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Hat-tip to AntKat for the heads-up on Moyers’ important show tonight. It was a pleasure to watch. It was on my favorite topic: Impeachment.

I am a proud and avid consumer and producer of impeachment porn. Hey, the law can feel good too when it throbs with the beat of true justice; it doesn’t always need to manifest in blows, bullets, or bars! Like many here, I’ve been wondering how to actualize the justice of impeachment, how to materialize the dream of the right thing to do.

And when I heard Bruce Fein say this, I was finally really convinced that impeachment truly is a bipartisan issue that can appeal to people across the political spectrum, from end to end. Impeachment is spinnable for all, and winnable for all, from the early adopter types to the slow pokiest:

We do not want Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Rudy Giuliani or John Edwards to have that power. We need to impeach.

Yes, yes, impeachment is a bipartisan issue, and its time has come.

I loved it when John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT, said:

Nancy Pelosi is wrong. She needs to change course now.

Let’s start to use the I word. They wanted us to know this word and they wanted us to use it.

Well, whether Nancy and the rest of the "realists" realize, impeachment is back on the table. It is being mentioned in the corporate media more and more. It is becoming "safe" to bring up impeachment. So let’s make it cool, and then let’s make it inevitable. Things can snowball very quickly.

Right now it’s Democratic pundits who are making the case for impeachment on the shows and in the press. We need to pressure our congresspeople to begin to risk the word. They are still politically scared of impeachment, but they can feel its rumbling, and cannot rule it out absolutely. Even today, here at dK, Senator Feingold seemed to caution against it, without definitively ruling it out.

Encourage your Democratic congresscritters to support beginning impeachment proceedings, or at least to begin discussing the possibility openly.

Dems shouldn’t make it about Bush when they go on the shows. They shouldn't even mention his name. They should make it about the presidency. They should echo Fein’s frame:

We do not think any President should have the power that this administration has grabbed, whether Democrat or Republican. We need to hold this administration accountable, and because it is stubbornly asserting absolute power and obstructing justice, we have no choice but to impeach. It's a matter of the presidency and the rule of law, not of partisanship.

This will "increase" the rationality of impeachment by stripping it of a partisan cast. And it will activate the fear of the Rs.

This is how we can make impeachment palatable even to Rs.

We know that Rs are more likely to be attracted to authoritarian types; that they are more likely to have the stimulation of their amygdalas overcome the tempering force of reason. In short, they respond to the politics of fear.

Well, let’s scare them. Even Shrub’s most rabid supporters are already running scared that they’re going to lose big in ’08 due to Bush’s abysmal approval ratings. They must be sweating bullets about Congress gaining an even bigger Democratic majority and a Democratic President being able to make some key SCOTUS picks.

They are terrified of a Democratic President. So let’s scare them with the image of a Democratic president all souped up on the power of the Unitary Executive. If you know any 28%ers (like my dear old dad), scare ‘em with this. I'm going to try it tomorrow.

The Democrats are going to spy on you! They’re going to read your mail! They can do whatever they want! They are going to refuse subpoenas! I know you like Bush, but do you want Hillary listening to your phone calls, and snooping in all your business?

Or you could go undercover when you're in a red zone and then slip a little "I" in. (This is not recommended for the faint-hearted.):

Hey, y’all, <this part hurts to write, but I am doing it for the sake of my so-called "style"> Bush is a great and noble president and history will remember him as the man who brought democracy to Iraq. He may have bent the rules, but he was tough and we could trust him to kick ass for America. But we can’t trust the Dems, and they’re probably gonna win. If we don’t do somthing now, probably Hillary Clinton is going to spy on you. She could break into your house and seize your property. She could hold you without charge. Lots of people are starting to talk about impeachment. I mean, Bush has only got a little while left anyway. I sure don’t want that Hillary or Obama spying on me.

Save the presidency from dictatorship. Impeach Bush.

Frankly, it scares me too. I don’t want any President to have these powers.

In fact, if I had the chance to ask the Democratic presidential candidates one question, it would be:

Do you believe the President has unconstitutionally consolidated Executive authority and if so, what specific legislation to you propose to rebalance presidential power?

Oh, maybe I will have that chance at Yearly Kos!

Impeachment: spin it however you need to. Since it is the just and right thing to do, you will find some angle from which it makes sense to everyone. Even in the red zone. Come early or come late, but come all.

Originally posted to srkp23 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know... (14+ / 0-) good Larry Flynt is at impeachment porn, but I am stone in LOVE with Bill Moyers!  He handled the two guests masterfully, and he brought out so well about the difference between Impeachment as Politics and Impeachment as Protecting the Constitution.
     Bill Moyers has replaced Patrick Leahy and Henry Waxman as my new sex symbol...

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 07:48:50 PM PDT

  •  Good job - Recommended! (4+ / 0-)

    You came up with a good way to take the partisanship out of the Impeachment process, which will be needed to get the 67 votes in the Senate to oust the Chump in Chief and Darth Cheney.

  •  Anyone doubting the political appeal (6+ / 0-)

    of impeachment should read (and share) Kenevan McConnon's currently rec-listed gun shop diary or the new AP/Ipsos on why America hates Congress so much--because they hate Bush:

    "The Republicans are just stonewalling everything, and the Democrats are just not stepping up and making them do what they need to do, especially about Iraq," said Lambirth, a Democrat. "They need to make our troops get out of Iraq."

    While the public's approval of Congress has dropped 11 points since May, the percentage of Democrats who are turning up their noses at Congress — like Lambirth — nearly doubled. Among Republicans, though, not so much.

    Approval among Democrats fell 21 points, from 48 percent in May to 27 percent.

    It remained low among Republicans, at 20 percent, and has not changed significantly in the past two months.

    Or, just to ice the cake, check out what Rasmussen found out about the public's view of "Executive Privilege" and the Congress:

    When invoking Executive Privilege, just 30% believe the White House is truly interested in trying to protect the confidential nature of advice given the President. Forty-five percent (45%) believe the Bush Administration is trying to prevent Congress from learning information. On both questions, Republicans and Democrats line up with their team, but those not affiliated with either major party tend to side with the Democrats.
    . . .
    Fifty-five percent (55%) of Democrats say that there have not been enough investigations. Forty-eight percent (48%) of those not affiliated with either major party agree. Only 13% of Republicans hold that view.

    Forget the punditry.  America gets it.  Time to move, people!

    Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air. New! Listen to crap at

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:07:09 PM PDT

  •  There's a difference between (3+ / 0-)

    talking about impeachment and producing impeachment porn.  Just so you know...

    Anyway, one thing I've been thinking is, there should be a focus on the public discourse.  It's not just Congress, it's the fact that the traditional media won't take impeachment seriously.  While I'm not yet on board with Congress needing to impeach, I do think it's absurd that with few exceptions the media is not talking about it as a legitimate option.

    •  It's cracking the media barrier, I think. (4+ / 0-)

      It gets brought up, even if momentarily (or derisively still), on almost every show now. The more it is mentioned, eventually the more seriously it will be discussed. I wonder if it will be brought up this Sunday, even if still marginally. I think it's gathering momentum ... and not just cuz I have the impeachment jones!

      Anywho, I do agree with your comment, and that's why I do my impeachment stickering and talk to everyone I know, however I can, about impeachment. Bit by bit it enters the public discourse.

      P.S. I'm not sure if this diary was soft-core or erotica or just plain "not tonight I have a headache" ... ;)

    •  oh, i have to ask (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srkp23, On The Bus, nonnie9999, joyful

      what would turn the corner for you? What does Bush have to do or fail to do to convince you that we should at least hold oversight hearings on potential criminal obstruction of justice by bush gang and, if he fails to cooperate by hiding under the skirt of an overbroad executive privilege, then we either use inherent contempt powers or move to impeachment?

      •  It just seems that eventually (4+ / 0-)

        even for the most pragmatic or procedurally-minded congresscritters, it will eventually come to impeachment. As Bush defies and defies and defies, raising the stakes, eventually the next step in the process is going to be impeachment.

        •  nixon is so instructive here (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          srkp23, On The Bus, nonnie9999

          if bush continues to assert executive privilege pumped on steroids that is devoid of reality and law, then congress can use its inherent contempt powers, or pursue other remedies, like injunctive or declaratory relief under statutory criminal contempt, or just follow the Nixon precedent of adding an article of impeachment for contempt of congress for failure to comply with subpoenas.

      •  I'm all about (4+ / 0-)

        oversight hearings and either inherent contempt or regular contempt (which I don't think is as much of a loser as Kagro thinks it is) on some key players.  No question.  

        Basically, I think Dems in Congress should be taking strong steps forward.  And my reason for hesitating about moving on impeachment is not about, or not mostly about, Dems losing elections.  It's about if we lose that, does it get spun as a vindication of everything he's done?  What's the best way to repudiate him?  And I think that repudiation is an open question.

        (I should admit I started drinking wine on a somewhat empty stomach tonight so if I'm not totally coherent...)

        •  sweet! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          srkp23, nonnie9999

          (while you pour yourself another glass of wine) so you would approve this approach of congress using oversight powers to conduct criminal investigation?

          the problem with statutory criminal contempt is who will implement it? Do you think US attorneys would comply with their mandatory duty to proceed with grand jury action even though OLC says don't need to? If not, how does congress enforce the statute? There are certain remedies, like a new law to permit Congress to hire special counsel to enforce in lieu of US attorney, but would goppies prevent passage of that law? There is the potential of dems filing for injunctive and/or declaratory relief, but of course that takes time. Or, they could follow Nixon precedent of filing an article of impeachment for failure to comply with subpoena.

          What other remedy could be used to obtain criminal statutory contempt?

          •  You're trying to get me confused (3+ / 0-)

            at a time when I'm already confused by, like, the episode of Roseanne I'm watching.

            I think there's important public relations benefit to be gained by statutory contempt not being prosecuted by the US attorney.  It's funny, I'd sort of written statutory contempt off as an option because of Kagro's writing, and then I talked through all the options with my parents, who are wicked smart and way to the left of most people at this site, and they were like "why aren't you thinking about the benefits of this option????"  If a key issue we want highlighted publicly is the politicization of the Justice Dept and they refuse to prosecute a contempt charge?  That's got potential!

            Anyway, for me it's all very moment to moment, as far as what will produce the best results, and best results broadly framed.

            •  That's true about statutory contempt (3+ / 0-)

              But if it can be "good publicity" it's only because people are already at the point where they understand that BushCo are liars, obstructionists, and cover-uppers. I really don't think there's a way that impeachment will backfire at this point... and moment to moment it will gather steam. Let's see how many Rs are going to stand by their man when push comes to shove!

              •  what's the worse that could happen? (5+ / 0-)

                like you say, srkpy, the people know that chimpy and co are a bunch of crooked thugs. it's like the oj simpson case. not only does almost everyone believe that oj was guilty (and the ones that don't believe it would not have believed it if he had been found guilty either), but the jury members were made to look like the fools they were. the same thing will happen if impeachment fails. everyone (except the koolaiders) will still know that chimpy & co were guilty, and the rethugs who vote against impeachment will be as vilified as the members of the oj jury (especially those who had hard-ons when they voted to impeach clinton). whatever the outcome, all the rethug crimes will be out in the open for all to see. people will be able to witness exactly what the rethugs in congress were rubber-stamping all those years. i don't see a downsize.
                oooh!! i feel all porny!!!

                I didn't get Jack from Abramoff...I'm not a Republican!

                by nonnie9999 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:19:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  can do both (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              congress can use inherent contempt (which is civil) against rove or other official who refuses to testify or produce documents and also statutory contempt (which is criminal) against rove.

              If the US attorneys refuse to prosecute, your parents are right that it would make the case for politicization. But, then what? Do we just take satisfaction that some more Americans now see this fact? Or, do we seek some remedy to address the problem of Bush's continual abuse of power in this case?

        •  I see. And given that you have already indulged (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in one of the supposed no-nos - namely, in effect quoting from email of mine - I'd quite like to know whether there are any professional constraints on your behavior at all.

          It is true I behaved hadly, but at least not in an officially public forum with respect to you.  I'm genuinely concerned about whether your behavior in public does respect any standards.  

          I take it so far that what BarbinMD said doesn't apply to FPers (not that many of us thought it did).

          Hmmmmm.  Wonder if this email has much of a chance to survive once the gang catches on.

          "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Plato

          by JPete on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:56:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bush might welcome impeachment (0+ / 0-)

     As much as I believe that most of the present administration deserves to be impeached, sent to  the Hague for war crimes trials and imprisoned for life, the political calculus dictates allowing this infected wound to fester before being lanced next year.  The Harpies in the rightwing noise machine as well as the Monica Goodlings who truly believe Bush was sent here by god to hasten Armageddon have just enough sway to thwart and disrupt any meaningful accountability. The risk of the Republican controlled Media to reframe the debate and legal proceedings to their advantage in 2008 is far too great.  All we can do is what we are doing exposing the blatant hypocrisy, corruption, racism, and outright criminal conduct to full view of the American people. It is as painful for me to wait as for you, but it must be done for us to eventually prevail.

    The only oil we want from the Middle East will be for the transmissions in our electric cars.

    by OldPerlGeek on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 08:18:26 PM PDT

  •  I know that on this blog this is (0+ / 0-)

    counterrevolutionary, but I still think
    that politically this could be a disaster
    for us. Bush and Cheney are withering on the
    vine and an impeachment, like a Supreme Court
    appointment fight, could reconstitute the
    conservative agenda and movement. Again, I know
    I'm a lone voice, but let them dry up and blow
    away. Keeping Bush in there will sink them all.
    Also, an impeachment could have unintended
    consequences that could bite us on the ass.
    Just my humble opinion.

    •  Well Intentioned Folks can Disagree (3+ / 0-)

      And we certainly disagree!

      There's so much damagaing evidence, so much scandal, so many crimes committed by BushCo that the chances are very small that would somehow all turn againt the Democrats.

      People are pissed as hell about the war and all the people dying in it. A scrupulous investigation into the war alone would gain nation-wide support.

      I respect your opinion, but I think it's playing it a little too safe, imo.

      Repucks are on the ropes: instead of playing it safe, it's time to go for the kill. (they would)

      I Love the Smell of Impeachment in the Morning.

      by BentLiberal on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:44:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being Bitten in the Ass (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srkp23, BentLiberal, MyBrainWorks

      I recognize the dangers an impeachment might bring, but the dangers that this administration poses are, imo, much much greater.  I am scared to death that they might orchestrate another terror event, invade Iran, rekindle the arms race, or whatever.  Let's impeach the SOB's before any of these potential tragedies - or one that we cannot even imagine - are allowed to occur.

      On the bright side, I think our country is ready to move so let's get going.

      •  We need to tie these guys up... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        srkp23, gobigblue

        before they do more damage, and impeachment would do that.  A little hard to imagine Cheney/Bush ordering the bombing of Iraq when they are busy defending themselves in a Senate impeachment trial.  

        Right now, with no impeachment procedings going on, Bush and Cheney feel they can continue to do as they please--a dangerous situation indeed.  Impeachment is the only defense we have against this administration that would really work.

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