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?
George W. Bush, Impeachment, Bill Clinton, Jingoism, history, politics, United States, Democrats, Republicans
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