Skip to main content

When I diaried a few weeks back urging Cindy Sheehan not to run against Nancy Pelosi, in the back of my mind, and in the back of many of our minds, is what the possible negative consequences for the impeachment movement would come about by Cindy's declaration to run.

I'm not going to delve into what happened yesterday in John Conyer's office, except to address Sheehan's statement from yesterday...because it is potentially disruptive statement on impeachment.

Yesterday, Cindy said the following:

If Nancy Pelosi doesn't do her constitutionally mandated job by midnight tonight, tomorrow I will announce that I am going to run against her.

That statement is untrue.  It can't be said any plainer than that.

As Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is not "constitutionally mandated" to begin impeachment proceedings.  There is no such requirement for the Speaker.

Let's start with the actual text of the Constitution shall we?

Article I, Section 2, Clause 5 reads:

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

In other words, the power to impeach resides in the House, not with the Speaker.  Moreover, the Constitution says nothing about being required to use that power.

There is also an oddity in Cindy's statement later on, which she has said before:

Nancy Pelsoi had no authority to take it off the table.

Quite true.  The Speaker does not have authority to take impeachment off the table, because the Speaker doesn't have the authority to do anything with respect to impeachment.  

There's a logical inconsistency here.  Speaker Pelosi is supposed to do her "constitutionally mandated" job, but it's a job she has no authority to do.

Simply put, the power resides in the House.  Having gone through one of these just ten years ago, you'd think we'd all understand it better.  The power of the House looks like this:

The power of impeachment translates into the power to indict. The House, through the Judiciary Committee, conducts investigation and gathers evidence. At the proper time, the House assembles the evidence into individual indictments or charges known as Articles of Impeachment. Each article requires a majority vote of the House to pass to the Senate. Once impeached, the officer is on trial.

And the full chronology of the process looks something like this:

  1. The House Judiciary Committee deliberates over whether to initiate an impeachment inquiry.
  1. The Judiciary Committee adopts a resolution seeking authority from the entire House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry. Before voting, the House debates and considers the resolution. Approval requires a majority vote.
  1. The Judiciary Committee conducts an impeachment inquiry, possibly through public hearings. At the conclusion of the inquiry, articles of impeachment are prepared. They must be approved by a majority of the Committee.
  1. The House of Representatives considers and debates the articles of impeachment. A majority vote of the entire House is required to pass each article. Once an article is approved, the President is, technically speaking, "impeached" -- that is subject to trial in the Senate.
  1. The Senate holds trial on the articles of impeachment approved by the House. The Senate sits as a jury while the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.
  1. At the conclusion of the trial, the Senate votes on whether to remove the President from office. A two-thirds vote by the Members present in the Senate is required for removal.
  1. If the President is removed, the Vice-President assumes the Presidency under the chain of succession established by Amendment XXV.

Simply put, the House has the power...but it is not required to use it.

And certainly, Speaker Pelosi is not the one who has the authority one way or another.

If we are going to get serious about impeachment, we need to understand it, we need to rationalize it, and we need fight with reason.

And saying Speaker Pelosi is somehow to blame for a public statement about impeachment being "off the table" and she's not "doing her constitutionally mandated" job doesn't help matter.  It hurts.

So as we go forward, let's drop that talking point.  And let's get to the real talking point:

House of Representatives, it's time to investigate.

And if necessary, indict.

In the form of articles of impeachment.

UPDATE: Many of you have said, in response, that Pelosi's oath of office to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic is what is meant by not doing her job.  My response would be that, against, the oath does not equal a "constitutionally mandated" job.  We're talking about the Constitution here, not the oath taken to protect.  And I hasten to point out that if it is the oath that is being questioned, then there are many, many more targets than Nancy Pelosi.  Specifically, any member of Congress who has not yet co-sponsored H.Res. 333 is guilty of violating their oath under that standard.

Originally posted to wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:08 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  It's not Pelosi's call... (332+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, clonecone, mwjeepster, Lestatdelc, Alumbrados, Vince CA, dbg, Ducktape, northsylvania, ROGNM, Bill in Portland Maine, Sean Robertson, nolalily, taylormattd, vivacia, raatz, wystler, S wapiti, yerioy, Alice in Florida, asimbagirl, Superribbie, musing85, jxg, vancookie, Robespierrette, dengre, Yoshimi, scrutinizer, billlaurelMD, Andrew C White, LionelEHutz, CaptUnderpants, rhubarb, GayHillbilly, bawbie, John Campanelli, mainely49, eeff, Duncan Idaho, x, clone12, zenbowl, tithonia, PanzerMensch, bumblebums, mataliandy, zeitshabba, Noah Jenda, geordie, shermanesq, bronte17, cardinal, JDRhoades, Mary Julia, Cassandra77, elveta, sarahnity, nolajazz, grrtigger, Morague, highacidity, Rupert, scamp, mrblifil, JJG Miami Shores, Frederick Clarkson, LeftofArizona, Ignacio Magaloni, standingup, jigsaw68, Jesterfox, sidnora, litigatormom, Boris Godunov, indefinitelee, Janet Strange, recontext, mayan, kharma, emmasnacker, oldjohnbrown, Winnie, pat bunny, the doctor, cometman, johanus, SeattleLiberal, cosette, smash, churchylafemme, Batfish, NYFM, homo neurotic, i love coffee, Oy the Billybumbler, penguins4peace, Chirons apprentice, mcfly, Twin Planets, Catte Nappe, betson08, AbsurdEyes, whyvee, Dood Abides, BWasikIUgrad, inclusiveheart, ChiGirl88, JohnGor0, randallt, jen, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, Sean C, xyz, Little Red Hen, Krum, bibble, Timroff, macmcd, Sol Fed Joe, Gowrie Gal, ebbinflo, rapala, Fabian, Bluesee, 3goldens, ManOnTheBench, beagledad, pattyp, bellevie, Elise, Alegre, blueyedace2, political girl, northernsoul, PBen, andgarden, Jersey Girl, Flint, clammyc, citizenx, zbctj52, karpinsky, volballplr, Turkana, boofdah, ocooper, LNK, grog, jimreyn, Buffalo Girl, GreyHawk, skralyx, jmonch, Robert in WV, Ice Blue, peteri2, brenda, janew2, Geekesque, Habanero, Rydra Wrong, wulidancer, desordre remplir, sbdenmon, deepsouthdoug, LithiumCola, dsteffen, LisainNYC, Ekaterin, ohcanada, psyched, tigerdog, Norbreacht, Alan Arizona, Dania Audax, Tigana, begone, CCSDem, mspicata, kovie, Shirl In Idaho, Jennifer Clare, dannyinla, evanaj, Major Danby, trashablanca, BachFan, Nightprowlkitty, New Deal democrat, BobzCat, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, virgomusic, dharmafarmer, emeraldmaiden, Left Coast Lib, stonemason, Ellicatt, Gorette, Yellow Canary, smokeymonkey, Terrapin, InsultComicDog, deha, Boojum68, neoConned, Esjaydee, VictorLaszlo, kck, Fraggle, birdbrain64, StrayCat, Lashe, harrylimelives, Skeptical Spectacle, nilocjin, DiesIrae, Chairman Bob, condoleaser, DSPS owl, JVolvo, gotalife, NearlyNormal, bleeding heart, mhw, ER Doc, MBNYC, Phthalo, think blue, buckinfuzzard, droogie6655321, llbear, land of the free, dirkster42, vox humana, profh, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, pierredude, BB10, philimus, Texdude50, TastyCurry, zedaker, leighkidd, Temmoku, christomento, markthshark, sasher, NonnyO, GoldnI, goon 01, kilgore2345, john07801, dotsright, peagreen, SweetAuntFanny, Femlaw, milkbone, moodyinsavannah, godislove, ricsec7, gtghawaii, dallasdave, edsbrooklyn, FishOutofWater, adamschloss, dotcommodity, LillithMc, lynmar, CTDemoFarmer, kath25, Ticonderoga, lurks a lot, DWG, St Louis Woman, todd in salt lake, jayden, BKuhl, Heyroot, vbdietz, netguyct, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, Bridge Master, owl06, word player, Got a Grip, Zydekos, A Person, Terra Mystica, TomP, ImpeccableLiberalCredentials, jgilhousen, MKinTN, Light Emitting Pickle, rogerdaddy, sima, Skulnick, Mad Kossack, Unbill, Phil N DeBlanc, dragoneyes, brklyngrl, califdem, calibpatriot, canoeist, lamzdotes, Judge Moonbox, Remembering Jello, skohayes, Mannabass, lineatus, Residentcynic, winchelenator, Greasy Grant, war is peace, Mind That, left my heart, Jake Williams, TokenLiberal, MsWings, Quicksilver2723, TDE, ClapClapSnap, vanyel, luckylizard, echatwa, BlueGenes, Gore Feingold08

    it's the House as a whole.

    And that's where the work has to be done.

    Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

    by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:00:43 AM PDT

      •  All of our members of Congress (37+ / 0-)

        took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  When the Constitution is being trampled it is the DUTY of the members of Congress to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States of America.  When they don't do their duty and don't uphold the oath they took, they should be removed.

        investigate, impeach, and imprison the motherfuckers already

        by kharma on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:40:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  so......start with the house judiciary.... (14+ / 0-)

          I choked on your post. It nearly killed me. Hitler killed people. Your post is just like Hitler. - Pope Bandar bin Turtle

          by Buffalo Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:43:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Legalism (42+ / 0-)

            There is what the constitution as a process and then there is political reality. The Judiciary Committee is not moving forward on impeachment because they are acting under the discipline of the Speaker. Pelosi declared that impeachment was off the table and the Judiciary Committe is following her lead. This means that if impeachment is to go forward either A. Pelosi changes her tune OR B. the Judiciary Committee defies Pelosi. I'm fine with either course, but obviously it would be preferable if Pelosi were to either come out for impeachment or simply free up the Judiciary Committee to begin the process.

            For the time being BOTH Pelosi and the Judiciary Committee are sensible targets for actions intended to put pressure on congree to impeach.

            Build the Iraq Moratorium Fri., Sept. 21!
            "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

            by Christopher Day on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:17:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

              This is the first comment that has helped me make sense of yesterday's tactic.

            •  Not Pelosi/Conyers, but Senate Republicans... (12+ / 0-)

              Pelosi and the Judiciary are not going to unsheath that dagger unless Bush's ribs are exposed completely.  Moving on impeachment without a strong likelihood of obtaining the 2/3 vote needed to convict in the Senate will create open political warfare.  

              The hearings in the House and Senate now are meant to uncover malfeasance in the Bush White House.  If  the Senate gets within spitting distance of 2/3 of a vote to convict, that is when Pelosi will move on it.

              All this talk about convincing Pelosi is preaching to the Choir.   If you wish to do the country some good, go to the sensitive Senate Republicans -- the vulnerable ones up for re-election in 2008 -- and put the pressure there.

            •  Cindy Sheehan is the BEST thing that (15+ / 0-)

              ever happened for impeachment.

              Cindy Sheehan is currently the only one with some sort of bully pulpit that is bringing the topic of impeachment to the public.

              The Dems have allowed themselves to be paralyzed by the catch-22 that the Dems fear doing impeachment because the Dems believe that the American public may react badly to impeachment because the American public does not understand the stakes here, but yet the Dems do not even attempt to explain to the American public why impeachment is so important here.

              Pelosi is clearly shirking her constitutional responsiblity to protect our constitution from the greatest assault to its integrity that it has ever had, and THAT is Cindy Sheehan's whole point.

              We need a Cindy Sheehan out there, to fire up the masses about impeachment. The role that Cindy Sheehan is now playing with regard to introducing the concept of impeachment to the masses is essential to getting the public on board with this.

            •  You clearly haven't been keeping up with (8+ / 0-)

              Conyers' comments on the subject of impeachment.  Because if you had been you would have known that Pelosi is not blocking Conyers on this front.

              Conyers has said that if he gets three more congressmen he'll do it and raised impeachment as a remedy unprompten on This Week two weeks ago.  As it happens the appearance on This Week was eclipsed by Cindy Sheehan's announcement that she planned to challenge Pelosi.

              I wonder if Sheehan even knows that Conyers has raised it without her prompting or any obstruction from Pelosi.

            •  I disagree with you. Pelosi said that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dotcommodity

              "impeachment is off the table" which I have interpreted to mean until the proper time.  That proper time is when the Judiciary Committee has investigated and found specific actionable items of impeachment.  Whether we all believe that it is obvious that actionable high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed or not is not the same as having the evidence.  This is a country of laws and the Constitution must be followed no matter how impatient we all are for impeachment.  

              •  She can't take it off the table (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jxg, macmcd, offgrid

                if others want to put it back on.

                She doesn't want to be seen as the instigator, and frankly, she's right not to want to be seen that way, since (unlike most impeachment situtations) she stands to become president if the impeachment is successful.

                We should focus on Conyers and the HJC.  Getting Pelosi to call for impeachment now would NOT be helpful.

                "You are seeing impeachment as a constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis." -- John Nichols

                by litigatormom on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:23:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Interested Party. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DSPS owl

                  She doesn't want to be seen as the instigator, and frankly, she's right not to want to be seen that way, since (unlike most impeachment situtations) she stands to become president if the impeachment is successful.

                  When the Constitution was written, they hadn't given much thought as to what if both the President and Vice President were to die or be removed. Because the Vice President is an interested party, the Constitution says that the Chief Justice shall preside in impeachment trials of the President. I suspect that if the Founding Fathers thought the Speaker was the most suitable to be next in line, they would have set someone else to preside over the House proceedings when both the Pres and VP are charged with impeachable offenses.

                  To Gore: If you want to find the cure for cancer, go ahead! But don't ever think that this would change the things that get said about you. -Bob Somerby

                  by Judge Moonbox on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 06:09:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I agree with you 100%. It was my impression (0+ / 0-)

                  that she should not even discuss it and saying it was off the table meant she wasn't going to discuss it.

            •  Isn't the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              northernsoul

              actually composed of legalisms? I would also submit that there are much better realists in the House than on dkos inasmuch as their jobs rest upon getting the numbers right. Here it's just one big opinion.

              Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

              by Batfish on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:59:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course it is. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DSPS owl

                The point is that the legal procedure is not the only thing we have to understand here. We also have to understand the political dynamics that prevent or allow  a particular exercise of a constitutional power. For another example the constitution empowers Congress to declare war, but his power has been de facto usurped by the executive because Congress has refused to resist.

                Build the Iraq Moratorium Fri., Sept. 21!
                "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

                by Christopher Day on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 05:25:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely: how simple can it be?! (4+ / 0-)

              Cindy was incorrect, formally, in speaking about Pelosi's constitutional duty. But she was correct in pointing out the failure of Pelosi to do her political duty, in that our country is being run by criminals and the opposition refuses to take action to stop their rule, i.e., via impeachment of the constitutionally elected president and vice president, and certain appointed cabinet figures.

              Don't hang this all up on a semantic technicality. Pelosi and Reid must bear political responsibility for not using the tools at their disposal. The tools are constitutionally provided; the failure to act is political in nature.

        •  Upholding the Constitution is ambiguous (10+ / 0-)

          For one group, it may mean impeachment. For another, it means taking back the nation. Others believe that it simply means passing laws that are constitutional. A few (anarchists and far right wingnuts) believe it means violent overthrow of the government.

          I think that most of Congress interprets their duty to uphold the Constitution as a duty to expose the wrongdoings of the Bush administration and to ensure that he is unable to further "trample" it.

          •  Defending rather than upholding (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tovan, Valtin, DSPS owl, rsie, offgrid

            may be the better frame.

            She is failing to protect and defend the Constitution from domestic enemies who are both attacking the Constitution and simultaneously exploiting it to provide cover for their attacks.

            As well, our domestic enemies are sabotaging the nation's ability to defend the Constitution from foreign enemies. One could employ the frame that removing Cheney (and Bush, etc...) is necessary to protect America from foreign enemies, as the administration's dereliction of duty, willful neglect, and illegal actions are aiding and abetting our enemies.

            We need Conyetherapy to shrink the cancer that infects our government, followed by a surgical purge of anti-constitutional Bush-loyalists from the executive branch. They should also impeach any federal judge who upholds the will of Bush over the will of the Constitution and restore our government to one that is Constitution centered rather than Bush centered.

        •  Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee are... (17+ / 0-)

          The epicenter of any impeachment movement... not Pelosi!

          First let me say great diary! How on earth did Pelosi get away with saying that she had the power to take impeachment off the table in the first place and no one challenged her on this!

          Second... as John Dean at findlaw points out there are actually two impeachment processes... one for the Executive Branch President and Vice President, but there is a more streamlined one for administration officials:

          Excerpt:

          Given the number of officials within the Bush Administration who may have been engaged in Constitutional high crimes or misdemeanors, and the nature of the impeachment process, there is no shortage of civil officers worthy of consideration. Where there is clear prima facie evidence of such constitutional misconduct, impeachment action should be commenced.

          The way the process works is that a bill of impeachment is introduced in the House, where it is referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Acting as a grand jury, the Judiciary Committee then decides if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a full inquiry. If its members believe there is, they refer the matter to the full House for a vote, and if a majority of the House agrees, the matter is returned to the Judiciary Committee for fact-finding - compelling witnesses to testify, and compelling the production of documents. A simple majority of the Judiciary Committee can then send recommended articles of impeachment to the floor of the House, and a simple majority of the House can send them on to the Senate for trial. They are privileged, and the Senate must hold a trial.

          If the movement to impeach Bush and Cheney, an outcome which simply is not going to happen, were to turn its attention to many of the other civil officers who have been involved in high crimes and misdemeanors, it might be very different. With strong prima facie evidence, the House Judiciary Committee at a minimum would have good reason to at least begin the process, and that in itself could send a powerful message.

          http://writ.news.findlaw.com/...

          While I disagree with NOT impeaching Cheney, a position that I'm not sure that even Dean holds now since he first wrote this in 2006 given subsequent events, the impeachment of Attorney General Gonzales could be initiated very quickly.

          I do like Dean's advocated approach of hitting the "enablers" within the Bush administration and after impeachment baring them form ever resurfacing in any future GOP administration.

          Cutting the balls off their government careers forever is quite appealing and certainly would have an impact on those left in the government.

          •  I believe they should go after Cheney first (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tovan, rsie, Judge Moonbox

            because Cheney is the lynch pin to the entire web of corruption. As well, if the impeachment of Gonzales fails, it bodes very poorly for other impeachments. Whereas if the impeachment of Cheney fails, it will still be possible to impeach subordinates, and the evidence collected will be extensive and public.

            I would ignore Bush as well - for now. Everyone knows he's a stooge that follows Cheney's orders and removing Cheney would not only prove that, it would make Bush look that much more bumbling and ineffectual for the 2008 elections - rather than replacing him with someone more articulate and serious who can pretend as if the Republican party has been reborn.

            I would subsequently criminally prosecute Bush once he leaves office and would not formally charge Cheney or Gonzales with criminal offenses until after Bush can no longer pardon anyone.

            If the evidence against Cheney is as devastating as it looks like it could be, I would also introduce a constitutional amendment to prohibit the President from pardoning members of his own administration, and if Cheney is not criminally charged until after Bush leaves office, then any attempt to pardon him for crimes he has not yet been charged with will further expose the absurdity of dictatorship in America.

        •  Yup, wmtriallawer finally 'gets it' (6+ / 0-)

          But doesn't recognize that he does...

          Specifically, any member of Congress who has not yet co-sponsored H.R. 333 is guilty of violating their oath under that standard.

          Yup.  Bingo.

          You can't support the Constitution and the GOP at the same time!

          by Arsenic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:36:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here it is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tovan, Shirl In Idaho, DSPS owl

          "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

      •  Conyers (5+ / 0-)

        I think that's what she did yesterday.

        Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

        by darrelplant on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:42:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there are more than one in that committee (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x

          gee, maybe there are, say...3 others that might help move this along?

          I choked on your post. It nearly killed me. Hitler killed people. Your post is just like Hitler. - Pope Bandar bin Turtle

          by Buffalo Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:45:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karma for All

            I'm not sure what your point is. You said she should start with members of the Judiciary committee and I pointed out that she did that yesterday. As for other members, considering that she's already targeted the Speaker and Judiciary chairman, I would be surprised if that was the end of her actions.

            Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

            by darrelplant on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:12:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, great, great stuff (0+ / 0-)

        Exceptional and to the point. We all know what to do now, don't we? STOP BUGGING PELOSI!

        Sheehan has no chance.

        "Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart." - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

        by The Lighthouse Keeper on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:59:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "may" vs. "shall" (22+ / 0-)

      One means you can, but don't have to do something.  The other suggests that you must.

      The Constitution give the House of Representatives (as a whole) the "power" of impeachment, not the "duty" of impeachment.

      May, not shall.

      Agree with you. (and I say that as someone who thinks the House should begin those proceedings, as the Harriet Myers assertion of executive privilege that Congress didn't even have the authority to subpoena her was a 'crossing the Rubicon' moment).

      Cheers.

      "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

      by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:12:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but the Constitution says shall? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        U.S. Constitution - Article 2 Section 4

        Article 2 - The Executive Branch
        Section 4 - Disqualification

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

        •  You're misreading that (8+ / 0-)

          It says that they shall be removed from office on impeachment....  It does not say that Congress shall impeach.

          •  Glad you insist on clearing that up (4+ / 0-)

            as it gets misquoted or misunderstood all the time.  I wish it said that when a majority believe that impeachable offenses have been committed, they have to impeach.  But it doesn't. (There are probably good reasons my wish hasn't been granted.  The House probably should have that freedom of movement.  But I wish.)

            The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

            by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:00:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If the erroneous reading were indeed true, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dianem

            We'd elect an excutive and the legislative branch would then be compelled by law to impeach them immediately.  lol

            I can't believe people could read it that way.

            •  People see what they want to see (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Batfish, inclusiveheart

              Some of us are a bit better at not doing it, but nobody is immune from the tendency. American schools don't teach critical thinking. Colleges do, now, but one class isn't enough to counter years of misinformation.

              •  Well, the skill required is really (0+ / 0-)

                reading comprehension backed up by some schooling in English sentence diagraming.  Knowing about some of the basic building blocks for language like prepositions, nouns, verbs etc. is also helpful.

                •  It's more than that (2+ / 0-)

                  We need to study logical fallacies and see how they are used to manipulate people. We need to understand the mathematics of language - concepts like inverse, converse, and contrapositive. We need to learn how to diagram If-Then statements. I can break down a sentence into it's component parts and still not realize that it's a non-sequitur, much like I can break down a painting into it's component colors without seeing it's a work of art.

                  Fallacies are so complicated, it can be hard to reconize them even if you're trained and watching for them. I don't think it's possible for somebody who isn't trained to see them consistantly. I'm betting that 95% of the public doesn't know what a "straw man" really is, and that is one of the most commonly recognized fallacies.

                  •  Don't get me wrong - I am a big proponent (0+ / 0-)

                    of critical thinking and agree that few people are trained in any legitimate sense to engage in it themselves, but basic reading skills are very helpful when one is analyzing text.

                    The Constitution was written with some intentional and arguably brilliant ambiguities which makes thoughtful and complete reading an important part of interpreting it.

        •  Just for the record (0+ / 0-)
          1. it's downthread not upthread (okay that's nitpicky).
          1.  The cite of yours is to the question of "will" vs. "shall", not "may" vs. "shall".  But having read your posting, I think we agree on the overall issue.

          Cheers.

          "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

          by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:16:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Two words... (49+ / 0-)

      Overton Window.

      I can't think of arrests or Congressional offices occupied during the Clinton impeachment.

      RNC used paid mooks to make stopping the recounts look like something the people desired.  We actually have people that desire something, so even better.

      We rational types can go to work on the rationals and let the emotional types stir up the emotionals.  We'll need a lot of both to cross the finish line.

      •  This is beautiful. (37+ / 0-)

        We rational types can go to work on the rationals and let the emotional types stir up the emotionals.  We'll need a lot of both to cross the finish line.

        It's sometimes hard for the "rationals" and the "emotionals" to talk to each other, but that might get a little easier if we remember that we need each other.

      •  well said! (11+ / 0-)

        i too, disagreed with the specific action, but it got coverage... yes, it was more about cindy s. getting arrested, but the MSM was more or less forced to say the "impeachment" word on the segment.  

        overton window indeed.... open it up, let some fresh air in..

        Where were you when Congress became irrelevant?

        by netguyct on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:54:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hear Hear!! (17+ / 0-)

        Cindy Sheehan does not have a monopoly on protest tactics.  I for one appreciate what she is doing.  If others don't, might I suggest forming their own more rational and polite protest if that is what they think will be more effective.  I'll cheer them on too.

        It takes all kinds.  As I've said before, the screamers among us serve to get the more sedate of their butts and bring attention to important issues.  The more sedate among us tend to keep the screamers from getting too crazy and flying off the handle.

        The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

        by cometman on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Overton Window moves both ways (11+ / 0-)

        Consider what the "emotionals" did for W & the Repubs in the Schiavo issue.  They changed a lot of minds...against them.  Even a circus is not an amateur show.

        Impeachment and removal is a legal proceeding.  Advocating for it by sit-in has its merits, but I draw from the diary that we should all understand the procedure.

        Is the object removal or not?

        War is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:50:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x, greeseyparrot

          Was it the emotional circus only or was it what they were all emotional about?

          As you said it was a circus and all over the news.  Everyone who turned on a tv got to hear repetitively their argument.

          So was it that people were turned off by the argument they were making or the way they were making it?  I for one was appalled at the argument they were making that the government should be making private end of life family and personal decisions.  The emotional circus was merely an attention getter.  The argument has to resonate with the people listening to it or as in the Schiavo fiasco it may do the opposite of the attention.  

          For the first time a lot of people got to actually see and hear the arguments the extreme "Pro-life" movement were making and they didn't like it.  The question isn't will a circus turn people off since people tend to watch circus' just as they slow for traffic accidents, but whether they will like the argument being made.  

          Impeachment is considered extreme and has been up till recently taboo by the MSM and our political establishment on both sides.  Even if it's hypocritical of the Repubs to think that way now.  They will choose the most extreme and poorly argued reasoning for our side as a matter of course.  They don't want Bush impeached so they are not going to help us get it into the public discourse.  We just have to learn to take any opening they offer us and use it to make impeachment the reasonable action.

          Cindy Sheehan is not the person most of us would choose to speak on this issue.  If she wasn't out there the media would find someone else just as they like to choose the worst "liberal" to argue the liberal point.  

          ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

          by Rebecca on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:57:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The MSM (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rebecca, Caldonia

            will present the most clownish aspects and spin them against us.  We have to do the legwork. We have to help the Dems.  The MSM are not our friends.  If they could have ignored the Schiavo circus, they would have.  

            We have to know our shit b/c they will fact check us more than they ever will a wingnut.  That's the way of the current world.  If we are emblazoned across the marquis as wild-eyed moonbats, that is what Americans will see.  

            The current MSM is not what it was in 1969.  What we have today is Pravda.  They can be trusted only to air the Party propaganda.

            We have to be smart and sober to beat this crowd.  We don't need to give them photo ops discrediting us.  

            War is outdated. Dalai Lama

            by x on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:36:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              decon, x, churchylafemme

              Look at Howard Dean.  Any politician could have had the "Scream" used against him.  Everyone of them stands up in front of crowds like that and has to shout intemperately to get heard and cheers along with their supporters.  We need to understand that the MSM will portray us in the worst light whether someone like Cindy comes along who while trying to do the right thing is choosing out of frustration and lack of understanding a dysfunctional means of speaking out or a made up incident like the Dean Scream .

              IMO though the media thought the Schiavo fiasco would hurt the Democrats and help the Repubs.  They enthusiastically followed the whole thing and it took them awhile to notice that people weren't agreeing with the Repubs on that issue.  I think it was a shock to both the MSM and the Repubs that the majority of this country were horrified at the public and governmental intrusion into a personal and family private decision.  

              What was supposed to be a story of the heroic Repubs saving a woman from death at the hands of the dastardly Democrats turned into a totally different story.

              ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

              by Rebecca on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:19:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you, Rebecca (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Caldonia

                We have the Constitution on our side, & precious few within the MSM who are not trying to discredit us at every turn.

                This is show time, & we have to be smart, wise, and every other way we can think of to get out the message w/o being caricatured.

                We have had massive demos & were ignored.  We need a new paradigm.  The MSM is not going to help us unless there's money in it for them.

                Kieth O has a prominent show...maybe we can pump some cash into his advertisers?  It may seem like a small thing, but maybe a thank you note & promise to buy their wares could push KO further into the big times.  

                War is outdated. Dalai Lama

                by x on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:04:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree with the following: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            x

            They [The Republicans] don't want Bush impeached so they are not going to help us get it into the public discourse.  

            I think it is going to be Republicans who also respect the Constitution and who recognize that there will be Democratic administrations in the very near future and who do not want those Dems to inherit the changes brought about by this bunch of criminals.  It happened in Watergate and it will happen now.  I was shocked at the loathing I heard in Sen. Specter's (sp)voice when he spoke to Alberto Gonzales today in the hearing.  It took Republicans to carry the day against Nixon because that is the way our government works.  We cannot impeach for purely political reasons and we cannot allow it to appear that we are doing so.  We must impeach all of them but we must impeach them in a way that does not allow for them to become heroes.

            •  I agree there are some R's (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              x

              who loath this administration.  Will they support or even advocate for impeachment?  While some few R's make tentative noises about the abuses this administration does, when it comes time to do more then make noises they are right in lockstep with the rest of their party.  

              It will take strong pressure to pry some of the "moderate" R's away from their caucus enough for them to vote to impeach.  I'm just hoping that a catastrophe in Iraq isn't the cause of that pressure.  My opinion is that most of the politicians are just trying to wait out the clock till Bush is out of office in the hopes that this will all be like the season of Dallas that turned out to be a dream.  Like most such fantasies it's is irrational and dysfunctional.

              As for allowing them to become heroes?
              The media will laud the Repubs who reluctantly support impeachment as heroes while at the same time condemning the Democrats for politicizing the issue.  Unfortunate but that's how they function.

              ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

              by Rebecca on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:06:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think the upcoming election could bring some (0+ / 0-)

                of those up for election around.  I think they could be afraid not to impeach Bush et al with the way things are going.  I think they will either support impeachment or be "no in casa" when it comes time to defend Bush.

        •  Schiavo was a disgusting act (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x

          of national intrusion into a very private decision.  I think we can all agree that Conyers is the right person to hear an impassioned plea for redress of greivances.  It's also pretty rare that you would have sympathy for a government official being harassed for something they are or are not doing.

          Now, if they burned his office down or did something else completely crazy, I'd be with you.

          Also, if Congress had the audacity to impeach Bush, I have a feeling that he and the neo-cons would throw such a fit (see refusal of all subpeonas so far) that removal would make its own case throughout the proceedings.

          •  All attention is not good attention (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Caldonia, churchylafemme

            We cannot give ammunition to the enemy.

            We need to focus our anger and fear into legal avenues.

            I'm not saying that we shouldn't do sit ins and confrontations, but that we are prepared with law.  Know your shit.  

            Do a Stark on them.  Know your shit before you get in their face. Then get in their face.  But don't go in with hyper emotionalism.  Leaven the emotionalism with some Stark Facts.

            We need to simmer down & get our facts straight.  Then make a big stink.

            But please, don't attack the Dems.  They have 6 years of crap to dig out of already.  Let's pass them the ammunition.

            War is outdated. Dalai Lama

            by x on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:47:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent point... (8+ / 0-)

      and well-said, wmtriallawyer.  Of course, I'm someone who really questions yesterday's strategy to begin with and the Code Pink actions over the last six months.  But if you are gonna do it...one should be impeccable in the points that are raised are end up looking like clowns without cred or false-flag provocateurs.

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:49:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just want to note that there is a Part A that (16+ / 0-)

      comes before Steps 1-7 you have listed.  Part A is comprised of the revelations of wrong doing and subsequent hearings and investigations that normally inspire the political will to consider Steps 1-7.

      For historical reference:
      In Nixon's case Step 1 was under taken in October of 1973 and Step 2 was voted on on February 6th, 1974.

      Steps 1 & 2 came months after the pivitol Watergate hearings and John Dean's stunning testimony during the late spring/early summer of 1973.  The Watergate hearings were "Part A" that led to Steps 1-7.

      We are currently in "Part A".

      •  Exactly. (8+ / 0-)

        Part A is the toughest part, too.

        Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

        by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:53:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So this is what would placate me... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greeseyparrot, tovan

        If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, in their capacity as the highest elected leaders of the Democratic Party right now said the following:

        "We're investigating the conduct of White House officials in a number of areas and we can't rule out taking any Constitutionally appropriate remedy for any misconduct we may uncover."

        That's what the Democratic leadership should have been saying all along. Don't rule anything out--it was monumentally stupid for Pelosi to say impeachment was off the table before the Democratic Congress could even start their hearings and IMO has contributed greatly to the perceptions that people like us have that they aren't doing anything. I don't think any reasonable person expected the House to start impeachment hearings the day after the session started, after all.

        I can't vote for Cindy Sheehan, and there are other candidates who will get my extremely limited money for campaign contributions, but at the same time I understand the sheer frustration she's expressing and hoping to harness in her challenge against Nancy Pelosi. And regardless of whether you think Sheehan will get more than couple percent of the vote, that frustration should not be underestimated. And it's moving beyond her; when you have Ed Schultz, as mainstream a Democrat as it gets pretty much, start pounding impeachment to a national audience, you are going to have problems if you don't reevaluate your strategy.

        "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

        by AustinCynic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:42:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here is what is going on... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl

          Pelosi and Reid have been playing primarily to the White House with that "off the table" thing.

          At first, I thought that it would have been much better for her to have said that they would go where the investigations led them, but then I thought that that approach might backfire on a number of levels - one that comes to mind is that they could easily be accused of being on a fishing expedition rather than taking up serious investigations and oversight.

          Conyers will do it when he is ready - when his case is air-tight.  Having the Democratic Speaker of the House on record as being against it gives her way more credibility when she "relents" and defers to her esteemed Chair of the Judiciary Committee.  What we are basically seeing is a game of "good cop bad cop".

          I don't think we will see Bush impeached because of the war and the amount of time that would take, but I do think we will see Gonzales impeached and we might well see Cheney taken out as a result.  None will be convicted in the Senate, but House impeachment would be enough to block the pardon and pursue all of them with criminal charges after they leave office.

    •  Well, its the (15+ / 0-)

      Judiciary committee, primarily, which holds the cards here.  They can go ahead whether the House as a whole approves, until they find something that the House would have no choice but to approve of.

      I honestly don't think anyone talking about impeachment being "constitutionally mandated" actually thinks that the Constitution says that the Speaker is mandated to impeach the president!  What would that even mean?  Impeach every president?  What people mean is a simple succession of logic.  Our elected officials take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.  The Constitution contains within it a protective measure to rid the Executive branch of lawless individuals who commit crimes against the spirit of the law and the country.  Impeachment is not spelled out in the Constitution for show, or because the authors particularly felt like writing about the topic, it is there to be used once said crimes are committed.  Therefore, the protective measure in the Constitution which document the government has all sworn to protect is unquestionably supposed to be used in a case such as this.  You'll notice it doesn't say anywhere in the Constitution to take a public opinion poll on the matter, or to parse out shallow political considerations to weigh whether it would be particularly advantageous for one party or another to pursue it.  It just says that the House JC are the ones to start it, and then the whole House is where it gets sent forward or not.  

      Your points are all correct, of course.  And Pelosi has nothing to do with it, in most senses.  But as the Speaker and one of the leaders of the party, it is certainly damaging to the cause for her to say its not worth pursuing, I don't think that's even a contestable statement.  And that's all people mean.  But of course its better to know all of what you've said in advocating for it.

      Bionic orca maki, anyone?

      by itsbenj on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:53:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shoe, meet other foot: (5+ / 0-)

        The Constitution contains within it a protective measure to rid the Executive branch of lawless individuals who commit crimes against the spirit of the law and the country.  Impeachment is not spelled out in the Constitution for show, or because the authors particularly felt like writing about the topic, it is there to be used once said crimes are committed.  Therefore, the protective measure in the Constitution which document the government has all sworn to protect is unquestionably supposed to be used in a case such as this.

        If Bill Clinton perjured himself before the grand jury in 1998, did Congress have the duty to impeach him?  Was that your position at the time?

        If your position is correct, why did the Founders, mindful of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" standard they had placed in the Constitution, not give the House of Representatives the "duty" to impeach, instead of merely the "power" to impeach?

        Congress has the "power" to declare war.  Does it have the "duty" to declare war?  The "duty" as well as the "power" to raise an army and navy?  The "duty" as well as the "power" to set tariffs and raise taxes?

        "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

        by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:59:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think you're reading (7+ / 0-)

          my post quite correctly.  I don't think that Bill Clinton lying to try to save his marriage from his disastrous personal decision to have an affair in any way violates the spirit of the law of the country.  If anything its perfectly in keeping with it.  No, Congress had no business bothering with Clinton's impeachment.  "My position" is not even a position, I'm just saying what I think people mean when they say 'constitutionally mandated'.  The language isn't in there for fun and games.  Its there to be used, under the correct circumstances.  The questions you are asking are part of the point I was making in the first place, so I don't understand why you're asking them of me!

          Bionic orca maki, anyone?

          by itsbenj on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:08:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            x, Ignacio Magaloni, DarkestHour, JVolvo

            I agree with you that the House should start proceedings. It is virtually the only thing left to keep this executive in line.  Not to mention that as he has relied on and expanded the Nixon and Reagan defenses, someday some executive much more shrewd than he will rely on and expand his arguments.

            That being said, I agree with the diarist.

            Cheers.

            "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

            by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:13:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we both agree (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              x, New Deal democrat, JVolvo

              with the diarist, it sounds like we're saying roughly the same thing.  cheers!

              Bionic orca maki, anyone?

              by itsbenj on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:44:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Stop agreeing, you two! It will look bad (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                itsbenj, MattR

                when BillO looks for dirt in our threads!
                (must.keep.our.threads.clean...and.pressed!)

                If you can't disagree to agree on the finer linguistic points of 18th century English, what can we, teh rabid kossacks, disagree about in the first place?

                But seriously, folks...

                Thank you wmtriallawyer for this clear and concise dissection of the Constitution text!

                Excellent point was made above about a successful balance between the emotionals and the level-headeds among us to combine our energies and talents towards the common goal!

                Screw the "surge" - End Bush's War!!

                by JVolvo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:43:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  he did not commit perjury (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vivacia, byteb, tovan, Lashe, Quicksilver2723

          as so many you do not know what the word means. If your in court and a lawyer asks what color your eyes are and you say brown instead of hazel, well unless the color of your eyes was MATERIAL to the case it is not perjury. Whatever Bill did with Monica was not material to the made-up case Scaife paid Paula to persue so it was not perjury. And he was never convicted of that. he WAS misleading and evasive (not the same thing) so he gave up lawyering for a few years and that is all.

          It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

          by tony the American Mutt on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your legal opinion of the result.. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aaron Bonn

            ... isn't relevant to the issue raised by my correspondent, which is Congress's alleged DUTY to proceed.

            If we knew the answer ahead of time, life would be so much simpler.  Unless you personally are the all-knowing god of law, did not Congress have the "duty" to investigate Clinton's conduct?  In fact, didn't the special prosecutor tell them that he believed Clinton had committed a crime?  Were they supposed to ignore that?

            "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

            by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:26:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  nice obtuse angle there (0+ / 0-)

              ever try answering straight?

              A) no in that post i did not address the issue of the DUTY, so sue me

              B) I also did not make any statement regarding if or if not the Clinton impeachment should have gone forward.

              BUUUUUZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

              2 wrong, thanks for playing, please exit the stage that way and pick up the home version on your way out...

              It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

              by tony the American Mutt on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:35:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Care to address the issue? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Aaron Bonn

                I'll ignore the last 2 paragraphs of your response that are strictly ad hominems.

                Any argument that Congress has a "duty" to proceed against Bush, not just the "power" needs to address what other circumstances to which it might apply, for example, to Bill Clinton.  Imo, Congress had/has the power (as in, the ability), but not the duty to proceed, in either case.

                You claim that Clinton didn't commit perjury, therefore Congress didn't have an obligation to proceed  -- otherwise why would you bother to respond to my argument to the contrary?  

                To which the reply is, that just because you think he didn't commit perjury doesn't make it so.

                Cheers.

                "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

                by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:49:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Purpose (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, blueoasis

              Congress has a duty to impeach when they are carrying out the purpose of their oath of office, i.e. to protect and uphold the Constitution.

              The purpose of the impeachment clause of the Constitution is to take away power invested in a federal officer who can no longer be trusted to properly use that power.

              If someone (not me) felt that Bill Clinton lying about having sex with Monica Lewinsky made him incapable of properly using the power of the Presidency, then it was their duty to impeach him. Not enough people in Congress actually believed that was the case. Simply committing a crime doesn't make someone unfit for office.

              A lot depends on the nature of the crime, the circumstances, and the effect it has on the office. Nixon was actually using the power of his office to screw his political opponents and perceived enemies. Clinton was just screwing an intern in his office. Big difference with regard to the misuse of presidential power.

              Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

              by darrelplant on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:55:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  thanks for clearning itup wmtriallawyer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, betson08

      I appreciate the exact specifics about what we should be pushing for. I agree with you, that we need to contact our representatives and let them know in no uncertain terms that they need to begin official investigations. If into nothing else, than to fast-track investigation proceedings into a known crime of illegal wiretaps. We know these were comitted and were illegal as, Bush admitted to them.

      Secondly, we can also begin looking into (formally) the Downing Street Memos...

      Peace, and luck to all,

      • SS

      On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

      by Skeptical Spectacle on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:08:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Speaker *Is* the House as a Whole (6+ / 0-)

      Why does the Speaker get the power to control "the House as a whole", but she doesn't have responsibility for exercising that power in that capacity, just because she's politically opposed to doing so?

      That's an awfully convenient power without responsibility. Exactly what we need to impeach Bush for, that she is opposed to doing.

      Sounds like it's going to be a long 4 years starting with a 2009 Democratic power monopoly. And even longer than that.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:20:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It isn't her call (4+ / 0-)

      But she also has no authority to rule it out.

      So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:25:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What the meaning of is is (9+ / 0-)

      I think your training as a lawyer is hanging you up on terminology.

      Sheehan's not making a legal argument in court. She'd be more accurate in making a case that Pelosi needs to uphold her oath to protect the Constitution rather than a duty to bring impeachment.

      I think your inference that Sheehan believes the sole power to bring impeachment lies in the Speaker's office is in error, as well. What would be the point of yesterday's occupation of Conyers's office if that was what she believed? And surely she knows that a bill to impeach Cheney (H.R. 333) has already been proposed by Kucinich. If you focus on a few lines out of context, you're going to draw incorrect conclusions.

      Pelosi's position as Speaker means that if she states that something is off the table it would have a very difficult time being brought to a vote in the full House.

      You're splitting hairs in the words of someone who's not in court and is not a lawyer. You can't treat rhetoric like a contract. And you're drawing false assumptions from that attempt.

      Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

      by darrelplant on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:41:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call the Judiciary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All

      in the House, and at least insist on impeachment of Gonzales.

      1-202-225-3951

      Be nice, Brendan is a very nice guy.

    •  Uh, H.R. 333 ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, dharmafarmer

      Looking it up on Thomas (www.thomas.gov) it says:
      "Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act (Introduced in House)"

      OK, more searching...

      Perhaps you meant H.Res 333 sponsored by Rep Dennis Kucinich?

      That's to impeach Cheney.

      Maybe I'm missing something here in all the Cindy comments ...

    •  If she is not constitutionally mandated... (0+ / 0-)

      the authority to initiate or relegate impeachment - and I agree that she is not - then she can only be "blamed" for issuing the now infamous:

      "... impeachment is off the table."

      statement in the first place.

      Does she indeed know what her duties are?

    •  Yes it is Pelosi's call (0+ / 0-)

      Pelosi is the leader of the congress. When she made impeachment off the table she made it her call. Conyer's maybe the one who is responsible for drafting the articles of impeachment but his speaker have made a statement contrary to what he wanted to do.

    •  When Cindy says 'constitutionally mandated' (0+ / 0-)

      I believe that she (and many others) are conflating their Oath of Office with their Constitutional duty.

      If you consider the oath of office, which contains the line '... to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies, foreign or domestic...'

      ... then I think you can see the logic of their thinking.

      Is it their Constitutional Duty to bring articles of impeachment, if they believe that 'high crimes or misdemeanors' have been committed?  

      If those 'high crimes or misdemeanors' rise to the level that they are effectively actions in violation of the Constitution, then wouldn't Cindy's thinking be proper?  

      Just questions for the legal scholars out there....

      When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power - then the World will know peace.

      by Angie in WA State on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:19:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "support and defend", (0+ / 0-)

        not "protect and defend".

        We're trying to get it all exactly right here.  "Support" sounds weaker to me than "protect", and I wonder why Congress promises to support while the president promises to protect.  They all promise to defend, so the difference may be zero.

        The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

        by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:38:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As a member of the house would she not have the (0+ / 0-)

      same "mandated" duty to uphold the law that any other maker of laws would?

      Does not Congress through their ability to investigate and subpoena not drift into the same areas of responsibility TO the law that any other court officer would?

      The police have the power to enforce laws, they are not required to USE it either.

      But what happens when you have the police, in the face of some pretty massive evidence of wrong doing decide NOT to enforce the law they are sworn to uphold?

      Seems to me that in the times that has happened in cities across America from time to time the people start questioning whether or not the cops are owned by the bad guys....

      No sir, Pelosi does have an obligation to uphold the law' that the congress passes in the name of the people, and she does have a duty to uphold her oath and defend the constitution.

      So you can if you wish to play semantic lawyer games on the definition of "is' and show that you are a clever man, or you can face the broader truth that those that are placed in position of trust by the people to defend their liberties are obligated and mandated to do so BY the people.

    •  It seems to me that Cindy is doing exactly (0+ / 0-)

      what should be done when our Representatives don't do what the people are demanding. Cindy is just saying that we are thinking about voting out of office those representatives (Pelosi being the most obvious) that don't do what we demand. If they aren't representing us in the House of Representatives then we SHOULD vote them out.

    •  Potential negligence on the part of Pelosi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      Since the Constitution gives the House the authority to impeach, and since Pelosi is the Majority Leader of that body, if Pelosi does not give her support, impeachment is essentially impossible. Thus Mrs. Pelosi is currently the de facto gatekeeper for the impeachment function. In that sense she is "constitutionally mandated" to address, to consider, to evaluate over time, to monitor the need for any possible decision on whether to impeach the president (or other officials). For if Mrs. Pelosi does not perform such evaluation, as a practical matter no one else can do so.

      The definition of "Constitutionally mandated" or similar language or concepts could arise in, for example, a hypothetical civil suit claiming negligence on the part of Mrs. Pelosi for not moving to begin a process of impeachment, at a time when the indications in favor of doing so had become strong, and when Pelosi's failure to impeach had arguably harmed a hypothetical plaintiff.

      If such a civil suit were to be brought, it would open up a certain amount of new territory for which adequate case law would be unlikely to exist. Therefore the advocates on either side of the issue (Pelosi's possible negligence) would be compelled to rely on common law, either implicitly or explicitly, in some portion of their arguments. (Analogies with only distantly related cases would be implicitly grounded in common law.)

      A court might well rule under such circumstances that Mrs. Pelosi was both responsible and negligent. Clearly such an outcome would not be certain, but neither would it be implausible.

      Thus I suggest that the term, "Constitutionally mandated" is arguably applicable under certain circumstances to the current situation with respect to Congress and the conduct of the Executive Branch, and that to quibble with the usage of that phrase is not directly germane to the present (informal!) discussion, a discussion in which far more urgent principles are at stake.

    •  Good analysis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer

      Furthermore, given that here, there is a serious issue about impeaching BOTH the president and the vice-president, for Pelosi to the frontperson on the impeachment issue, at least at this point, could all to easily be construed as an attempted power grab by the Rethuglicans.

      At some point, Pelosi will have to pick up the cudgels, but given that you have an equally (if not more) culpable VP, expecting the Speaker to be the instigator of the impeachment process is expecting too much, I think.

      "You are seeing impeachment as a constitutional crisis. Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis." -- John Nichols

      by litigatormom on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:20:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Letter v. Pragmatism (0+ / 0-)

      C'mon wmtriallawyer, surely you recognize a difference between phrasing and interpretation and institution?  

      Pelosi may not have the power by virtue of the letter, but she has a tremendous amount of power by virtue of politics, her ability to influence the course, including the course of public dialogue.

      Our Democratic Leaders are meek.

      "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

      by rangemaster on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:22:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speakers role? (0+ / 0-)

      What are the duties of the Speaker of the House? (either enumerated or by tradition)

      --Country before party--

      by chipoliwog on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 05:48:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cindy Sheehan is unfortunately known for (29+ / 0-)

    making well-meaning but imprecise (or even incorrect) statements; this is another example.

    What she should have said was that Pelosi, like all other Congresspersons, swore to defend the Constitution, and that doing so entails removal of an administration that has so frequently and willfully violated it; and that as House Speaker she has an extra responsibility to spearhead that removal.

    I would have agreed with that, quite frankly.

    •  Ohferchrissake. (38+ / 0-)

      She's not a lawyer.  She's not a career politician.  She's not a constitutional scholar.  She's not even a political junkie.  She's a citizen, an average Josephine who is doing the best she can under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.  (Not just difficult for her, by the way.  Difficult for all of us.)

      Having said that, the point of this diary is well-taken.  I do think, however, that given that Pelosi announced that 'impeachment is off the table' before she even took over as Speaker, it's perfectly understandable for a lay citizen to assume that she is the one with the power to put it back on the table.

      Just sayin'.

      Can we please discuss this issue on its merits and refrain from Cindy-bashing?  Christ on a crutch, it's getting old.

      "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:13:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's what we're doing in this diary (11+ / 0-)

        seems to be pretty straightforward on the merits, here.

        I choked on your post. It nearly killed me. Hitler killed people. Your post is just like Hitler. - Pope Bandar bin Turtle

        by Buffalo Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:15:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's my point, Mehitabel9, (19+ / 0-)

        which is why I agree with her, even though her words are off a little.

        I think that yesterday's brutal anti-CS flame wars simply go to show that there's no shortage of real and wannabe Party apparatchiks who take her words at face value, find the flaws, and condemn remoreselessly.  And that's wrong.

        •  Sorry, I'm working off a very short fuse today. (20+ / 0-)

          I'm sick to death of the Cindy-bashing, is all.  She can't do anything right where some people are concerned.  It's sickening.

          "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

          by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:20:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You and me both, Mehitabel9. (11+ / 0-)

            No offense taken. :-))

            •  And when I say "some people", (14+ / 0-)

              I'm not talking about Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly, from whom that behavior is, well, to be expected.  I'm talking about us.  The (supposed) good guys.

              It makes me nauseous, how hateful some people around here are toward her.

              "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

              by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:22:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If I can chime in... (12+ / 0-)

                I don't hate the woman. She was an inspiration to all of us who wanted peace back when the war was popular.

                But now that the war and the president and the party who started it are all unpopular, this woman is standing in the way of some of our best Democrats -- people who agree with her in principal and who are fighting every day to bring our troops home.

                That's the only problem I have with her. I liked her when she fought against Republicans, not Democrats.

                "It's hard to hit another living thing in the face with a shovel for about an hour... Where's the joy in that?" --- Michael Scott

                by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:30:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, you'll have the same problem.... (6+ / 0-)

                  with about half the people on this site.

                  The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

                  by cometman on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:45:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Eh, I dunno (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wystler, x

                    There have been moments of panic -- like, for example, the earmarks vote on the funding bill. But by and large, we support our Democrats. In time, cooler heads usually prevail here.

                    "It's hard to hit another living thing in the face with a shovel for about an hour... Where's the joy in that?" --- Michael Scott

                    by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:48:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  All due respect: (6+ / 0-)

                  Pelosi isn't one of "our best Democrats" right now.  Every step that's being taken to hold Bushco accountable is being taken in spite of Nancy, not in support of her leadership on this.

                  Nancy isn't a sacred cow, if you'll pardon the metaphor.  She has to earn the right to keep her job, just like everyone else.

                  We can't afford, IMO, to start calling anyone who wants to replace not-so-great Congressional Dems with other, better Dems a traitor to the party or whatever.  And yeah, I know Cindy intends to run as an independent, but that's not what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about the bigger picture.  Fighting a bad Democrat isn't the same thing as fighting the Democratic Party.  Not in my view, anyway.

                  "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

                  by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:13:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  uuumm..... (4+ / 0-)

                So it's okay for CS to bash Democrats and Nancy Pelosi in general, but not okay for people to object?  

                I do not believe it's bashing CS to merely challenge or disagree with her tactics.  

                It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

                by Quicksilver2723 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:43:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I see a huge difference between 'objecting' (6+ / 0-)

                  and embarking on a "let's bash her back, but good" campaign, as has happened here.

                  I didn't particularly care for the diaries that people found so objectionable.  They did not, however, change my overall opinion of/feelings toward Cindy.  She's angry, frustrated and highly emotional.  Well, so am I (and I haven't lost a kid in Iraq, so how much more so must she be?  and understandably so?) and so are a whole lot of us around here.  She's not exactly a one-woman circular firing squad, that's happening all over the freakin' blogosphere these days.

                  So, no, I don't object to the challenges, as long as Cindy's being challenged on the issues and as long as the discourse is civil.  But when I see diaries and comments that bash and name-call ("Sideshow Cindy" was one recent one that made my blood boil), I'm going to speak up.  I don't like bullies.

                  This is, of course a general comment and not an accusation directed at specifically at you.

                  "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

                  by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:09:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sounds fair... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...as long as your objections are not leveled at those who are not bashing but merely challenging CS's tactics.  I see these objections popping up on discussion threads where no one has done any bashing at all.  

                    As for those who bash CS, the best way to marginalize such comments is to ignore them rather than amplifying them with rebuttals.

                    It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

                    by Quicksilver2723 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:33:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Cindy's diaries changed my opinion of her. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dems2004, Otis29, Quicksilver2723

                    I don't think I am the only one either who saw that she is not politically aligned with me.  I don't think that Pelosi is a "bad Democrat".  I happen to know that she is actually very liberal and quite good on just about every issue.  Pelosi does not want to destroy the income tax system or call the Democratic Party the party of slavery either. In addition, this belief that impeachment will end the war is completely wrong.  It will not.  Ending the war will end the war.  So if it is the war you are really concerned about then Pelosi's decision to focus on ending the war should make you happy, and yet it doesn't.

                    You mentioned up thread that Pelosi shouldn't be a sacred cow.  Why is Sheehan then?  Some people including me have come to see her in a very, very different light based on Sheehan's own words none of which has she seen fit to recant.  Honestly, I've had enough of poorly informed leaders and I've never been a fan of the ends justifying the means.

                    •  There are sacred cows... and then there are (0+ / 0-)

                      sacred cows.

                      You're taking two completely different contexts and equating them, and I don't think they're equal.

                      When I say Nancy's not a sacred cow, I mean it in the political context.  What I mean by that is that her seat in Congress is not, nor should it be, guaranteed to her for as long as she  chooses to occupy it just because she's a Dem/woman/first woman Speaker/whatever.  A seat in Congress is not an entitlement, despite the fact that too many people in Congress seem to think it is.  

                      I do not in any way mean "not a sacred cow" to imply that Nancy deserves personal slams or bashing.  One does not have to be a 'sacred cow' to be entitled to civility, and the fact that Cindy Sheehan is entitled to civility does not make her a sacred cow.  It simply means that she's a decent human being.  I'd like to think that Kossacks are decent human beings too, and are capable of a little bit more forbearance and a little less mean-spiritedness.  

                      "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

                      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:52:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Ok, I see some valid points here (19+ / 0-)

              on both sides.  I'm not flaming, I refused to get involved in the original pie wars and have refused to do so since.

              This is my take on what is happening.  No one condemns CS for what she has done in the past, quite to the contrary, she has done a lot of good.  She started out as average Jane Doe as Mehitabel points out with some extra xlout from her tragic loss.  She started out like any of us average people who go to demonstrations to express our passions in body and voice.

              She was very effective in this, and in the process, she became something of a figurehead.

              Ok, if I put myself in the same situation, this is what I come up with.  No one here is going to condemn me for being an activist in a mob even though my passions are rightfully guided but perhaps somewhat on false legal or political grounding.  However, when I become a figurehead, something of a leader however reluctant I may be, then I enter a higher level of the game.

              Then I owe it to myself and my supporters not only to really, I mean really study the issue(s) inside and out and curb my original passions.  To strategize and work for the best possible plan to forward my position.  I need to develop resources, people who are experts in the subject, to keep me straight and keep all my ducks in order.

              It seems to me that this is possibly CS's current mistake.  I cannot support her tactics at the moment and I agree with that the diarist writes.  I do not doubt her passion, but I currently doubt her judgement in using that passion and if she is not careful, her passion may be her downfall, even among those of us here.

              That is neither a flame nor a supporting post.  I am only stating my 2 cents for what it is worth and how I see the situation.  It's saddening to me, actually.

              "Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat." -Bertolt Brecht

              by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:36:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with much of what you write... (12+ / 0-)

                ... where we differ is in focusing attention on Cindy Sheehan.  

                I don't agree with people who, essentially, are telling Cindy Sheehan to STFU and go to the back of the bus.  

                People who don't like the things Cindy is doing are free to provide a better example to Cindy and to all of us as to how we should proceed.  

                A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

                by decon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:52:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  agreed (8+ / 0-)

                  and one of my inspirations is our very own Meteor Blades.  I also like to speak with friends here in Germany who were 68-ers during the student riots to understand how they accomplished so much.  One of the reasons I was so disappointed in Jochim Fischer of the Green Party and Defense Minister under Schöder who allowed rendition flights on his watch.  But that is a story for another time.

                  "Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat." -Bertolt Brecht

                  by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:55:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  er, forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sdgeek

                    Fischer was one of the 68-ers throwing rocks at the Polizei back then.  I meant to tie that in on why I find myself disappointed in him now.  I guess that is what happens when one becomes establishment, doesn't only happen in the US.

                    Hope my post makes better sense now.

                    "Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat." -Bertolt Brecht

                    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:14:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  yes yes yes yes YES! (10+ / 0-)

                  Whatever happened to "I don't like the way X says it, but I support X's right to say it . . . and by the way, X is right!"?

                •  precisely illustrating the problem we have (6+ / 0-)

                  ... people who ... are telling Cindy Sheehan to STFU ...

                  it's the damned hyperbole

                  can't criticize without folks thinkin' the uttered phrase is "STFU"

                  we've become so damned touchy ... yeah, it's the Chimperor's fault (along with Cheney, Murdoch/Ailes, and all the rest) that we're so damned on edge

                  but the other side takes heart when we're so damned busy going at it with each other ... looks like hell to the fence-sitters and the more timid who've joined our ranks only recently

                  it's about biconceptualism ... Obama08

                  by wystler on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:07:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My observation isn't hyperbole.... (6+ / 0-)

                    People have been telling Cindy to STFU from the beginning.  You can even deliver the message with a tshirt or a thong.

                    The difference, is that some Democrats have now joined conservatives/Republicans in telling Cindy to STFU.

                    I stand by my assertion that many here are, essentially, telling Cindy Sheehan to STFU.

                    And nice cut and paste job removing a key word: essentially.  Of course if you'd like a direct quote, I can certainly provide one.  But more important than a handful of intemperate comments is the attitude of a much larger contingent here at DKos and in the liberal/progressive/Democratic blogosphere.  These people definitely want Cindy Sheehan to shut up and go away.

                    A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

                    by decon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:55:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  in English language (the colonies) it is (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Karma for All, corvo, Mehitabel9, DSPS owl

                well known as 'the tall poppy syndrome'. Meaning that once an individual grows in either stature or even just height to loom above others in the field it is an immutable law of nature to chop off the head, to bring them down to size.

                Probably part of our primal imprint from fight or flight days. The tall poppy is perceived as a threat to the tribe. Happens all the time.

              •  Be careful, though... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca, Jeffersonian Democrat

                To strategize and work for the best possible plan to forward my position.  I need to develop resources, people who are experts in the subject, to keep me straight and keep all my ducks in order.

                The desire to come up with the "best possible plan to forward my position" can lead very quickly to "making sure I don't alienate anyone" and thus selling out your formerly passionate position in order to get elected. It also leads to a form of strategizing which follows overly-simplified polls instead of shaping the issues.

                In CS case, she may be clumsy, but that's part of her charm. She represents a gust of very fresh air into the stale world of DC politics-as-usual. She should be encouraged rather than discouraged. Perhaps more citizens will become activists and actually change things from below instead of waiting for the Ds or Rs to do it.

                Anyone who says Americans will think she makes the left look kooky is reading too many RW blogs.

                The mainstream D's feared Dean's campaign was kooky, too, remember? And because of that fear, they shut down what was probably the best candidate with a chance to beat BushCo.

                I'll bet that most Americans think she is a little bit kooky, but in a good way. Americans always (deep down) admire people who take action like her. It's not something they themselves would do, and it's not something they will admit to everybody, but they are quietly pleased that someone is taking it to DC.

                On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to wait and waiting died.

                by sean oliver on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:55:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes, that is a danger (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sean oliver

                  I guess what I was focusing on in keeping my ducks in a row is ensuring that I had credibility that reinforced my passion.  I understand the passion, but even I sometimes spout things that are not credible out of frustration, even here on dKos, and I find that people will call me out on it but are usually very forgiving when I reply "yea, you're right, that was pretty stupid to say".

                  That is why I will never be a political leader and also explains my typos when I type too fast out of passion.

                  But I hear you, in fact that is the exact criticism I try to express below concerning Jochim Fischer.

                  "Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat." -Bertolt Brecht

                  by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:08:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  The Vietnam protests weren't terribly precise... (12+ / 0-)
          in language or style.  Yes, we have a young John Kerry speaking eloquently back then, but we also had many folks who just marched and shouted 'End the War,' and I saw a photo this week that showed a Vietnam protester carrying a sign that said "Stop the @$#%'ing War!" (I edited the actual phrase).

          I don't have the resources to go back to see how the Women's Suffrge Movement was carried out but I bet there were some who were more and less articulate about what they were fighting for.

          I don't know, everyone's very ramped up these days over the war, Bush/Cheney, the Constitution, and other issues---not to mention Congress and the MSM..It's an exciting time actually, since thousands are waking up from a long sleep.  

          Peace to us all, I hope.

    •  p.s. and wouldn't you know, (3+ / 0-)

      here's what CS's "It's Up to Us: Journey for Humanity and Accountability, Day 14" letter (dated today) says:

      At the end of this day, Speaker Pelosi has notsupported impeachment and has not upheld her oath ofoffice to "protect and defend" the Constitution.

      So maybe she's learning.

  •  It's not a matter of authority (22+ / 0-)

    The authority is right there in the Constitution. And it's not a matter or responsibility, either. It's a matter of the ability to do it.

    If we're going to do it, let's investigate, indict, impeach.

    And by the way, I'm glad we're talking about this rationally. Impeachment is a serious matter, and I'm tired of seeing everyone throwing it around like confetti and streamers.

    "It's hard to hit another living thing in the face with a shovel for about an hour... Where's the joy in that?" --- Michael Scott

    by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:07:53 AM PDT

    •  Confetti and Streamers (5+ / 0-)

      seem to be on the Cindy Sheehan type posts.

      I think if you want to get rid of the circus act atmosophere, both in the media and the blogs, you need to stop sending in the clowns.

      Which means, as you say Droogie, 'talking about this rationally'

      I think the problem is the number of irrational people, like Cindy, who are currently the 'faces' of this movement, getting the headlines (and diary space) to the detriment of the serious, rational and methodical people like Conyers.

      •  I haven't seen her get a headline... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo

        ... in months, except for here. She said she was done as an activist, and the media took her word for it.

        "It's hard to hit another living thing in the face with a shovel for about an hour... Where's the joy in that?" --- Michael Scott

        by droogie6655321 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:25:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  really? (5+ / 0-)

          she's been in the headlines for the past month, including yesterday. She got headlines for threatening to run against Pelosi, and she got headlines for getting arrested yesterday.

          I choked on your post. It nearly killed me. Hitler killed people. Your post is just like Hitler. - Pope Bandar bin Turtle

          by Buffalo Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:40:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Lexis-Nexis (0+ / 0-)

          I'm leaving out stuff about yesterday, since the idea is that that was unusual in getting here in the news.

          Unfortuntely, they do lots of the local papers, but you get a sense of what's been going on for about 12 days here:

          1. New Front in Terror War?; St. Louis Arch Closed; Sheehan Shirt not Hidden,  CNN, SHOW: CNN NEWSROOM 10:00 PM EST, July 22, 2007 Sunday, NEWS; International, 7649 words, Rick Sanchez, Julian Grace

           8. Sheehan takes case to Carolina; Close Up,  The Seattle Times, July 22, 2007 Sunday,  Fourth Edition, ROP ZONE; News; Pg. A2, 334 words, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, Carrboro, N.c.  
           9. Activist to appear in area ... but where?; Misunderstanding over Cindy Sheehan visit has Muhlenberg College, Lepoco scrambling.,  Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), July 20, 2007 Friday,  FIFTH EDITION, LOCAL; Pg. B1, 343 words, By Dalondo Moultrie Of The Morning Call
           10. Impeachment tour stops in Carrboro; Activist Cindy Sheehan says of Bush and Cheney, 'We want them both gone',  The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), July 20, 2007 Friday,  Final Edition, NEWS; Pg. B1, 643 words, Leah Friedman, Staff Writer
           11. Carrboro: 'Paris of the Piedmont' or 'Cradle of Impeachment'?,  The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), July 19, 2007 Thursday,  Final Edition, NEWS; Pg. B3, 340 words, Sapna Maheshwari, Staff Writer
           12. In Brief: Cindy Sheehan's "retirement" ...,  Wonkette, July 18, 2007 Wednesday 10:17 AM EST, , 20 words, Pareene
           13. Prominent anti-war activist likely to face opposition at Charlotte rally,  The Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), July 17, 2007 Tuesday, STATE AND REGIONAL NEWS, 20070717-CH-Prominent-anti-war-activist-likely-to-face-opposition-at-Charlotte-rally-0717, 388 words, Emily S. Achenbaum, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.
           14. HARDBALL for July 17, 2007 MSNBC,  MSNBC, SHOW: HARDBALL 5:00 PM EST, July 17, 2007 Tuesday, NEWS; Domestic, 8729 words, Chris Matthews, David Shuster
           15. Activist to appear in Charlotte to urge that Bush be impeached,  The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), July 17, 2007 Tuesday,  State Edition, NEWS; Pg. B5, 341 words, Emily S. Achenbaum, The Charlotte Observer
           16. How Big is the Biggest Settlement Ever by the Catholic Church and Who's Going to Pay?; Why Does Cindy Sheehan Want to Go to Iraq?,  CNN, SHOW: CNN NEWSROOM 10:00 PM EST, July 15, 2007 Sunday, NEWS; Domestic, 7089 words, Rick Sanchez, Rusty Dornin, Jacqui Jeras, Jessica D'Onofrio
           17. Mexican Drug Cartels Operate with Impunity; Cindy Sheehan to Travel to Iraq; Political Hypocrisy,  CNN, SHOW: CNN NEWSROOM 7:00 PM EST, July 15, 2007 Sunday, NEWS; International, 7433 words, Rick Sanchez, Ed Henry, Kara Finnstrom, Josh Levs, Carol Costello
           18. Sheehan Targets Pelosi; Terrorists Gaining Strength,  CNN, SHOW: CNN NEWSROOM 10:00 PM EST, July 14, 2007 Saturday, NEWS; International, 7136 words, Rick Sanchez, Tom Foreman, Barbara Starr
           19. Sheehan's America Maybe seeing the poster child for socialism will frighten us sufficiently,  The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), July 12, 2007 Thursday,  ALL EDITION, EDITORIAL; Pg. A04, 315 words
           20. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan ready to run for political office if Democrats don't push for Bush's impeachment,  CBS News Transcripts, SHOW: The Osgood File Various Times CBS, July 12, 2007 Thursday, 344 words
           21. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on her possible run against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,  CNBC News Transcripts, SHOW: Kudlow & Company 5:00 PM EST CNBC, July 12, 2007 Thursday, 1565 words
           22. EDITORIAL: Biting The Hand,  The Paducah Sun (Kentucky), July 11, 2007 Wednesday, COMMENTARY, 20070711-PA-EDIT-CINDY-SHEEHAN-20070711, 905 words, The Paducah Sun, Ky.
           23. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan announces plan to challenge House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,  The Associated Press, July 10, 2007 Tuesday 5:44 PM GMT, , DOMESTIC NEWS, 383 words, By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press Writer, CRAWFORD Texas
           24. Anti-war activist Sheehan plans to challenge House Speaker Pelosi,  The Associated Press State & Local Wire, July 10, 2007 Tuesday 5:13 PM GMT, , STATE AND REGIONAL, 401 words, By PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press Writer, CRAWFORD Texas
           25. Crawford Texas -- Come Back Cindy Sheehan!,  All Spin Zone, July 9, 2007 Monday 5:30 PM EST, , 358 words, Steven Reynolds

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

          by JPete on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:49:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I look forward ... (9+ / 0-)

        ... to reading the details of your serious and rational conversation with Conyers and Pelosi.

        A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.

        by decon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:28:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Faces (9+ / 0-)

        You want to know the best way to get Cindy Sheehan to stop being the "face" of impeachment?

        Get some Democratic Congresspeople actually start talking about impeachment.

        Those who have had a chance for four years and could not produce peace should not be given another chance. --Richard Nixon, 9 October 1968

        by darrelplant on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:03:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Impeachment was invented for presidents like 'W'. (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, the reality is that impeachment was, is, and always shall be a messy political enterprise with very little chance at success.  I think we should focus our efforts elsewhere, and pray that there is a special circle of Hell consigned for this adminstration.

      Confessions of a Former Dittohead Available Now

      by advisorjim on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 06:29:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I want an airtight plan ending with a conviction (11+ / 0-)

    so airtight, that our modern day equivalent of Barry Goldwater goes to the WH with a gaggle of other moderate Repubs and tells Bush and Cheney they both have to resign because the articles of impeachment drawn up are so solid and airtight that enough GOP Reps will vote for them and that they furthermore have enough GOP Senate votes to convict.
    Until that plan exists, I don't want to proceed with impeachment.

    Oh and, and good luck finding our modern day equivalent of Barry Goldwater.

    •  How about Hagel? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know if he would do it, but it seems like if there's anyone who will, it will be him.  A few years ago, I might have guessed Specter, but ....

      Just call their form of government Hypocracy.

      by lineatus on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:15:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. (13+ / 0-)

      I agree wholeheartedly.  

      After all, the Founding Fathers didn't sign the Declaration of Independence until they had an airtight plan and an ironclad, satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your-money-back assurance that they'd succeed.

      Susan B. Anthony didn't devote her lifetime to working for woman's suffrage without an airtight plan and an guarantee that she'd succeed.

      Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't step up to lead the Civil Rights Movement until he had his guarantee that it'd be successful.

      Doing nothing until success is guaranteed is what America is all about.  Effin' A, bubba.

      "Well, senility aside, he was competent." -- Darksyde on "terrific" President Ronald Reagan, 7/17/07

      by Mehitabel9 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's just wave our arms about, then? (7+ / 0-)

        Or join hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya, maybe?

        Or maybe we should just accept that reason, emotion, and gut reaction are all essential, and that we need all of them to succeed.

        Cindy Sheehan has value, but those who dot the i's and cross the t's are every bit as necessary.

        If we succeed in removing this odious administration from power, or if we succeed in convicting them in a legal tribunal, it sure as hell isn't going to be Cindy Sheehan who handles the details, any more than Susan B. Anthony wrote the 19th Amendment or MLK wrote the Voting Rights Act.

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:28:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree completely (0+ / 0-)

          Activists like Cindy are certainly a part of the process in order to educate and energize the general public cocerning the malfeasance of public officials.  The process of investigation and making sure that all the "Ts" are crossed and "Is" are dotted is the function of the House Judiciary Committee which is being chaired by the highly capable and thorough Rep. Conyers.

      •  Not really an either/or (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        x, NYFM

        Have the hearings (which they're doing).  Don't jump one way or the other.  See if that inevitability builds--and not necessarily 67 votes in hand, but a situation where the country as a whole is behind it to the point where GOPers in the Senate face a it's-Bush-or-your-career choice.  If you get there, go forward.  If not, do not.

        Because the last thing we need is to pass articles in the House on a party-line vote without mass popular support (as the Republicans did in 1998-99) and have the Senate summarily acquit on a party-line vote (again as in 1998-99).

        Support those who burn the flag and wrap themselves in the Constitution; not those who wrap themselves in the flag and burn the Constitution. -8.25, -6.51

        by Superribbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:09:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think there is any such thing (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, x, NYFM, bablhous, DSPS owl

      It's not like a game of chess where everything you need to know is right there on the board.

      To the degree that it is, right now the odds are that we lose.

      However, you aren't obliged to announce your end game in advance.  In the middle of the game play to create opportunities.   When the opportunity arises, and the chances look good, then it's time to commit to an end game strategy.

      But since unlike chess there is no complete set of rules that are unfailingly enforced, you will never know the outcome for sure until its over.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:10:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent analogy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, Caldonia, NYFM

        Love your sig.

        War is outdated. Dalai Lama

        by x on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:39:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you want Bush/Cheney to resign you do indeed (0+ / 0-)

        announce your end game in advance, because resignation is a lot quicker.

        •  I don't think so (0+ / 0-)

          The only way to get them to resign is if the preponderance of the evidence is that you'd succeed in forcing them from office.  In that case, they'd resign to avoid the probable indignity of being thrown out.

          But if that were the case, we should just do it.

          Otherwise it's an empty threat.

          Suppose we're playing stud poker, if that's more your game.  I've got the three of clubs, the five of spades, and the eight of diamonds on the table and two cards in my hands.  It doesn't matter how I bluff, if you've got any hand better than three of a kind, you aren't going to fold.

          I've lost my faith in nihilism

          by grumpynerd on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:10:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for saying (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Superribbie, NYFM, andgarden, MBNYC, TomP, kyril

    what I've been thinking.  That talking point has always made me cringe.

    Undecided, due to abundance of good choices. Interestingly, I've never heard a Republican say that.

    by cardinal on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:14:34 AM PDT

  •  Well said, wmtriallawyer. (8+ / 0-)

    Correct also.  

    "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

    by TomP on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:19:06 AM PDT

  •  It's a necessary component (12+ / 0-)

    of the "Nancy Pelosi is a traitor" argument. Without it, she just disagrees with your strategy.

  •  Vote for Cindy! She'll impeach Bush in 2009! (27+ / 0-)

    And if that statement makes any sense to you, than you need to go back to High School civics.

    If Sheehan challenges Pelosi it will be on an "Impeach Bush platform." That makes no sense whatsoever. Bush would be gone by the time Sheehan assumed office (I know that the Congress has two weeks with him still in power, but you can't draw up impeachment articles and get them voted on in that short period of time), so essentially Sheehan is running on a moot issue.

    No, the real reason she is running is to threaten Pelosi and blackmail Democratic leadership into impeaching Bush. This move will backfire terribly as it will generate into horrible press that will depict Pelosi as incompetent and unfit to lead her own party - hurting Democrats at all levels.

    There are plenty of Right wingers and neocons out there that are willing to try and destroy the Democratic Majority in congress, do we really need someone to take it down from the inside?

    Check out my new blog, dedicated to electing our boys in blue: An Enduring Democratic Majority

    by Skulnick on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:32:51 AM PDT

  •  I think Cindy Sheehan should run in all 435 (15+ / 0-)

    districts.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:32:52 AM PDT

  •  They DO have a duty to uphold the Constitution (5+ / 0-)

    based on the oaths of office they take, but I'd bet there's no statutory remedies for oath violation per se.

    "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

    by Mumon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:34:21 AM PDT

    •  (cont.) (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wystler, x, boofdah, kyril

      But your point is spot on spot on.

      I thought Cindy Sheehan didn't comport herself well (see I can avoid writing "sounded ill-informed and jerky") when she said that.

      It's the sort of thing with which the right wing smear media will tar her.

      "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

      by Mumon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so you are saying she went to the right person (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, LaFajita

      yesterday, but since you don't like her she is

      "sounded ill-informed and jerky"

      ?

      It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

      by tony the American Mutt on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:09:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not a question of "like" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MattR

        I want to get this done, and it has to be done right, meaning effectively, with as broad public support as we can get, and done in a way that indisputably ingrains into the national psyche that this is mainstream.

        She sounded ill-informed and jerky, that's not effective.

        Nothing personal about it, this is business.

        "It's better to realize you're a swan than to live life as a disgruntled duck."

        by Mumon on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:26:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Senate is a key part of this process (4+ / 0-)

    Because that is where the "conviction" occurs.  And with our razor thin majority, it's just not gonna happen.

    Not to mention, Chief Justice Roberts presiding...yikes.

  •  Legality vs Political reality (5+ / 0-)

    You are correct, at this point in the process, impeachment doesn't need Pelosi's support any more than it needs Boehner's.

    However, unless I'm mistaken, Pelosi has made it clear that she doesn't want Conyers to initiate the process.  Conyers can do so if the chooses to buck his party leadership.  His party leadership can then find tons of ways to screw with him to pay him back.

    Ms. Sheehan took her sideshow to the right office yesterday, but Chairman Conyers didn't get to be where he is without being a loyal soldier.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:44:07 AM PDT

  •  Apologist Arguments - (6+ / 0-)

    For the larger issue.

    The Speaker of the House has real powers to set the House agenda.
    She is not using these to move impeachment forward.
    That should be about as plain as day to anyone.

  •  No. She is mandated by her oath of office (10+ / 0-)

    That oath which demands that she defend the constitution is why she must impeach. Because Gonzalez, Cheney, and Bush have committed felonies while in office and in support of their policies.

    So, while the text of the constitution does not demand impeachment, her oath of office does.

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

    by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:46:24 AM PDT

    •  If that's the counterargument... (13+ / 0-)

      then why shouldn't it apply to the other 434 members of the House as well?

      Why does it seem to apply only to Pelosi?

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:49:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely agreed (7+ / 0-)

        It applies to every officer of the government who takes that oath. Equally.

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

        by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:54:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which is why (9+ / 0-)

          a lot of folks say Cindy should run in her own district against her own Republican congressman...and not against Pelosi.

          If it's about not doing their job, under this premise, everybody's at fault up on Capitol Hill.

          Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

          by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:58:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cindy shouldn't run because she's incompetent (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musing85, Boris Godunov, LaFajita

            She has zero experience in crafting legislation. She appears too easily manipulated by a small core group of followers. The whole Chavez thing was unbelievably dumb of her.

            IMO: if she's serious about becoming a professional politician she ought to run for city office, like an alderperson. Then work her way up to state government. Learn the craft. Then run for national office.

            Which has nothing to do with Speaker Pelosi's position on impeachment.

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

            by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:20:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Which other members (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        x, blueoasis, Little, kyril

        have declared that "impeachment is off the table"?

      •  I absolutely apply it to my Blue Dog (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maynard, zedaker

        Before anyone else.  I actually wrote a long diary about it, and mailed it to him after his first infuriating letter.

           Thank you for contacting me about H. Res. 333, Impeaching Richard B. Cheney, Vice President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). I do not support the pursuit of articles of impeachment against President Bush or Vice President Cheney.

           This course of action would serve only to further divide the country and, more importantly, delay progress on issues that need Congress' immediate attention: resolving the War in Iraq, health care costs and quality of care issues, veterans' affairs issues, immigration reform, etc. Congress would be consumed by impeachment proceedings and would be unable to address these other pressing matters.

           I do not agree with many of the policies of the Bush Administration. Whether it is the War in Iraq or the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, there has been a great deal of negligence and mismanagement on the part of the White House. Congress must work to put this country back on course by enacting constructive legislation that positively impacts the lives of every American. I am dedicated to working towards a better future for the Hoosiers of our district, not engage in crippling partisan fights with my Republican colleagues.

         
        It makes no difference.  The entire town could call - and probably has called, repeatedly - and he would not support impeachment.  He is afraid of alienating Republican friends.  That is far more important to him than his oath of office, the Constitution or justice.  

        And to think Moveon.org asked me to volunteer in his election...

    •  No, it does not (9+ / 0-)

      Her oath does not specify the manner in which she will defend the Constitution. You may want to make it say that, but the form of words does not support the interpretation you want to place upon it.

      •  You're right, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, LaFajita

        I'm sorry that you are.  I too want her to be required to put impeachment back on the table.

        The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

        by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:00:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Defending the constitution by destroying it (0+ / 0-)

        Interesting logic.

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

        by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:03:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Neither more nor less interesting (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x, Elise

          than the logic you want to use to make the text say something that it does not.

          •  Ah. You're a strict constructionalist then. nt (0+ / 0-)

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

            by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:37:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Leap to conclusions much? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Elise

              No, I'm definitely not a strict constructionalist. But I do believe that authorial intent and the meaning of the actual words must be taken into account when interpreting any text. To do otherwise is to wind up in  Νεφελοκοκκυγία, Cloud-Cuckoo-Land.

              •  lol! (0+ / 0-)

                This is the oath congresspersons and senators swear to uphold prior to taking office:

                I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

                We appear to differ on the responsibilities of those who have faithfully taken that oath. To me, upholding the constitution means demanding that all officeholders follow rule of law and do not try to usurp authority by extrajudicial means. Which is exactly where the Bush administration has gone.

                Thus - they must remove the criminals from office, or at least try, to uphold if not the letter than at least the spirit of their oath. JMO.

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

                by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:02:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem being, as the diarist (0+ / 0-)

                  (and several others, myself included) have said all along on this thread, that neither the Constitution itself nor the congressional oath prescribes a particular method of supporting/defending the Constitution. There are other means than impeachment available; I would argue, with the diarist, that as long as a member of Congress is pursuing at least one of those other means, s/he is not in violation of either the Constitution or the congressional oath. Not to mention the obvious (to me, anyway) fact that in our system of justice, investigations always precede trials. We're not done investigating yet, so talk of impeachment is premature at best--quite leaving aside the sad fact that there's no way in hell we'll get the minimum of 18 Republican votes in the Senate we'd need to secure a conviction.

                  •  Impeachment and conviction is the ONLY course (0+ / 0-)

                    I've made my points. You've made yours. We disagree. STRONGLY.

                    I think there's not much further we can go here.

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

                    by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:23:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Except that (0+ / 0-)

                      my position is supported by the text. Yours is not.

                      What's more, even if your position were supported by the text, there's still no way we'd get the necessary votes for a conviction in the Senate. So why not move on to other alternatives and spend our energies on doing what we can to limit or undo the damage already done, and prevent as much of any further mischief as possible, until the Hedgemony term-limits into the sunset in 500-odd days? Seems to me that's a far more prudent and practical course of action than standing around shouting at the rain and demanding that our representatives waste their time and our money attempting to achieve the impossible.

                      •  Give it up. I think YOU'RE WRONG, as do you, me. (0+ / 0-)

                        This thread is going nowhere. Drop it. We won't convince each other. And, somehow, I doubt you're about to convince Bruce Fein either. Good luck to you.

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

                        by maynard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:43:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (10+ / 0-)

    Very clear, straightfoward, and helpful.

  •  Great breakdown (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the clarification.

    It was a pleasure to meet you in Austin!  I'm sorry I couldn't stick around longer...

    We have to become the leaders we seek. --boadicea
    Visit TexasKaos. We're taking Texas back!

    by sccs on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:52:08 AM PDT

  •  Nicely done. (6+ / 0-)

    I agree that impeachment needs to happen. I have diaried about this, frankly, long before it became the hot topic du jour.

    What is dismaying, however, is the astringent rhetoric about what the Constitution demands of whom. This diary does a very nice job of clarifying a crucial aspect of that. Thank you.

    It occurs to me that my monstrous, incredible apathy about other people's personal lives can be interpreted as tolerance. - Moody Loner

    by MBNYC on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:53:18 AM PDT

  •  Pelosi totally dropped framing ball - she said (6+ / 0-)

    last year that impeachment was off the table.

    as someone who is Speaker of hte House, who determines what legislation gets put in front of which committees

    what she says is VERY important to what is on the table and what is NOT on the table.  

    furthermore, the fascists have PROVEN, that without the body count of Iraq or Katrina, there is almost no such thing as over reaching!

    how many citizens even know about bushco's fucking signing statements?  

    we went from the nuclear option on fillibusters, with Dems pissing and shitting their pants from fascist threats, to a Senate stopped by fascist fillibusters.

    defunding the war, persuing impeachment ...

    I'm NOT going to claim which is the best strategy and whick are the best tactics to carry out any strategy

    (I already have a job)

    BUT

    when you step up to negotiate with fascist bullies and you immediately remove some possible avenues, you are already losing.

    the losing frame is from Nancy - as are too many losing tactics and strategies since Nov 2006.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:53:23 AM PDT

  •  Question for Wmtriallawyer. (5+ / 0-)

    Other than impeachment, what other remedies are available to the people for what in my opinion are the egregious violations of our rights, usurping our tax dollars for illegal activities (waging an illegal war and domestic spying), and in my own case, holding accountable the members of the administration and law enforcement who have leaned heavily upon me and others for first amendment protected activities?  

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:59:55 AM PDT

    •  So long as they are in office, not much. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, x, kyril

      It's a good question.  Unfortunately, there are not many remedies at all with respect to what public officials, such as the President, do in their official capacity.

      Dates back to the Nixon era, I believe (can't remember the SCOTUS case off the top of my head).  Essentially, though, for any official acts of government, a President can't be held liable.

      That was the difference in the Paula Jones case against Clinton.  The sexual harrassment suit had nothing to do with an act of government done by a public official.  That was why Clinton could be sued.

      I think (I hope) that answered your question.

      Of course, if something has happened to you personally you could always sue for violation of your civil rights under 42 USC Section 1983.  But again, government officials have certain immunities that apply in those cases as well.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:04:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gonzo's office shut down my FOIA request for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        names of involved persons and the appeal as well.  I even have them on tape and pictures of two of them.  Judiciary Committee would not help.

        BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

        by Habanero on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:59:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm...FOIA is another can of worms (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Habanero

          and honestly, I'm no FOIA expert.

          I can ask around on FOIA requests, though, for procedures, etc.

          They can be very time consuming.

          Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

          by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:03:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Statutory damages, + Atty's fees. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Habanero

            Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

            Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

            by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:35:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It is my only method for discovery. I have (0+ / 0-)

            had zero luck in finding a local attorney to take my case on contingency; without the names of players I have had no luck.  I cannot afford to litigate out of my own pocket.  

            I can only guess at why the Judiciary Committee would not help.  Had they performed the most rudimentary inquiry into my case and received honest, accurate responses from DOJ, there would be some FBI agents indicted.

            BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

            by Habanero on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:45:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where are you? (0+ / 0-)

              Possible i can refer to an Atty who does stuff on spec., if they think there's a good chance of the govt. paying.

              Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

              Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

              by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:02:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Where are you? Between a rock and a hard place. (0+ / 0-)

                Mr. Masel,

                Denying my FOIA request may be actionable; the FOIA request is my non-expert attempt at discovery sufficient to retain an agreement with counsel on a contingency basis.  

                The real issue(s) are "color of law" violations as described in the US code.  Law enforcement has attempted three times to instigate me into entering into a physical confrontation that could have resulted in my getting arrested or worse yet shot.  
                This is also about a telephone threat to me of a law enforcement interview without cause (which was lawfully recorded) on the evening my father was recovering from quadruple cardiac bypass.  Had I been arrested my family would be even further traumatized as well as my father’s health having been put in jeopardy had they carried through.  
                This is about having my home covertly searched, at least twice.  This is also about a self purported architect / government contractor who purports to having had worked on national security projects who tried to entrap me; after that did not work, he offered me advice to "not fuck with these guys."  I want to know who these guys are and who put him up to this little task.  

                For what it is worth, I live in Omaha, Nebraska.  If you know a good attorney who is competent to perform this kind of work, let me know.  As I wrote previously, my attorney would need to be paid.  For myself, I only want the satisfaction of seeing them pay for their actions and to set a precedent that will cause the criminal traitors to take pause the next time they try to dish out that kind of crap to another citizen.
                In summary, I don’t want money, I want heads to roll.

                Habanero

                BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

                by Habanero on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:51:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Try Don Fiedler (0+ / 0-)

                  Onetime National Director of NORML, now practicing in Omaha. Won't hurt to tell him I sent you, he once hired me as an expert witness.

                  Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

                  Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

                  by ben masel on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 07:09:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Another Question (0+ / 0-)

                    I will consider visiting with the person you have recommended.  Could you please elaborate just a bit on how this protracted endeavor will eventually hold these people accountable for color of law violations?  Please remember that for me it is not about money, it is all about holding these dishonorable criminals accountable.

                    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

                    by Habanero on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 09:23:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't know enough about the details of yr case. (0+ / 0-)

                      First step might be judicial review of the FOIA denial. Not a whole lot of work there, with Fees paid quickly.

                      Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

                      Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

                      by ben masel on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 10:09:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  FOIA has judicial remedies. (0+ / 0-)

          You sue in Fed court for an order for release of the FOIA'd material. I was a named co-plaintiff in the first suit of this type, against the FBI, during the Ford years. TakeOver v ... (I can't recall which administration we named first, maybe AG Saxbe.) TakeOver was Madison's Underground Paper. We got the files of the FBI unit surveilling and infiltrating the local anti-war movement during the Nixon era.

          Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

          Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

          by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:33:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I really don't want money other than covering my (0+ / 0-)

            costs to litigate.  I do want ALL of the guilty parties to do hard time in the open prison population and see what it feels like to get harrassed when you no longer can wave a gun and a badge at somebody and shoot them dead if they resist.

            BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

            by Habanero on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:48:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's how it works. (0+ / 0-)

              The Statutory damages were (I presume still are) $1,000 for an FOIA violation, but the Govt. also pays your Atty at their basic hourly rate.

              Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

              Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

              by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:52:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  How about voting them out of office, Habanero? (0+ / 0-)

      What rough beast, its hour come round at last/Slouches toward Bethlehem waiting to be born?

      by cova1 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:31:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  wm, you make a great case (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, wandabee

    excellently framed.

    Thanks for laying it out like this.  Excellent diary.

    I kinda wish Kos would put up a prominent, permanent link to the actual text of the Constitution.  It wouldn't hurt this country if more people actually read it, in whole or in part.

    Where were you when Congress became irrelevant?

    by netguyct on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:00:17 AM PDT

  •  Sophistry (11+ / 0-)

    I think the constitutionally mandated duty that Cindy Sheehan was referring to was the oath Pelosi took to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic", not some specific duty that attaches to the Speaker of the House.  This oath is required by Article VI of the Constitution and is provided by section 2 of the act of May 13, 1884 (23 Stat. 22), to be administered to Members, Resident Commissioner, and Delegates of the House of Representatives, the text of which is carried in 5 U.S.C. 3331.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:02:03 AM PDT

    •  just words these days (2+ / 0-)

      words that can be twisted into a pretzel

      Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating. --Brazil (1985)

      by hypersphere01 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:04:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again, though, why is Pelosi the sole target? (3+ / 0-)

      All the members of Congress took that oath.

      It's disingenious to say that it is Pelosi's job and her job alone if it is the oath that is being relied upon for the authority.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:06:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looks like we have a winner. (nt) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Karma for All
    •  The oath is to 'support and defend' (5+ / 0-)

      It, much like the actual text of the Constitution, does not mandate anything.  If her view of 'supporting and defending' the Constitution is to NOT impeach and instead focus on legislative achievements, or winning big in '08.  That's her interpretation of 'support and defend'.

      My point being, 'support and defend' is not a cut and dry phrase.  It is very open to different interpretations.  Saying that impeachment is mandated by the Constitution because the Constitution calls for an oath and your interpretation of the oath is that is requires impeachment is quite the rhetorical stretch.

      Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

      by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:12:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nominee for Comment of the Day. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, bawbie

        Thanks for this.

        It really is a good synopsis of the arguments vis a vis the oath.

        This is exactly what I was thinking, but you put it more succiently than I could.

        Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

        by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:21:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, gee, thanks (0+ / 0-)

          I actually think this comment by dianem from upthread put it better than I did.  

          The oath is ambiguous, a word I couldn't put my mind on when writing that comment.

          Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

          by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wonder why the difference? (0+ / 0-)

          The presidential oath says: "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"

          The oath for newly elected and re-elected senators (1/3 of them) and representatives (all of them) says:  "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic"

          (Both quotes from Wikipedia.)

          There may be some logical or legal explanation for the difference?

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:22:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nominee for missing the point (0+ / 0-)

        You are of course, correct, but about an irrelevancy.

        •  Do you care to expand? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85

          How exactly is Pelosi mandated to impeach?

          Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

          by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:35:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bawbie (0+ / 0-)

            You can pickle over the nits all you like. It's all beside the point. This comment lays it out:

            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            •  I think it is the exact point of this diary (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85, wmtriallawyer

              There is a talking point often used in impeachment diaries (and Ms. Sheehan) that Ms. Pelosi or the house in general are mandated by the Constitution to impeach.  

              I agree with wmtriallawyer that this talking point needs to be dropped because it's just plain false.

              Neither the Constitution nor the Oath of Office mandates any Representative to ever impeach.

              On the large scale of things, maybe it is a nit, but it is the focus of this (Recommended) diary and I think it is a very valid point to discuss.  

              Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

              by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:49:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The diarist started the diary with a reference (0+ / 0-)

                back to an earlier diary against Sheehan's (possible) run against Pelosi. Then he posted specifically in response to CS's comments y'day - seems like a pattern to me, moreso because he pointed to the pattern. You think it's important that someone clear up the nefarious "talking point" of how MOCs are "mandated" to impeach? And equally important to do it through Cindy Sheehan? That's your prerogative - it just seems trivial on the first point and questionable motive-wise on the second.

  •  thank you wmtriallawyer (5+ / 0-)

    i actually stopped posting at all and went back to lurking (good riddance, i know) out of frustration/disgust with the hysterical calls for immediate impeachment. calling for impeachment before the investigations is not only procedurally ridiculous, but a pretty good way to discredit yourself and make the whole process look partisan. thank you for spelling out the process. i am absolutely in favor of investigations, and if a case for impeachment can be built we should go ahead with it.

  •  Dumb is dumb (0+ / 0-)

    whether it's Republican or Democrat.

    I have no patience with dumb people. We are in the spot we're in because of dumb people.

  •  The concern is less with Pelosi's obligation and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, zedaker, JuniperLea

    ...more with her pressuring other Reps to back off from it -- perhaps a form of obstruction of justice?

  •  Of course you're right (4+ / 0-)

    but I still see value in Sheehan-style rabble-rousing.

    There is nothing that worries entrenched corporate and political interests more than the idea that the people are so fed up that they're taking it to the streets. I want our elected officials to understand that we're reaching a tipping point. I want them to get the sense of urgency that simply can't come from sober, methodical hearings alone.

    You've done a great service in walking us through the Constitutional process before us, but politics is a lot more than that.

    Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!

    Love, baby, that's where it's at. --The B52's

    by Mind That on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:09:19 AM PDT

    •  There's a lot of value to be found from the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zedaker, Mind That

      activities of the 'messy' people, the 'loud' people, the people who do not behave the way the 'nice' people think they should behave.

      Remember us? The DFH? We were the 'messy' people back then. The 'loud' people, the 'stupid' people who don't understand how things are done, the people who did not follow the rules.

      We are all necessary for the effort - from the bomb-throwers to the deliberate word-parsers.

      And, as soon as things are turned right (if they are), the DFH will be delegated to the back of the bus again. And we know it. (It's OK, it's more fun back there.)

      But for now, ALL OF US ARE NECESSARY to push over the facade of 'it can't be done - go home.'

      "We're all in this together" -- Harry Tuttle, legendary plumber

      by bablhous on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:33:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  During the protests of the 60's (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bablhous, JuniperLea

        I remember my conservative parents expressing their dismay over what those hippies were doing. Something needed to be done about them, but when that "something" turned out to be violence, they were appalled. That's when they realized that the only "something" that could be done was to actually listen to them.

        Love, baby, that's where it's at. --The B52's

        by Mind That on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:40:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let's Ask the Obvious - - (3+ / 0-)

    If Pelosi decided to move on impeachment tomorrow,
    Do you think that hearings would start right after Labor Day?
    The Speaker DOES have the power to set the House agenda.

  •  House Speaker has authority to schedule hearings (5+ / 0-)

    on a bill when the committee it's languishing in fails to act, such as is the case with Kucinich's HR333 (Articles of Impeachment against Dick Cheney). As Speaker of the House, Pelosi is empowered to move this bill forward to a full House hearing and should be pressured to do so.

  •  Impeachment is deadend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DiesIrae, Quicksilver2723

    So what if we impeach Bush. That would install Cheney -- not an improvement. I think it's much better to spend the nex 2 years investigating all the high crimes that have transpired in the past six years. Lots of bodies buried in the WH basement -- for sure.

    •  If The Won't Allow Oversight or Comply with ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CitizenOfEarth

      subpoenas, that is impossible.  That is the reason we are at this point.

      •  Yeah, true. But People are coming to see (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigBite, Quicksilver2723

        what has previously been obfuscated and hidden. Even the most casual observer can now see Bush is hiding something (lots of somethings). The point is to cast daylight on all the midnight dealings that have gone on.

        Bush and his minions will not go to prison for the high crimes of the Bush era, but now, with the help of hearings, the masses are finding out the truth.

        Honestly, if this were the year 2001, I'd be screaming for impeachment. But we are too late in the game now.

        •  The Issue Here Is Not Something That Takes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CitizenOfEarth, DSPS owl

          time.  Disregard for subpoenas is something that either happened or did not happen.  Congress has a right, as part of the sovereign government, to enforce it's powers.

          But if you don't go through the effort, at least to dramatize what is happening, then you might as well forget the public ever becoming aware of the abuse of power.  It is also unlikely that all republicans will vote against it, I think, once people really know what is going on.  You may think people know, but they don't.  Regular folks, not the folks here, are aware that Bush stinks, but they can't articulate real reasons for why that are hard like these issues will dramatize them.  People don't notice such small matters as disregard for subpoenas unless there are real consequences.  Once the breaking of laws is out in the open, very few people stand the scrutiny.  But democrats need to play it well rather than making political excuses for it all the time.

          And, if we allow the bushies to do this, then you might as well say goodbye to the oversight powers of Congress.  It's like giving up a whole amount of power because we only have a year and 1/2 to make Congress' processes work.

          It seems silly.  It's like saying why prosecute a crime when the statute of limitations will run out before the prosecution is over.  Ah, because that is not relevant to getting the punishment nor is it relevant to the trial.  It's an ancillary issue that has absolutely nothing to do with rule of law and everything to do with perception and nothing to do with the actual law (statute of limitations only bars bringing new charges).  And politics are exactly why we are in this position.  Why leave a legal issue to be resolved by politics.  That is just asking for ambiguity and confusion.

    •  What is so hard to grasp (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oceanview, smkngman, zedaker

      about impeaching Cheney first?

      Seriously, why after endless debates over this subject do people STILL claim that impeaching Bush would only lead to Cheney?

    •  Lots of bodies, indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CitizenOfEarth

      Two problems with the "dead end" statements and the "we have important work to do and don't want to derail it" and the "we'll have a better chance of sending them to prison after they're out of office":

      1.  Removing the current administration is starting to look like the only way out of Iraq, and every day these people are in power, more kids die.  We need to ask ourselves if it is ok to let this happen.
      1.  Defending the fabric of the best parts of our government - people power, checks and balances, the Constitution - it trumps all.  That's the kind of thing worth fighting for.  (Not that I'm advocating a "violent overthrow of the government", I'm just sayin', Bill-o.)  We can't allow this opportunity slip out of our fingers, otherwise we allow a precedent to be set that paves the way for a system that allows the most powerful to choose to do only what is in their interest.  We need to condemn it NOW.
  •  Or how about "Impeachment as a means... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing85, CitizenOfEarth, 0wn

    ...to stopping the war."

    1. Even if you impeach, it will not shorten the war by a day and...
    1. Comingling the two ideas weakens both the case for impeachment and the cause of trying to end the Iraq debacle.

    I'd also go with...

    1. Impeachment is altogether the wrong move, but I won't try and fight that battle here.

    RedState.com: nowhere can you find a smaller, more irrelevant group of morally bankrupt sycophants with the IQ of a dozen decapitated squirrels.

    by JeffLieber on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:10:45 AM PDT

  •  Something else that is not in the Constitution: (7+ / 0-)

    Executive privilege

  •  Oh just shoot me (5+ / 0-)

    People, if you are threatened by Cindy Sheehan's appearance, if you are afraid that she is not pretty or suave or articulate or contained or proper enough - please just say it. Just say you don't like Cindy Sheehan's appearance, and stop these underhanded attacks that are so ridiculous in their reasoning.

    NOTE: Cindy Sheehan can't "disrupt" impeachment any more than you could. She is doing, she is acting, she is trying. Please, and I mean this "please," please get your wandering eyes off the things on the side of the road that offend your delicate sensibilities and look forward and do forward.

    Please just stop this.

    •  And a few points (0+ / 0-)

      If Nancy Pelosi doesn't do her constitutionally mandated job by midnight tonight, tomorrow I will announce that I am going to run against her.

      That statement is untrue.  It can't be said any plainer than that.

      What? A political statement like this is not true or untrue, that's just silly. The rest of the points seem to follow along that misread of that.

    •  Could you be more insulting to the diarist? (6+ / 0-)

      Absolutely nothing underhanded in this diary. Sorry someone is challenging Cindy's ideas - but try to remember that's what we do here.

      No one is above criticism.

      WORST GODDAMN PRESIDENT SINCE 1789.

      by perro amarillo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is underhanded to even couch this in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo, LaFajita

        terms of Cindy Sheehan. It is apples and oranges. Look at this critique:

        If Nancy Pelosi doesn't do her constitutionally mandated job by midnight tonight, tomorrow I will announce that I am going to run against her.

        That statement is untrue.  It can't be said any plainer than that.

        That is so reaching. CS was obvioulsy makinga political statement. it's snot true or untrue, and it's nitpicking to go after it like that.

        And this:

        In other words, the power to impeach resides in the House, not with the Speaker.  Moreover, the Constitution says nothing about being required to use that power.

        WTF? Tht is just not thought through.

      •  Then why not criticize Pelosi? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little

        She was the one who arrogated to herself the power to declare impeachment "off the table", even though wmtriallawyer has clearly shown that Pelosi does NOT have that power.

        People talk all the time about not alienating allies.  If Sheehan's trying to force Pelosi or Conyers into pushing impeachment to the top of the agenda, where it belongs, then isn't she an ally?

    •  oh yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, Slim Tyranny

      God forbid we talk about the actual logisitcs of impeachment.

      For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many people who want impeachment don't pour over information like this, get themselves a list of ALL the members of the House Judiciary and get to work??!!! What the hell is it you're fighting for? Being right, or impeachment?

      I choked on your post. It nearly killed me. Hitler killed people. Your post is just like Hitler. - Pope Bandar bin Turtle

      by Buffalo Girl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:27:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's amazing how all the Cindy Sheehan critics... (0+ / 0-)

      ...got bailed out of jail so fast after THEIR protest at the White House and at the Capitol to end the illegal occupation of Iraq and to protest Congress' failure to impeach Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, et al, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

      Oh wait, none of her critics did that.  They just sat at keyboards and typed.

    •  I don't like her appearance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MattR, Little

      There I said it.  I'm not embarassed or reluctant to say so either.

      Now, I respect what she is fighting for and support her efforts.  Unfortunately, I believe that her presentation is counterproductive to the goals she seeks.

      But you are right.  People should just say so and not create pretexts for opposing Sheehan.

  •  It's Still Her Job (6+ / 0-)

    I haven't said the Constitution "mandates" the Speaker to impeach Bush, at least not that the Constitution says "the Speaker must impeach if X".

    But it's still her job. Her job to protect the Constitution from a criminal tyrant. In fact, she swore an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The Constitution doesn't mandate that oath, but the Constitution does require she protect the Constitution.

    So while you're technically correct in the narrowest sense, you are wrong in substance. Speaker Pelosi is indeed Constitutionally required to impeach Bush, even if the Constitution itself doesn't spell it out without the couple of obligatory steps already fulfilled by Bush's tyranny.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:18:03 AM PDT

    •  Wish I had read your comment... (0+ / 0-)

      ...before wasting bandwith with mine below.

      Cheers.

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:29:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Signal Noise (0+ / 0-)

        The DKos comment system isn't bad. But it's still not designed well enough to avoid distracting redundancy.

        We need to figure out something closer to a "group discussion" than a series of threads, which is not at all like how we converse and argue in person. "Chat rooms" where everyone talks at once, no one can follow to whom the replies are directed, are actually closer to live debate. But they're even harder to make sense of online, especially when arguing logically, not just spitting out soundbites.

        We'll get there. Meanwhile, bandwidth is made to be wasted.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:37:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Constitution does not, however, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, DSPS owl

      mandate the manner in which constitutional officers shall protect it. There are other means short of impeachment--which is likely one of the reasons why the Framers set the bar so high for impeachment in the first place.

      •  Like What? (0+ / 0-)

        What is the other remedy? 2008 elections? That doesn't protect the Constitution. It only protects Pelosi's Democratic power. What does she have that protects the Constitution, other than impeachment?

        And besides, the Constitutional bar for impeachment is set only at "high crimes and misdemeanors", or misleadership, as voted by a majority of the House. That's not an extreme height. Certainly not as high as Bush's crimes have been deep. Lying us into war? Endless FISA violations? His corrupt DoJ, now in Contempt of Congressional subpoenas? The rest of the list? How bad does it have to get before the "bar" is met?

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:10:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Off the top of my head (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl

          There's censure, there's withholding funding for projects, there's shutting down the government through the power of the purse, there's refusing to pass any necessary legislation, and there's criminal proceedings.

          The Constitutional bar for impeachment is set very high indeed, since it requires a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate. And it's happened a grand total of thrice in 231 years (four times, if you count the almost-but-not-quite impeachment of Tricky Dicky in 1974 that his resignation prevented), which suggests that the emphasis in the phrase "high crimes and misdemeanours" should properly be placed on "high" and not on "misdemeanours." You should also look at the examples that precede that phrase in Article II, Section IV ("...Treason, Bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanours..."). There's no way you could prove treason within the definition imposed by the Constitution (an overt act with at least two witnesses thereto), and it doesn't involve bribery. But both of those are far more serious than anything you listed in your examples.

          •  Your Ways Don't Stop the Criminals (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DSPS owl

            You don't think lying us into Iraq, endless FISA violations, corrupting the DoJ (including obstructing those other investigations) are worthy of impeachment. Only treason and bribery. And you use the typical conflation of impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate to argue against impeachment alone.

            And you claim that censure is an alternative. And you ignore presidential immunity from criminal proceedings.

            The crimes I mentioned explicitly, and the others to which I merely referred generally, are all the work of a conspiracy that has undermined our government, operated by the Vice/president and their underlings. Nothing of those will stop it. Neither will selective defunding "projects". And Democrats are even less likely to "shut down the government" than to impeach, though the same Republicans who operate the current criminal conspiracy did exactly that before they impeached Clinton on a pretext.

            In other words, the remedies you mention will not stop the criminal conspiracy, or even slow it down. And will leave intact the precedent that they can do it with impunity. Which the next president, probably a Democrat, will be free to abuse. And eventually most likely another Republican. If history is any guide, that next Republican president will be part of the current conspiracy, ratcheted up another level, wiser and less easy to stop than even now, after so much damage.

            Impeachment as you consider it is too high a bar. It leaves open the presidential abuses we've all seen demonstrated so amply, some irreversibly, the past 6 years. Continuing to fetishize impeachment will make presidents even more tyrannical. What we need is more discipline in the Executive Branch, put there by the other two, primarily the Legislative. None of the "alternatives" even slow the current criminals, when we need something much more powerful. And if we don't use it now, we never will. Probably because it will be too late, after the government is permanently broken. Because we did too little.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:33:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not what I said (0+ / 0-)

              You don't think lying us into Iraq, endless FISA violations, corrupting the DoJ (including obstructing those other investigations) are worthy of impeachment. Only treason and bribery.

              Those are your words (or your spin), not mine. But nothing you listed in your original set of examples rises to the heights of treason, for reasons that I explained in the parent comment. And it's obvious that none of them constitutes or is related to bribery.

              Taken in the aggregate, there might be enough. But taken individually, nothing you listed rises to the necessary level, in my opinion. Especially not when the Framers were very careful about the company they put the words "high crimes and misdemeanours" in.

              And you use the typical conflation of impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate to argue against impeachment alone.

              Um, in case you hadn't noticed, if the Senate doesn't convict, the impeachment doesn't mean shit. It accomplishes a grand total of nothing. So yes, I do think the House and Senate proceedings ought to be seen as an organic whole.

              And you claim that censure is an alternative. And you ignore presidential immunity from criminal proceedings.

              Yeah, I'm with Russ Feingold in thinking that censure is a viable alternative. Sue me. As to immunity, the president only has immunity for official acts. You don't think he pressured a few people along the way? Not to mention the fact that the Hedgemony is bigger than the Shrub--which is good for Shrub, because he'd be in an even bigger mess if he were having to manage all this on his own.

              •  So I'm Right (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DSPS owl

                "My words" itemizing impeachable offenses were a repeat of the offenses that you rejected as rising to impeachable level. So the only spin here is your circular way around the reality that only impeachment is a remedy, for exactly these kinds of high crimes and misdemeanors.

                Of course I can't "sue you" for thinking censure is anything but a worthless, counterproductive gesture. What on Earth does it do except waste time and squander political capital on an easily ignorable gesture of impotence?

                Meanwhile, impeachment alone exposes the criminal conspiracy. It scares away people who don't want to be connected with it, who don't believe that Bush/Cheney can possibly protect everyone, including the weak links, especially the cowardly rats all over the Republican world, who can give evidence that further damns their coconspirators (and pressures Senators to convict). Just like its civilian counterpart, indictment, works to stop smaller conspiracies and their networks which depend on secrecy, coordination and no stragglers.

                As to criminal prosecution without immunity, all the impeachable acts are official acts, even though abused - that's entirely the point. The point is that the president has immunity, but that is balanced by impeachment. The immunity is legit, so even a "Democratic" Supreme Court would protect him. But nothing can protect him from impeachment. That is the entire point of this entire debate, the entire point of the Constitutional system we're debating.

                Impeachment on legitimate grounds not only exposes the criminals, and its coverup, but it exposes the Congressmembers who have to publicly turn contortions to vote against first impeachment, then conviction. There are 22 Republican Senators defending their seats in 2009. How many will decide to save their own careers at the expense of Bush/Cheney, at the expense of even the Republican Party? Especially if they can be indicted after losing the election (and their value to the powers that be) for their other parts in the conspiracy, especially if others do convict and remove the kingpins?

                Really, how can you argue that censure is anything but either a decoy to run out the clock to protect Feingold's chances to get a stronger Senate majority, or (giving him benefit of the doubt) just Feingold's way of inciting impeachment activists to fight harder for even more public demands than a simple majority of American voters with an opinion who already favor impeachment? It's a joke. And putting it seriously out there just reveals that your entire position isn't to be taken seriously. Not as seriously as the ones the solution that has a chance of actually working: impeachment.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:59:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Since you seem to feel you can read minds (0+ / 0-)

                  and hearts, you can well imagine what I'm thinking about this comment right now. And since I haven't the time or the energy to fight someone convinced s/he knows it all, I'm done with you.

                  I will repeat for the record, however, that everything you attributed to me in the preceding comment was your own interpretations and does not in any meaningful way represent a true parsing of my intentions or beliefs.

                  •  Quitter (0+ / 0-)

                    Pretty convenient for you to say that, when I cited how you rejected my list of impeachable offenses, then said you never commented on that list. Your disclaimer is debunked by your own posts, so I don't know wh you're trying to convince with your appeal to "the record".

                    I might not know it all, but I know about impeachment, and the waste of time that is your proposed alternatives - that you can't find counterarguments to. Because you'd rather not argue than learn what's right.

                    Goodbye.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:44:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  She swore an oath to (0+ / 0-)

      "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic".

      It's the president who swears to "preserve, protect and defend".

      Just nit-picking to get it exactly right, and also very curious as to why the difference.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:43:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too Much Defense Doesn't Hurt (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know the reason - I'd like to know myself.

        It does seem to me that "protect" could be limited to merely sacrificing oneself as a target rather than allow the Constitution to become the target. While "defend" implies something more active, like fighting the threat, not just being a shield. But I'm just making it up as I go along on that one.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:11:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Support" (0+ / 0-)

          seems weak compared to "preserve and protect".  Especially since "foreign and domestic" hangs together with "support", and it seems the Founders considered it possible that the President could become a (domestic) enemy of the Constitution.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:25:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think it can be argued differently (5+ / 0-)

    The Constitution, Article II, Section 4:

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

    The key word here is "shall." The Constitution is somewhat ambiguous, but "shall" is closer to "must" than it is to "may," which implies it is indeed Congress' duty to impeach if the president or vice president has committed crimes.

    Bush has as much as admitted to criminal acts. He boasted about how his administration flouted the laws regarding wiretapping, he has written many signing statements saying he will not enforce or carry out laws passed by Congress, he has said (through Condi Rice) in the case of Iraq, if Congress passes a law saying he has to pull the troops he'll ignore it, and let's not forget his commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence for a very flimsy reason.

    I find it ludicrous there are congressional leaders who refuse to proceed with impeachment because "there aren't enough votes." That's BS. The point of impeachment proceedings is to investigate any apparent misconduct by the president and/or the vice president and it should not have to have a predetermined outcome before it starts. That's nothing short of LAZINESS! Failing to impeach for what are clear criminal acts is in fact a shirking of their constitutional responsibilities.

    So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:23:31 AM PDT

    •  diagram the sentence (7+ / 0-)

      They "shall"  be removed upon conviction.

      They must go once they are impeached and convicted.  The "shall" is directed at the President, VP and civil officers, not the Congress.

      "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

      by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:30:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's admitted his crimes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo, zedaker, JuniperLea

        Boasted about them in fact. If it were a court of law that's automatic conviction. However the rules are a little different in Congress.

        Congress can begin impeachment proceedings whenever it wants for any reason. I still say not having the votes is no excuse not to do it. The point of the process is to gather the evidence and make the arguments in order to convince those who wouldn't otherwise be inclined to vote for it to change their minds.

        At any rate, each member of Congress took an oath/affirmation at the beginning of the session to protect and defend the Constitution. Impeachment may not be absolutely required by the Constitution, but they are most certainly not following their oath/affirmation by not doing it.

        So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:45:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  RE "That's automatic Conviction" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, 0wn

          Nope. In a Court of law, the jury may acquit for any, or no reason.

          Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

          Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

          by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:04:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A confession is a confession (0+ / 0-)

            Unless it's coerced it's an admission of guilt. IANAL, but I've never heard of a jury that did not convict after hearing an un-coerced confession.

            So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:11:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medical marijuana patients (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musing85

              Admitting to possession, claiming a necessity defense.

              Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

              Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

              by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:15:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll give you that (0+ / 0-)

                But that's an exception because medical marijuana is a special case and a victimless "crime." Juries as a rule will convict if there's a confession, but most of the time when there's a confession it doesn't even go to trial.

                So many impeachable offenses, so little time... -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:44:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  By your intrepretation (0+ / 0-)

        the framers intent here was simply to designate the mandatory penalty for these crimes, and not provide a Constitutional imperative to pursue the procedure?

        Or to put it another way, do you think the framers are saying that Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors by the President can be Constitutionally tolerated in some cases, and that Madison, et al. were willing to let those high crimes slide?

        •  Yes. Precisely in fact. (0+ / 0-)

          It's exactly what gave the Senate majority in particular the right to overlook Clinton's "misdemeanors" and decide they did not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

          Suppose in the middle of WW2 it were discovered that FDR had committed a "high crime" but was otherwise an exemplary wartime executive?  Or how about Lincoln's unilateral suspension of habeas corpus?  Didn't/doesn't Congress have the "power" to overlook that if they choose?

          "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

          by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:54:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton did not commit Treason, (0+ / 0-)

            and had FDR during WWII, you can be sure proceedings would have been started to remove him as well.

            Also, Lincoln's suspension of habeas is specifically accounted for elsewhere in the Constitution as an exception in the case of insurrection.

            Sorry, but I have a very difficult time believing the Founders carefully thought out system of Government actually allows a Treasonous President to hold continue to office.

            As an aside, Clinton's 'crime' may not have risen to the severity necessary for conviction, but it was indeed sufficiently high for him to be impeached in the first place, no?

            •  Impeachment is ultimately a political act (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DSPS owl

              with a legal veneer.  I believe there was some discussion of this in the Federalist papers.  I don't have time to look right now.

              The controversy with Lincoln is that Congress, not the Executive, should have dealt with habeas corpus.

              Finally, regardless of our personal views, we shouldn't be convicting anyone - including Bush - of any crime, let alone treason, without a full review of the evidence.  I thought that was a rather fundamental point of the rule of law.

              Cheers.

              "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

              by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:32:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not the point (0+ / 0-)

                regardless of our personal views, we shouldn't be convicting anyone - including Bush - of any crime, let alone treason, without a full review of the evidence.  I thought that was a rather fundamental point of the rule of law.

                No one is saying that due process, as defined by the impeachment and conviction procedures stipulated by the Constitution, should not be followed.

                The point is that where High Crimes are believed to have occurred, Congress has a duty to act to bring the perpetrators to Justice (again as defined by the impeachment procedures).

                But to say that implementation of these procedures is somehow optional, even in cases of Treason, means that the Constitution would tolerate an enemy of the Government and the Nation as its Chief Executive.

    •  "on impeachment". (0+ / 0-)

      Removed on impeachment.

    •  You're quite right. (0+ / 0-)

      The word "shall," under ordinary principles of interpretation, means "must be."  There's a duty right there that falls on all Congressmembers, including the Speaker, who wields more influence than any other member and is, after all, the person CS would run against if she chooses to run.  (I hope she doesn't, by the way.)

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:31:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear hear! (0+ / 0-)

      So happy NOT to be alone in these thoughts.  Well said.

      Won't you help me Mr. Jesus ~ Won't you tell me if you can ~ When you see this world we live in ~ Do you still believe in Man?

      by JuniperLea on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:47:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely! "Shall" implies the imperative. (0+ / 0-)

      It is a command to do so.

      The president SHALL be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

      A felony with punishment of up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine (for each count; 1,000 wiretaps = 5,000 years in prison and a $10,000,000.00 fine) strikes me as a high crime.

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not according to the ABA (0+ / 0-)

        Read it and weep:

           How about using will rather than shall? Surprisingly, the will vs. shall question is linked to the decision to use we and you. The Oxford English Dictionary and Fowler's Modern English Usage (third edition) are of the view that in British English, shall in the second and third person (you, he, she, it, they) expresses the speaker's determination or insistence while will expresses mere futurity. In the first person (I, we), it's the reverse, with shall expressing the simple future and will indicating determination. Fowler illustrates the distinction with a nifty quote from P.G. Wodehouse: "I will follow you to the ends of the earth," replied Susan, passionately. "It will not be necessary, said George. I am only going to the coal-cellar. I shall spend the next half-hour or so there."

           Things get a bit more complicated (or simpler?) in the colonies. Fowler notes that, in the standard English of countries outside England, the absence of shall and the omnipresence of ‘ll and will are very marked, e.g., United States.

           Even in England, some argue that the use of shall in the first person to indicate mere futurity is old-fashioned and widely ignored. Neither the OED nor Fowler comments on the legal import of shall vs. will. It's understandable, however, that a lawyer might use the more determined "you shall" to impress on the parties that a legal obligation is involved. But it's hardly necessary. Micawber isn't legally bound to do something because the document says "Micawber shall" rather than "Micawber will." Micawber is bound because the document says that "the parties agree that" Micawber shall or will perform its humble tasks. If you're using you will in a letter agreement, do you complement it with we shall or we will? Fowler and the OED say it should be we shall, others regard we shall as out of line with modern trends in American-as-she-is-spoke.

           Which brings us to one of Life's Larger Questions: To what extent should we feel constrained to follow the OED, Fowler or any other authority on style or grammar? For some, shall conveys a sense of legal obligation whether it's we shall or you shall. Could it be that the OED's rules for shall/will are a bit of pure prescription? For lawyers, the answer is easy. We thrive on prescriptions, rules and authorities. A Lexis search discloses 445 citations to the OED and 23 citations to Fowler in the federal courts since 1944. If you try to persuade a court that we shall is more emphatic than we will, you are likely to lose.

        •  Pick up your Black's Law Dictionary . . . (0+ / 0-)

          you might accidently learn something:

          Shall: has a duty to; more broadly, is required to.

          Or, perhaps, California Lawyer:

          or consider shall as an auxiliary:

          Shall:  To owe; to be under obligation for. To be obliged; must.

          As an auxiliary, shall indicates a duty or necessity whose obligation is derived from the person speaking; as, you shall go; he shall go; that is, I order or promise your going.

          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:00:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And how long ago was that written? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise

            Not to mention the fact that I'd be willing to bet there are at least a couple of bright boys working for the American Bar Association who know a thing or two about the law.

            •  My Black's Law is copyright 2006 . . . (0+ / 0-)

              and the Brainy Media quote is 2007.

              Moreover, allow me to quote from Stewart Title Guar. Co. v. Lewis, 347 N.J.Super. 127, 788 A.2d 941, N.J.Super.Ch.,a case from 2001:

              Since the use of the word "shall" normally intones an imperative application, it would be anticipated that applications for fees would mechanically follow the rule's formula.

               

              "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

              by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:18:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That doesn't mean every word in it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Elise

                was revised for the new edition. And a New Jersey case may say something about how New Jersey interprets the English language, but it isn't binding on a federal court. Lastly, unless Brainy Media is entirely written by lawyers, their opinion doesn't carry much weight in legal matters, either. You've got nothing.

                •  No - you're the one with nothing . . . (0+ / 0-)

                  except a load of lard.

                  Furthermore, in order to ascertain what the Framers meant by "shall",i.e., whether or not it should be taken as imperative, we would need to place it in the proper historical context - in this case, Anglo-Saxon law as it was considered circa 1789.

                  "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:33:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's your problem (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musing85, Elise, Slim Tyranny, DSPS owl

                    Accepting shall is mandatory, and usually (but not always) in the law it is, to what does "shall" refer?

                    "The President...shall be removed..."

                    That means it applies to the person being impeached.
                    And notice specifies removal, not impeachment.

                    But, aha, you say, he shall be removed by Congress.  That means Congress must remove him, right?

                    Well, he "shall be removed from office on impeachment [] and conviction" (my emphasis).

                    The "shall" in the sentence specifies that the President must go, and when he must go ("on conviction"), not that Congress must do it.

                    Cheers.

                    "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

                    by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:48:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Again, I think that's too technical . . . (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zedaker

                      The facts being, in this instance, that Bush has admitted a high crime.

                      The oath taken by Congresspersons requires them to protect and defend the Constitution. Failure to bring Articles of Impeachment when Congress has actual notice of a high crime or misdemeanor is equivalent to police standing idly by while a bank is robbed.  It's a failure to fulfill the duties of their office . . .

                      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:01:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Here's a federal case for ya . . . (0+ / 0-)

                  Bankers Trust Co. v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 7 F.3d 93 C.A.7 (Ill.),1993,

                  says:

                  If more is needed, one has only to consult Section VII(a), which specifies Imperial's obligation to defend:

                  The Company shall defend any suit against the Insured seeking damages to which this insurance applies ... but the Company shall not be obligated to pay any claim or judgment or to defend any suit after the applicable limit of the Company's liability *96 has been exhausted by payment of judgments or settlements.

                  "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:57:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Doesn't rely on the "shall" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Elise

                    Relies on the agreement itself. Nice try, but still no cigar.

                    •  The "shall" is the imperative word (0+ / 0-)

                      in the agreement. The "shall defend" creates the obligation.

                      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:14:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Here's another from a simpler time . . . (0+ / 0-)

                      U S v. Foster 2 Biss. 453, 25 F.Cas. 1173
                      C.C.Wis:

                      Sometimes the law speaks imperatively, as that the party guilty of the offense, or performing or not performing the act, shall suffer in a particular way by a penalty or by imprisonment. In other cases the law speaks in a permissive form, as that the party may be subject or liable to a particular penalty . .  

                      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:22:45 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah. Such a simpler time (0+ / 0-)

                        That I can't find the citation online. How far back did you have to dig to come up with that bit of dicta?

                        •  Invest in Westlaw . . . (0+ / 0-)

                          It's the only way to go for caselaw:  February Term 1871.  Still good law, though, and thoroughly Shepardized.

                          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                          by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:34:09 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Not being in the law school (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't have access to our institutional subscription. But I do have access to our Lexis/Nexis one, which is normally just as good. And I would suggest to you that a case that's more than 100 years old is hardly a good crutch to lean on for determining what a modern court (or a modern Chief Justice) might or might not allow, construction-wise.

                          •  Dont' know that anyone was trying to (0+ / 0-)

                            determine:

                            what a modern court (or a modern Chief Justice) might or might not allow, construction-wise.

                            Don't know where you got such a foolish notion.  The point was to determine whether "shall" in the Constitution carried with it an implied imperative.

                            And the 1816 federal case certainly speaks to that issue.

                            "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                            by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:29:58 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Here's an older on that's even better . . . (0+ / 0-)

                          Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, 14 U.S. 304, 1816 WL 1721
                          U.S.,1816 - only 27 years after the Constitution was ratified:

                          It will be found that whenever a particular object is to be effected, the language of the constitution is always imperative, and cannot be disregarded without violating the first principles of public duty. On the other hand, the legislative powers are given in language which implies discretion, as from the nature of legislative power such a discretion must ever be exercised.

                          It being, then, established that the language of this clause is imperative, the next question is as to the cases to which it shall apply. The answer is found in the constitution itself:. The judicial power shall extend to all the cases enumerated in the constitution. [emphasis not added]

                          The closer to the source, the more clearly the deference to the imperative nature of SHALL!!!

                          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

                          by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:45:10 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  You are misquoting the Constitution (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, New Deal democrat

        It does not say "shall be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors."

        "I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium." - Jon Stewart

        by Slim Tyranny on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:38:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  According to Gerald Ford (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, DSPS owl

      "An impeachable offence is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."
      (Debate over Impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Douglas, 1969)

      Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

      Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

      by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:08:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That "shall" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      New Deal democrat

      does not apply at all until after impeachment and conviction have occurred.  (Wish it did.)

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:45:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two points ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zedaker

    1.)  Call the folks that can influence the house and tell them exactly what to do.  Hold your Senator and representatives  hand and tell them to call the Judicary and move it forward.

    2.)  Whatever Cindy does is okay with me.  She moves things in the right direction.  Did you suppose for one fuckin  minute that logic, compassion, ethics and strong moral values would prevail?  

    Cindy Sheehan?  WYSIWYG. Her grief and anguish is written on her face.  She really has a dog in the fight as Bush might say.

  •  Impeachment and the statue of limitations on trea (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potownman, feduphoosier, zedaker

    There is no statue of limitations on treason or murder. The crimes this president has committed should be first brought up in calls for Impeachment until he leaves office either by impeachment or by criminal proceeding after leaving office. Otherwise, the next president will use the powers Bush has assumed and we will have a totalitarian police state.

    It won't matter if that the next president is a democrat or a republican. They will be outside the rule of law. And by default of congress, a king or queen for their term in office. The constitution provides for Impeachment. If the congress will not protect and defend the constitution they are as guilty as Bush for the crimes against it. Treason is not a crime with a statue of limitations so neither should the calls for justice when our leaders have committed acts of treason or the congress has failed to protect the constitution.

    Stop and think about what you can do to help.

    by gordonsoderberg on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:26:35 AM PDT

  •  Question: Subcommittee role? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, wmtriallawyer, jnhobbs

    H Res.  333 -- Cheney Impeachment -- is in a Judiciary Subcommittee now.  What is their role?  There are 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans on the subcommittee, but a majority vote for reporting the bill back to the main body of the Judiciary committee may be very dicey.  John Conyers sits on the committee as an ordinary member.  Mel Watt, another influential member, has voiced reservations about the bill.  Debbie Wasserman-Schulz is Deputy Whip and works closely with Nancy Pelosi.

    Before we get the measure to a Judiciary committee vote, we need to have it approved in subcommittee, right?  How do we best facilitate that?

    •  And it's in the Subcommittee because Pelosi (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, x, jnhobbs

      referred it to Judiciary. while she has no special role under the Constitution, she does have a specific task in the process under the Rules of the House, and, suprise, she's already done it for the Cheney Impeachment.

      Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

      Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

      by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:39:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, jnhobbs, Quicksilver2723

      My understanding is that it would have to start in the subcommittee, but I haven't actually looked at the text of HR 333 recently enough to see how it would progress.

      My guess is that we would need to start in the sub-comm if that's where it is...and move it up the food chain, as it were.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:40:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Committee's Rules rule. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        x, wmtriallawyer

        Not sure where to find them.

        I've a fuzzy recal;l of Subcommittees reporting Bills to full Committee with a recomendation against passage, so suybcommittee approval may not be needed, just for the Subc to report.

        Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

        Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

        by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:47:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  (Slightly off-topic.) Aha! That explains (0+ / 0-)

      someone's comment yesterday (litigatormom?) about there having been 13 members on the House Judiciary Committee in Nixon's time.  It was, no doubt, the subcommittee.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:05:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a little overtechnical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hypersphere01, shaharazade, Little

    True, the Speaker herself has no constitutionally-mandated duty to initiate impeachment under any given circumstance.  However, what I am sure CS was referring to was the oath she took -- as all members took -- to uphold and protect the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Perhaps an argument can be made that, even if you believe Bush is a threat to the Constitution, impeachment is not the only way to protect it.  But that doesn't mean CS's assertion is specious.  And the reason CS singles out Pelosi, apart from her influential position as Speaker, is, of course, that Pelosi is her congresswoman, and it is she she would run against.  

    "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:27:52 AM PDT

    •  One point: Pelosi isn't her Congresswoman. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, Quicksilver2723

      Just to clarify, CS said she is going to move into Pelosi's district to run against her.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:31:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the clarification. (0+ / 0-)

        I thought CS lived in Marin, and that Marin encompassed Pelosi's district.

        "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

        by scorponic on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:32:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  State of Calliforna rule for running for congress (0+ / 0-)

          She dose not live in Pelosi's district. But she dose not have to. State of California rules say that you only have to be a resident of the state.

          I'm sure she will move to San Francisco to be in the middle of the district and the center of her power base. Her current residents is just out side of the state capitol, not Marin Co.

          Stop and think about what you can do to help.

          by gordonsoderberg on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:45:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You relly should, or I'd alike to see you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hypersphere01

        respond to larger point here, which I agree with wholeheartedly.

    •  "support and defend" (0+ / 0-)

      I'm beginning to wonder if Wikipedia is wrong on this (not like that's never happened).  So many people here are "quoting" these terms so apparently authoritatively.

      President:  

      • preserve, protect and defend

      Representatives & Senators:  

      • support and defend

      Let's get those terms right, or correct Wikipedia if they're wrong there.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:14:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the hero narrative. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    x, DSPS owl, Quicksilver2723

    Notice the way the story always goes in popular culture: It's one person who changes things.

    Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. won blacks civil rights.
    Susan B. Anthony got women the vote.
    Woodward & Bernstein (OK, sometimes it's two people) brought down Nixon.
    FDR gave the country labor laws.
    Reagan defeated the Soviet Union.
    Bill Clinton revitalized the economy.

    These things are all believed, to varying degrees and by different people, not because they're even remotely close to true, but because it is easier for us to think of struggles in this way, for some reason.  It is more challenging to think of the mass action required to do all these things.

    Whether the hero be Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, or Cindy Sheehan, when we elevate somebody to the level of hero, they will probably disappoint us.  And we will lash out at them.

    But the real progress happens, as you say, when we build a broad movement.

    •  exactly, Brecht picked up on that, too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, jnhobbs, Quicksilver2723

      when he wrote:

      Questions from A Worker Who Reads

      Who built Thebes of the seven gates?
      In the books you will find the name of kings.
      Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
      And Babylon, many times demolished.
      Who raised it up so many times? In what houses
      Of gold-glittering Lima did the builders live?

      Where, the evening that the Wall of China was finished
      Did the masons go? Great Rome
      Is full of triumphal arches. Who erected them? Over whom
      Did the Caesars triumph? Had Byzantium, much praised in song,
      Only palaces for its inhabitants? Even in fabled Atlantis
      The night the ocean engulfed it
      The drowning still bawled for their slaves.

      The young Alexander conquered India.
      Was he alone?
      Caesar beat the Gauls.
      Did he not have even a cook with him?
      Philip of Spain wept when his armada
      Went down. Was he the only one to weep?
      Frederick the Second won the Seven Years' War. Who
      Else won it?

      Every page a victory.
      Who cooked the feast for the victors?
      Every ten years a great man.
      Who paid the bill?

      So many reports.
      So many questions.

      "Fragen eines lesenden Arbeiters" - translated by M. Hamburger
      from Bertolt Brecht, Poems 1913-1956, Methuen, N.Y., London, 1976

      "Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the bastard is dead, the bitch that bore him is again in heat." -Bertolt Brecht

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're only splitting hairs here. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobdevo, zedaker

    I'm not flaming you, but I don't think that a sementic argument over the word "mandate" deserves quite the level of certainty you pose here. Here's what Merriam-Webster says about the word "mandate":

    1 : an authoritative command; especially : a formal order from a superior court or official to an inferior one
    2 : an authorization to act given to a representative <accepted the mandate of the people>

    Seems to me that Pelosi is authorized to act as our representative here. And I genuinely believe that that was what Cindy Sheehan was saying. You don't agree on impeachment, clearly, and that's fine -- I honestly have begun to think that impeachment might not be a good idea, that leaving a blockheaded Bozo like Dumbya in and leaving "Vice" President Cheney in place might be the worst thing we could all do to the Repugs: leave those two shambling disasters shackled to them as they head into 2008.
    But please take it easy on Sheehan. She's done a hell of a lot more than most of us to end Dumbya's disaster of a war, and she's been faced with a Speaker Pelosi who says she will not act to impeach these monsters. If Sheehan wants to run, I think she should. Hell, I think she should find a way to run somewhere where she'll wrest a seat from the Repugs.
    But this -- this attack -- with all its implied certainty, hinges on a really small detail, a splitting of hairs on a single term: mandate.
    We can do better.

    "The true mark of a civilised country is that it doesn't rush into charging people whom it has arbitrarily arrested in places it's just invaded." - Terry Jones

    by Cenobyte on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:30:57 AM PDT

  •  Okay. If Speaker Pelosi is not authorized to (5+ / 0-)

    decide anything regarding impeachment, then Speaker Pelosi should retract her statement that it's "off the table."  That should not be her call and she should make that retraction public.

    By signalling her House members in this fashion, Speaker Pelosi has made herself the "decider" regarding impeachment.  I suggest we all contact her with this diary, bringing light to her actual power regarding impeachment and demanding she retract her statement.  

    Cindy Sheehan made an honest mistake, IMHO, since Speaker Pelosi's statement had me convinced she was the "decider" on this issue, as well.  Having been misled by her statement, the American people deserve her retraction.

    •  Hey, I'll agree with you here. (7+ / 0-)

      I always thought that Speaker Pelosi's actual statement was not a smart one to make anyway, particularly from a political context.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:35:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish Pelosi had said "Partisan Impeachment" (4+ / 0-)

        was off the table, leaving room to proceed with "a thin veneer of bipartisan support." The quote's from Henry Gonzales, who introduced a Resolution to Impeach Reagan, Meese, and Poppabush, in turn quoting the threshold he'd been given by the 1987 Leadership. Henry told me his bar had been set at 15 Republican co-sponsors, but that number's not magical. 6 would have given Pelosi "Bipartisan Impeachment.

        Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

        Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

        by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:54:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's clear to me that it was a political move... (0+ / 0-)

      to head off certain arguments.  But it would be wise to back off and make it clear that it is the majority of Congress that will decide whether impeachment is appropriate.

    •  She's a powerful party leader (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, MalloySecretAgent

      And parties have no power over the impeachment process in the Constitution, do they?  But . . . they do seem to wield a lot of power over the issue and make it happen or not happen. . .

      But of course, Speaker of the House is NOT an official party position, it's a position of the House of Representatives.  So how could Nancy make a decision for the party when she is just Speaker of the House?  Ahh!  It's all so confusing!

    •  What makes you think (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, Quicksilver2723
      that when Pelosi made the statement that impeachment was off the table it was the announcement of a unilateral decision on her part, and not the considere opinion of the House leadership after consultation with the entire caucus and their respective staffs?  In either case it would be expected that Pelosi would make the announcement.  

      Knowning Pelosi's track record, it would be hard to imagine that she made this decision in a vacuum and announced it to us on behalf of the entie body.

      So long as this remains the decision of the House, she need retract nothing, Ms. Sheehan's and your misunderstanding notwithstanding.

      •  Um, GOTV, because she made that pronouncement (0+ / 0-)

        BEFORE the new Dem House was even sworn in.  So how could she POSSIBLY have had a "consultation with the entire caucus and their respective staffs?"

        If she doesn't have the power to take impeachment off the table, she must retract that statement and let due process of RULE OF LAW take presidence in the House of Representatives!

        IMPEACH THEM NOW, BEFORE THEY DECLARE A POLICE STATE HAS TAKEN OVER OUR FORMER DEMOCRACY.

        Randi Rhodes has admonished us all to "Have a plan."  Today she said that the rich escape police states while the middle class suffers under them and those brave enough become "insurgents" and fight to regain their country.

        Which will you be?

        IMPEACH!!!!

    •  Some things bear repeating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little Lulu

      Like this statement of Little Lulu's:

      By signalling her House members in this fashion, Speaker Pelosi has made herself the "decider" regarding impeachment.  I suggest we all contact her with this diary, bringing light to her actual power regarding impeachment and demanding she retract her statement.

      Hear, hear!

  •  It's Not Her Job to Impede Impeachment Either (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smkngman, MarketTrustee

    So, Speaker Pelosi should NEVER have said, "impeachment is off the table..." And, Speaker Pelosi should immediately cease and desist with the reiterations that the House will not investigate articles of impeachment.

    That being said--and I do support impeachment because it is in the Constitution in several different places, and because the founders feared PRECISELY THIS IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY when they put it in the Constitution, and because Constitutional Scholar and Attorney, Conservative Bruce Fein is entirely correct about the negative ramifications of NOT impeaching as well as the imperatives of going through the impeachment process--I agree with you about Cindy Sheehan in the sense that she is not being helpful.

    I completely agree with Sheehan on the war and on this President. Conversely, I think Cindy is very naive about how the political process works, and her naivete, while somewhat refreshing, is distracting.

    God love her, Cindy has EVERY right to do what she's doing, every bit of it. But, when she becomes the lightning rod that gives the GOP the stick, then she's undermining her own positions. And, no, I am not one of those fearful "centrists" but a realist who closely watches the independent voters in polls. We need them; let's not alienate them. MOST voters don't see Cindy Sheehan as their spokesperson, or the icon they admire for her political activism.

    That said--I think Speaker Pelosi should meet privately with Cindy Sheehan and take however long it requires to come to an understanding of what is going on. Perhaps Speaker Pelosi will be moved from between the "rock and a hard place" and perhaps Sheehan will; but it never hurts to acknowledge each other's positions in a face to face, does it? Sheehan's from California; she's a constituent of Pelosi in that sense.

  •  The duty is on the majority of the Congress. (0+ / 0-)

    You need a majority vote for impeachment.  Or am I wrong on that.

    Should Pelosi require that a conviction is certain in deciding whether to proceed with impeachment?

  •  Analysis is Good, but . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, MarketTrustee

    Your real point appears to be that NANCY PELOSI has no authority to take Impeachment off the table because she has no authority over the Impeachment process, even though she is the Speaker and has substantial authority over the agenda of the body and also of the Democrats....

    But I see your point.  It not really that critical, because I think the backlash is more about the politics of the statement than the legality and constitutionality of Nancy's claim that she has taken it off the table.

    I love Nancy, but I think you should rest the credit for the improperly formed talking point, which usually comes from the party, where it appears to properly reside.  And honestly, it probably should just be a legal analysis of the issue, rather than a blur between the political and legal here.  It's a great point, so it's just better making the point itself and letting people decide what it might mean for rhetoric and politics as we continue to discuss this issue.

    Clearly Nancy and Cindy are both trying to shape the agenda for the nation in different capacities, and Nancy speaks also as a party leader as well as a House leader while Cindy speaks as a citizen and a potential candidate against Nancy, not necessarily a Democrat.  So we need to keep those points in mind as well.

  •  One of the advantages to actually impeaching (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigBite, zedaker

    Bush would be that he cannot pardon anyone while under impeachment (at least if I read the pardon rules correctly)

    -7.88, -6.72. ABORT THIS COURT! IMPEACH!!

    by caseynm on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:41:19 AM PDT

    •  AND loses his pension (0+ / 0-)

      (and health care?) AND can never serve in an official capacity, such as ambassador, I think.  But that pardon aspect could be very important.  

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:45:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not quite correct... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      the restriction applies to him pardoning those against whom impeachment is sought.

      In other words, the Presidential pardon is NOT a protection from impeachment, at the very least. At a stretch, it could possibly be construed to mean that if someone is impeached, convicted, and removed from office, then they may also be ineligible for pardons concerning any subsequent criminal proceedings related to said impeachment.

      For example... if Abu were impeached then a Bush pardon could not shield him from that impeachment process. It may however shield him from subsequent criminal prosecution for the acts leading to his impeachment, or not. That part isn't especially clear.

      It could come down to the timing of the pardon as to whether it would apply. If he were (hypothetically) given a blanket pardon prior to the impeachment proceedings beginning then it would probably shield him from prosecution. If, however, the pardon was issued after commencing impeachment, it is possible that the pardon would not shield him.

      I'm not sure if there even are any "experts" on this question because I cannot recall it ever coming up before this. Ford's pardon of Nixon, though wrong IMO, was not improper Constitutionally because Nixon was not actually impeached.

      As for whether he can still pardon others while he himself is under impeachment... as long as he has not been convicted and removed from office he still wields the powers of the Presidency, and if the person he is seeking to pardon is not subject to impeachment proceedings then he has the power to pardon that person.

      Any legal types care to weigh in here?

      "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

      by zedaker on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:39:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Congress is sworn to uphold the Constitution... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarketTrustee, zedaker

    The Constitution provides for impeachment when laws have been broken.

    We should all uphold the Constitution and adhere to laws.  When someone breaks laws, they must be punished.  To make excuses for not doing so is a miserable, disgusting and immoral thing to do.

    There.  Now THAT's a breakdown.  

    Won't you help me Mr. Jesus ~ Won't you tell me if you can ~ When you see this world we live in ~ Do you still believe in Man?

    by JuniperLea on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:46:01 AM PDT

    •  I want to see him/them punished (0+ / 0-)

      in addition.  Impeachment (+conviction) is not intended as punishment.  Punishment needs to be decided in court.  Preferably American court, but I'll take an international one if it can be arranged.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:49:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once upon a time, I wanted impeachment... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer

    ...but now I do not.  I want Bush/Cheney and their pals to be in the executive branch when the consequences of their greed begin rolling onto shore.  I see their offices now as their prisons.  They cannot dash off to Dubai or Uruguay and rewrite history as did the warhawks in Germany post-WWI projecting the blame for their failures onto their successors.

    No, they need to stay right where they are as the Congress investigates their willful criminal behaviors.  History is being written by Conyers and Leahy hearings right now.  And I want to read the last chapter.

    As for protesters -- I've been one among thousands, perhaps millions.  Each of us had our own reasons for being out there making a statement.  I carefully avoided being seen as aligned with groups who hated Israel, hated Palestinians, those who promoted Communism, anarchists, etc., believing those promoting these ideals were, in fact, trying to co-opt my voice.

    I'm seeing my country come back alive -- people joining in lively discussions and debates.  In 2000 and 2001 -- particularly after 9.11 -- there was this deafening silence.  People were afraid to say outloud what they were thinking.  I had a friend who posted something online about Cheney and received a visit from SS and HS promptly.  He continued speaking out when it was not safe to do so in spite of this harassment.  That took courage.

    So the efforts of today's protesters and resisters stand squarely upon the shoulders of those forerunners who built that bright red line around our civil rights during the Orwellian years.

    This Orwellian spell has been broken once and for all.  The Conyers/Leahy hearings mean a lot to me in establishing and writing history as it happened rather than the one we'll be seeing in the future from the Madison Ave-types trying to sew up a fancy legacy for the Clown-Squatter at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Count me as a happy camper every time another Bushie gets his/her horns and pitchfork!

    It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

    by Quicksilver2723 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:53:14 AM PDT

    •  Understand your thinking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicksilver2723

      if this were just domestic.  But this gang does not do diplomacy, and people are dying in droves every day.  I can't decide for the families of those who will die / be maimed tomorrow or next year that it is politically worth waiting to make big changes.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:55:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  agree ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        However, I am not certain that impeachment would shorten that time line of conflict.  

        I think that the hearings accomplish two things: one, they document the heretical acts of this criminal administration; and two, they obstruct, if not freeze, current plans of this administration.

        It seems to me that BushCo are using our military as hostages to secure advantage -- for what I do not know.  The partisan Repubs in Congress are dutifully blocking any forward progress.

        I seriously doubt that the Leahy/Conyers hearings are what BushCo wanted from Congress, which makes Dems in Congress aces with me for pressing forward with investigations.  

        The emergence of the RINOs as the Senate moved towards voting for cloture of the Levin-Reid amendment -- well, they all voted against cloture in the end.  So that was pretty slippery of them and points up some measure of desperation.

        Then the day after the Repubs voted against cloture, here comes BushCo with their sock puppets trying to move the goal posts further down the calendar to November.  And what did the senate minority leader have to say about that?  He essentially said no way and re-confirmed September as the deadline for this surge showing progress.

        The Pentagon has no plan for withdrawal from Iraq.  Hillary Clinton and Democrats are demanding one.  I'm not sure that impeachment hearings would yield quicker results than the track Dems are pursuing.

        It may be that Bush has the Democratic leadership right where they want him.

        It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. Alfred Adler

        by Quicksilver2723 on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:08:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This, I can get behind (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeffersonian Democrat, Kickemout

    Finally, an "impeachment" diary that I agree with.  Passion can be a good thing, but to be effective it must be tempered by reason. There has been way too much passion and too little reason in this debate.

  •  Overly parsed legalities. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, MarketTrustee, zedaker

    Although not constitutionally required, congressional oath-taking dates back to the First Congress in 1789. The current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    The president of the United States has admitted repeated and ongoing violations of Title 50, USC Chapter 36, Subchapter 1, Section 1800 et seq, claiming that such laws do not apply to His August and Unitary Body.

    And, yes, as you pointed out, any member of Congress who has not yet co-sponsored H.R. 333 is guilty of violating their oath under that standard.
     

    There you have it in a nutshell.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 08:58:30 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, but are you correct in stating (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo

      Although not constitutionally required, congressional oath-taking dates back ...

      ??

      Wikipedia states that the Constitution specifies as follows:

      For other officials, including members of Congress, it specifies they "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution."

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:02:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry - I was less than clear. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        What I meant to say was that there is no constitutionally specified oath, unlike the presidential oath which is mandated, only that the member swear or affirm AN oath.

        "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:49:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're wrong in one of your "talking points" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wordene, DSPS owl, MarketTrustee, zedaker

    "Talking points"--ah, how I despise that phrase.  It's so cynical.  

    The Constitution is just a series of "talking points", I suppose.

    The Speaker of the House, like all members of Congress, took the following oath:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    No, the Speaker of the House is not "required" to impeach a blatantly criminal President and Vice-President--or is she?  But she swore an oath to defend the Constitution, and that includes its balance of powers.

    What's more, the Founders of our nation fully expected the Speaker of the House, as well as other members of Congress, to impeach any official who has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.  

    ...saying Speaker Pelosi is somehow to blame for a public statement about impeachment being "off the table" and she's not "doing her constitutionally mandated" job doesn't help matter.  It hurts.

    Ms. Pelosi made the statement, did she not?  If Nancy Pelosi has no power to do this, then who the hell is she to say it's "off the table"?  Ms. Pelosi declared impeachment to be a non-issue with all the authority and air of a monarch proclaiming from the throne.  Yet you beat up on Cindy Sheehan (and others--Sheehan's just a convenient target) for making the "constitutionally required duty" statement.

    And why does Cindy Sheehan's statement, echoed by many others here, "hurt" the cause of impeachment?  You give no reason--"because I say so" is not a reason accepted beyond the confines of a first grade classroom.

    Perhaps it's time to look back at another time of impeachment, and to a statement made by then-Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who quoted liberally from The Federalist #65, written by Alexander Hamilton:

    We know the nature of impeachment. We have been talking about it awhile now. "It is chiefly designed for the president and his high ministers" to somehow be called into account. It is designed to "bridle" the executive if he engages in excesses. "It is designed as a method of national inquest into the public men." (Hamilton, Federalist, no. 65.). The framers confined in the congress the power if need be, to remove the president in order to strike a delicate balance between a president swollen with power and grown tyrannical, and preservation of the independence of the executive. The nature of impeachment is a narrowly channeled exception to the separation-of-powers maxim; the federal convention of 1787 said that. It limited impeachment to high crimes and misdemeanors and discounted and opposed the term "maladministration." "It is to be used only for great misdemeanors," so it was said in the North Carolina ratification convention. And in the Virginia ratification convention: "We do not trust our liberty to a particular branch. We need one branch to check the others."

    •  Every congressperson is commanded (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MarketTrustee, MalloySecretAgent

      to impeach for high crimes and misdemeanors.  As discussed upthread, the "shall impeach" rings of the imperative.

      "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:07:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pelosi has a DUTY to uphold the law (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobdevo, zedaker

        It's not an option; Pelosi must uphold the law.

        The Constitution is the highest law in the land.

        Bush and Cheney have violated the Constitution.

        Why has Pelosi declared impeachment "off the table"?

        Why shouldn't she be held to account for that arrogant statement, which she had neither the power nor the right to make?

      •  ??? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing85, scrutinizer

        ...shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

        That doesn't read to me as "shall impeach." According to you every session of the House should result in Articles of Impeachment being drawn up.

        Help me out here. What am I missing?

        •  Try this . . . (0+ / 0-)

          US Constitution Section 4 - Disqualification

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

          Bush has admitted violating Title 50 US Code, Chapter 36, a felony.  He claims the law does not apply - but he has confessed publicly. The oath to the Constitution requires removal, i.e., impeachment and trial.

          "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

          by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:07:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First--- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BobzCat

            you have to have a court rule that Bush's use of the 2001 AUMF to justify the NSA program is wrong.  Then, the court will no doubt give Bush a chance to dismantle the program since he relied "in good faith" upon the advice of competent White House counsel.  Then, since Bush is currently running the program under a consent agreement with the FISA court, you'll have to show that  his agreement with the FISA court is flawed.

            Good luck with that.

            Bush didn't "confess" to breaking the law---he said that his authority under the AUMF superceded the requirements of the FISA provisions.  That's very different, and a harder barrier to overcome, particularly since Congress has been complicit in sweeping all this under the rug.

            •  Believe you're wrong, wrong, wrong on this . . . (0+ / 0-)

              First.  The statute applies only to government employees, agents or officers; in that context, it appears to me to be a per se violation, and there is no mention of intent or mens rea being an element of the crime.  It couldn't be simpler:  Wiretap without a warrant = violation (a felony).

              As the presidential signing statement that accompanied passage of the law:

              The bill requires, for the first time, a prior judicial warrant for all electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purposes in the United States in which communications of U.S. persons might be intercepted. It clarifies the Executive's authority to gather foreign intelligence by electronic surveillance in the United States. It will remove any doubt about the legality of those surveillances which are conducted to protect our country against espionage and international terrorism.

              Second. Congress does not have to show that the law applies to Bush.  Bush has to show that the law does NOT apply to him.  In none of the recent decisions tip-toeing around this issue, e.g., Hamdi or Hamdan, has a Court found ANY indicatators that federal laws governing felonies do NOT apply to the president.  And the signing statement above, which might be looked to much as legislative intent is as a guidepost, indicates that the legality of wiretaps is conditioned in every instance upon a warrant.
              And - he DID confess to breaking the law - he admitted he conducted wiretaps without a warrant - a per se violation. It's like a discharging firearms ordinance.  It doesn't matter WHY you shot - only that the gun discharged within the city limits.  

              "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

              by bobdevo on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:45:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Oh jeebus (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bawbie

            "on Impeachment for..." ON IMPEACHMENT FOR. That means shall be removed ON IMPEACHMENT for AND CONVICTION OF

            The oath to the Constitution only requires removal PROVIDED impeachment is successfully prosecuted. Successful prosecution of the President is not mandated, it's optional, as the need arises. Removal is mandated only when impeachment is successfully prosecuted to conviction in the Senate.

            That is so many miles removed from the oath to protect the Constitution it isn't funny. Seriously. It isn't.

    •  Talking Points (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, scrutinizer, BobzCat
      are merely reminders that assist in making an argument. Your notion that the Constitution, because it is in part a list, is a collection of talking points is ridiculous.
    •  quite (0+ / 0-)

      in the first instance, ms pelosi is a member of the house of representatives. that is, irrespective of her role and her job as speaker of the house, she retains certain legislative obligations and administrative privileges in federal governance, enumerated by the constitution so long as she is a representative.

      the premise of this essay is ill-conceived in one important respect: the author assumes his subject is incapable of identifying, muchless arguing, the distinction above. so the spurious polemic to defend  democratic party leadership departs from personal responsibilities to the oath, to constituents.

      to the contrary, yesterday sheehan bluntly contested ms pelosi's "authority" as a political appointee (cf. election and partisan role, not discussed here) to circumscribe processes of governance.

      "The Democrats will not hold this administration accountable, so we have to hold the Democrats accountable," Sheehan said outside of Conyers' office after the meeting.
      [...]
      "Impeachment is not a fringe movement, it is mandated in our Constitution. Nancy Pelosi had no authority to take it off the table," Sheehan told her group of orange-clad activists before they began their march from the national cemetery. AP

      whether one agrees or disagrees with sheehan's rhetoric is the site of current civic disruption in the very sense that federal government is a mess, and the electorate despairs. the bush/cheney regime has utterly upended procedural orders of the constitution --lawful mandates-- to replaced their force with charismatic evangelism.

      this essay might have been more interesting had it asked its readers to examine the "authority," created by partisan apparatus, to take [impeachment resolution] off the table" or any other bill --rather than assert sheehan is politically speaking, incontinent.

      Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

      by MarketTrustee on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:51:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As Speaker, there are implied (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, zedaker

    responsibilities that cannot be found in the wording of the Constitution, such as the protection of the Constitution itself, and the balance of powers detailed within that our founding fathers were so concerned with.

    If we can keep all options on the table for Iran, then we damned sure need to keep all options on the table for the man who has violated our Constitution and our hard-earned freedoms as well.

    •  Uh-huh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      And how long before we start straying into "unitary executive" territory with reasoning like that? The words mean what they mean, and that's the gold standard in hermeneutics--whether of the Constitution or any other document.

      •  No, they don't "mean what they mean" (0+ / 0-)

        That's why we have a Supreme Court (in part):  to interpret the Constitution.

        The concept was laid out by Hamilton in Federalist #78, and that concept ultimately incorporated into precedent in Marbury v. Madison (1803).  

        Hamilton wrote:

        The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It, therefore, belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents

        If the words "mean what they mean", then why did Hamilton say that the laws must be interpreted?

        Ask any lawyer if the law "means what it means", including the Constitution, and the answer is "no".  If the meaning of the words of the Constitution were indisputable, the Supreme Court would have no reason to exist.

        •  "Shall have the power to Impeach" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing85, Elise, BobzCat

          is not the same as "shall impeach." And the Speaker has limited authority as she has no control over the Judiciary Committee and limited control over affecting whether or not there are enough votes to pass the case to the Senate.

          •  Doesn't the Speaker nominate (0+ / 0-)

            Committee members/Chairs? I can't think of any other individual who does wield more influence over Committees, but that's really beside the point.

            I agree that Cindy's charge of failing the "Constitutional mandate" is not only inaccurate but also obtuse and self-serving. But that doesn't mean the spirit of the Constitution isn't being ignored by the Speaker of the House.

        •  Yes, they do mean what they mean (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scrutinizer

          Any interpreter or interpretive process that disregards the meaning of the words of the text being interpreted isn't worth a fart in a category V hurricane. If you read a Supreme Court opinion, you'll see that the Justices have a very high respect for the actual words of the text--a respect I could wish that Cindy Sheehan and many of her supporters shared.

          It's where the text is silent or ambiguous that the interpretation can move away from the actual words into penumbras and shades of meaning. If we start trying to do that with the black-letter text, we're no better than the Hedgemony with its "unitary executive" theory.

    •  Then say it is implied by the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85

      not that it is mandated by the Constitution.

      Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

      by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:22:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you understand ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    If you understand the spirit and not just the words ... you will see why Palosi should do "something" about gutting of the constitution by BushThugs. And there isn't much that BushThugs will listen to - except impeachment.

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

    by nataraj on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:12:56 AM PDT

  •  The power of the vote (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wordene, DSPS owl, zedaker

    rests with the people.  Democrats need to be aware that we will use it.

    To all Democratic congressfolk who trivialize the will of the people, insult us on the phone or hang up on us, send us condescending letters, and show nothing but disdain for our desire to save our country:  don't count your votes before they are cast.

    Don't tread on us.  The polls don't lie.

  •  But it's much more colorful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scrutinizer, Elise

    to run around like a chicken with your head cut off and cast aspersions at others because the blood pumping out of you neck wound is spurting so much higher than everyone else's.

  •  "constitutionally mandated" = Overton Window (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wordene, DSPS owl, LaFajita

    Now, Ms. Sheehan may actually believe that the Speaker has some Constitutional mandate to do this.

    Or, she may consider that the many local municipalities which have ratified demands calling for the impeachment of the president may in effect require the legislators representing those municipalities to act accordingly...

    But in reality such a statement is simply a way to move the debate forward. It's a shift in the Overton Window of impeachment -- trying to move from the radical/acceptable to the acceptable/sensible.

    •  And since we make up our own reality (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scrutinizer, DSPS owl

      Now, Ms. Sheehan may actually believe that the Speaker has some Constitutional mandate to do this.

      why don't we all just pretend the Constitutional mandate exists.

      For "Overton window" purposes, it's just as good, and probably better, than if it were actually true.

      •  ...um, "lighten up" ;) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YellowDogBlue

        I don't pretend to speak for Sheehan. Like I said, she may believe.

        I didn't say it existed, nor did I say I pretended it existed.

        Then again, there have been several resolutions throughout the country from various municipalities calling on their Congressman to begin impeachment proceedings... in which case, there may be an argument that such proceedings ought to be begun at the request of the citizenry. (It would be a stretch to say this is something Thomas Jefferson anticipated... but it is out there.)

        And congrats on understanding the point of the Overton Window.

  •  I'm in the "Shut Up, Cindy" Camp,, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout

    but this diary is off base.

    I am sympathetic to Sheehan's loss and I respect and appreciate her earnest desire to end the war and impeach Bush.  But her political savvy is nonexistent and she remains a political liability for the causes she espouses.

    With all that said, this diary is just silly.  Griping because she claimed that Pelosi fulfilling her oath shouldn't could as a "Constitutionally mandated job"? Come on, you can do better than that.

    Griping that the power to impeach doesn't lie with the Speaker and lies with the House?  Please, the Speaker dictates the agenda of the House.  It doesn't matter if   Pelosi doesn't sit on the Judiciary Committee.

    And complaining that Sheehan is singling out Pelosi?  Again, the speaker sets the agenda.  If Pelosi can claim impeachment is off the table, doesn't that indicte that she is taking responsibility for setting the agenda?

    Plus, Sheehan, apparently, lives in Pelosi's district.  What's wrong with challenging your representative.

    •  I disagree (5+ / 0-)

      First, Sheehan does not live in Pelosi's district. She's carpetbagging to attempt (quixotically and with zero likelihood of success) to remove the Speaker from power.

      Second, the diarist's analysis is 100% factual and 100% correct. There is no constitutionally mandated duty to impeach--and even if there were, it would not fall on the Speaker, since the Speaker has no power to start or stop the process. I can't begin to count the number of times (even on this diary) where I've seen that basic fact misstated. There may indeed be arguments to be made in favor of impeachment. But the idea that Congress must impeach is not one of them.

      •  Look (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that Sheehan's efforts are misguided and counterproductive, and if that was the only point of the diary I would agree.  My point was that the diarist attempted to portray her as being objectively wrong about her understanding of the process.  Sheehan isn't wrong. Pelosi effectively controls impeachment in the House and expressly claimed to be taking it off the table.  If you disagree with that sentiment, there is nothing wrong with opposing her.

        My understanding is that Sheehan doesn't live in Pelosi's district but DOES live in CA.  If other comments are correct, the state constitution permits her to run in Pelosi's district.  Technically it isn't carpetbagging.  And, besides, when the leading Democratic candidate is a carpetbagger to New York, the party can't complain about Sheehan.

        •  Sheehan is wrong (4+ / 0-)

          That's the entire point. Pelosi does not control impeachment in the House in any way, shape, or form. And if you think her comments about impeachment being off the table represented her attempting to impose her will on the Democratic caucus, I'd argue you don't understand enough about the political structure of Congress to have a meaningful opinion about it.

          Moving into someone's district to challenge them is carpetbagging, even if it's allowed. How do you suppose the original carpetbaggers got the name? And what Sheehan is trying to do has absolutely no relationship or rational resemblance to what Hillary Clinton did in New York.

          •  Then you think it was wrong for Tammy Duckworth? (0+ / 0-)

            The original Carpetbaggers were moving to another STATE to run.

            Sheehan's run against Pelosi is not so much wrong, as misguided, in that it just doesn't apply the level of pressure she's hoping for.

            Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

            Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

            by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:16:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  AFAIK (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buddhistMonkey, Elise

              Duckworth didn't move. You may be thinking of Melissa Bean, who lived a block or two outside of Phil Crane's district (her residence had been inside it until the last redrawing of the map), but then moved inside the district.

              And I can't agree that Sheehan's run against Pelosi isn't prima facie wrong, since she's not primarying Pelosi, but trying to run as a third-party candidate against her in the general. If she's that gung-ho, she should be running against her own Republican representative, instead of trying to take out a Democrat. The primary election is where the party fights over its ideological stance and tries to select the best possible candidate to defeat the eventual opponent(s) in the general. Sheehan opted to skip that process. I believe that is a wrong action.

              •  We come at this from different values (0+ / 0-)

                Your's more explicitly partisan than mine. I'm not opposed to using spoiler tactics in extreme circumstances, but it's foolish if there's no chance it'll lead to the ouster of the target. In the Shehan/Pelosi case, we reach the same conclusion from different analysis.

                Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

                Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

                by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:35:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

            I'd argue you don't understand enough about the political structure of Congress to have a meaningful opinion about it.

            I'd argue that I understand more about Congress than what they tell you in a 6th grade civics text, which is apparently where you get your ideas.

            Technically, you are correct that the Speaker has no direct power to bring Articles of Impeachment.

            Practically, you are 100% wrong.  If you think that the Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee don't take Pelosi's views on the subject -- even if they don't have to according to some Congress for Dummies flowchart -- you are nuts.

            Tom DeLay was widely regarded as the most powerful Republican in the House -- and a driving force behind the impeachment of Bill Clinton -- and yet he was "merely" the Majority Whip at the time and never became the Speaker.

      •  Technically, you and the diarist (0+ / 0-)

        are entirely correct.  But as you also point out, "the public" including some commenters here are not real clear on the basic facts.

        What everyone, "the public", does know is that Pelosi pronounced impeachment off the table both before and after the November election.  So Pelosi is not a neutral in the arguments for/against impeachment.  Her pronouncement pushed the Overton Window in one direction; Sheehan wants to push it in the other.  Seems a valid wish to me, never mind if she's going about it in the right way.

        The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

        by DSPS owl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:02:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Getting serious about impeachment. An Oxymoron. (0+ / 0-)

    Talking about impeachment is not serious. Everyone knows it's not going to happen. So getting "serious" about it is a contradiction.

    One can get serious about restoring Habeas Corpus.  Or 35 mpg fuel standard (being blocked by Democrat Dingell).  Those at least have a slim chance of passage.

  •  A bit too cute, IMO. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zedaker

    Does anyone really think Judiciary Chairman John Conyers is going to pursue impeachment without a green light from Speaker Pelosi?  

    Shut up and impeach.

    by HarveyMilk on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 09:44:24 AM PDT

    •  Pelosi might find it convenient to give (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bawbie

      Conyers and Judiciary a wink, rather than an overt Green Light.

      Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

      Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

      by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:19:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (0+ / 0-)

        I'd rather they went all in, all together, but I can see the utility in "Chairman Conyers believes impeachable offenses have occurred...."

        But the reality is it won't happen without Speaker Pelosi's approval, and if she attempted to put it all down to Conyers, her approval of proceeding with impeachment would be an open secret.

        Shut up and impeach.

        by HarveyMilk on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:07:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree in principle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, zedaker

    Please don’t take my disagreement the wrong way. I have always found "wmtriallawyer’s" missives informative, useful, and well worth the reading. This diary is no less informative. I have no problems with any of the legal procedures and responsibilities involved in impeachment put forth in this diary. What I take issue with the "Talking Point" reference.

    I admire Nancy Pelosi and she has my full support and gratitude for the work that she is doing but in this case she is the one who made this a "Talking Point". I’m not a lawyer but I do agree with "wmtriallwyer" that there are legal issues, congressional, and constitutional procedures that must be adhered to if impeachment is to move forward. That said, to imply that the speaker of the house has no influence on this issue is just not credible. For her to say publicly that "Impeachment is not on the table" is, in my mind anyway, a confirmation of that influence.

    I have been a proponent of impeachment for a long time, and maybe that colors my thinking, so you can imagine how disappointing that statement was to me and too many others. Even so, until recently I was reluctantly willing to allow the constitutional process to go through. De-funding, investigations, subpoenas, contempt, and now censure. IMHO none of these legal and constitutional procedures seem to have much of a chance of succeeding against an administration that has blatantly and repeatedly shown its disregard for the rule of law.

    Recent events have now convinced me even more that impeachment is really the only tool left that congress can use to stop this administrations abuse and forestall any future administrations from following the same course. Although I would never support a Sheehan campaign to oust Nancy I do find what she did yesterday encouraging in that it has helped force this issue into the public debate. I know, given Cindy’s current public image, that some on this site would disagree but the fact that she has forced this into the public discourse is, at as far as I’m concerned, a big plus.

    You can lead a conservative to logic but you can't make him think... Anonymous KOS member 2005.

    by Dave n Indy on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:00:08 AM PDT

    •  The talking point in question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scrutinizer

      did not originate with Ms. Sheehan, I've seen it around here for quite a while.

      The idea (or talking point) that the Constitution or the Oath of Office mandates impeachment is demonstrably false, as wmtriallawyer proved in this diary.  

      That talking point should be dropped, regardless of what you think about impeachment, Ms. Sheehan or Ms. Pelosi.

      Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

      by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:07:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        Sorry... I had to run some errands after I posted.

        I fully understand the literal interpretation of the "Talking Point" and I can agree, as "wmtriallawyer" stated, that there is no legal or constitutional mandate requiring any action on impeachment by congress unless you want to consider their oath to defend the constitution against all attacks both foreign and domestic as such a mandate.

        I will admit that I sometimes present my arguments in a somewhat confusing manner. I take no issue with any of the points "wmtriallawyer" makes in his diary. My issue, as I said or tried to say, is with the premise of the diary. Nancy Pelosi made this a talking point and to imply, as "wmtriallawyer" does in his diary that she has no or little influence on the process is just not credible.

        You can lead a conservative to logic but you can't make him think... Anonymous KOS member 2005.

        by Dave n Indy on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi "greenlighting" her way into the White (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ben masel, bawbie, Elise

    House. Now that is a great idea. Did you ever think of how antirepublican (small r) it would be if Pelosi led the charge to dismiss Bush and Cheney?

    I assume that Conyers would open hearings if a large enough number of representatives demand hearings. Stop fetishizing the leadership and go for the rank and file.

    •  Pelosi to the Oval Office (0+ / 0-)

      should not be a consideration.  That's why I'm against impeaching Bush and Cheney on the same day, as has been suggested.  The only ways Pelosi should become president are:

      • Bush and Cheney happen to drop dead on the same day.
      • One of them is impeached/removed (or dies) and the other drops dead before his newly appointed VP is approved by simple majorities in both houses.
      • She declares as a candidate for president and wins.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 12:54:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OK-- Let's Talk About What IS Pelosi's JOB (0+ / 0-)

    and I don't believe (I could be wrong) this is "constitutionally mandated" either: the JOB of everyone in Congress is to provide checks and balances against the activities of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

    the job of Congress is NOT to be a rubber stamp arm of the executive-- which it more or less has been since bu$$hco took office in 2001. the democrats have demonstrated again and again they do not intend to really challenge bu$$hco or hold them accountable for what amounts to 1.) Treason (Plamegate) 2.)misuse of the Treasury and 3.) misuse of the military.

    the diarist is correct in stating impeachment should be dropped as a talking point-- obviously this is so since Pelosi herself stated months prior to the 2006 election that "impeachment was off the table".

    perhaps that is why Ms. Sheehan (and more than a few other Pelosi constituents) are angry.

    I for one do not blame them.

    Cerberus: In Greek mythology, the three-headed watchdog who guards the entrance to the lower world, the Hades.

    by Superpole on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:05:14 AM PDT

  •  Bless you, counselor. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bawbie, wmtriallawyer

    A rational mind at work is a beautiful thing to behold.   This diary should penetrate the thickest tinfoil.  

    Because everyone has one.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:11:46 AM PDT

  •  If impeachment is Constitutionally mandated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scrutinizer, bawbie, Elise

    in cases where the President may have possibly committed impeachable offenses...

    ... and most, or perhaps all, modern Presidents have committed offenses which may have been impeachable (Reagan? Bush I? Johnson?)...

    Then it is, and has been, the Constitutional duty of Congress to always be impeaching the President, at all times.

    And all elected members of Congress in the past century have been cowards and non-patriots who shirked their Constitutional duty.

    This whole impeachment thing is becoming clearer to me all the time.

  •  While I have every (0+ / 0-)

    respect for Cindy and her stand in Crawford, and honor her for the sacrifice her son made, since then she's done nothing but look batshit crazy.

    I'm sorry if that offends anyone, but she is a true nutcase.

  •  Your update is precisely the point. Perhaps it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Levity

    why congresses approval ratings are lower than Bush.

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men~~ Abraham Lincoln

    by Tanya on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:17:45 AM PDT

  •  I think they must pursue impeachment. (0+ / 0-)

    The oath of office required by the sixth article of the Constitution of the United States, and as provided by section 2 of the act of May 13, 1884 (23 Stat. 22), to be administered to Members, Resident Commissioner, and Delegates of the House of Representatives, the text of which is carried in 5 U.S.C. 3331:

    I, Loyal Citizen of the Republic, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

    http://www.pegmusic.com/...

    Pelosi and everybody else in Congress is mandated to pursue impeachment because she's mandated to support defend the Constitution against its enemies, one of which is President Bush.

    •  Well (0+ / 0-)

      Let's just take it as a given that Bush is an "enemy of the Constitution."

      All the Congresscritters have taken an oath to "protect and defend" that Constitution.

      If they think that ultimately they can never get a conviction out of the Senate, what is the best way to "protect and defend the Constitution"?  Start proceedings that fail, or pretend that he's politically neutered for the next 18 months anyway?  I don't think there's any clear answer to that (although, as I have said above, I personally believe they should start the proceedings).

      Point is, I don't think the oath gets you where you want to go -- except perhaps as a vehicle of persuasion to your Congresscritters.

      Cheers.

      "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

      by New Deal democrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:47:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reading comprehension is your friend (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise

    Thank you for clear analysis and presentation.

  •  Keeping your oaths is pre-911 thinking anyway. (0+ / 0-)

    And the Constitution too - get over all those talking points already.  You'll feel better and you'll like your party leader better.

    The real reason Speaker Pelosi and her party are obstructing impeachment.

  •  Your clarification (0+ / 0-)

    is appreciated.  I have a particular bias when I read the word "shall" and it often prevents me from seeing what's really there. Having landed on terra firma after my flight of lexicographical fancy, I no longer think "must" when I read "shall."  Thanks!

    "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:26:44 AM PDT

  •  The key is finding a handful of House Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    which in turn requires a tacit deal to install a caretaker Republican President.

    It'd work like this. House impeaches, Pelosi gives up the Speakership temporarily, House installs a Republican Speaker wiith Democratic votes plus the handful of Republicans. Senate convicts, Caretaker becomes President, Pelosi's again elected Speaker. Caretaker names new VP, subject to confirmation.

    Since the Constitution does not mandate the Speaker be a Member of the House, the caretaker need not be. My 1st choice, former Iowa Representative Jim Leach.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

    Abolish Mandatory Minimum Sentences. Don't wait 'til you're President.

    by ben masel on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

    •  Caretaker argument (0+ / 0-)

      is a good point.

      Goes back to the pending Nixon impeachment when Carl Albert, then Democratic Speaker of the House, said he would only be a caretaker President if Nixon were impeached (and before Ford was VP).

      Interesting thing too was that Albert himself never instituted the impeachment proceedings...he let the Jud Comm handle it.

      Noone said he wasn't doing his job, though.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:29:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Much too complicated and (0+ / 0-)

      sets a dangerous precedent.  Impeach the one, let the other appoint a caretaker VP, then impeach the other.  That's only if both are to be impeached; just getting Cheney out-a-there might be sufficient.

      The appointed new VP would have to be a caretaker.  S/he has to be approved by a simple majority in the House as well as the Senate.  The House has done a lot of dumb things, also by inaction, but I can't see them approving Romney or Giuliani as VP!

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 01:06:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi Does Control Impeachment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    To the extent that she has powers of persuasion on the House floor. Indirect powers, to be sure, but those aren't to be underestimated.

    "Follow those who seek the truth. Beware of those who find it."

    by gnolti on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:28:17 AM PDT

  •  If Pelosi doesn't control Congress... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what then did she mean by her statement that "impeachment is off the table?"

  •  Gotta disagree with one point (0+ / 0-)

    ... Speaker doesn't have the authority to do  anything  with respect to impeachment.

    That seems just as incorrect as some of Sheehan's contentions.

    There's one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him. If he says, "Yes," you know he is a crook. ~Groucho Marx

    by Busted Flat in Baton Rouge on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:29:05 AM PDT

  •  wmtriallawyer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    Everything you wrote in your diary is, of course, correct. And I'm also in the camp that thinks Cindy Sheehan's run against Pelosi is unproductive to the goal of impeachment, at best. But let me posit what I think she means in her run against Pelosi.

    Although Pelosi plays no role in getting Bush impeached (other than being simply a member of the House), it's pretty much assumed by most that the Dems in Congress will take no action of the sort unless she spearheads it. If she decides today's a good day to impeach, then the assumption (again) is that the House is going to move forward with it. Cindy Sheehan is trying to get Pelosi to provide that impetus for Conyers and friends to start deliberating the administration's crimes and get the impeachment ball rolling. Since Pelosi won't do this, Sheehan is running to either put pressure on her to do so, or for Cindy to quixotically try to do so herself (never mind that by the time Cindy would hypothetically be elected, Bush will be out of office).

    Again, this is a terrible idea, and we'll be lucky if it goes nowhere. But would you like to at least address this line of thinking in your diary?

    "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

    by CaptUnderpants on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:29:48 AM PDT

    •  All of those are fair points. (5+ / 0-)

      Again, though, my thinking has to do, as a talking point, that Pelosi et. al. are somehow required to do it under the Constitution.

      Which I don't think is particularly effective or correct.

      Certainly, I think the goal is to put pressure on Pelosi...which leaves Pelosi in a tough spot as well, as it will look as if she herself is trying to impeach Bush and Cheney for her own political gain.

      In 1973, Carl Albert took a hands off approach to the Judiciary Committee's consideration of the impeachment resolution of Nixon.  Pelosi's mistake is that is what she should have done here, rather than say it was off the table.

      In essence, she should have kept her hands off it and let it progress in its natural course.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:34:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What was the context of the 'off the table' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CaptUnderpants, wmtriallawyer

        comment?

        To me it seems as if she is really backed into a corner now on that.  She can't come out and say 'it's back on the table', because 1) the reasons you mentioned about personal gain 2) it would sent the expectation of immediate impeachment proceedings for the 'IMPEACH NOW!!!!' crowd.  I don't think Pelosi with say anything if/when the Judiciary committee starts hearings.

        Personally I don't think she's stopping them.  I think Conyers is free to proceed at will, but is either waiting for the right time (you don't roll out new product in August) or is not going forward for political reasons.

        Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

        by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:44:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  well (0+ / 0-)

          I think that, pre-elections last year, her "off the table" remark was trying to assure voters that Democrats wouldn't just be vindictive and mean towards Bush, and we would work together with them bipartisan-like and spread sunshine while holding hands and singing Kum-Ba-Yah. She thought this would win moderate votes. And the Democrats did win the elections, but it had nothing to do with that, no matter what Rahm Emanuel may tell you.

          Another bad idea, but there it is.

          "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

          by CaptUnderpants on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:52:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi has no control? See this Rep's comment... (0+ / 0-)
  •  You think Bush is THEIR (Capitol Dems) enemy, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    he's just an extreme example of the disease that most of our political establishment suffers from.

    ...these people are part of that system and that makes them our enemies. You have to understand that most of these people are not ready to be unplugged and many are so hopelessly dependent on the system, they will fight to protect it.  --Morpheus

    The Democratic leadership doesn't want to upset the apple cart 'cuz the next election is gonna put them in control of the empire.  They think like the Republicans - the empire is only bad when the other party controls it.

    Has Hillary promised to reduce the power of the presidency? Has anyone pledged to reduce the size of the military, close foreign bases, stop policing the world, etc??

    Oh, yeah... the "crazy ones" - Ron Paul and Mike Gravel.

  •  My comment in this diary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, Elise

    turned into a diary of it's own.

    WaPo's Dana Milbank repeats the Talking Point and has a good laugh about DKos, Sheehan and Impeachment.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  How many angels...? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little

    Does it take to semantically deconstruct the meaning of a phrase which has had no practical import for some time?

    Seems to me that arguments such as yours against impeachment are both spurious and empty, thus suggesting that you can't find a good reason to oppose impeachment, other than the very narrow parsing of words which were clearly not spoken in such a narrow context.

    Sorry, but I think this reveals more that the anti-impeachment arguments are now: 1) too risky to take action (hypothetical); 2) can't win (see 1 above); 3) looks like zealotry (unless both a] deserved and b] successful, we agree on a], for b] see 1 and 2 above); 4) it's just wrong (does anyone believe this?); or 5) the pro-impeachment forces are using inexact or inelegant language, or both.

    I offer this as a challenge: demonstrate to me how Democrats taking action against a wayward executive, backed by over 70% of the electorate is RISKIER than not taking action, and do so with something other than hypotheticals, which both sides have equal access to.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:39:09 AM PDT

    •  Don't mischaracterize please (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bawbie, thingamabob

      This is false:

      Seems to me that arguments such as yours against impeachment are both spurious and empty...

      Not once did I say I was against impeachment.

      Not. Once.

      I'm for it...which is why I want a better talking point to support it.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Inexact and inelegant language (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer, DSPS owl

      Should have re-read my post prior to, er, posting.

      First, the phrase in question is "constitutionally mandated".

      Second, there are plenty of good arguments to be made against pushing impeachment irrationally or with hyperbolic emotional appeals. This does not mean not pushing impeachment, but rather not doing it that way. I would not recommend the Cindy Sheehan approach in general, but I do think she's a useful catalyst.

      Third, I don't mean to be as much of an ass as I sound.

      Last, having said all that, the challenge still stands. I think we should stop talking about whether to impeach, and move on to how to frame it and carry it forward.

      -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

      by thingamabob on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:45:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Last paragraph is dead on (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl

        and I agree.

        Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

        by wmtriallawyer on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:50:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see two problems with your 'challenge' (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl
        1. There is not anywhere near 70% favoring impeachment at this time.  It's more like 45%.
        1. The risk is that this Republican party will never bail on the president and will vote to acquit in the Senate no matter what the charges are.  Thus, not only will Bush remain, but the historical statement will be set that he was not guilty.   I don't know if that is less risky that doing nothing or not; I haven't been convinced one way or the other.

        I completely agree that a debate on tactics and media frames is completely appropriate.  Especially when that debate can happen without one side calling the others traitors.

        Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

        by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:54:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let the Republics acquit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl

          For Bush's Sake! Who cares what the final, on-paper outcome of impeachment is, how many votes from the Republics (who everyone knows would vote to send their grandmothers to the death penalty, and then not recall having done so), and so on? This is a mindless fixation on an irrelevant point.

          Do you think the Republics are forever tarred by having failed to convict Clinton?? No, because they achieved their goal of diminishing his power and re-directing the debate towards incidental issues of little concern to the average American. They WON the impeachment sweepstakes, even though the vote went against conviction.

          As if that were not enough, the point of the exercise is to  follow through on what Americans want (45% according to you) or would want (another 30% at least) if they knew (and believed) the whole truth. Want to convince that other 30%? No better way than via impeachment proceedings.

          Last, but not least, your response merely repeats what I have already asserted--that the key argument against impeachment is hypothetical (as all risks are until they become problems) risks of doing something. You have not tried to answer the other half of the challenge--what are the risks of not working towards impeachment, and how do they compare?

          -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

          by thingamabob on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:27:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Amen. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise

    Couldn't agree more. I can't stand the people who are still shouting this. It may be a moral obligation on many levels, but it's no legal obligation.

  •  And when we fail to get enough votes to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ghost2, elie

    remove Bush from office, how powerful does Bush become at that point, and what have we accomplished with an historical record that fails to find him guilty?

    Hillary Clinton: America's First Woman President!

    by DCDemocrat on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:48:38 AM PDT

    •  If deciding to do the right thing comes down (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      to whether or not we have the votes to make it succeed, then stick a fork in this country it is done.

      With the amount of information available to the occupants of this planet greater than it ever has before, and that quantity increasing by magnitudes every hour, the truth about this madness is going to find it's way to the public in due time.

      Once that happens, how we look at this particular moment because we could not find the votes amongst the party who is being accused of wrong doing to prosecute those who they believe are guilty will not be the issue. Everyone knows the guilty are not usually willing to step up to the podium to confess their failures and betrayal.

      Whether or not we have the votes is a political issue.

      Whether or not our Constitution has been betrayed is not.

      I will not ever be convinced that Bush will become more powerful by a failure of the votes, because in due time when the truth finally finds its way out, none of that will matter.

      George Orwell is banging on his coffin lid and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 05:45:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your post makes it clear why it's off the table. (0+ / 0-)

    Although it's possible (even likely) that the House could muster the simple majority needed to impeach Bush, there is no chance at all for the Senate to gain the super-majority needed to convict. Senate Repubs won't even allow an up-or-down vote on the war - AS IF they're going to vote to impeach their dear leader.

    Most of us learned in grade school not to pick a fight we can't win.

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. - John Stuart Mill

    by vulcangrrl on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:48:40 AM PDT

  •  great diary - Impeachment is not a legal issue (0+ / 0-)

    it's a political issue.  Impeachment is not like an indictment, where the prosecutor is following the evidence where it goes, and asking the Grand jury to indict.  

    Impeachment is political.  

    JRE 2008
    The Presidency is NOT a family heirloom!

    by DrFrankLives on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:50:58 AM PDT

  •  Thanks it's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    good to get legal clarification. It also makes me think that the anti impeachment argument of 'won't pass in the senate' is surmountable as it seems the house is the investigative branch, and it's way better to have investigations that acknowledge the gravity of the criminality involved here. The argument that we will lose, wining or losing isn't the point, the point is that 'high crimes' not to mention those pesky misdemeanors were committed and if he his not removed at least the world would see what has been done. On a political level the thwarting of justice would not be  of our doing.      

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 10:54:44 AM PDT

  •  Pelosi is the most powerful member of the house (0+ / 0-)

    She determines a lot regarding agendas etc. or no one would have blinked over her "off the table comment."

    You are using a technical argument that overlooks the reality of the situation.

    And I hasten to point out that if it is the oath that is being questioned, then there are many, many more targets than Nancy Pelosi.  Specifically, any member of Congress who has not yet co-sponsored H.R. 333 is guilty of violating their oath under that standard.

    Agreed - they are all guilty.

  •  Her constitutionally mandated job is to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird

    get the House to begin impeachment proceedings.  Not to impeach.  Mrs. Pelosi has not done this.  And in fact, she has blocked other representatives from doing it.  I don't think that is the right thing to do.  If Cindy Sheehan doesn't think so either, let her run.

  •  Disagree. (0+ / 0-)

    The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    In other words, the power to impeach resides in the House, not with the Speaker.  Moreover, the Constitution says nothing about being required to use that power.

    By your Constitutional interpretation, the Speaker is a mere titular head of the legislative body over which she presides.  

    We all know from 200+ years of practice and tradition that that is simply not a correct reading of the section.  After all, why would the Founders constitutionally establish the office of the Speaker (third in line to the Presidency) of the House (from which all spending bills must originate) without any real authority?  Why bother?

    That's like saying the ship has the power to sail, but that the captain just sits on the bridge and can't say where she goes.

  •  I disagree. I believe she is mandated by her (0+ / 0-)

    oath of office.

    I, Nancy Pelosi, do solemnly swear that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    To say that she is not mandated to impeach (indict), nor even begin investigations is absurd.  That would be like saying that an elected sheriff is not required to investigate and indict a murderer.  When everyone in the world knows that the murderer is guilty.

    And to say that the public evidence, that is, specifically evidence in the PUBLIC RECORD of rampant criminality and even treasonous activity on the part of this government can be overlooked, for political, or worse no reason is frightening.

    If that oath means anything at all, the lack of impeachment investigations at the very least is a tragic and foolhardy repudiation.  It is a sin of omission.  A failure to act when overwhelming evidence indicated action must be taken.  As Al Gore, my candidate for what it's worth would say, failure to act is complicity.

    The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:06:53 AM PDT

    •  The Oath of Office is clearly ambiguous on this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, DSPS owl

      How she interprets 'support and defend' can be very different from how you would interpret it; yet she is still living up to her oath.  

      No where, in the Constitution nor her Oath, does it say that the house is required to impeach when the POTUS has committed an impeachable offense.  

      Impeachment is primarily a political undertaking and the political element was built by the founders into the impeachment system.  

      You can feel free to say that, in you opinion, she has to lead impeachment efforts; but to say that her Oath requires her to is wrong.

      Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

      by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:21:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Failure, or refusal to investigate (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverbird, Karma for All

        rampant, outright criminality is a total repudiation of that oath.  There is no ambiguity.

        Pelosi is totally lacking in leadership skills.  She should be leading the charge, and instead is a roadblock to justice.

        The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

        by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:30:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme

          for political reasons Pelosi CAN NOT lead the charge.  She is in line to be President and reap all the benefits of impeachment.  It would completely unseemly for her to lead an impeachment charge.  

          How is she being a roadblock?  She should be an interested bystander to Conyer's impeachment charge, and as far as I can tell that is exactly what she is doing.

          BTW, which criminality isn't being investigated?

          Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

          by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:43:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I, Nancy Pelosi do solemnly swear to protect and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Karma for All

            defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, unless for political reasons that ms. bawbie assure me are perfectly legal and respectable get in the way, in which case, all bets are off.

            Nice.

            The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

            by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:25:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How you support and defend is up to ones opinion (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, DSPS owl

              of what is appropriate.

              Or does the Oath read "I, Nancy Pelosi, do solemnly swear to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic in the means and method Ms. Ghost of Frank Zappa lays out on the website Daily Kos"

              Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

              by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:45:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Karma for All

                George Bush has not demonstrated rampant, arrogant outright criminal acts?

                What other means and methods has Nancy Pelosi used to stop the outright ongoing criminality?

                Pelosi has stood in the way of investigations.  

                Impeachment is off the table.

                Unfortunately, as leader of the Democratic congressional delegation and leader of the entire House of Representatives, the table setter as it were, Pelosi has served as an obstructionist and not a neutral observer.

                The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

                by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:03:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Which investigations has she stopped? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  churchylafemme

                  She said the impeachment-off-the-table line before the elections.

                  Conyers has signaled that Pelosi is not standing in the way of his starting impeachment proceedings.

                  So which investigations has she "obstructed"?

                  Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

                  by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:22:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Lying about the start of the war (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Karma for All

                    the Downing Street Memo.  ONE.  No investigation

                    Torture, special rendition, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo.  TWO.  No investigation

                    Illegal warrantless searches.  THREE.  No investigation

                    War profiteering.  FOUR.  No investigation

                    Depriving Habeas Corpus.  FIVE.  No investigation

                    You can't impeach what you don't investigate, and as leader of the Congressional body whose job it is to investigate, Pelosi has shown herself to be a miserable failure, a triangulator, and a political capitulator.   Definitely lacking in leadership skills.

                    Failure and even refusal to investigate will be Nancy Pelosi's legacy.

                    The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

                    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:35:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And this is just the stuff that is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Karma for All

                      PUBLIC RECORD.  We will never know what kind of shit they've really pulled, because Nancy failed in her solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies.  All enemies, but George W. Bush.

                      The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

                      by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:37:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

                      from my recollection there have been hearings on each and every instance you list, so you are just making shit up.

                      You seem to have a personal vendetta against Ms. Pelosi.  Fine, whatever, I could care less.  Work to get Ms. Sheehan elected in her place, if that's what slicks your hair back.  

                      But making shit up in unacceptable.

                      Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

                      by bawbie on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:47:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Show me where there is a congressional (0+ / 0-)

                        investigation ongoing on even ONE of the subjects listed.  Otherwise, admit that you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

                        I'm waiting.

                        I've got nothing against Pelosi personally.  I do have something against her leadership or lack thereof.

                        The Imperial Impeacher. With a 100% GUARANTEE of the political demise of the Bush "government" before Christmas 2007.

                        by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 04:09:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  I do not agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird

    According to Bruce Fein who drew up the Articles of Impeachment against Clinton, it is Congress' duty to protect the Constitution by impeachment for high crimes which is mandated by the Constitution. The power of impeachment is granted to the people to be exercised by the respective congressional bodies as the functional agent of the people.

  •  Real world talking (0+ / 0-)

    when Tip O'Neill was speaker, he made every effort to listen to other members, partly so that, when the party or the country needed something done, he could exercise his position power and personal charisma to get things done. Tip was very opposed to the Vietnam War, because kids in his district kept getting killed. The Democratic president at the time wasn't happy with Tip's position. But Stop the War was definintely on the table.
       Consitutionally-mandated can also mean the power vested in the representative to represent their district, and when necessary, the country over the narrow interests of their district. IMO, your reading of the phrase is a bit too narrow. It seems to me that people pretty much know what Cindy Sheehan was talking about.  

  •  Bravo (0+ / 0-)

    One of the reasons I don't want Cindy Sheehan speaking for me is that she doesn't know what she's talking about. There's no reason she should, generally speaking, but she's got a responsibility to know the facts if she wants to act as a public figure.

  •  My point about impeachment is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, NonnyO

    that if we don't go for it, then what have all the soldiers who ever fought battles for this country died for?
    For George Bush and Dick Cheney (and others) to treat the Constitution like a roll of toilet paper, and remove the very freedoms and liberties it was designed to give us, is a crime of the highest order. And while I know that most wars are rackets, we always tell those soldiers that they are dying for those high ideals like freedom, liberty, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
    If we don't impeach, they will have ALL died in vain, every last one of them, from the Revolutionary war to today.

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:33:22 AM PDT

  •  Of Course They are Required to Use It (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pascal

    Breaking news, legal scholars. All Congress Critters take the following oath:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    I appreciate the well-informed legal dissertation but a sworn oath to "Support and Defend the Constitution" mandates impeachment proceedings when you have gross violations of the constitution. It's that simple. This is what we pay them $165,000 a year to do.  

    •  It mandates their doing SOMETHING. (0+ / 0-)

      It's left up to them to decide what.  It's up to us to convince them, if we think they are not doing the right thing or not doing enough.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 01:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Theoden, King, Arise! (0+ / 0-)

    Can someone please get that Gandalf fellow to give a talk to our party leadership.  They've got some sort of fog over their eyes.  I think Grima Wormtongue Rove has been talking to them in their sleep or something.

  •  Impeach Cheney at the same time (0+ / 0-)

    or first.  The senate doesn't have to approve Bush's VP choice before Bush is impeached himself.  Clearly, the crimes of Bush/Cheney are intertwined to the point it would be difficult to separate them.  They should be impeached together. That also goes for Gonzo and Chertoff.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 11:41:11 AM PDT

    •  Impeach Cheney first, yes. (0+ / 0-)

      Both at the same time, no.  I think we should avoid the political coup: Nancy to the White House.  Appointment of a new VP has to be acceptable to simple majorities of both the House and the Senate.  Shouldn't be difficult to get Bush to appoint an acceptable caretaker in a hurry, as Pelosi is next in line as long as there is a vacancy.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 01:32:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been wondering why we don't hear more from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    laywers about the crimes or betrayals of the Constitution, or whatever you want to call them, of this administration.  Aren't laywers worried about what this President claims for the Executive office?

    We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner --

    by Silverbird on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:18:27 PM PDT

  •  "I'm not going to delve into what happened ...." (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm not going to delve into what happened yesterday in John Conyer's office"

    I couldn't believe it.
    Has this been discussed in a diff. diary here already? Please post a link if it has. Cause I'm stunned.

  •  Some of you scare me (5+ / 0-)

    Following the actual text of the U.S. Constitution has been called "bullshit nitpicking," "legalistic" and "hair-splitting" by commenters to this diary.

    What a joke.

    Stay the FUCK away from my government if you are going to treat the Constitution with such disrespect.

    "I will not rest until every year families gather to spend December 25th together at Osama's homo-abortion-pot-and-commie-jizzporium." - Jon Stewart

    by Slim Tyranny on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:44:19 PM PDT

  •  So: (0+ / 0-)

    By her logic, then, she should have been running against John Conyers in the primaries; not California. Except that even if she were to get elected, this would all be a dead issue by the time she took office in 2009.

    It's all nice to call for impeachment, but that takes second place in most voters' eyes to issues that pertain to their daily lives.

  •  Excellent diary. Exactly what we need to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, churchylafemme

    think about.  Watching the Gonzales testimony today, I am seething and believe every one of these people needs to be impeached but I totally disagree with Cindy Sheehan.  I hope she will read and will understand your diary.

    Recommended.

  •  Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer

    When I read the Constitution, nothing said the Speaker had any jurisdiction regarding impeachment, so I've always wondered how/why Pelosi had any "authority" to 'take impeachment off the table.'  Seemed to me that if the Judiciary committee held hearings and presented the mere facts (not suppositions or political spin) regarding the laws and treaties Cheney and Bush have broken that a vote by the full House could over-ride anything Pelosi advocated.  She has authority and seniority, but she's not the dictatorial ruler of the House....

    The other thing that bothers me regarding the delay in even beginning the impeachment process is the phrase "we don't have the votes."

    Why count votes before a hearing is even held?  Why not present the FACTS first, and then vote?  It's illogical to take a vote count before a hearing is even held.

    "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

    by NonnyO on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:52:23 PM PDT

    •  still more thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wmtriallawyer

      i've just posted a diary on "impeachment and peace" that fits with this usefull clarification of the process. ALL the House members are obligated by a very specific Oath of Office to press for hearings, findings of fact, open decisions openly arrived at (or mediated to the public after closed door hearings have been held) so that the Senate can take action. It's not about "counting the votes" or the "personalities" involved, it's about facts and rule of law, due process, honoring one's Oath, facing inconvenient truths, examining the facts, weighing the evidence, doing the right thing, keeping it simple -- all the cliches we live by apply!
      Has there been a lot of discussion of the Holtzman books on Kos pages???

      Charlie 'Pathminded' Keil I also blog over at Conserving Consensus.

      by Pathminded on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:12:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about this mandate? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    From another document, the Declaration of Independence:

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government

    •  Who is "their"...in that statement? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      artisan

      "Men"...as in "the people" - it doesn't refer to elected officials- it is the duty of the people - not Nancy Pelosi...

      But let's assume that you knew that- even if we are talking about "throwing off" a despotic government, um...newsflash- Cindy Sheehan's actions aren't going to accomplish ANY such goal.

      I touched the Universe -- And back it slid -- and I alone -- A Speck upon a Ball -- Went out upon Circumference -- Beyond the Dip of Bell --

      by Elise on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Duty (0+ / 0-)

        It is all of our duty, including our elected representatives, to throw off the despot.

        One of my favorite lines from this debate is from Bruce Fein: (paraphrasing) "you can't leave precedents laying around like loaded weapons."

        •  The question is- how does one (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jnhobbs

          accomplish that goal. The point I'd make is that Cindy Sheehan's suggested path couldn't be more wrong and couldn't produce more failure.

          The real way to accomplish that goal is to win in 2008...and in the meantime, prevent any further disaster while we attempt to end the war in Iraq. If we can impeach Gonzalez while we're at it, that would be helpful too.

          I touched the Universe -- And back it slid -- and I alone -- A Speck upon a Ball -- Went out upon Circumference -- Beyond the Dip of Bell --

          by Elise on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:53:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Let Cindy Sheehan run. (0+ / 0-)

    And, incidentally, I believe Nancy Pelosi has a slight conflict of interest if she were to personally push Impeachment.

    First, surely nobody here would, nor would Cindy Sheehan herself, suggest we impeach and remove Bush, and then let Dick Cheney take over! I think everyone would agree that you can't just impeach Bush. You have to impeach Cheney as well, otherwise the impeachment would be nonsensical. If anyone could be worse than Bush as President, Dick Cheney would be that person.

    If that's the case, Nancy Pelosi would be the NEXT IN LINE FOR THE PRESIDENCY!

    It would be very unseemly, under those circumstances, for Nancy Pelosi to be the one out front leading the impeachment drive for Bush AND Cheney.

    Better it is left to other people, such as John Conyers.

    •  Hesiod is on point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      Speaker Pelosi's decision to give no comment on the issue was well done. As Speaker she isn't responsible for beginning impeachment proceedings, and what purpose would her statement serve other than to fuel the fire of conspiracy theories from the Right? The Speaker is third in line for the presidency afterall.

  •  Why Impeach? Vets break silence (0+ / 0-)

    I think this article should be forwarded to every congressman opposed to impeachment. This special report from The Nation puts to rest any notion that our presence in Iraq is doing anything but creating more terrorists.  The photographs of the soldiers telling these stories are also very moving, at the Nation's website.  Deserves reprinting at length.  Please forward this to to your congressman.

    Attacks on Iraqi Civilians: Vets Break Silence (The Nation)

    Excerpts:

    "...You go up the stairs. You grab the man of the house. You rip him out of bed in front of his wife. You put him up against the wall...You'll go into the fridge, if he has a fridge, and you'll throw everything on the floor, and you'll take his drawers and you'll dump them.... You'll open up his closet and you'll throw all the clothes on the floor and basically leave his house looking like a hurricane just hit it....So you've just humiliated this man in front of his entire family and terrorized his entire family and you've destroyed his home. And then you go right next door and you do the same thing in a hundred homes." "We scared the living Jesus out of them every time we went through every house..."

    "...I just remember thinking to myself, I just brought terror to someone else under the American flag, and that's just not what I joined the Army to do..."

    "...People would make jokes about it, even before we'd go into a raid, like, Oh fucking we're gonna get the wrong house," he said. "'Cause it would always happen. We always got the wrong house." Specialist Chrystal said that he and his platoon leader shared a joke of their own: Every time he raided a house, he would radio in and say, "This is, you know, Thirty-One Lima. Yeah, I found the weapons of mass destruction in here..."

    "...This unit sets up this traffic control point, and this 18-year-old kid is on top of an armored Humvee with a .50-caliber machine gun," he said. "This car speeds at him pretty quick and he makes a split-second decision that that's a suicide bomber, and he presses the butterfly trigger and puts 200 rounds in less than a minute into this vehicle. It killed the mother, a father and two kids. The boy was aged 4 and the daughter was aged 3. And they briefed this to the general. And they briefed it gruesome. I mean, they had pictures. They briefed it to him. And this colonel turns around to this full division staff and says, 'If these fucking hajis learned to drive, this shit wouldn't happen...'"

    ----
    ARTICLE
    The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness (from The Nation)

    Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians. These combat veterans, some of whom bear deep emotional and physical scars, and many of whom have come to oppose the occupation, gave vivid, on-the-record accounts. They described a brutal side of the war rarely seen on television screens or chronicled in newspaper accounts.

    Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported--and almost always go unpunished.

    Court cases, such as the ones surrounding the massacre in Haditha and the rape and murder of a 14-year-old in Mahmudiya, and news stories in the Washington Post, Time, the London Independent and elsewhere based on Iraqi accounts have begun to hint at the wide extent of the attacks on civilians. Human rights groups have issued reports, such as Human Rights Watch's Hearts and Minds: Post-war Civilian Deaths in Baghdad Caused by U.S. Forces, packed with detailed incidents that suggest that the killing of Iraqi civilians by occupation forces is more common than has been acknowledged by military authorities.

    This Nation investigation marks the first time so many on-the-record, named eyewitnesses from within the US military have been assembled in one place to openly corroborate these assertions.

    While some veterans said civilian shootings were routinely investigated by the military, many more said such inquiries were rare. "I mean, you physically could not do an investigation every time a civilian was wounded or killed because it just happens a lot and you'd spend all your time doing that," said Marine Reserve Lieut. Jonathan Morgenstein, 35, of Arlington, Virginia. He served from August 2004 to March 2005 in Ramadi with a Marine Corps civil affairs unit supporting a combat team with the Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade. (All interviewees are identified by the rank they held during the period of service they recount here; some have since been promoted or demoted.)

    Veterans said the culture of this counterinsurgency war, in which most Iraqi civilians were assumed to be hostile, made it difficult for soldiers to sympathize with their victims--at least until they returned home and had a chance to reflect.

    "I guess while I was there, the general attitude was, A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi," said Spc. Jeff Englehart, 26, of Grand Junction, Colorado. Specialist Englehart served with the Third Brigade, First Infantry Division, in Baquba, about thirty-five miles northeast of Baghdad, for a year beginning in February 2004. "You know, so what?... The soldiers honestly thought we were trying to help the people and they were mad because it was almost like a betrayal. Like here we are trying to help you, here I am, you know, thousands of miles away from home and my family, and I have to be here for a year and work every day on these missions. Well, we're trying to help you and you just turn around and try to kill us."

    He said it was only "when they get home, in dealing with veteran issues and meeting other veterans, it seems like the guilt really takes place, takes root, then."

    The Iraq War is a vast and complicated enterprise. In this investigation of alleged military misconduct, The Nation focused on a few key elements of the occupation, asking veterans to explain in detail their experiences operating patrols and supply convoys, setting up checkpoints, conducting raids and arresting suspects. From these collected snapshots a common theme emerged. Fighting in densely populated urban areas has led to the indiscriminate use of force and the deaths at the hands of occupation troops of thousands of innocents.

    Many of these veterans returned home deeply disturbed by the disparity between the reality of the war and the way it is portrayed by the US government and American media. The war the vets described is a dark and even depraved enterprise, one that bears a powerful resemblance to other misguided and brutal colonial wars and occupations, from the French occupation of Algeria to the American war in Vietnam and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

    "I'll tell you the point where I really turned," said Spc. Michael Harmon, 24, a medic from Brooklyn. He served a thirteen-month tour beginning in April 2003 with the 167th Armor Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division, in Al-Rashidiya, a small town near Baghdad. "I go out to the scene and [there was] this little, you know, pudgy little 2-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs, and I look and she has a bullet through her leg.... An IED [improvised explosive device] went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me, wasn't crying, wasn't anything, it just looked at me like--I know she couldn't speak. It might sound crazy, but she was like asking me why. You know, Why do I have a bullet in my leg?... I was just like, This is--this is it. This is ridiculous."

    Much of the resentment toward Iraqis described to The Nation by veterans was confirmed in a report released May 4 by the Pentagon. According to the survey, conducted by the Office of the Surgeon General of the US Army Medical Command, just 47 percent of soldiers and 38 percent of marines agreed that civilians should be treated with dignity and respect. Only 55 percent of soldiers and 40 percent of marines said they would report a unit member who had killed or injured "an innocent noncombatant."

    These attitudes reflect the limited contact occupation troops said they had with Iraqis. They rarely saw their enemy. They lived bottled up in heavily fortified compounds that often came under mortar attack. They only ventured outside their compounds ready for combat. The mounting frustration of fighting an elusive enemy and the devastating effect of roadside bombs, with their steady toll of American dead and wounded, led many troops to declare an open war on all Iraqis.

    Veterans described reckless firing once they left their compounds. Some shot holes into cans of gasoline being sold along the roadside and then tossed grenades into the pools of gas to set them ablaze. Others opened fire on children. These shootings often enraged Iraqi witnesses.

    In June 2003 Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejía's unit was pressed by a furious crowd in Ramadi. Sergeant Mejía, 31, a National Guardsman from Miami, served for six months beginning in April 2003 with the 1-124 Infantry Battalion, Fifty-Third Infantry Brigade. His squad opened fire on an Iraqi youth holding a grenade, riddling his body with bullets. Sergeant Mejía checked his clip afterward and calculated that he had personally fired eleven rounds into the young man.

    "The frustration that resulted from our inability to get back at those who were attacking us led to tactics that seemed designed simply to punish the local population that was supporting them," Sergeant Mejía said.

    We heard a few reports, in one case corroborated by photographs, that some soldiers had so lost their moral compass that they'd mocked or desecrated Iraqi corpses. One photo, among dozens turned over to The Nation during the investigation, shows an American soldier acting as if he is about to eat the spilled brains of a dead Iraqi man with his brown plastic Army-issue spoon.

    "Take a picture of me and this motherfucker," a soldier who had been in Sergeant Mejía's squad said as he put his arm around the corpse. Sergeant Mejía recalls that the shroud covering the body fell away, revealing that the young man was wearing only his pants. There was a bullet hole in his chest.

    "Damn, they really fucked you up, didn't they?" the soldier laughed.

    The scene, Sergeant Mejía said, was witnessed by the dead man's brothers and cousins.

    In the sections that follow, snipers, medics, military police, artillerymen, officers and others recount their experiences serving in places as diverse as Mosul in the north, Samarra in the Sunni Triangle, Nasiriya in the south and Baghdad in the center, during 2003, 2004 and 2005. Their stories capture the impact of their units on Iraqi civilians.

    A Note on Methodology

    The Nation interviewed fifty combat veterans, including forty soldiers, eight marines and two sailors, over a period of seven months beginning in July 2006. To find veterans willing to speak on the record about their experiences in Iraq, we sent queries to organizations dedicated to US troops and their families, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the antiwar groups Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War and the prowar group Vets for Freedom. The leaders of IVAW and Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of IAVA, were especially helpful in putting us in touch with Iraq War veterans. Finally, we found veterans through word of mouth, as many of those we interviewed referred us to their military friends.

    To verify their military service, when possible we obtained a copy of each interviewee's DD Form 214, or the Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, and in all cases confirmed their service with the branch of the military in which they were enlisted. Nineteen interviews were conducted in person, while the rest were done over the phone; all were tape-recorded and transcribed; all but five interviewees (most of those currently on active duty) were independently contacted by fact checkers to confirm basic facts about their service in Iraq. Of those interviewed, fourteen served in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, twenty from 2004 to 2005 and two from 2005 to 2006. Of the eleven veterans whose tours lasted less than one year, nine served in 2003, while the others served in 2004 and 2005.

    The ranks of the veterans we interviewed ranged from private to captain, though only a handful were officers. The veterans served throughout Iraq, but mostly in the country's most volatile areas, such as Baghdad, Tikrit, Mosul, Falluja and Samarra.

    During the course of the interview process, five veterans turned over photographs from Iraq, some of them graphic, to corroborate their claims.

    Raids

    "So we get started on this day, this one in particular," recalled Spc. Philip Chrystal, 23, of Reno, who said he raided between twenty and thirty Iraqi homes during an eleven-month tour in Kirkuk and Hawija that ended in October 2005, serving with the Third Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade. "It starts with the psy-ops vehicles out there, you know, with the big speakers playing a message in Arabic or Farsi or Kurdish or whatever they happen to be, saying, basically, saying, Put your weapons, if you have them, next to the front door in your house. Please come outside, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we had Apaches flying over for security, if they're needed, and it's also a good show of force. And we're running around, and they--we'd done a few houses by this point, and I was with my platoon leader, my squad leader and maybe a couple other people.

    "And we were approaching this one house," he said. "In this farming area, they're, like, built up into little courtyards. So they have, like, the main house, common area. They have, like, a kitchen and then they have a storage shed-type deal. And we're approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, 'cause it's doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it. And he didn't--motherfucker--he shot it and it went in the jaw and exited out. So I see this dog--I'm a huge animal lover; I love animals--and this dog has, like, these eyes on it and he's running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, What the hell is going on? The family is sitting right there, with three little children and a mom and a dad, horrified. And I'm at a loss for words. And so, I yell at him. I'm, like, What the fuck are you doing? And so the dog's yelping. It's crying out without a jaw. And I'm looking at the family, and they're just, you know, dead scared. And so I told them, I was like, Fucking shoot it, you know? At least kill it, because that can't be fixed....

    "And--I actually get tears from just saying this right now, but--and I had tears then, too--and I'm looking at the kids and they are so scared. So I got the interpreter over with me and, you know, I get my wallet out and I gave them twenty bucks, because that's what I had. And, you know, I had him give it to them and told them that I'm so sorry that asshole did that.

    "Was a report ever filed about it?" he asked. "Was anything ever done? Any punishment ever dished out? No, absolutely not."

    Specialist Chrystal said such incidents were "very common."

    According to interviews with twenty-four veterans who participated in such raids, they are a relentless reality for Iraqis under occupation. The American forces, stymied by poor intelligence, invade neighborhoods where insurgents operate, bursting into homes in the hope of surprising fighters or finding weapons. But such catches, they said, are rare. Far more common were stories in which soldiers assaulted a home, destroyed property in their futile search and left terrorized civilians struggling to repair the damage and begin the long torment of trying to find family members who were hauled away as suspects.

    Raids normally took place between midnight and 5 am, according to Sgt. John Bruhns, 29, of Philadelphia, who estimates that he took part in raids of nearly 1,000 Iraqi homes. He served in Baghdad and Abu Ghraib, a city infamous for its prison, located twenty miles west of the capital, with the Third Brigade, First Armor Division, First Battalion, for one year beginning in March 2003. His descriptions of raid procedures closely echoed those of eight other veterans who served in locations as diverse as Kirkuk, Samarra, Baghdad, Mosul and Tikrit.

    "You want to catch them off guard," Sergeant Bruhns explained. "You want to catch them in their sleep." About ten troops were involved in each raid, he said, with five stationed outside and the rest searching the home.

    Once they were in front of the home, troops, some wearing Kevlar helmets and flak vests with grenade launchers mounted on their weapons, kicked the door in, according to Sergeant Bruhns, who dispassionately described the procedure:

    "You run in. And if there's lights, you turn them on--if the lights are working. If not, you've got flashlights.... You leave one rifle team outside while one rifle team goes inside. Each rifle team leader has a headset on with an earpiece and a microphone where he can communicate with the other rifle team leader that's outside.

    "You go up the stairs. You grab the man of the house. You rip him out of bed in front of his wife. You put him up against the wall. You have junior-level troops, PFCs [privates first class], specialists will run into the other rooms and grab the family, and you'll group them all together. Then you go into a room and you tear the room to shreds and you make sure there's no weapons or anything that they can use to attack us.

    "You get the interpreter and you get the man of the home, and you have him at gunpoint, and you'll ask the interpreter to ask him: 'Do you have any weapons? Do you have any anti-US propaganda, anything at all--anything--anything in here that would lead us to believe that you are somehow involved in insurgent activity or anti-coalition forces activity?'

    "Normally they'll say no, because that's normally the truth," Sergeant Bruhns said. "So what you'll do is you'll take his sofa cushions and you'll dump them. If he has a couch, you'll turn the couch upside down. You'll go into the fridge, if he has a fridge, and you'll throw everything on the floor, and you'll take his drawers and you'll dump them.... You'll open up his closet and you'll throw all the clothes on the floor and basically leave his house looking like a hurricane just hit it.

    "And if you find something, then you'll detain him. If not, you'll say, 'Sorry to disturb you. Have a nice evening.' So you've just humiliated this man in front of his entire family and terrorized his entire family and you've destroyed his home. And then you go right next door and you do the same thing in a hundred homes."

    Each raid, or "cordon and search" operation, as they are sometimes called, involved five to twenty homes, he said. Following a spate of attacks on soldiers in a particular area, commanders would normally order infantrymen on raids to look for weapons caches, ammunition or materials for making IEDs. Each Iraqi family was allowed to keep one AK-47 at home, but according to Bruhns, those found with extra weapons were arrested and detained and the operation classified a "success," even if it was clear that no one in the home was an insurgent.

    Before a raid, according to descriptions by several veterans, soldiers typically "quarantined" the area by barring anyone from coming in or leaving. In pre-raid briefings, Sergeant Bruhns said, military commanders often told their troops the neighborhood they were ordered to raid was "a hostile area with a high level of insurgency" and that it had been taken over by former Baathists or Al Qaeda terrorists.

    "So you have all these troops, and they're all wound up," said Sergeant Bruhns. "And a lot of these troops think once they kick down the door there's going to be people on the inside waiting for them with weapons to start shooting at them."

    Sgt. Dustin Flatt, 33, of Denver, estimates he raided "thousands" of homes in Tikrit, Samarra and Mosul. He served with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, for one year beginning in February 2004. "We scared the living Jesus out of them every time we went through every house," he said.

    Spc. Ali Aoun, 23, a National Guardsman from New York City, said he conducted perimeter security in nearly 100 raids while serving in Sadr City with the Eighty-Ninth Military Police Brigade for eleven months starting in April 2004. When soldiers raided a home, he said, they first cordoned it off with Humvees. Soldiers guarded the entrance to make sure no one escaped. If an entire town was being raided, in large-scale operations, it too was cordoned off, said Spc. Garett Reppenhagen, 32, of Manitou Springs, Colorado, a cavalry scout and sniper with the 263rd Armor Battalion, First Infantry Division, who was deployed to Baquba for a year in February 2004.

    Staff Sgt. Timothy John Westphal, 31, of Denver, recalled one summer night in 2004, the temperature an oppressive 110 degrees, when he and forty-four other US soldiers raided a sprawling farm on the outskirts of Tikrit. Sergeant Westphal, who served there for a yearlong tour with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, beginning in February 2004, said he was told some men on the farm were insurgents. As a mechanized infantry squad leader, Sergeant Westphal led the mission to secure the main house, while fifteen men swept the property. Sergeant Westphal and his men hopped the wall surrounding the house, fully expecting to come face to face with armed insurgents.

    "We had our flashlights and...I told my guys, 'On the count of three, just hit them with your lights and let's see what we've got here. Wake 'em up!'"

    Sergeant Westphal's flashlight was mounted on his M-4 carbine rifle, a smaller version of the M-16, so in pointing his light at the clump of sleepers on the floor he was also pointing his weapon at them. Sergeant Westphal first turned his light on a man who appeared to be in his mid-60s.

    "The man screamed this gut-wrenching, blood-curdling, just horrified scream," Sergeant Westphal recalled. "I've never heard anything like that. I mean, the guy was absolutely terrified. I can imagine what he was thinking, having lived under Saddam."

    The farm's inhabitants were not insurgents but a family sleeping outside for relief from the stifling heat, and the man Sergeant Westphal had frightened awake was the patriarch.

    "Sure enough, as we started to peel back the layers of all these people sleeping, I mean, it was him, maybe two guys...either his sons or nephews or whatever, and the rest were all women and children," Sergeant Westphal said. "We didn't find anything.

    "I can tell you hundreds of stories about things like that and they would all pretty much be like the one I just told you. Just a different family, a different time, a different circumstance."

    For Sergeant Westphal, that night was a turning point. "I just remember thinking to myself, I just brought terror to someone else under the American flag, and that's just not what I joined the Army to do," he said.

    Intelligence

    Fifteen soldiers we spoke with told us the information that spurred these raids was typically gathered through human intelligence--and that it was usually incorrect. Eight said it was common for Iraqis to use American troops to settle family disputes, tribal rivalries or personal vendettas. Sgt. Jesus Bocanegra, 25, of Weslaco, Texas, was a scout in Tikrit with the Fourth Infantry Division during a yearlong tour that ended in March 2004. In late 2003, Sergeant Bocanegra raided a middle-aged man's home in Tikrit because his son had told the Army his father was an insurgent. After thoroughly searching the man's house, soldiers found nothing and later discovered that the son simply wanted money his father had buried at the farm.

    After persistently acting on such false leads, Sergeant Bocanegra, who raided Iraqi homes in more than fifty operations, said soldiers began to anticipate the innocence of those they raided. "People would make jokes about it, even before we'd go into a raid, like, Oh fucking we're gonna get the wrong house," he said. "'Cause it would always happen. We always got the wrong house." Specialist Chrystal said that he and his platoon leader shared a joke of their own: Every time he raided a house, he would radio in and say, "This is, you know, Thirty-One Lima. Yeah, I found the weapons of mass destruction in here."

    Sergeant Bruhns said he questioned the authenticity of the intelligence he received because Iraqi informants were paid by the US military for tips. On one occasion, an Iraqi tipped off Sergeant Bruhns's unit that a small Syrian resistance organization, responsible for killing a number of US troops, was holed up in a house. "They're waiting for us to show up and there will be a lot of shooting," Sergeant Bruhns recalled being told.

    As the Alpha Company team leader, Sergeant Bruhns was supposed to be the first person in the door. Skeptical, he refused. "So I said, 'If you're so confident that there are a bunch of Syrian terrorists, insurgents...in there, why in the world are you going to send me and three guys in the front door, because chances are I'm not going to be able to squeeze the trigger before I get shot.'" Sergeant Bruhns facetiously suggested they pull an M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle up to the house and shoot a missile through the front window to exterminate the enemy fighters his commanders claimed were inside. They instead diminished the aggressiveness of the raid. As Sergeant Bruhns ran security out front, his fellow soldiers smashed the windows and kicked down the doors to find "a few little kids, a woman and an old man."

    In late summer 2005, in a village on the outskirts of Kirkuk, Specialist Chrystal searched a compound with two Iraqi police officers. A friendly man in his mid-30s escorted Specialist Chrystal and others in his unit around the property, where the man lived with his parents, wife and children, making jokes to lighten the mood. As they finished searching--they found nothing--a lieutenant from his company approached Specialist Chrystal: "What the hell were you doing?" he asked. "Well, we just searched the house and it's clear," Specialist Chrystal said. The lieutenant told Specialist Chrystal that his friendly guide was "one of the targets" of the raid. "Apparently he'd been dimed out by somebody as being an insurgent," Specialist Chrystal said. "For that mission, they'd only handed out the target sheets to officers, and officers aren't there with the rest of the troops." Specialist Chrystal said he felt "humiliated" because his assessment that the man posed no threat was deemed irrelevant and the man was arrested. Shortly afterward, he posted himself in a fighting vehicle for the rest of the mission.

    Sgt. Larry Cannon, 27, of Salt Lake City, a Bradley gunner with the Eighteenth Infantry Brigade, First Infantry Division, served a yearlong tour in several cities in Iraq, including Tikrit, Samarra and Mosul, beginning in February 2004. He estimates that he searched more than a hundred homes in Tikrit and found the raids fruitless and maddening. "We would go on one raid of a house and that guy would say, 'No, it's not me, but I know where that guy is.' And...he'd take us to the next house where this target was supposedly at, and then that guy's like, 'No, it's not me. I know where he is, though.' And we'd drive around all night and go from raid to raid to raid."....CONTINUED GO TO The Nation
    http://www.thenation.com/...

    http://ralphlopezworld.com

  •  Pelosi shouldn't lead an impeachment drive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phthalo

    Uhm, the Speaker is in line for the presidency, after all.  Any meaningful attempt to remove Bush would have to involve removing Cheney as well.  Hell, some would argue Cheney is the more crucial target.

    With that in mind, how could Pelosi be seen as anything other than a politician seeking to put herself in the presidency, were she the one leading the charge?  No, it is up to the House Judiciary Committee to start the ball rolling.  And Conyers has said he needs three more votes...

    I finally put in a signature!

    by Boris Godunov on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:49:35 PM PDT

  •  The Pharisaic Legalism That Needs to Be Dropped (0+ / 0-)

    Would be an accurate title for this diary, which strains at gnats while ignoring the log in the eye of the Democratic Party: its continuing complicity in the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by this Administration.

    And that's without even getting to the current Administration's crimes against the Constitution of the United States of Anglo-Saxon Common Law.

    This is a hollow exercise that calls to mind the phrase "whited sepulchre."

  •  Nancy and Cindy (0+ / 0-)

    What a pair they are.

    "No weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

    by pere on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 02:53:12 PM PDT

  •  Hot Damn (0+ / 0-)

    This is by far the best diary I have seen here in a while.  

    Listen up people.  These are the kind of words that help win elections.  Seriously.

  •  Another talking point worth dropping is this: (4+ / 0-)

    "we need to impeach so we can get Bush and Cheney out of office" and we'd "have President Pelosi".

    The point of impeachment is to protect our nation. Not to punish Bush and Cheney because we don't like them or their polices. Not to get "our side" in power. The only goal we should have is to protect our consitution from those who have committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Impeachment should not be approached as a partisan political exercise. It should be approached as a non-partisan exercise in defending our republic.

    I remember a time when the American President was the leader of the free world. ****** Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

    by land of the free on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 03:54:15 PM PDT

  •  The real Conyers? (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.consortiumnews.com/...

    When I raised James Madison’s role in crafting a Constitution that mentions impeachment no fewer than six times, he replied: Madison did not say Conyers has to impeach every one. Why, if I had to impeach everyone for high crimes and misdemeanors, that’s all my committee would have time to do.

    Jesus, that's ignorant.

  •  impeach or lose our constitutional democracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpeachKingBushII

    I agree that we are splitting hairs and the real point is real simple: Impeach or lose our constitutional democracy.  The law-breaking done by this administration tops anything any other president ever did or even imagined doing.  And They are not done yet.  Do we have to wait until we are being rounded up and sent to Guantanamo before we believe it? You think I am being alarmist?  Read THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, no less on Bush's new power to impose martial law.  I am with the New England Impeachment Committee, and our regional summit meeting brought people out of the woodwork.  we are actively organizing to put pressure on our congressman.  We're going to sit in his office, put him on camera, whatever it takes to make him do his duty.  

    Bush-Cheney Stripped-down list of clear "impeachables" are:

    -lying to get us into war.  The Downing Street memo is a good point of departure for an investigation, but strictly speaking we can be even more specific than the broad accusation that Bush was determined to "fix" the intelligence.  The fact is that the authorization to go to war came with the condition that Bush "certify" that there was WMD.  When it came time to, they merely repeated the intel it gave congress for the draft resolution of  the authorization.  John Dean's jaw is still on the floor over this.  In his book he said it was like "a dog chasing it's tail."  He says it's more audacious than ANYTHING Nixon ever tried to pull, and they got away with it.  So, A) Bush went to war without a valid authorization.  Go to jail do not pass do not collect...

    Treason in Valerie Plame.  Special Forces Col. Pat Lang says we lost our ability to detect when someone will "carry tenpound packs of explosive into the subway" because of Valerie Plame.  Patrick Fitzerald didn't bring up the charge of treason to the national security.
    http://www.democrats.reform.house.go...

    -Torture, against "cruel and unusual punishment" clause in the Constitution.

    violating the Fourth Amendment right to jury trial in Jose Padilla.  Using the World War II precedent of JapaneseAmericans held as enemy combatants is not only stooping to a low and shameful bar (as Bush's legal theory states,) it is wrong.  The war on terror last forever by their own definition ("a long time," remember Bush saying that?  A "twilight struggle.")  Therefore it cannot be compared to a traditional war with a beginning a middle and an end.  If the Democrats are not gong to do their jobs and point out this argument is ridiculous, we have to.  Americans are guaranteed a jury trial under the Bill of Rights, period.

    -Torture of an American citizen who should have been presumed innocent, Padilla.

    -NSA warrantless spying.  They have 48 hours to spy legally before they even have to get a warrant as it is.  So there is no question that sometimes you have to 'do it fast enough' to catch a terrorist.'  Anyway they broke the law, period.

    -Violating the Oath of Office to "uphold, protect and defend" the Const.  in the Padilla case.  (Fourth Amendment, and "cruel and unusual.")

    In addition there are possible crimes that are under the radar that I talk about in the following post from my blog.  I would narrow the Fourth Amendment issues to American citizens.  It absolutely should be impeachable to disappear anyne to Guantanamo, but the legal case is stronger for Americans and unfortunately a lot of people don't give a shit how we treat people around the world but might wake up when it is their own asses.  

    Screw waiting for B-C to get out of office and everything will be ok.  They need to be PUNISHED for what they have done to our constitutional republic, and nothing less than impeachment will answer.

    ------

    Blog Post: More Elephants in the Room

    Another reminder that the American media and "opposition party" are ignoring scandals that could help put this administration away. Remember the August 2004 NYC Financial District terror alerts (conveniently just before the election?) Yep, they blew another agent's cover. From the New Zealand Herald "Outing of spy stuns security experts"
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...

       "The revelation that a mole within al Qaeda was exposed after Washington launched its "orange alert" this month has shocked security experts, who say the outing of the source may have set back the war on terror....Reuters learned from Pakistani intelligence sources at the weekend that computer expert Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, arrested secretly last month, was working under cover to help the authorities track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and the United States when his name appeared in newspapers around the world."

    Another expert says that Noor Khan could have "led to bin Laden himself."
    http://www.csmonitor.com/...

    Another piece on this from the Christian Science Monitor: "Did US blow cover on Al Qaeda mole?"
    http://www.csmonitor.com/...

    And the best Cheney dirt has yet to be "discovered," trading with the enemy, no less. Washington Post, "The Profitable Connections of Halliburton":
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    "During Cheney's tenure at Halliburton the company did business in all three countries [Iraq, Iran, Libya.] In the case of Iraq, Halliburton legally evaded U.S. sanctions by conducting its oil-service business through foreign subsidiaries that had once been owned by Dresser....During the 2000 campaign, Cheney told ABC News that "I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal." But, Mayer writes, "under Cheney's watch, two foreign subsidiaries of Dresser sold millions of dollars worth of oil services and parts to Saddam's regime."

    •  Americans Are Complacent About Our Democracy (0+ / 0-)

      We had it first, so we don't recall what it was like to think we didn't have it, even though we haven't really had it in many ways since our founding.  There have always been ways that the right to vote has been kept from the people, in many different ways.

      People who have lived overseas, or who grew up in other countries where democratic rights and human rights were hard won, I think, appreciate just how ridiculous the arguments about ending of terms vs. enforcing the law while you still have the chance.  This is the kind of complacency that led the weimar republic down the tubes.  The forms still exist, but the meaning is gone.  People go through the motions, pretending they are living out the existence of a democratic nation.  But the stake was put into the heart for a lot of people, a long time ago.

      •  space bar posting, this thought was incomplete (0+ / 0-)

        but oh well...

        So, just think about all the people who have tried to vote in the last two elections and could not vote.  And democrats are just waiting for all of that to happen again?  That's the solution?  That is a serious lack of political courage.

    •  Why did you cross out... (0+ / 0-)

      ...some of your sentences? They acted like speed bumps or it seemed like you hesitated to say it. If you're with the New England Impeachment Committee(and I have no reason to doubt it, btw), if these charges were enumerated by that committee, why did you feel then need to "half-delete" them? Don't you trust us? I mean nobody's going to TR you for calling treason treason, especially if the evidence proves it. Just don't piss down our backs like Bush did with all of his lies, and then tell us it's raining! If you have proof, I don't think you're going to have a problem here. But serious accusations require prima facie evidence.

      "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:28:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The poster didn't cross out lines (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ImpeachKingBushII

        intentionally.  He hasn't learned that starting a line with a - without a space after it will cross out anything between that - and the next one which has no space before it.

        "Treason .... ten-pound" with a dash (-) before it crosses out everything to and including "ten".

        "violating .... Japanese-Americans" with a dash (-) before it crosses out everything to and including "Japanese".

        The lines which are not crossed out, happen to have no compound words created with dashes anywhere within the text.

        The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

        by DSPS owl on Wed Jul 25, 2007 at 02:16:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  H RES 333 NOT HR333 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ImpeachKingBushII

    Please fix ASAP

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 04:03:29 PM PDT

  •  How will this turn out? 'Pubs abstain? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, doinaheckuvanutjob

    A two-thirds vote by the Members present in the Senate is required for removal.

    Republicans aren't required to attend, and two thirds of a quorum is what?

    How much is a quorum? If it were two thirds, then four ninths of the senate could convict, true?

    Looks like 44.4 Senators could convict.

    What's the required quorum for an impeachment vote in the Senate?

    Impeachment arguments are getting conclusive. Call your legislators!

    by ormondotvos on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 04:08:40 PM PDT

  •  you wrote (0+ / 0-)

    "Specifically, any member of Congress who has not yet co-sponsored H.R. 333 is guilty of violating their oath under that standard."

    I have no problem with that standard.

    "If you want a picture of the neocon future, imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever."

    by DavidHW on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 04:10:41 PM PDT

  •  It is very simple (0+ / 0-)

    Support impeachment or you will not be returned to office.

  •  Agreed, why hasn't my Congressperson from OH (0+ / 0-)

    signed on?

    Hmmm, a phone call is called for.

    202-224-3121

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 06:43:07 PM PDT

  •  this diary is what I value in KOS (0+ / 0-)

    hat tip, my friend

    This morning over breakfast, in a tacky hotel in San Diego, where I am taking my nephew to surf camp, we talked about politics.

    And the Executive Order dated July 17, 2007 in particular.

    When I picked up my nephew this afternoon, his first words were,

    What happened in America today?

    And I just read to him what the impeachment process is all about.

    He knows that I called my Congresswoman (Eshoo) this morning to ask that she reconsider her position, and move towards impeachment.

    He also knows that I'm doing a lot of reading to educate myself.  We just watched the Gonzales video testimony.   How is it, that a 14-year-old can tell when someone is lying?

  •  "Some assembly required"... (0+ / 0-)

    ...how many times have we read that after opening a purchase, as if we're so stupid we can't figure it out? Of course, Speaker Pelosi is not "required" to "assemble" articles of impeachment. She's only part of, but not the "be all and end all" of the process:

    Here are the Jeffersonian Rules For The House concerning Impeachment Proceedings:
    snipet

    In the NOTE: Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House. There are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion:

    >>>By charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate (II, 1303; III, 2342, 2400, 2469; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536);

    >>>By charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination (III, 2364, 2491, 2494, 2496, 2499, 2515; VI, 543);

    >>>By a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee (Apr. 15, 1970, p. 11941; Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873);

    >>>by a message from the President (III, 2294, 2319; VI, 498);

    >>>By charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469) or territory (III, 2487) or from a grand jury (III, 2488); or from facts developed
    and reported."

    http://www.impeachbush.tv/...
    http://www.impeachbush.tv/...

    "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

Meteor Blades, beedee, Devin, Rebecca, RakDaddy, tangoasg, Alumbrados, RobertInWisconsin, Angie in WA State, BrooklynBoy, Firefly, Ducktape, northsylvania, RF, ROGNM, Bill in Portland Maine, Sean Robertson, Cowalker, itsbenj, taylormattd, vivacia, wystler, teacherken, Todd Beeton, Ashami, yerioy, klugerEsel5, Delaware Dem, espresso, Superribbie, musing85, Nina Katarina, mndan, catfish, sarac, saraswati, kainah, jjc4jre, MikeHickerson, Tom Ball, Robespierrette, ortcutt, dengre, Yoshimi, littlesky, Stoy, scrutinizer, byteb, Andrew C White, CleverNickName, GayHillbilly, Earwicker23, bawbie, John Campanelli, eeff, x, LeftHandedMan, The Maven, zenbowl, Mumon, frisco, Luam, lilorphant, voltayre, Carnacki, Walt starr, PanzerMensch, bumblebums, Poika, Gareth, zeitshabba, redtravelmaster, strengthANDwisdom, Eternal Hope, RumsfeldResign, 1040SU, Feanor, bronte17, dianem, 88kathy, landrew, wonkydonkey, petercjack, dionys1, sarahnity, nyceve, nolajazz, grrtigger, Morague, CoolOnion, highacidity, Rupert, mole333, scamp, Scoopster, Frederick Clarkson, LeftofArizona, Ignacio Magaloni, yamalicious, skwimmer, standingup, BruinKid, itskevin, Spindizzy, thingamabob, fumie, Cedwyn, Alna Dem, litigatormom, Boris Godunov, Chrisfs, dksbook, aitchdee, mayan, hopesprings, caseynm, emmasnacker, oldjohnbrown, Winnie, CitizenOfEarth, pat bunny, bogdanmi, crkrjx, wordene, MA Liberal, johanus, SeattleLiberal, smash, churchylafemme, Dale Read, NYFM, homo neurotic, Jujuree, Chirons apprentice, On The Bus, mcfly, cato, Catte Nappe, wecandoit7, lcrp, Dood Abides, inclusiveheart, walkshills, ChiGirl88, txbirdman, peterj911, JohnGor0, randallt, kfred, jen, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, xyz, bablhous, eve, BigBite, bibble, faithfull, macmcd, Frank Vyan Walton, Illissius, cohe, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, ebbinflo, Dirk McQuigley, madaprn, davidincleveland, Fabian, Bluesee, ManOnTheBench, pattyp, Jeffersonian Democrat, bellevie, Tami B, el dorado gal, Alegre, LarisaW, baccaruda, Marching Orders, kalu, political girl, northernsoul, OpherGopher, PBen, PsychoSavannah, andgarden, KnotIookin, Flint, leanakin, clammyc, Oberlin JJ, koclarix, TN yellow dog, zbctj52, Clem Yeobright, karpinsky, terrypinder, Ajax the Greater, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Laurence Lewis, boofdah, Mz Kleen, cris0000, LNK, Morrigan, jorndorff, washingtonsmith, Sara R, jimreyn, Buffalo Girl, GreyHawk, Ambrosius, Robert in WV, nwsound, brenda, illyia, lasky57, woobie, Galindo, Digginthislife, flernk, Rydra Wrong, serrano, desordre remplir, sbdenmon, LithiumCola, Clember, dsteffen, Ghost of Frank Zappa, Ekaterin, psyched, tigerdog, Norbreacht, Alan Arizona, Dania Audax, Astoria Chris, hatdog, Tigana, xaxnar, begone, martini, cre8fire, Coherent Viewpoint, mspicata, kovie, dannyinla, evanaj, trashablanca, BachFan, danmac, New Deal democrat, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Keone Michaels, PatsBard, vigilant meerkat, WhyWhat, virgomusic, BlueInARedState, emeraldmaiden, redcardphreek, mmontanaman, Ellicatt, Gorette, Yellow Canary, smokeymonkey, buhdydharma, KenBee, ccmask, deha, Boojum68, Esjaydee, carolita, kck, Aaron Bonn, birdbrain64, global citizen, StrayCat, Lashe, dskinner, gatorcog, nilocjin, DiesIrae, Chairman Bob, condoleaser, DSPS owl, thiebes, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, bleeding heart, mhw, ER Doc, MBNYC, quantumspin, droogie6655321, llbear, ChapiNation386, dirkster42, LJR, vox humana, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, BB10, ticket punch, The Lighthouse Keeper, TastyCurry, shaharazade, bstotts, Temmoku, sasher, Nulwee, NonnyO, Joelarama, DBunn, clinging to hope, ignatz uk, dov12348, satyrday, asilomar, anotherdemocrat, sccs, peagreen, Loudoun County Dem, Femlaw, Trim Your Bush, moodyinsavannah, ricsec7, suburi, Sam from Ithaca, edsbrooklyn, kath25, Ticonderoga, DWG, sfbob, Ninepatch, Sean in Motion, walkingdeer, Rex Manning, BKuhl, steamkettle, Heyroot, vbdietz, netguyct, Bridge Master, RudiB, ShaunMcDonnell, MaskedKat, Got a Grip, Zydekos, A Person, pwrmac5, Bikemom, B12love, Terra Mystica, mall teacher, TomP, cville townie, jgilhousen, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, sima, Skulnick, Mad Kossack, planetclaire4, wheelsme, Unbill, Phil N DeBlanc, dragoneyes, I, brklyngrl, califdem, Chilean Jew, deepbluehue, shadetree mortician, Aureas2, GoRedSoxGo, skohayes, Mannabass, lineatus, Residentcynic, Archangel, dgr, Greasy Grant, EAP, Mind That, Lujane, Hawke and Dove, TokenLiberal, MsWings, Quicksilver2723, NogodsnomastersMary, apostrophobia, SpamNunn, luckylizard, echatwa, Tober

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site