Interesting question that may or may not matter, but one I have not seen raised. If it has been discussed please let me know so I can delete this.
What a difference it would have made if the Republicans had not persecuted, or dogged the Clintons with endless investigations and then impeached President Clinton for lying about a serious private indiscretion and lapse of judgement involving consenting adults. But they had to drag us all through that personal muck.
--As if our own divorces and indiscretions were not bad enough to live through, eh? And don't give me that "well, that was in the WH! bit. That was their house.
Some important questions about this all follow:
- Is there any question that Congressional Democrats would have
impeached Cheney, Bush and Gonzales by now assuming they would
have gotten the votes--had Clinton not been impeached?
- Is Impeachment, the word, and indeed the concept,
still toxic (after the Clinton impeachment, that is)?
- Is it true that the process and ordeal of impeachment must
inevitably be a worse trauma than allowing a law-breaking,
Constitution-breaking administration to continue unchecked?
- Would Republicans have brought charges of Impeachment if Democrats
had a president as lethal and unlawful as Bush, and would
Republicans hesitate in the future to bring charges against a
Democratic president given the least provocation?
- If the answer to the previous question is "Yes," then what on earth
are we doing and what does it say about the courage of Democrats in
REPUBLICANS MADE THE WORD "IMPEACHEMENT" TOXIC:
The Republican Party was incensed, LIVID, with having Democrats in charge of Congress in the 90's after their "contract with amerika" had faltered. And the presence of Bill Clinton in the WH, and the economy on steroids, and a relatively peaceful world, made them somewhat deranged with their fury. Not that all Republicans are bad, but it became too much for some self-righteous and greedy Republicans to bear. So they eventually "got" Bill Clinton and plotted their comeback by hook or by crook, one imagines.
REPUBLICANS MADE AMERICA SICK OF POLITICIANS
The country was absolutely sick of the Republican chicanery and politicking in the 90's. [Democrats, for whatever reasons, were not doing enough for the people in the last half of the 90's, thinking perhaps that a great economy would eventually "trickle down."] "Gotcha" politicas was the low road, leading the nation astray into phoney "values" issues. --Now of course, with all the Republican corruption the situation is that much worse, (and no one can question the overwhelming Rethug aspect of corruption, compared to that of Dems).
REPUBLICANS DULLED AMERICANS TO THE REAL VALUES ISSUES
Not that we lacked authentic values issues, but those were the ignored social justice and class issues of universal health care, and affordable drugs, low wages, opportunity and jobs, education, inner city decay and housing, and the environment, to name a few. The inequitable distribution of wealth was just not on the radar of Democrats in the 90's (unless I slept through that which, due to divorceand family problems, is possible).
REPUBLICANS CONFUSED TRUE CHRISTIANITY WITH WHO WAS ACTING THE MOST RELIGIOUS
They fixed the "Christian" brand to the Republican Party, when what they actually owned was merely a certain portrayal of Christianity via religiosity, or acting "more religious" than other types of Christians,
REPUBLICANS ZEALOUS PARTISANSHIP & IMPROPRIETY PUT IMPEACHMENT OFF THE TABLE FOR A PERIOD OF TIMEIt seemed to be a tacit agreement after that period--from the SCOTUS decision to install Bush on his throne--and lasting to the present day, that IMPEACHMENT would be off the table forever. "The people"--it seemed--did not want that kind of "gotcha" politics going on in Washington, and that either party engaging in such would wear the obstructionist brand for all time. Impeachment had become toxic. Fighting the SCOTUS became, if it wasn't already, impossible, when Gore was denied.
Thus the reluctance of our representatives in Congress during the past two years to even mention the I word.
In a sense then, no matter what the depth and horror of the Bush/Cheney offenses toward the people, the world, and the Constitution have been, nothing would bring about calls for impeachment on Capitol Hill except by those whose outrage, courage and individuality allowed them to take that risk and suffer the consequences.
Yes, to get Democrats elected in 2006, they believed they had to play down the calls for impeachment, and Pelosi went so far as to declare it was "off the table."
To pacify the people who demand and cry out for sanity, for impeachment, for protecting the Constitution, Democratic leaders talked of not having the votes. Of not enough time. Of the deliterious effects it would have in electing a Democrat to the White House in 2008, and gaining a true majority in Congress. Of being distracted from more important legislation. Of needing to deal with Iraq and other important business.
And finally, now, perhaps just to pacify the people, they talk of the need for "building a record." Are they thinking they can run out the clock by this so-called "building"?
One can be sure of one thing. That if a Democratic president is in office in 2008, unless there has been a sea-change that has escaped notice, Republicans will not hesitate to agitate for impeachment at the least possible drop of an article of clothing or anything else they can find on the floor or in anyone's closet. One fears that by then the Constitution may be much more difficult to protect.
Whew. Out of my system anyhow.