I want to thank my friend Harry Lime, who has a penchant for finding marvelous Internet information. Harry has been sending me some great items on two current topics of interest: impeachment, and Bush as a war criminal. Today, I would like to discuss the impeachment issue. Thanks Harry!
Most of us Democrats know that Bush will not be impeached. He deserves it! But the leaders in our party are still afraid of so many things--they would never try something this bold. They will wring their collective hands and talk about "reaching across the aisle" to work with the Republicans. They wouldn't want to make anyone mad. Besides, when the Republicans were in power, they were always 'reaching across the aisles" to work with Democrats.....right? Oh well, at least allow me the satisfaction of examining impeachment in the abstract.
Elizabeth Holtzman makes a strong argument for impeachment in a recent issue of The Nation. If you remember, Congresswomen Holtzman (D-NY) played a key role in the House impeachment proceedings against President Nixon. She run unsuccessfully for the U.S. senate in 1980. And had it not been for a pathetic third-party effort by Jacob Javits, Ms. Holtzman would probably have defeated Alfonse D'Amato--thus sparing us eighteen years of his clown-like antics.
In her lengthy essay, Holtzman (pictured at right) first lists some of the charges against Bush: his "scorn for our international treaty obligations," the torture scandals, and the obvious lies leading to the Iraq War. The Iraq lies and the subsequent chaos brought about by those policies seem to be enough to impeach. But according to Holtzman, there is more, writing that:
"But it wasn't until the most recent revelations that President Bush directed the wiretapping of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Americans, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)--and argued that, as Commander in Chief, he had the right in the interest of national security to override our country's laws--that I felt the same sinking feeling in my stomach as I did during Watergate."
President Bush blatantly violated the law--a felony in this particular case. Does the "average American citizen" understand this--does he/she care? I sure hope so. When President Nixon did these same things, he also used national security as a justification. But it was clear then that Nixon was only after his domestic political opponents--those Dirty Hippies who were against his war. Those illegal wiretaps, however, did become part of the articles of impeachment against Nixon.
The Bush thugs and bullies have used a variety of illegal methods to hold on to their illegitimate power and conduct their activities. Holtzman offers us all a much-needed civics lesson:
"Ours is a government of limited power. We learn in elementary school the concept of checks and balances. Those checks do not vanish in wartime; the President's role as Commander in Chief does not swallow up Congress's powers or the Bill of Rights. ... As Justice Sandra Day O'Connor recently wrote, 'A state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens.'"
As I mentioned, I am not expecting this to happen. But we can still act! There are many groups now organized in support of impeachment--go to their web sites and read what they have to say. In addition, we can contact our elected representatives and demand that they at least investigate these abuses of power by the Bush criminals. We can be angry about what has taken place. In fact, we should all write to the White House and just tell the evil bastard to quit. You think he would do it if enough of us wrote? Holtzman ends her essay with this,
"President Bush has thrown down the gauntlet and virtually dared Congress to stop him from violating the law, nothing less is necessary to protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy."
The following links can get you started:
Impeach For Peace
Impeach Bush Coalition
After Downing Street