Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Having A President This Stupid May Have Finally Paid Off

By not only admitting to, but also downright bragging about giving his authorization to spy on American citizens, President Bush may have started the ball rolling on impeachment. It was only a matter of time before he stuck his oversized cowboy boot into his petulant little mouth. It seems he not only thinks he’s King, but he believes himself a King without enemies. If ever there were doubts about his sanity, they should now be firmly tucked in, kissed goodnight and laid to bed.

The outrage that followed the New York Times article describing the NSA engaging in domestic spying, one of the few crimes against Americans left uncommitted until now, is nothing compared to the disbelief of watching the President acknowledge this not as a breach of the public trust, but as a power he believes himself to possess. Either we are about to see the end of Bush or we are about to witness the mask coming off of this so-called democracy.

Senator Barbara Boxer is following the lead of her counterpart in the House, Rep. John Conyers, in seeking clarification from scholars on whether or not President Bush has committed impeachable offenses. On the face of it, it seems like a “slam dunk” case, but at least a proud few of our representatives are attempting to get their legal ducks in a row. John Conyers has released a scathing report on the Bush administration’s conduct in both the lead up and execution of the war in Iraq. He has called for the censure of both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, but more importantly, he has called for a select committee with subpoena power. Senator Boxer has asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on comments made by former Nixon White House Council, John Dean that this President is the first to admit to an impeachable offence. If anyone knows what an impeachable offence looks like, it’s John Dean. Let’s hope that the scholars agree.

Over the last five years, we have witnessed so many egregious transgressions upon our freedoms and countless examples of dangerous usurpations of Presidential powers not granted by the Constitution, but none have sparked the kind of outrage that we are currently seeing from members of Congress. The Democrats have been sufficiently neutered and Congressional Republicans have gladly handed over their oversight authority to this administration, but with their butts on the line in the upcoming elections, they may finally have had enough. Let us not have any illusions that this long overdue break with the administration has been inspired by their sense of duty to the American people or by their respect for our sacred documents, this is about political survival and nothing more. Just like with Watergate, it will take Republicans to throw out this dirty regime and it will be Republicans who get most of the credit as well.

But even with all of the hullabaloo about censure, impeachment and crimes of the Bush administration, most of us do not really hold out much hope that anything will come of it and recent history has shown that we are right to be skeptical. So far, most of the coverage of these developments has been confined to the lefty blogisphere, what with a seaplane crash off the coast of Florida and the transit workers on strike in NYC, the MSM is far too busy to cover a story of such low priority as the President breaking the law. And even if by some stroke of luck, the entire Republican leadership in the House was to be indicted for taking bribes from Jack Abramoff and Senate Republicans were found to be guilty of facilitating NSA spying on Americans, there really wouldn’t be a political price to be paid. Our congressional districts have been fixed to ensure perpetual Republican rule and if that firewall fails, there’s always the electronic voting machines to fix the breach.

It’s hard not to be cynical and waiting for a few members of the GOP with integrity to do their job and investigate whether or not crimes have been committed, feels like a colossal waste of time. Our only hope is that at some point, a small contingent of Republicans in Congress will unintentionally have their best interests fall in line with ours. I don’t know what they could possibly gain by turning against the Republican power machine, but there are some rumblings that indicate there is something we don’t know. An attack of conscience is unlikely, but perhaps some of them are not getting the perks they were promised. Perhaps it is as simple as having their egos battered beyond recognition and dreading the upcoming elections where they will have to stand up and fight for a job that wields them little power other than the scraps the Bush administration occasionally tosses in their direction. Not all of them got into politics to be lapdogs, and those few who are bristling now, may be our best chance for a course correction and a corrupt administration tossed out on its ear.


Anonymous Jonathan said...

Doesn’t it seem a bit curious that the Bush administration and the republicans in Congress have been so bold, aggressive, and audacious these last five years? They act almost as if they have little to fear in terms of being punished by the voters for their actions. Is it possible that they are convinced that their base will carry them through the next election cycle regardless of how the balance of the electorate views their actions? That seems like a particularly precarious position to take when one considers that only 1/3 of the electorate identifies themselves as republicans. Or do they know something about the electoral process that we don’t?

I am confident that Bush both broke the law and violated the Constitution when he authorized the NSA spying that was done on US citizens. And I am equally as confident that a large majority of the country will see it that way as well. If the last two statements are true than one would suppose that even the republicans in Congress would feel it necessary to investigate the NSA spying scandal. The House members in particular are all up for reelection every two years. However, if the republican representatives have a reason to believe that they have an edge in the electoral process than that may change the political calculus.

Let’s presume that the political climate is such that they are forced to genuinely investigate the NSA spy scandal and they come to the conclusion that Bush must be impeached. What would we have then? We’d have Dick Cheney for President. If both Bush and Cheney were impeached simultaneously (is that even possible?) what would we have? We’d have Dennis Hastert as President. Either one of these guys could run again in 2008. Though it seems unlikely that they could even win the primary, much less the general election. Any way you slice it or dice it it comes up looking pretty unappealing.

7:36 PM  
Blogger veggiedude said...

All you have to do is complain to your district DA, and tell him to file felony charges against Bush, citing his confession of it, and the DA will have no choice but to file the charges. If everyone does this, it is far more effective than trying for Impeachment...

8:02 PM  
Anonymous diane said...

the american people have a right to let their voices be heard.
If enough people start agitating for impeachment then the republicans will have to go along.the 2006 is coming soon.
I say that we get rid of Cheney and Bush together. they have ruined this country together and should be held accountable.

5:47 AM  

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