The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High crimes and misdemeanors.
It will never happen. It is too late.
He escaped the Constitutional accountability that should have been his fate. Now is not the time for accountability or investigations or prosecutions. Now is the time to erase the erased tapes of tortured prisoners. Now is the time to move on, to forget, if not to forgive. Now is the time to put the finishing touches on the fictional account of history that his apologists and accomplices have been rewriting since before President George W. Bush even left office.
In the new version of history, TARP was passed under his successor. Nearly half the country believes that’s true. The deficit was created by his successor -– or his predecessor. Whichever narrative conveniently fits the moment; take your pick. Afghanistan was a "war of Obama’s choosing."
And then there's this claim: "We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term."
His apologists and accomplices have said all of these things. None of them are true. But truth doesn’t matter. It is but one more casualty at the blood-stained hands of this president.
For two years, he has been silent, collecting his six-figure taxpayer-funded pension and enjoying his private life in the gated Dallas suburb that was, until only ten years ago, for whites only. It was fitting for the man once accused of not liking black people, but even that history has been rewritten. He says that accusation was the lowest point of his presidency, but his accuser has now apologized, absolved him of his crime of negligence. What a relief for the president, whose feelings were so hurt by such a false claim. After all, some of his best accomplices are...well, you know.
And so he has emerged to cash in on the whitewashing of his White House years. His book, like his presidency, is packed with lies -- and plagiarized lies at that, lifted even from sources he once dismissed as inaccurate. But then, a man who could not be bothered to get up from his seat while the nation was under attack certainly could not be bothered to use his own words to describe his own experience.
For some, his new book is merely fodder for the late-night comedians. For the party that now denies its once steadfast allegiance to him, it is nothing more than an inconvenient embarrassment. For Dana Milbank, the self-proclaimed left-of-center Washington Post columnist, it's a reason to be Nostalgic for George W. Bush and his ability to put country before ideology. Bush said so himself in his new book, after all, so it must be true.
In Bush’s rewritten history, the worst things that happened during his presidency were a couple of PR snafus. A bungled photo-op. A poorly planned fly-over. Forget the terrorist attack that happened on his watch. Forget the countries he invaded, the economy he crashed, the city that drowned while he dined on birthday cake.
None of that matters now, if it ever did. Before he had even left office, those who had sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution were too busy with too many important things to do to waste time preserving our democracy. For a president who had seized the Oval Office with a stolen election and a Supreme Court appointment, accountability -- and with it, the Constitution -- was off the table.
Those remaining few who still want to set the record straight are told to get over it, let go of it, move on. Still, the country is faced with too many important things to do to waste time preserving our democracy. Let him sell his book, tell his lies, and then fade away again, while we are left to clean up the messes he made, even as people are still dying in his war, a war that has been declared a victory more than once. Mission accomplished. Major combat has ended. The last troops have left.
But they are still dying.
Some say history will look kindly upon President Bush’s eight years, that in the long view of history, he will be vindicated. Whatever means and methods he used to protect America, they will be justified eventually. History, after all, is written by the winners, and while perhaps it is too soon to declare with certainty who won, we know it was not the American people. Despite the propaganda and fictional memoirs, the stench of high crimes committed by this president and his accomplices, and their carefully choreographed conspiracy of cover-ups, cannot be so easily cleansed, no matter how many books are written, no matter how many lies are told.
This is true: President Bush and his closest advisers committed the very high crimes for which impeachment is the Constitutional remedy. And now they will never pay the price.
In 2006, Elizabeth de la Vega, a former federal prosecutor, published a hypothetical indictment of George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and Colin Powell. While she acknowledged that an actual indictment was unlikely, to say the least, she laid out, explicitly, logically, and legally, how Bush and his team defrauded the United States by lying the nation into war. One of her goals, she explained, was to send this message:
The President has committed fraud.
It is a crime in the legal, not merely colloquial, sense.
It is far worse than Enron.
It is not a victimless crime.
We cannot shrug our shoulders and walk away.
But it is too late. We already did.