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If, like me, you believe Attorney General Gonzalez, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush have all committed high crimes and *cough!* felonies  *cough!* but fear that removing these criminals from office would be a distraction at best and a nightmare for Democrats at worst, here I offer one possible way this could happen successfully. But you're going to have to stand with a few Republicans to make it work. Just like we did during Watergate when Nixon got the boot and Vice-President Ford was handed the Reigns.

Below the fold: how it is Republicans who will decide the success of impeachment and removal. Thus, if you want to impeach, you're going to have to make a few friends in the GOP. One in particular, John McCain, would appear to have most reason for revenge against the Bushies. But feel free to imagine this scenario with any of your most palatable Republicans.

"But ... but ... but ... this is a Democratic Blog!!!" I hear you scream.

Well, sorry. As much as it sucks, the Democrats lack a supermajority to force the issue. And further, doing so would only incite yet more partisanship warfare at a time when national unity is critical to success.

There is ample evidence to impeach on the grounds of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Commit Obstruction of Justice. These men are criminals. And if they are let off without sanction, we will set a precedent for lawlessness in the executive that threatens the very foundations of our republic. Thus, seeing Justice done is far more important than Democratic partisanship. Or Republican partisanship. Equal justice is mandatory for the functioning of our constitutional republic. Partisanship wins, less so.

Here is one possibility for how a successful change in leadership might occur. We need seventeen Republican senators and only a few (if any) congresspersons:

  • Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid arrange a little meeting with John McCain. They offer him an interim presidency to support impeachment and removal for Gonzales, Cheney, and Bush. McCain may be willing to do this because - I suspect - he is still a little pissed with the Bushies for insulting him, his wife, and his adopted children during the 2000 primaries.
  • John McCain has a good deal of political clout with Republican Senators. He arranges a little backroom brokering behind closed doors with Republicans and gets the necessary seventeen.
  • Nancy Pelosi places in three parallel articles of impeachment against Attorney General Gonzalez, Vice President Cheney, and President Bush. She next immediately steps down as Speaker of the House temporarily. John McCain is handed the Speakership duties pro-tempe. Note that the role of Speaker of the House can be assigned to any citizen, regardless of House membership.
  • The new Speaker places articles of impeachment on the agenda and stifles all debate, instead forcing a voice vote to immediately Impeach all three. Without a roll call, votes are not recorded - so Republicans aren't on the record.
  • Senate immediately takes up the trial and convicts on the same day.
  • John McCain is sworn into office as President of the United States. He chooses a vice president of his liking.
  • Nancy Pelosi returns as Speaker of the House.
  • Bad news: John McCain - like Gerald Ford - will have the opportunity to pardon. *shrug* I'm not a vindictive prick, I just want these assholes out of office. Fine.
  • '08: we fight it out on the election battlefield, just like every other presidential election year.

No debates. No bullshit. No media storm before it happens. Just walk in, do the deed, and get the fuck off the house and senate floor in one day flat. Don't let them prepare. Don't give the Bushies one inkling of the shitstorm coming their way. Do it all backroom and then stick the knife in once you've got the votes. Gonzales, Bush, and Cheney would be then out of office without recourse. Plus, the Democrats would have not used impeachment for partisan gain. So at least a minority of Republicans would have cause to support the action. Certainly McCain, who I think would consider this fair turnabout.

Everybody wins. Except for Gonzales, Cheney and Bush. Who get what they deserve.

[EDIT]: A hat tip to Bill White, who proposed much the same plan over in this discussion at

Originally posted to maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:41 PM PDT.


President McCain?

44%57 votes
45%59 votes
10%13 votes

| 129 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Gosh, are you a lawyer ? Just kidding. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les, Mighty Ike, Shahryar

    To rely on McCain is not gonna happen. Remember him hugging George like a child to show his submission to Bush for the Right Wing ? He is the most dangerous man in Congress. He's another Bush

    lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    by cabinetman1 on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:39:13 PM PDT

    •  No. I'm just VERY pissed off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tuba Les, Mighty Ike, bricoleur

      I disagree with McCain. John sucked up to Bush in order to win base support for his primary race. Which is in tatters. The Dems would be offering him the prize he's always wanted. And the price... oh, the price is sweet delicious revenge against the man who really hurt his family in North Carolina.

      No... I think he'd like this idea.

      Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

      by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:42:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not only that but McCain is sort of running for (0+ / 0-)

        President and hardly moderate. I would offer the Republicans who risk not being returned to Congress a deal. We impeach and convict, you keep your jobs in 08.

        We aren't going to destroy the Republic by enforcing the Constitution, we destroy it by inaction, by being fearful of the consequences.

        by ghengismom on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:32:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, I chose McCain 'cause he has an axe to grind (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          with the Bushies. But feel free to offer alternatives. My goal is to push the Bushies out, not promote one Republican over another for the role of Interim President.

          And, of course, you wouldn't see me voting for McCain come '08. But I'll cheer him on as Interim President in '07. Heh.

          Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

          by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:39:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I voted Cannot Accept, for one reason. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SkiBumLee, Tuba Les, martini, CA Nana, Shahryar

    "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Iran"

    If he hadn't said that, I'd agree.

    We are all criminals until we restore Habeas Corpus, empty secret gulags, end torture and illegal wiretaps. (-2.25, -2.56)

    by EclecticFloridian on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:42:05 PM PDT

  •  wrong chamber (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy Pelosi places in articles of impeachment and immediately resigns her post as Speaker of the House. John McCain is handed those duties pro-tempe.

    How does a Senator become speaker of the House? I think any speaker of the House will have to be a member of the House.

    BTW, I am ignoring the "Is McCain better than Bush?" issue, because I think it's irrelevant. Impeachment should never be a way to simply get a better president. It's important because it's the only way to hold a president accountable.

    •  Actually, I believe it's possible (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, bricoleur

      Before assuming the office of the Vice Presidency, Gerald Ford was a congressman from Michigan. While I realize McCain is a Senator, and Speaker of the House is a congressional appointment - there's a way to make this happen. See:

      Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

      by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:51:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  very interesting ideas.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maynard, deepeco, bricoleur

        You've got a very interesting proposal there.  

        I don't think these impeachments could be done in a single day or otherwise "quickly," because someone is going to try to throw monkey wrenches into the mix.   We have to plan for this taking longer.  

        I also think that going after Cheney alone, at least to begin with, is a viable procedure.  Replace Cheney with McCain: no need for Pelosi to give up her spot or do any other vulnerable maneuvers.  

        Then we can go after Bush and end up with Interim President McCain.  Who in turn can appoint the VP of his choosing subject to Congressional approval.  

        I believe that McCain would probably do OK as an Interim President.  I don't think the guy is a power-hungry creepy creep of the type we are presently enduring.  I don't have to agree with him on everything or even anything; the key point is that he at least respects the law and he won't attempt to prevent the election next year.  Unlike the present Decidership.  And that is a most important distinction.

        •  All you need is a supermajority in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And those monkey wrenches stop nothing. The House... well, perhaps it's time for the Majority Leader and the Speaker to end debate and call an immediate voice vote.

          BAM! Three folks just lost their jobs.

          Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

          by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:55:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  that needs Bush's cooperation (0+ / 0-)

          Congress can't choose a new VP of its liking. If Cheney is impeached, Bush nominates his successor -- the Senate then needs to ratify the nominee. If this is part of a grand scheme to make Bush impeachable, there's no way he's going along with it.

          •  No. Think parallel articles of impeachment (0+ / 0-)

            Impeach and convict all three at once across a single day. In the House, start with Gonzalez, move to Cheney, then finally end with Bush. Once the articles are passed, they are handed to the Senate for an up or down vote on convicting all three at once.

            Cheney never winds up as President. And the Presidency would then fall to the Speaker of the House. Who, in this scenario happens to be John McCain as Speaker pro-tempe. But it could be any Republican who wanted to become interim president and could arrange the seventeen-eighteen senate votes necessary for a supermajority.

            Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

            by maynard on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:19:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  reread G2geek's post (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I was responding to G2geek's suggestion to "Replace Cheney with McCain: no need for Pelosi to give up her spot or do any other vulnerable maneuvers." That's the plan that would require Bush's cooperation.

              My earlier post in this thread was in response to the diarist's proposal.

    •  Actually, House Speaker does not have to be a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maynard, MGK, bricoleur

      member of the House of Representatives. He or she can be a private citizen; it's at the discretion of the House who they choose as speaker. Of course, every speaker in American history has been a member.

      This fact briefly got attention 10 years ago, when Newt was facing ethics problems. Some suggested he temporarily step down in favor of an interim speaker. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) suggested Bob Dole. Of course, Newt did not temporarily step down and the issue was soon forgotten.

      However, I doubt that the House could select a sitting Senator as speaker. That would likely be a conflict of interest, although I don't know if it's explicitly spelled out anywhere.

      Much less cumbersome for the schema the diarist has suggested would be simply for Robert Byrd to temporarily step down as President Pro-Tem and for the Senate to replace him with McCain. Then, when Bush and Cheney are impeached, Pelosi could refuse the Presidency and it would fall to McCain.

      But it doesn't really matter because this whole diary is the most bizarre posting I have seen on Kos (and that says a lot). If something like this actually happened, I would buy everyone who posts on this thread a Porsche. :-)

  •  You should space out your Daily Kos'ing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from your Fantasy Football.  I think they're starting to overlap.

  •  Nice Fantasy (0+ / 0-)

    I worry about "done deals". We have a process, and that would abuse it. Also offering a quid pro quo stinks in my book. But then, so does Bush. But just because Bush wouldn't hesitate to do something underhanded to eliminate his opponants, doesn't mean we should.

    "Vice President Cheney is expanding the administration's policy on torture to include tortured logic" Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL

    by Tuba Les on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 01:46:55 PM PDT

  •  Please pass it my way (0+ / 0-)

    I definitely want some of what you're smoking!

  •  McCain is No Barry Goldwater (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MGK, nitetalker, ghengismom, CA Nana

    Hello, I am one of the people running a legal recall effort (Arizona Revised Statutes: 19-221-222-223)against John McCain and Jon Kyl in the state of Arizona.  Many of us here in Arizona know that John McCain along with his other rubber stamp friend Jon Kyl are doing much of the bidding for their buddy King George.  You, trying to make a deal with ol' bloody John McCain is like trying to cut a deal with Heinrich Himmler to assassinate Hitler.  Forget it, it won't happen, Maybe a general Rommel but John McCain is no Rommel in fact he doesn't even come close to our other senator Barry Goldwater who did go to old Tricky Dick himself and ask him to get the hell out of office for the good of the country.  The only good John McCain cares about is the preservation of what's left of his pitiful political career.
    Leonard Clark
    The Damn Liberal
    Chair of the John McCain and Jon Kyl Recall Committees
    Contact:  602-423-6300
    Persian Gulf/ Iraq Occupation III Vet

    •  Good luck with that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MGK, bricoleur

      But I'd take a McCain interim presidency over Bush remaining in office and setting a precedent for accepting criminal conduct in violation of their oaths of office from our elected leaders.

      To me this is not a partisan issue. It is strictly about rule of law.

      Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

      by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No way .... (5+ / 0-)

    The best option is to first impeach Gonzales and Chiney - let them choose a VP. Then try Bush ...

    I suspect if Chiney and Gonzales can be impeached Bush can be contained.

    Policing a civil war is not "Progress". End the Occupation Now.

    by nataraj on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:20:26 PM PDT

  •  What I love about this approach (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, bricoleur

    is that it completely pisses off both sides of the partisan isle. Everyone gets angry. And I think the reason is that it's feasible. And each side is so entrenched in their world views in opposition to each other, that they can't see that this is in everyone's best interest.

    Better put: it's in the republic's best interest.

    Enjoy reading The Proxies, a free crime thriller in short story form.

    by maynard on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:21:14 PM PDT

  •  It's cute but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyes Wide Open, bricoleur

    "our" congress is not interested in impeachment. When I read here that Feingold, one of the few remaining dems I respect, doesn't want impeachment, that truly sealed it.
    Forget it kids, this experiment in democracy does not include us anymore. The dems and repubs don't give a rat's ass what we want!

  •  Among other things, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maynard, bricoleur

    it's just a tad naive to presume that a maneuver like this could be planned & executed in total secrecy. And total secrecy would be essential; if anyone in the Senate or the House who wasn't in on the deal got wind of it, they'd not only scream bloody murder to the press, they'd immediately toss every parliamentary means of obstruction into the process.

    And if it could be kept secret, and if they could impeach, convict & remove in a single day--then the lack of anything resembling "due process" (yeah, I know, "quaint" concept--unless you're a beleagured GOP officeholder) would no doubt be brandished to the nation as evidence that this was no better than a coup, which at best would produce a huuuge backlash in the next election--& at worst might provide enough cover for an actual coup putting the deposed back in charge. (Does anyone really think they'd leave office meekly if there was any feasible alternative?)

    My non-Chertoffian gut feeling is that this sudden an action couldn't be pulled off until & unless 80%+ of the public was fed up enough to march on the White House with torches & pitchforks--& not even Nixon sunk that low.

    OTOH it might be worth spending 10 minutes a day developing a short list of candidates for "caretaker President" & vetting them with whatever halfway ethical folks are left (pun unintended but I'll take it) on the other side of the aisle--just in case, one might argue, something comes to light so awful that they (like Republicans of a generation ago) would have no choice but to impeach. (My feeling is that things would have to evolve differently, and slower: Cheney goes, Bush goes, President Pelosi appoints consensus caretaker as VP & once the VP takes office, resigns the Presidency in favor of him/her--but you'd still need the consensus in place beforehand.)

    May I bow to Necessity not/ To her hirelings (W. S. Merwin)

    by Uncle Cosmo on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:39:02 PM PDT

  •  Pres. McCain preemptively pardons entire (0+ / 0-)

    executive branch for any and all prior acts, then brings Fred or Mitt onboard, thus ending Republican candidate stalemate and establishing a clear front-runner.

    No thanks.

    I used to think there was no evil in the world... but then I didn't know Dick.

    by dallasdave on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 02:48:10 PM PDT

  •  never in a million years (0+ / 0-)

    McCain would never accept this even if it made him president.The gop would never nominate him after an act of treason to their way of thinking.
    Also according to the constitution wouldn`t the speaker have to become the president.

    •  But an incumbent President McCain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would have a decent chance of winning a three-way race as a third-party or independent candidate.

      Might be his best chance of being president.  And, even if he lost the '08 election, he would still have been present for a year or so, and would always be entitled to the title "President McCain."

      Katrina was America's Chernobyl.

      by lysias on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 02:03:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a Recommend . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maynard, bricoleur


  •  I prefer John Warner, myself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, bricoleur

    Send Jim Webb to chat with him.

    Gosh offer a Warner-Webb ticket as POTUS caretaker and Veep caretaker

  •  Pure fantasy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Furthermore, there's absolutely no upside to helping a Republican become a frontrunner for Prez in 2008.

    I have a strategy that I know will work (yes, really!), that I've been putting in comments for a couple of days. I'm telling you this so as not to bore you if you read this already.. nothing new here.

    The pro-impeachment crowd needs  a LOT more focus to make any headway with a Democratic Congress which is composed of people who don't want to impeach---either because they don't believe impeachable offenese have been committed, or because they think winning in 2008 is the prize. Judging from the public comments of several prominent Democrats, I think the former is a big part of it. No matter how bad you think Bush is, there is very little evidence of impeachable acts at present.  In order to get Bush impeached, we need to change that perception. That leads to the first part of my Shake and Bake recipe for Bush.
    The first, essential step is that a short laundry list of likely impeachable offenses is the STANDARD  for the pro-impeach crowd. Of course, you may want to add something yourself, but I think it is essential that Congressmen are hearing a unified message, that Bush should be impeach for violating prohibitions on domestic spying, etc.
    The list has to be concrete, and  in my opinion should be more focused on criminal acts and their coverup than broader Constitutional concerns.
    For instance, an impeachment inquiry should consider the firing of the Mariannas prosecutor in 2002---an act of the White House which was almost certainly an attempt to obstruct the Abramoff investigation. Anyway, that's my suggestion for step 1.

    Step 2 is to pressure congress to act, of course, but I have an extra suggestion in that regard.
    Of course you should be calling the Democrats, but I think there could be a lot of value in calling the Republicans and asking their opinion of specific Bush offenses. For instance, ask them about Bush's illegal domestic spying, where Bush has admitted committing a felony (obviously you have to be prepared for this one with some facts).  I think you can find some Republicans who will say that Bush has the inherent Constitutional authority to ignore laws for security purposes, or something similar. That's just one example---I'm sure you can think of more. The objective is to get the Republicans on record now, to throw these statements back at them later; in addition, publicicing this comments now and sending them to the Dems for comment.

    Hope this helps.
    I"m bored now. Ciao.

  •  An extraordinarily bad idea (0+ / 0-)

    which, luckily, has zero chance of happening in the real world. McCain's campaign is already giving off the death rattle. However, as a Little Green Footballs Fantasy League cyberspace game, it has some entertaining possibilities, if you can figure out a way to have Republicans to drop coins into the slot machine ....

  •  Bush's sockpuppet! (0+ / 0-)

    There has to be a better Republican choice than John McClain who supports amnesty and the War!

    All your nation there pee-pee!

  •  This is great (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    No debates. No bullshit. No media storm before it happens. Just walk in, do the deed, and get the fuck off the house and senate floor in one day flat. Don't let them prepare. Don't give the Bushies one inkling of the shitstorm coming their way. Do it all backroom and then stick the knife in once you've got the votes.

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

    by Roger Fox on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 09:43:28 PM PDT

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