Chuck Hagel: George W. Bush ‘Could’ Face Impeachment if He Ignores Congress on Iraq War

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Senator Chuck Hagel has fired a warning shot across the White House’s bow.
On George Stephanopoulos’ This Week, Senator Hagel expressed frustration that Bush was ignoring Congress’s steps to drive a new direction in America’s Iraq engagement.
From a Reuters report:

“I think Congress is going to play a role now like we’ve not played before,” said Sen. Chuck Hagel, a critic of Bush’s Iraq policy from his own Republican Party.
Bush’s weekend radio address in which he threatened to veto emergency spending legislation for the Iraq war if it included a timetable for withdrawing troops was “astounding to me — saying to the Congress, in effect, you don’t belong in this, I’m in charge of Iraq,” Hagel of Nebraska said.

Hagel went on to say:

“I am opposed to the president’s further escalation of American military involvement. We are undermining our interests in the Middle East, we are undermining our military, we’re undermining the confidence of people around the world in what we’re doing,” Hagel said on ABC’s “This Week” program.
“We have clearly a situation where the president has lost the confidence of the American people in his war effort,” he said. “It is now time, going into the fifth year of that effort, for the Congress to step forward and be part of setting some boundaries and some conditions as to our involvement.”

Senator Hagel is taking a dangerous step in challenging the White House in this way — and is probably calculating that his presidential opportunity will rise or fall on Iraq and America’s mismanaged engagement in the Middle East.
It’s a bold gamble, and Dems and moderate Republicans need to take note of the political space Hagel is creating.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

106 comments on “Chuck Hagel: George W. Bush ‘Could’ Face Impeachment if He Ignores Congress on Iraq War

  1. MP says:

    Why should I bother hunting for that?
    You asked for this one. I gave it to you. In black and white with time stamp and all.
    Now you’re denying that these are your words.
    Look, I’m willing to allow that you lifted the verbiage from Bollyn’s site. But that only means you buy into that assessment of him.
    Now, you’re not even willing to say, yes, I still agree, or no, I made a mistake.
    How come? Christ, if John Edwards can admit that he made a grievous error, certainly you should be able. I doubt anyone is reading this exchange except you and me–so your rep is still intact. And I have no problem keeping your secret a secret.
    But to call me a “liar” is simply avoiding the issue. I’m over and out, buckeroo.

    Reply

  2. Pissed Off American says:

    You’re a liar,MP. It really is that simple. Link us to the post. While you’re at it, lets get a link to where I “defend” Wendy.

    Reply

  3. MP says:

    You quote it, brother, you support it.
    Are you saying that you quote people you believe to be wrong?
    But in any event, it was OBVIOUS that you WEREN’T quoting, because who then would be the “I” in that quote other than you?
    And to whom would you be “bringing attention” other than the rest of us?
    You made the post. Then you said you didn’t. Then you asked me to direct you to your own words. Then you accused me of lying. Then I showed you the post. Now you claim that it was a “link” for which you bear no responsibility, even though it was, at a minimum, YOUR link. And you go on to claim that these weren’t your words, when plainly they were.
    You really are pathetic.

    Reply

  4. Pissed Off American says:

    Thats laughable, MP. You are claiming that the language used in a link I put up are MY words? You quote an article and then try to imply that I said it? Pretty slimey deception, MP. You really don’t have any compunction about lying your ass off, do you?
    Now, MP, lets see you lie your way into substantiating the claim that I “defended Wendy”.

    Reply

  5. MP says:

    Okay, here you go…
    From: Posted by Pissed Off American at December 23, 2006 06:51 PM
    “Olmert’s Connection to 9/11
    Christopher Bollyn is one of the few independent journalists and researchers who uncovers new information and adds to the evidence of false flag terror, instead of just continuously rehashing news and other people’s work.
    I would like to bring to attention his two newest works building on his research of evidence of Israeli involvement in the 911 attacks:

    Reply

  6. Pissed Off American says:

    Hey, MP. Bottom line, you made a bunch of horseshit claims that you have been completely unable to substantiate.
    And I NEVER said…
    “…one of the few independent journalists and researchers who uncovers new information and adds to the evidence of false flag terror, instead of just continuously rehashing news and other people’s work…”
    I challenge you to direct me to where I made that statement. You can’t. Because those aren’t my words. Which makes you a liar.
    And care to show me where I “defended” Wendy? Lets see it, MP.
    Again, MP, I fail to see why you think I should pay any credence to your horseshit when you have to lie your ass off to peddle it.

    Reply

  7. MP says:

    POA writes: “The article presents both sides of the issue……Peace Now’s claims…..and Israel’s counter claims. It could just as easily be said that the article describes Israel’s right to the land they have stolen. So, again. MP, I must point out that you are PURPOSELY misrepresenting the facts. And worse, you are doing so incompetently.”
    Well, gee, the fact that the article presents counter claims doesn’t mean that the reader can’t judge the counter claims. Moreover, the article LEADS with the Palestinian claim, which clearly gives it more weight. Since most of us aren’t there on the ground, we each have to decide which version we’re going to believe and how to judge the claims. That’s just the way it is.
    The MSM could be more assiduous, I agree. On the other hand, we have guys like Christopher Bollyn, whom you described as “…one of the few independent journalists and researchers who uncovers new information and adds to the evidence of false flag terror, instead of just continuously rehashing news and other people’s work…”
    …but who, in fact, has no problem spreading the lowest form of anti-Semitic tripe I have seen in a long time…anywhere outside of an Aryan Nation site.
    It took me–literally–three clicks to discover “new information” from Bollyn such as how Wikipedia is actually Zionist…and how Auschwitz was a summer resort…and on and on and on.
    And yet, you were so incurious and lazy, you didn’t even bother to do even the most cursory research into this “independent journalist” before posting. You simply cut and paste. I think you even picked up “your” description of Bollyn from his Web site. How independent of you!
    But hey, on the other hand, maybe I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt when I shouldn’t. Perhaps you knew all along all about Bollyn and thought it would be fun to lay his foul eggs on the tender leaves of these comments. Who knows? Maybe I should be like you and accuse you–without any evidence–of PURPOSELY spreading the lowest of low anti-Semitism. After all, you DID defend Wendy a while back. And you certainly didn’t apologize for acting as Bollyn’s PR agent. Hey, maybe you still read the guy.
    Call me a Republican, but I’ll take WaPo over Bollyn ANY day.
    As far as the Kucinich piece goes, I included it because in my original post, I believe, I mentioned reports of cluster bombs.
    As far as your taking the time…well, perhaps, you think that entering the word “Palestinian” into Wapo’s search engine and coming up with a list of articles is work or “expending time,” but I don’t. It takes two seconds and two clicks. There is, in fact, a lot of information INSIDE those articles that a quick search doesn’t reveal. Call it Research 101.

    Reply

  8. stephen miller says:

    “Senator Hagel is taking a dangerous step in challenging the White House in this way — and is probably calculating that his presidential opportunity will rise or fall on Iraq and America’s mismanaged engagement in the Middle East.”
    It’s kind of cheesy to always ascribe some mundane political calculation when someone like Senator Hagel stands up courageously for truth and wise policy. I doubt that Hagel is speaking out as an electoral strategy. I believe it’s the reverse- he’s considering running for president, against all odds, because he is truly concerned about what is going on.

    Reply

  9. Pissed Off American says:

    “The settlers are taking Palestinian land to build on. This strikes me as “plight.” You’ve certainly brought it up many times. The article reports that Peace Now is protesting it.”
    “I only brought up two articles because that was all the time I chose to devote to this.”
    Posted by MP
    The article presents both sides of the issue……Peace Now’s claims…..and Israel’s counter claims. It could just as easily be said that the article describes Israel’s right to the land they have stolen. So, again. MP, I must point out that you are PURPOSELY misrepresenting the facts. And worse, you are doing so incompetently.
    The other article doesn’t even mention the Palestinians. Explain that one.
    The fact is, MP, your assertion about the WP’s coverage of “the plight of the Palestinians” was pure unmitigated crap. And you know it now, and you knew it then.
    And as far as your insinuation that it is not worth your “time” to substantiate your misleading comments, please be aware I don’t mind expending the time to point out falsehoods and propaganda. And I actually enjoy pointing it out when you use fabricated crap to advance your arguments. My only regret is that you make it so easy to do so.

    Reply

  10. MP says:

    Sure. First article/first para:
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A third of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are built on private Palestinian land, an anti-settlement group said in a report on Wednesday.
    The settlers are taking Palestinian land to build on. This strikes me as “plight.” You’ve certainly brought it up many times. The article reports that Peace Now is protesting it.
    I only brought up two articles because that was all the time I chose to devote to this.

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    “POA: I have posted articles–you have to R-E-A-D.”
    The articles you posted IN NO WAY addressed “the plight of the Palestinians”, as I pointed out to you on that thread. And you know it. Its more horseshit from you, MP. Here are the links you provided. Care to tell me how these two articles address “the Plight of the Palestinians”? BTW, I supplied you with ALL the archival history of the past few months of WP articles that dealt with the Palestinian issue. All you could find was TWO articles, and even those two don’t even support your original statement that the WP regularly runs articles that describe “the plight of the Palestinians”? Gee, MP, maybe once in a while you just admit you were bullshitting, then just move on from there.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/14/AR2007031400222.html
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/05/AR2007020500731.html

    Reply

  12. David says:

    I’m with you all the way on strategy, and I absolutely agree that you do not swing at the king unless you are going to score a direct hit that takes him out. I was bothered by the notion that impeachment would destabilize the government, and do not think it should be off the table for that reason. I do think the most important person to impeach, and I think it is much more doable, is the architect of the insanity Dick Cheney.
    I was raised on the proverb “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose…” and do understand its central value. I think Eisenhower misapplied it relative to integration, acting only when the governor of Arkansas defied a federal court order. But that does not diminish its value when applied intelligently and appropriately. I also understand that in politics, timing can be everything.

    Reply

  13. Marcia says:

    If there are two levels of justice then the spirit of the Constitution is dead. If the law that rules the land does not concern the exectuive branch then stability is an illusion. It is a weak people who cannot replace officials.
    The pardon granted Nixon probably did more to corrupt the political system than his crimes. It sent a message to future administration officials that impunity is the reward of crime.
    The present administration in by-passing the law, by leading a “double life” behind closed doors is somewhat like a cluster bomb, throwing out a circle of bomblettes behind which they use lives and money for their projects, somewhat in the same way the ancient Egyptiens were forced to devote their lives to building tombs destined for their rulers. The relation is that of the ruled and the rulers, not a representive gouvernment.

    Reply

  14. MP says:

    “I feel the democrats also, as they are attempting now, need to continue to pass legislation that focuses on making things better both domestically and internationally so they cannot be labeled by the press and the conservatives as just the obstructionist/investigation party. Let Bush veto if he likes but keep pushing legislation forward.”
    Exactly. And they need to keep investigating and calling folks up WHILE they push legislation forward. Both tracks at once.
    It’s worth remembering that 2006 was a correction, not a realignment. The majority in the Senate is thin, thin, thin.

    Reply

  15. carsick says:

    David,
    In case you were referring to my comment above: I’m not against impeachment on the whole. I think the evidence will have to be very clearcut for the public though because democrats will lose if the initiating charge is not very obvious.The action should very clearly appear to be constitutionally motivated. If it appears otherwise, then I believe that will be destabilizing.
    I feel the democrats also, as they are attempting now, need to continue to pass legislation that focuses on making things better both domestically and internationally so they cannot be labeled by the press and the conservatives as just the obstructionist/investigation party. Let Bush veto if he likes but keep pushing legislation forward.

    Reply

  16. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “POA is correct….the media makes or breaks a candidate…look at how the media absolutely “made” Obama a presidential candidate and elevated him to this status out of nowhere.”
    Hmmm. Yes and no. The candidate needs to know how to use the media. The Hearstian picture of the media as king makers is overblown. To be sure, once they see a story, the MSM play it for all it’s worth and very uncritically. But good PR can swing the media your way…if you know how to do it…and are willing to do it. If you’re don’t and aren’t, then you’re going to get what you get, which probably isn’t much.
    I haven’t followed Obama from the beginning, but I don’t think he came out of nowhere. He made a VERY inspirational speech at the convention. He made a huge impression on the public.
    How he was picked for this speech, I don’t know. (It wasn’t the media who picked him.) But I’m sure the Dems tapped him for all sorts of obvious reasons, including the lack of other viable candidates.
    A president needs to be a salesperson more than someone with a long list of good ideas, a good voting record, or any of Kucinich’s other virtues (which I don’t disparage). The Dems have had plenty of good ideas for decades, and it hasn’t done them any good. Let’s face it, the only reason the Dems took back Congress was that Republicans completely imploded and did some horrible things on every front.
    A president needs a few good ideas, but most importantly the ability to articulate the country’s deepest yearnings and principles and INSPIRE and CONVINCE the electorate to MOVE in a certain way. Mostly, he’s a salesperson, in the non-derogatory sense of the term. Obama is much closer to that than Kucinich is, IMO. Whining about how the media doesn’t pay attention to him and give him due props…especially in this media-savvy age…is just…what’s the right word?…pathetic.
    POA: I have posted articles–you have to R-E-A-D.
    Rich: I think you would have to strain to find yourself in my comments upthread. In any event, they weren’t meant as a criticism–but as a helpful suggestion. Keep doing the same thing over and over again, and one is likely to get the same results.

    Reply

  17. David says:

    I think you’re right, Carroll. Kucinich is a joke to the media, but Bush isn’t. Only question is whether or not the media reflect the general public. Certainly Kucinich’s stands on the issues are no joke to the general public, although it does seem the media still generally prefer Bush to the Dems and the general public on Iraq. Status quo has amazing resilience, as Yogi Berra might say.
    And the uglinesses associated with Hagel’s past are real, and they are serious. We are in a moment, however, when what Hagel says is far more important than who he is, except as a prominent Republican senator who has issued serious challenges to Bush on the debacle in Iraq.
    I must also say that I really don’t understand the various personal attacks on Steve Clemons. They are pointless. The exchange of ideas, on the other hand, make this blog well worth the read.
    I do think impeachment is more important than protecting the stability of the government. For one thing, impeachment does not destabilize our government, just as getting the 2000 election settled “for the sake of political stability” was an invalid argument. Stopping the madness known as Bush/Cheney, with their core values military mayhem and trashing of the Constitution, is paramount, and whatever will get us there is what this country most needs, not some vague notion of political stability.

    Reply

  18. Carroll says:

    Posted by Pissed Off American at March 25, 2007 10:57 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    POA is correct….the media makes or breaks a candidate…look at how the media absolutely “made” Obama a presidential candidate and elevated him to this status out of nowhere. Obama went from a newbie up and comer to already there overnight thanks to the media. Dennis has been around a long time with a record of not only having a “vision” but actually living up to it in his actions…but the media doesn’t like him…therefore he won’t ever get the exposure he needs to be a serious candidate.

    Reply

  19. Pissed Off American says:

    “We’ve been around the horn here several times with folks screaming at Steve to say this or that about Hagel, Kucinich, and impeachment.”
    “Has it ever worked, even once?”
    Posted by MP
    Nope, it has never worked. Neither has asking you to post supporting evidence for your recent
    claims. (Cheney’s reception @ AIPAC, the WP’s regular attention to “the plight of the Palestinians”, etc)
    And, just out of curiousity MP, is Winnipeger’s habit of misrepresenting people’s comments contagious? I have never screamed at Steve to “to say this or that about Hagel, Kucinich, and impeachment.” I have, however repeatedly asked him specific questions about what he presents us with, and what he doesn’t present us with, and why. If you haven’t noticed, he rarely has an answer.
    You don’t think Hagel’s history with ES&S, and his past failure to respect disclosure laws is relevant when discussing his suitability as a candidate for the presidency? Neither does Steve, apparently. Its hard to sell a damaged product.
    Lemme know when you find one of those WP articles, will you MP?

    Reply

  20. ... says:

    steve- i really like your blog and the message threads.. thanks.. i also really enjoy poa’s commentary, although when you engage him directly the number of poa posts goes up dramatically. i think poa makes some very good points. i would be curious to hear your rebuttal to some of the consistant questions he asks regarding kucinich…i appreciate what you have said to date on this, but would really like to hear a bit more on why you view him as not viable.. is this strictly a case of how power works, without consideration for the corrupt position most american voters find themselves in due directly to this exercise of power?

    Reply

  21. carsick says:

    As far as impeaching the president: I’m glad it’s in the chamber but not sure (for the sake of stable government) that I want the trigger pulled.
    Impeaching Gonzales and others though should already be in committee.

    Reply

  22. carsick says:

    I agree he’s making room for Dems and moderates on the issue but I can’t see how he can depend on any political base in a presidential run. The conservatives seem to truly hate him over this one issue. Democrats will look at the rest of his record. And moderates still lean one way or the other enough to take enough cues from the parties.

    Reply

  23. Carroll says:

    Posted by MP at March 26, 2007 11:24 AM
    >>>>>>>
    I am glad you get it..and no it wouldn’t mean agreement by everyone on everything..that would never happen.
    I was really aiming it toward people who have this “party thing” or “my” thing.
    And also towards the fact that so many people are willingly to just say “well that’s the way it is” when it come to our messed up system.
    I have fallen in love with that internet ad on Hillary..except if it was throwing that screen busting javlin at the face of the whole party-money system instead of just Hillary we would be getting somewhere.

    Reply

  24. Kathleen says:

    We most certainly do need impeachment if we expect this country to continue to respect the rule of law. It is just as wrong for Democrats to not impeach for partisan reasons as it is for Republicans to do it for partisan reasons. The only consideration in this question is whether or not the President/Vice President have committed an impeachable act, not whther the country needs a spectacle or not.
    I’m with POA on the Ricter scale and have been since 2000. I’m not going to be happy until everyone of the thugs who pounded on doors to stop vote counts to those who subvert the Constitution by circumventing it at every turn rather than respect it, are gone and duly held accountable.
    Hagel uttering the “I” word is significant simply because he’s in the same party as the President in question, especially when they are in the minority, just as when Senator Lowell Weicker, R.CT. called for the Watergate Investigation.
    If Democrats were to apply Darth Cheney’s 1% doctrine to the current occupants of the White House, there would mountains of things under investigation, as we speak. I say it’s long overdue.
    POA I too am a Gene McCarthy supporter. I was a McCarthy delegate from CT. to the Chicago Convention 1968 and then a Presidential elector for McCarthy’s 1976 Write-In campaign. Russ Feingold comes closest to McCarthy in my book.

    Reply

  25. HyperIon says:

    Political Critic wrote:
    “If the Democrats only had a spine, we might actually be able to start impeachment proceedings….but we all know they don’t.”
    i’m more interested in finishing impeachment proceedings. and it is obvious that the votes are not there now.
    i am glad that the dems have so far not shown any inclination to repeat the gingrich idiocy wrt bill clinton.

    Reply

  26. PoliticalCritic says:

    If the Democrats only had a spine, we might actually be able to start impeachment proceedings….but we all know they don’t.

    Reply

  27. David says:

    It does matter that Hagel mentioned impeachment, simply because he is a Republican who has been loyal to like 98% of the Bush/Cheney agenda. A moderate he’s not. Courageous in his actual voting – not really. But an ultra-conservative senator who has spoken truthfully about the Iraq war he is. That matters. And joining with Jim Webb links him to a Democrat who is the real deal. Politics is much, much uglier than making sausage, and salmonella is ever present, to be sure. But it’s all we’ve got, and there is no way around it. Elections are ultimately what matter most, but then you have the dilemma of a voting public which typically only gets it right by accident when people have had reality slap the living shit out of them and they are pissed and vote in larger numbers for the opposition, so that the strategically positioned are simply unable to steal the election.
    Yeah, I know what Lou Dobbs does. Hell, I have several friends who keep falling into the same trap.

    Reply

  28. Marky says:

    I finally saw the exact text of Hagel’s remarks on CNN this morning. What he said was not impressive.. basically that SOMEONE might impeach Bush if he continues to be an ass. Lord knows, it won’t be Hagel. He’s not the first Republican to mention the possibility that others might try to impeach Bush.

    Reply

  29. Tony Foresta says:

    The only possible successful strategy for changing the direction of the country is dethroning, and defanging the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    Until that day, there is no hope, or the slightest possibility for moderates, or liberals, or conservatives, or any stripe or flavor in the political spectrum to obtain any oxygen, or take any steps toward righting the terrible wrongs of the Bush government and changing the wayward direction of the country.
    We can all discuss moderate vs progressive; conservative vs. liberal; democrat vs. republican vs. independent, vs. green vs whatever – AFTER we succussfully remove the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush governmnent.
    If not – and until that day – it is full steam ahead, staying the course, and unrelenting surging of the unabated nazification of America and the fascist delusions of the Pax Americana neverendingwar and empire agenda, designs, and machinations.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  30. bubba says:

    “A successful strategy for changing the direction of the country must involve moderates.” Steve Clemons
    Funny, Steve. Hagel has voted, what, 96+% with the Bush Administration these past 6 years. How does that make him a moderate? Your mancrush on Mr. Hagel is cute, but is causing your brain to malfunction.

    Reply

  31. rich says:

    MP wrote:
    “We’ve been around the horn here several times with folks screaming at Steve to say this or that about Hagel, Kucinich, and impeachment.
    Has it ever worked, even once?”
    Who is WE??
    There’s a wide range of voices and tones here. I hope no one has read “screaming” or a “harangue” into my comments. Steve has his own opinions, I don’t expect to change his thinking unless I offer something thoughtful or insightful. Further, if I’m angry, it’s not at Steve.
    Just saying we need to be careful how we broad-brush the commenters here.

    Reply

  32. Tony Foresta says:

    If we track back to the dark days immediately following 9/11, most of the country, and the world for that matter implicitly trusted the Bush government to defend America, advance the best interests of the America people, and administer justice to the jihadist mass murderers who attacked America.
    The fascist in the Bush government failed on each point of trust, and far worse, and exceedingly more despicable, – these same fascist then ghoulishly exploited the dead and the horrors of 9/11, as the Riechstadt Fire, or Pearl Harbor like event to impose their fascist and delusion Pax Americana neverendingwar and empire agenda, designs, and machinations.
    Bush government fascist decieved, and lied to the American people and congress repeatedly and insistently, and continue the same perfidous deciet today.
    Bush government fascist ruthlessly slimed, betrayed, savaged, and dismissed our fellow Americans who dared to question, dissent with, challenge, or oppose the Bush government fascists, and their fascist policies.
    The fascist in the Bush government coddled, cloaked, and protected the House of Saud whose royals were directly and/or indirectly involved in the nurturing and financing of the 9/11 mass murder operations, and decietfully hurled America into a bloody, costly, noendinsight, horrorshow and wayward misadventure in Iraq, who had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11, no operational links with al Quaida, and no WMD.
    The fascist in the Bush government ghoulishly exploited the horrors and the dead of 9/11 to rob and pillage poor and middle class Americans and funnel America’s wealth into 1% of populations off sheet accounts, awarding nobid, open ended multi hundred million dollar contracts to Private Military Company cronies, and oil, energy, pharmaceutical, and defense oligarchs, and profiteering wantonly in and from the deceptiver and FAILING war, occupation, and colonization of Iraq, and the socalled neverendingwaronterror.
    The fascists in the Bush government mangled, dismembered, perverted and re-engineered the Constitution to suit and conform to their fascist machinations and designs.
    The fascists in the Bush government ghoulishly exploited the horrrs and the dead of 9/11 as a decietful excuse for implementinig a fascist totalitarian dictatorship wherein the leadership is accountable, and answers to no one. Wherein the fascist leadership is free to operate above, beyond, outside, and in total disdain of the rule of law. Wherein the fascist leadership ruthlessly betrayed and perverted the core principle’s that formally defined America.
    All along the course of this nefarious and insidious dimantling of America, – the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM FAILED to ask any pertinent questions or to press the fascists in the Bush government on any deception, FAILURE, lack of accounting, dereliction of duty, financial malfeasance, systemic cronyism, concerted sliming of our fellow Americans, and wanton profiteering.
    Screeching harpies, freaks, and war criminals like Coulter, Limbaugh, North were given voice and glorified while wise and decent individuals who dared to question the unadulterated and unabating nazification of America were dismissed and slimed as anti-American, unpatriotic, conspiratorialists giving aid and comfort to the enemey.
    The 9/11 narrative is work of fiction and a total lie.
    The Iraq debacle will heap enormous cost in blood, treasure, and loss of credibility globally on America’s children for decades.
    The socalled terrorists have increased globally.
    America is far less secure, and 95% of the population is significantly less prosperous then in 2000.
    The fascist in the Bush government have almost succeeded in destroying America, and erecting their fascists totalitarian dictatorship.
    I expect another 9/11 like event just before the next election, and the fascist in the Bush government declaring Marshal Law, suspending the Constitution, delaying or eliminating the election and insidiously and ruthlessly imposing the final solution by whisking government opponents here in America off to the expanding array of Office of Homeland Security detention centers, labelling us as terrorists, disappearing the most “dangerous” voices, and erecting a new world order enforced by America’s hypersuperior military under the control of the fascist totalitarian dictatorship that is the Bush government.
    Impeachment is the only possible remedy to right the ghastly wrongs of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    “Deliver us from evil”

    Reply

  33. MP says:

    Okay, once last thing…
    We’ve been around the horn here several times with folks screaming at Steve to say this or that about Hagel, Kucinich, and impeachment.
    Has it ever worked, even once?
    Has Steve ever changed his view after someone has harangued him or imputed vile motives to him or charged him with cowardice?
    If it’s important to change Steve’s view…and have him reconsider some of his written views…maybe a different approach should be tried.

    Reply

  34. MP says:

    Rich writes: “But the rest is context and gamesmanship–meaning that if the media took seriously their obligation to examine ideas, rather than engage in ridicule or exculpation, Kucinich and Kerry would have a decent chance electorally because their policies would be tested in the marketplace of ideas. The Kerry/ToledoBlade Pulitzer/SwiftBoating debacle is the perfect example that such media distortion damages the electoral integrity.”
    I agree…the MSM is often lazy and incurious about ideas. Gore suffered the same thing, See the Daily Howler’s War Against Gore posts. Ken Auletta wrote a good piece a while back about the disservice the media performed around Dean’s scream.
    I’m not sure, though, that the media ever acted that much differently. Many, many people have remarked that Nixon won the debate against Kennedy if you just listened to them instead of stared at Nixon’s facial hair.
    All to be loudly lamented. All part of the challenge of “getting through.”

    Reply

  35. MP says:

    Rich writes: “I didn’t say Kucinich or McGovern were ‘electable’ given the political landscape and media MO.”
    I know you didn’t…but that was what the argument was about…or at least what I was talking about.
    “And the only reason Kucinich is “ineffective” is because others in Congress won’t stand up with him for the Constitutinal principles they swore to uphold.”
    Sorry, I can’t agree with this fully. Kucinich’s effectiveness is his own to own. Otherwise, it leads to circular reasoning. Positing a situation in which others stood up with him is presupposing the success of the challenge that lays before him. Sort of like saying, “If voters would only vote for him, he’d be elected.” Well, yes, but the whole challenge is to CONVINCE others to vote for him and MOVE them to do so.
    We can and should decry the fact that others don’t stand with him. I agree with this. But it’s Kucinich’s job to convince the others to do this.
    Here…”Point is, the country–even Red State America–is far more cosmopolitan than media and DLC types will let it be in practice. Which is why Paul Wellstone won his race hands down…” you are making my point.
    DESPITE the CW and the media, Wellstone made it happen. He convined them to go his way. Or showed them that his way was also their way.
    I’m over and out on this. Need to read digby and think about it a little bit.
    POA: My comment about censorship was directed at Tony Foresta who seemed to be saying that Steve’s system blocked certain kinds of opinions. I understand you point about links.

    Reply

  36. Pissed Off American says:

    “And the only reason Kucinich is “ineffective” is because others in Congress won’t stand up with him for the Constitutinal principles they swore to uphold.”
    Which is truly a sad statement on American politics, as well as an indictment of the media’s, (and people like Steve’s), complicity in the actual marginalization of politicians that seek to preserve American values and tenets.

    Reply

  37. rich says:

    MP:
    I didn’t say Kucinich or McGovern were ‘electable’ given the political landscape and media MO.
    Part of this is ‘innate’ qualities like charisma or physical attractiveness–overrated in my opinion. But the rest is context and gamesmanship–meaning that if the media took seriously their obligation to examine ideas, rather than engage in ridicule or exculpation, Kucinich and Kerry would have a decent chance electorally because their policies would be tested in the marketplace of ideas. The Kerry/ToledoBlade Pulitzer/SwiftBoating debacle is the perfect example that such media distortion damages the electoral integrity.
    David Obey (& Pelosi & Murtha) have Bush and Repubs on the horns of a dilemma.
    Think of how un-moored “the middle” would be from any Constitutional landmark without Kucinich and Lee and Waters setting the reference point. They wouldn’t be able to mark a legitimate compromise along any concrete spectrum.
    Kucinich’s presence in the Dem primary debates was absolutely crucial. He could say what supposedly electable candidates would not say–or could not conceive of at all. He bested them time and again in debate.
    And in that marketplace of ideas, he far, far outlasted Lieberman, who had all the Establishment backing in the world, and did far better than any would’ve predicted. What’s more, had Dems more ably held the Constitutional banner aloft, they’d be better off electorally and better positioned to exploit Repub failings. People want to know what you’re FOR, and they respect candidates who stand up for what they believe in. Now, they have to act like Bush’s malfeasance is a surprise.
    I think the country as a whole would be happier with a President Wellstone than a Prznt Hillary or Kerry.
    When Wellstone ran for Senate, he was warned that ‘outside of the Twin Cities, there aren’t any of us (Jewish people), so don’t expect too much.’ [ed. eye-roll] First campaign swing, WAYY Up North, Wellstone gave his firebrand speech, and after, is approached by a local Finn. He sez, ‘You got my vote! We gotta stick together, us minorities!’ Amusing to those familiar with the ethnic patchwork of the Upper Midwest, where the Finnish hardly are out of place among the Swedes, Norwegians, Poles, and Czechs. Point is, the country–even Red State America–is far more cosmopolitan than media and DLC types will let it be in practice. Which is why Paul Wellstone won his race hands down.
    There’s no reason the rest of the Congress had to let Kucinich (& others) stand alone against the war and for the country. They owe him a debt of gratitude.
    And the only reason Kucinich is “ineffective” is because others in Congress won’t stand up with him for the Constitutinal principles they swore to uphold. They had the evidence. They feared the penalties of leading. Our country is the poorer for it, and now cautious and meek stewards of the (perceived) status quo want credit for stepping in? Not sure how to take that. Chuck Hagel deserves credit; but for modifying conservative makeup from within, from an allied position. Interesting to overlay his comments with the rhetoric of ‘lefty’ Congressfolk.

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  38. Pissed Off American says:

    “BTW, Steve’s comment device isn’t intended to censor anyone.”
    Posted by MP
    Steve’s filters, designed to block spam, will reject posts that contain too many links. 2 links in one post seem to be the maximum I can post without the filters kicking in. It is a small price to pay to avoid the site being plaqued with the multi-link porn spam thjat used to appear here from time to time.
    The other rare occassions when I have had posts rejected have usually been the result of me miss-typing the numerical security code, or just a temporary glitch.

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  39. Pissed Off American says:

    “The candidate himself has to light the spark, has to galvanize his followers, and has to figure out a way to fuel the campaign, which generally means money. Kucinich hasn’t done this–enough–and there’s no point in blaming others for his failings.”
    “Media attention only fans the flames of a fire already burning. In many ways, media attention isn’t a very critical process: They are simply drawn to crowds. And blaming a tiny blog like this one for Kucinich’s troubles is insane.”
    I disagree wholeheartedly. Kucinich is speaking for most Americans, but the media has turned his microphone off. Purposelly. He has been marginalized by the actual efforts to marginalize him. It is no accident, nor is it of his own doing.
    And it is no coincidence that he is a candidate that has rejected AIPAC’s advances, and publically expressed his dissatisfaction with the power that AIPAC enjoys.
    Kucinich has refused to “play the game” during his entire political carreer, and for his honesty, patriotism, and integrity the “system” is paying him back by refusing to even let him in the arena. You simply cannot be effective in American politics unless you are a slimey lying posturing son of a bitch.
    Steve’s complete refusal to even acknowledge Hagel’s past history in regards to ES&S is indicative of a process gone awry. Here, on one hand, you have a candidate that has, for six years now, maintained a political posture that Steve CLAIMS to endorse, and that the American people demonstrated their endorsement of in the last election. On the other hand you have a candidate that has consistently voted AGAINST what is apparently the will of the people, as well as Steve’s stated positions, and in addition has shown a disregard for our disclosure laws, and was involved with a company that has possibly engaged in illegal electoral tampering. And who recieves Steve’s endorsement??? Why? Because the candidate that demonstrates the desired integrity does not recieve the exposure that the media and pundits like Steve REFUSE to give him? Of course Kucinich is “ineffective”. He has been purposelly sidelined by those that support and profit by the status quo.
    Do some reading on Hagel. When Bev Harris was discovering Hagel’s ties to ES&S, she was allegedly, (by some accounts), bullied and threatened by Hagel and his attorneys, in an attempt to silence her. And the HAVA legislation that was passed, directly benefitting ES&S, was ramrodded by Ney and Abramoff. Have you seen Steve mention ANY of this when he presents us with these threads about Hagel? So, you have two soon to be indicted and convicted criminals directly involved in legislation that directly benefits a company that Hagel failed to disclose his interest in. And this is not relevant information to be considered when viewing Hagel as a Presidential candidate? Apparently Steve thinks my use of capital letters is more worthy of mention than Hagel’s history in regards to ES&S is. There is something seriously wrong with that picture.

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  40. MP says:

    Rich writes: “without Kucinich and McGovern (1970) to establish a “hard” line (i.e., a reasonable adherence to Constitution and Law)–the middle ground would be wholly ineffective.”
    Sorry, I meant to respond to this…and I printed out digby for a read. What you say is compelling…but it’s a far cry from McGovern or Kucinich winning the election. Malcolm articulated the same strategy vis a vis King: “I’m pushing them toward you.”
    Also, a lot has to do with timing and where the electorate is. I would say that Kucinich had a negligible effect on the debate in 2004, if memory serves.
    I’m not sure I would say that without the extremes the middle is wholly ineffective. I’ll have a think about that. It all depends on how much traction the extremes can generate. No traction; no effect.

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  41. Christian says:

    I enjoy a lot of the thins Steve Clemons has to say. They are intelligent, sober, and always right on. But here is something that I have to disagree with him.
    While it’s true that Hagel may be playing with fire (especially if running for president) I wish Mr.C lemons did not focus on impeachment as if this were soley about running for higher office. I do appreciate that Hagel is mentioning investigations into impeachment (NOT impeachment, there’s a difference) because clearly there is evidence that the Bush Admin. abused the powers bestowed upon them. They system of checks & balances is shot to hell (i.e. signing statements, illegal wire-tapping, going to war based on lies, the New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal, violation of Geneva Conventions, the suppresion of scientific evidence of global warming, the Downing Street Memos, and the fat that Iraq and Afghanistan NEVER attacked or declared war on the U.S…. only stateless terrorists… in violation of the U.N. Charter).
    What this country needs (and the MSM needs to have) is a serious & menaingful dicussion as to how this admin. has committed impeachable offenses and instead Clemons makes this issue as if it were about political opportunism.
    Impeachment is not about winning elections it’s about preserving and protecting the constitution and the democratic experiment this country was founded on. In a clear constitutional crisis they we are now having, winning elections is the last thing our elected officials should be worrying about. It’s selfish and I’m sure our Founding Fathers would be appauled.
    20 years from I don’t want the next generation looking down upon us for not doing anything to stop this reckless administration. I fear – and believe – that we are being just like the “Good Germans” who didn’t speak out against the Nazi regime and the atrocities they committed.
    It’s time that ALL OF US stop looking at the issue of impeachment as if it were the “Third Rail of Politics.” Mr. Clemons, please give this topic the credibitly it deserves.

    Reply

  42. Dennis says:

    It’s a little late to talk about impeachment – of Bush, or Cheney, or both.
    National elections are just around the cornor and there wouldn’t be enough time to set up an interim government before it would be time to just turn around and have to do it all over again.
    Now, if Congress wants to talk about bringing war crimes charges against these two war criminals, that can be done now or as soon as both are out of office. And while that might take a lot of energy out of the country, it would also restore back American’s faith in their government. And some faith in the U.S. from around the world.
    Unfortunately, the Crud will walk away without any accountability. Too, there are others just like them, and connected, waiting in the wings for their turn on the stage to do the same kinds of things.
    People, who, if they had to play by the rules expected of decent, good, ordinary Americans, would be losers.
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  43. rich says:

    MP at 11:11 AM
    >>”Being right isn’t even half the battle–not even a quarter of it. Edwards made this point the other day: ANYONE can be right. The key in politics is getting others to MOVE your way and have it all WORK.
    This is the way politics has ALWAYS worked–it’s the nature of the beast. It’s a contact sport.”
    Not accurate: see my post above.
    without Kucinich and McGovern (1970) to establish a “hard” line (i.e., a reasonable adherence to Constitution and Law)–the middle ground would be wholly ineffective.
    It would have no purchase, no big stick to back it up, no harsh alternative. This (Kucinich) is why the middle-way proposed by Dems this time around can be successful. This is why Chuck Hagel has the political elbow room to be outspoken.
    When Kucinich and Murtha are united in the solid legal and political ground of policies that fully fund the troops and support them with humane and Constitutional policies, then pols like Chuck Hagel who’ve positioned themselves in a perceived middle ground really have to scurry to keep up, and to maintain that ‘position.’
    This is what the Congress did in 1970. This is what David Obey, Pelosi, and Murtha are doing now. Establish a hard-line flank (essentially a conservative-Constitutional one)–then allow war-hawks to be trapped in the jaws of voting against funding & for the war. Or fund and bring ’em home.
    See my post above–or just read digby on Rick Perlstein as he recounts the strategy.

    Reply

  44. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “But we can’t get together long enough to bring them down because we are all so busy clutching our own personal prerogatives to our bosoms and insisting my kind (the dems or the repubs) represent democracy.”
    I like this very much. The only issue is…finding the basis for agreement. There is always the tendency to assume that any right thinking person would naturally agree with us if he only knew everything we know. Unfortunately, there’s a huge space between the lip and the cup on that one.
    Just listen to the morning show on C-Span for a few months, and you’ll see what a motley crew we are as a nation. Some of the comments I hear on that show stagger the imagination. And these are folks who are committed and energetic enough to spend the hours required to get through!

    Reply

  45. MP says:

    TF writes: “Why would anyone in good conscience question a man whose wife was just diagnosed with cancer about her potential loss might affect his ability to lead – and yet FAIL to question the fascists in the Bush government about the obvious catastophic FAILURE and certain LOSS in Iraq?”
    My thought exactly about that interview.
    BTW, Steve’s comment device isn’t intended to censor anyone.

    Reply

  46. Punchy says:

    “And to anyone still inclined to tar Republicans and Democrats with the same brush,”
    See Dobbs, Lou. He does this nightly.

    Reply

  47. MP says:

    POA writes: “I agree, Steve, for the reasons I briefly outlined above. The media, and insiders such as yourself have made it so. You have sentenced the man to irrelevancy by your own willingness to declare him as such.”
    You’ve obviously never worked on “lost cause” campaigns before. I have…for Gene McCarthy and George McGovern. I have. It’s true that certain people and campaigns develop a momentum; the media are attracted to this momentum; the process feeds on itself.
    (And this a few false moves, a candidate can undo most of that momentum. I happen to think that Hillary is walking that line.)
    The candidate himself has to light the spark, has to galvanize his followers, and has to figure out a way to fuel the campaign, which generally means money. Kucinich hasn’t done this–enough–and there’s no point in blaming others for his failings.
    Media attention only fans the flames of a fire already burning. In many ways, media attention isn’t a very critical process: They are simply drawn to crowds. And blaming a tiny blog like this one for Kucinich’s troubles is insane.
    Howard Dean is a much better example of someone who was right and who figured out a way to make it happen. Even after he failed, he had enough clout to get a position of power in the party and contributed mightily to the 2006 win.
    Being right isn’t even half the battle–not even a quarter of it. Edwards made this point the other day: ANYONE can be right. The key in politics is getting others to MOVE your way and have it all WORK.
    This is the way politics has ALWAYS worked–it’s the nature of the beast. It’s a contact sport.

    Reply

  48. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, welcome to the dictatorship…….
    (emphasis my own)……
    Cheney assures early Iraq pullout won’t BE ALLOWED
    by Maxim Kniazkov
    Sun Mar 25, 4:41 AM ET
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Vice President Dick Cheney has assured political allies that an early withdrawal of US forces from Iraq would not be allowed, despite efforts by Congress to impose a deadline on US combat operations there.
    The comments late Saturday followed a historic vote Friday in the House of Representatives, which called for a pullout of US combat troops from Iraq by August 31, 2008 — regardless of whether Iraqi security forces are ready to take over from them.
    President George W. Bush has vowed to veto the measure. But the threat has called into question the future of a 124-billion-dollar emergency funding bill, to which it is attached.
    Lacking line-item veto power, Bush can reject bills only in their entirety.
    In light of this circumstance, the president acknowledged earlier Saturday that if the bill that finances the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is not passed by April 15, the military “will face significant disruptions.”
    Cheney for his part used his appearance before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Manalaplan, Florida, to reassure allies that the current political struggle will not result in a precipitous US withdrawal from Iraq.
    “A sudden withdrawal of our coalition would dissipate much of the effort that has gone into fighting the global war on terror, and result in chaos and mounting danger,” the vice president declared. “And for the sake of our own security, WE WILL NOT STAND BY AND LET IT HAPPEN.”
    continues at…….
    http://tinyurl.com/36s5fb

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  49. Bill Camarda says:

    Steve, implicit in what you write about Hagel seems to be the idea that his “courageous action” might lead the way for a larger group of Republican Senators and public officials to finally move aggressively against the Bush administration, its foreign policies, and its abuse of power.
    You may be closer to it than I am. But where’s the evidence for that? I see none. To me, within the halls of power of the Republican Party, Hagel seems to be viewed as an annoying eccentric. And in the broader cadre of Republican activists, he is hated as a traitor, just as McCain once was. Among either group, how can he serve as the vanguard of a deeper change?
    If you’re still responding to this thread, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you think I’m missing here?
    (IMHO, Hagel does seem sane, but the fact that we’re applauding him for this shows how far we’ve fallen. Soft bigotry of infinitesimally low expectations, and all that…)

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  50. Pissed Off American says:

    But I do think that Hagel’s raising the I-word is important, regardless of what a perplexing political contradiction Hagel can be. It is public awareness, public perceptions, and the public debate that matter more than the individual vagaries of particular politicians. That’s why such a loser as Bush/Cheney could enjoy so much support and get away with instigating such a disaster.
    And to anyone still inclined to tar Republicans and Democrats with the same brush, or to refer to the two extremes in similarly pejorative terms, please stop for a moment and compare what each of the “extremes” champions. They are not two sides of the same coin. I mean tarring Joe Barton and John Conyers with the same brush…c’mon. That is intellectual laziness. The details, the stands, the ideas championed matter.
    Posted by David
    “Hagel raising the I word”???
    Geez, gimme a break. What Hagel said is no different than saying “a traffic violator may face a fine”. At no time does he endorse or advocate impeachment. Why would he? He has voted to support everything Bush deserves to be impeached for.
    And NO, the issue IS NOT about what is “championed” by either party. The issue is what is ACTUALLY DONE by either party. And there seems to be a huge disconnect between what BOTH parties say, as opposed to what they actually do.

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  51. MP says:

    POA writes: “BTW, Steve, why are you IGNORING Kucinich’s sincere efforts to ACTUALLY PURSUE impeachment?”
    Because–unfortunately–when Kucinich talks virtually no one listens.

    Reply

  52. David says:

    Hagel’s teaming with Jim Webb is the most intriguing part of this equation. Webb is much more insightful than Hagel, and leaves Hagel way, way behind on domestic issues, which seem totally to escape Hagel. I can’t help but think Hagel is a quite insular Nebraska Libertarian, which would make him a domestic disaster as president, but Libertarians as a group were there firstest with the mostest, along with Kucinich and other progressive Democrats, in their denunciation of the war of aggression on Iraq for strategic control of the Middle East (one of the grandest, most ill-advised, and for me illegal and immoral, US foreign policy idiocies of all time, cheerleading from the mainstream at the time notwithstanding).
    But I do think that Hagel’s raising the I-word is important, regardless of what a perplexing political contradiction Hagel can be. It is public awareness, public perceptions, and the public debate that matter more than the individual vagaries of particular politicians. That’s why such a loser as Bush/Cheney could enjoy so much support and get away with instigating such a disaster.
    And to anyone still inclined to tar Republicans and Democrats with the same brush, or to refer to the two extremes in similarly pejorative terms, please stop for a moment and compare what each of the “extremes” champions. They are not two sides of the same coin. I mean tarring Joe Barton and John Conyers with the same brush…c’mon. That is intellectual laziness. The details, the stands, the ideas championed matter.

    Reply

  53. MP says:

    JohnH writes: “But he does have one strength–the media pay attention to him. And what he says on on foreign policy makes some sense. So I hope he keeps talking. It gives bi-partisan cover to Democrats efforts.”
    This is more or less the point Steve is making. Hagel’s remarks create “space” and provide “cover” for others, especially Republicans.
    Often, votes are hard to evaluate, because any number of factors enter into the decision.

    Reply

  54. Steve says:

    Hagel’s “bold gamble” has much to do with Bush’s weakness and Republican’s fear of the direction public opinion is going, and little to do with personal courage. It is a political calculation, that’s all it is.

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  55. Marcia says:

    I think we have been in a Constitutional crisis since the Supreme Court intervened in the electoral process to put B/C in the WH. Trying to patch things up until the next elections is like protecting oneself with plastic and masking tape as was all the rage when suggested by Homeland Security. Crimes left unpunished are accepted…had Nixon been punished instead of banished from the WH would Cheney have dared what he has dared?
    I can not see how this can be a dangerous step for Hagel. He distances himself from Bush, who no matter what he does seems assured of getting Hagel’s vote, but prepares perhaps to intervene in the event that Bush plunges even lower in the polls and as the elections approach Republicans might envisage “I” that so frightens the Dems, as a mode of survival.
    I no longer count on many of them to save “us.”

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  56. bob h says:

    Will Hagel match his words with legislative action? Probably not.

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  57. liz says:

    America is in a constitutional crisis and the elected elite are not representing the people who sent them to DC. Hagel needs to put his money where his mouth is…… and so do alot of other pols. Impeachment being off the table is outrageous in and of itself. This country died. We are at the viewing in that case.

    Reply

  58. rich says:

    >>>”Senator Hagel is taking a dangerous step in challenging the White House in this way.”
    I see Sen. Hagel as a force for stability at this juncture. The GOP and a lot of careers could sustain lasting damage if various Republican scandals blow open suddenly or in an uncontrolled way. (Though we’re really past that point.) Yet Bush is choosing confrontation when neither the available evidence, Constitutional principle, nor politics will sustain that stance. Bush’s capacity for doing the unexpected is a wildcard. And given his bubble, I’m not sure Bush, though smart, has a clear grasp of his precarious position.
    Hagel knows Bush needs to hear Republican voices strongly enforcing basic governance and the rule of law. But how do you maintain status as a Trusted Voice, when you’re trying to get through to lockstep “loyal Bushies”? That may speak to some of Hagel’s voting. Hagel’s reticence & voting record, like the lack of resignation among the Joint Chiefs, may indicate a desire to be on hand to intervene if Bush does something rash. As with Nixon.
    RE Kucinich:
    Rick Perlstein via digby recounts the 1970 legislation altering political control of the war.
    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/03/partying-in-congress-and-streets-by.html
    Without Kucinich, there can be no Hagel. Note that Obey/Murtha/Pelosi did (& now Webb & Hagel)–what McGovern and Church had done earlier.
    “John Sherman Cooper, R-Ken., and Frank Church, D-Idaho, proposed banning funds for extending the war into Cambodia and Laos. Another bipartisan coalition drafted a repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the congressional authorization for war that had passed 98 to 2 in 1964. George McGovern, D-S.D., and Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., were in charge of the granddaddy of them all: an amendment requiring the president to either go to Congress for a declaration of war or end the war, by Dec. 31, 1970.”
    So yes. you have to set a ‘left’ flank. You need people to stake that out, or no compromising will happen.
    What’s interesting is Hagele won’t be outflanked on the right. The reverse Hillary mode.

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  59. Tony Foresta says:

    Word marky!

    Reply

  60. Carroll says:

    This might not make sense at first glance on the topic of Hagel. But it makes sense to me in terms of the next election and why we should not cling to one total platform or party. By that I mean if WE “create a space”, to borrow Steve’s term, it might mean the end of the extremes, giving politicans a chance to break out or better people a chance to break in.
    Bill Moyers recently gave a speech at a college and he made two references which connect in my mind the essence of our problem:
    # The first to was Woodrow Wilson’s The New Freedom.
    “Wilson described his reformism in plain English no one could fail to understand: “The laws of this country do not prevent the strong from crushing the week.” He wrote: “Don’t deceive yourselves for a moment as to the power of great interests which now dominate our development… There are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States. They are going to own it if they can.” And he warned: “There is no salvation in the pitiful condescensions of industrial masters… prosperity guaranteed by trustees has no prospect of endurance.”
    #2 Then later he told about an event he covered as a young reporter.
    “It was known as the ‘Housewives Rebellion.’ Fifteen women in my home town decided not to pay the social security withholding tax for their domestic workers. They argued that social security was unconstitutional, that imposing it was taxation without representation, and that – here’s my favorite part – “requiring us to collect (the tax) is no different from requiring us to collect the garbage.”
    Those women in Marshall, Texas – who didn’t want to pay Social Security taxes for their maids – were not bad people. They were regulars at church, their children were my friends, many of them were active in community affairs, and their husbands were pillars of the business and professional class in town. They were respectable and upstanding citizens all.
    So it took me awhile to figure out what had brought on that spasm of reactionary rebellion. It came to me one day, much later. They simply couldn’t see beyond their own prerogatives. Fiercely loyal to their families, to their clubs, charities, and congregations – fiercely loyal, in other words, to their own kind – they narrowly defined membership in democracy to include only people like them.””
    The point being we are going down the tubes here because there are great interest who can and will and probably already do own this goverment.
    But we can’t get together long enough to bring them down because we are all so busy clutching our own personal prerogatives to our bosoms and insisting my kind (the dems or the repubs) represent democracy.
    Politics and parties as usual are not working any more. “We” have to create that space in order to birth some kind of representation, regardless of party, for the common good of the country. The “parties” aren’t going to do it themselves.

    Reply

  61. marky says:

    Another take on commenters’ dissatisfaction with Hagel, and w/ Steve’s endorsement of Hagel.
    I think the basic disagreement is that we see the bus as already having passed in terms of saving the Republican party. The GOP is a goner. Whatever good it offered the country has been dead and buried since Reagan’s term. Although it doesn’t have the death toll (yet) of some of the really horrific movements of the 20th century, it has the same lawless, power-above-all principles as Mao, Stalin, Hitler or any of two dozen African strongmen. The College Republicans trained young fascists to be unprincipled fighters, starting during Reagans term, and now those are the people with power. Hagel has no power in the party—none. Waiting for Hagel to become a responsible citizen and a Republican is like searching for the good Nazi. It’s not possible.
    People think we will always have the two parties we have now. That doesn’t have to be the case, and it shouldn’t be. The GOP needs to die, not be saved. Let a true conservative party takes its place.

    Reply

  62. Tony Foresta says:

    Please forgive the double post. It was a result of our humble hosts attempt to censor comment that questions or challenges the fascists in the Bush government.
    I agree however with your comment regarding Howard Dean, Marky. One unseemly screech and Dean is disqualified and dismissed. Yet, fascists like Cheney, Bush, Gonzales, Rice, Bolton, et al. can lie repeatedly and insistantly to the American people and none of the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM diegn to question one word.
    Katie Kuricks savaging of Senator Edwards and his wife tonight is a perfect example. The complicit parrots in the socalled MSM are part of the problem, not the solution.
    While the gospel according to Fox is obvious and overt, the MSM’s catastrophic failure to question the fascists and the fascists policies of the criminals in the Bush government on one hand, – and all too easy willingness to slime, or falsely frame democrats or liberals as anti-American, conspiratorialist, irrelevent, ineffective or other scurrilous LIES on the other proves the MSM is part of the disinformation warfare and propaganda campaigns the fascists in the Bush government are waging on America.
    Why would anyone in good conscience question a man whose wife was just diagnosed with cancer about her potential loss might affect his ability to lead – and yet FAIL to question the fascists in the Bush government about the obvious catastophic FAILURE and certain LOSS in Iraq?
    A pox on all the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM. They are all progandists and disinformation warriors on the payroll of the fascist in the Bush government, and so enemies of the American people.
    “Deliver us from evil”!

    Reply

  63. Jerome Gaskins says:

    I’d sure as hell vote for Chuck, way before this!

    Reply

  64. Tony Foresta says:

    I know the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM, the fascists in the Bush government, and the wingnustia fanaticus truebelievers that blindly support the Bush governments insidious and unrelenting nazification of America want to frame Kucinich as “irrelevent” and ineffective”, – but I am 100% with POA on this one – because it is people like you Steve, and the entire socalled MSM that purposely dismiss people like Kucinich (who has been right on almost every single issue) and blindly or tacitly support, or apologize for fascists like Cheney, Bush, Gonzales, Rice, and the entire Bush government totalitarian dictatorship who have been wrong on every single issue.
    Affording the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government one nanoparticle of goodfaith, good will or trust exposes those individuals as complicit parrots, fanaticus truebelievers, or worse – actual fascists in bed with the warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    The only way for America to ever right the terrible bloody, costly, noendinsight wrongs, horrors, and festering litany of abuses, deceptions, failures, derelictions of duty, partisan cronyism, unadulterated sliming of our fellow Americans, perverting of the core principle that formally defined America, mangling and dismembering the Constitution, woeful lack of accounting, and wanton profiteering is to force accountability, uphold the peoples right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and press for IMPEACHMENT of all the fascists in the Bush government.
    Any voice, – including Hagels’ – discussing this just and long over due remedy is more than welcome.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  65. marky says:

    Tony F,
    Frankly I think Kucinich DOES sound kooky.. but not for his Iraq policies. That’s just my opinion.
    I think the marginalization of Howard Dean is a better example. Has he been wrong about ANYTHING wrt Iraq? I don’t think so. That said, I’m not sure which proposal he supports now. It would be worth finding out.

    Reply

  66. Tony Foresta says:

    I know the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM, the fascists in the Bush government, and the wingnustia fanaticus truebelievers that blindly support the Bush governments insidious and unrelenting nazification of America want to frame Kucinich as “irrelevent” and ineffective”, – but I am 100% with POA on this one – because it is people like you, the entire socalled MSM purposely dismiss people like Kucinich (who has been right on almost every single issue) and blindly or tacitly support fascist like Cheney, Bush, Gonzales, Rice, and the entire Bush government totalitarian dictatorship who have been wrong on every single issue.
    Affording the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government one nanoparticle of goodfaith, good will or trust exposes those individuals as complicit parrots, fanaticus truebeliever, or worse – actual fascists in bed with the warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    The only way for America to ever right the terrible bloody, costly, noendinsight wrongs, horrors, and festering litany of abuses, deceptions, failures, derelictions of duty, partisan cronyism, unadulterated sliming of our fellow Americans, woeful lack of accounting, and wanton profiteering is to force accountability, uphold the peoples right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and press for IMPEACHMENT of all the fascists in the Bush government.
    Any voice, including Hagels’ discussing this just and long over due remedy is more than welcome.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  67. Marky says:

    Interesting that Hagel mentioned the impeachment of Bush without bringing up the low hanging fruit of a possible Gonzalez impeachment.
    I’m with POA here, Steve, caps aside. As far as I am concerned, both you and Hagel are not moving quickly enough. At least you don’t have the added burden of being Bush’s number 1 supporter in Congress. Let’s see Hagel help to get to the bottom of USAgate. I’m not really of an open mind as far as Hagel goes—I think he has shown that he is completely useless—but I’m willing to change my mind if he actually DOES something.
    OT, I saw some of Obama on Larry King last night, talking about Iraq. I’m not sure what to make of his proposals. My problem is that he seems to be laying too much of the blame on the Iraqis for not “standing up”. I’ll be interested to read some analysis here or elsewhere. To be honest, I’m becoming more and more convinced that Obama is just an empty suit.

    Reply

  68. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW Steve, here is a quote of what Hagel actually said when the word “impeachment” is used. The Reuters item you cite has no reference to any comment including the word “impeachment”, nor does the “This Week” link you supplied.
    “He’s not accountable anymore, which isn’t totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don’t know. It depends on how this goes,”
    He says it in an Esquire Magazine interview that will be published in the April issue, but apparently written on March 11. Interestingly enough, I cannot find any mention of when this “interview” took place, and most of the media headlines are employing the same sensationalistic spin that you do in your headlining. In no way shape or form does he advocate impeachment, or call for it.
    Perhaps you can shed some light on this, considering the sensational headline you prefaced this thread with.
    Many of the articles I found go on to say that it is unlikely that Hagel would vote for any resolution that includes a timetable for withdrawal, despite his claims that the President is ignoring the people’s, (and Congress’), call for a “new direction” in Iraq. Once again we see him mouthing a course of action that he is unlikely to support with his vote.
    I find it interesting that you did not directly quote Hagel’s “impeachment comment”. Perhaps the actual reading of his comment far too obviously underscores the shallow manner by which he flirts with the mention of “impeachment”. After all, why should he apply forceful rhetoric when the media and his pundits are perfectly willing to exagerate and sensationalize his comments?

    Reply

  69. Pissed Off American says:

    “We do not need the spectacle of another impeachment or the attempt thereof. Just vote the rascals out when the next election comes around.”
    Using your suggestion of zero accountability, where is the incentive for the next administration to act any differently? Do you realize you are advocating for our politicians to hold themselves above the law? Do you really think that that is a wise concession for “we the people” to make if we truly want a “representative government”?
    I would counter with the argument that impeachment is imperative, as are criminal indictments against many in this Administration, including Cheney and Bush. You cannot simply turn your back on crimes that have cost the lives of over 650,000 human beings, and have rendered our constitution to be little more than used toilet paper. If we do not hold this administration accountable, than we should have no expectation of the next administration being any better. I would go so far as to say that if we do not hold this administration accountable, then the next administration will most undoubtedly be worse. And the actions of these cowards in Congress are certainly lending credibility to my argument.

    Reply

  70. Pissed Off American says:

    “POA, I like and admire Dennis Kucinich. but he is simply ineffective. He is not a serious candidate with any real hope of winning election. He is useful as a point of conscience in these electoral battles — but that’s about it.”
    I agree, Steve, for the reasons I briefly outlined above. The media, and insiders such as yourself have made it so. You have sentenced the man to irrelevancy by your own willingness to declare him as such.
    He is the only candidate currently speaking truth to power. What does that say about the motives behind your endorsements?

    Reply

  71. Jerry says:

    Democracy? Democrazy? Doesn’t matter. It is all what the united torture and terror states stands for: A big show. A bubble. They are the mirror society of THE USSR. Just splitted the big party and hand over power from time to time to keep the imagination that people have a choice alive. Actual policy is much worse than in the USSR. The benefits of the united torture and terror states for the overwhelming majority of its citizens: 20% cant even read, undereducated for most of the rest, no social security, no medicine you could pay, lots more. Most bright guys are importet immigrants which had their education elsewhere. This should be the country of honey and milk? Forget it. They touched down to the bottom of the human race. Last not least their party called War on Terror broke Enterprise US. Most people, you could bet on it when you see the many “smarties” there, havent realized it. But the bill for the party will be paid by those who called loudest for war. Semper fi? Semper Vieh!

    Reply

  72. Pissed Off American says:

    “I respect that you represent a real part of the political spectrum — but it is an ineffective part of the spectrum that spends far too much time hyperventilating and very little time actually achieving any progress.”
    Well, if “progress” is to be measured by our ability to market the status quo posturing ilk that you seem to think are acceptable to be placed in high office, than thank God I am not gifted with your personal talents. I’ll gauge my “progress” by the number of times a passing acquaintance or a nieghbor says…..
    “Really? I didn’t know that. Where can I learn more?”
    The unfortunate part of this whole thing is that the majority of Americans never hear the full story. What recent media item about Hagel have you seen that draws attention to his voting record, or his history in the ES&S matter? My idea of “progress” would be the evolution of a more informed and engaged public, aided by an unbiased media that paints a full picture. Appparently, your idea of “progress” is the successful ommission of pertinent facts. Apparently, on this blog at least, you are making far more “progress” than I am.

    Reply

  73. mahmood says:

    They create a charade that looks like each party is different, but in the end the Democrats and Republicans vote for anything the Illuminati want in order to push forward the Illuminati agenda for “total world domination”. This is why actors make such good politicians because this whole covert political charade at this time is an “act” being played out to control all the people in a so- called democracy. If you’d like to know who is going to win the U.S. Presidential election, just call up super wealthy David Rockefeller and he can tell you today because it’s all a “staged event”. This may be challenging for most people to believe, but it’s true and if given the chance and enough money to fund a proper investigation, this can be proven. There is no “true” democracy in America, only an illusion that looks like a supposed democracy. Currently democracy is imprisonment disguised as freedom.
    A true democracy is not a two party system. It is many parties with different ideas that represent the will of the People, not the will of a few very rich individuals and the corporations that they own. Why weren’t members from other political parties, who have candidates running for the Presidency, allowed to participate in the Presidential debates? Because the Presidential debates are a “staged Illuminati event” that’s why. They would not allow any other competing candidates to participate, just like they don’t allow any of the Illuminati controlled mass corporate media to cover and interview the other smaller party candidates. By suppressing any competing candidates outside of the Illuminati controlled Democratic and Republican parties, the Illuminati eliminate the possibility that someone might actually tell the American people the truth about 911, the war for oil in Iraq, the unconstitutional income tax, the private banking cartel, called the Federal Reserve that controls the money in the U.S.,
    Patriot Acts 1 & 2, etc.
    Did you see any of the Conventions of any other party besides the Democrats and Republicans on T.V. or in any other major mass media?
    Another subversive thing that has been done in the U.S. “Presidential elections” is that the Republican and Democratic parties have made laws that “qualify” a political party to get tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars if they meet certain “criteria”… So the Republicans and Democrats and Illuminati blatantly screw the People even more by using the People’s own tax dollars to keep out any legitimate candidates, who don’t qualify for this money, but who do really and truly desire to work for the benefit of the people.
    The Republican and Democratic parties spend billions of dollars on the Presidential election, so if you can’t get together a billion or two billion dollars, you don’t have a chance! Who could even afford to run in a Presidential election? If you only have two parties, then rich people and the Illuminati through their Fortune 500 corporations can make large contributions to both parties and thereby control both parties. So no matter who wins the election, these corporations and a few rich people get special favors and laws passed to make themselves even richer.
    Mahmood.A.B
    University of Guelph Humber — http://www.guelphhumber.ca
    Bachelor of Business Administration- Accounting, Finance

    Reply

  74. Robert Morrow says:

    Impeachment? Half of my friends want to impeach Bush over not securing the US border and not protecting US national sovereignty.

    Reply

  75. Brigitte N. says:

    Continue to be civil on this blog–that makes it superior to most others.
    We do not need the spectacle of another impeachment or the attempt thereof. Just vote the rascals out when the next election comes around.
    And as much as I admire Hagel’s courage in pressuring Gonzales and the administration,he has his shortcomings as pointed out by previous commentator.

    Reply

  76. Steve Clemons says:

    km4 — If I am boring, there are lots of other blogs out there you can enjoy instead. best of luck in your quest for excitement.
    I am a shill for no one. You have been reading this blog long enough to know that.
    POA, I like and admire Dennis Kucinich. but he is simply ineffective. He is not a serious candidate with any real hope of winning election. He is useful as a point of conscience in these electoral battles — but that’s about it.
    Best regards,
    Steve

    Reply

  77. Pissed Off American says:

    What other candidate is willing to campaign with the truth? Who else is willing to call a “lie” a “lie”? What other candidate is willing to honestly state the obvious, that Bush and Cheney are war criminals? ALL OF US know that Kucinich is speaking the truth, so why should we support the candidates that are too cowardly, too status quo, to dare speak the truth?
    Please call your member of congress today
    Dear Friends,
    Four years ago this week, in violation of international law, standing upon a mountain of lies, the United States went to war against the people of Iraq. Our nation now has the moral responsibility for the deaths of as many as 650,000 to one million innocent Iraqi civilians, for the destruction of Iraq, and the theft of billions of dollars in oil assets.
    Those who told lies to take us into war should be held accountable under the U.S. Constitution and at the International Criminal Court.
    Instead of true accountability on the war, this week Congress may give the President and Vice President more than $100 billion to keep the war going through the end of their term. More war, more civilian deaths, more U.S. soldiers killed or maimed. Less money for housing, for health care, for education, for seniors here at home as we borrow money from Beijing to keep the war going in Baghdad.
    Instead of accountability, the appropriations bill will mandate the privatization of $6 trillion in Iraq oil assets, and it will provide money which can be used to attack Iran in an attempt to grab another $6 trillion in Iranian oil assets for the oil companies.
    We must support the troops, stop the war, end the occupation, and support HR 1234.
    Please call your member of congress today.
    Thank you,
    Dennis J Kucinich

    Reply

  78. km4 says:

    Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel Chuck Hagel
    Steve Clemons your are boring and probably a shill for Chuck Hagel

    Reply

  79. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW Steve, if you can tell me how to italicize on your blog format, we could do away with my irritating habit of capitalizing. It bugs me too, but I see no other way to accent words.
    And as far as my “being too angry” to think rationally, all I can say is…whatever. One thing is for sure, these bastards in the Bush Administration are certainly not going to be held accountable with civility and a mincing of words. My only regret about my anger is that I can’t transfer it to the many millions of Americans that are standing idly by while our country, our environment, our treasury, and our world standing is trashed by your coffee clatch acquaintances and elitist above the law politicos.
    And Steve, you cannot possibly think that your shallow non-explanation of Hagel’s recent vote on the AG issue was a satisfactory acquital of the direct defiance of responsiblity to his duties as a representative of the will of the people? Do you REALLY consider those that voted to strip the AG of his unfettered appointment powers mere “lemmings”? I sincerely hope not.

    Reply

  80. Pissed Off American says:
  81. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, Steve, why are you IGNORING Kucinich’s sincere efforts to ACTUALLY PURSUE impeachment? I have to admit your willingness to pimp certain stances by Hagel, while ignoring the individuals that have sincerely advocated those stances for some time now does not speak well for your motivations or your conviction. Why are Hagel’s mutterings about impeachment worthy of your comment, while Kucinich’s, (or Conyer’s), active pursuit of impeachment and accountability receive nary a mention?
    It is exposure and marketing that create a viable candidacy. Basically, the media, and insiders such as yourself, tell us who is “popular” and viable. Why is it that you are unwilling to expose and market a candidate that sincerely advocates the very “purging” and call for accountability that you profess to desire? The media act of IGNORING the candidacy of individuals such as Kucinich is the death knell for their chances at success. And I see YOU contributing to that death knell by your own unwillingness to acknowledge or draw attention to the campaigns and campaign platforms of individuals such as Kucinich. If in fact your stated desire for accountability and a “new direction” is anything other than a posture designed to inspire readership and market your blog or your proffessional pursuits, why are you so indifferent to the efforts of Kucinich, who is obviously sincere in his efforts and campaign platform, and is one of the few Washington denisons that has maintained his positions throughout the Bush tenure, and has been RIGHT 100% of the time in regards to this unfolding clusterfuck in Iraq, (and has the voting record to back up that assertion)?
    I challenge you to examine Kucinich’s voting record against Hagel’s, and state to this blog that Hagel’s voting record more closely resembles your stated positions than Kucinich’s does. I think you would be hard pressed to do so with a straight face. Yet here we have yet another “campaign ad” for Hagel, for assuming a position that other politicians have held for some time now, recieving little or no comment from you.
    Who knows where Conyers’ or Kucinich’s efforts to exact accountability may have led us if they would have recieved the exposure and the marketing that these posturing frauds like Hillary, Obama, Hagel, Bush, McCain, Rudy, etc have recieved from the media and vocal “insiders” such as yourself?
    The truth is out there, and there really ARE those in Washington that seek it. The PROBLEM is that the media, and insiders like yourself, are only selling us the big money status quo actors.
    BTW, Steve, your complete silence on Hagel’s conduct in regards to ES&S strikes me as irresponsible and openly deceptive. You cannot with any credibility market only half of a product. The ES&S scandal is STILL unfolding…
    (see next post for link)
    … and there is a very sound argument that can be made that they may have participated in manipulating the audit conducted of them by the Florida State Election Director. Hagel’s undeniable past connections to ES&S cannot be ignored….
    (see next post for link)
    ….particularly in light of the fact that he originally gained his seat by virtue of having been voted in on ES&S machines. The fact that the investigation into his failure to disclose his financial holdings in ES&S was mysteriously cut short certainly calls into question the motivation behind his recent vote on the AG issue. Was Hagel returning a favor?
    I apologize if this comment seems somewhat judgemental or adversarial, but, quite frankly, I am deeply distressed by your apparent marketing of an individual who has consistently voted us INTO the current mess we find ourself, while you actively PARTICIPATE in the ostracization of a candidate that has consistently held standpoints that are consistent with constitutional law and American values. And make no mistake, your willfull failure to give Kucinich exposure IS “participation” in his political ostracization.
    Anyway…….
    Here is a recent email I recieved from the Kucinich camp…
    (I had to remove a couple of links, because if you insert too many links Steve’s spam filters block the post)
    Impeachment: I’m asking you. Do you think it’s time?
    Dear Friends,
    Today is the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. We know it was wrong to go into this war and it’s wrong to stay in.
    For four years I have been working to end this war, including leading the effort to cut off continued funding for the war. There is enough money to bring our troops home and we should do that.
    But the Bush administration, with the help of some in Congress, wants to pour more money into this war.
    Worse than that, the Bush administration now is signaling its intention to wage war with Iran. We cannot allow that to happen.
    So I’m asking you. Do you think it’s time?
    I’m talking about time for impeachment.
    I ask because we are now have a condition in this country where we are told to take impeachment off the table, and keep on the table a U.S. military attack against Iran.
    This situation calls for us to reconsider very deeply the moment that we’re in – where our Constitution is being trashed, where international law is being violated, where our hopes and dreams for the education of our children, for the health of our people, for housing, for our veterans, are being set aside as we go deeper and deeper into war.
    We need a whole discussion in America. And with your help, we’re about to have one.
    Please go to my website, and watch the video posted today, “Impeachment: I’m asking you. Do you think it’s time?” …
    http://tinyurl.com/2vxhzx
    You may find the printed transcript of this video at …
    http://tinyurl.com/346pn7
    Once you’ve watched or read this statement, please send me your comments. Over this past weekend there were thousands of demonstrations against this war being waged by the President with the consent of Congress. This must stop.
    Then talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. Get them together for a house party to discuss this war, and our options to stop it. Click here for information on a house party kit.
    Please join with me on this day by signaling your continued support for ending this war. Your voice is important.
    Be One of a Million. Please contribute today to show your support for ending this war.
    Thank you,
    Dennis J Kucinich

    Reply

  82. tammy says:

    I want to like Chuck Hagel, but when I find out how he votes on most issues, I can’t. For instance, the senate voted last week to remove the stipulation that was slipped into the Patriot Act reauthorization which allow the President to appoint U.S. Attorneys without senate confirmation. Only two senators voted against it. One was Chuck Hagel.
    Tammy

    Reply

  83. JohnH says:

    Hagel’s strength is not as a potential candidate, where he has no prospects whatsoever. And he has shown little interest in instigating a revolt among traditional Republicans or even voting according to his stated convictions.
    But he does have one strength–the media pay attention to him. And what he says on on foreign policy makes some sense. So I hope he keeps talking. It gives bi-partisan cover to Democrats efforts.

    Reply

  84. Punchy says:

    Mr. Clemons, I find it hard for you to disagree with much of what POA said. Hagel DID cast a vote to NOT overturn the PatAct Atty Provision. Please explain to us how such a vote is helpful and constructive to returning the checks and balances to this gov’t. It’s quite difficult to square why he voted the way he did, unless he 1) fancies the power Bush now has, 2)doesn’t see any future abuse of it (laughing yet?), and/or 3) he’s simply toeing the WH stance….again.
    If you ever speak to the man, please query him the rationale for his vote. Many of us are slack-jawed and in need of a rational reason.

    Reply

  85. Robert M. says:

    Steve,
    Most of your readers understand that for any politician the essential decision is all about the act “that taken at the flood leads on to victory”. Gauging that moment or moments (set of steps etc) is very very difficult. But to keep talking one way & acting another is not two-steps-forward & one-step-back. It is its opposite.
    If Hagel and Webb really are cooking something up, well good for them & hopefully us. Still, the immediate issue at hand is that Bush’s worse tendencies are constantly reinforced by Cheney/Addington. Its now a symbiotic relationship with both deeply engaged in worst-case practices. To dissolve that will take either a sledgehammer or an acid bath. Or Cheney’s removal from the scene, though Addington would likely stay, which is just like having Bolton still at the UN.
    I eagerly await Hagels’ acidic approach, but really how long can we wait until only the sledgehammer will do? (And if the Dems are game-planning all this as is Rove {and I certainly hope they are!}, I would not expect to read about it in the papers. From some one or some people there have to be concrete actions.
    IF Sen. Hagel wishes to lead, then he has to ACT as a LEADER in this constitutional crisis.
    Regards.

    Reply

  86. Dan Kervick says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine that Hagel is really serious about seeking the Republican nomination. I simply can’t believe Republicans would ever nominate the guy, no matter what happens in Iraq. However I do take seriously the notion of Hagel and Webb – two guys with a lot of credibility in security and military affairs – teaming up to take on Bush in the media and on the Senate floor. Goodness knows Nancy Pelosi and Harry reid are ill-equipped for this task.

    Reply

  87. semper fubar says:

    steve, at what point does your man-crush on Hagel become embarrassing to you? This guy is never going to stand up to the Bush adminstration when it matters (ie, an actual vote).
    Seriously, how many times is this guy going to punk you?
    I can’t believe you’re falling for this again. Unless you’re playing the same game he is – lots of nice talk, but only using that as a ruse to further the Bush administration goals. I want to think more of you than that.

    Reply

  88. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — I completely disagree with you. You are so angry that it clouds your rationality. I don’t have much patience for your frequent use of capitalized letters — and your predisposition to engage in ad hominem attacks. I respect that you represent a real part of the political spectrum — but it is an ineffective part of the spectrum that spends far too much time hyperventilating and very little time actually achieving any progress.
    I don’t really care whether you support Hagel or not — that’s your private decision. But I feel as if he’d make a great entrant in the race.
    I really appreciate your posts that are more sound — and less screaming. I wish you could try that approach more often.
    best regards,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  89. gq says:

    Chuck Hagel voted against a minimum wage increase. He is also anti-environment when it comes to inconveniencing corporations in anyway. Etc., etc.
    I’d hardly say that Hagel’s positions “on many issues” are supported by most Americans. If you take away Hagel’s words on middle east policy, he’d be a disaster as president. Unless of course he took a more moderate, much less extreme position on everything else. If I’ve learned anything over the last years, it’s that blind conservative principles can’t be used to govern effectively. Hagel is as conservative as you can be in Congress.

    Reply

  90. Pissed Off American says:

    Steve, the issue is not about employiong RHETORIC about impeachment, the issue is about actually instituting the act of impeachment. Hagel was also quoted today on the news as saying something to the effect of “Gonzales is no longer credible”, yet Hagel is one of only two that voted against taking away the AG’s power of appointing USAs (without congressional oversight). On the one hand he says we have an untrustworthy AG, yet on the other hand he votes to trust that AG with unfettered appointment of USAs. His rhetoric never seems to match his votes.
    So now he mouths yet another popular standpoint of political opportunity. But how would he vote if the impeachment issue became what it should become? If his history is any example, we cannot trust him to vote consistent with his stated position.
    In my opinion, his recent vote on the AG issue completely erased the small bit of credibility he may have enjoyed. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I would EVER support a candidate that cast a vote such as Hagel did this week. He is apparently a posturing fraud, who will claim any position, only to vote in a manner completely polar to that position. Don’t we have ENOUGH slimey posturing frauds positioning for the Presidency? I mean, if thats all we are going to get to choose from, can we at least pick one that isn’t so blatantly inept at concealing their insincerity?

    Reply

  91. marky says:

    LOL,
    Bush could face impeachment, and I already know Hagel would vote against it. Still, its nice to hear a Republican saying the “I” word.
    Tom Foster makes an excellent point. While there is actually little risk in Hagel’s remarks because of the unlikelihood of impeachment, he faces much greater opposition from fellow Republicans if he supports one of the Democrats’ measures to get US troops out of Iraq.

    Reply

  92. Tom Foster says:

    I come in contact with many moderates and conservatives in my business travels, and the general attitude has changed dramatically towards the Bush administration in the last 12 months. They tend to be financial conservatives and social moderates, even leaning toward libertarian. They are rarely active politically, except for the occasional contribution made directly to individual candidates, some Dems, mostly GOP. Most just want this presidency over.
    Senator Hagel’s positions on many issues, simply put, mirrors most Americans. I see little risk.

    Reply

  93. Gadfly says:

    Or, is Hagel sending a “message” to Bush to be wary of launching a more miserable failure, by yet another immoral & illegal pre-emptive strike upon Iran?
    Hagel must surely know, as does anybody with sufficient brain-power to “connect-the-dots” that the incompetent, immoral & stupid little dictator Bush is setting-the-stage to attack Iran. Poodle “Lap-Dog” Blair cannot participate in this sordid & squalid plot, because he is despised by the majority of his own party (Labour), by the Conservative party, and by the British people– but, he can collude by ordering U.K. troops into Iranian territory, and then denying that they invaded disputed Iranian boundries (asea and/or land), thereby provoking a “Gulf-of-Tonkin”-style incident.
    The neo-cons lust to escalate their Iraqi debacle into WW3 (continuing on with their nightmarish plan into Iran & Syria)– and, Bush is too delusional & in need of proving his “manhood”, suffering from ego-problems, that he is their last best useful idiot, to instigate it. Moreover, AIPAC & Israel have been beating their war-drums (of course, the neo-con arm-chair chicken-hawks don’t go to war, nor do their bratty-off-spring)!
    So, Hagel may be trying to put some reins on this out-of-control situation. Just watch:– we will see some “incident” to ramp-up the lies we are told about Iran very soon indeed. Hopefully, Hagel doesn’t buy their snake-oil– neither should we.

    Reply

  94. steambomb says:

    ~~~~Chuck Hagel: George W. Bush ‘Could’ Face Impeachment if He Ignores Congress on Iraq War”~~~~
    Excuse me for using a blunt analogy but isn’t this pretty much like saying that an axe murderer is going to get put in jail if he murders one more person after having murdered three people allready? I like the fact that Hagel is showing signs of having a conscience unlike most of his other republican colleagues but damn! What is it going to take to have a republican put his foot down? If you republicans have any hope of regaining a viable party you better start leading on this bullshit. Bush belongs in an impeachment trial YESTERDAY! Do you want to continue to contribute to this great experiment? You better get off the fence! I want the republicans (the real ones Hagel et al) to take their party back! I dont want the democrats ruling the way the republicans have in the last 6 years. If the republicans dont step up that is likely to happen.
    In the Clinton presidency under divided government we shrunk government and balanced the budget enough to produce a surplus. Republicans, get some balls.

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  95. Punchy says:

    What matt said.
    Hagel is 100% bluster, 0% action. A younger man’s Arlen Spector. Says a lot, then turns around and toes the party line.
    When I see him vote with the Dems on stuff, support Ried and Pelosi on their legislation, and follow up words with results, then maybe I’ll take him seriously. Until then, he’s an empty shell of a hypocritical two-faced opportunist.

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  96. Carroll says:

    BTW…I am not working for Hagel, at least not yet, maybe I will or maybe I won’t, it depends.
    I just want him in the race.
    But let me mention that Hagel and Jim Webb(D-Va) are, according to Webb, working on their own Iraq bill. Whether or not that had something to do with Hagel’s recent vote I don’t know. But I think Hagle and Webb could come up something better than what we have so far.

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  97. Gadfly says:

    Senator Hagel clearly knows more than he is willing to divulge publically vis-a-vis the myriad criminal activities committed by Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove & Gonzales.
    Yet, unlike many of the GOP-lemmings who are willing to support this traitorous neo-con regime, Hagel has the mental capacity to comprehend that when and if the American people learn the truth about the treason committed by Bush & Co.– that Rove’s insane fantasy about a 50-1000-year-Reich for the corporate fascist will be over.
    Bush & Co. should be impeached and put on trial for treason– and then sent to the Hague, where they can join their Poodle “Lap-Dog” Blair, a despicable, pathetic little man, for their long-overdue trials at the Hague for War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity.
    Happily, for Bush & Co.– they will never be subjected to the inhuman, barbaric & illegal torture that they have submitted victims to at their Guantanamo Bay concentration camp; at Abu Ghraib; in Afghanistan; and in “retention” detention concentration camps hidden around the world, whereby their violations of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. War Crimes Act, and International, continue to take place.
    IMPEACH BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, ROVE & GONZALES– AND, END THE INSANE NEO-CON HIJACKING OF AMERICA!

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  98. Matthew says:

    I asked Anthony Lake this question last week: Why is a weaker America and stronger China NOT in the Arabs’s self-interest? Has the New America Foundation ever considered discussing questions like that? It sure seems that Washington is an echo chamber on American Exceptionalism. Problem is, more and more of the World appears to be re-evaluating the benefits of American hyperpower.

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  99. matt says:

    steve-
    i generally appreciate the insight you bring to the debate, but i must have missed the part where hagel does anything but talk tough and then give in to the more extreme elements of his party. his inaction on the non-binding resolution in the senate was the worst kind of politics, and talking about impeachment seems a naked ploy designed to grab the ground mccain ceded when he threw his lot in with the president.
    so i ask, what has hagel done but talk? and absent actual action, how long are you prepared to continue writing posts calling him bold and brave?

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  100. Carroll says:

    I think Hagle, besides being right, is being both gutsy and smart…and taking some risk.
    He is clearly where the majority of Americans are regarding Iraq.
    And he is where the public would/will be regarding US policy if they get educated on the ramifications of our policy in the ME and around the world that Hagel would bring to their attention if he enters the presidential race.
    This is the reason above all else that I am hoping like hell he enters the race. I think the future of America rest most importantly on this single issue.
    I think the risk he is assuming re Bush is losing financial support for a campaign among the hard right wing of the GOP.
    Hagle has his finger on the pulse of something in the country I think..and is advancing his positions to calculate how strong that pulse is.

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  101. beth says:

    Gonzales is the one who I think could realistically be impeached now. Seems to me there might be more bipartisan support for that than for impeaching Bush.

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  102. Jim says:

    Chuck Hagel voted against his own non-binding resolution, for the stated purpose of helping Mitch “Bagman” McConnell “embarrass the other side”, and I’m supposed to get excited about this?
    I’m well aware that Bush cannot be impeached without Republican support, but I’m also aware that even if he were impeached, there’s no way in holy hell for the Senate to get to two-thirds for removal.
    I would be far more impressed if Hagel came out strong in support of the House bill on Iraq funding, on getting WH aides testimony under oath and on film in the Gonzales/DOJ matter.
    I understand the “Wednesday group” of Republican moderates now has two members, Specter and Snowe, both rather spectacular in their craven uselessness. If Hagel wants to do the country some good, he can revitalize the independence of Republicans in the Senate.

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  103. Steve Clemons says:

    I hope that some of you who post such strident commentary about Hagel realize that your desire for the impeachment of this President — which while that has a very minor chance of happening — requires the support of Republicans. Dems cannot do it alone. A successful strategy for changing the direction of the country must involve moderates.
    Steve Clemons

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  104. profmarcus says:

    in the esquire interview, chuck said…

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  105. Mike says:

    With the president’s approval rating down in the dregs and with him embroiled in controversy after controversy, leading us into some kind of monarchy, I do not think Hagel is risking much here. I think he represents the public mood, as well as the desire to see some god damn accountability from Bush.
    Really, Hagel isn’t risking that much. Many intelligent people (of all political stripes) are now in broad agreement that we can’t solve a host of important issues (torture, renditions, etc.) without first restoring our democracy to what it was meant to be, and standing up for the rule of law is only controversial in an authoritarian state.

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