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I'm watching a re-broadcast of my attorney--my conservative, Republican attorney--Bruce Fein on Bill Moyer's Journal on public television, discussing impeachment of Bush and Cheney, and more importantly the concept of impeachment as having a curative effect on government overreaching.  PBS is running it again because both Republicans and Democrats found it such an important and invigorating discussion.

The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to hold impeachment hearings.  Bobb Barr, Bruce Fein, and David King are right.  Nancy Pelosi is wrong.  So chew on that, those of you who have accused me of being a flaming liberal.

The Founding Fathers contemplated impeachment, and contemplated it as an organic process: the populace would discover government wrongdoing, be horrified by it, and start the impeachment ball rolling.  We are well down the path, but seem stuck in the second step.

Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis, not the cause of one.  Impeachment proceedings must begin.  This Administration has overreached.  This is not about blackening the names of Bush and Cheney--they've done that for themselves.  It's about preserving the genius of the Constitution, checks and balances, and separation of powers.  

Members of Congress who are reading this, your role is critical now.  The next time officials testilie, obfuscate, dodge and massage, here's the script:

"I cherish my country more than my party.  Transparency is the bedrock of our government.  This is what the United States is about and we are the ones who pay your paycheck.  Answer this question or you're held in contempt right now."  

Military commissions, warrantless wiretapping, enemy combatants, the use of torture.  The precedent Bush is setting that it's okay to operate outside the law.  It's not.

Thank you, Bruce.  Bruce represented me back when I had no allies, when other moms gave me the cold shoulder, when I was treated as radioactive. I'm so glad to have you in my corner.

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:01 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well said Jesselyn! (124+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arlam, Angie in WA State, decon, CalifSherry, slip kid no more, abarefootboy, MontanaMaven, frisco, shpilk, Caneel, km4, opinionated, bronte17, mint julep, elveta, CoolOnion, JJG Miami Shores, BruinKid, ctsteve, Jesterfox, splashy, antirove, sidnora, antifa, Dallasdoc, jlynne, On The Bus, lcrp, walkshills, YetiMonk, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, bablhous, rickeagle, Gowrie Gal, angrybird, Bluesee, revbludge, b tex, KnotIookin, frandor55, ZappoDave, Valtin, zbctj52, foxklub, LNK, CarolynC967, jimreyn, illyia, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, Lisa Lockwood, SignalSuzie, Ekaterin, Tigana, trashablanca, Keone Michaels, vigilant meerkat, Dvalkure, victoria2dc, buhdydharma, ejbr, neecie100, Hobbitfoot, blueoasis, Alexandra Lynch, SherriG, mrcoder, FireCrow, CTLiberal, Rusty1776, Preston S, totallynext, JugOPunch, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, RantNRaven, Statusquomustgo, AmySmith, Eikyu Saha, Autarkh, kidneystones, Temmoku, markthshark, NonnyO, beaukitty, Noor B, Dave the Rave, marykk, Susan Something, dotsright, EclecticFloridian, Cronesense, SparkleMotion, godislove, army193, Positronicus, LillithMc, flumptytail, Jimdotz, mommyof3, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Nordic Kossor, 7November, carpunder, Rumarhazzit, Zydekos, keikekaze, crystaljim, kafkananda, fayeforcure, Devsd, davidseth, LightningMan, califdem, VA gentlewoman, bethincary, pooh74, NogodsnomastersMary, bubbalie 517, george neville, junta0201, lenzy1000, allie123, 59stevenm, texasbandit, Johnny Double Adams

    The Senate Judiciary Committee needs to hold impeachment hearings.

    They sure as hell do!  And we should scream it from the rooftops until they do!

    Thanks Jesselyn!  And again, it was great meeting you in Chicago.  I hope your no fly problems weren't too painful.

  •  Impeachment is the cure (53+ / 0-)

    Impeachment is the cure for a constitutional crisis, not the cause of one.

    That's the key.  Bill Clinton's sex life was not a constitutional crisis.  Bush/Cheney's raping the Bill of Rights is.  Their crimes against our nation cannot be ignored.  We cannot idly wait for the next election.

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember the professionals use water."

    by Happy Days on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:10:50 PM PDT

  •  To those who naysay it, (41+ / 0-)

    at what point is impeachment relevant? What action would be required to convince them?

    How can one look at the laundry list of crimes, replete with a number of individual reasons that justify the indictment and trial of these perpetrators  and not take action?

    How is it possible that the clear damaging actions of Gonzales, Cheney and Bush do not rise to the level of impeachable offenses is beyond my comprehension.

    Thank you Jessica for bringing this issue back up from your point of view. Rather than allow ourselves the luxury of misery, we need to double, triple our efforts to insist that justice be applied to this criminal administration.

    socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

    by shpilk on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:11:57 PM PDT

  •  If our representatives were working (30+ / 0-)

    on impeachment, maybe they wouldn't have the time for their legislative "program".  That would give me a sigh of relief, because their legislative "program" seems to be rubber necking while the Constitution is rolled back.

    Thanks for bringing this up again.  Maybe this time our Senators and Congresspersons are listening?

    •  Congress is completely complicit . . . (17+ / 0-)

      in dismantling our Constitution.

      The thing is, there is nothing -- NOTHING -- in their job descriptions that allows them to vote habeas corpus out, or vote habeas corpus in, or shake habeas corpus all about, as if this was all just hokey-pokey.

      The American people, through three-quarters of their State legislatures can edit the Constitution. Not Congress.

      Congress has no right, no right whatsoever, to toss whole chunks of the First, Fourth, or any other pieces of it out the back door as part of the latest compromise with the Unitary Executive.

      Perhaps part of their hesitation to bring impeachment hearings (even) is that they were part of the deal to deep six the defining document of our budding Republic.

      Complicity in treason is --

      treason.

      "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

      by antifa on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:27:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will be if we yell at them enough. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, antifa, DSPS owl, NonnyO

      In person (right about now) as well as by e-mail, etc.  If only we could think of some way to make them more afraid of offending us (the people who elect them) than they are of offending corporate America . . .

      "Do not forget that every people deserves the regime it is willing to endure." -- White Rose letter no. 1

      by keikekaze on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:28:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The only thing they fear . . . (7+ / 0-)

        is that the unwashed multitudes will start stomping in the streets.

        Will stop shopping, stop cooperating, stop going along. Without the consumer economy to succor them, through the magic of compound interest, they aren't getting any richer.

        And that is all that scares them.

        Massive public displays of anger and demands for change will be part of the solution.

        "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

        by antifa on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:57:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here's my cure. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hermit, DocGonzo, kaye, Snud, Eyes Wide Open

    The death penalty is reserved for one crime only...betrayal of the public trust by a public servant. No appeals, but if the convicted betrayer agrees to grovel and beg forgivness and commits ceremonial suicide, his family can keep his pension. That oughta clean things up.

    In the beginning there was nothing...which exploded.

    by lucysdad on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:18:10 PM PDT

    •  Even the decider deserves the due process... (8+ / 0-)

      ...he so eagerly denies -- it's the ultimate insult.

    •  Cannot agree (15+ / 0-)

      I have discovered only during the last few months that I am against the death penalty! It's not what most people think, though...

      Betrayal of the public trust, starting war, these crimes are  so vile, so heinous, that death is too good for the perpetrators.

      If convicted after a thorough, open, aboveboard legal investigation and trial, criminals deserve nothing but the best:

      They should receive a life sentence. Taking care of the broken soldiers that their policies have created. 16 hours per day. Every day, until the convicts die. These criminals may receive days off for good behavior as soon as the soldiers in their care regrow the legs, arms, eyes and minds that have been taken away from them by the perpetrators' policies of war for profit. Not one single day off until their soldiers have fully recovered from imprisonment bodies and minds wracked by war. Eventually, the criminals will die. Maybe sooner, but hopefully later. Much later, so they have a nice long time to consider their acts.

      •  I also oppose the death penalty (0+ / 0-)

        But a public execution of war criminals isn't about punishment - it's about setting societal standards.  It's about saying to the world, "we fucked up, and we're holding the lead fuck-ups accountable."  

        Prison sentences can be commuted.  Exiles can be rescued.  And the community service you describe would only rehabilitate Bush's public image and soon people would feel sorry for him and want him to go free.

        Our lasting image of the worst American war criminal of all time should not be of him helping wounded soldiers - it should be of him swinging from a gallows.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:06:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Autoregicide (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa, lucysdad, zbctj52, NonnyO

      Hanging's too good for them.

      I will not be satisfied until I see Bush boil himself in oil on the White House lawn.

      And Cheney needs to be forced to vivisect his pacemaker out of his own chest. At the point of shotguns wielded by thousands of cheated Medicare seniors, veterans, homosexuals and anyone else who can be trusted not to pull the trigger for premature release.

      Though probably a huge global exorcism concert will be necessary to send the devil out of the VP office and back to hell.

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

      by DocGonzo on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 06:52:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now that sounds colorful . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DocGonzo, blueoasis

        and I would attend, or at least play in the band,

        however,

        we might get even more value from launching a Truth and Reconciliation Commission along the lines of what South Africa did, in order to bring out the whole truth, and handle all wounds openly.

        As a nation, we are a House Divided, and that needs to be addressed. About one-third of our nation needs to fess up to how much of the Kool-Aid they drank, and learn all about what it was they were drinking.

        "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

        by antifa on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:18:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I believe the traditional sentence for war crimes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lucysdad

      is public hanging.

      Commercial free, sponsored by Budweiser and 3M, "we don't make the rope, we make it stronger."

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:01:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what is it going to take, really??? (25+ / 0-)

    It's clear Americans want impeachment.  It's also clear the great majority in Congress doesn't.

    We write. We call. We march. We go to their offices.

    What are we going to have to do to MAKE them do this?  and soon...

    You don't pay any attention to what your parents tell you, but you watch the way they live their lives...Tom Waits

    by lisastar on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:23:23 PM PDT

  •  I was just going to post a diary about this show. (29+ / 0-)

    I'm writing letters (again) to Conyers, Dingell (my representative) with Fein's and Nichol's argument that if we don't impeach we will allow a precedent which can't be reversed. A cogent and powerful reason to impeach. The cure indeed.

  •  DC Dems now believe in the Magic Wand Theory (30+ / 0-)

    Their latest talking point is, "Just wait until January 20, 2009, when we have a Democrat in the White House."

    Sorry, I'm much too old to believe in fairy tales.

    "I call 'em as I see 'em."--the late Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:25:53 PM PDT

  •  we have to move them (22+ / 0-)

    Write to Nancy, write to your own representative, write to Conyers. Fein made the point that the current congress has no statesmen. Someone who puts the constitution, the republic ahead of the next election. If we keep standing up, eventually someone in congress will stand up and be that statesman.

    We have to be the citizens who give Congress the courage to be statesmen and not politicians.

    •  Byrd? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa, mrcoder

      He's not in the House, but he may not be worried in the slightest about the next election.

      What about the state governments? If even one of them passes that resolution to initiate impeachment doesn't that force the House to get moving?

      The Fink wants to be a King!

      by teresab on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:31:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only the House (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, junta0201

        According to the Constitution, only the US House of Representatives has the power to initiate impeachment. Of course, having state governments pass nonbinding resolutions calling for impeachment would have a powerful effect on members of Congress undecided on this issue.  

  •  Thank you. (13+ / 0-)

    You never shirk from telling it like it is. You've paid a heavy price for your principles. I applaud and I always enjoy reading your diaries!!

  •  Yes! The Constitution deserves this! (17+ / 0-)

    Impeachment is the cure for the anemia the Constitution has been suffering from due to Republican neglect and willful starving...

    Impeachment-- a good dose of iron and antibiotics to rid the Constitution of its ailments!

    Our country can survive war, disease, and poverty... what it cannot do without is justice.

    by mommyof3 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:48:32 PM PDT

  •  I'm watching right now. (14+ / 0-)

    Tuned in a little late,but I had no idea Bruce Fein is a Repub. Good god that man is on fire.Wish Nancy had half his passion!
    Yes,we need to talk about Impeachment!
    Yes,Jesselyn you are a flaming liberal! Be proud of it! You're not alone.

    We need Impeachment and find out what else they did without our knowledge. We need to shout it from the rooftops so everyone knows what's going on.Let the nation be shocked! It's a shock and awe I can support.

    ...and like fools we trust the delivery but it's all just drunk sincerity.

    by mint julep on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 07:51:06 PM PDT

  •  Impeachment should have been the number one (21+ / 0-)

    and only item on the agenda the day the D's took control of the congress. Problem is they never took control. They took the majority of the seats and then just plunked down and sat in them and watched.

    If I am feeling generous, I'd say we have 3 parties in this country.

    1/ The R's who seem to always agree when its time to vote.

    2/ The centrist blue dog or yellow dog or chickenshit Dems who also always seem to vote with the R's

    3/ The Dems who act like Dems.  Of course if I thought this group really existed, they'd make a big stink about things like Fisa and would have fillibustered the crooks on the Supreme court etc.

    Guess I don't feel generous.

  •  Recommended and tags updated. (7+ / 0-)

    But you need to fix your text. The Senate Judiciary Committee does not hold impeachment hearings. Impeachment hearings are held by the House Judiciary Committee. The trial is held in the Senate.

    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

    by realalaskan on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:02:13 PM PDT

  •  I think that nearly anyone... (16+ / 0-)

    if they're being honest about what this administration has done, would agree that impeachment is the proper course of action. That should be anyone from anywhere on the political spectrum. This administration is not made up of conservatives; these people are unhinged extremists and the case for impeachment can be made logically and legitimately. It is not playing politics either! It is their playing politics with our very system of government that makes impeachment so essential.

  •  I have the following problem with Fein (18+ / 0-)

    From the transcript of the Moyers program on impeachment ...

    BILL MOYERS: Bruce you wrote that article of impeachment against Bill Clinton. Why did you think he should be impeached?

    BRUCE FEIN: I think he was setting a precedent that placed the president above the law. I did not believe that the initial perjury or misstatements ... justified impeachment if he apologized. Even his second perjury before the grand jury when Ken Starr's staff was questioning him, as long as he expressed repentance, would not have set an example of saying every man, if you're president, is entitled to be a law unto himself. I think Bush's crimes are a little bit different. I think they're a little bit more worrisome than Clinton's ...

    So far, so good, right? Clinton didn't do anything all that bad, so if he had apologized, everything would have been ok.

    Right?

    Not so fast. That's a terrible precedent. Later on in the interview ...

    JOHN NICHOLS: The fact of the matter is that, again, the genius of impeachment is it tells the president that, wow, there is a Congress. And that Congress is on your case. And it causes, I think at its best, it causes a president to want to prove he can cooperate, to want to prove he can live within the law.

    BRUCE FEIN: Can I interrupt just a second here?

    BILL MOYERS: Yeah, sure, sure.

    BRUCE FEIN: 'Cause it seems to me very important. I think that if impeachment proceedings began and the president and the vice-president sat back and said, "We understand now. We both understand. We renounce this claim. No military commissions. We're going to comply with the law," the impeachment proceedings ought to stop and they should. It's not trying to be punitive and recriminate against the officials but you've got to get it right. And it's that what I hope would happen.

    I've said if the president now renouncing the power and said, "It was wrong and I now respect and honor the separation and the genius of the founding fathers," that's great. And all of the purpose of impeachment would have been accomplished. They could stay in office and we'd have the greatest precedent with regards to executive authority and the separation of powers and checks and balances. This is not an effort to try to blacken the names of the president and vice-president. And nothing would gratify me more than having them stand up and say, "Yeah, I've thought about this now. My mind is concentrated wonderfully," as Sam Johnson would say. The prospect of impeachment, I've been convinced.

    So, if I understand Fein's position, all Bush and Cheney have to say is "Oops, we won't do it again", and they're off the hook?

    I have a problem with that.

    Molly Ivins wanted WHO for President? But WHY?

    by Positronicus on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:04:23 PM PDT

    •  Good luck... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, Positronicus, Jimdotz

      if you think GB and DC would ever admit wrongdoing.  IF they admit wrongdoing, that's immediate admission of guilt of a number of prosecutable crimes.  They would never "apologize."...

      •  They'll never apologize (9+ / 0-)

        They don't believe they've done anything wrong.  They really believe that codswallop about the 'unitary executive.'

        Ergo, the necessity of the impeachment proceedings and the trial.

        As Nichols said, even in the lax media the war crimes are already documented.

        In many respects, all they'd need to do is play the sound bytes from any media to document the war crimes.

        The rest is patently obvious.

        "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

        by NonnyO on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:39:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FreeFallin, junta0201

        then can we impeach Nancy?

        "Rarely in the history of the law have so few undone so much so quickly" Justice Stephen Breyer - Supreme Court

        by MadAsHellMaddie on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:02:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's pretty unclear whether (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antifa

          impeachment applies to members of Congress, but I've thought about it too.  She's a disaster on this issue.

          •  I think it applies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrcoder

            to any Government offical.

            "Rarely in the history of the law have so few undone so much so quickly" Justice Stephen Breyer - Supreme Court

            by MadAsHellMaddie on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:09:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You could be right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Susan Something, Jimdotz

              It just seems that many things I've read seem to be at issue with it:

              From Wikipedia:

              The central question regarding the Constitutional dispute about the impeachment of members of the legislature is this: Are members of Congress "officers" of the United States? The Constitution grants to the House the power to impeach "The President, the Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States." Many believe firmly that Members of Congress are not "officers of the United States." Many others, however, believe that Members are civil Officers and are subject to impeachment. The House of Representatives did impeach a Senator once, Senator William Blount. The Senate expelled Senator Blount and, after initially hearing his impeachment, dismissed the charges for lack of jurisdiction. Left unsettled was the question "Are members of Congress civil officers of the United States?" In modern times, expulsion has become the preferred (albeit rare) method of dealing with errant Members of Congress, as each House has the authority to expel their own members—without involving the other chamber, as impeachment would require.

              •  Everything I've read about impeachment (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                antifa, blueoasis, FreeFallin

                says that members of congress are not illegible for impeachment.  Here's an excellent piece about it in detail:

                http://writ.lp.findlaw.com/...

                And regarding who a "civil officer" is per the constitution, I've posted this many times, but I find it very clear whenever this question arises.  From John Dean:

                The Constitution's Impeachment Clause applies to all "civil officers of the United States" - not to mention the president, vice president and federal judges. It is not clear who, precisely, is among those considered "civil officers," but the group certainly includes a president's cabinet and sub-cabinet, as well as the senior department officials and the White House staff (those who are issued commissions by the president and serve the President and Vice President).

                "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi

                by Susan Something on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 12:30:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Impeaching Members of Congress (0+ / 0-)

              It would appear that impeachment does not apply to members of Congress; it is mentioned explicitly in the case of the executive branch and implicitly in the case of the judicial branch.

              It is a moot point however, as Article I specifically provides that either house of Congress can expel a member by a two-thirds vote.

        •  How about (0+ / 0-)

          trying to impeach the Republican members of Congress first??? Just try to realize who the real culprits here are.

    •  Can't speak for him obviously (6+ / 0-)

      but it seems Fein is saying that it's not enough that they say "Sorry!" but that they "renounce this claim. No military commissions. We're going to comply with the law"

      In other words undo the (numerous!) unconstitutional things that this administration's done.

      But in spirit I certainly agree with you moreso than Fein. Saying "Sorry!" isn't enough; undoing - if that's even possible now - their screwups isn't enough. I think there needs to be teeth (i.e. consequences) for any lessons to be learned by this and future presidents.

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:35:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To this layman (7+ / 0-)

        In the leading discussion about Clinton, Fein said that if he had "apologized" and "expressed repentance", then he should not have been impeached.

        In the following discussion about Bush & Cheney, he didn't exactly say that, he said "renounce this claim". Perhaps that phrase has a specific legal meaning that I'm not sentitive to, but to this layman, it doesn't matter. Fein's position is that all they have to do is flap their jaws and emit a sufficiently correct-sounding collection of words, and all's well. They're off the hook.

        Nonsense. My position is that no matter how much they squawk, it's not good enough. Booting them out would be "the greatest precedent".

        Molly Ivins wanted WHO for President? But WHY?

        by Positronicus on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:03:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They're not likely to resign nor apologize (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antifa, Snud, Positronicus

          but of the two choices, resignation is the more likely.  I heard Nixon on the radio, resigning almost exactly 33 years ago.  I'd dearly love to hear that again.

          But apologizing, renouncing, stopping illegal activities, replacing cronies with competent people, restoring habeas and re-joining Geneva?  Not a chance.

          The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

          by DSPS owl on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 11:45:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ancestor Worship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa, Susan Something

      Fake "Conservatives" are, above all else, narcissists. They're obsessed with themselves. That's why they project onto others their own worst fears about themselves that they deny, regardless of whether others deserve it.

      In larger scales of operation, that narcissism is responsible for their racism, xenophobia, clannishness and obsession with loyalty.

      Among the baggage that comes with that narcissism is deification of their "ancestors" - except their ancestors are merely targets for their projections of their own qualities they would have others worship. Childish oversimplification and distortion of America's founders into cryptotheocrats is an obvious clue to the disease.

      It's all really part of an identity crisis. These people like to call themselves "Conservative", but they're really bigoted radicals ("fundamentalists") at war with modern society's complexity and equity. They need medical, psychiatric help. On a mass scale: tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions of Americans suffer from it. And inflict their major malfunctions on us.

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

      by DocGonzo on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:08:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bruce Fein is just acting charitable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, FreeFallin

      He knows they will never apologize.  

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:19:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Harvard (11+ / 0-)

    I saw you when you spoke at Harvard Law School somewhat over a year ago, and I asked you essentially if you thought that the president had some influence over what happened to you.  At the time I believe you said that you didn't think it came from the top, and I was a little disappointed that you didn't take the opportunity to attack the administration.  I'm glad to see that you're now advocating impeachment.  Bush has had tremendous influence in the culture of corruption and the various illegal acts--now I wish Congress would stop sticking their heads in the sand.

  •  Which Rep will step up to the plate? (16+ / 0-)

    I hope they get an earfull during their recess. It only takes one Representative to step up to the plate and take the initiative that Americans are now demanding

    JOHN NICHOLS: --there may be such people but their first step, their first step must be something that is very hard in these days of extreme partisanship and these days in money and politics and a media that doesn't cover politics very well. Their first step has to be to say, "I cherish my country more than my party and more than the next election." And so-- probably. We're talking about a Democrat.

    BILL MOYERS: --to take the lead?

    JOHN NICHOLS: And that Democrat's first responsibility is to go to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, the person who decides what committee assignments they may have and even how nice an office they may get, and say, "You know, Nancy, I respect you. I respect you greatly, Mrs. Speaker. But the country's more important. So you can-- you can get mad at me. You can, you know, push back internally and whatever. But I'm going to the American people and I'm going to talk to them like Bruce Fein just did. Now, my sense is the response to the American people and, frankly, the response of a lot of other members of Congress would be to stand up and applaud. But you have to have that initial courage to do

    •  Do the right thing . . . (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hermit, ctsteve, bablhous, mrcoder, NonnyO

      Seventy percent of the American public is casting about for someone honest to choose for President.

      They know, and say, that the country is on the wrong track, and they want to head back in the Progressive direction.

      The parade is just waiting for someone to get in front of it.

      "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

      by antifa on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:41:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  antifa, you know i love your beautiful mind and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrcoder

        ability with words.  please, i beg you direct it to a place where it can make a difference.  write to jerry nadler.  i mean this.  he needs to hear your thoughts - now.  

        •  Will do. Let's all write to Jerry -- (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, ctsteve, mrcoder

          He might just be the one to carry the flag for America, instead of carry on business as usual.

          "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

          by antifa on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:31:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I heard him speak last night (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ctsteve, antifa

            and yes, as you well put it, I think he, like the rest of them, would like to be able to bury his head in the sand of business as usual.  But I also think Nadler's conscience still has a pulse.  I think he is hoping he has found convenient ground where he can assuage his conscience with what for most of us is an unconscienseable (sp?) alternative - to impeach after the 2008 elections.  He believes they should be impeached but not any cost to the Democratic party and the gains they expect in 2008.  You know and I know that is not an acceptable reason not to defend the Constitution.  I suspect he has talked himself into this.  My suggestion is that rather than berate him, we need to convince him that impeachment will be the best thing the Democratic party can do for itself and the country.  Think persuasion as opposed to punishment.    

            Thanks for responding.  We are working on him here in NY but can use all the help we can get.

            •  Sent to Nadler (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ctsteve

              Dear Representative Nadler:

              I listened to you on Ring of Fire on Air America Radio and wanted ask you about your reluctance to impeach the president and vice president for the crimes they have committed.  You stated that because we don’t have the votes in the Senate, and because of the timing with the presidential primary elections, impeachment is not feasible, and that the best course of action is to try Bush and Cheney in a court of law for their crimes after they have left office.  Here is my question.  Given the fact that the Republican National Committee has a well organized infrastructure to suppress the vote through caging, phone jamming, and other chicanery, as they have in the past three elections and given the fact that the judiciary has been infiltrated with Bush loyalists-- why do you believe a Democrat will win the Presidency and increase their numbers in the Senate?  If this doesn’t happen, Bush and Cheney will never be held accountable for their crimes, and in fact, should Fred Thompson, or some other radical right wing conservative win, those crimes may in fact continue.  Wire tapping of American citizens, torture of enemy combatants, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, etc...will continue unabated.

              Even if the Republicans are stymied in their election fraud tactics, early polls show that it is quite possible another Republican could be elected president.  

              I would appreciate an answer.

              Thank you for your time.

              If you're Republican, you're either corrupt or misled.

              by rlharry on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 09:08:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Read my diary from yesterday... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctsteve, antifa, Jimdotz, junta0201

      Notice who's on Ron Paul's campain as legal counsel.

      The brave Rep just could be Ron Paul.  Having it come from a Republican to Ms. Pelosi would have MUCH weight.

  •  Great diary! (19+ / 0-)

    I thought that show was one of the most important to air in a very long time and believe it should be required viewing for every single person in this country, hell the world.  And I'm so glad you have Bruce Fein on your side!  I have come to admire him so much.  He's a true patriot and isn't it ironic that a conservative would be leading the charge to IMPEACH?   A conservative stands up to prove that they can be TRUE PATRIOTS as it shines a very bad but bright light on every single rethuglican that doesn't support IMPEACHMENT in order to preserve the genius of our Constitution.  They are cowards and wimps and care only about protecting their power, not our democracy.  In fact, they want nothing more than to destroy our democracy and thrive off the military industrial complex and all their corporate whores.

    Practice random acts of kindness (favorite bumper sticker)

    by Sally in SF on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:16:37 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Jesselyn (10+ / 0-)

    I'm usually in complete agreement with you, and this time is no exception. Excellent diary!

    We cannot let impeachment become a non-issue. We must keep pushing for it, particularly as we're hearing of Cheney's determination to attack Iran

  •  I fear that there is nothing that we can do... (8+ / 0-)

    But go outside our "comfort zone" and (gods forbid) out on the street, in order to demand - force - impeachment (the only remedy).

    I think our blogging and comments and Kos has served us well. We know others are like us. But, we need force, push, power, visibility, real damned sweat.

    I wonder if these computer-driven Kossacks (and I count myself as one of them) will have the "balls" to go out on the "Town Green" and yell it?!?

    If I were called to go "to the Green" I would do so.

    So?

    Got a date that night?

    If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

    by illyia on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:24:49 PM PDT

  •  Sorry to be a crank, but.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    teresab, peagreen, flumptytail

    if we are going to have a recommended diary on the virtures of impeachment,
    a.) Could the diarist put up a tip jar? And,
    b.) Could the diarist stick around long enough to correct the text of the diary? It is the HOUSE not the SENATE Judiciary Committee that holds impeachment hearings.
    I realize I live in the wilds of Alaska, don't watch tv or listen to talk radio or even read many newspapers, but who is Jesselyn Radack?

    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

    by realalaskan on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:25:09 PM PDT

  •  My Motto: Never trust a Republican Leader (0+ / 0-)

    Bush has to have his men in place to "lead" the charge for impeachment, if and when it looks like it is unavoidable.

    They will have their folks in position to be the "voice" for impeachment in order to neutralize the effort.  

    IMHO

    Peace

  •  Jesselyn, Thank You!!! :-) (10+ / 0-)

    When the show first appeared I sent links to the online videos and transcript to practically everyone I know AND to my Rep and one Dem senator.  When I was listening to Moyers last week and he announced the impeachment show would be aired again, I again sent notices to my Rep and Dem Senator to watch it if they had not already seen it, and another email about the repeat (I'm on the Moyers mailing list, so just forwarded that).

    Below is what I wrote to the Moyers show today.  But if you know Bruce Fein, please pass on the info.  I'm begging for another show about impeachment!

    Dear Bill Moyers and Journal Producers:

    Please, please, please do a follow-up show on impeachment with John Nichols and Bruce Fein, only this time include the information about Rep. Dennis Kucinich's H. Res. 333 impeachment bill against Cheney.  There is a bill ready to go, if only Nancy Pelosi would get out of the way and allow OUR representatives to do the job WE elected them to do, since she seems reluctant to lead or follow regarding what the people of this nation want.  Also, remember Rep. John Conyers had an impeachment bill against Bush ready to go before the '06 election, but that seems to have been put under the ban of Pelosi's 'impeachment is off the table' mandate.  I suspect all that would need to be done to file Conyers' bill is an update on the list of lies and war crimes to be able to bring it to the floor of the House.  Shame on Nancy Pelosi for not abiding by her oath of office to the Constitution!!!

    I taped the impeachment show the first time it aired and have watched it several times.  For every point made by Nichols and Fein, a good half-hour discussion could ensue, so I am begging you to do a follow-up show regarding impeachment, the legalities involved, all of which could educate the general public about the Constitutional grounds for impeachment.  Some people may not be aware that impeachment proceedings begin in the House and we must get our Representatives to back impeachment; the trial is in the Senate.  We all know the Clinton impeachment was bogus.  We NEED impeachment of Cheney and Bush strictly on Constitutional grounds: lies, war crimes, and high crimes and misdemeanors, as outlined in the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and US Code, Title 18 (war crimes).

    Failure to impeach means Congress is complicit in the lies and war crimes of both Cheney and Bush.  The easiest way for Congress to seek our forgiveness for the last six and a half years of horror and capitulation while giving Cheney and Bush more power is to say they're sorry and repeal all the bad legislation passed since January 2001, starting with MCA '06, the so-called Patriot Acts, and the FISA fiascos, as well as obliterating his executive orders and signing statements... and then swiftly impeach Cheney (first - since Congress is afraid of being stuck with him as president), and Bush (second).

    Toward that end, Congress must also find someone who can be figurehead president and vice president until we elect a new president and vice president and restore the balance of power between the three branches of government.  It's not enough to just call for impeachment.  We have to have an orderly transition of power in the process, and Congressional members have to learn how to multi-task while the impeachment process is taking place by ending the illegal war in Iraq, ending torture and illegally imprisoning people at Gitmo and elsewhere, and taking care of domestic issues (they can't do much domestically until they quit spending money for the illegal war/occupation in Iraq anyway).  For our Representatives to say 'we don't have the votes' is illogical.  Why are they voting in back rooms before the evidence is presented?  More important domestic things to do?  What's more important than our Constitution?

    However, please, please, please do a follow-up show on the impeachment process with John Nichols and Bruce Fein and please mention Rep. Dennis Kucinich's H. Res. 333 impeachment bill against Cheney that's ready to go if only our House of Representatives will move on it....

    Thank you for the most important show I've seen on TV in more than ten years!  More, more, more... please.

    I've been gushing about Bill Moyers for ages.  He's the most responsible and respected journalist we have today.  The show he did on impeachment needs to be talked about again and again and again... until our Representatives LISTEN and abide by their oaths of office!

    Thank you, Jesselyn!

    "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

    by NonnyO on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:30:17 PM PDT

    •  I'm watching Moyers now. (12+ / 0-)

      I surely wish Nancy Pelosi sees this soon.  She has a lot to answer for.  I particularly appreciate Nichols' comment that declaring impeachment to be "off the table" is analogous to taking the first amendment off the table.  Impeachment is built into the Constitution as a process of "check and balance" when authority has been overstepped.  It is not something that can be "taken off the table."

      •  Pelosi will never live that statement down, (12+ / 0-)

        but sadly it seems she hasn't even tried to. Instead, she has compounded it by declaring that the Constitution would be worth defending through impeachment "if you could win," and by admitting that if she were a citizen and not in the position that she is in, she would "probably be calling for impeachment" herself (to paraphrase).  As if somehow taking that oath to the Constitution means that she can't favor impeachment any longer.  Bizarre things to say. I mean WTF is she thinking?  She is far, far, deep into the bubble; there is no doubt about that.  I just wonder how to pull her out?

        And has anyone ever heard any follow up to that rumor that Conyers had hinted he would bring hearings if he got three more reps to sign onto the Kucinich bill?

        •  She WILL regret it. (8+ / 0-)

          There are people looking for Pelosi's Democratic replacement, forget having Sheehan as an apponent.

          Wish I were in her district.  I've got Mary Bono, and talking to her is like beating your head against a wall.

          •  Also, I just learned (8+ / 0-)

            that Pelosi was confronted in Stamford, CT, by a pro-impeachment group.  An article in the Stamford Advocate reports on one protester's comment:

            "We believe there's no way the president is ever going to stop the war while he's in office, so the only way to stop the war is to impeach him," said protester Dorothy Hayes of Stamford. "We want to know if Nancy has the courage."

            I support the comment, but I think John Nichols on Bill Moyers' show had an even more important reason to impeach, which was that failure to do so renders it historically acceptable for future administrations to utilize the same unconstitutional practices.  Pelosi, by choosing to ignore clear violations of the Constitution, renders it a meaningless document.  Forever.  

            Speaking of which, might it be possible to impeach Pelosi for her failure to uphold her oath of office?  I believe she swore to defend the U.S.Constitution.

          •  I like Sheehan's anti-war stance... BUT (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eikyu Saha, Mother of Zeus

            Sheehan is not a Constitutional scholar and on the issue of impeachment she doesn't have any "street cred" like she does in the anti-war movement.

            While I think impeachment could very well be the shortest route to ending the illegal Bush/Cheney war/occupation in Iraq, Sheehan has no credibility regarding impeachment other than that of the average citizen who supports impeaching both of them.

            While it was nice to get the first woman Speaker in Pelosi, whatever respect I had for her disappeared entirely when she took impeachment 'off the table.'  If Pelosi does not come to her senses and abide by her oath of office, she should resign.  "Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way."

            Good Luck finding a suitable Democratic candidate to replace Pelosi if she doesn't suddenly find "englightenment" regarding impeachment....

            "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

            by NonnyO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 02:53:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I work in Pelosi's district (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fhcec, Eikyu Saha

            The reaction this day to Pelosi is... a sad shaking of the head. They are waiting to see if there's a better leader. Sheehan will pick up some protest vote. But I think the Pelosi machine in S.F. will stymie any effective opposition.

            I wouldn't look to her for leadership right now. Her recent support of the Bush administration's crackdown on immigration enforcement, which might send millions of Californian immigrant workers into the underground economy (see today's L.A. Times article), is another example of Pelosi's tailing of the Bush people, while crumbs are thrown at her Democrat constituency.

            Demoralization of the Democratic base... that's the GOP's new hope. I bet Rove is preaching it daily in the briefing rooms at 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave.

        •  Isn't that when Pelosi (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha, Mother of Zeus

          ... also is quoted as saying 'You don't know the half of it"...?  (When she said the Constitution was worth protecting 'if you could win' or 'if you could get the votes' - I'm paraphrasing that part, but exactly quoting the "You don't know the half of it.")

          I've seen the video when she said that, and for the life of me I can't find it again.  The sound byte might have been on one of the Keith Olbermann Countdown shows.

          When I heard her say "You don't know the half of it," I thought 'Well, Madame Speaker, you'd better tell us what we don't know then!!!  We are supposed to have a transparent government, after all!'

          I still can't help but putting on my tin foil hat wondering if our Congress Critters are being blackmailed by Cheney/Bush/Turd Blossom, or being paid extravagant bribes by oil companies to keep this endless war going... or 'something else' about which we are as yet unaware.

          I can't find a logical explanation for why impeachment proceedings were not started immediately when DimWit first proposed illegally invading Iraq based on lies.

          My frustration level with our Congress Critters regarding the issue of impeachment has maxed out.

          "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

          by NonnyO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 03:22:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's Just The Problem With Pelosi! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fhcec, Eikyu Saha, NonnyO, Mother of Zeus

          She doesn't realize that--by not investigating articles of impeachment in the House--SHE is the problem. And, by extension, because SHE represents them, the DEMOCRATS are the problem.

          Now, that's a hell of a note, when Bush/Cheney/Gonzales/Rove are co-conspirators in treason.

          Allow articles of impeachment to be investigated in the House of Representatives, Madame Speaker, or risk being labeled as the obstructionist to justice and Constitutional law for this country.

      •  Thanks, Mother of Zeus! :-) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rlharry

        My Rep signed on to Conyers' impeachment bill before the '06 election, but now I think he did it for show to get votes.  A few months ago I wrote to him - again - about supporting impeachment, but the response he (his secretary) sent mentioned "Republican backlash," so I assume he's following political expediency and Pelosi's 'off the table' blunder.  That just infuriated me.  I wrote back and told him it's not Republican Backlash that Congress needed to worry about, but "Voter Backlash" in upcoming elections if they don't impeach.

        In any case, I will continue to write and urge him to sign on to Kucinich's H. Res. 333, and urge him to get Conyers to update his articles of impeahcment against Bush and get them to the floor of the House.

        Impeachment is my #1 "issue" because the magnitude of the war crimes reflects badly on the entire nation.  The lies and war crimes and other high crimes and misdemeanors are all grounds for instant impeachment, and I do not understand why our Congress Critters keep enabling the crimes to continue.

        If our Congress Critters continue to stonewall on the matter of impeachment, they are complicit in Cheney/Bush war crimes, which makes us accessories after the fact.  That's unforgivable.

        If I knew any way to influence the producers of Bill Moyers Journal, I'd make sure the issue of impeachment is talked about again at least weekly.  He's the most influential journalist we have today and he has more integrity in his little finger than all the rest of Lamestream Media political bobble heads combined.  (I also like Keith Olbermann for different reasons, but mostly because when he asks questions of his guests he doesn't interrupt their answers, so KO has my appreciation, too.)

        "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

        by NonnyO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 02:42:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bruce Fein has popped up a few times on Randi (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, Jimdotz

      Rhodes Air America show since that Moyers show first aired.

      She actualy had him on earlier this week, and didn't seem too pleased when he sort of pooh-poohed the new FISA law a something to be up in arms about (she did a follow up interview with somebody else who DID think it was a big deal).

  •  I'm convinced (6+ / 0-)

    I was not a fan of impeachment until I saw that show. I thought that it would be a political game (like the Clinton impeachment).

    Bill Fein made an excellent case, he is not a twit.

  •  Well thought out argument for impeachment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, campskunk

    Makes me want to rethink my position.  

    I do think the patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher

    by gtghawaii on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:37:36 PM PDT

  •  You are a Citizen, (13+ / 0-)

    and you are doing the most patriotic thing that you or any of us can do, given the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

    You are raising your voice:  Impeachment must begin.

    Bill Moyers is raising his voice.

    Bruce Fein is raising his voice.

    Keith Olbermann is raising his voice.

    It is time for each of us and all of us to raise our voice: Impeachment must begin.

    We find our system of government, our country, our standing in the world, and our very planet all in very poor health indeed.  

    IMPEACHMENT IS THE CURE.   Let it begin SOON!

  •  Congress: is this thing on? (15+ / 0-)

    We the people want impeachment.  Many of us are out here, hanging on the wind with our demands while you refuse to put it 'on the table.'  I'm sick of this.  This is our country... you are supposed to represent our will, not your own interests.

    My mother wrote a letter to the editor mentioning this very program and Bruce Fein, and asking for impeachment... asking YOU to do your jobs.  She is now receiving death threats from some wacko who somehow got her email address, and yes, thanks to our government (which apparently doesn't respect anyone's right to privacy these days) her home address is listed on the web because of a petition she signed to the FDA.  Do you her back?  She says she would write the letter AGAIN, in spite of the threats.  DO YOU HAVE HER BACK?

    She is 70 years old and marched in the peace movement and Civil Rights.  And you know what... she knows you don't have her back.  She knows the score with you people.  We all do.  But we keep on anyway, because WE THE PEOPLE know that there is no one else who will do this job; no one else who will defend our nation and our rule of law from this very real domestic attack.  You aren't listening.  And I'm frankly sick of that.  

    I'm fed up.  I'm on the other side of the country worried about my mom, and you can't even act on a bill that is languishing in your own Judiciary.  There is more than enough proof of corruption and obstruction of justice alone, more than enough legal basis for impeachment.  You are cowards.  My mother has the courage to stand up and tell the truth, all by herself, at her age... and you who we sent to represent us -- you scurry to serve your lobbyists.

    Am I angry?  What does it sound like?  Do your goddamned jobs!  You swore oaths to protect the Constitution!  If you don't do it, I will vote for whoever will... and I mean whoever will.  If Mr Fein would like to run for office, he has my support.  Nation before party.

    •  I don't think you would like to have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flumptytail, FreeFallin

      Bruce Fein as President.  He has a bit of an impeachment fetish and clearly is great lover of the Constitution.  But trust me, you don't want him to have a veto pen.

      •  Fein himself is not the point (8+ / 0-)

        The Constitution is the point.  

        The Democratic leaders are willing to risk everything we stand for, everything that protects us in this democracy - we citizens - all because they want to win in 2008.  That is the only plausible excuse they have given.  I'm not knocking all Democrats of course, because the progressives are screaming for this too.  Right now I am determined to vote for Kucinich because he has represented me.  Does he get any party support?  

        Do WE get any party support?

        I still remember Conyers' support of impeachment in his appearances at rallies.  And in his book.  And I am trying to somehow grasp his apparent words to Cindy Sheehan in his office -- about how he wasn't going to risk his career over impeachment.  We have an entire history filled with people who have given their very LIVES for our Constitution and our democracy, and our own representatives think only of their careers and elections.  No -- that would be the lobbyists.  They are listening to the people who pay for these elections, and they're willing to risk the 'rule of law' to keep them happy. Murdoch's media machine... how it 'might look.'  

        So no, I wasn't talking about Fein.  I am talking about the Democrats in charge.  I am talking about the Blue Dog obstructionists.  I am talking about the rule of LAW.  It's not negotiable.  We've made our voices heard loud and clear.  The ball is in their court, and I for one am watching.

        •  I was being humorous about Fein, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          feduphoosier, NonnyO, Jimdotz

          because he really is a conservative, you know, and an oddball.

          And I am trying to somehow grasp his apparent words to Cindy Sheehan in his office -- about how he wasn't going to risk his career over impeachment.

          You know, John Conyers has obviously been muzzled, and I can't say I am happy about it and want to find the magic cure to get him moving again, but I frankly would not put much credence in this third-hand report of someone's interpretation of something he said while there was a big protest going on in his office.  Think about it:  John Conyers is like 800 years old and he only says what he wants to say.  Why in God's name would he say something that totally stupid even if that's what he was thinking?  John Conyers is not a man prone to flap his lips for no good reason.  I take that with more than a grain of salt.  I mean, it is just not credible.  And really, the important thing is why is he spooked and what will it take to get him moving again?

          Have you heard anything more about the supposed rumor of him supposedly saying (again I take this with another huge grain of salt) that he would move forward if three more Reps signed on to Kucinich's bill?

          •  You know, I almost posted a second... (5+ / 0-)

            comment to let you know that I wasn't directing my second rant at you at all... and then the phone rang, sorry.  :)

            This happened yesterday (the death threat -- and the email was so... unbelievably violent that it really has me spooked.)  I live, still, in Klan country and I have never seen anything like that.  

            I know I've written so many letters, signed petitions - and yes, my own name is listed on the internet as a signer of the 'World Can't Wait' impeachment petition.  We are all on record... but our representatives are afraid?  Of what exactly?  At least they don't have to worry for their lives.

            So if I'm a little more... heated tonight, it is because this diary tapped into my growing rage against this obstructionist behavior in my party -- it was my party all of my life.  

            I saw today, when reading my megavote email, that my Blue Dog 'representative' even voted against the extension of the Children's insurance bill!  It passed of course, in spite of him.  But imagine my confusion when I saw that Senator Lugar, my Republican Senator voted for the Senate version, but my stinking DEMOCRAT Blue Dog voted against it.  And Lugar didn't vote for the FISA bill (and no, he isn't up for re-election next year, he just refrained from voting.)  Of course, we know my Blue Dog voted for it with his kennel.

            I'm fed up with him and others like him.  I'm tired of hearing Conyers and now Waxman and other Democratic leaders making veiled requests for more public outcry, and then when we give it -- they cave.  I see Feingold trying to censure the president - which is all he can really do from the Senate - and getting very little support even for that.

            Heh, see?  I'm still ranting.  Sorry, I cannot seem to stop.  ;D

            •  Your ranting is absolutely (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              feduphoosier, FreeFallin, junta0201

              appropriate IMHO.  Gosh, those requests for more public outcry aren't even particularly veiled anymore.  I'll be honest with you:  I am inclined to give the Waxmans and Conyers the benefit of the doubt.   I don't think either of them have caved in any significant way (yet), but I see them holding back.  I do think that if there were a much larger public outcry, probably in the form of street protests around the country and regular picketing in front of Congressional offices and the like, I think it could possibly make the difference.  

              I blame the leadership, though, and mainly Pelosi.  I think that for her own reasons - whatever they might be - she has simply declined to use the tools that are available to her and has inexplicably handed over tools to the Republican minority that the Republicans denied to the Democrats when the Democrats were in the minority.  From this position of weakness now, she has a constant struggle on her hands to control the Blue Dogs, but she isn't really doing much except appeasing them over and over again.  If Conyers and Waxman are not openly defying her injunction against impeachment, I have to think they might fear that if she were booted they might be stuck with a worse and more authoritarian Speaker.  I don't know how the caucus chooses its Speaker, so I don't know if there is any chance that a Blue Dog could grab the Speakership.  But they may fear that and the fact that the hearings would then be effectively shut down altogether.

              Sorry, I didn't put two and two together that it was you who had posted about the threats earlier.  Yeah, that is really scary.  Think of them as the throes of a freeper class that is going down the tubes of history.  I don't know how else to think of them. Hopefully they are nothing more than idle puffery of some freeper coward.

              •  My mother isn't nearly as worried as I am (0+ / 0-)

                But she remembers the 60s a lot better than I do, and has obviously seen... a lot.

                I agree about Conyers and Waxman, and that Pelosi is holding them back.  I suspect the Blue Dogs are the problem.  And I have no idea what to do with them, because I have no luck at all with mine.  We plan to try to oust him (if we can find a progressive candidate!) in 2008, but there is so much time between now and then, and he is actually voting to the right of Lugar now.  

                This in contrast to the conservatives I talk to every day, the ones I chat with, who are furious with Bush, furious about the war, and furious about being lied to by everyone.  They will listen to a Bruce Fein (I want to hug him.)  They will look at the Democratic party, however, and just see failure.  They will never guess that it is caused by these Blue Dogs who claim to represent 'both liberals and conservatives' but instead manage to represent no one but their lobbyists... and Bush himself.  Liebermans, all of them!

                •  September 15 (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't how I can be so dense, except that my attention is so divided between two very young kids and trying to take action on global warming, drafting Gore, getting out of Iraq and also impeachment, that frankly I miss the most obvious things sometimes.

                  September 15 in D.C. march for impeachment.  NOT the same as Sept 21 in D.C. march to end the war.

                  Can you be there?  Can you go to impeach.org and toss in a few bucks to keep the campaign alive and get the word out and help those who can get there to get there?

          •  The 'three more' comment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mother of Zeus

            Have you heard anything more about the supposed rumor of him supposedly saying (again I take this with another huge grain of salt) that he would move forward if three more Reps signed on to Kucinich's bill?

            You know - I'm going to look into this.  I remember being so excited (talk about Lucy with the football) when I saw someone's diary about that... and now we have three more signers, but of course the football was snatched up.  

            I thought I saw a second diary or comment, somewhere, saying that Conyers recanted; saying that he hadn't meant it (or perhaps hadn't even said it.)  I will dig through my comments... sometimes rants are useful later, like a 'trail of breadcrumbs.' ;D

        •  The coming Democratic landslide in '08 (6+ / 0-)

          Will fade away right promptly here, if they don't start listening to the seven out of ten Americans who want change right now.

          People will stay home in droves, or cast Green votes, or write in their dog's first and last Christian names, or just get gloriously drunk while toasting the death of the Republic if all we get in November, 2008 is the DLC-selected candidate with the most Wall Street backing, and the talk is all about looking forward, and putting our behinds in the past for the good of the nation and oh, yes, we've heard it before.

          There will be no landslide. There will be no mandate for the DLC to govern from the far-right edge of the Bush-Lite Party.

          The biggest political mandate in sixty years is screaming from the rooftops across the nation right now -- it is time for the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party to be heard, and for the dollars and the sense of the DLC to get down off their thrones, and get in line.

          "The rule of the wise must be absolute . . . rulers ought not to be responsible to the unwise subjects." ~ Professor Leo Strauss

          by antifa on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:43:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            antifa

            Because my neighbors, Republicans (or I should say conservatives, because many now cringe at the word 'Republican',) are even more angry with the Democrats... they dared hope the Democrats would fix all of this, and now again -- for them this is the second -- betrayal.  

            If Al Gore were to run as an Independent right now, he'd win the entire country.  I wonder if he knows that?

          •  The Democratic politicians only see and hear what (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            feduphoosier

            .......they want to see and hear.  The great majority of Americans want action regarding impeachable crimes but the Democratic leadership appear to be comletely incapable of taking action.

            The criminal Bush administration shows no respect fot these jellyfish; they have neither earned respect nor do they deserve it.  The present day Democrats are a very different breed than the Democrats of the past, who would not for a moment have put up with the type of criminality committed by this administration over the past 6 1/2 (plus) years.

  •  I'd also make the point (17+ / 0-)

    that it's possible that impeachment may be the shortest path to bringing home our troops.

    After all, there are two men in the world who wanted this war more than anyone else:

    Our president and vice-president.

    And it seems to me those two are the most responsible, every single day, for our troops being over there in that hell-hole.

    So when a Congressperson or Senator says they can't prioritize impeachment over bringing home the troops, well it seems more than a bit disingenuous to me.

    I know people loathe the comparison for various reasons but I seriously doubt there'd have been a World War II without Adolph Hitler and it would've ended much sooner had he been removed from power somehow in 1938-39.

    I'm equally convinced there'd be no Iraq War without George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the first place and if they weren't in power, constantly beating the drums of war, our troops would be home a helluva lot sooner.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:44:04 PM PDT

  •  If it is off the table... (12+ / 0-)

    we need a new freakin' table!

    Impeachment would be the polite thing at this point in time.

    "What is being noticed is only an indication of what is being done." Albert Einstein 1954

    by tundraman on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:44:47 PM PDT

  •  I have heard very little nay-saying (5+ / 0-)

    about impeachment lately. None here.  Most people I have talked to about it think it would be a pretty good idea.

    I've said it before:  investigation and impeachment are really about the only meaningful tools we have now.  We ought to be bringing constant, forceful pressure. I don't think that just writing letters is enough.

    I think that for a start, there ought to be actions organized around the most significant oversight hearings and maybe an action related to the August 20 deadline that everyone likes to mock Leahy for.  I mean, I understand the reason for the mocking, but it is where it is right now.  Why shouldn't there be a protest with the public demanding the documents?  LTEs calling attention to the date and to the WH's ongoing and constant obstruction of justice?

    Well, I guess one reason that a protest isn't that effective is that everyone is on recess.  So I guess a date after everyone is back in D.C. to demand the documents and the testimony from the WH.  I mean, we can demand inherent contempt proceedings from Congress, but it seems like a much more direct and effective public statement if We the People go directly to the WH and simply demand the documents and testimony.  We the People demand this right now.  I think that kind of action might be an effective sort of pressure and publicity-getter provided the numbers were large enough.

  •  What's wrong with being a flaming liberal? (12+ / 0-)

    Sheesh.

    (Welcome to the club.)

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, My God! Perhaps I am! -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 08:53:30 PM PDT

  •  I watched and wished (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    they had thought through what happens when articles of impeachment are drawn up and neither Cheney nor Bush act as if they've come to their senses.

  •  Can you hear me now? (7+ / 0-)

    Impeachment is the cure, for all that ails this country.
    Bush in his speech today, when asked about what Gonzales has done, the dork says, "what has he done?"  Bush deserves impeachment for this answer alone today to the press.

    *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

    by bonesy on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:05:50 PM PDT

  •  Pelosi Must Change Course! (6+ / 0-)

    Jesselyn, You are always my hero. And I went and re-watched the Bill Moyers interview. I get so overwhelmed with anger I can barely digest it all. The most important thing the interview revealed as a reason to impeach is because the founders wanted us to know and use this power, they put it prominently in the constitution and...if we do not exercise this power, we hand over to the next President a "toolbox" of power unlikely to ever be returned. Eventually it is bound to capsize us.

  •  See the Interview On PBS online (0+ / 0-)

    The interview can be watched on PBS.org Click Bill Moyers Journal.

  •  Okay - can I get some help here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    antifa, LNK, flumptytail

    If anyone writing here is from NY CD 8, please do two things to help this cause:  

    1. Write a letter to Jerry Nadler at his Manhattan office:

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler
    201 Varick Street, Suite 669
    New York, NY 10014
    Tel. 212-367-7350

    Actually, even if you are not from CD 8 write a letter to Representative Nadler.  He needs to hear from you now.  His constituency is begging him to suppport impeachment.  Let him know the rest of the country is as well.

    1. If and only if you are from CD 98, please, vote in the poll I posted a few days ago.
  •  Impeachment is the Cure. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, army193, 4Impeachment, lenzy1000

    It's time for common sense conservatives to re-claim their party from  the neo-con extremists who have taken over the once GOP and made a mockery of it.

    It would be ironic if patriotic, conservative Americans move towards impeachment before Democrats do.

    "History will judge the GOP abdication to NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:20:34 PM PDT

  •  I just finished watching... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrcoder

    I did not know it was a rerun. I had not seen it the first time. I also watched it after seeing Bill O'Liely send one of his thugs after Bill Moyers today at C&L.

    Bruce Fein seems to be a person that I can take to. Even though he is a Republican, he is a rationalist. To him, the assaults on the constitution by BushCo far supersedes any loyalty to the Republican party. He was far more impassioned than John Nichols, or even Bill Moyers.

    However, both the experts seemed to ignore the ground reality that the current Repugs in Congress do NOT see country above party. While I think Nancy Pelosi is wrong to take impeachment off the table, I doubt if someone idealistic like Cindy Sheehan alone can change the equation. It requires a veto proof majority of like minded senators and reps to go against the current wisdom. The real solution is for this country to wake up and vote the right people in 2008 elections. Both houses must have people who in the word of Bruce Fein feel the constitution from within.

  •  I thought Fein was talking mostly about Gonzales (0+ / 0-)

    at hearing where those doing the questioning didn't seem to feel it.

    My only 'quibble' with the segment was that it went fairly easy on the media. If Congress isn't 'feeling' it, the media sure ain't either. Especially not the media.

    Fein was inspiring and energizing.

    Thanks for this fine diary.

  •  I'm watching it right now. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. --Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:43:12 PM PDT

  •  thanks and go bruce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, junta0201

    Earlier posts pointed to Rep. Steve Cohen drawing up articles for Alberto Gonzalez with Fein's assistance.  I have the poll here which keeps getting votes after several weeks enouraging Conyers to begin inquiry on Bush and Cheney with Fein as the lead witness.  The point is that his conservative bona fides give the hearing a bipartisan credibility, and he is quite passionate and articulate in his reasoning.  I encourage people who have not voted to do so.  WE can use this as ammo for Pelosi and COnyers.  

  •  America is leading the world, they will follow. (6+ / 0-)

    Zimbabwe passes warrantless eavesdropping law, cites U.S. http://www.salon.com/...

    "Bush always listens to the generals. When he gets tired of listening to them he replaces them. ..." - Wesley Clark.

    by army193 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:52:02 PM PDT

  •  Is it just me... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, Dave925, NonnyO, FreeFallin

    or is the mere sight of Pelosi beginning to elicit the same kinds of ugly emotions that bubble up when you see a picture of Bush?

    I've offically turned that psychological corner. Her position on impeachment is stubborn, selfish, arrogant and wrong, and her obvious inability to recognize and correct that flawed decision is remarkably Bush-like.

    The similarities are sickening.

  •  Delete GW's Fucking Account, Congress! (6+ / 0-)

    "History will judge the GOP abdication to NeoCons as the single worst tactical blunder since the Taliban gave safe harbor to Osama bin Laden"

    by BentLiberal on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 09:53:26 PM PDT

  •  Pelosi hasn't the right to say (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fhcec, NonnyO, 4Impeachment, lenzy1000

    "impeachment is off the table."  Only we the American people have that right.  And dammit, I wish someone would tell her that.  And also tell her  she can forget about winning a majority in '08 unless she and her colleagues start listening up: Preserving the Constitution is more important than the next election.  

    But then again, I'm seriously beginning to wonder if even half the members of Congress have read the Constitution.

    The Impeachment clause is a brilliant tool.  It does away with the reasons for violent overthrow of the government or for revolution.  I say we sit in (occupy)Nancy's office, armed with copies of the Constitution until she reads and understands why she is there.  

    To God: Please stop talking to George Bush. Too much is being lost in translation.

    by miriam on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:08:02 PM PDT

  •  It's About Precedent (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, rlharry, NonnyO, FreeFallin

    It is plainly irresponsible to allow the actions of the Bush Adminstration to establish 'executive unitary' practices that future Presidents might abuse even more rigorously than this current one. It's about precedent.

    Impeachment is about the future more than it is about a rehash of the past. The past is prelude.

    "What's in the name of lord [governor], that I should fear; To bring my grievance to the public ear?" - The Crisis, January 13, 1777

    by TPaine on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 10:22:14 PM PDT

  •  It comes when the people accept it (5+ / 0-)

    I've been participating in street protests of the Iraq occupation at a busy intersection in my town. The reaction has been more positive than not. But the majority of people just blankly stare as they drive by and don't seem to care one way or the other.

    So when Nichols said this it struck a chord with me:

    Well, you know, and Bruce makes frequent references to the fall of the Roman Empire. You know, that's the point at where the fall comes. It doesn't come because of a bad leader. It doesn't come because of a dysfunctional Congress. It comes when the people accept that-- role of the child or of the subject and are no longer citizens. And so I think this moment becomes so very, very important because we know the high crimes and misdemeanors.

    We criticize Congress and media a lot here but I'm beginning to believe the American people share much of the blame. Collectively we have accepted our role as subjects, as helpless children, powerless to force change, and not as citizens in a democracy. That may be the biggest problem of all.

  •  I was a naysayer (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ctsteve, NonnyO, junta0201, lenzy1000

    on impeachment until I watched Bill Moyer's, Fein and (forget the other guy's name someone help me!)

    My thinking was that all of Congress' energies needed to focus on investigating all the potentially criminal activities - follow the money on the no-bid contracts, etc.  And I was also under the misapprehension that an impeachment completed would amount to no more than a slap on the wrist and a little indignity in history.  I want these guys in JAIL.

    But the Moyers show has me convinced.  It also got me thinking - why WAS Pelosi so willing to take it off the table?  Then FISA.

    Does the Holy Emperor, His Bushiness have something on her? Is there something in it for her?

    All I've heard as explanation is "spinelessness".  Is it possible there is something more?

  •  Frightened as Chickens In a Lightning Storm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa Lockwood

    Of course Congress must impeach these guys. But they won't unless we make them more afraid of us than they are of Bush.

    That's why we need to sign up challengers for the primaries next year and support them. (For this, I've created the Contenders Registry, where you can add the name of a candidate for Congress and help publicize their campaigns.)

    We have the power to turn these people out. If just a fraction of the half-million people who come here on a regular basis simply gave money to those willing to run against current office holders, there would be a sudden change in attitude.

    Take part in my Liberal 50-State Strategy and help us run someone noticeably more liberal than the current office holder in every Congressional election next year. We need challengers, regardless of whether the current occupant is a Democrat or a Republican except for those who have supported us all along.

    Faced with spending enormous sums of money to stay in office or voting to impeach a very, very unpopular president, what do you think they are going to do?

  •  Thanks. I saw the original broadcast and (0+ / 0-)

    I totally agree but I am so depressed about the spineless dems after they passed the FISA bill. I doubt they will get up on their hindlegs and behave like homo sapiens.

  •  I wonder if Pelosi's daughter (0+ / 0-)

    making that documentary about Bush43 and his route to the White House has anything to do with off-the-table bullshit.  Otherwise, its back to the drawing board....

    London calling to the underworlds-- come out of the cupboards you boys and girls....

    by yowsta on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:30:43 AM PDT

  •  An unexpected Republican victory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SignalSuzie, NonnyO

    If Congress does NOT impeach Gonzales, Cheney, and/or Bush, then they will have handed the Republicans, in effect, an unexpected victory: The stupid Republican impeachment of Clinton may not have removed Clinton from office, but their clumsiness has made a mockery of one of the most important Constitutional procedures (impeachment), and will have saved a future Republican administration from certain impeachment. At the same time, in effect, the doors to American Fascism will have been flung wide open. We have as much to fear from a Fascism of the Left as from a Fascism of the Right. And in the meantime, the Great American Experiment with democracy will be derailed.

    I mourn the spinelessness of the Democratic Majority, and I resent the intransigence of Speaker Pelosi. She seems like a Quisling, a traitor to her party and to her country because of her opposition to impeachment. When judgment day comes, she will have much to answer for.

    Bob in HI

    •  Amen, Bob. Well Said! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO

      I am so disgusted by Pelosi's refusal to even begin an INVESTIGATION of Articles of Impeachment. Why not do that, when it would be a signal to this administration that their lawlessness and violations of the Constitution are on notice. If the evidence is clear enough; bring forth articles of impeachment AS THE CONSTITUTION specifies.

      That they got away with it with Clinton was bad enough; that they intimidated Democrats by doing it is really shameful--

      For Democrats.

  •  For the second time: (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if the impeachment-off-the-table has anything to do with Pelosi's daughter and her documentary about "w" and his route to the white house?//?

    London calling to the underworlds-- come out of the cupboards you boys and girls....

    by yowsta on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:34:37 AM PDT

  •  Jesselyn... (0+ / 0-)

    if impeachment is to occur it should be for the illegal torture program called "bringing terrorists to justice". Or you could impeach over the illegal torture interrogation method called "change of scenery".

    Violations of the 4th and 8th amendment are certainly impeachable, furthermore you should not repeat radical right/Bush administration talking points about "using torture". That phrase has been pushed by the torture mongers in this administration who think that if your a male it is ok to torture you in violation of the constitution (4th amendment particulary) and the Convention against torture as well as Geneva.

    Honor bound to defend freedom. Freedom is long-standing army regulations.

    by RichardG on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 01:49:04 AM PDT

  •  Just wanted to say... (0+ / 0-)

    it was awesome meeting you at YearlyKos last Saturday.  :-)  Hopefully the next President will demand that you be removed from the no-fly list.

  •  grouchy pre-coffee comments: (0+ / 0-)

    remember scooter libby.
    yesterday a bailout became an injection.
    i hope the iraqi legislators are being reinvigorated by their vacation.
    executive privilege may trump impeachment hearings.

    Cluny Brown (1946) - " ... feed squirrels to the nuts ..."

    by njdon on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 03:27:59 AM PDT

  •  Everybody got the Fever... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    Impeachment Fever.

    The fever is part of the cure.  Sweat it out.

    And you know that, once you feel that fever coming on, you already got bit by the bug.  No backing out of it, no do-overs.

    Just be glad you got that fever process, to bite that bug back.

    "Fever isn't such a new thing, fever started long time ago..."

    (Maybe if they could've impeached Julius Caesar, those senators wouldn't have needed all those, uh, needed that Ides of March party...  ya think?)

    Empire or Republic?  This is how we do it.  Make your choice.

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 03:28:53 AM PDT

  •  Who needs terrorists? We've got judges! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, rickeagle, beckstei

    Bruce Fein "gets it," and has gotten it for a long time.  You would be surprised as to how many card-carrying Federalist Society members do.  They did the math a long time ago in addressing a closely analogous problem.

    As a reminder, the maniacal monarchism of King George II is not the only clear and present danger to our Constitution.  The "silent branch" -- our judiciary -- poses a far greater threat, if only because they act in comparative secrecy.

    Federal judges ascend to the bench pursuant to an agreement, implicit in Article III of the Constitution, that they will only declare what "the law" is and consistently apply it. This understanding can be traced to Shakespearean times: as Sir Francis Bacon wrote, "Judges ought to remember that their office is jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law, and not to make law, or give law." Sir Francis Bacon, Essays (On Judicature) (1625).

    As arbitrary discretion is the mortal enemy of the rule of law, a judge’s fidelity to precedent is essential to preservation of our personal liberties. Alexander Hamilton wrote, "[to] avoid an arbitrary discretion in the courts, it is indispensable that [judges] should be bound by strict rules and precedents, which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case before them." The Federalist No. 78 (Alexander Hamilton). Blackstone observed that the judge’s duty to follow precedent was derived from the nature of the judicial power itself: a judge is "sworn to determine, not according to his own judgments, but according to the known laws." 1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *69 (1765). A century before, Lord Coke wrote, "[i]t is the function of a judge not to make, but to declare the law, according to the golden mete-wand of the law and not by the crooked cord of discretion." 1 E. Coke, Institutes of the Laws of England 51 (1642). As in all but the most exotic cases, the law has been established, judges are envisioned as administrators, playing what Professor Llewellyn called "the game of matching cases." Llewellyn, The Bramble Bush 49 (1960).

    The virtue to society of stare decisis goes far beyond the temporal assurance that individual litigants were treated fairly. The rule of law thus expressed furnishes "a clear guide for the conduct of individuals, to enable them to plan their affairs with assurance against untoward surprise," streamlines adjudication by averting the need to constantly relitigate recurring issues, and bolsters public faith in the judiciary as "a source of impersonal and reasoned judgments." Moragne v. States Marine Lines, 398 U.S. 375, 403 (1970). Significant uncertainty in application of the law impairs everyone’s liberties, for when "one must guess what conduct or utterances may lose him his position, one necessarily will ‘steer far wider of the unlawful zone,’" Speiser v. Randall, 357 U.S. 513, 526 (1958), since "the value of a sword of Damocles is that it hangs -- not that it drops." Arnett v. Kennedy, 416 U.S. 134, 231 (1974) (Marshall, J., dissenting). Or, as Justice O’Connor wrote, "Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt." Planned Parenthood of S.E. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 844 (1992). Justice Story observes:

    A more alarming doctrine could not be promulgated by any American court, than that it was at liberty to disregard all former rules and decisions, and to decide for itself [what the law is], without reference to the settled course of antecedent principles.

    Anastasoff v. United States, 223 F.3d 898, 904 (8th Cir.), vacated as moot, 223 F.3d 1054 (8th Cir. 2000) (en banc) (citation to Story’s Commentaries omitted).

    Modern judges have abandoned their role as society's arbiters -- assuming the role of petty tyrants.  And this seismic shift in function has real consequences for real people: By way of example, Professors Merritt and Brudney have shown via statistical analysis that the most important factor in the success of an appeal of a labor law decision in the Eighth Circuit was the political leaning of the judge.  Deborah J. Merritt and James J. Brudney, Stalking Secret Law: What Predicts Publication in the United States Courts of Appeals, 54 Vand.L.Rev. 71 (2001).  In short, we are utterly beyond the protection of the law, and at the tender mercies of martini-besotted judicial caprice. The Bill of Rights isn’t even useful as toilet paper.

    Our courts’ odious practices have eroded the rule of law to the point that our statutes only mean what a judge wants them to mean on a given day, and the average citizen has no reliable guide as to what the law is or what his rights thereunder are. Cf., The Federalist No. 62 (Alexander Hamilton). As Judge Robert Bork asserts, America is no longer a constitutional republic; it has become a regime, governed by a judicial oligarchy.  Robert H. Bork, "Our Judicial Oligarchy," First Things 67 (Nov. 1996) at 21.

    Shockingly, the people who are out in front of the curve here include Judge Bork and Phyllis Schlafly.  That's right: Phyllis freakin' Schlafly!  The Hard Right has been incensed about this development for a decade, and they've already done the math:

    Power minus accountability equals tyranny.

    These bedfellows aren't nearly as strange as you think.  Bruce Fein 'gets it,' as does Ron Paul.

    •  Welcome to the discussion....... (0+ / 0-)

      I see by your UID that you are a new register to these parts.

      Your input is appreciated. Well Done! Please come back often.

      Reasoned opinions reminding us all of our history are highly valued in this community generally and by me specifically.

      Thanks

      I actually haven't focused on his appearances, so I am relying now on the media as to what actually happened.- Joe Lieberman

      by rickeagle on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 09:04:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dennis Kucinich "gets it," too! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FreeFallin

      "War is contempt for life." To Youth/Nordahl Grieg

      by NonnyO on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 11:04:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so, if the Federalist society is so upset... (0+ / 0-)

      by judges acting on their politics, how can the Society members on the court have signed off on an abortion opinion that is pure politics - not a shred of evidence of any kind that more women are troubled by abortion than are troubled by having to carry a baby to term that is terribly deformed, the only ones affected by late term abortions.

      You can document the legalese all you want - but the judges made law in that decision, not following stare decisis at all.

      "Making law" often depends on the starting point, doesn't it? Hence, your argument was researched, but somewhat disingenuous.

      •  The FedSoc isn't a monolith (0+ / 0-)

        It's more like a debating society, with a fairly heavy libertarian representation.  The libertarians get it and have a real problem with it.  Authoritarians get it, but have the same pernicious outcome-based attitude toward judicial decision-making you see in some liberal quarters.  But no matter who the activism benefits, it is still corrosive to the rule of law.  I would remind you of this passage:

        One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.

        Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, __ (2000) (Stevens, J., dissenting).

        There are a lot of decisions that qualify as judicial activism -- you'd be surprised as to how common it is.  Bush v. Gore was perhaps the most profound example, but it was by no means the most flagrant.

  •  Answer this question or you're held in contempt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    right now. How about a little time alone (in a little tiny cell) to remember what the answer was?

    That is what I expected from the beginning. Why haven't we gotten that yet?

    "Well, we're a little disturbed by the situation in the Middle East, but other than that..." Cyril, Breaking Away (1979)

    by peaceloveandkucinich on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 04:22:12 AM PDT

  •  Apparently, They All Impeach Only When It Is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, Deep Harm

    politically convenient, and it's not apparently convenient at this time.  We have to make it a bit more convenient for them.  Like, we are angry and we're not going to take it anymore convenient.

    Always glad to see your diaries Jesselyn.  Stay tough!

  •  Put that together with the selling of the war (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, Deep Harm, FreeFallin

    Last night I watched the re-run of Moyers piece on the selling of the Iraq war. It is crystal clear that the Congress and the people were lied to. The smoking gun was that the information from the UN inspection team was on the web as public knowledge. There were no WMD and no active program to make nukes and Bush and Cheney knew it and didn't care as long as it got them their war. There is no excuse. There was in fact no change in the status of Iraq, the war fever was created by marketing. They can't say that they didn't read the UN reports, that is an absudity.

    As an aside, the creation of war fever was scary. How do we prevent this in the future? Listen to HRC peddling war in the Senate. This can't be allowed to happen again. Impeachment as a consequence would certainly help.

  •  It is necessity, IF (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO, FreeFallin

    We are to emerge from this terribly dark place in which we find ourselves.  Do the RIGHT thing Congress.  These people are criminals, and should be dragged into the light of day, and brought to justice.

  •  Time to go "organic" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silence is Complicity

    For years, a bureaucratic spin job has promoted the idea that honest civil servants are "radioactive." As a result, truthtellers are shunned, isolated and exiled.

    In truth, it is those who attack truthtellers who are "radioactive" -  so poisoned by politics and corruption, and so focused on the interests of a few, that they can no longer carry out their prime directive: to uphold the Constitution.

    I see Jess as an "organic" civil servant, uncontaminated by bureaucratic orthodoxy, and considerate of the impacts of official actions on the nation as a whole. That concept will be woven into my new website, Wholefeds.com, coming soon to an intertube near you.  (The site's still in development, so don't go there, yet!)

    It's time to put those factory-farmed civil servants out to pasture and incorporate a wholesome approach to government. Hopefully, the new website will help that happen.

    Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. - Edmund Burke

    by Deep Harm on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 07:18:05 AM PDT

  •  Posted an impeachment roundup (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NonnyO

    take a look and see what some other Kossacks have been writing, some stories that have appeared mainstream and local media across the country, and the status of impeachment resolutions in the House and in cities across the country

    Impeachment Roundup - Power in Numbers

    To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men. Abraham Lincoln

    by forbodyandmind on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 09:01:32 AM PDT

  •  This congress will not impeach (0+ / 0-)

    Simply not going to happen.  They parade senior administration officials before them, give them the opportunity to say "go fuck yourselves," and conclude they've embarrassed the GOP and boosted their electoral chances.  

    They don't care about the constitution.  They care about their job security, or more directly, the news coverage that shapes public opinion.  Perhaps more importantly, Americans no longer care about the constitution, nor are they even aware of what it contains.  The theory of separation of powers is not widely understood, and in fact many people now complain about "gridlock" and the inability of congress and the president to "get things done."  

    There is no debate in congress - at least, none that the public sees.  Instead we are fed 3 second sound bites and told by serious media pundits what actually transpired during congressional deliberations - always from a cynical, derisive perspective.  

    It's over.  When congress returns from their summer vacation, they will get down to the business of giving Bush the war funding he demands.  There will be plenty of talk about ending the war, aimed at placating the base, but ultimately they've already decided that the role of congress is to obediantly fullfill the executive's war demands.  

    We should also expect military action against Iran, which will boost Bush's approval and further bend congress to Bush's will.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 09:52:58 AM PDT

  •  I was so glad (3+ / 0-)

    it was rebroadcast, since I'd missed it first time around.

    You should have seen my husband's eyebrows go up when I explained who Bruce Fein is; the same husband, by the way, who tore through your book like it was by Elmore Leonard on the plane home from Chicago.

    We're glad to have you in our corner, too.

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    by sidnora on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:06:12 AM PDT

  •  I just listened to the podcast audio again... (0+ / 0-)

    and am as upset now as I was the first time this program aired about what is wrong with Congress that it cannot and will not bring impeachment against Bush and Cheney.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, the GOP/right-wing would be literally breathing out of paper bags to ward off hyper ventilation, and would be controlling the story, just as they did in Clinton's case and today--while Democrats sit shamefully and just watch.

    I believe Bush/Cheney have overwhelmingly qualified for impeachment.  

    What's happening is that Congress is laying low, waiting for the fire to go out on this issue.  

    I'm glad that Moyers has re-aired this particular program.  

  •  Impeachment.Moyers (0+ / 0-)

    I thought the program was great, both times- no screaming or ranting and two very different guys making the argument. We need sanity and backbone in Congress, neither of which are very evident. Look at the continuing torrent of earmarking- we’ll never deal with infrastructure as long as earmarking continues. Kossacks are not of one mind about impeachment and many other issues, which is fine.

    Bruce Fein and Bob Barr both had something to do with the Clinton impeachment and both support Ron Paul. I know something about Ron Paul; if we can’t work together with libertarians and other conservatives to curb the continuing American imperialist tendencies this country will be in much worse shape in a few years, quite possibly fighting Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, etc. Quite a few misguided Israelis think that this might solve their problems. Many Democratic Presidential candidates could buy into strikes against Pakistan and Iran after receiving bogus intelligence- remember that 70% of the intelligence budget goes to those good ole private contractors. I like Obama and have given him money but I sent a letter to his campaign saying no more money and no support until he makes clear that he won’t attack another country unless/until that country attacks the US and that he will take a pledge not to use any kind of nuclear weapons unless we are attacked with nuclear weapons.

    We must keep the heat on Congress. I personally would begin impeachment hearings with Gonzales and expect material implicating Bush/Cheney and maybe to provoke them to open obstruction of justice. We need to complain long and loud to Democrats like Jim Webb who let us down. I read that Nancy Pelosi got 200,000 emails complaining about her going along with expanding wiretapping. That’s only one per 900 registered voters, much too few. We have to find ways to get more people involved, which will include conservatives worried about their civil liberties. I wouldn’t vote for Ron Paul for any office, but I respect him.

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