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I once told Jay Mathews of the Washington Post that I would not object to preparing my students for externally prepared tests so long as outsiders did not dictate how I prepared my students for those tests.  I have a viscerally negative reaction to the idea of mandatory pacing guides, or even necessarily mandatory sequences of units, because it removes from me as a teacher what is of great importance - my ability to use knowledge of my students and my skill as a teacher to make the learning experience for those students as effective as possible.  This approach I take on greater responsibility and do more work, but my experience has been the results are more salutory for both the students and for me as a teacher.  

In the approach I have described, I am balancing the requirement to ensure that my students meet some external standard of what they should learn at the same time as I fulfill my professional and personal responsibility to the reality of who they are.  And I think the same approach is roughly applicable when we consider oversight and impeachment.

Please note - I did say ROUGHLY applicable.  Here I am placing the Congress of the United States in a position roughly equivalent to my role as teacher.  I am answerable to the school authorities, and the Members and Senators are answerable to their constituents.  I am also answerable to my students, for whom I have multiple responsibilities:

  • to determine what they currently know and can do
  • to help them develop the knowledge and skill to do more
  • to move them towards the goal(s) that are the reason I have been given my pedagogical responsibility

Perhaps it is hard to see the Congress as having responsibilities that parallel these, but it should not be, even though we as constituents are both the authority to whom they have to answer and the students whom they have to empower.   Perhaps it is because my concept of instruction in shaped by the thoughts of Parker Palmer in his books, most notably The Courage to Teach, and my ideas of leadership are greatly influenced by the work of Robert Greenleaf’s model of Servant Leadership.   I will not take an excursus to fully explore the thought of either man.  Let me note that Palmer sees teaching as a series of overlapping relationships - between teacher and student, among students, between people and the curriculum - and Greenleaf bases his model of leadership on the example of Leo in Herman Hesse’s Journey to the East  I should also note that both men were or became Quakers, and we Friends have a strong ethic of seeing the individual as s/he is.  I realize that these models may not appeal to those of different backgrounds or orientations, but please bear with me as I make this brief intellectual exploration.

In the model of teaching that I follow one cannot have a lockstep or cookbook approach to what occurs within the classroom.  Each groups of students is unique, being as it is also a collection of unique individuals.  There are elements of commonality, but one needs to carefully observe and listen to ascertain what is common and what may be different . As my curricular responsibility is government, it is especially important that I also pay attention to current issues about government, as these will create the concerns with which my students arrive, and may well shape the questions with which they wrestle simultaneously with the material I am required to ensure they understand.

The Congress has a responsibility that is externally imposed.  To some degree We the People are the authority to whom they answer, but it is also shaped by the document whose Preamble begins with those words.  The external test which should guide their actions is the intent and framework established by We the People through that document, through more than 200 years of experience, of wrestling with how to actualize the the promise contained therein.  One reason I do not accept the idea of rigid interpretation a la Scalia is that the students - the people and the nation - are not the same, and the document and the system it creates cannot be so rigid that we must formally amend it in order to adapt to new situations.  Government leaders, regardless of the branch, need to listen and observe, and determine how to meet the needs of the people while remaining responsible to the curriculum - the principles of the Constitution.

I am concentrating on the Congress not merely because it is the only branch currently controlled by Democrats.  I look at the Congress because it is the branch most immediately responsible for and to the people.  One could I suppose argue that the Congress in passing laws might be in the role of the school board and the Executive as the teacher who then applies things, except that the Executive is too removed from the people.  Still, I suppose a President who rigidly applies an ideology regardless of the needs of the people for whom he is supposed to be responsible does bear some parallel to the teacher who slavishly follows a cookbook instructional approach that is not meeting the needs of the student before him.  Still, I would view the more accurate parallel in that case being the principal or superintendent or even school board who is insisting on the step by step cookbook approach even when the results are not increasing the skill and knowledge of the students.  It is not an exact parallel.

So let me return to the role of the Congress.  The Constitution presumes a balance of power, a separation, with checks and balances, even if those phrases do not specifically appear within the document itself.  In this regard the intent of the Founders is clear.  And as designed the Congress is given the greatest responsibility and the largest share of power, if for no other reason that as designed the only part of the government directly answerable to the people was the House of Representatives.  Nothing can become law without their acquiescence, all revenue bills must start therein, and the ultimate control over the other branches - impeachment - starts with the People’s House.  

But that is the ULTIMATE control.  A teacher who must always raise his voice, threaten punishment, call for an administrator, rarely is effective in having the students learn.  There may be occasions for each of these approaches, but if the teacher first ensures that the lessons connect with the students, that the students feel that teacher has some concern about them and their needs (Palmer’s idea of relationships) then most classroom behavior problems disappear and the teacher can function as the one helping the students learn and learn how to learn - s/he becomes Greenleaf’s servant leader: responsible and empowering without having to dictate.

For our system of government to work there must be accountability.  One reason no branch can act totally independently is that such an approach is a prescription for tyranny.  Our Founders knew this.  And over time it became clear that for Congress to determine what changes to the law were necessary it needed to examine - how current laws were operating, whether public officials responsible for carrying out the laws were failing to do as the Congress intended because they did not understand, because the law was flawed, or because they were willfully ignoring the intent of the law.   Only in the last of these is impeachment appropriate, only for willfully ignoring the law and/or abusing one’s power.

But the only way Congress can make that determination is by exercising its oversight powers.  Let me offer a pedagogical parallel, however flawed it may be.   I cannot determine what my students have learned and can do without assessing, giving them opportunities to demonstrate, to provide me with the information of whether reinstruction is necessary, because my teaching - the equivalent of the legislation passed by Congress - is not giving the results I expected as a result of that instruction.  I may give an essay, dialog with students, even give a multiple choice quiz or test.  If the results are not what I expected, I need to examine why.  To plough ahead without readjusting is the equivalent of passing laws on the basis of ideology without examining the effects of those laws and then attempting to modify where necessary in order to achieve the intended goal - in my case of students learning, in our government of appropriate functioning of the government and the society.

It is insufficient for me to say "I taught them, but they failed to learn."  Similarly it is insufficient for Congress to say that they passed the legislation, what happens thereafter is not their responsibility.

Impeachment is an ultimate sanction.  It should not be lightly considered.  As a teacher I do not give a high stakes examination without having given the student the opportunity to assess her own preparation and performance with previous preliminary assessments.  The Congress must consistently exercise oversight, not because it necessarily is suspicious of the Executive (although many of the Founders might well have encourage such a skepticism towards executive power) but because the Constitutional structure of our government demands it.  If impeachment is the high stakes final exam, then oversight is the quiz, the homework assignment, the unit test.

A student who refuse to do the assigned work will face an ultimate sanction - failing the course, and/or failing a major high stakes exam, whether a final I have created or an exam required by the state for promotion or graduation. As a teacher I may have to periodically remind a student of such possible consequences.  A President who refuses to cooperate with necessary and appropriate oversight by the Congress needs to be reminded that he is not a free agent, that the Constitution prohibits him from acting in a tyrannical fashion, that he is answerable to the people through their elected representatives in the Congress.  Oversight, the power of the purse, and impeachment are therefore not separate and unrelated powers of the Congress.  They are related, and intimately connected.

If you have followed my ramblings to this point, then what I now offer will hopefully make sense.   The Congress has a responsibility to rein in an Executive who is not abiding by law or Constitution, who is attempting to exercise a level of power and independence from oversight outside the structure and concept of government established by our governing document.  The Congress must, as I must with recalcitrant students, begin to assert its responsibility.  It must examine how things are working through oversight, as I must examine what my students can do through assessment.  It may find it necessary to restrict executive action and force compliance through its funding mechanism, as I may try to enforce responsibility for learning through assignment and classroom instruction.  And it may find it necessary to begin to explore whether is should apply its ultimate power to fulfill its responsibility by beginning hearings on the process of impeachment.

I always view it as something of a failure on my part if I have to have a student removed by an administrator, or if a student fails my course.  It means that I as a teacher have in some way not been able to reach that student.  I have failed to establish the productive relationship as described by Parker Palmer, I have not led through service as described by Greenleaf.  And yet for all my frustration I do not bear all of the responsibility.  I cannot MAKE a student learn, even as I must try my hardest to find a way that invites her to do so.  Oversight by the Congress does not presume that the president has engaged in wrongdoing or has failed to fulfill his responsibilities any more than my giving a student a quiz is an attempt to prove that he is not doing his work or for me to establish a pretext to awarding a failing grade.  Both are information, a  process of feedback necessary to the fulfilling of our respective responsibilities.  Congress must first seriously engage in oversight.  But just as it would be wrong for me to acquiesce when a student fails to fulfill his responsibility, to allow that student to receive a passing grade even if a failing grade may lead to unhappiness - from the student, parents, athletic coaches, administrators - it is equally inappropriate for the Congress to allow refusal of the Executive to meet its Constitutional responsibilities to take care that the law be faithfully executed and to allow the Congress to fulfill its own Constitutional responsibilities.

It is past time for the Congress to have vigorous oversight, to use the power of the purse to attempt to ensure that the administration begin to act in a Constitutional fashion.  And if the only way to get the Executive to act responsibly is to begin an impeachment inquiry, against  which there can be no claim of executive privilege, then let the Congress take that step.  I don’t like calling home on a student, or imposing preliminary sanctions, or threatening punishment - such actions potentially jeopardize the kinds of relationship I view as most productive to the learning environment.  But I show a greater sense of responsibility when I do intervene like that than when I simply allow the student to crash and burn, with no notice to parents or others who might be concerned, with no action on my part to try to change the behavior.  We the People are the parents, the coaches, the administrators.  The Congress has a responsibility on our behalf to intervene in order that our government not crash and burn.

It is time to initiate impeachment hearings.

Originally posted to teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this is the reflection of one person (54+ / 0-)

    who is attempting to make sense of what he perceives happening to the nation he loves.  It is not quite stream of consciousness.  I knew where I was going when I started to write this, but did not quite know the shape the piece would take.

    It is what it is.  

    I am of course interested in the response of others, should there be any.

    I will keep tabs on the diary for a while, but in about 2 hours must leave for some more dental work.

    If this finds favor in the eyes of the community, so be it.

    If not, at least I have helped clarify some of my own thinking.

    Peace.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:16:29 AM PDT

    •  Good Luck With That. (11+ / 0-)

      this is the reflection of one person who is attempting to make sense of what he perceives happening to  the nation he loves.

      I have spent alot of time trying to understand how we have come to this.  How did Americans allow all of this to happen?  I'm sorry, but 9-11 doesn't explain it, or most of it, at any rate.  

      I know America has fallen short of its ideal of itself many times, but never have we so openly applauded those falls.

      Bush and Cheney aren't the biggest problem we have, every society can end up w/ criminals and psychos in charge.  The biggest problem is how far we have let them go.

      Impeach.

      •  yes - we are like some of the students I know (14+ / 0-)

        who if they don't like a teacher or like a course, don't do the work, and then want to blame the teacher for their lack of learning and success.

        See - I am trying to keep it within framework of diary -  although this is really pushing it!  :-)

        We need to prod our legislators, without too much screaming, to step up on oversight and protection of the Constitution.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

        by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:17:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Keith Olbermann said it best (10+ / 0-)

        when he quoted John Wayne's words about JFK: "I didn't vote for him, but he's my President and I hope he does a good job."

        I think the majority of Americans were willing to give GWB the benefit of the doubt -- figuring that if he screwed up, he'd just be a one-termer like his dad. Trouble is, Karl Rove and the other Republicans had 8 years to hone all their dirty tricks, combined with some technologies that had never been field-tested to the scale that they were ultimately used.

        It's Bush's "political capital" line that really got me -- in the business world, capital is what's used to help grow the business and increase the owner's equity. Bush had that capital, tenuously, through the election, and it was increased globally through the 9/11 attacks. But instead of investing that capital in sound policies here and abroad, Bush spent it like the dot-com era entrepreneurs, on foosball tables and high-end chairs, ignoring the real needs of the employees and the business. Unfortunately for the American people, Daddy or his rich friends can't bail Shrub out of this mess.

        Yes, the biggest problem is how far we've let them go -- thanks to a compliant press who pushed the stories of corruption and backroom deals to the back page, while talking about the next "American Idol" and other trivialities on the front page. And the American people are also partially to blame, for not demanding more of our journalists. And there are plenty willing to join with BushCheney and put party over country -- the Coulters, O'Reillys, Hannitys and others who would be screaming for impeachment had these deeds been done under an Al Gore or John Kerry administration.

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

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The press is not to blame (0+ / 0-)

          The media simply reports whatever is newsworthy - it is not their job to lead.

          It is the past 25 years of Democratic politicians who have failed this country by not challenging the radical RW agenda started by Reagan and leading to the utter disaster this country finds itself in right now.

          It was the Democrats' responsibility to confront the RW on an idealogical level, and convince Americans to reject their worship of greed, their warmongering, their racism, their hypocrisy, and their phony christianity, but the Democrats failed to do so, out of fear of losing a few votes.

          It was the Democratic leadership's job to provide an alternative to the RW. Instead, they triangulated and pandered to an imaginary "centrist" voter, and sucked up to the GOP. They failed to promote traditionally democratic ideals and instead tried to be greedy, hypocritical warmongering republicans, too. Americans immediately saw through this and voted for the more sincere GOP, which allowed the RW to push their nightmare agenda even further to the right. Clinton won only because the GOP had poor candidates in 92 and 96. He governed almost exactly as a republican would.

          No wonder the MSM has so much contempt for Democrats, and why so many Americans don't vote. Why bother?

      •  I would say that we have fallen short of our (0+ / 0-)

        (so-called) "IDEALS" a lot of times.  We are the only county that ended slavery in our country after 700,000 were dead - the rest of the world did it mainly without violence.

        Several countries became independent of Britain without a war.  Not us.

        Committing genocide against a native population - not unusual at all - but we have never acknowledged this evil or tried to address it.  We still have history books that describe the natives as "barbarians" and fail to recognize how barbaric our ancestors actions were.

        We are a very racist society and a very violent society - more than any other first world country.  We like to pretend otherwise.  This reflects a very insecure and frightened country - which we are.

        We have NO sense that we need to look out for one another or take care of one another, for the most part.  

        We, as a people, are vastly ignorant of the rest of the world.  

    •  Just like teachers, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherken, Tamifah, frandor55, Joy Busey

      Congress can either use their power with legitimate authority and establish proper guidelines, or they can shy away from using their authority and be the teacher who can't/won't control the class.  The current Congress is almost certainly the latter; they've forgotten what their job is, all they want to do is ensure that come 2008 or 2010, they've clung to their increasingly worthless office.

      "No man should advocate a course in private that he's ashamed to admit in public." -George McGovern

      by Arturo52 on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:26:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NOTICE - going to be away for several hours (0+ / 0-)

      I have to head into DC for a root canal.  I am traveling by Metro, which represent about a 20 minute walk at each end.  I am not likely to be back on line until sometime in the early afternoon.

      I believe it is possible to carry on the discussion without me.  I do promise to read any responses posted in my absence.  

      I thank those who have already participated, and those who chose to use their power of recommendation to elevate this to the list, even if it should scroll off in my absence, which I would expect.

      Peace.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:09:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish it was time... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, Tamifah, dangangry, mommyof3

    I truly wish it was.
    Good diary as always.

    A pity we don't have the votes to defend the Constitution.-me

    by RElland on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:19:43 AM PDT

  •  Bush has been a bad student for far too long (9+ / 0-)

    It is long past time to expel his ass. And he can take his balding friend with him!

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by redhaze on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:20:30 AM PDT

  •  I do appreciate any response (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    and thank the group of you who did so as soon as this went up.

    I rarely know what to expect when I put up a diary like this.  Of course, I also do not know who is online, and what concerns they may have.  It is quite possible this diary simply does not speak to those people or their concerns.

    Peace.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 04:34:51 AM PDT

  •  In keeping with the teaching scenario (5+ / 0-)

    Congress must also make and keep a documented record of the attempts they have made, the oversight they have conducted, the response or lack of responase they have received etc.  That paper trail is what they must stand on should they start impeachment proceedings.  Furthermore they have to be able to parse what they know into terms that We the People clearly understand.  That may be the hardest bit of their task.  The legalese has to be stripped out and common folks must be helped to understand exactly how Buhsco has fucked up, and what laws he violated in doing so.

    •  What if they can't create a paper trail? (4+ / 0-)

      I think that's the point of the diary.

      In teacherken's analogy, if he got absolutely no effort or response from a student, they didn't do homework, they didn't speak when asked question in class other than to refuse to answer, he would take various actions to correct that like contacting the student's parents, etc

      Bush is claiming executive privelege, refusing to cooperate, complying selectively with laws (I'm being generous here), etc

      So if Congress is unable to determine that he is faithfully executing the laws or he is breaking the laws, what kind of a paper trail does that leave them with?

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:47:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the classroom (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, Tamifah, BachFan, dangangry
        there is a paper trail -- unexcused absences, missing or incomplete assignments, failed quizzes, disciplinary actions -- that shows how poorly the student is doing. We already have a similar paper trail with this administration: refusal to appear before committees, withheld documents, "I don't recall" testimony, judicial rejection of numerous Bushco legal arguments, frank admission of (or substantial evidence of) illegal actions.

        Congress is just beginning to 'send notes home to the parents'; it seems to me that many of us are doing a better job as 'parents' in proactively seeking 'conferences' about our 'troubled student'. But as always, some parents are convinced that their little Georgie or Dickie couldn't possibly be the problem, and how dare those incompetent teachers threaten to fail their little darlings!

        If you call a chimp a president, how many presidents do we have? One: DICK.

        by rincewind on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:45:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  well, who the heck knows how things work? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, Joy Busey, real world chick

    somehow this thing snuck on the recommended list with like 11 recomends after half an hour.  It it not really drawing any traffic, so I supposed it will soon scroll back off.  And having been recommended it is not of course ineligible for rescue.    So enjoy it while you can still find it.  :-)

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:01:50 AM PDT

  •  The problem with your diary is your conclusion... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken

    I didn't read it. But I assume you are for proceeding with impeachment.  It may be valid, but it loses cogency because of its context.

    The arguments against impeachment get no prominence on Dailykos. And for this reader, good solid arguments against a position are the only way I can be convinced of the core position's merits.

    My diary defending Pelosi a few days ago never made it to the rec list, while one with fewer, that was not much more than a big sign "impeach now" did.  There are vast consequences of actually pursuing impeachment that are never seriously discussed, yes they are brought up to ridicule, but never discussed in the way that those who are viewing the constraints of our system must.

    I know you to be a reasonable man, yet reason, and its handmaidens compromise, understanding the other, and humility in one's advocacy, is not appreciated here.  It is seen as cowardness, and a buzzkill.

    I have to accept that my dream of a cyber-forum of open ideas and discussion is as dead as the dream of enlightened citizen democracy.

    But it is not a happy thought.  And to coin a variation of a false meme, as we adopt the tactics of our enemies, it means that no matter who wins the next election, the values of the rethugs have won.  

    •  no - I am not arguing for impeachment (8+ / 0-)

      I am arguing for beginning an examination, of having impeachment hearings.  I still hold out some hope, albeit minor, that the Congress stepping up to that level might finally give the administration pause.  I am not prejudging the case, although I think the actions with respect to FISA by themselves are an impeachable offense.  I recognize that we have to lay the groundwork.  I would be happy to see serious attempts at oversight, which to some degree we are seeing, and more aggressive us of the power of the purse.  

      But I also recognize that this administration does not acquiesce, that it believes it can stonewall, and thus I think something more forceful is almost certainly necessary.

      And I do not expect everyone to agree with me.  That's the point of having a discussion.  To explore our differences.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:20:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Regarding executive privelege (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        goodasgold

        you wrote in your diary that executive privelege does not apply to impeachment proceedings

        or at least that's what i understood

        so during impeachment proceedings they could ask every single question that has been denied and compel an answer?

        is there someplace i could learn more about this?

        or am i just not getting it?

        I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

        by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:54:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am extrapolating - let me explain (6+ / 0-)

          1)in the Nixon case SCOTUS ruled that while there was executive privilege, it was outweighed by the needs of a criminal trial - that's a simplification, but I am pressed for time

          1. while impeachment is realistically a political rather than a criminal exercise per se, it is a process of examining whether the accused has done high crimes and misdeanors, some of which of course could be considered criminal
          1. if a Congress had reached the point of finding it necessary to do such an examination,a refusal to turn over documents or allow people to testify on grounds of executive privilege could be interpreted by the Congress as obstructing justice and obstructing their Constitutional role, and hence impeachable in and of itself

          sorry - my original statement probably a bit too terse

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

          by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:02:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To assess a student's knowledge and abilities (2+ / 0-)

            you have to give them tests and assignments

            and while these are not disciplinary tools

            if they refuse to take the tests and do the assignments, then you have no choice but to fail them

            I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

            by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:13:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  well, I honestly don't think that the issue is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rincewind

            totally settled by US v Nixon, although I admit I haven't read the US v Cheney case that I think refines it.  I keep meaning to really do a good analysis of this issue for myself and everyone else here, because I think it engenders a great deal of confusion.  But I definitely think they will raise privilege - there is no doubt about it - and they will litigate it to run out the clock.  They may even push back the law to expand the scope of executive privilege, which is a real risk to inquiry at this time but one that I see no choice but to take on.  Also, even if a court rules that the impeachment inquiry and all parts of it fall squarely within the US v Nixon criminal trial exception, I believe there is a carve-out to the exception for national security matters, which would again end up being litigated and litigated and would be used as a way to run out the clock.

            I will someday, if I ever have more than thirty consecutive minutes to think (I have a 19 months old and the 3 year old and am currently at home with them  every day), I will try to finalize some research on these issues and put together a diary.  Amazing how much more time I had to myself back when I worked 80 hours a week for pay . . .

      •  I've now read your diary... (0+ / 0-)

        and it was balanced and interesting.  However, my point still holds, that a diary that focuses on the potential negative consequences of beginning impeachment hearings, gets minimum support.

        Here at Dkos the window of acceptable discussion gets narrower each day.  While it may be seen as enlarging the Overton window, actually what happens is we create a different window on the world.

        It excludes such unacceptable voices as Nancy Pelosi, who would have to be sworn in to be President if Bush/Cheney were removed.  Yet her opinion is only ridiculed on this site.  

        It is a real problem, my friend, that deserves attention.  There is much at stake, and if we shut down the wider spectrum of conversation, that actually includes the highest elected democrats, our party and our country is in trouble.

        •  in no way have I moved to shut down discussion (0+ / 0-)

          or other voices.  A week ago I argued that we could not have impeachment off the table - if we are not willing to consider it, regardless of how unlikely its success might now seem, then we have not given the administration notice that we take seriously its abuses of the Constitution.  And perhaps the only way to really drive that message home is to start the process of examining if the actions of the administration have violated the constitution sufficiently to warrant removal from office of one or more people.  I have not specified on whom the first of such efforts should focus.   One might argue Gonzales, one might very well argue Cheney.  In the latter case absent access to documents and testimony it is hard to exercise any oversight.  If the VP wants to claim he is not part of the executive for purposes of executive orders then he cannot claim executive privilege.  If he attempts to argue that the impeachment power does not apply to him as he is in part legislative, he needs to be reminded that the impeachment power is phrased such that it clearly applies to all officers of the government beyond the legislature, that he was not sworn in to his office as a member of the legislature.

          I do not think that attempting to make parallels with previous situations is helpful, because this situation is so different, perhaps because so many in this administration were veterans of the Nixon era, of the Ford administration, and/or of the efforts to remove Clinton from office.  

          I listen to the arguments of those who disagree with me.  I do not think you can find me unwilling to engage in civil discussion. I may ignore someone who is on the edge of trolling, as one repeated commentor was on my diary yesterday.  I will be forceful when people misread or deliberately misconstrue what I have posted, as to some degree Armando aka Big Tent Democrat did in a post at TalkLeft.  

          I think it possible to challenge the leaders of the Congress without being confrontational or harassing.  So please do not include me in the broad strokes with which you are painting.  To disagree, even strongly, as I do with Pelosi, is not to ridicule.  I respect her enough to offer her my honest disagreement.

          Peace.

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

          by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 12:29:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Teacherken, (0+ / 0-)

            I attempted to specifically exclude you from those who were shutting down discussion.  And yes, people like Armando, who I just found out is a big "macher" on this set has done to me in the past.

            Nancy Pelosi has articulated a completely different approach to the goal of bringing the democrats to a clear majority in 2009.  She has come to the conclusion that this is best achieved by "taking impeachment off the table"

            While you disagree with this (it's in your tag line) her position deserves a fair hearing.  The closest it got was my diary, and one other today, that got all of three recommends.  That diary
            while not profound, deserved more than 4 tips and 4 recs.  What did get about 8 recs was a comment that called it ignorant and self indulgent.

            I'm glad you are able to get traction on your balanced considered diaries.  And in no way am I accusing you of being narrow, but when the blog goes in that direction, there needs to be a voice for correction.

            Unfortionately, I may be that voice by default.  So when I defend my message it comes off self serving, which is not worth the grief in defending, especially since my message, the approach of Pelosi, or at the least a respectful reading of it, is held in widespread contempt.  But not by you.

    •  Actually, I am for impeachment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah, arodb

      and I do read whatever Teacherken writes because his diaries are very enlightening and educational. However, I am getting burned out and turned off about impeachment diaries too. There is a tendency on this website to jump on the bandwagon. There was the Judy Miller bandwagon, the Valerie Plame outing bandwagon, then the biggest bandwagon of all time, the Joe Lieberman bandwagon. Since impeachment has been a bandwagon from the very beginning of the website, it is now becoming a hallow sound to many who wish impeachment, but are realistic enough to try to focus on other issues. It is not about the pros and cons of impeachment. There are arguments on each side. It's really about preaching to the choir and then preaching the same sermon over and over again until the flock gets bored and falls asleep. As a frequent lurker, there are just so many impeachment diaries and comments I can read.

      •  I see your point about bandwagons (0+ / 0-)

        but Joe Lieberman is still a liar and a man with nothing I recognize as dignity.

        I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

        by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:51:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How many times do people have to hear (4+ / 0-)

          how much someone is hated. I have never been a supporter of Lieberman, but I, and many others got that point a long time ago.

          •  i'm intrigued by what you've written here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueMajority, rincewind

            because it is making me think about the question:

            Are a bunch of people who agree about something that is true on a bandwagon?

            I'm not saying anything you listed as examples of wagon travel are exactly that or wrong, I'm just thinking about the question now

            When it's not true and the agreement is caused more by a negative emotional response to something that denies their opinions rather than fact, clearly wagon riding

            but if it's factually or rationally correct?

            not sure if I'm making any sense

            I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

            by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:17:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I may forget that exhuberance goes with youth (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joy Busey, arodb

              I guess after 72 years, I follow my own drummer. I don't go along with group think, I try to understand all sides of issues, and I stopped hating people after serving in the military and witnessed things I never wanted to see. Many people here think if they yell loud and often enough, the rest of the country will listen to them. Many older people get turned off to loud, repetitive noise, even if that noise speaks the truth.  Some politician in Washington, Harrisburg or Philadelphia today is no different than the 1950s or 1960s. Different faces, same bullshit. Impeachment, Joe Lieberman, Scooter Libby, has as much meaning to me as Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon and Scoop Jackson. In 20 years, there will be other political crises and people to hate. It's the obsession on one issue that really is far fetched that is the problem. An example. For all the obsessive pontificating about how evil Joe Lieberman was on many liberal websites, how successful was all that obsessive banter? He won and still sits in the US Senate. Do you think maybe obsessively loud and repetitive discourse can have the opposite effect of what you wish for?

              •  Hi, tazz. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                teacherken, tazz

                I'm not as old as you, but I do remember Nixon. It was somewhat amazing to me that the "powers that be" could sell the scenario to the public as the result of "a third-rate burglary" when that's not what it really was at all. In fact, by selling it as petty thievery, it allowed a lot of people to oppose the action, and many of Nixon's partners in crime to stay in the game. To the point where we're having to face what's happening now, because they wended their way right back into power in every Republican administration since.

                The lesson that should have been taken from that long-ago exercise of Congressional oversight is that it's patently stupid for an executive to make enemies of his legal overseers, his generals and his spies. For some reason we aren't seeing, Bush-II's antics haven't resulted in the same exercise of control even from behind the scenes. We've no Deep Throat, he got away with trashing the Mid-East anti-proliferation op in CIA without ramifications, and if his generals complain about his war of convenience and disregard of international law, they are simply replaced and fade into invisible retirement.

                We may suppose some power strings have been steadily cut in the years between Nixon and Bush-II in order to allow this "Unitary Executive" wet dream to flourish. If we let it sunset without at least trying to pull the reins, we've no one but ourselves to blame when the piper demands his pay.

                Satan himself had a 33% approval rating even as he was booted out of heaven.

                by Joy Busey on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 07:22:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I was in junior high (9+ / 0-)

      (what is now called "middle school") during the Watergate hearings -- while the misdeeds of the Nixon Administration were pretty widely reported in the press (back in the day when we had real journalists, not just folks who could repeat the latest press release), it wasn't until you had the actual hearings that the full depth of the crimes committed were revealed to the American people. I remember coming home from school and seeing Sam Ervin holding forth on all the networks. With cable news, I don't know if we'd see that sort of gavel-to-gavel coverage today -- the broadcast networks would probably shunt the hearings over to CNN and MSNBC -- but it would still be out there.

      I wasn't in favor of impeachment when the Democrats retook Congress, but I was in favor of full investigations...and I think that what few investigations that have taken place have borne enough bitter fruit to proceed with full hearings. And in those hearings, who knows what else might come out?

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

      by Cali Scribe on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:34:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i remember that too (6+ / 0-)

        Barbara Jordan's eloquent speech during the Nixon impeachment hearings, featuring the quote that rouses my heart as much today and the night she first said it:

        My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

        happened during prime time.  Network TV would NEVER pre-empt evening programming for impeachment hearings today.  They barely pre-empt for presidential speeches (not that the present occupant of the Oval Office deserves it).

        At least people with cable would be able to watch it on C-Span.

        As for the people who are not in favor of impeachment but are in favor of full oversight investigations, an impeachment hearing IS an investigation.  The House Judiciary Committee is charged with determining whether there is enough evidence supporting impeachment to warrant bringing articles of impeachment before a vote of the whole House.  The fact-finding aspect of impeachment hearings, the getting all the wrongdoing on the record, is the reason why the hearings must begin NOW.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
        IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:00:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Corporatization Of Media & Congress (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          teacherken, TrueBlueMajority

          The major media is far more beholden to the corporate bottom line than in the Watergate era.

          Congress, in comparison with the itself  from the Watergate period, is also much more compliant to the wishes of corporate America.

          America is close to becoming an oligarchy, and an oligarchy does not need a democracy to thrive.

          The lack of any instituitional will on the part of congress for impeachment comes from the strong influence of corporate America on our system of government.

          For the CEO's, impeachment is just an unneccesary distraction from more important issues: increasing their profits and power.

          'It's deja vu all over again'-Yogi Berra

          by frandor55 on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:48:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I beg to differ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arodb

      I have been pretty hardcore for impeachment up until recently

      the arguments expressed about impeachment on this site, both for and against, have given me pause and are making me think really hard about whether it is something we as a nation should proceed with

      I can give you a list of reasons why we should, like either Cheney or Bush or both authorizing the Bin Ladin family to leave the US right after Sept 11, and go on and on, but

      I have been thinking about the costs of impeachment, the benefits of impeachment, whether it would accomplish anything, and what it would accomplish

      and I just don't know any more.

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:51:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You make the mistake of treating impeachment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    third Party please

    as a first step.

    As you noted, the power to spend, or to not spend, rests with the House. To reign in the President, they should use that first.

    •  no I don't treat it as a first step (6+ / 0-)

      Congress has already attempted to rein in the administration with laws that the president has ignored through signing statements - does the McCain amendment on torture perhaps ring a bell?  They have played musical chairs with accused terrorists, sufficiently to have infuriated the very conservative Michael Luttig.

      I am all for using the power of the purse and the power of oversight.  But at the same time I think we have reached the point of the amount of information already in the public domain that represents a realpossibility of abuse of office and obstruction of justice.  And the proper way of addressing those specific issues is through a hearing pertaining to the possibility of whether impeachable offenses have taken place.

      I don't propose this in lieu of all other actions.  The other actions should be taken.  But I think we may already be at the point where we need to at least begin the process of examining whether there are grounds for asserting that impeachable offenses have already taken place.

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

      by teacherken on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:31:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like you're asking for more oversight (5+ / 0-)

        If you are, great, I can get behind that. But frankly, if we can't even get 218 votes to defund Iraq after a date certain, formal impeachment hearings are a fool's errand.

        •  not if testimony and production of documents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          andgarden, bonesy

          are exempt from executive privelege

          I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

          by Tamifah on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 05:55:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Fool's errand" (5+ / 0-)

          Perhaps, however these hearings are the only way to get the information.  If they could get any reasonable response from the administration, that would be preferable.  As things stand, the only way to get the truth is by beginning impeachment hearings.  That puts the courts and executive privilege out of the loop.  They must respond.  Whether they are impeached and convicted is almost irrelevant.  WE MUST KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE DONE!  If we don't, we will be operating in the dark, perhaps for generations, because we have no idea the damage they have done.

          •  Shouting notwithstanding, (0+ / 0-)

            I don't really buy the argument.

            I'm not interesting in putting the nation through a fruitless exercise just so you can have your impeachment show.

            •  No one is interested in putting the nation (9+ / 0-)

              through a fruitless exercise.

              What we are interested in is impeachment.  And, as Barbara JordanBarbara Jordan said

              I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution.

              and, more directly on point,

              It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution, for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office.

                The Constitution doesn't say that.  The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of this body, the legislature, against and upon the encroachment of the Executive.  In establishing the division between the two branches of the legislature, the House and the Senate, assigning to the one the right to accuse and to the other the right to judge, the framers of this Constitution were very astute.  They did not make the accusers and the judges the same person.

              •  It is my opinion (0+ / 0-)

                that impeachment without the possibility of conviction is fruitless. Just ask any prosecutor if they would try a case before a jury that would never convict.

                •  This is quite different from a regular trial (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TrueBlueMajority, rincewind

                  The fruits of an impeachment can be huge, even without a conviction.  Ask Richard Nixon.

                  Impeachment hearings would bring a spotlight onto the criminal acts of the current administration.  They would be in the news, on the TV, and everywhere, and would reach people who only read or watch the minimum  of the MSM.  

                  An impeachment is, in some ways, more like a civil trial than a criminal one.  But both civil and criminal trials are often settled out of court.  Here, the settlement might be resignation

                  •  that's right--Nixon was never even impeached (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Joy Busey, plf515

                    and the stain on his reputation will follow him throughout the rest of recorded history.  Bush deserves no less.

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                    IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:25:09 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I'd like some of what you're smoking (0+ / 0-)

                    There's never going to be a resignation because we're never going to get close to a conviction.

                    •  Must be nice to be able to see the future nt (0+ / 0-)
                      •  Ok, let's play this game (0+ / 0-)

                        I think purple martins are going to attack Boston tomorrow. Don't you dare tell me I'm nuts!

                        •  It is quite different to (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          teacherken, Joy Busey

                          talk about physical impossibilities.

                          But 30 years ago, who would have bet that, by 2007:

                          1. The Soviet Union would disband, without a war.
                          1. South African would be a Black majority rule democracy, without a war
                          1. Germany would be re-united, without a war
                          1. One-quarter of the Atlanta police force would be Black

                          and so on?

                          There's a great book called "The Experts Speak" full of pronouncements, by experts, of things that couldn't happen, wouldn't happen, were impossible....  All wrong.

                          It's not a short book

                    •  How on earth do you know????? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      teacherken

                      Your argument is a one-way, catch-22, downhill spiral of defeatism. How can you predict what will happen after a few months of impeachment proceedings? How do you know that someone might squeal or catch Obstruction charges. How can you predict what evidence might be forthcoming? Do you know history? Watergate???

                      Do you know what happens during an impeachment? It is not a situation where all of a sudden one day, everybody in congress votes to remove someone from office. Impeachment is an investigative process which takes considerable time. Witnesses are brought forward, testimony is given, documents and evidence introduced, etc.

                      Once those crimes get revealed, the 16 or so GOP votes in the senate are likely to switch sides - they don't want to be seen supporting BushCo's Crime Syndicate during 08.

                      The success of impeachment proceedings is also largely contingent on public opinion. We may not have the votes for full impeachment today, but who knows what kind of crimes might be exposed; the only way to uncover them is through the impeachment process. BushCo cannot stonewall an impeachment investigation. Look what happened to Nixon.

                      Clinton's impeachment was entirely motivated by trivial political reasons to make a popular Dem president look bad. That's why it was "unsuccessful".

                      In BushCo's case, there are far more important reasons. 70% of Americans are aware of them. Lying us into war, Obstruction of Justice, Signing statements, etc etc etc. It is far more serious, and the press and public knows it.

                      The purpose of impeachment hearings is not ONLY to convict. It is to help uncover the truth. It is to protect the constitution. It is to show that Democrats actually do have spine. It is to cause damage to the GOP.

                      Impeachment is - at the moment - the only way any justice will be meted out to these criminals. It is a win-win for Democrats and the country, regardless of "conviction" or "success". The mere initiation of the impeachment process is a victory in itself, which could lead to spectacular things.

              •  we're all quoting dear Barbara today (0+ / 0-)

                she went a long way toward persuading the nation.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
                IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:24:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  this is exactly Y impeachment hearings must begin (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            teacherken, rincewind, plf515, bonesy, mommyof3

            we start the hearings, we ask for the documents, we ask for the testimony, they refuse to comply, we go to court, and then we find out whether we still have a democracy or not, because one of three things happens:

            (1) the courts tell Bush the exec branch staffers do not have to testify or turn the material over, and all is lost (or we start impeachment hearings against the Roberts Five...)

            (2) the courts tell him the exec branch staffers do have to testify and turn the material over, and they comply, and 6 1/2 years of sh1t hits the fan

            (3) the courts tell him the exec branch staffers do have to testify and turn the material over, and they don't comply, and the ensuing constitutional crisis persuades even the dullest low-attention/low-information redvoter and the densest Rpug congresscritter that this is a president out of control who thinks he is above the law; and even if they would like for Bush to have that much power they act out of fear of what would happen if a future Dem president ever tried to exercise the same unfettered power.

            That's why impeachment hearings must begin NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!  Impeachment summer!

            Barbara Jordan's speech tipped the scales and changed even some republican votes.  Her rhetorical style would not move the public now the way it did then, but there is always a chance that someone of this generation will manage to give a speech that tips the scale in the same way today.

            Isn't there someone now who could do what Jordan did when she quoted Madison here:

            Impeachment criteria: James Madison, from the Virginia ratification convention. "If the President be connected in any suspicious manner with any person and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him, he may be impeached."

            and here:

            James Madison again at the Constitutional Convention: "A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution." The Constitution charges the President with the task of taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, and yet the President has counseled his aides to commit perjury, willfully disregard the secrecy of grand jury proceedings, conceal surreptitious entry, attempt to compromise a federal judge, while publicly displaying his cooperation with the processes of criminal justice.

            and apply it to the Scooter Libby commutation?

            As her speech concludes Jordan says plaintively:

            If the impeachment provision in the Constitution of the United States will not reach the offenses charged here, then perhaps that 18th-century Constitution should be abandoned to a 20th-century paper shredder.

            Either we start impeachment hearings or we sit idly by while BushCo runs the constitution through a 21st century paper shredder.

            Impeach now and impeach Cheney first.

            Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
            IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:23:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  also, besides this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            teacherken

            WE MUST KNOW WHAT THEY HAVE DONE! If we don't, we will be operating in the dark, perhaps for generations, because we have no idea the damage they have done.

            We would be known as agreeing with and condoning the illegal, unconstitutional actions of this administration.

            *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

            by bonesy on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 07:51:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Tools (5+ / 0-)

    The Founders gave us all kinds of tools to take care of our government.  Impeachment is regarded by so many as an "all or nothing" proposition, when it is more of a tool to find answers.  It is the only way to assure that we get all the information we need to make an informed judgment: has the administration done its job well and within the law?  If using that tool is a "waste of time" then we might as well just stop fighting this take-over and shut up.

    Thanks, teacherken!  By relating your thoughts to teaching, you are speaking to me.  I can picture myself in your classroom as a student.  I wish I were as good a teacher as you evidently are!

  •  oversight is a responsibility not an option (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Dem, mommyof3

    The penchant of this administration to run business from behind the curtain of secrecy has been allowed for too long. Impeachment hearings are the only way to proceed without allowing Bush/Cheney to stonewall and run out the clock.
    Let's find out what has happened and have the congress step up and be counted.

  •  Given the level of thought, rhetoric, and (7+ / 0-)

    analysis on dailyKos (especially in some of the best diarists' work) and in Congress, I would say they fit more in the role of your students.  

    Most members of Congress could learn a lot from reading diaries by many of the people here.

  •  Impeach. A pleasure to read and recommend. (5+ / 0-)

    We need to return to normal standards of behavior and accountability.

    Only impeachment will get us there.

    The accused must judged fairly and punished if the facts warrant punished.

    Recc'd.

  •  like school,people/congress need tbe on same page (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, mommyof3

    often people are talking issues and congress is talking strategy,we talk justice they talk "legalese",the people ask questions,congress thinks we 'just wouldnt understand".

    have we hit bottom yet?

    by eddienic on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:32:55 AM PDT

  •  Love the analogy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken, mommyof3

    The last line of your diary sent chills through my body. It is time to start impeachment hearings, I couldn't agree more. Thanks for this great piece of work. By the way, it makes me proud and happy to see a teacher care so very much for their students. That kind of dedication is rare and wonderful!

    No Retreat Baby, No Surrender

    by WI Dem on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 06:44:53 AM PDT

  •  impeach (0+ / 0-)

    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached
        My Senators, my Congressman and the shrub as well...they have been and will continue to get this massage from me. For utter contempt for the rule of law and for complete abdication of the oath of office to protect the Constitution of the United States Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheny must resign or be impeached.
    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached
    resign or be impeached

  •  Great diary, teacherken. (5+ / 0-)

    At this point, impeachment isn't just or even primarily about Bush failing a high-stakes exam, so to speak.  It's hardly about Bush at all.  It's about restoring our democracy.

    Bush has "deserved" impeachment for quite some time (most of his presidency), and the "rubber stamp" Republican Congress was of course negligent in its oversight of him.  But at this time, his Administration's "high crimes" have grown to such a scale that they threaten to permanently alter our structure of government.

    At this time, Bush needs to be impeached as a symbolic exercise -- as a broad repudiation of his theory of government.  It would be nice to see him humiliated; it would be nice to see him in jail; it would be nice to see him unhappy.  All those things would be very nice and consistent with Congress doing its duty with respect to oversight.  It's nice to see a terrible person get a taste of what he deserves.  But what Congress owes to the American people is far more profound than what happens to the Commander Guy, who in the natural course of events is likely to vanish into obscurity in a couple of years (I don't think he's thinktank material, nor would any business really want him at its helm): a wholesale repudiation of the past 6 years' pattern of signing statements that purport (ineffectually) to give the executive authority to violate the law, refusal to cooperate with oversight, gutting our military, abuses of the First Amendment's separation of Church and State, human rights abuses, and (most recently) using bona fide Constitutional prerogatives for illegal purposes (obstruction of an investigation in which Bush himself was likely to be implicated).  Without impeachment, the next president, assuming Bush ever leaves, may assume an office which is unrecognizable as the presidency under our Constitutional system.

  •  We can walk and chew gum at the same time (4+ / 0-)

     What that means simply, is we can do oversight, investigations, campaign for President and push against tyranny up to and including impeachment.

    The taking down of liar and perjurer Gonzalez must come first. The politicization of the DOJ was designed to help the republicans loyal to the Bush cabal in elections past and coming up.

     Now, the installation of some very partisan judges is problematic but not impossible to overcome. The idea that this is mainly played out in the courts is a meme the CheneyBush enablers like Cornyn, Coburn, Domenici  and others push.

     A problem the Democrats must stop  making for themselves is the idea that investigations including impeachment "harms" the political ambitions of certain Presidential candidates.  
     
     OBama, Edwards, Richardson, Clinton, Dodd, and others must say not only will they support the Democratic nominee whoever he or she is, but their duty also as American political leaders means supporting the right and duty to preserve the Constitution including one or more vital impeachment inquiries.

     Impeachment going on doesn't distract or diminish  a Presidential campaign, it illuminates and contrasts the quality of those involved constructively or those made uncomfortable by it.

      Many Americans will re appraise these candidates in the light of "are they worthy? will they become like these investigated?" assuming there is plenty of  revelations to justify this process.

     I believe it will happen, and at a time  when it is inevitable.  Again it is a political process, no question, but choosing a judicious time is not the same as avoiding it for the sake of "playing safe".

    There is not going to be a quick or even a slow withdrawal from the Iraq debacle while Bush and Cheney are in charge. Even if there is a vote to defund or set a deadline, the veto or failing the 1/3 blocking in the Senate, a ginned up expansion of war within Iran is coming as an act of hubris and defiance.

    One more atrocity to show citizens who is boss.

     Impeachment is the  peaceful remedy to save the Republic.

    America has been stolen, your citizenship is a hollow fraud, and you have no power. What will you do to reverse it?

    by Pete Rock on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 07:05:38 AM PDT

  •  Congress's job is to set the boundaries, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teacherken

    Not to do their job, would be compared to a parent not setting the boundaries all children need. Bush is the child, Congress is the Parent. Bush is pushing back, Congress has got to push back harder.

    It is time to initiate impeachment hearings.

    I never met a teacher I did not respect. Thankyou teacherken. Superb writing.Recommend.

    *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

    by bonesy on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 07:39:14 AM PDT

  •  Standards and Accountability (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    These are the people who brought the Texas model of education to our nation, insisting that the problem with public education was that there were low standards and little accountability.  Teachers and administrators are now subject to an ever-expanding world of paperwork, testing regimens and working with hammers hanging over our heads.

    But where is the accountability with this adminsitration?  Who is holding them responsible for their actions?  Do they have any standards?  Where is the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) in Iraq and everywhere else?  

    Clearly, this is an "underperforming" adminstration and it's time to reassign the principal, adminstrators, and faculty and put the school in other hands.

    Visit my occasional dailykos diaries on "Teaching in Texas."

    by evanindallas on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 08:08:18 AM PDT

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      I get so tired of watching great teachers so swamped with paperwork that they just quit to get a job that's sane.  This is one more thing for which we will pay dearly in the future.  Imagine classrooms with 60 kids in them because there are no teachers...  This is not hyperbole.  I see it coming all around me.

  •  Thoughtfully thoughtful (0+ / 0-)

    A little O.T., I'll look forward to your take on Obama's position on merit pay.

    We must defeat them over there, or they'll follow us home ... hide under our beds ... and grab us by the ankles when we get up to pee.

    by RonK Seattle on Fri Jul 06, 2007 at 12:22:01 PM PDT

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