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As we all know, nobody in the Democratic leadership is making a public call for impeachment.  We've all heard Nancy Pelosi say those words, "Impeachment is off the table."  It is my opinion that our leadership is acting wisely in this case.  While we, the netroots, should be calling for impeachment at every turn, for the Democratic leadership to do so would be premature.

If an Impeachment is going to be successful, we're going to need 2/3rds of the Senate, 67 Votes. We need 17 Republicans or 16 and Lieberman.  At this point, I'm pretty sure we can all agree 2/3rds isn't going to happen.  

If an Impeachment fails to remove, I doubt we'll get another chance at it.  Something tells me the public will turn agaisnt the idea.  I could be wrong.

Remember, the crime really doesn't matter.  I have no doubt that Republican Senators will look an obvious crime in the face and still vote to acquit. Republican Senators will not vote to remove a Republican President unless they feel it in either their own interest or their party's interest.  Considering the smear it's going to leave on their party's face, it's going to take a lot to convince them of that.

To get those votes we need to continue the investigations, we need more evidence.  For the leadership to publicly call for impeachment would hinder the very investigations we need.  It will give credit to the administration’s claims of 'Show Trials' and 'Witch Hunts.'  

Now I know they are already making those claims, and giving them more ammo with which to make those claims further may not hurt us, but then again it may hurt us.  It's difficult to predict what the public will do, and if the Republican Senators feel the Public at large actually believes the White House spin, then it will be nearly impossible to convince them to vote to remove.

Why give the White House more evidence for their spin?  There's nothing to gain and too much to lose.

There are those who feel that the Democratic Leadership should use impeachment as a threat.  Without the votes to remove, what does the administration care for the Democratic threats?  The only threats that will worry them are the threats of Republican Senators.  Even still, the Democratic Leadership can issue such threats privately without changing their public stance.

I believe it is the goal of the Democratic Leadership to impeach this disaster of an administration.  However, if they publicly call for it, it will hurt the cause.  That's where we come in.

We, on the other hand, should be calling for impeachment.

It is OUR job to build the pressure for Impeachment.  

It is OUR job to get the public support.  

Ultimately it will be OUR job to get the Republican Senators on our side.

17 Republican Senators, and yes, I'm counting Lieberman as a Republican here.

Originally posted to Blaarg on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 10:09 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I know this is a unpopular Diary (22+ / 0-)

    I just feel that the Democratic Leadership is acting wisely.  If they actualyl don't plan to impeach, well then all bets are off and we should vote them out of office.

    I'm rather new here, so please don't bite my head off. Thanks.

    •  Why? I look like Ozzy Osbourne? Actually, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Quicklund, kafkananda

      you make a good point. But the reality-based revolution is growing here in the blogsphere so I do think that it's possible. After all, like I said on another thread, the world is watching. Will America allow it's Preznut to get away with this crap for another 21 months?
      We'll see...
      Peace ;)>

      "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And someone's giving booze to these goddamn things"-Hunter S. Thompson

      by rogerdaddy on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 10:49:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree on that last part: If they are playing (5+ / 0-)

      us on this then we don't vote for them.

      But from what I have heard around town the people in fairly Red Omaha are not unopposed to impeachment, and some of them are wondering why it hasn't been started already.

      And those are the republicans I have some contact with.  The Democrats are far more motivated on the subject.

  •  If any Democrat gave the Moonie Times (1+ / 0-)

    of all papers the exclusive scoop they they were planning to impeach the president, I'd call for their immediate resignation.  That would be like giving Karl Rove Barak Obama's internal campaign strategy documents.

    I can't even believe anyone could start any serious discussion about what the Democrats are really planning to do based on a Washington Times article.

  •  This is right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, Blaarg, kafkananda

    It would be premature at this point for the Democrats to publicly seek the impeachment of Bush.  However, when the Bush administration declines to comply with Congressional subpoenas, I believe it will be time for some in leadership positions to start talking about it again.  

    There are so many ways our current Dems in Congress are working towards the President's impeachment.  One of the biggest ways is this funding bill the shrub is making so much noise about.  His harping on this issue does nothing but solidify his disapproval numbers, and proper framing from the Dems brings over a few of those remaining on the fences.  The USA scandal is another.  Repubs will start running once the meme that it's Bush and not Congress that's denying funding to the troops becomes embedded in the public consciousness.  Plame gives us a route to the VP, as does the energy task force, and I feel it's vital that we get rid of Cheney before going after Bush is possible.

    In terms of timing, I feel that the vote to convict should go down during the height of the 2008 campaign season.  It gives us the best chance to convict by putting enormous pressure on the GOP senators up for re-election, and it frames the entire election around how close GOP candidates running for any seat are to Bush and his policies. (The further the better)

  •  Job one is to get OUT OF IRAQ (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vivycakes, Blaarg

    There are so many problems confronting us now, and the only way we can start to solve them is to extract our military presence from Iraq. It will take all our energy to see that happen by the end of next year, unfortunately.

    Personally, I want to see Bush/Cheney impeached, removed from office and frog-marched all the way to The Hauge for crimes against humanity. Alas, this will not happen.

    My goal is to elect a Democrat as president and to bolster our senate and congress with progressives in '08.

    Impeachment will always be my favorite wet-dream. If ever there has been a president for whom this procedure was designed, it would be Bush. Nixon is a wannabe in comparison.

  •  on the table when Republicans put it there (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nellebracht, Blaarg, kafkananda

    Impeachment will be back on the table when a group of Republicans put it there. One bad month in Iraq, a bad hurricane season, or something not expected but of similar magnitude and they'll be chomping at the bit to distance themselves from Bush. Kicking him out of office is distancing behavior - you can see it already in the statements made by those who are visiting Syria.

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise" - U.S. Constitution author and fourth President James Madison

    by Iowa Boy on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:05:56 PM PDT

  •  "Impeach now" is NOT hold the vote tomorrow. (5+ / 0-)

    "Impeach now" means open hearings in the House of Representatives about what we already know the Bush/Cheney administration has done illegally.  (Like warrantless spying, or any of their many other violations of the law, the Constitution, and their oaths of office.)  It means hold those hearings with the express possibility of impeachment.  Not the certainty of it.  Just the possibility.  What I'm hearing from the "don't impeach" side is that our politicians can't even mention the possibility.  Which means they are saying they should not impeach Bush, no matter what he has done.  Which is exactly what they are saying.  Which means he has and is using unlimited dictatorial power still.

    Opening hearings with the express possibility of impeachment is doing the job of getting Republican Senators on our side.  Trying to have the votes to convict in hand before starting the impeachment process is cart before horse.  A cart full of dry powder, going nowhere.

    We are so afraid of failure that we will never start.

    As for "show trials" and "witch hunts," the Republicans will say that no matter what we do.  It's started already, with merely asking a few officials to talk to Congress.

    The public is pretty far ahead on this already.  Justice delayed is justice denied.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:13:12 PM PDT

    •  repectfully disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, Blaarg, kafkananda

      I think acknowledging impeachment as a possible outcome of these investigations would impair the Democrats ability to perform them, just as the diarist says, and ultimately impair our chances to successfully convict in the Senate.

      The Leadership's position thus far is exactly right, we want to know what's going on in the Executive branch and it's our Constitutional right to know it.  When the Bush Administration defies bipartisan Congressional subpoenas, when the surge results in deeper failure and when impeachment starts being polled and consistently polls above 55%, and above 50% in those states with Republican Senators up for re-election or up in 2010, when Cheney's been removed, then, and only then, should the Democratic Leadership advocate impeachment of Bush and actively work to implement it.  

      And when they do, they should pile on the charges and the evidence.  Give the Senate enough material to spend months on the trial.  Make sure the vote to convict occurs in September or October of '08.  This gives the Democrats the best of both worlds -the election becomes all about Bush and how much the candidates support him and his policies, and it makes it much more likely that impeachment will succeed, vindicating its constitutional role.

      •  That would be great and all, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gaianne, Nellebracht, Blaarg

        but I have little to no confidence that they'll do it, that there's any such plan.  Maybe it's foolhardy for me to take politicians at their word, but when that word comports to evidence like past behavior -- most notably the Feingold censure attempt -- I'm pretty sure "off the table" means exactly that.

        Regarding the political angle, I think the longer the Democrats wait, the more damage it does to them because it plays right into their two core image problems, that they don't believe in anything and that they have no spine.  It's like letting Iraq degenerate into total anarchy before making serious moves toward ending the war.  Oh yeah, the voters can really trust them on national security now.

        I see where you're coming from; I think even the likes of Glenn Greenwald agree with you in terms of the strategy.  But I think there may be a little projection going on, painting the Democratic leadership's actions with our own hopes and views.

        Here's some more Greenwald on that censure resolution:

        So, to summarize what our survey reveals: We have Democrats running and hiding, afraid to stand up to the President even when he gets caught breaking the law. We have the media mindlessly reporting GOP talking points even when they are factually false and when the falsehood could be easily verified with about 60 seconds of research. And we have Republicans accusing those few Democrats who are willing to criticize the Leader of being on the side of Terrorists, while the media passes along those false accusations without comment and Democrats run away and hide some more, never showing any offense or anger at all from watching Republicans accuse them of treason.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:45:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you on one thing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify, Blaarg, kafkananda

          If we get as far as next summer without seeing articles of impeachment, the American people will be more than justified in viewing Democrats as spineless and weak.

          I just don't think that'll happen.  They're coming down too hard and too fast on the President as it is to keep this up without having impeachment as the endgame.  Right now, the President is playing chicken with Congress, and he's got Republican Congressmen in the passenger's seat with him.  So long as the Democrats don't back down and frame the confrontation as Bush's fault, those Republicans will begin to bail.  And the evidence shows the Democrats doing a pretty good job of this so far.  Already, senior Republican congressmen are warning the Bush administration not to defy congressional subpoenas.  

          And this may be a bit of projection.  I sincerely want to believe they're working towards this end.  Impeachment is practically necessary red meat for the Democratic base, and if it's timed right, it frames the 08 election perfectly.  I really do hope they're bright enough to see the advantages of this strategy and courageous enough to implement it.

          But I also think its worse than pointless to demand that Pelosi put impeachment back on the table or berate Congressmen for not having already introduced articles of impeachment.  It reinforces the meme that Democrats are weak and lack principles when we force them to reiterate that they are not seeking Bush's impeachment.  And make no mistake, they have to say that, especially if impeachment is their goal, so that Bush won't be able to credibly claim that Congressional investigations are political witch-hunts.  Let them know that we support impeachment, absolutely.  Organize to pressure Republicans to support it.  We should be doing everything we can to move the process forward.  But complaining that they aren't or haven't moved fast enough doesn't help.

          •  If we take into account fear of what Bush (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nellebracht, Blaarg

            will say, then we'll never impeach.  If say Bush personally and publicly ordered Al Gore imprisoned without trial, if Congress tried to do anything about it, Bush would whinge about it being a witch hunt and a power grab.  

            Fearing that is really saying that we have no confidence in the Democrats getting their message out, even when the blindingly obviously facts are on their side.  You might be right about that fear, but that fear is self-fulfilling -- acting on it makes it true.

            What's the public going to see as more of a craven political calculation, Democrats impeaching when the President broke the law, or Democrats not impeaching so as to play it safe?  Tossup?  Then let's impeach already.

            Thanks for the civil discussion on the merits; it's a little hard to come by around here sometimes but well worth the effort.

            Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

            by Simplify on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 12:30:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If it can't be kept civil (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Blaarg, kafkananda

              it's not worth having.

              I don't think refusing to publicly put impeachment on the Democratic agenda is done out of fear of Bush's superior message machine (and it is superior).  I think it's done to control the framing of the issue.  Consider the average Joe with a history of voting for Republicans; if the Democratic leadership admits that impeachment is a possible outcome of investigations, or worse, if they admit that their goal is the successful impeachment of the President, then Bush apologists will be able to claim that those investigations are partisan witch-hunts, and at best, our average Joe voter won't know what to think about whether the President should submit to Congressional subpoenas, at worst, he'll agree with the President's spin.  Public pressure will never mount to the levels necessary to succeed in the Senate absent another catastrophe, and perhaps not even then.

              On the other hand, if Democrats claim that they're not interested in impeaching the President, the political witch-hunt rhetoric won't have any traction, and they'll be able to proceed with the investigations relatively unhindered.  This allows the evidence for the necessity of Bush's impeachment to build, both in public awareness and in Congress.  When enough Republican Senators have been wedged away from the Bush administration, impeachment will follow.

              What's more, Democrats only look spineless on this issue when we keep demanding they defend their anti-impeachment stances.  It's obvious that these positions are political calculations, and political calculating always looks spineless, so why are we drawing attention to them unless 1) we're opposed to any sort of political calculation in determining public positions on impeachment or 2) we're working to undermine the Democrats standing in public opinion?  The first option is ridiculous, impeachment is a political affair and so political calculation is an inherent part of its process.  And I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not trying to undermine Democrats.  But to scrutinize and demand a defense of these positions to ensure the political calculations aim toward the right end (impeachment) undermines that end in this case, and it is especially unnecessary as the evidence shows Dems are doing a good job at piling up the evidence of Bush's criminality and escalating the confrontation with the White House and putting Republican Congressmen in the middle.

              •  The reason I'm opposed to the political (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                calculation is because it's just that, deception, and I think it's pretty easy to see through and not particularly useful, especially because the Dems suck at it.  I'm through with fighting lies with deceit.  It drives me up the wall that we go around pretending that the President hasn't broken the law.  I can't deal with the congnitive dissonance.  If the Dems look spineless, after six years of this crap it's because they are, and we're trying to shame them into being honest and forthright.  I'm not going to "clap louder" while the rule law slips away, and my freedom with it.  They're accountable to the citizens too.

                But that's going on the premise that Democrats will eventually impeach.  Maybe they're being truthful, cold comfort though it may be.

                Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

                by Simplify on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 01:26:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's not quite deception (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ibonewits, Blaarg, kafkananda

                  Look, I know it sucks, but spinning and framing are part of the political game.  In a democracy, it's all about convincing people, and that takes good rhetorical skills.  At least in this case, it's not quite deception.

                  Impeachment can't be part of the Democratic party's public agenda precisely because it's something they want.  If they were to announce their intentions, their political enemies would move to cut them off and impeachment would once again become partisan and impossible.  Worse than that, they would be cut off from doing the investigations to show Bush truly deserves impeachment.  What's more, if they are able to pursue investigations, impeachment becomes inevitable, either because the truth comes out, or because (more likely) Bush refuses to comply with Congressional subpoenas.  So what Congressional Democrats really want is not impeachment, but investigations, oversight, the Truth.

                  And take heart, it's working.  We're already seeing some Republican Senators disagree with and distance themselves from Bush.  And it's more pronounced in the House.  

                  And don't worry that Republicans will steal our thunder and submit articles of impeachment to beat Dems to the punch and simultaneously make them look weak and spineless for not doing it themselves.  If it's an un-serious trap, like their withdrawal resolution, it will never see the floor, and if it's serious, there'll absolutely be Democratic co-sponsors as well as virtually unified Democratic support, whereas the Republicans will be split and look weak and divided.

                •  Here's how I assure myself (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Blaarg, kafkananda

                  that impeachment's their ultimate goal:

                  They said so when they were in the minority.  In fact, they said so all the way up until the gag order in the run up to the 06 elections.  Even then, there was some chatter.

                  When you're in the minority, you can say what you really want because you don't have the power to actually do anything about it.  In fact, it's kind of to your benefit to do so because you gain a reputation for honesty, and if the majority's feeling charitable, maybe you'll get a scrap of what you want.

                  But when you're in the majority, words have consequences precisely because you have the power to follow through with them.  So you have to be careful about what you say you want, not only because it commits you to a certain course of action, but because it also casts implications on what you actually do.  At this point, the course of impeachment and the course of oversight and investigation are the same.  So why admit to desiring impeachment when doing so hinders oversight and investigation, especially when admitting to desiring (in fact, demanding) oversight and investigation, while also being true, has the advantage of leading to impeachment?

                •  "Political calculation" doesn't have to mean..... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  deception.  It could be wise, reasoned, experienced judgment. Impeachment or not,  Bush will be out of office.  But the evil propping him up will still be around.  Sometimes the medicine tastes bad and often we don't understand what the shaman is saying.  But one thing I can say for sure is:  I want this whole culture of crap to fall.   Let's put our focus a couple of steps ahead.  If the focus is "impeachment on the table",  I'm concerned that then it becomes about Bush/Cheney, who then become another pair thrown under the bus and "nothing to see hear, we're done with that."  Remember these criminals have been here before.

                  Who is saying the Dems are weak now?   Just as Dems are starting to get some MSM mojo for standing up to Bush and making him look bad?  Are we shooting our selves in the foot?  Can we show support for the difficult balancing act that goes into their decisions and yet still watch them like a hawk?

                  There are so many good and obvious and satisfying reasons for impeachment.   But, I see a tipping point happening that is much vaster than many of our calculations can comprehend.  

                  I'm putting my trust in the People waking up.  The politicians will follow or they will be gone.  For now though,  I'll give then the space to work it out. That is their job.  Our job is to keep on pushing that "Overton" and organizing to get the representatives we want and deserve.

                  Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

                  by kafkananda on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:33:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Sigh... (0+ / 0-)

          I simply don't understand why they wouldn't be looking at future impeachment.  What's the point of these investigations if not to uncover impeachment material?

      •  Went back and found (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this apropos DHinMI comment (more at the link):

        Just So We're Clear
        When will everyone stop expecting the Democrats to impeach Bush? [...]

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 12:08:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even if that is true on the Dems part.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        we in the community still need to be building support for impeachment with our neighbors.  Get the seeds planted and germinated so that if the Dem leadership is really biding their time...then impeachment won't be a shock to the American people.

        They'll be ready to roll with it, and even urge it on.

        Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at

        by Thom K in LA on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 04:02:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  20 years ago (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, Simplify, vivycakes

    Congressman Henry Gonzales (D San Antonio) introduced a  Resolution to Impeach Pres. Reagan, AG Meese, and VP Bush over Ollie North's Contra/Cocaine operation. He was told by the Leadership they'd go to formal hearings if he could find 15 Republican co-sponsors in the House. (Similar point in the cycle to today, bigger D majority in the Senate, still short of 67.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

    Runamarchy: n., the end product of corrosion of constitutional order.

    by ben masel on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:17:21 PM PDT

  •  It's more than17 (0+ / 0-)

    Not all the dems think bush should be impeached or think he is a war criminal, and that true of democrats in general too. My liberal democrats friends think he a war criminal and my moderate and centrist democrats friends think he not a war crimunal. and as long as lieberman cacuses with the Dems I could him as a Democrat.

    "There is nothing wrong with America can't be cured by what is right with America" -Bill Clinton

    by SensibleDemocrat on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:19:54 PM PDT

  •  Yes we will fail...if we don't try. Guaranteed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, DarkestHour, Quicklund

    "At this point, I'm pretty sure we can all agree 2/3rds isn't going to happen.  "


    Now's the time for courage, not "oh well, we better not try."

    "History will judge the GOP abdication to NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Thu Apr 05, 2007 at 11:57:49 PM PDT

  •  I agree tip and a REC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blaarg, kafkananda


    Pelosi '07.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 12:27:25 AM PDT

  •  does anyone believe bush will become (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits, kafkananda

    less toxic going forward?
    will he become less of an embarrassment to repubs running in 2008...
    will he become less of an anchor around every republican's neck?

    dems will pick off his underlings methodically, uncovering scandal after scandal, impeaching other administration operatives but leaving the world's worst person alone in the white house thru the election cycle...

    then they can just point to the whitehouse and shake their heads sadly while they win in a landslide...

    i believe that is their thinking...
    if it was up to me - maximum punishment for the lot

    Proud graduate of George Jones University

    by memofromturner on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 02:03:46 AM PDT

    •  And after the landslide... (0+ / 0-)

      ...on Jan. 10th, 2009, Bush, Cheney, Rice, Gonzales, etc. are arrested and flown to the Hague for their war crimes trials!

      First, oversight; second, investigations; third, impeachments; fourth, war crimes trials!

      by ibonewits on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 08:33:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Impeachment is the only way to stop this crap (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    labradog, Simplify, DarkestHour, Blaarg

    We already know that Bush and all his appointees have no regard for the laws of our country.

    What does Congress think they can do to stop him while he remains in office? Nothing!

    It's the same old thing, Democrats are always playing by the rules that are twenty years out of date.

    Democrats wake up! Civilization calls.

    There aren't rules any more. It's sad to say, but it is either kill or be killed in this new political landscape. The judicial investigations of Democrats at 7 to 1 vs. Republicans should tell you that if the anthrax letters didn't already.  Half measures like you're doing now will only insure a Republican victory in destroying our way of life.

    If Democrats really want to see the rats desert a sinking ship...impeach.  Without the security of a presidential pardon coming at the end of Bush's term, there will be plenty of people trying to save their own skins by turning on these Republican extremists in Washington.

    Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at

    by Thom K in LA on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 03:57:50 AM PDT

    •  Yes and the only way to impeach is to build a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      labradog, Blaarg, kafkananda

      case for it which is what they are doing.

      It is in my mind an inevitability.  It will happen, but they have to have the case that is strong enough to put the Republicans in such an untenuous position that they will be forced to go along.  And they better damn well be planning on conviction because mere impeachment is meaningless.  It is the conviction that carries the potential for the important restrictions and punishment.

  •  Impeachment without removal is dangerous (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inclusiveheart, Blaarg

    It sanctifies an imperial presidency. I agree, let the investigations continue. Hobble the administration and, through maneuvers like Pelosi's Middle East trip, neuter it, make it irrelevant. That's how to make Bush and his cronies look like the fools that they are.

    Though if he attacks Iran on his own, I think we've got those 67 votes.

    "With great power comes great responsibility." -- Stan Lee

    by N0MAN1968 on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 04:21:06 AM PDT

  •  The best argument I know for why not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blaarg, kafkananda

    to impeach is that there's just not enough time.  We have less than two years before Bush leaves office.  Preparing a case for impeachment, hearings, votes, all of that, will take time.  The best we could likely hope for is to have a Senate impeachment in early January, just before the primaries.  And how many people would, at that point, feel like it was just a distracting drama?

    Really, I'm scared to death of what Bush could do between now and leaving office.  In particular, I'm afraid the shithead might use nukes against Iran.  But I don't see how a poorly timed impeachment prevents that possibility.  I can still remember Bill Clinton's bombing campaign over Serbia as the House voted for impeachment, and I'm still convinced the timing for that was political rather than military.

    We have to get through the next two years with our country still intact.

    I have hopes that if we keep investigating, enough dirt is going to come up on Bush and his cronies to keep them to tied up to start any new wars of conquest.

    So, I'm all on board for impeachment.  It just seems like the timing is too late for practical reasons.

  •  Try talking to my republican relatives... (4+ / 0-)

    Popular support is essential! Otherwise impeachment will just blow up in the Democrats' faces. Notice how their stance on troop withdrawal got stronger about the time polls began showing a majority of the public supported it.

    It's amazing how many people still give Bush the benefit of the doubt. My Republican relatives have no clue just how truly corrupt the administration is. They assume the Democrats must be grandstanding -- can't they get their act together on health care, immigration, social security? And, isn't a certain amount of misconduct par for the course in any administration?

    Past scandals (Libby, Abramoff, etc) often hinged too much on technicalities or have been damage-controlled by the Bush administration to keep anything truly damning from reaching the light of day. And with so many news sources being sensationalist, biased, or both, I can understand why people would reflexively dismiss things as partisan bickering.

    But I also know that these same relatives of mine recognize the sovereign right of the Iraqi people to control their own natural resources. I told them about the Hydrocarbon law, but they want to see it break in the MSM before they will believe it's more than rumor.

    I think the public finally supported troop withdrawal once they saw unmistakable evidence leaking through the MSM that the situation on the ground really wasn't improving. (People know a game of whack-a-mole when they see one.) It probably also helped that the scandal hearings exposed just how far the White House will go to avoid accountability.

    The 2006 election was not a complete landslide for the Democrats-- it only gave them enough of a majority to make their case. But I think that is what the public actually wanted: they can sense that something is up, but they don't want to act without proof.

    So I have to agree with the Democrats' strategy, such as it is. We are finally starting to see meaty evidence of wrongdoing breaking in the MSM (cf. GSA scandal) and this is what will turn the tide. Conservative America needs plausible reasons to give for disowning Bush while saving face.

  •  Now you've missed the point in a whole diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, Quicklund, BentLiberal

    Instead of just in comments in another one.

    Everything you've written about impeachment assumes starting tomorrow, and compiling no evidence before voting. It also assumes making a centerpiece of impeachment the trumpeting of the leadership's intention and desire to impeach. Neither of these assumptions are valid or wise.

    Now, aside from all of that, how do you garner public support for something the leadership says is completely outside the universe of possible options? When, as an impeachment advocate, you approach undecided voters with the prospect, what do they say to you?

    I can tell you from experience. They say, "But impeachment is 'off the table.' The leadership doesn't want it. They must know something, so I won't cross them."

    So you're going to have to make up your mind. If you think we should be pushing for impeachment, then you must also think the leadership has to give some signal that at the appropriate time, they'll relent.

    Otherwise, you should just admit that you think the political risk will always outweigh the benefits of the remedy -- no matter what the situation -- and give up trying to satisfy everyone with this.

    Taking impeachment off the table is an extremist position. Rushing into impeachment with no official record of evidence is an extremist position. Everyone would agree that option #2 is nuts. But for some reason, everyone thinks extremist position #1 is genius.

    Meanwhile, how're those subpoenas doing?

    Right. Exactly.

    •  "Off the table" means "We're not talking..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ibonewits, Blaarg

      about it."  That's all.  It's not the topic of discussion.  It's not on Faux news.  It's being quiet so you can get close to them to slit their throats. It's going on right now!  It's preceding right now!  The investigations are ongoing.  Public support is being mobilized.   Impeachment is underway!

      But because the criminals poisoned the well of impeachment with the Clinton fiasco, setting up what they thought would be a fine line of defense,  the tactical decision was to disarm that trap.  That's all.  By not talking about it, at the leadership level,  the trap is avoided and impeachment  proceeds.

      Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world.

      by kafkananda on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 07:10:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Subject for my comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ibonewits, kafkananda

      Now you've missed the point in a whole diary. Instead of just in comments in another one.

      Lighten up

      assumes starting tomorrow, and compiling no evidence before voting.

      Not true, I'm saying new evidence will be harder to uncover when impeachment has begun.

      It also assumes making a centerpiece of impeachment the trumpeting of the leadership's intention and desire to impeach.

      I haven't said that either.  demand or suggest, it will have the same effect when it comes from Reid/Pelosi.

      Look, Reid just managed to pass the Iraq Withdraw measures, even though nobody thought it was possible in the Senate.  Isn't that not only an indication that he knows what he's doing, but that he's good at it?  When he has the votes he'll know, and when that happens, the leadership will come out in favor of impeachment.

      Otherwise, you should just admit that you think the political risk will always outweigh the benefits of the remedy -- no matter what the situation -- and give up trying to satisfy everyone with this.

      This is just nonsense.  I never said anything remotely like that.  Waiting for more evidence, enough evidence so we can sucessfully convict, isn't giving up, nor is it an admission that we'll never had enough evidence.  You're just putting words in my mouth.  

      Taking impeachment off the table is an extremist position. Rushing into impeachment with no official record of evidence is an extremist position. Everyone would agree that option #2 is nuts. But for some reason, everyone thinks extremist position #1 is genius.

      The threat of impeachment is implied by the investigations.  Bush knows that if the investigations are allowed to continue, he's looking impeachment in the face.  However by taking it of the table, he's denied a talking point, one that would be effective.  

      A position isn't extremist merely because its a far end of a spectrum.  That's like saying "Taking war with Iran off the table is an extremist posistion"

      Meanwhile, how're those subpoenas doing?

      As far as I know, they haven't even been issued yet.

      The true difference between my opinion and yours is I have more repspect for the abilities of our leadership.  Perhaps it's misplaced, time will tell.

      Look Kargo, I'm getting no where with you, I see your points I'm just not sure I agree.  Since you're royalty around here, I'm probably just making myself look bad by arguing with you.  So I'm just going to agree to disagree.


      •  Lighten up! It's only the Constitution! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Tee hee!

        The threat of impeachment is not implied by the investigations. Not when it's "off the table." Not when the arguments against it have nothing to do with its necessity.

        We're out of time. People don't like it. We'd just get Cheney.

        These are not arguments that contemplate the necessity of holding out the credible threat of impeachment. They are arguments aimed at precisely the opposite -- that is, at implying that impeachment is not a possible consequence of the investigations.

        It's not a lack of respect for the leadership that leads me to believe they're unprepared for an actual showdown over subpoenas. It's having gone to the Hill and spoken with Members privately about their plans for dealing with executive intransigence. And the answers are surprising: pretty much nothing. Most of them are looking to the courts to settle this, but this is as pure a political question as there can be. No court will take this case in the first instance. And a very, very, very limited number of Members are willing to admit that and plan for other options.


        Because impeachment is "off the table," and they don't want to be the ones to say differently so long as the leadership is unwilling to signal otherwise. So our planning for any future non-compliance has been completely hamstrung.

        I went, I asked, and that's the answer. There is no plan beyond "Let the courts settle it."

        You're free to disengage at any time, but let's not pretend that the imagined "royalty" status dropped from the Heavens. If there is such a status, it came from thoroughly and rigorously debating and advocating for this position and others.

      •  One other thing: (0+ / 0-)

        I don't want to pile too much on here, because as much as I try to duck the "royalty" comment, the truth is that there's some additional pressure that comes with debating with a front pager, as much as we might wish that wasn't true.

        But here's what I'd like to add to the mix:

        One of the objections you made in the previous diary was that Democrats needed to disarm the Republican accusations about there being a "witch hunt" underway. It will immediately be seen by some observers that this falls into the "fear of Republican rhetoric" trap, and that's true -- although it must also be said that Republican rhetoric is a real and dangerous threat.

        You also objected that I didn't have enough faith in the leadership's ability to navigate these straits. And that's at least partially true, as explained above.

        But I want to throw this out there: right now, the Republican rhetoric on the Iraq Accountability Act is that it's chock full of pork, funding innumerable pet projects unrelated to the Iraq occupation.

        While it's true that other such bills have done the same in the past under Republican control of Congress, that's not defusing the situation any. Did the leadership have the foresight to defuse these Republican accusations? Did they not see it coming? Has the failure to anticipate a very obvious Republican attack demonstrated a solid reason to trust that the leadership knows how to avoid or deflect such attacks? Not in my book.

        Now, it might then be reasoned that impeachment, too, should be avoided because the leadership is not ready to deflect Republican rhetoric. But I anticipate that the answer I might get from leadership with respect to the Iraq bill is that it simply had to be done. It was an issue we couldn't avoid, and had to exercise control over, whether or not the Republicans attacked.

        I make the same argument with respect to impeachment. Not that it needs to be shouted from the rooftops by Members of Congress, but that it must be admitted that there are circumstances that are both foreseeable in the near future, and which might require it. They need to open the door for people to do the grassroots advocacy even you advocate.

        But until they do, otherwise willing advocates will think they're banging their heads against the wall for nothing.

  •  It is our job to force the pols to act (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simplify, ibonewits, Blaarg

    But realize how impeachment works against their own naked self-interet.  People who aspire to a lifetimein office are not going to support impeachment unless a metaphorical gun is put to their heads.  If the President can be impeached, why, the great smelly masses might get the idea ANY incompiten office-holder can and should be fired.

    Terrible precident, that.

    Dairied previously for the mashochistic (i.e. it's long.)

    "A Republic, if you can keep it". Ben Franklin 1787, regarding the new Constitution. "Challenge accepted." George W. Bush, Jan 20, 2001.

    by Quicklund on Fri Apr 06, 2007 at 06:47:21 AM PDT

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