There have been a significant number of diaries lately about impeachment. These touch on many angles, including some great "action" posts by buhdydharma or Meteor Blades, some tactical ones (like those by Major Danby, Booman and one earlier today by Delaware Dem) and a great many rants.
However, I don’t want to argue the merits of impeachment, nor do I want to argue the reasons or the avenues to pursue. I want to take a bit of a different approach – one that I have seen touched on by Hunter as well as thereisnospoon, but one that I felt needed to be flushed out a bit more. I’ll start by saying that all of these diaries I note above, as well as some others are excellent, and we certainly are a motivated bunch in terms of pressuring Speaker Pelosi, the House Judiciary Committee Members and other members of Congress.
Sadly, while vocal and motivated, we are not a large crew in terms of size, but we can use this forum and motivation to a great benefit at times. What I mean here, and what is imperative is that there must be more than just us (and I mean "us" in a broad manner) banging the drums and talking about impeachment. We need this to be out in the public discourse – to have people that already want Bush, Cheney, Gonzales or whomever else out of office to talk openly about the need for impeachment
So, how do we do this? Well, it is simple. The republicans are very good at one thing (and I don’t mean crime or corruption) – a . For us to move "impeachment" into the public discourse (more than just freeway blogging and "the angry left"), we need a clear and concise reason. Luckily, there is one - Obstruction of Justice.
This is so simple for the average American to understand. With approval ratings hovering around 26%, Bush "leads the pack" (over Cheney and Gonzales, of course). I have been starting to hear people say that "people are starting to use the "I word" lately" – and this comes from people who only somewhat follow what is going on. I believe that Hunter said it in his front page post the other day when he indicated that Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence amounted to obstruction of justice on Bush’s part.
That is the line to use. Whenever referring to this "phase" of the Libby/Plame matter, it should be referred to as an act that was done in order to obstruct justice.. Libby obstructed justice. Bush rendered his punishment moot in order to continue that obstruction. Cheney obstructed justice throughout the entire Plame outing process. Gonzales obstructed justice with respect to his lies under oath before Congress. Carol Lam was fired so that the Bush administration could obstruct justice with respect to her prosecutions of other republican Congressmen.
See how easy it is? It is very easy and it all boils down to three simple words. If the republicans or those who would argue against impeachment want to defend the obstruction of justice, let them.
The failure to respond to Congressional subpoenas is obstructing an investigation and therefore is obstructing justice. If Congress, as Senator Leahy indicates, will pursue Contempt of Congress charges, and if Gonzales (in his capacity as Attorney General) won’t cooperate with the prosecution of these charges, then he is obstructing justice. Bush already admitted that parts of the NSA spying program were illegal. Or, at least he admitted to doing something that was illegal but he had the right to do so. Congress wants information on this – if he won’t provide information into a potentially criminal investigation, then he is obstructing justice.
There are so many other examples of this – even since January. Even if the prior acts won’t result in impeachment charges, covering up the prior acts will amount to obstructing justice. Let the "law and order party" defend obstructing justice. After all, when they talked about the illegal spying by saying "if you don’t have anything to hide, then who cares" - this should apply now as well. "Missing" emails? "Lost" documents? All the same.
It is clear that the administration’s tactic is to drag things out in the hopes that either the public will forget it or that they can run out the clock. Current acts warrant impeachment. The public needs to get behind us. They also write LTEs, OpEds in local papers, call into radio and TV shows. .
The public understood obstruction of justice with Nixon. And here is an excellent tie in (as a special bonus) to Fred Thompson – as pointed out by litigatormom yesterday, he was a mole for the Nixon White House with respect to the Watergate investigation. Does this country want a President who helped to obstruct justice?
This is what the Bush administration does. They lie, they steal, they do whatever they want to. And then whenever it comes time for accountability, they obstruct justice. We know this. We don’t need the public to be confused with the ins and outs of why unless someone is interested in learning more.
But for purposes of convincing the public why we need to impeach now and just as importantly, that Bush, Cheney, Gonzales and other members of the administration are STILL committing impeachable acts now (as opposed to just what was done in the past) - it needs to come in a simple but powerful message.
Those words should be a substantial part of our everyday vocabulary from here on out. The public can understand this. The public can get behind this.