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May 31, 2005
Article II, Section 4. 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.

New articles are out by Ralph Nader and Kevin Zeese and Norman Solomon.

Believe it or not, I was contemplating the topic before I saw these headlines. And now, before I even read them, let me tell you where my thoughts were going.

The move to impeach Clinton was a childish and petulant gesture that cost this country dearly. (Yes, he told a lie about having sex. His non-criminal, if immoral, sex life is not Congress's responsibility and the matter should never have been the subject of any investigation.)

It's already been revealed that a major facet in the decision to try and impeach Clinton was "revenge" for the impeachment of Nixon.

This worries me for a lot of reasons.

First, are we to understand that the Republican leadership didn't think Nixon's behavior should be punished?

What else are we to understand? That Republicans in Washington think criminal behavior by the (Republican) President of the United States was just, I don't know, business as usual? Are we to infer that they don't find this kind of thing to be a problem? Exactly how much of this stuff is going on in Washington, anyhow? Just exactly how corrupt has the system become?

Second, is this why there was no move to impeach Reagan for the criminality of the Iran-Contra affair? Were Washington Republicans shielding the Reagan Administration, even in the face of revelations of even more serious crimes than the Nixon Administration committed, out of some insane partisanship?

So...now we're at GWBush and there's a move afoot to impeach him for lying us into an illegal and immoral war. As far as that goes, I support the move, even if we won't succeed and we all know it. No Republican-dominated Congress is going to impeach a Republican President. (At least not without a heckuva lot of screaming from the so far apathetic majority.)

I think the Bush Administration was determined to invade Iraq on any pretense they could find. There's mounting evidence to support this. They were determined to wage an aggressive war to secure for our country an undue influence on the distribution of Iraq's all-important oil (and not incidentally to enrich their billionaire friends and campaign donors even further). (//digression// Every gallon you pump into your tanks from now on is going to be stained with the blood of Iraq's people. Unless you join the BUY-cott. //end digression//)

But I also wonder what this all means for our future? Is the next Democratic president going to be facing impeachment on any charges a group of infuriated neocons can drum up? (Or maybe on some real charge, because I begin to wonder just how many politicians' careers could stand close scrutiny.)

Are we to be faced with a succession of years'-long investigations that eat up tens of millions of dollars each and waste time our elected officials should be spending on governing, in a never-ending cycle of vengeance and payback?

I'm sure we'd all like to think of our elected officials as men and women of stature and gravitas. 'Tain't so.

At the very least, we'd like to think of them as grown-ups. Sadly, the Bush Administration acts more like a gang of playground bullies, which leaves me wondering...are they a trend, or an anomaly?

And now, to read the above-referenced articles....

Posted by AnneZook at 06:47 PM


It's not like you have to work hard at it: he's violated the plain text of the Constitution, in addition to fraud and deception well beyond that which Clinton perpetrated in importance.

The failure of Congress to even debate impeachment, coupled with the judicial merry-go-round (am I the only person who got a little motion-sick at the constant repetition of "up or down" "up or down" "up or down"?) concept of "advice and consent" and any doubts I had about the Imperial Presidency are pretty much gone.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at June 1, 2005 12:28 AM

And if you're serious, there's a blogger alliance we can join.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at June 1, 2005 05:14 AM

I share your motion-sickness.

I also got a bit queasy watching the Right rewriter history to pretend they never filibustered.

I joined the BBA a couple of days ago, although I have yet to make my post.

Posted by: Anne at June 1, 2005 08:18 AM