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Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Case For Impeachment

Logan Murphy at Crooks and Liars is hosting this clip from Bill Moyers' Roundtable, and it is worth a look.

Much is made of the fact that the Bush/Cheney administration is coming to an end anyway, so impeachment would be superfluous at best, disruptive at the worst. This is missing the point, according to John Nichols and Bruce Fein (and I agree.) Impeachment is more about setting parameters on the power of the Presidency, about strengthening the checks and balances intended by the framers, about restoring the rule of the people without the crudities of armed rebellion.

As Nichols points out, Nixon's unconditional pardon, devoid of any repentance, never "closed the circle" on his abuses of the Executive. It left a space for certain people in the circles of power to continue with their distorted view of what is exploitable in how the Constitution parcels out power. It is starkly illustrated in the clip above, where Nixon, three years after his ignoble resignation, has the temerity to utter these cluelessly un-American words, "Well, when the President does it, that means it is not illegal."

It is no coincidence that this White House is staffed with Nixonites, particularly Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld's personal assistant in the Nixon White House, who never got over the leak of the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.

I have been banging the drum for an impeachment of Cheney first, as nothing seems so stupidly terrifying to me as the prospect of Big Dick being Commander-In-Chief even for a dangerously brief nanosecond. Then we can go after Bush, right? Well, the flaw in this (and I wish I could remember who alerted me to this - perhaps in an update) is that Cheney could raise a credible defense in asserting that he was just following the directives of his President. Now we know that is utter bullshit, but it is legally credible (funny how often that happens.) So, the best and only appropriate action is to impeach the both of them simultaneously.

This is not vindictive extremism, this is the sober application of a mechanism supplied by the Founders to facilitate a properly-checked government, without the pitchforks and torches.

Update: Poll: Bush Approval Hits New Low, Ties Nixon During Watergate

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