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In congratulating Obama for reaching an incredible milestone of 250,000 individual donors (and rapidly closing in on the goal of 350,000 contributions) in the first two reporting quarters, a comment from One Pissed Off Liberal in this diary caught my eye.

What started out as a response to Liberal's outrage at Obama's rejection of impeachment has morphed into this diary.

The resentment of One Pissed Off Liberal towards Obama's anti-impeachment position extends from this item blogged by Steven Soto.  In it, Soto extends:

Obama came out against impeachment for either Bush or Cheney, saying that they've done nothing to merit it.

Gee, thanks for that window into your judgment Senator.

While that's not exactly what Obama said, the article referenced does note:

The senator, a Harvard law school graduate and former lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago, said impeachment should not be used as a standard political tool.

"I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority," he said.

Obama criticized the Bush administration for enlisting a variety of incompetent characters, as well as its practices of secrecy and "loose ethical standards".  But he clearly doesn't believe their actions have lived up to the bar of "grave and intentional breeches of the president's authority".

Rather, Obama stated electing a new president is the systematic remedy for citizens to express dissatisfaction with the current office-holder.

"I believe if we began impeachment proceedings we will be engulfed in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction," he added. "We would once again, rather than attending to the people's business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, nonstop circus."

I agree on three counts.  

First, such proceedings would make for two consecutive administrations of impeachment discussions, a bad trend and even worse solution for voter's buyer remorse.  The impeachment standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is ultimately defined however a session of Congress wants to define it.  It can almost be guaranteed that the next Republican-controlled Congress would consider impeachment proceedings against a Democrat president who's job-performance was, in their eyes, abysmal.  That power to remove, except in extraordinary circumstances, lies with the voters, not Congress.

Secondly, a super-majority is required for removal of office.  Democrats can't even get a simple majority on an immigration or Iraq funding bill, so there is certainly no hope in getting Bush removed.  If Bush is not going to be removed, as Obama points out, this will just be viewed outside of Washington as political payback and more of the same old shtick DC is famous for.

Lastly, the proceedings themselves, even if ultimately successful in removing Bush from office, can be stretched out certainly for the bulk of 2008.  Bush vacates anyway in January '09, so not only is such an effort a waste of time (in terms of the end-result), but even if its logical end is realized, would be a waste of money (not to mention a big national distraction) as well.

With the virtual defeat yesterday of comprehensive immigration reform, there is nothing left to salvage of Bush's disgraceful legacy. He and members of his administration could certainly face a war-crimes tribunal after leaving office and he will, no doubt, go down as one of the worst presidents in American history.  But impeachment, primarily for the purpose of making a political point, doesn't serve the Dem's mid-term election mandate, IMHO.

Originally posted to RaisingPaine on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

      •  As sensible as a bandaid on a severed aorta. (21+ / 0-)

        Obama doesn't believe BushCo has made "intentional breeches of the president's authority"? That's all they've done for 7 years straight.

        It's unbelievable that a major candidate of the opposition party would be that consciously naive.

        •  And We Want To Stop Bush From Functioning! (6+ / 0-)

          Democrats without anger and urgency about what has been done to our country, constitution, and people, are not the best candidates, to fix the problem.  

          Tie Bush/Cheney down, make them respond to charges in Congress, our courts, and the Hague.  Stopping the harm done by Bush/Cheney is what Impeachment is all about.

        •  obama yo mama (4+ / 0-)

          so impeach the angel and the devil goes free??, because "we can't have two impeachments in a row"???

          That is some twisted shit

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            There's a reason there's only been two presidential impeachments in our history.  Nothing could be more unconstitutional than to transform impeachment into a club that an opposition-controlled Congress can wield against the President whenever it suits their fancy.  

            Treason and bribery are pretty clear matters when it comes to impeachable offenses.  They also carry a measure of intent.  Other "high crimes and misdemeanors" would presumably have to meet the same standard.  

            There is a big difference between incompetence and criminal-intent.  Few would argue that Bush's lapses in judgement are more aligned with the former than the latter.  

            •  'Lapses in judgment'? (9+ / 0-)

              "Few would argue that Bush's lapses in judgment are more aligned with [incompetence] than [criminal intent]"?

              You've got to be joking.

              Nixon didn't have any criminal intent either. He was quite sure what he did as President was always legal.

              I'm sorry. I don't need everyone to be rabidly for impeachment, but you're ignorance of what Bush has actually done, how he did it, and why borders on the trollish. I'd sincerely suggest you pay more attention.

              •  Agree with you (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sooner, Michigan Transplant

                that the full picture, as it becomes clearer, shows us that the executive branch has been executing a grand strategy to consolidate power and flout the law, even if their incompetence in doing so has led to disastrous results.  The decisions they've made are intentional and, I would say, criminal.

                Let's lay off the "trollish" accusations, though.  The diarist's point of view is a valid one even if you (and I) disagree.

                "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

                by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:14:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're right. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GeckoBlue

                  I meant "trollish" in the sense of Republican-speak. I should have said "borders on wingnuttery."  

                  I've got serious doubts about the party affiliation of any dKosser who would say "Few would argue that Bush's lapses in judgment are more aligned with [incompetence] than [criminal intent]"

              •  Nixon was never impeached. (0+ / 0-)

                Although his intent and involvement were more than amply illustrated by the Rosemary Woods tapes not "accidentally" erased.

                That intent has yet to be established in this case.  I'm quite aware of Bush's transgressions, which mostly fall into knee-jerk over-reactions of 9/11, poor judgement, bad advice, ignored good advice, what Obama termed, in The Audacity of Hope, Bush's almost messianic certainty that he was doing the right thing.  I see a lot of incompetence, and there may, upon investigation, be a demonstration of criminal intent.  But I haven't seen that from Bush...Cheney is another matter altogether.

                LOL, feel free to troll-rate me if it makes you feel better.

            •  Tapping your phone without the warrant.... (8+ / 0-)

              required by the Constitution was not simple incompetence or a lapse in judgment.  It was deliberate, they lied about doing it, and once discovered, said they were going to continue doing it anyway.

              The law was deliberately broken, and it was premeditated.  

              The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

              by cometman on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:34:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Are you kidding? Bush and Cheny are poster boys (6+ / 0-)

              for malicious intent.  They admit it outright, and claim it's their right.  The intentional felonious breach of FISA is enough, never mind the war and the USA/voting scandal.

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:51:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "malicious intent" (0+ / 0-)

                you may be right but it could be difficult to prove.

              •  The standard isn't malicious intent. (0+ / 0-)

                It's criminal intent.  Not all malicious acts are criminal, and not all criminal acts rise to the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" associated with impeachable offenses.  Only Congress can determine that.

                The time and distractions associated with debating and investigating this minutiae is capital spent by Democrats elected with a mandate NOT to be distracted.  End the war in Iraq.  Bush and Cheney's transgressions against the country and its citizenry can even be addressed once they're out of office.

                •  I used "malicious intent" in the (0+ / 0-)

                  sense of mens rea, whereing it does mean malice, but of a specific and not generalized scope.  

                  Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                  by StrayCat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:58:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Pure BULLSHIT! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              howd, Michigan Transplant

              Ordering torture, lying the country into a needless and aggressive war of choice, ordering people kidnapped off the streets of foreign cities...nah, no high crimes or msdemeanors here.

              Right.

              Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

              by One Pissed Off Liberal on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:33:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  he thinks it sets a bad precednet to have two (5+ / 0-)

          consecutively impeached presidents and thats fairly rational. I don't get the craze here over impeachment, it won't do anything to reverse anything Bush has already done. We have a majority in congress that will prevent him from doing too much more damage. Impeachment at this point would just further damage the popularity of democrats in congress and seriously threaten our potential gains in '08.

          Does no one remember that Bill Clinton received a considerable amount of sympathy during his impeachment hearings? why let that happen to Bush.

          Christ, democrats can barely accomplish shit in Congress and you're demanding that they achieve a super majority to impeach Bush? Guess what, I want us out of Iraq before the congress starts working on ANYTHING else.

          Georgetown University College Democrats Blog: http://democrats.georgetown.edu

          by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:12:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cheney needs to be investigated though! n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pamelabrown
          •  Your points have been argued here over and over (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cosbo, cometman, DarkestHour

            and I don't want to get into it (especially the absurd one's like Mr. 28% Can't-Win-A-War is going to get impeachment sympathy).

            But I'll put it in one succinct question to you: How bad do you need a President to fail in his duty to uphold the Constitution before you would think it's imperative that he be impeached?

            Ever?

            •  Failing in his duty to uphold the Consittution... (0+ / 0-)

              is not the standard for impeachment.  It's "treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors".  All contain elements of intent.  

              No one intends to be incompetent, an elected-office situation generally resolved by voters within a democracy, not the legislature and judiciary.

              •  Failing in one's sworn duty to uphold (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DarkestHour

                the Constitution IS a high crime, and breach of one's oath is a misdemeanor.

                Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                by StrayCat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:54:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's an overarching indictment... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...that lends credence to the idea that impeachment would be a partisan muckfest and a distraction.

                  I agree with you, but I think we need to cite concrete examples and come up with a tighter rationale than that.

                  "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

                  by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:17:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The real problem is that those in power (0+ / 0-)

                    tend to diminish the scope and power of impeachment as a political tool given our representatives to be used in circumstances just like we face today.  
                    they want the House to be like a Grand Jury.  It is not.  The Senate is not like a petit jury.  On the other hand, the republicans in 1995 tended to use impeachment as a tool of power, and not a tool to limit overreaching power.  Jefferson had it right when he drafted rules in a calm time, with forethought, instead of trying to make the rules on the fly as we are doing today.  Bush v. gore is an example of this, and applies to a wide variety of decision-making events in our society.  Rome did it, too, and they lost their Republic.

                    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                    by StrayCat on Mon Jul 02, 2007 at 05:07:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  That would be for Congress to decide. n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  its a question of pragmatism... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              chicago minx

              does he deserve it? yes.

              but a lot of the fervor here isn't about the constitution, its about a lustful desire for revenge, which pleasing though it may be, is the wrong motive for impeaching a president. I really don't want to see two presidents in a row impeached, it will set as a precedent that if you disagree w/ a president and have the ability to do so, impeachment is a viable option.

              The American people don't want him impeached. They want to democrats to force him to end the war in Iraq, they want health care, they want better education and they want a cleaner washington. They haven't gotten any of those things yet. So before we delve into what could only be a BEYOND ugly spectacle, we should deliver on some promises and actually convince the American people we deserved to be elected in the first place.

              Georgetown University College Democrats Blog: http://democrats.georgetown.edu

              by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:33:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton got sympathy.... (4+ / 0-)

            because geting a hummer isn't against the law.  And lying about it was not a high crime.

            You have to trust the American public to know the difference, and if Congress spells it out well during impeachment hearings, they will.

            The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

            by cometman on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:36:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  STOP COMPARING BUSH TO CLINTON (3+ / 0-)

            ABOUT IMPEACHMENT!!!

            Do you not remember that Clinton was a good and popular president, and that his impeachment was a purely partisan witchhunt?

            Do you not know that Bush is a terrible president, who lied to start a war, etc, etc?

            An Impeachment investigation negates executive privalege. There is plenty of evidence to start, and plenty of evidence will be dug up.

            You are using the wrong example. Please explain how Nixon was made more popular by revelations that came out of investigating him? Oh, it didn't. Maybe that's the better model. The info that comes out of a Bush Impeachment investigation will make Bush LESS POPULAR.

            Every possible way that you could compare the Clinton Impeachment to the potential Bush Impeachment IS THE OPPOSITE. Therefore the outcome, you should predice, WILL BE THE OPPOSITE. It will make Dems MORE POPULAR, NOT LESS when they defend the constitution, defend our soldiers lied into war, etc.

            Democrats in Congress are becomming less popular, after the honeymoon, becasue they aren't standing up to Bush nearly as much as they need to.

            "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

            by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:50:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Find an Edwards thread (0+ / 0-)

              and make the same argument there, then.  Or a Clinton one.

              •  Oh, I get you now . . . you're just an Obama (0+ / 0-)

                drone making posts that have nothing at all to do with what's being discussed.

                Pppffffft.  Begone.

                •  Did you know John Edwards and Hillary (0+ / 0-)

                  Clinton are anti-impeachment?  Or are you too busy preening at your lofty, irate pronouncements to, you know, actually know that?  

                  •  Then let's beat them ALL up (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    howd, Michigan Transplant

                    because unless we do something about the Power of the Unitary Executive, that precident will remain for the next power hungry emperor-wannabe.  Not saying that any of the three (HRC, JRE, BHO) necessarily want that power (although the question should also be asked), but what about whomever follows them?

                    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

                    by polecat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:30:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I make the arguement all the time (3+ / 0-)

                OK, anti-impeachers, make 2 lists comparing Bush and Clinton for Impeachment. 1 list for everything that is the same about Bush and Clinton, and another list for everything that is the opposite.

                The list of all the things that are the opposite will be very long (popularity of the president, severity of the crimes, etc).

                The list of all the things that are the same will be very short. I can't think of even one thing, actually.

                The outcome of the Clinton impeachment DOES NOT predict what will happen to Bush.

                "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

                by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:11:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  All you need is a simple majority to impeach. (0+ / 0-)

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:53:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Impeaching Nixon wouldn't reverse Watergate (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            polecat, Michigan Transplant

            but Congress had no choice but to go down that path, leading to his resignation, because it could not allow his actions to stand as precedent for future generations.  We need to keep that in mind.

            "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

            by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:16:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Obama stated that impeachment should be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GeckoBlue, ShadowSD

          reserved for grave and intentional breeches.  He stated that proceedings would start a tit-for-tat.  He is right on both counts.  That AP report was slanted last night as they often are. I will keep open minded about this until further clarification.

        •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          polecat

          I support Edwards but he would be an idiot to say something like this. He doesnt support impeachment but at least he has said that wiretapping is illegal, torture is illegal etc.

          "The best way to leave Iraq is to start leaving." -- John Edwards

          by okamichan13 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:23:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm, I think that would be MORE idiotic. (0+ / 0-)

            If wiretapping and torture are illegal, and both were sanctioned by the white house, I'd think it particularly idiotic for a candidate to then say in the next breath that we shouldn't impeach.

            "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

            by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:19:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is a calculated political move (5+ / 0-)

        Just the kind we citizens have come to revile. Yeah, there's a good chance that if the dems start the impeachment process that Bush/Cheney will run out the clock but there is also the fact that they will be taking all the time to defend themselves as opposed to screwing us over even more.

        Now, people had lost their fear. From that moment I knew we would win. - Oscar Olivera

        by Josh Prophet on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:57:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  its not a political move, its his genuine beliefs (0+ / 0-)

          Georgetown University College Democrats Blog: http://democrats.georgetown.edu

          by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:13:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think most citizens want government to function (4+ / 0-)

          and I think most want just to have the whole administration out of office by a fair election. Any Presidential candidate waving the impeachment banner would come across as "pandering to the extreme left" and perhaps as overly partisan. Right now, more folks just want them gone, and are willing to vote them out to do it, without having to stop government entirely. The House and Senate investigations could provide the death of 1000 cuts to the GOP without giving them the big galvanizing spectacle of impeachment to rally around.

          Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

          by benheeha on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:16:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How are you anti-impeachment Dems going to feel (0+ / 0-)

            if a Republican gets elected in 2008 and they pull the same shit in Ohio they did in 2004? Are you going to feel that it was the right thing?

            Now, people had lost their fear. From that moment I knew we would win. - Oscar Olivera

            by Josh Prophet on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:47:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pro-impeachent! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              berith

              But Senators cannot impeach. They judge the impeachment results. So to make a statement now by a Senator is irresponsible. Let the House impeach. But Obama is right to stay out of it for now. Honestly, if the House found for impeachement, you think Obama would disagree?

              Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

              by benheeha on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:06:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Cheney must be investigated and removed though! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howd, nuttymango, StrayCat

        As the mom of a National Guard Staff Sgt., Cheneys secret, no-bid, no oversight, corrupt business deals with Pakistan, Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, etc. must be investigated and prosecuted.  How do we remove this man and his minions from power w/o impeachment?  What is Obamas opinion on Cheney?  (I am leaning Obama because many independent/moderate voters in my Tampa Bay area are becoming Obama fans and their votes are needed to win the general election)   CHENEYS THREATENING IRAN---HE MUST BE REMOVED

      •  If you think impeachment of Bush... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        howd, DarkestHour, StrayCat, MyBrainWorks

        would be for purely political reasons, you're the one not making any sense.

        We are either a country under the Rule of Law, or we aren't.  If you want to have a president who can pick and choose which laws to obey, good for you.  But don't come back and tell me that we still live in a democracy.

        The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

        by cometman on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:28:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The long term consequences of impeachment are (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjd in florida, DarkestHour

        troubling, however, the short term destruction of our democracy calls for immmediate action.  The roman Senate lost its authority in the same fashion that our congress is pissing away theirs, and thus, ours.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:42:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nice To See (12+ / 0-)

      someone using logic rather than emotion when talking about impeachment.  18 months left.  You cannot impeach Bush without first impeaching Cheney, unless you actually want to elevate Cheney to the office of President.  As a practical matter there is simply not enough time to impeach both Cheney and then Bush.  Add to that the possible adverse political ramifications that impeachment could have on the 2008 elections and to me it makes impeachment a non-starter. That is definitely not a popular position to take on this site.  Impeachment could very well be the most effective way to derail an opportunity to take back the White House and increase our margins in both the House and Senate.  Pragmatism does not have to be a dirty word.

    •  meh (4+ / 0-)

      Your final sentence:

      "But impeachment, primarily for the purpose of making a political point, doesn't serve the Dem's mid-term election mandate, IMHO"

      I can only speak for myself, but I am a somewhat independent voter, not yet truly ready to call myself a Democrat. The Republicans proved for a 100% fact that they totally disregarded their oathes to defend the Constitution, and in most cases undermine it. I got involved in 2006 (I'd never even voted in a mid-term election before) doing phone banking, walking door-to-door, donating, dragging people to the polls on election day, because I thought it was necessary to take a chance on Democrats, that they might honor their oathes. I did what I did because more than anything right now, I want Bush & Cheney impeached.

      The elected Democrats of 2006 took their oathes knowing plenty about what Bush has done (though much is still secret). Impeachment is necessary in this case, and if the Democrats don't do it, I will have a very hard time believing that the Dems take their oathes seriously as well. The oath is important. If the Constitution is gone forever, America is gone forever.

      Impeachment doesn't solve everything, but it is absolutely necessary, and only a part of what needs to be done. Just because Republicans abused the procedure is no reason to not use it when necessary. My biggest beef is that 3,500 soldiers (and almost a million Iraqis?) have been killed because the President lied about reasons for war, and it undermined our national security worse than any diabilical Traitor could.

      If Democrats don't have the courage and determination to do whatever it takes to save the Constitution, avenge our Iraq vets, etc, I will be incredibly disgusted with them.

      "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

      by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:39:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree totally... (2+ / 0-)

        I second you, see my post right after yours.

        "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

        by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:51:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I didn't feel these anti-impeachment (3+ / 0-)

          needed to be addressed. I probably waste too much time responding to them. I don't get it. I guess being cowards regarding duty to defend the Constution could be viewed as "practical".

          That's what it boils down to. Cowardice and lazyness in the face of what needs to be done. Impeachment (and Conviction) is absolutely necessary.

          Sure, we might fail at conviction in the Senate. There are three scenarios:

          1. No impeachment - America is dead.
          1. Impeachment, No Conviction - America probably dead.
          1. Impeachment and Conviction - America possibly saved.

          To avoid Impeachment is to surrender the Constitution to War Criminals, goodbye America forever.

          "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

          by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:05:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, what happens if a Democrat (0+ / 0-)

            gets elected in November 2008?

            Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

            by Geekesque on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:08:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Dem president will not give up any of the (0+ / 0-)

              power that Bush has taken, and it won't be a priority for the Dems. The Dem president might not use those powers, I hope, but he/she won't revoke/return/reject those powers. It'll just be avoided.

              All the systematic dismantling of safeguards against a police state will still be there.

              All the unchallenged undermining of the Constitution will be precedent.

              The Democratic president will be a "place holder" and the next Repub will pickup where Bush left off.

              More Wars-Based-On-Lies.
              More domestic spying.
              More police state.

              We may as well send an open invitation for an American Hitler.

              "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

              by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:17:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, impeachment proceedings forced (0+ / 0-)

                Nixon to resign.

                And Cheney still thought he could get away with it.

                NOTE:  They ALWAYS think they can get away with it.

                Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

                by Geekesque on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:27:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And What if Nixon was left alone? (0+ / 0-)

                  The movement to Impeach Nixon helped end Viet Nam. So if you had your way back then, we'd be fighting in Viet Nam longer.

                  If Nixon wasn't almost impeached, Bush and CHeney would be even worse then they are now.

                  They'll especially think they can get away with it if you chose to let them get away with it.

                  So your point must be that you always oppose Impeachment, unless it happens to be easy, with a very predictable outcome of benefit for your prefered political party?

                  "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

                  by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:45:46 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Without rebuke, the precedent is set. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              howd

              Carter came after Nixon, but that didn't stop Cheney, et al from lamenting the loss of executive power in subsequent administrations and vowing to restore the unitary executive.

              Electing a democrat in '08 doesn't reverse the damage that's been done to our system of government, even if it heals some of the tangible effects of Bush's abuses of power.

              "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

              by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:23:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The slate gets wiped clean with every president. (0+ / 0-)

                The key is to elect presidents who respect the constitution.

                Impeachment now doesn't stop anyone from abusing the office down the road.  Just like impeachment proceedings against Nixon didn't stop Cheney.

                Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

                by Geekesque on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:26:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Whaaat? (0+ / 0-)

                  No, the slate isn't wiped clean!  Presidents can and do institute a new set of policies, but the boundaries of what is acceptable, in terms of both legal precedent and in the minds of the press and American people, have been expanded and will arguably not contract again for a generation, even with an exemplary democratic administration beginning in '08.

                  That's why precedent is so important and why we can't assume that the mere transfer of power is sufficient rebuke of very real and material breaches of power by Bush and Cheney.

                  "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

                  by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:36:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then how did this administration happen after (0+ / 0-)

                    the Nixon administration and after Clinton himself had been impeached?

                    Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

                    by Geekesque on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The fact that the others happened... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Geekesque

                      doesn't mean the crime will never happen again.  Of course not.  That's never been true in either law or government.  What you're basically saying is then is impeachment doesn't matter.  That's like saying jail for stealing doesn't matter because people still steal.  Punishment and precedent do guide the subsequent actions of reasonable people, even if it doesn't restrain the psychopaths among us.

                      "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

                      by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 01:13:16 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  I respectfully disagree. n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  Wow, I've gotta disagree on all 3 of your counts. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat, DarkestHour

      I'm surprised because I generally support Obama, but my thoughts are diametrically opposite yours regarding impeachment even though I acknowledge the lack of tangible change likely to result.

      First, such proceedings would make for two consecutive administrations of impeachment discussions, a bad trend and even worse solution for voter's buyer remorse.

      I'm not one to make a decision regarding impeachment based on, ahem, trending.  That the last one was a charade, perhaps deserving of censure but certainly not removal from office, is really not germane to whether the actions of this administration constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.  This is on a whole different scale.  It shouldn't be a political tool, but if the rationale is solid and the crimes are real, we do it.

      Secondly, a super-majority is required for removal of office.  Democrats can't even get a simple majority on an immigration or Iraq funding bill, so there is certainly no hope in getting Bush removed.

      We have both our principles and precedent for future generations to take into account.  Republicans knew they'd never remove Clinton from office, but the non-rabid ones still felt they were standing up for their principles.  I'd hate to follow their example, but one of the problems with Democrats is that they don't stand up for true American principles and the country has been gravely harmed as a result.  Considering whether or not impeachment would be "successful," I think, is to do exactly what you say we shouldn't do, which is think about it as a political tool.  This is about much more than the political calculus.

      Lastly, the proceedings themselves, even if ultimately successful in removing Bush from office, can be stretched out certainly for the bulk of 2008.  Bush vacates anyway in January '09, so not only is such an effort a waste of time (in terms of the end-result), but even if its logical end is realized, would be a waste of money (not to mention a big national distraction) as well.

      A big national distraction?  From what, wall-to-wall coverage of Paris Hilton, Rosie O'Donnell and Ann Coulter, while our democracy gets raped behind the scenes?

      Not to be flippant, but the country needs this kind of "distraction" that an impeachment trial would bring, because with compelling evidence and a rock-solid rationale, it could allow the Democrats to finally shine a bright light on this administration's illegal abuses and wake people up to the fact that their democracy doesn't run on auto-pilot.

      It is the reasons for avoiding impeachment that are full of political calculus.  No one who is against impeachment has actually argued that the administration hasn't perpetuated grievous and illegal abuses of power.  There's a rec'd diary that I have to agree with here: If impeachment is off the table, then it would seem that so is democracy.

      "These are the stakes! To make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other or we must die."

      by GeckoBlue on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:49:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree -- (0+ / 0-)

      better to prosecute for war crimes after he leaves office.  Sort of a shame our candidate won't committ in advance to what Pat Buchanan promised re: Clinton: "You have the right to remain silent."

    •  Certainly not a tip! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MyBrainWorks

      So you feel that what Bush and Cheney have done does not merit Impeachment?

      You don't feel that they've exceeded the bounds of the Constitution repeatedly and that their power grab is just fine?

      According to the AP  there is more to his position than that.  His is one of expediency:

      "I believe if we began impeachment proceedings we will be engulfed in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction," he added. "We would once again, rather than attending to the people's business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, non-stop circus."

      But it shows that both you and Senator Obama fail to GET IT.  What are the implications of NOT EVEN TRYING to impeach?

      Basically, if we do not, we give this President and ALL FUTURE PRESIDENTS a free pass on ignoring the law.  That they can totally disregard Congress, that they can selectively apply whatever laws they want against whomever they want, that the Magna Carta is no longer an issue (bye bye Habeaus Corpus).

      Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:27:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no "free pass" associated with ignoring the law, as there has not been for the 42 presidents that preceded GWB.  

        There is a difference between ignoring the law and interpreting the law.  The interpretation aspect is what Gonzo was to have supplied, and all Bush need demonstrate is that he acted in accordance with that advice.  Breaking the law, without meeting the standard of criminal intent (embodied within the measure of "treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors") will not result in impeachment.

        •  My, what a selective memory! (0+ / 0-)

          What do you get when there is no check on Executive Power?  When laws passed by Congress are ignored or preverted in their meanings?  When subpeonas are ignored?  When laws are DELIBERATELY flouted (FISA, Classified documents, deliberately outing a covert agent, lying to cause a war, TORTURE, etc.)

          You get an executive that is out of control.

          Q: What checks are there on the Executive Branch if Impeachment is not to be used?

          A: None.   There is zero incentive to comply with the law.  With ANY law.  With ANY oversight.  Remember, it is the Federal Reserve that prints money.  Even Congress's power of the purse can be ultimately ignored.

          Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:57:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  doesn't this give (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RFK Lives, dunderhead

    one of the second tier candidates the opportunity to come out for impeachment, and grab headlines? (Sorry, Kucinich is 3rd tier, unfortunately).
    Biden, Dodd, or Richardson could certainely pull out a few news cycles if they did this the right way. They could be seen as leaders, if they could get more support on this.

  •  I've urged patience and caution (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RFK Lives, mayan, dunderhead, DarkestHour

    all along, regarding impeachment.
    Of Cheney, Gonzo and the boy-king.

    But now it seems, we truly have no choice.
    If we impeach, the executive can no longer thwart our investigations.
    Nothing else, it seems, will do.

    It is a shame ut has to come to this, but the executive arrogance is beyond belief.

    What are we waiting for?

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:47:06 AM PDT

  •  Barney Frank also doesnt want impeachment (16+ / 0-)

    (as of a few weeks ago, anyway) and he is someone who's judgment I trust enormously.

    I'm just a simple hyperchicken from a backwoods asteroid. Relentless!

    by ablington on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:47:11 AM PDT

  •  good thing (15+ / 0-)

    senator sam ervin and congressman peter rodino didn't have the leadership skills senator obama is demonstrating.

    1. this is not about politics or buyer's remorse, it is about standing up for the constitution and holding those responsible for high crimes and misdemeanors accountable.
    1. why do you anti-impeachment people not understand that impeachment won't be voted on tomorrow. it involvles hearings. a year before his resignation, nixon had 60+% approval ratings, and the democrats didn't have the votes to remove him, either. guess what happened, over the course of legitimate hearings. well, we're already much further along, with bush. more evidence is already public, and his approval ratings are already in the tank. if the democrats would show some leadership, the republicans would do what they had to, to save their own political asses.
    1. defending the constitution is never a waste of time. and, again- if they got from nowhere to nixon's resignation in less than a year, they can force bush out much quicker.

    impeachment isn't about political retribution, it is about protecting democracy.

    "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:47:42 AM PDT

    •  I couldn't have said it better (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Turkana, KozmoD, chesapeake, MyBrainWorks

      Bush/Cheney are shredding our Constitution and deserve to be impeached.

    •  The problem is... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pegasus

      There is no definition for what consitutes "high crimes and misdemeanors" as set forth in the Constitution.  They are whatever the sitting Congress defines them as being, for all practical purposes, so the next time around (and there will be a next time), Republicans won't hesitate to play the impeachment card.

      The fact that "impeachment won't be voted on tomorrow" is part of the problem.  It would be far better if it could be, if not so much for the Dems then certainly for our brave soldiers in harm's way in Iraq.  Comparisons to Nixon-era Watergate impeachment hearings are invalid, IMO, since the burden of establishing intent in this case (as opposed to Watergate) is quite an obstacle.

      No one suggests defending the constitution is a "waste of time".  It only becomes a waste when the best result of the pursuit is a result that will happen on its own accord.  The voting rights of those that elected Bush are also protected by the Constitution.

      impeachment isn't about political retribution, it is about protecting democracy.

      And how is democracy better-protected by the national distraction of chastizing a lame-duck short--timer president for poor judgement, against a subjective standard of "crimes", following an election mandate for Washington to break its legislative gridlock and get on with conducting the people's business?

      •  Lying under oath to Congress is a "high crime"... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        berith, Turkana

        in my book.  Conyers knows, Leahy knows, and Gonzo sure as hell knows that he lied before both Judiciary Committees.

        Hell, take Gonzo at his word.  He let a 30ish political hack from Regent Law School w/ no prosecutorial experience hire/fire USA's.  If he's telling the truth about that, he should be removed for gross derelicition of duty.

        We have either John Mitchell of Michael Brown as our AG.  Take your pick.  Either way, he desperately needs to be removed.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:17:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  chastizing? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MyBrainWorks, okamichan13

        distraction?

        let me make this easy for you:

        is lying to congress to start a war high crimes and misdemeanors?

        is violating international law by authorizing torture high crimes and misdemeanors?

        is ignoring the department of justice's own official determination on its legality by authorizing domestic spying high crimes and misdemeanors?

        is using "signing statements" to abrogate congress's constitutional lawmaking authority high crimes and misdemeanors?

        is ignoring congressional subpoenas high crimes and misdemeanors?

        "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:19:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't need to (0+ / 0-)

          "make it easy for me".  I believe I have a full grasp of the issue at hand.

          You miss the point completely.  It has nothing to do with establishing grounds for impeachment.  Anything can be grounds, since Congress decides what that standard is.  Your list could have been a hundred items long and it wouldn't change the material situation one iota.  In your list, there are already presidential precedents set for several of the items, and no one invoked them as grounds for impeachment.

          You have to establish criminal-intent (not just poor judgement or bad advice from underlings) to measure up to the standard.  That's one of the things that separates impeachable offenses from simple (albeit costly) incompetence and lapses in judgement.

          Once that standard is met, then you need two-thirds of the Senate voting to convict.  

          In year one of a four-year term, I would be in favor.  In year 7 of an eight-year term (since your charges extend back into the first term), following a mid-term won in large measure on the notion of breaking partisan gridlock, I don't see the pursuit of impeachment as either in the interest of the Dems, the Constitution, or the rights of the voters.

          •  criminal intent? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MyBrainWorks

            where is that in that constitution?

            The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

            "If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy." -teacherken

            by Laurence Lewis on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:12:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely correct Turkana (5+ / 0-)

      This is not about politics people. Its about holding criminals responsible for their actions. I am at a complete loss as to why anyone thinks that what this administration has done doesn't rise to the level of criminal.

      "Mankind shall not be free until the last king is strangled in the entrails of the last priest." -- Denis Diderot,

      by KozmoD on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:47:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again, there is a difference... (0+ / 0-)

        between criminal-intent and incompetence.

        •  They are not mutually exclusive (0+ / 0-)

          Are you saying Bush & Cheney are not criminal? Really?

          •  I'm saying... (0+ / 0-)

            That their actions haven't been proven (or even alleged by any sizeable aspect of the legislature) to be a product of criminal-intent.

            •  Technically true (0+ / 0-)

              They haven't been proven because there's been no trial  yet. Also technically true that the majority of the legislature haven't "alleged" criminal intent, which is another way of saying few are publicly agitating for impeachment. We solve all your objections by impeaching.

              And although some valid reasons for impeachment are not technically crimes, I'm sincerely interested in your personal opinion; do you think Bush/Cheney's actions are not criminal?

              •  Re: Technically True (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MyBrainWorks

                Also technically true that the majority of the legislature haven't "alleged" criminal intent, which is another way of saying few are publicly agitating for impeachment. We solve all your objections by impeaching.

                Of course, impeachment resolutions themselves have to be passed by a majority of the House before my objections would be "solved".

                And although some valid reasons for impeachment are not technically crimes, I'm sincerely interested in your personal opinion; do you think Bush/Cheney's actions are not criminal?

                A crime can be committed without the perpetrators having criminal intent.  What aspect of their transgressions rise to a standard of "criminal" (meaning being in violation of the prevailing law) depends, I suppose, on how those laws are interpreted.  These differences in interpretation are typically resolved in court.  As a layperson, I have no real idea whether their acts rise to the level of criminality or not.  However, the fact that even such a distinction has to be drawn reflects poorly on the Bush presidency -- perhaps just the distinction between being a bad president and the worst president ever.

                If I had to hazard a guess, it would be that it will be difficult to separate poor judgement, incompetence, following bad advice, and ignoring good advice at the highest levels and working its way down -- from criminal intent.  In that regard, with the burden being on the prosecution to establish state-of-mind (among other factors), I'm going to side with Dumbo.

                Cheney, however, may be a whole different story.  Many of his acts seem to be calculated and political, and I would not be surprised in the least if he was convicted of a number of crimes against the American people.

                •  Thanks for the reply (0+ / 0-)

                  I found it very interesting.

                  I agree with you on the issue of Cheney, IMO he is a criminal beyond the power of polite language to describe.

                  I am not a lawyer either, and am unsure how far criminal intent is necessary to impeachment. I don't think it's crucial or essential.

                  Assuming that Bush is a totally clueless tool (which I don't entirely accept), I would argue that he has failed in "due diligence" to prevent the crimes of Cheney, Gonzales and others, and that is in itself an impeachable offense, criminal intent or no. He took an oath to "take care that the laws are faithfully executed"; his extraordinary number of so-called signing statements alone are proof he has violated that oath.

                  Very interesting discussion. Thank you.

    •  Nixon had the tapes, Woodward and... (0+ / 0-)

      Berstein, and John Dean.  What have we got?

  •  I agree with him (6+ / 0-)

    on the points of "tit-for-tat" proceduralism, but I hope he comes out in favor of US accession to the International Criminal Court.  Because, to be honest, it is the people of the world who have the real beef with Cheney and Bush.  Both of them deserve to be in the brig at Den Haag.

    Three things cannot long be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

    by zenbowl on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:49:11 AM PDT

  •  Obama is wrong and conceeds too much (7+ / 0-)

    I dont think impeachment can happen now but I'm not sure why he said this when the opposite is true:

    "I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority," he said.

    This is exactly what Bush is done and exactly what any Republican will most likely continue.

    Obama could have made his other points about it being a distraction etc, without saying this. Its a pretty big concession he didn't need to make.

    "The best way to leave Iraq is to start leaving." -- John Edwards

    by okamichan13 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:57:24 AM PDT

  •  Why are they asking people who don't have a vote (6+ / 0-)

    on impeachment about impeachment?

    What are they supposed to say, "Screw you, Nancy Pelosi?"

    Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

    by Geekesque on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 08:59:26 AM PDT

  •  It's not about getting Bush/Cheney out of office (9+ / 0-)

    It's about showing the next guy that he/she cannot get away with wiping their ass with the Constitution. Again, we let them off the hook after Watergate, then again after Iran Contra and BCCI, now they are back and stronger than ever because we didn't prosecute guys like Cheney 3 decades ago. Every time they get off the hook they become more immune to prosecution. Why doesn't anyone understand this?

    Now, people had lost their fear. From that moment I knew we would win. - Oscar Olivera

    by Josh Prophet on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:01:27 AM PDT

  •  Big Picture folks..... (8+ / 0-)

    Focusing on impeachment will do nothing for our Presdential candidates, except to provide ammo for the general.  Remember how horrified we all were with the Clinton deal.  The congress stopped all business just to conduct the impeachment hearings, I'm telling you the fence voters won't dig it...

    "I served my country. I played High School Football!" -Al Bundy

    by magi on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:02:06 AM PDT

  •  Absolute BS. (6+ / 0-)

    IMPEACHMENT is the remedy prescribed by the CONSTITUTION.

    If there was ever a reason to go straight to TRIAL IN THE SENATE, GWB AND HIS CABAL IS IT.

    There is no glory in dying. -- Tatanka Iyotaka (Sitting Bull)

    by Flippant on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:06:16 AM PDT

  •  Agree that impeachment isnt helpful now, BUT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkestHour, MyBrainWorks, mamamedusa

    Bush has certainly committed grave breaches, its a hell of a long list. Obama seems to be denying that, saying Bush just hasn't done enough. That's ridiculous.

    His points about a distraction etc seem much more valid. He gave away a lot of ground he didnt have to.

    "The best way to leave Iraq is to start leaving." -- John Edwards

    by okamichan13 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:06:37 AM PDT

  •  Obama is wrong. (5+ / 0-)

    So is Clinton and Edwards and anyone other elected representative who chooses to dismiss impeachment on these specious grounds.

    If they don't think Bush committed impeachable offenses, they can make that argument.  But these pathetic excuses relating to time and effort and "tit for tat" are an insult to the nation and the rule of law.

    Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said "he is not worth impeaching".  Well, if Bush (or Cheney) is not worth impeaching, then they are not worthy of office either.  Bush and Cheney can still do alot of damage.  They can start a war, they can issue Executive Orders, they can detain people, they can torture, they can screw with elections using the Justice Department, and if heaven forbid, one of the "4" rational remaining Supreme Court justices should retire, Bush would get to nominate the replacement.

    And above all, if we don't even begin the impeachment process, what sort of precedent does it set for the future?

    Speaker Pelosi seems to think that this can be accomplished via oversight.  I don't see how.  Just one look at Gonzo's smirk will tell you how much BushCo fears oversight without punishment.  And the American public has certainly been impressed by the power of oversight to date - hence the 14% approval rating for Congress.

    Bush and Cheney are worthy of impeachment.  They are not worthy of one more day in office.  Yes, we don't have the votes to convict, but that does not mean we can't say "this far and no farther".

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:07:41 AM PDT

  •  again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    berith, Pegasus

    it's the wording that bothers me. When people say "why don't we impeach" or "let's impeach", they should be saying "why don't we TRY to impeach" or "let's TRY to get support for impeachment". I get irritated hearing talk about impeachment that indicates it's just a matter of the Democrats wanting to do it and it will actually happen.

    I appreciate there's a difference between impeachment not happening because Democrats don't support it or in spite of Democrats supporting it, but either way, it's still not going to happen, and saying "let's impeach" indicates that it's a political possibility, when, let's face it, it's just not, whether or not all the Democrats support it.

    The argument, then, is not about whether or not Bush and Cheney and everyone else WILL be impeached, but whether or not Democrats publicly say they SHOULD be impeached, and that's still a very legitimate question, but let's be clear that that is the question at hand, not whether or not they will actually be impeached. And too much nuance certainly gets in the way of slogans.

    Put the circular firing squad in the circular file.

    by JMS on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:08:48 AM PDT

  •  excellent diary, entirely correct n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, chicago minx

    Georgetown University College Democrats Blog: http://democrats.georgetown.edu

    by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:09:27 AM PDT

  •  Unfortunately, Obama is right. (10+ / 0-)

    That is not to say that Waxman, Conyers, etc. can't hound the administration and expose all of their crimes to light to put the whole GOP in a bad position, but for a Presidential candidate to be yelling for impeachment could come off as a bit opportunistic and cynical. Plus, from a time point of view, we don't have enough time now to get the numbers in the house and Senate to do it. Not to say that the House couldn't start proceedings, but for Presidential candidates, it is wisest to stay above the fray and project hope. I think Obama is absolutely correct. I mean, he's in no way saying everything is Hunky Dory. But there's no evidence yet that Bush has ordered an unambiguous felony to be committed, a la Watergate. They have played it smart enough to cloak most of their actions in a fog of grey.

    Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

    by benheeha on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:11:28 AM PDT

    •  What about wireless wiretapping? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      polecat

      A Federal court has ruled that violations of the FISA law (felonies) occurred. Not to mention the kidnapping, torture, detention without charge or trial, secret prisons, failure to protect classified information (Valerie Plame and the recent "we're not subject to our own executive orders crap from both the VP and Prez office)... oh, I'm too tired to go on. The only reason there hasn't been a conviction on these things is because there's been no trial yet.

      "No evidence of a felony"? You've got to be kidding!

      Not to mention abuse of power in the DoJ, lying us into war and on and on, things against which there is no law because Congress never imagined anyone would commit such acts. They are impeachable acts nonetheless.

      •  No disagreement, except: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MyBrainWorks

        Wartime tends to stretch the law re: executive power. So what Congress would need to find is something above and beyond the usual overreach, that was explicitly treasonous or felonious without possible recourse to executive powers. Not to say this is as it should be, but it seems to be the political reality in light of precedent. We need a smoking gun. The attorney scandal gets damn close, and the vote-caging stuff could tip the scales. But unless we find out Bush was wiretapping his political enemies, or imprisoning them, and not just a few anonymous victims here and there, no way to prove intent.

        Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

        by benheeha on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:17:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gee Maybe That Is Why They Lied Us Into A War (0+ / 0-)

          Wartime tends to stretch the law re: executive power

          And if outing a covert CIA agent working on WMD in the warzone isn't treason, then what is?

          All men want to be rich. Rich men want to be king. And the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything. Springsteen

          by howd on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 02:16:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Impeachment is the last resort (9+ / 0-)

    ... and you can't get the popular and politcal support to make it happen unless you take the steps in between to build the case. First, conduct oversight. Second, subpoena stonewalling officals. Third, cite subpoenaed officials for contempt. Fourth, demand judicial enforcement of contempt. Fifth, pass independent prosector law to circumvent stonewalling prosecutors and/or justices. Sixth, appoint independent prosecutor to pursue charges outside Justice Dept. channels. Then impeach if you have to. The Bush Administration will run out the clock before you get through all these steps, but they will be exposed, discredited, and fatally weakened in the meantime.

    "What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?" - J. Madison

    by berith on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:17:02 AM PDT

  •  Don't journalists know how to spell? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, TomP

    It's a breach, not a breech, whether it's serious or minor.

  •  There is no standard for impeachment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicago minx

    both previous impeachments were judged as spurrious. The constitution deliberately uses subjective language. The only real standard for impeachment should be if a President has beahved so badly his own party will throw him to the wolves, that was going to happen with Nixon, but will not happen with Bush. Whining about it won't change anything put that energy into making sure 2008 isn't a repeat of 2000.

  •  Obama is a constitutional lawyer right? (5+ / 0-)

    He's actually taught this stuff and should know better.

    So torture is unintentional and apparently not grave either.

    Rendition? Its bad, but not that bad.

    Illegal wiretapping? Just not illegal enough.

    Holding people in prison for years with no charges being filed? Don't like that either, but I'm sure Bush means well.

    Signing statements to gut laws you don't like? Not grave and not serious.

    Its ridiculous for ANY candidate to say they oppose impeachment because Bush just hasnt done enough bad things yet or didnt really mean it.

    "The best way to leave Iraq is to start leaving." -- John Edwards

    by okamichan13 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 09:37:38 AM PDT

  •  Surrender the Constitution to War Criminals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal

    Sounds like a winning strategy. Keep your powder dry.

    "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

    by bejammin075 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:07:17 AM PDT

  •  Obama's in the bottom three of my list anyway. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat

    His being anti-impeachment doesn't change that one iota.

    Support H Res 333, the articles of impeachment brought forth by Dennis Kucinich!

    Go Dennis and Co-Sponsors!

    Trust no organizaton bigger than two, and even those are suspect!

    by rjones2818 on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:14:45 AM PDT

  •  yea, lets snap our fingers and (0+ / 0-)

    impeach both bush and cheney and Nancy will be president... easy ,peasy ,japaneasy..

    hello!! impeaching both bush and cheney would take a year at least.. and would doom the dems to another loss in the white house and in congress.

    americans do not approve of this admin or congress right now, but impeaching bush and cheney would push them into the GOP camp.. cus they actually did vote them in and would have that vote thrown in their face in such a way that they would say collectively- f-you, we will show you radical lefties by electing Thompson or Rudy... great.. how satisfying it would be for all of us progressives to say we sure got bush and cheney while another GOP president continues the Iraq occupation for another 8 years?  but at least we got bush and dick,right? BS!!  take the pain...and work hard to elect a dem to start to repair the damage.

  •  The only way to get Obama to be FOR impeachment (3+ / 0-)

    (and JRE and HRC) is to bring public opinion (meaning US) around far enough that they have no choice but to support it.

    Look at HRC and BHO on the "Capitulation Bill" -- they finally voted against it.  That was a major victory by the left.  We need to keep doing this to ALL OF THEM to force them around to Impeachment, Single Payer Healthcare, Rejecting the Unitary Executive, etc.

    This is OUR power.  These are proposed planks for OUR Party.  Am I disgusted that all three of the front runners are against Impeachment?  You bet your *ss.  What am I going to do about it?  If I have to, play them off against each other and say "I'll vote for the first of you to put Impeachment BACK on the table."

    How about them apples?

    (aside: iPhone tonight at 6pm)

    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 10:49:00 AM PDT

  •  Ok, just stop (2+ / 0-)

    "Secondly, a super-majority is required for removal of office.  Democrats can't even get ..."

    I hate this argument.  It's basically capitulation on it's face.  It says, in not so many words, if you aren't sure you're gonna win, DON'T TRY.

    I'm sure we can both think of many instances where people tried even though they didn't have a hope in hell of winning.  Sometimes it's important that you are seen going down fighting.  Sometimes it's important that people see you're willing to go to bat for your principles, even if it's the last innings and you're down by 20 points.

    So, try.  Even if you crash and burn.  Make the case alrready, even if it's a losing one, so that at the end of the day, nobody can point at you and say "you gutless bastards, you didn't even try".

    Get on the record objecting this criminal institution already.

    •  What legislator... (0+ / 0-)

      Who has taken offense at the tactics of the Bush Administration is not already on record for "objecting to this criminal institution"?

      There is no capitulation involved with electing not to impeach.  The point is that by winning, you don't achieve much you couldn't have achieved without it.

      Removal from office?  That's going to happen by the time the proceedings are up -- not that the 2/3 majority votes necessary for removal would be there anyway.

      Disgracing Bush's legacy?  Too late, he's taken care of that job admirably himself.

      Exposing war crimes and criminal intent?  Nothing stops that from proceeding when he's out of office and unable to invoke Executive Privilege.

      Further, the Democratic majority enjoyed by the Congress was elected to move a legislative agenda forward and break bipartisan gridlock.  It's hard to imagine something remotely more partisan than impeachment proceedings.

      Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, there are far more critical life-and-death issues that Congress needs to be focused on rather than the circus and distraction bought on by impeachment proceedings.  Ending the Iraq War should be at the top of the list, now a distinct possibility as we start to see shifts in the Republican side of the Senate where patience is wearing thin with the current strategy.

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        Who has taken offense at the tactics of the Bush Administration is not already on record for "objecting to this criminal institution"?

        It's the quantity and the lack of action that irks me.  There aren't enough putting themselves out there, I mean really putting themselves out there rather than making dissaproving noises.  I hear a lot of talk.  I see very little concrete action, very little palatable outrage.

        Further, the Democratic majority enjoyed by the Congress was elected to move a legislative agenda forward and break bipartisan gridlock.  It's hard to imagine something remotely more partisan than impeachment proceedings.

        Perhaps I missed the part where Republicans won't filibuster even the smallest thing.  Oh, for the days of keeping the powder dry...

        Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, there are far more critical life-and-death issues that Congress needs to be focused on rather than the circus and distraction bought on by impeachment proceedings.  Ending the Iraq War should be at the top of the list, now a distinct possibility as we start to see shifts in the Republican side of the Senate where patience is wearing thin with the current strategy.

        Pardon my cynicism, but the Iraq War will not end while the decider decides.  Perhaps impeachment will not accelerate that end.  But perhaps it will present a sufficient distraction, perhaps sufficient incetive, to see him make a different decision.  As it stands, absolutely nothing is going to happen about the troops Iraq until Bush is out of office.  He will do everything he can to preserve the status quo, and nothing short of a veto-proof majority on a withdrawal bill will change that.  Good luck on that one.

        •  I should add... (0+ / 0-)

          That there is more to this than ruining Bush's legacy or prosecuting him for all that has transpired on his watch.  To my mind, it is simply about standing up and saying "you are not the right leader for this country".  To do otherwise is to surrender the point that Bush should serve out his term.  He has, in my view, absolutely not earned the right to serve out his term uncontested in January 2009 simply due to political expediency and cost-benefit analysis.  Bugger that.  He should be hounded every day from now until he is out of office, and forever confronted after he is out of office with for what he and this administration have done.

          •  Last I checked... (0+ / 0-)

            someone "not being the right leader for this country" doesn't measure up to grounds for impeachment.  If this atrocious last term were his first-term, people would just look to 2008 when he can be voted out.  That's the prescribed Constitutional remedy for someone that is "not the right leader of this country".  

            Otherwise, you're allowing the legislators to override the will of the voters.  Historically, when we've elected someone who has proved less-than-competent, they just don't get a second term.  

  •  The power of removal lies with the voters? (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but this statement is false, and frankly is the central problem with our system of government.  No one has the power to remove a President.  The voters sure as hell do not.  All the voters can do is choose who will serve is the next President, they can't remove jack shit.  

    Our elected government is so unresponsive to the people precisely because we have an elected king.  It's a flawed system of government, simple as that, and we'd be much better served with a parliamentary system.  

    The founding fathers were a smart group of men and they got a lot of things right, but the overall government system was not one of them.  It was the first implementation of a democracy in modern times, so it's no surprise the result would be imperfect and in need of improvement.  

    Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

    by Asak on Fri Jun 29, 2007 at 11:12:34 AM PDT

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