. But getting rid of dimwit and a few of his cronies is not a problem for the cabal. After all his S&B tag was "temporary".
If they feel the heat they have plenty of ways to deal with it. They're about to permanently cement their total control with synthetic terror "events". It's only a matter of timing with them.

L-girl said...

I agree but in history we look at and see evil and are able to recognize it...

Yes. And we recognize it right here in our midst. And we fight it however we can.

I'm all for impeachment myself, it's an optimistic endeavor that may slow them down. But getting rid of dimwit and a few of his cronies is not a problem for the cabal.

I agree completely.

Just don't convince yourself that they are invincible. There is no such thing. No empire lasts forever, and neither will they.

We may not see it in our lifetime (or we may), but they will fall. All of us have to continue to chip away at them any way we can.

Echo Mouse said...

It is incredible to me that Clinton was impeached for no good reason, yet Shrub is allowed to reign supreme with all sorts of criminal qualification for impeachment.

I think more than a few Canadians look at the USA these days and wonder about Americans letting Shrub continue without holding him accountable. I don't mean that as a slam. I honestly don't understand how they could let this go when they nearly crucified Clinton (who, by comparison, was the greatest President in decades).

L-girl said...

I honestly don't understand how they could let this go when they nearly crucified Clinton

The people had little or no choice about this. Canadians say this as if impeachment was done by popular vote. Congress completely hijacked the country on this.

(who, by comparison, was the greatest President in decades).

Please do not insult Jimmy Carter this way! :)

Almost anyone looks like a decent President compared to Moron. Excepting Reagan, Nixon and Bush I, that is.

Cornelia said...

I verily regret to the utmost that Ms. Nancy Pelosi didn't want setting up an investigation committee on the crimes of his government and impeaching him. That was definitely no policy on her part that made me happy.
But it ain't over till it's over and at last we are rid of him. Next on the hitlist for the sack: Harper...hopefully asap!!!