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  •  Another Argument For Impeachment (6+ / 0-)

    Since the Democrats voted to continue to fund the Iraq war, those of us here in the reality-based community have been struggling with how to take the political initiative  -- and how to prod our Democratic leadership into taking action, rather than  reacting and waiting for 2008.

    It may be too obvious to need saying, but impeachment   is not merely act whereby a federal officer is accused by the House of deeds that warrant the Senate striping her or him of office.  Impeachment, whether successful or not, is also a process with practical political consequences as it unfolds. If undertaken, impeachment proceedings would allow the Democrats to exert meaningful control in American politics and instantly would bring the Administration's adventures at home and abroad to a screeching halt.  

      1.  The first effect of starting an impeachment investigation would give Democrats, rather than the Administration control over the national agenda. Quite simply it would be nearly impossible to move ahead with Bush/Cheny initiatives, such as oil drilling in ANWAR, tax cuts for the wealthy, etc.  The country and the Administration would be focussed on impeachment.  

      2.  The second effect would be to hamstring the Administration's ability to expand the War in Iraq or begin a new conflict with Iran.  Any such expansion would immediately be seen as a "wag the dog" response to impeachment and would be presumptively illegitimate.  

      3.  Impeachment proceedings would shred the veil of secrecy Bush and Cheney have spun over our government's workings.  There is no right against self-incrimination in an impeachment inquiry, and the refusal to comply with any request for information or to testify in such a proceeding is itself sufficient grounds for impeachment.

      4. Finally, an impeachment investigation would require those who defend the President and Vice-President to articulate a rationale for failing to hold them accountable for their abuses of power.  Republicans and Democrats who oppose impeachment would be forced, on the record, to explain their opposition -- and they can be held accountable for it in upcoming elections.

    None of these benefits depends on conviction in the Senate -- or indeed even on a successful vote to impeach in the House, but on shifting the focus of the Administration to its own survival, rather than playing out the clock

    None of these considerations should detract for an instant from the fact that impeaching Bush and Cheney is otherwise warranted.  The President and Vice-President have plainly committed high crimes and misdemeanors, and are patently unfit to hold their offices.  

     

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