Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wanted: Democrats With Balls

Okay, at the risk of getting the ire up of some of my more right-leaning friends, nothing would make me happier than to have those yella Democrats in Congress actually grow spines and bring articles of impeachment against Bush. And then Cheney.

It is mindboggling to me that we as a nation sat through the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying to Congress about... wait for it... S-E-X... and this Congress won't impeach Bush and Cheney.

In the book Articles of Impeachment Against George W. Bush, the Center for Constitutional Rights set out legal arguments for impeachment on four separate charges that could be brought against this administration with abundant evidence (note that the book was published before the whole Valerie Plame incident):

1. Warrantless surveillance.
2. Misleading Congress on the reasons for the Iraq war.
3. Violating laws against torture.
4. Subverting the Constitution’s separation of powers.

Who cares if the Senate wouldn't vote to convict? They didn't vote to convict Clinton, either, but that Congress had to "send a message." If ever a White House needed a message, it's this one. Not that I'd expect them to get the message, but at least American public would be sent the message that the Rule of Law is greater than this or any other administration.

I'll never forget Bush, after accepting the Republican nomination about seven years ago, saying that he would bring honor and integrity back to the White House.

Um, yeah, you failed, W. You seriously, pitifully failed.

You know, the thing that bugged me the most about Clinton was the guy's arrogance. He truly believed himself to be greater than the office he held, to be above reproach, and to be exempt from accountability.

Multiply each of those things by 1,000 and you've got Bush and Cheney. Nixon was a fucking choirboy compared to these two. And yet no one has the stones to give them the bitch-slapping they deserve.

Making the all those big-talking Democrats controlling the legislature up there no better than the Right they keep criticizing.

*Dumbfuck Mountain poster found through a Google search that led me here.


Lucyp said...

The common thought here seems to be Bush is a dim witted sponge for Cheneys ideas, with Cheney being the real power.
I do find it unnerving that Clinton was almost impeached for oral sex while Bush has lied which led directly to the death of hundred of thousands of people but no impeachment calls at all.
Priorities are wrong somewhere.

Jeff said...

"no impeachment calls at all."

Actually, lots of people are calling for it. It's just that the Democratic legislature isn't moving on it.

And just to be straight, Clinton was impeached for lying to Congress, which is truly an impeachable offense. The fact that it ever got that far is where the bullshit lies.

Anonymous said...

Lucy - That first sentence? You nailed it. Please assure your fellow citizens that they're absolutely right.

Natsthename said...

Yeah, and we need Elizabeth Edwards to stop her crap with Hillary. I know she's just watching her husband's back, but in the meantime, she's creating media rumpus over small potatoes. She should be going after the Repubs. instead of yapping about how John is more sympathetic to women's issues than Hillary is.

You know, I'm just growing weary of this whole process. Not that I want to live in anything but the US of A, though!

PJ said...

I have nothing to add. This says it all.

Oh, darn, maybe I do.


As a mother, I have never been prouder of a child o' mine than reading this post.

Wait--I must say one more thing--anyone who could possibly disagree with what you're written here needs to grab a huge needle and pop his or her bubble of denial.

Otherwise said person or persons is in need of a lobotomy.


Don said...

Lobotomy needle in hand, I have to admit I don't read the right papers. Agreed that Bush/Cheney's is among the least honorable of administrations. But, perhaps because I don't read the right papers, I can't help but wonder

a) If the Powers aren't a little leery of impeaching someone whose intent was ostensibly to defend the country, rather than just get away with a little illicit fun.

b) If much of the usual charges now brought against these people aren't as much a critical mass of half-charges that have gained a life of their own, rather than solidly based in fact. I know, I know, people will point to a hundred places where The Facts are stored. Well, now and then I read those and the spin tends to unconvince me. Example: The canard that Bush ignored the UN in his run-up to war. Thoroughly untrue yet now everyone believes it and will call me an idiot for denying it.

Sue me, I'm a contrarian. I tend to go against political fashion. But I'm not a Republican, so there.

So, question. Lying is impeachable, and Clinton did that. What about "misleading"? Sure, Bush cooked the data to justify implementing his neocon friends' strategic plan. But in the weird legal world where these decisions are made, there may be a difference between misleading and lying. How are we to judge it against the lies and misleadings that other presidents used -- especially those whose lies and misleadings, in the end, actually benefitted the country? (NOT implying Bush's will.)

jennyjinx said...

Bush has created more power for himself than any other president in our history. He constantly encourages his aides and former aide to commit crimes by ignoring federal subpoenas, he refuse to be bound by oath, and we seem to have lost count of how many "signing statements" he's issued (more than the last three presidents combined at least). And his right hand man can't seem to decide where his part of government is. Is it executive or legislative? Guess it depends on which branch Congress is trying to oversee at the moment.

But will he ever be impeached? No. The simple fact is that everyone eyeing the Oval Office wants exactly what Bush and Cheney have given themselves. They see the power grabs and are eager to partake. They're not cowards, they're power-hungry politicians.

And why is Clinton always mentioned? Isn't there some kind of Godwin's law about that? Since he committed a crime and got away with it that does that mean every president after him can do the same? It makes no sense. "Clinton did it! He's a criminal! Why's everyone coming down on George?" is asinine. Clinton is history. Over. Done. Stick a fork in him already. GW is right now damaging this country. The fact that Clinton didn't get impeached doesn't negate the culpability of Bush/Cheney.

So, Jeff, how's it going?

jennyjinx said...

That graphic is awesome.

Cheezy said...

I was very disappointed to hear that Russ Feingold has stepped off the impeachment bandwagon.

Jeff: You've got it in one - "stones", that's what the Democrats need, and what most of them conspicuously lack.

Don: "The canard that Bush ignored the UN in his run-up to war."

You're right, it isn't true that Bush ignored the UN. Instead, he sent over his best man to tell them a load of pork-pies. His administration conducted covert surveillance against them too.,,905936,00.html

And most famously of course, he sent his second best man (Tony Blair) to try and achieve a new UN resolution that they could all agree on. Which he failed to do, because too many countries correctly took the position that Iraq did not pose a threat to global security.

So he didn't ignore the UN... but in any case, even if he did, ignoring the UN is not grounds for impeachment of a President of the US. And rightly so. The UN can be full of shit sometimes, so no rational nation would make ignoring their wishes (in itself) grounds for removing their leader from office.

Still, I'd say that the impeachment movement has more than enough to go on already - with all the lying, spying, torturing, constitutional violations... not to mention the shameless serving of corporate interests over national ones.

Far from upholding the laws of the United States, they've consistently regarded inconvenient ones as malleable and not applying to themselves. And that is most certainly grounds for impeachment - if not of Bush himself, then at least of Darth ("the Vice President is not a member of the executive") Cheney.

Teacake said...

You know, the thing that bugged me the most about Clinton was the guy's arrogance. He truly believed himself to be greater than the office he held, to be above reproach, and to be exempt from accountability.

Multiply each of those things by 1,000 and you've got Bush and Cheney.

I'm not a fan of either as a President, frankly, although I think what the Bush administration has become is the worst thing we've seen in a long long time. But I don't think their problems were the same. I think Clinton was, in a word, weak. I think he was literally without impulse control and that, though he meant well, the fact that his impulses would always subvert good judgment made him dangerous.

The similarity there is that I think Bush meant well too. No, stop laughing, I do. But what makes him dangerous to the extreme is that he genuinely thinks he's on a mission from God. That is the very last guy you want in the White House.

Don said...

That is the very last guy you want in the White House.

I cannot disagree.

the impeachment movement has more than enough to go on already

That may be and I certainly won't get in their way, I'm just interested in the difference between what has really happened against popular opinion of what has really happened.

GW is right now damaging this country.

This also is something I've begun to appreciate more recently. "This too shall pass" has been my instinct, and we do tend to forget the excesses of previous administrations, if they're long enough ago and especially if they aided us somehow. But Bush's team has stubbed our collective toe quite often enough. I think they deserve credit for trying a new direction under extraordinary circumstances, but when things go wrong, especially as a result of Presidential decision, the buck most certainly stops at the Presidential desk.

Jeff said...

Jenny - I brought up Clinton because I do think it's important to learn from history. Just because the event is over and done doesn't mean the effects are over and done, you know? Most of law is built on precedent. So I think it's appropriate to bring the Clinton impeachment (and he was impeached, he just wasn't convicted by the Senate) into the discussion. At the time, I was enraged at the fact that there ever was a Starr report in the first place. Clinton's adultery had NOTHING to do with the country. All that grandstanding by Gingrich and Congress was for the sole purpose of trying to embarrass Clinton. That's it. Had Clinton answered truthfully, what would the outcome have been? What effect would it have had on the country? It would have embarrassed him. That's it. But he didn't answer truthfully, so goddammit, the Congress had to impeach because that guy deserved to be embarrassed! Shit. I'm getting enraged again.

Teacake, ITA WRT Clinton, and I somewhat agree WRT Bush. I think Bush truly believes that wiretapping and torture are helping to keep our country safer. But I also believe he's corrupt as hell, too.

Teacake said...

But I also believe he's corrupt as hell, too.

I don't disagree with this at all, with reference to our country, our laws, our citizens (let alone citizens of other places he can't pronounce or spell). I don't think he gives a damn about any of that, or is bothered in the slightest about manipulating or steamrolling or whatever he has to do to get what he wants. See, he's taking his instructions directly from the Big Guy in the Sky, and our piddly little laws and pissant little whines about due process can't compete with, like, GOD, yanno?

Like I said, dangerous. Honestly, knock on wood, I think if this administration passes with the harm done to the world progressing at only the current pace, we can all count ourselves lucky that's as bad as it got. And by that I don't mean that I don't think it's bad. I just mean I'm sometimes struck by the sheer potential for blowing up the whole ball of wax here.

O' Tim said...

jennyjinx wrote: But will he ever be impeached? No. The simple fact is that everyone eyeing the Oval Office wants exactly what Bush and Cheney have given themselves. They see the power grabs and are eager to partake. They're not cowards, they're power-hungry politicians.

I hope against hope that you're wrong on this, JJ, but you do cut to the quick of why it is imperative for citizens to continue the movement that demands impeachment proceedings (indeed Jeff, a movement conspicuously absent from the Clinton proceedings).

I HIGHLY recommend viewing the recent installment of Bill Moyer's Journal with The Nation's John Nichols and Bruce Fein (who BTW wrote the first article of impeachment against Clinton).

As so eloquently put at Politits:

"Congress is charged with oversight and impeachment is a Constitutional tool that Congress must use when the Executive Branch will no longer recognize the oversight role of Congress.

"Nichols says it best, I think, when he responds to Moyers' question about this issue forcing a Constitutional crisis. Nichols responds, 'Don't make the medicine the disease.'

Impeachment is not the disease, the unconstitutional actions and behavior of the Bush Administration are the disease. Impeachment is the Constitutional medicine to cure it for this Administration and for all those that come after it."

Word to the Nth

Jeff said...

Great links, O'Tim. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I second that - awesome finds, O'Tim! And good point on the calls for impeachment. With Clinton, it was the political establishment calling for his impeachment (garnering many an eyeroll from the blowjob-enjoying public). With Bush, it's the public asking why he's not being impeached...and the political establishment's silence is deafening.

Let the voices get louder, because all this proves without a doubt that the politicians are NOT listening to us; they're too busy listening to each other.

Jane Doe said...

I've been itching for someone to start screaming for impeachment ever since we started the war in Iraq. Keith Olbermann has stepped up to the plate. God love him.

Last week on Bill Moyers, Bruce Fein and John Nichols talked about impeachment and why it's necessary -- the main reasons being that our Constitution is endangered RIGHT NOW and that Bush, Cheney & Co have expanded the powers of the executive branch so much that no matter what party sits in office, ain't no one gonna want to give those powers back. Congress needs to impeach in order to CURB the expansion of the executive branch's powers immediately.

Another important thing they mentioned was the unlikelihood of impeachment happening simply for the fact that Congress is not, at the moment, chockablock with Constitutional scholars, intellectuals, or philosophers. What it's filled with are politicians.

Thing to note about Bruce Fein, he wrote the first article of impeachment against Bill Clinton. I was wholly prepared for some Sean Hannity-type idiot, but then I remembered I was watching Bill Moyers, and he actually chooses his guests thoughtfully.

You can read a transcript of the show here or go to the pbs website.

Jeff, can I link to your blog from The Boat? I can't believe I haven't already.


Jeff said...

Jane, of course you can link to me! Glad to have you. But you have to make sure you read O'Tim's comments... (read his above and you'll see why I say that).


PJ said...

Hi Jane! Since I abandoned you by taking down my blog, I'm glad to see you linking here. Jeff and I are sorta related, you see, so I tend to hang out here from time to time.

Jane Doe said...

duh... I was so hot to write what I wrote that i completely missed O'Tim's!

O' Tim said...

Jane - s'awright. Hot women pass me over all the time ;)