Kucinich and Impeachment: Don Quijote Lives On

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kucinich imp.jpg
Some political leaders like Chuck Hagel have flirted with the idea, but only flirted. Others like John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich have been more serious.
Dennis Kucinich has now filed articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney, with a slight delay because of Cheney’s blood clot news, but nonetheless — Kucinich has taken action.
At the same time, Dana Milbank mocks Kucinich’s impotence in trying to create legislative punishment of Cheney’s high crimes.
There are some who would like me to write much more about impeachment efforts against Bush or Cheney — but I don’t see any reason to do so. I think that it is important for those on the left or the right to raise the potential of impeachment and even make a moral or legal case for such an undertaking.
But I do not believe such efforts have a chance in hell in our current political environment. None of the key players in either of the key parties believe in the viability of an impeachment effort against either Bush or Cheney.
I think Cheney is more culpable than the President, but even then — my view does not matter — particularly with Tim Johnson still recovering and Joe Lieberman threatening practically every other day to caucus with the Republicans.
I do think what Kucinich is doing is important for many in the country. It is. He is fulfilling the expectations of many frustrated Americans, but at the same time, it’s important to not let sentimentalism about Kucinich’s Quijotish leadership cloud out the realism that impeachment in the next 20 months is only a cosmetic political factor and won’t really happen.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

42 comments on “Kucinich and Impeachment: Don Quijote Lives On

  1. Kathleen says:

    Earth to Rudy:
    9/11 happened on George Bush and Rudy Guiliani’s watch. End of story.
    Stephen Miller, You are exactly right. If we tolerate abuse of the Constitution, abuse is all we can expect.
    Busholini and Darth Cheney are so expert at skirting our Constitution, they should wear kilts.
    Actually skirts would be appropriate for the Draft Dodgers-In-Chief. When it comes to cooking the intelligence, I see Darth in a chef’s hat and Dopey chopping carrots.

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  2. stephen miller says:

    Re impeachment, I disagree. Bush and Cheney must be impeached and their violations of the public trust exposed and documented if America is ever to regain it’s standing in the world, and preserve it’s constitutional government.
    Some might find the idea unpleasant. But it must be done. Over and over if necessary, right up to their last days in office.
    We talk now of repairing the damage by diplomacy, multilateralism, cooperation with allies, but if we do not officially renounce the egregious abuses of the current administration, who will believe that things have really changed?
    And if we don’t officially renounce the damaging abuse of power of the Rove Ruling Party, these abuses will return to plague us in the future.
    It’s time to awake from this ordeal. Those who don’t want to talk about impeachment are simply scared of waking up and confronting the problem. In some cases they may want these abusive networks and extaordinary executive powers on the books, so they can use them.

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  3. Pissed Off America says:

    “God forbid that the NRA types, whose basic constitutional claim for gun ownership is that of armed revolution, should join our ranks.”
    Thats utter bullshit, Jon. I have been around guns all my life. My dad dealt guns on a wholesale and retail level, was an avid hunter, and was a partner in an elk hunting lodge in Idaho. The gun owners that I have met that espouse the crap you cite above, “armed revolution”, can be counted on one hand. Most NRA members are simply hunters or collectors that believe the Second Amendment gives them the right to pursue their sport or hobby. Of course, the vast majority of them also see guns as a defense against criminal invasions of their persons or property.
    In fact, the “Eddie Eagle” program of the NRA, (that teaches kids to avoid handling a “found gun”, and seek out an adult to secure the weapon), is far more representative of an “NRA attitude” than the militia type of personality you describe.
    Look, NRA has made some bad PR moves in the last couple of decades. Enough so that I no longer choose to call myself a member. But painting the average NRA member as some Uzi toting radical in fatiques is misrepresentative of the vast majority of the NRA membership.

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  4. Mackie says:

    Floridagate, Plamegate, Nigergate, Gonzogate, Cherrypickgate, Warprofitgate, Katrinagate, Blackwatergate, and I know I’m missing some…
    I would love to see Kucinich go somewhere with this, if only to wake up the general populace who are not political junkies. The monstrousness of a trillion dollar war, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, our wounded men and women coming home with PTSD and TBI that will affect their descendents for generations, and coming home to a wrecked economy and decaying infrastructure; it really shouldn’t be decided on the likelihood of success, should it?
    Here’s a link of a humvee ride through Ramadi this month:
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=900_1176763058

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  5. MP says:

    Eli writes: “Conviction is almost certainly unlikely. Impeachment would only require a majority in the House. Thus it becomes a political calculation. Done correctly so as to expose what Cheney and Bush have done, it could be a winner. For one thing it would be about impossible for anyone to hide from the investigating committee behind executive privilege or whatever. Starting an impeachment inquiry would be a real high wire act.”
    This strikes me as correct.
    It’s true that the Republicans lowered the bar for impeachment with the Clinton proceedings. However, what Bush and the Republicans have going for them politically is the “security” issue. Even if most Americans now disagree with them, and even feel that we are less safe as a result of their actions, they will give Bushco a LOT of leeway if they feel or can be convinced that his intentions were to protect them.
    (Remember also that impeachment was a huge DEFEAT for the Republicans as were their other draconian action of shutting down the government. Americans couldn’t stand what Bill and Monica were doing–but they were overwhelmingly against impeachment.)
    As has been pointed out here by many, most of these revelations are nothing new. The unlawful wiretapping was a direct assault on our liberties and a clear crime by anyone’s standards. And so unnecessary within the law as it stood. And yet, as far as I can tell, it caused barely a ripple among great swaths of the public.
    Maybe it’s a matter of the public not being willing to admit that they were taken for such complete fools–so they stick to their guns to keep from feeling ashamed.
    Kucinich’s lack of even a single co-sponsor on this speaks to more than the supposed cowardice of all the other Reps. It does speak to his leadership abilities, however. Again, being “right” isn’t enough to lead.

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  6. David N says:

    1.
    With 535 people in the Congress, are you telling me they can’t do more than one thing at a time? Why can’t we have the judiciary committees doing an impeachment investigation, at the same time as Defense is investigating and correcting the abuse of the military, at the same time as government operations is continuing its multiple investigations of abuse of government agencies such as State and GSA, at the same time as Intelligence is investigating the illegal warrantless wiretaping and the made-up intel?
    Yes, it will be hard for the fat-ass pundits to keep track of it all, but with the 24-hour news cycle reduced to 24-hour coverage of celebrity trials and paternity tests, surely there’s enough room for coverage an actual defense of constitutional government and the rule of law?
    2.
    Having Bush select Rice as his VP after Cheney leaves office and starts his trials for treason is a wet dream. That way, there will be no chance that a Republican with any brains, independence, and intelligence can start to repair the Bush damage during the election campaign, and increase the chances that another Republican can steal the election, as Bush/Rove has done the last two times. But the amount of damage Bush/Rice/Rove can inflict in the remaining time will be limited by a.) an emboldened Congress, at last realizing that Constitutional powers and responsibilities CAN be exercised, and b.) people becoming more and more aware that the lies don’t keep us safe.
    Democratic candidates for President have asked what they have to do to prove their fitness to be President. The answer is simple: Their jobs.

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  7. Jon Stopa says:

    An interesting development I am seeing here is that POA is sorting out to be our moderate voice. Main stream. God forbid that the NRA types, whose basic constitutional claim for gun ownership is that of armed revolution, should join our ranks.
    An underlying fear of Impeaching the President and Vice President is that it weakens the US during wartime, and we would be accused of that…it didn’t stop the strong people who stood in opposition to Nixon. Surely, we can match them. After all, Bush is ONLY self-identified as a War President.

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  8. Linda says:

    Kuchinich is doing the right thing and making a symboolic gesture and knows nothing will come of it. It’s sad that he is a target of ridicule and jokes as he was when mayor of Cleveland and just happened decades later to have made the right decision to keep Cleveland’s power company a public utility and not privatizing it.
    Impeachment, however, was highly disruptive of legislative process in 1998 and would serve no practical or even political purpose now. In fact, it could hurt as Bush would be likely to select Condi Rice as VP and make her a viable Presidential candidate for 2008. It’s better to just keep Cheney where he is for the next couple of years.

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  9. Michael says:

    Steve,
    I find it telling that here, among your own most loyal ‘constituents’, even those who fear you might be right about the chances of successfully impeaching Cheney strongly disapprove of your defeatest stance. This gives me hope.
    Those who want to see Darth Cheney impeached aren’t exactly asking for the moon, y’know. All we ask is that a nation of laws hold its leaders accountable within the constitutional framework they have sworn to uphold. If you are correct, and neither Democrats nor Republicans can supply a sufficient number of political leaders and supporters who share this goal, I think that is a crushing indictment of our politicians as a class, our political system, and the chorus of pundits and back-scratchers who support the status quo.
    I have seen no scientifically conducted polls to support my feelings here, but I suspect that Cheney’s hard support is small and shrinking, even among Republican voters. If true, then to say that impeaching Cheney is impossible seems rather equivalent to saying, no matter what the people do, Congress will not under any circumstances execute the peoples will in this matter.
    Indeed, the terrorists have already won and woe to the Republic.

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  10. Gadfly says:

    Condo-sleezy Rice mistakenly believes that she is the Mad King George’s Queen– and is signalling that she will ignore the House’s subpoena.
    Rice should be impeached and put on trial for treason– along-side Bush, Cheney, Rove & Gonzales.
    All of these arrogant, incompetent, and lawless neo-con fascists have undermined our nation’s well-being.
    Why is Rice given a pass, when this war-pig is no different from her criminal side-kicks?

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  11. YY says:

    If one were to insure against risk of total meltdown by the president, it is very important that Cheney is not around to take over. Imagine what Cheney on his own would be like.

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  12. Sandy says:

    Right on, all of you! You’ve made me feel hopeful for the first time in a long, long time. Surely this country and its Constitution are worth defending from the deliberate destruction of the last six years.

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  13. Kathleen says:

    Right on TonyForesta. I just sent the link to the msnbc impeachment poll to Nancy Pelosi with the observation that only Kings are not impeachable and the President serves at the pleasure of the people. Thought she’d like to see the results.

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  14. TonyForesta says:

    Word rich. If breaking the law repeatedly and insistantly, – if spiriting of 140 Saudi nationals including bin Laden family members around and eventually out of the country in the dark hours and days after 9/11 without investigation or interrogation when evey American was grounded, if hurling our daughters and sons to an unwarranted, unnecessary, unjust, and illegal war of choice based on a festering litany of deceptions, ruthless contamination of the intelligence product, exaggerations, hype, and naked lies, – if revenge outing one of our own agency operatives and operations, if the government sanctioning of torture and rendition, if the radical perversion and betrayal of the core principles that formally defined America – if using the justice department as political enforcer of the partisan aims of the government – if ruthlessly and systemically sliming our fellow Americans for daring to question, challenge, dissent with, or oppose the fascist policies, and deceptions and failures of the government, – if using the military and other government entities to conduct information warfare on the American people – if wanton profiteering, and woefull lack of accounting – if the systimatic mangling, dismembering, and re-engineering of the Constition and the rule of law by the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government do not warrant impeachment – then what does?
    What could possibly be left for Americans to trust in our socalled democracy?
    What could possibly be left of the Constitution?
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  15. marky says:

    I meant to say this earlier, but the flip side of the impeachment question is that if the Republicans do not want to join an impeachment effort, no matter what, I think it will showcase their guilt even more than an impeachment vote would. You see, if there is an impeachment, a Congressman who votes no can say “well, this is a very grave step, and I couldn’t vote yes, despite grave reservations I have with Bush’s behavior”. For most of the public, I think this excuse will work. Now, on the other hand, suppose that there is no impeachment, then I think it’s much easier to paint all the GOP in bed with Bush, and approving him. Impeachment may force some Republicans to make perfunctory criticisms of Bush, but if the effort fails, some GOP congressmen may get a kind of political immunity.
    If there is no impeachment, it’s much easier to convince the public that all GOP congressman adore Bush (which in fact is pretty accurate).

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  16. rich says:

    But are we referring to the “political climate” of 2003? 2006?
    I ask because Charlie Cook says:
    Iraq Opinion Gulf Leaving GOP in Peril
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18159190/
    McCain’s nosedive was predestined, and obvious at the outset.
    And after the Gonzalez/USA mess landed in Senatorial laps, the pretense was up. Republicans couldn’t and didn’t maintain.
    With enough evidence (now on the way) delivered on a platter to Congress-folk in general and Senators in particular, the Republican firewall won’t hold.
    That preventive “political climate” is long gone, and has been for quite some time.

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  17. rich says:

    The “political climate” is the creation of Congress-folk, pols, and pundits–so to me, it’s just not a viable excuse for not going forward with a fully warranted impeachment process.
    That kind of self-fulfilling prophecy is the weak way out; it’s an evasion of the issue at hand. It belies the self-assigned mantle of responsibility and centrism flaunted by so many.
    At minimum (politically), Republicans set an extremely low bar for impeachment when they went after Clinton. That’s a standard for impeachment that Bush has easily met.
    Not applying the same standard to Bush is sheer hypocrisy. Dems failing to capitalize on that double-standard (whether charges are quite ripe or not) are assisting in a precedent the country can’t afford to set. Further, Feingold’s natinonal approval ratings shot up from 22 to 53% overnight (censure resolution).
    At maximum (on principle), sober people, in all moderation, can only conclude there’s every reason to impeach. Why?
    If not under these circumstances, then when? If torture’s not enough, what exactly would it take? If lying the country into war isn’t enough, if usurpation of power . . . etc., etc.
    — if the overall record doesn’t merit impeachment, then why have an America or a Constitution at all?
    It’s a mistake to pretend Kucinich is merely balm for the angry. Anger isn’t the issue, is it?
    The votes may not be there–yet. But when the Emperor has no clothes at all for a good six years–and the Fig Leaf comes off with Abu Gonzalez / US Attorney firings–even Republicans can’t pretend anymore.
    It’s Bush’s “Saturday Night Massacre” only without the heroes–in AND out of the Administration.
    Granting the votes may not be there yet, still, taking refuge in a self-constructed ‘political climate’ or a surmised infeasibility–it just does not speak well for pundit or pol, nor for those occupying the ‘responsible’ center.
    Is political viability really the question here? And given Bush’s record, is it in any way fair to pretend that Kucinich is tilting at windmills?
    I think not. Kucinich, at least, is no “summer soldier,” no “sunshine patriot”–which is more, far more, than any self-styled pragmatist can claim.
    And Kucinich is not “tilting at windmills” or on a fool’s errand, so long as his purpose is well-founded and his substance is well-grounded.
    Funny: when you put it like that, Kucinich suddenly has more credibility than the Congress-folk who’ve turned themselves into bystanders while Bush the Usurper crossed his Rubicon. And it matters, because the Constitution, after all, is not a suicide pact.

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  18. Pissed Off America says:

    “And yet in just that short a time, take a look at the high crimes and misdemeanors already being brought to light.”
    They have been in the “light” for a long time now, and many of these cowards that are now being the most vocal cowered like sheep while these policies were being implemented. Where were these mewling pricks and princesses when a filibuster or two may have made a difference? The time to launch a loud and public opposition to these facist bastards in the White House was YESTERDAY. Where were these people when Conyers was fighting the good fight, and being consigned to basement closets in which to hold his voter fraud “hearings”? Hillary was dribbling some horseshit about burning flags, Reid was having his balls handed to him by Roberts on the “Phase Two” issue, Obama was residing in virtual obscurity…….
    Unfortunately, Kucinich comes across as a wackjob, and his efforts will be portrayed as the efforts of a wackjob. And the first time he gets on mainstream TV and jumps around like a Holy Roller on steroids, (like I saw him do on a C-Span coverage of one of his speaches), most of the American people will consider him a wackjob.
    Its too bad too, because not only is impeachment called for, I believe it is a mandate if our nation is to recover its ideal of having a representative government. If these fuckers in the Bush Administration can get away with what they have done in these past six years, without being held accountable, than there is absolutely NO deterrent for such abuses of power by our future leaders and “elected” officials.

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  19. David N says:

    Just heard Olbermann’s Special Comment for tonight. It was a full-throated diatribe against Rudy Giuliani’s claim that if a Democrat is elected president, more Americans will be killed by terrorists than if a Republican — namely him — is elected.
    Olbermann went ballistic, saying that Giuliani himself is a terrorist, attempting to use fear for personal political gain. What he missed was the campaign in 2004, when Bush used fear to get people to vote for him.
    It’s the old CW that Republicans are tough, so they’ll keep us safer. Just like the CW that Republicans are competant CEO types, who at least know how to run things.
    It like all CW — bullshit.
    Giuliani said that Republicans play offense against terroism, and Democrats will play defense. What he and every single other politician, pundit, commentator, or writer in America misses is that neither makes any difference at all.
    If the struggle against violent fundamentalism is anything that can be called a war, it is a war of ideas; it is a war that we are not fighting now, and that no one is even proposing we enter. Thus, it is a struggle we are in the process of losing, because we aren’t even in it.
    If all we do is shoot people, we lose.

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  20. Pissed Off America says:

    “Some political leaders like Chuck Hagel have flirted with the idea, but only flirted.”
    Gads Steve, I wish you would cease with this assertion. Hagel, on one occassion, said that if Bush keeps this shit up, someone just ,might call for his impeachment (words to that effect). I defy you to show us one single utterance from Hagel where he endorses or advocates impeachment.
    If you are really serious about accurately giving credit where credit is due, it is John Conyers who has been the most active and vocal about impeachment, although he has since backed off.
    But this business of implying that Hagel has “flirted” with the impeachment issue is pure unadulterated horseshit, unless you know something you haven’t disclosed with us.

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  21. liz says:

    I agree with the first post. The terrarists have won. First thing Bush ever said about terrarists was ” they want to change our way of life”. I say Bush either assisted or let them. Maybe no one else felt it so acutely. Perhaps when you experience your turn you will feel differently.

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  22. Kathleen says:

    LOVED the msnbc poll, sent it to everyone I know.

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  23. Carroll says:

    Of course Cheney should be impeached, but it won’t happen.
    And Markey is right on the essence of this adm’s crimes.
    And I am tired of being jaded and cynical and all that but look at the facts….it’s good for the dems politically if Bush & Co. stay in office till 2008, that’s why they aren’t behind impeachment..or justice for that matter.
    Look at what the dems are doing, nibbling around the corners with their go nowhere investigations, avoiding the most critical investigation of our century into the LIES and the people behind those lies that took the US into Iraq.
    So we will spend the next year and a half with one nitpicking investigation after another that yields no change, just scandel fodder for political purposes….that the dems hope will get them into the WH.
    And both parties will continue to let people die in Iraq beause one side can’t admit defeat and the other side wants them to keep eating that defeat..both for politics. Pitiful.

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  24. Eli Rabett says:

    Conviction is almost certainly unlikely. Impeachment would only require a majority in the House. Thus it becomes a political calculation. Done correctly so as to expose what Cheney and Bush have done, it could be a winner. For one thing it would be about impossible for anyone to hide from the investigating committee behind executive privilege or whatever.
    Starting an impeachment inquiry would be a real high wire act.

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  25. Kathleen says:

    Sandy, I just read your comments on the Abu Gonzongo thread. Amen and then some.
    Headline Junky, public opinion is waaaay ahead of the Beltway non-Movers but they are busy sticking their fingers in their ears and going, lalalalalalala.
    Let’s all call Pelosi before the CA convention this weekend and tell her Busholini is indeed king with impeachment off the table. Like Sandy says, he’s got his signing statements to prove it.
    Indidentally, I do contribute to Russ Feingold’s Progressive Patriot Fund because I trust him and that’s where I get the best bang for my buck. I wish he hadn’t chosen not to run in 08. He says he wants to get things done in the Seante, so maybe the Dem nominee will have the brains to ask Feingold to be their running mate so he can be President of the Senate and really get things in shape. That would develope this whole facet of the VEEPS duties, if he presided every day, instead of just voting to break ties. In fact, I think the Founding Fathers meant for there to be a closer link between the Executive and Legislative branches through this role of the VEEP.

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  26. jon says:

    Attaboy Kucinich! It’s almost enough to make me put that check in the mail.
    Kucinich clearly realizes the chance of passage and conviction. But he’s doing something that needs saying and doing right now, and he’s someone who can do it.
    Reid and Pelosi also have their roles to play, and that does not include publicly supporting impeachment. Certainly not right now. They make a compelling case for all of the difficult work that the Congress has before it right now.
    If Bush maintains his current positions and more malfeasance comes to light, the dynamic may change rapidly. What looks impossible at one moment may later become necessity. What will Congress do if Bush vetoes the second or third emergency Iraq funding bills that they pass?
    Perhaps the administration will finally realize that they will not be able to continue operating as they did when they controlled all of the branches of government. They need to recalibrate their approach and performance to be successful.
    For the good of the country and for the sake of our personnel overseas, it can’t happen soon enough.

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  27. ... says:

    poa is gonna love you for this article, lol…
    and on msnbc today a live poll on whether to impeach bush where you too can vote
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10562904

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  28. marky says:

    David N,
    I borrowed the idea about Republicans cheapening impeachment from something I read awhile back. Maybe I saw your post at DK.

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  29. Headline Junky says:

    Steve, I take this post to mean that you’ve heard what the people who will actually vote on a Cheney impeachment have been saying, and that it’s dead in the water. Which I have to admit I find a bit surprising. I’ve been arguing for months that impeaching Cheney would be a pretty safe shot over the bow for the Democrats, since I can’t imagine many Republicans sticking their necks out for such an unpopular Veep.
    From what you’ve heard, do you think there’s any possibility that public opinion might get out in front of the political movers and shakers on this one?

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  30. Kathleen says:

    Absolutely, impeachment is not enough. Indictment and imprisonment and a trial by the World Court would be my cup of tea, but with spinlessness being in vogue in the Beltway, I’m not holding my breath.
    I do feel cynicism taking over my psyche since Pelosi took impeachment off the table. I think voter apathy will grow if we let these Constitutional subversives get away with murder.
    If they fail to impeach, I for one, will never contribute to the Democratic party again. They can get their own cowardly asses re-elected. It’s pointless to talk about Dopey not being king or above the law, if you are just going to give him a pass. If indeed Busholini isn’t king, then fire his ass. It’s not a question of whether Dopey is worth it. It’s a question of whether our Consititution is worth it. Nothing is more important.
    Pelosi says people voted to end the war. Correct, and the short cut to that end is to hold the Sword of Damocles over Dopey and Darth’s most precious part. Impeach the callous cowards. Where is Loreena Bobbitt when you need her?

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  31. TonyForesta says:

    Bravo Kucunich. While the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM gleefully dismuss Kucinich, who has continually been right on key policies issues over the last six years from rejecting the original deceptive justifications for the war, to the off budget open ended funding and woefull lack of accounting for the war, to the radical abuses of the USA Patriot Act, to the catastrophic incompetence and mismanagement of the war – these same MSM propagandists, disinformation warriors, and partisan parrots for the Bush government continue to pimp the pathological LIES of Dick Cheney who has been WRONG ON EVERY ISSUE, POLICY, JUSTIFICATION, CLAIM, and HOLLOW PROMISE.
    The complict parrots in the MSM, the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush goverment, the republican reich, and the wingnustia fanaticus in redneck America continue to pimp the patent lie, and want Americans to believe that IMPEACHMENT is unwarranted, impossible, and should be off the table – but as usual, – all these fascists and partisans are dead wrong.
    The majority of Americans fully support impeachment, and will good well justified reasons.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  32. David N says:

    I thing marky has nailed it.
    Impeachment is extreme, but the extremism of the Bushites has made extreme measures not just necessary, but the only option available.
    And mere impeachment is not sufficient. They should then all be indicted, convicted, and their assets turned over to the government under RICO. If their’s isn’t an organized crime, I don’t know what is.
    Marky has also made the case that I tried to months ago on DKos, that part of the purpose of te Clinton impeachment was to cheapen the process and render it political — or at least open to charges of being political. It’s like DeLay complaining that he was the target of “the politics of personal destruction” — which he invented.
    In any case, Steve:
    Saying that because impeachment is impossible, we shouldn’t even try, is not in the spirit of what Ed Luttwak said in answer to my question when he spoke at the Foundation. Even if it’s unlikely, the only way impeachment will be impossible will be if we don’t try. The argument can even be made that Republicans will support it, if only because if Bush is still president in 2008, they’ll lose so badly it’ll be like 1932 all over again. For their own selfish reasons (do they have any other?), even Republicans will want to put Bush and Cheney in the rear-view mirror.
    Of course, the problem then becomes, will any of them want to replace Bush’s disasters, with only months to do anything about them.
    But we shouldn’t just concede.

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  33. marky says:

    I’d love to see Bush and Cheney impeached, but I’d like to see the bar set quite high for actual charges, let alone conviction. With the Clinton impeachment, the Republicans deliberately cheapened the act of impeachment, in order to provide a firewall for the next Republican President by saying that impeachment was just a cheap political stunt.
    In Bush’s case, I would like to see impeachment proceedings that are instituted with the intent of proceeding with criminal charges after conviction—or even sending Bush to the World Court for trial on war crimes, if warranted. You think that’s preposterous? Bush has waged aggressive war using false intelligence to promote his case. There isn’t a higher war crime.
    If the Democrats can convincingly demonstrate that Bush misled the country into war, knowing that Iraq was NOT a threat, then send Bush packing to the Hague. That would be a salutary lesson for future American exceptionalism warriors.
    At any rate, it should be a cinch to send Bush to jail on obstruction of justice if he is impeached. Reverse the horrible precedent of the Nixon pardon and send Bush to jail after impeachment, or don’t impeach at all.

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  34. Alan Lewis says:

    Steve:
    I appreciate your healthy skepticism. As an antidote to it, try doing something that I took the time to do. Find a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Read every word of it. Carefully. It’s longer than you remembered. Take your time. It’s worth it.
    Read it again and substitute King George for George W. Bush and his enablers and add in your own list of the affronts to our Constitutional democracy that have been foisted upon us by the current “administration” of dictators.
    Then, tell me again whether its possible to impeach this President and Vice President. I certainly hope so. Because if it is not, then we are left with the kind of “redress” that our Founders had to choose, and our country is in for much worse than impeachment. We should all genuinely fear for our Republic until these neo-facsists are out.
    –I’m Ready.

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  35. Gadfly says:

    WELL DONE KUCINICH!
    Steve is correct, in my opinion:– that the impeachment of Bush and Cheney will not occur. But, Kucinich’s actions are important, for at least there is one public servant who is acting on behalf of the American people who have been betrayed and defrauded by a corrupt, stupid & little president and his corrupt, calculating & opportunistic vice-president. Both Bush and Cheney are traitors.
    The sleepy-headed American people are currently too foolish (much like the German people were in the late 1930s & early 1940s) to recognize that they have been swindled and abused by the corrupt neo-con Bush/Cheney junta.
    In fact, the sleepy-headed American people have the evidence before them of the heinous War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity committed by the dim-witted puppet Bush & his war-profiteering Cheney– but, they ignore it.
    Bush, Cheney, Rice & Rove only care about getting rich (check-out their “family” stock-options, promises by corporations post-regime) from Halliburton, Bechtel, Carlyle Group, Big Oil, the Military Industrial Complex (arms manufacturers, defense industry, mercenary security firms, etc.), etc. Gonzales only cares about the Bush Crime Family, his crime sydicate.
    None of these incompetents, jackals, opportunists, and servants of lobbyists is fit to serve in public office– and, Kucinich is one of the only brave politicians with the courage to speak the truth.
    That the Democratic-led Congress refuses to conduct impeachment hearings for Bush, Cheney, Rice, (demanding that Rove be fired), and Gonzales, will be seen from the long view of history as a low-point in American history.

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  36. ExBrit says:

    I tend to agree with Sandy and Kathleen. Never say never. It’s odd that you, Steve, find this so unlikely to succeed, and like others, I’m compelled to ask why, but then, we don’t live inside the beltway groupthink.

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  37. bcamarda says:

    Impeaching Bush and/or Cheney is, yes, extremely unlikely. But there are a number of events that could make it significantly more likely. Most of those events are themselves quite unlikely, but not impossible. First is Libby deciding for some reason to turn. (Even more remote, but not inconceivable: Goodling turning, and being able to establish through email correspondence a link into the Oval Office.) There are other longshots, as well, but at this point there are enough of them that impeachment should no longer be taken off the table. What other choice, exactly, is Bush giving us?
    Perhaps the least unlikely set of events to trigger impeachment: a tragic, horrific summer in Iraq, with Lebanon-style bombings. God forbid this should happen: every one of us hopes and prays that General Petraeus can protect his troops in the field. I hate to even discuss this, because it will be misread as something hoped for, and I want every single man and woman to come home from that disastrous war safely, starting right now. They and their families have given enough, and should not be pawns in anyone’s politics. But in the wake of the Green Zone bombing and Monday’s attack in Diyala Province, it sure looks like that’s the direction we’re headed in.
    If Bush could then only offer a “stay the course” commitment to the surge, enough Republicans could fear for their own political survival to provide cover for a real impeachment initiative on one or another of the many grounds that would be available.
    Conviction in the Senate? Much tougher, regardless of the causes, charges, and political environment. But perhaps enough damage could be done to prevent the Administration from doing some of the more awful deeds it has doubtlessly planned, and prevent some of its more evil cronies from metastatizing into future Republican administrations.

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  38. Sandy says:

    And while they’re at it, they ought to subpoena Stephen Hadley and Michael Ledeen.

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  39. Sandy says:

    As English philosopher Edmund Burke said
    ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’
    People make fun of Dennis Kucinich. At least he has integrity. And a spine.

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  40. Kathleen says:

    Never say never. It doesn’t help to say something is impossible. Better to fight for what is right, despite the odds, like David in the face of Goliath.
    In the meantime, I’m trying to get Waxman’s committee to subpoena John Bolton and Fred Fleitz on how the 16 words got into Dopey’s Speech. See Waxman’s letter to Shays, Mar. 1, 2005.

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  41. Sandy says:

    Interesting. How long now have the Democrats been in the majority and able to conduct oversight? A few months now. Right.
    And yet in just that short a time, take a look at the high crimes and misdemeanors already being brought to light.
    What makes you think that impeachment proceedings would fail?
    You don’t think offenses against:
    U.S. Law
    the U.S. Constitution
    civil liberties
    human rights
    the Geneva Conventions….
    You don’t think that lying to Congress…
    lying to the American people…
    Voter suppression and election rigging/fraud (see Ohio)
    Sweetheart no-bid contracts and war profiteering
    political firing of U.S. Attorneys
    kidnapping and torturing people (secret rendition)
    persecution of whistle blowers
    violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on U.S. citizens without warrants, a felony under the Act
    a conviction of a Cheney staff member for perjury and obstruction of justice for OUTING A COVERT CIA OFFICER (treason….or, at least it used to be at one time in this country)
    stepping up illegal military aggression against Iran
    signing statements to exempt the President from his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and uphold the unity Executive POWER
    moving towards fascism with the Patriot Act
    inviting Jeff Gannon to have free access to the White House Press Conferences
    paying Armstrong Williams and others to generate PR propaganda
    foisting Right Wing Evangelical agenda throughout government
    re-writing science and sabotaging efforts on stem-cell research and global warming
    and, oh yes, creating phony reasons and lying us into a war that has killed and crippled thousands and thousands and caused 4 million Iraqis to have to leave their homes…..and bankrupted our treasury (Trillions….with a “T”)
    ….I could go on. And on. And on.
    But still, you don’t really think enough grounds and backing for impeachment of Bush and Cheney will ever happen.
    Hmmm. That’s interesting. WHY would that be? And, just WHO IS IT that wouldn’t want that to happen?

    Reply

  42. daCascadian says:

    The terrists HAVE won.
    I mean specifically that the parasitic reichwing ReThuglicans are THE terrists. They have managed over the last 25+ years to destroy any semblence of rational thought and sane behavior at the national level. Fear of being unpopular has become the prime directive.
    Time to begin consideration of exactly what the next version of our Consitution needs to look like so the Constitutional Convention can be efficient and effective. Our current Constitution is DEAD. Killed by apathy, political delusion & social politeness. May history judge us accordingly.
    (And yes, the spelling of “terrists” is intentional; say hello to the NSA folks !)
    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

    Reply

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