Monday, January 16, 2006

Cheney for President in 2006?
Why "Impeach Bush" is Just Plain Silly

You know, I've noticed a lot of those "Impeach Bush" banners popping up on blogs, bumperstickers, and backpacks lately.

Every time I see one of these things, I laugh. Who came up with this brilliant strategy?

I imagine these well-meaning advocates on the Left, caught up in the heat of the moment, have simply forgotten some of the events of the last decade.

Do you know why I laugh when I see "Impeach Bush" emblazoned across a car or web site? It's because I see the ghosts of Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde.

This month marks the seventh anniversary of the start the Senate impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton, one of perhaps the most embarrassing displays of political skullduggery in American history.

I find it ironic that so many of, presumably, Clinton's then-supporters are now choosing to utilize the same rhetoric employed by the NeoCons back in the 1990s. Rather than tackle an administration's policies head on and formulate any meaningful policy, some elements of the GOP resorted to calling the President's wife names, cooking up some vague Contract With America, and, well, turning swampland and a blowjob into a media circus.

That kind of supreme failure forced the GOP bosses to reorganize, turn to its Karl Roves and Tom DeLays, and to pretty much abandon the notion of leadership in favor of slick marketing tricks.

Sure, there is a need for investigations by Congress into the conduct and actions of the President. That is one job that is the responsibility of that body - be it investigating things such as domestic spying or investigating other abuses of power.

But how could so many people forget how this whole impeachment business works, anyway? First, say, somehow, there is enough evidence for the House bring charges against Republican George W. Bush. Say, then, there are enough votes in that Republican-controlled body for a charge of impeachment to pass.

Nope. Bush isn't gone yet. The Constitution calls for a trial, which occurs in the Senate. Call me crazy, but I believe the Senate is controlled by, yep, you guessed it, the Republican Party. For a conviction, 67 votes are required. That would require a yea vote from all 44 Democrats, one independent, and from a minimum of 22 Republicans.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Say, then, George Walker Bush is removed from office.

I'm sure many of those folks out there screaming for yet another impeachment will all be celebrating, then, when Republican Dick Cheney becomes the President of the United States of America.

Say both Cheney and Bush run the same gambit and are both removed. Tune your pipes, because now it's time to sing "Hail to the Chief" for Republican President Dennis Hastert (the Speaker of the House is the No. 3 in line for the White House.)

Say the job goes to the No. 4 guy. The Senate's President pro tempore, that cute-and-cuddly Alaskan, Sen. Ted Stevens. You remember that guy, don't you? The guy who essentially fleeced the American people out of billions to build a road to nowhere in his home state?

I may disagree with the president's policies. I find the idea of domestic spying atrocious and the burden of evidence supporting its supposed need falls squarely on Bush's shoulders. I may not think he's the best man for the job, downright ignorant.

But I remember the fiasco that was the Clinton Impeachment, the worldwide joke initiated by the Radical Right and payed for by the American taxpayer. If you can honestly say that you believe Bush should be removed through the Constitutional mechanism, then you need to think about the ramifications of such advocacy.

I'm not going to play the "Impeach Bush" game, because, well, it's just plain stupid. That rhetoric is simply comfort food for the pundits, a fundraising tool for PACs, and perhaps the surest means by which the the political opposition can shoot itself in the foot.

America - the world, for that matter - is screaming for real solutions out of Washington, not a liberal version of the same old neoconservative insanity. Want to really strip the Bush Administration of its power? Then demand that the Democratic leadership develop policies that work for rebuilding the Gulf, domestic spending, campaign finance reform, and bringing troops home from Iraq.

Impeach Bush? Why the hell would anybody want to cast a mob-rule vote for Cheney presidency in 2006 anyway?

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Lupe said...

I've been thinking similar thoughts lately. I wish the Dems would quit bitching and come up with some kind of plan. I don't think people give a shit anymore about why we should like get out of Iraq. I think everybody's waiting for somebody to have the balls to say how we're going to do it.

Damn, how'd you go from passion back to politics?

Anonymous said...

Dude, who's side are you on anywa? You're either liberal or conservative. You can't be both. this coming from the same guy who called the plame leak treason is infuriating!

The ZenFo Pro said...

How to go from passion to politics in under 48 hours...I actually wrote this post a few months ago. I've been a bit too ill the last few days to write anything meaningful (stupid sinus infection/cold thing). Decided to post it after watching some West Wing episodes while bedridden.

I'd like to think I'm on neither side. I consider myself a progressive because I support, well, progress. I don't believe we need to be worrying about moving right or left; I'd rather move forward. Yes, I feel the Plame leak was treason; however, we do not try whole administrations for the possible high crimes and misdemeanors of individuals. Which is my problem with the call for a Bush impeachment.

Impeaching Bush is a meaningless and futile call to action; it would, in the end, probably do more harm than good if it is based purely on political or personal dislike of one single guy. Impeachment is not some tool to remove whole administrations - it only charges and tries individuals. We have a checks and balances system for a reason - sometimes it goes the way we want, sometimes it doesn't, but its always there to protect us, in the end, from our own tendency to destroy ourselves for the sake of proving that our opinions are right. If justice is to be served, it needs to be served in accordance with the laws of the land.

Think I'm the only one who thinks impeachment is bigger than political loyalties? During the Clinton trial, a handful of Republican senators broke rank with the party witchhunt. If they hadn't, Al Gore would've become president in 1999.

kendra said...

the "us" vs. "them" dichotomy of american politics has been so infuriating to me lately. the dems do sound an awful lot like the republicans of the 90s, though i doubt they'd ever admit it. the level of discourse coming from the liberal establishment lately has been so over the top, that they seem to miss the fact that they could easily make a change if they had a plan (other than name calling).

of course if you don't buy into this rhetoric, as anon points out, you're no better in their eyes than "king george". here's to free thinking.

zydeco fish said...

I agree you with 100% on this and for being on neither side. I hate it when politics is adversarial for no reason.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

I’m sure you’re aware I’m going to disagree with you on this one. Haven’t you seen my Impeach Bush Banner?
Yea I made it myself. ;)

I thought long and hard about putting it at my site and listing my site prior to actually joining. Contrary to what you might think I do believe some people actually do that. You are not the only person around who bases their action on some type of research. Although I do agree with you in that some people are just caught up in the heat of the moment I think, more often than, not that is not the case. Frankly if you have noticed the sticker and the Impeach Bush thing started a long time ago and it is now just gaining momentum which to me, at least in some ways, clearly indicates that many were on hold while doing their own investigations and deciding where they really stand on this subject.

To call people “ Well meaning advocates of the Left” is simply ignorant on your part and a gross generalization.
Some may be but most are not.

There is really no comparison to the blow job debacle that occurred in the nineties. The fact is to be afraid to cause another debacle no matter how fruitless it might indeed be, where a debacle is surely needed would be a worse crime.

“Sure, there is a need for investigations by Congress into the conduct and actions of the President. That is one job that is the responsibility of that body - be it investigating things such as domestic spying or investigating other abuses of power.”

The sheer cavalier attitude of this statement makes if clear to me that you , like so many others in this country, are still in a mode of let’s not shake it up let’s wait until all of our civil liberties are taken away and let’s just let the old lies past and hope we can make new laws to prevent us going into another war based on lies. Start with Downing Street and end with wire taps...I'm sure that at some point we have to stop and think about what is really going on here.

It’s the inability of people to actually decide where they stand on issues that I see as larger problem.

There are some very clear laws and if they don’t matter then what’s it all for anyway?

Here are some exaples of the law which I stole from A Thosand Reasons

EsotericWombat said...

dammit Alice, you stole my counter-arguement. Though I think I have something to add

We need to send a message that, to quote Bush the Elder, "This agression will not stand." The matter needs to be brought into the public eye, so that perhaps those who voted for Shrub will learn from their mistakes

The ZenFo Pro said...

It is infuriating, indeed, but what should anybody expect? The Dems know they're hurting for any solid ground to stand on anymore - the pundits simply point fingers and say "look, Bush did something bad" anytime somebody asks what kind of plan they're willing to present. Sadly, I think procrastination is just a political ploy, stalling until the midterm elections. The Democratic Party has been on the defensive since 2004; the only time they seem to be able to gain ground is when the ruling party fucks up.

You know, one of the things I started to realize last year was the fact that I was falling into the trap of "good guys v. bad guys." Nobody has to pick a side other than their own conscience.

Lol, Chica...I figured you'd disagree with me. I realized, after posting, that I link to several people that have said banners on their sites. To you, Pia, and anybody else who may have taken the post personally, I apologize.

I won't, however, apologize for my position on this issue. Charges against Bush, or any president for that matter, should be investigated to their fullest extent. They should be discussed freely and part of the public discourse. Your opinion is yours, and I can respect your position.

But, well, like I said, I'm sticking by mine on this. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the calls to impeach Bush from many, since 2000 in some cases, will end up costing the Left more than it will actually accomplish.

What is really going on here? Who knows? I can predict, however, and you can hold me to this...Bush will never be brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate to face impeachment charges. But if its ever proven - by the rule of law, not by public opinion or special interest groups - that he has committed an impeachable offense, then he deserves, at least, to be removed from office. Won't happen, but he would at least deserve it.

The Left gets no free pass for the failures of the Right, and vice-versa.

I think you just proved one of my points. Rather than saying "I think Bush should be impeached, and once he is gone I expect the new Cheney government to..." You're right, there is a lot of evidence to damn the Bush administration, but what's the plan beyond that? The party in charge won't change, and Cheney's more of a hardliner than Bush is. Impeaching Bush solves nothing. Adopting policies and coalition building, however, could force him to back off some of the hardliner rhetoric.

As always, I appreciate your comments. No hard feelings. Like I said, I respect your opinions on the subject and I know you respect my rights to have mine, else you wouldn't have taken the time it must've taken to write that comment.

I'll just agree to disagree with you on this. Again, no personal offense was meant.

The ZenFo Pro said...

I agree. The truth does to be exposed. But where do we go from there? It's statistically impossible, given the current political climate, to get an impeachment. As for what those who voted for the Shrub will learn, well, that has yet to be seen. The danger for the right is that they will learn to see past the smoke-and-mirrors of Karl Rove and vote ot a handful of the president's hardline supporters in the midterms this year. The danger for the Left? They'll learn to hate the Left more for making them feel stupid, working twice as hard to defeat the Left. That's the danger of the Left adopting the rhetoric employed by the Right in the 1990s - instead of building something better to defeat the ruling party, the opposition is going nuclear over the majority's failures and running the risk of losing what it's already built in the process.

The rhetoric used by the GOP in the 1990s and emerging here and now is that of "If you can't lead a horse with a stick, try beating him over the head with a carrot until you get what you want." And that's much more dangerous than anything Bush could do as one person.

Nice quote, BTW. You know, it's discussions like these, even where it's clear there are so many different opinions on the subject, that the only way to end this Culture Wars bullshit is to listen to as many different opinions as possible.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

I expect no free pass for the left or the right the proverbial buck has to stop somewhere at some time. Now seems as good a time as any.

The problem as I see it on both side is that it has to stop being a mere contest of rhetorical musings and some form of action needs to ensue. I'm all for a debacle because I'm afraid we already are a debacle. I want bush impeached and I expect fully if that were to happen the governemnt post bush would scamble, as they are scrambling now, and take a good look at the fact that maybe they are not pulling the wool over so many eyes because it will be a clue that maybe the cloud of apathy is lifting.


shayna said...

Well who came up with the brilliant bumper stickers that people STILL have on their cars "W2004" or "Bush/Cheney 2004" or "BUSH 2004". Everytime I see one of these I think to myself... "There goes another idiot"!

It's been awhile since I have stopped by... sorry, I know, I am a bad blogger. I like the new digs! ;)

EsotericWombat said...

Oh I know that impeachment would be fantastically unlikely, but it needs to be pushed for just for the sake of exposure. Everything must be done to, as Jefferson said, "put forth the common sense of the subject in terms so plain as to command their assent." If that means doing battle with a windmill just so that people can see the struggle, then so be it.

I swear, I'm done quoting ex presidents in this thread.

The Subversive Librarian said...

I'm ambivalent about it. I think Bush should be impeached, and I think he just might be. But with a Republican-controlled congress and a one-party system that's more about politics than about the good of the country, I doubt if much good will come of it.

That's what's so frustrating about the whole thing: in the past, the system has been in place and a lot of the time it has worked. Now, the system isn't working. Can't work, it seems. That raises frustration levels, and increases the calls for impeachment. Which is well-deserved, in my opinion.

The checks-and-balances system isn't working the way it should. I always thought it would, in the end. The thought that it might not is very scary.

Deb S. said...

God bless you for this! I, too, have had people comment on my blog that we should impeach Bush. When I tell them that successfully impeaching Bush means that we'd get Cheney, they get indignant!

For these people, they need to remember an old adage: Be careful what you wish for. Being the polite person that I am, I don't tell my readers they could use a refresher course in history and the U.S. Constitution. :-)

The ZenFo Pro said...

I think we do need a good, healthy debacle to resolve the problems within the Bush administration, but my main concern with going after Bush might in the end make things worse. All animals tend to get more dangerous when wounded. I've noticed a trend in how the White House currently runs things - much like the Clinton cabinet, the Bush cabinet gets free reign. But that free reign, obviously, has been abused over the years. Like Clinton and Reagan's tenure in office, there are way too many yes-men and way too many political strategists and not enough, well, statesmen. Nixon was brought down by, in the end, by the few Republicans in his own cabinet (the attorney general) more than Deep Throat. Most were yes-men who thought Nixon was their shield if they screwed up.

My way of thinking is this - pushing for the firing of guys like Rove and Rumsfeld would have more popular support. The guys with the president's ear are probably the most vulnerable points. After all, it's Don Rumsfeld in charge at Defense. He's the one who clearly has the most say in the cabinet; the president simply backs his man. Cheney, too. The man has as many enemies of the right as he has on the left, because of his running of the First Gulf War.

Striking blows against a political machine is much more effective when it works more like boxing, with blows landed with surgical precision being more productive than body shots.

Lol, quoting dead presidents is fine by me. But why charge a windmill when you could just walk in and pull the plug? That's the reasoning behind planning; the opposition in Congress is not offering any alternatives, just pointing fingers at the Right for what its doing wrong instead of figuring out what it would do differently.

Lol...don't worry about the being a bad blogger. The one thing about a break for the holidays is it means January is a month of catching up in the real world ;)

Your reaction to the "Bush/Cheney" bumperstickers is the same as what I've noticed amongst conservatives that see a Kerry/Edwards sticker. I tend to have the same reaction to any bumpersticker anymore. Whoever came up with the idea that bumperstickers are the best way to communicate ideologies is a complete idiot and obviously has never spent any meaningful time stuck in traffic.

The ZenFo Pro said...

You know, the problem with impeachmentis that it has never been redesigned to reflect the changes in how we now vote for a party ticket for president and VP. The way the president/vice president executive branch was originally set up, the second-place finisher in the election got the vice-president's seat. That was changed because of the bickering and backstabbing that went on between the two execs, notably Adams and Jefferson, who's friendship ended because of those differences. Since we adopted the current party-ticket voting system, we've essentially handed the White House to one ideology and given that one particular ideology complete executive powers. There is no constitutional representation of opposing views being represented in the executive branch anymore.

I started thinking about that when I heard several lawmakers advocate for putting majority leaders in the House and Senate into the order of presidential succession to prevent a party change in the event that Washington were destroyed. That, thankfully, died off.

Maybe the big picture question we need to ask, above politics, is would we rather keep giving parties complete control over the xecutive or would we rather work towards resplitting the party tickets and formally writing a role for the Veep into the Constitution, say as head of the cabinet as well as president of the Senate? I wonder what would've happened if Gore had ended up Veep at the end of the 2000 fiasco? It would never pass in the near future, because both parties would oppose giving up the kind of power they've been given.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, it wouldn't make a difference either way, whether an impeachment took place or not.

Near as we can tell up here, Cheney appears to be running the country anyway, in command minus the title, with GWB a nice figurehead to use as a scapegoat when necessary. It's a good setup that Everyone's Favorite Dick has going on. GWB gets impeached, Dick gets the title, still gets to keep on doing what he's been doing. That suave little bastard. ;-)

Later J

The ZenFo Pro said...

Hey, no problem. Yeah, I probably could've bee more polite, but I wrote the post a while ago, ironically, after talking with a local moderate conservative who felt, even though the despised Bush, they probably would never vote for a Democratic candidate, simply because of that kind of rhetoric. They were also under the impression that they were unwelcome because though they believed in a woman's right to choose they were personally Pro-Life and had been ridiculed because of it. Both of her problems caused me to stop and reflect on blind partisan allegiences. The Democratic Party is fragmented and polarized simultaneously, as is the Republican Party. In terms of creating a sense of national identity, that's a dangerous combination. We're not just witnessing a narrowing middle class economically; politically, we're losing the ability to appreciate the voices of the middle ground voter.

I've been reading a lot of Am. history and Constitutional law lately, brushing up.

That's my main point. Why take the puppet away from the puppet masters and give the masters real power. Plus, Cheney would have free reign to appoint a Veep that would garauntee a hardliner cabinet. The hardliners and warhawks are the ones to watch out for.
Speaking of politics, yeah, you guy have your own leadership the recent photoshopping,homes.