There have been calls for impeachment here at dkos for quite a while now - you expect it because it sort of comes with the territory.
I've long seen the effort as a tactical error. There are people that would call for impeachment if any solid Republican were president, simply because they haven't accepted that a different vision for America has enough democratic support to be represented in office. Calls for impeachment can easily be seen as a bunch of sore losers just wanting a do-over, or just wanting a big "undo" button that they can press.
But I've recently realized that I am now in favor of impeachment, and for an entirely different reason: I am opposed to an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.
Yes, I said opposed. How does being opposed to an immediate withdrawal mean being in favor of impeachment?
I've found the arguments for immediate withdrawal to be wanting, to put it mildly. The simpler versions remind me of undo buttons again, showing a denial of what situation we're in right now. As if everyone could just go home and it would all be back to normal.
The more sophisticated versions are the arguments that concede that there will be negative side effects of the withdrawal. Yes, they say, maybe we really shouldn't just pull out, but George Bush has shown no ability to do this correctly, and there's no sense in pretending otherwise. So we should save our soldier's lives and go home.
But even this is denial - it ignores the potential seriousness of the side effects. I've found Clark's arguments compelling. And it's hard to read Juan Cole's emphatic opinions and dismiss them. I honestly do believe that as bad as things are, a full withdrawal will make things far, far worse.
Simply put, George Bush's incompetence is not justification for making the problem even worse.
I don't think we can afford for things to get dramatically worse. And by "afford", I mean "handle", and by "we", I mean "the world". I honestly think there is the opportunity here for civilization-affecting negative change if we pull out too fast.
What does this mean? It means that we are sacrificing the lives of our soldiers to protect ourselves from the worst effects of George Bush's incompetence.
That is our war. Our soldiers are protecting us from the results of Bush's choices. And yes, I would sacrifice our soldier's lives to protect American from that end... unless we can find another way to protect America from Bush's incompetence. And we must.
The only way out of this is to enact a new strategy that can get us out of Iraq without triggering the absolute worst results. I'll take that result with or without George Bush's leadership. But George Bush has exhibited no ability to accomplish that. And I do not believe we can afford to wait until 2009 to put someone else in office that can competently bring about that result.
That is why we must impeach. It's George Bush losing his job, or it's hundreds or perhaps thousands of more soldiers losing their lives in a fruitless battle to protect America from the effects of Bush's policy choices. Or, God forbid, we pull out too soon and the unimaginable happens, thanks to Bush's incompetence.
This is an argument that foreign policy hawks and conservatives can get behind. It recognizes the need to resist an immediate pullout. It recognizes the reality of the problem. It recognizes Bush's incompetence, and it champions the lives of our soldiers. It also recognizes Bush's weakened power and his inability to make any bold changes. If we want to protect American interests and also protect the lives of our soldiers, we need new leadership, and we need it before 2009. We must impeach.