Monday, May 01, 2006

Where Do We Go From Here?

Let’s assume that the scandals in DC really heat up this summer, Rove gets indicted, half a dozen other Republican Congressmen get pulled into the prostitution scandal now simmering, several other indictments come down around the Abramoff mess and the President’s poll numbers continue to drop, pulling Congress’s numbers down with him. This is looking like a plausible scenario and could even result in the Democrats taking control of both the House and the Senate. But then what?

If the Democrats do take over, hopefully we’ll get some real investigations going in Congress, an investigation into pre-war intelligence that was manipulated by the White House in order to justify a baseless war, an investigation into the secret NSA surveillance authorized by the President, an investigation into Cheney’s secret energy meetings and a real investigation into Republican pay to play governing in general. Although the Democrats would have subpoena power if they win the majority in November, that certainly doesn’t translate into the White House giving up the incriminating evidence necessary to hold them accountable for their wrongdoing. It’s not as if the Bush administration has any respect at all for the oversight authority of Congress and that won’t change with Democrats in control, in fact it will likely cause the White House to dig its heels in further.

There is a sense among Democrats that impeachment is not politically viable, that it will be seen by the public as payback for the Clinton impeachment. So what? It’s not, and that should be enough, fear of being labeled vengeful is not justification for abdicating their responsibility to the public and willfully ignoring their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. If these investigations are not conducted in the most public of ways, they won’t amount to anything.

Impeachment proceedings would be in the news every single night, forcing the American public to learn and understand the severity of the crimes committed and the extent of the overreaching by this administration. The lengths to which the Bush administration has gone in attempting to consolidate their power is a scary thing for those of us who have been paying attention, but for those who have not, it’s still just background noise. Impeachment would crank up the volume, making it virtually impossible to ignore.

Sure, impeachment will slow down the working of government, and now, more than ever, we need our representatives in DC to be working together to solve some very pressing problems, global warming, renewable energy, immigration, healthcare, education and jobs. But with Bush still sitting in the Oval Office, there won’t be any workable solutions to these problems anyway. He is an albatross around America’s neck and until we cut him loose, we will continue to sink as a nation.

We can’t afford to stick our heads in the sand and wait out the next two years. The long-term health of our country is riding on what we do next. The end of the Bush era is something most of us are now dreaming of, but this is not a nightmare that we can just wake up from, shake off and pretend never happened. If we do, it will happen again, and next time it will be worse because the next tyrant will have precedence to use as justification.

There has to be a price paid by this President, and that price is impeachment, low poll numbers and a halting of his agenda are not enough. We have a responsibility to our country and to our history. If we allow this administration’s failures and crimes to go unpunished, we will be sorry. Profoundly, irrevocably, and for a very long time.


Anonymous Geocheese1 said...

I think you hit the nail right on the head...the MOST important thing if the Democrats take control of the House is to hold these criminals accountable. I'm a Veitnam era vet and a lot older than you and have seen a lot of corruption, but these clowns put Nixon to shame. This administration has committed some of the most shameful and horrible crimes imaginable and they must pay. First and foremost, the Democrats must gain control of the House and then have the guts to follow through. Unfortunately, I'm not holding out a lot of hope. Please, Democrats, prove me wrong and give us back our country.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Did you see Bill Kristol on TDS? He says tat the best thing that can happen for repugs in '08 is for the Dems to take the House in '06. I think he's wrong. There are a solid number of immovables on both sides, but that middle of the road group MUST go against the repubs once they understand the depths of corruption that is the current cadre of repubs.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous jonathan said...

How much effect will the electronic voting have on our chances of attaining majority status in either house? And what effect will the other ways the republicans have mastered of disenfranchisement of the voter have?

We patriots are facing what I think is a perfect storm while we struggle to have democracy regain a foothold in this nation. The combination of a subservient press, a voting process that clearly is able to be manipulated, a judiciary that has been sprinkled with hard right wing ideologues, and an apathetic, incurious, ill informed populous who would prefer to watch American Idol or Survivor over in depth insightful news coverage will spell the end of our republic. Couple that with an administration which has broken so many laws and international treaties that they simply can not afford to lose and it spells nearly certain doom for our democracy. Look for something very dramatic to happen in this nation sometime before the 2008 elections. Maybe even before the 2006 elections. These people have no souls – they will stop at nothing to retain power.

6:21 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Geocheese1--I think that if the Democrats fail again (an all too likely scenario) it will fall to us. We the people will have to do what we're begging our representatives to do. It will be our only option.

Yellow Dog--No I didn't see it, but I listen to everything Bill Kristol says and then assume the opposite it true. It works really well.

Jonathan--I think you're right, they simply have too much to lose if the truth comes out and ultimately, they will do anything (ANYTHING) to make sure that doesn't happen. If there was motivation to steal an election in 2004, there is infinitely more to do so in 2006 (and 2008, and...). If it plays out that way, I only hope that people will finally turn off the tv and do something about it. Get your orange shirts ready!

7:09 PM  

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