by Dave Lindorff
Impeachment has finally made it into the mainstream press, but it’s taken a cartoonist to do it.
Gary Trudeau, over the past few days, has been running talk of impeachment in his “Doonesbury” comic strip.
Soon impeachment may reach the news pages, with word that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is planning to introduce a bill of impeachment in the House against Vice President Dick Cheney. (Of course, it wouldn’t be surprising if the mainstream media ignored that action, just as they’ve studiously ignored Kucinich’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.).
There does, in these two moves, and in the ongoing campaign for impeachment resolutions in state houses and town halls across the country, seem to be a growing groundswell for impeachment. So far, aside from Kucinich, there is little evidence of this in Congress, where the word “impeachment” has the same effect upon Democratic Party leaders as a crucifix on a vampire.
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The Bush administration seems hell-bent on testing Congress’s limits:
* The federal prosecutor firings, which would probably have disappeared as an issue by now had the administration simply dumped Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez a month ago, is mushrooming into a giant political scandal, replete with suspiciously deleted emails, lies, an admission of guilt by a Gonzales aide who has said she would “take the Fifth” if ordered to testify, and evidence that other prosecutors may have engaged in politically-motivated prosecutions in order to keep their jobs. This could easily turn into an impeachment bill against the president.
* The president’s continued instransigence regarding continued funding for his splendid little war in Iraq is infuriating the American public, which in turn is pressuring a reluctant Congress to take an increasingly hard line on setting a deadline for withdrawal. Again, as Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has opined, at some point Bush’s refusal to acknowledge that Americans have given up on the Iraq War and just want the troops home, could lead to impeachment as a remedy.
* The president is seeking a rewriting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to grant him a freer hand in spying on domestic phone and internet use without the need to obtain a court order—all at a time that the public is growing increasingly uneasy about the erosion of civil liberties protections since 2001. Here’s an issue that unites left and right and that could lead to impeachment, particularly as a federal judge has already declared the president to be a felon for repeatedly violating FISA.
There is certainly no shortage of reasons to impeach this president. All that is lacking is member of the House with enough sense of duty (members of Congress are all sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic) to submit a bill. Then the members of the House will have to stand and be counted on the crucial issue of whether they stand for the rule of law and the survival of the Constitution, or are just hack politicians trying to ride through the next election.
With cartoonists and Dennis Kucinich leading the way, we may yet get to see that challenge laid down.
We may yet see this president impeached.
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