Kucinich's Cheney Impeachment Bill Sent to Judiciary Committee

Can we please look forward instead of back? I don't want to waste time trying to impeach Dick Cheney or George Bush.

Let's spend our energy trying to get a better President and Vice President in 2008.

Both parties in Congress today played games with Dennis Kucinich's impeachment bill. It now goes to the Judiciary Committee where I bet it never sees the light of day or debate. KagroX at Daily Kos explains what happened.

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette has just released this statement (no link, received by e-mail):
“Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s resolution raises important questions that require more than just 60 minutes of discussion on the House floor. That is why I voted to refer his resolution to the Judiciary Committee for the Committee to consider the measure through the regular process.”

I know many readers will disagree, but let's be practical. The time to impeach, if there was one, was after we learned Bush and Cheney lied about getting us into war in Iraq. It's too late now and counterproductive.

< Bush Less Popular Than Richard Nixon | Feinstein and Lieberman: Two Peas in a Pod >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Completely Disagree - ANYTHING less than (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by seabos84 on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 06:16:39 PM EST
    hardball all the time on all fronts is total despicable failure at fighting the fascists.

    these scum are NOT disagreeing about what % of GDP goes to defense vs. health vs. education vs. roads



    they want US  --- ALL OF US -- living like all the peeee-ons of India, or Mexico, or Brazil, Or Nigeria

    the affluent sell outs of congress with a -D after their names can delude themselves that they're playing strategery -- they obviously can't add and subtract,

    cuz if they could, or if they had to, they'd see that the fascists want to subtract those sell outs from the ranks of the affluent and add the sell outs to the ranks of the peeee-ons.

    politics is about NOT who writes the better tome gets to the better prep school, better college, better grad program, better paper pushing policy position.

    try Machiavelli or Richard III or 1984 if you need to understand this crowd.


    this is looking forward (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by musicsleuth on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 06:59:00 PM EST
    We didn't do enough with Iran-Contra when we had the chance -- which got these crooks back with security clearances under Bush the Lesser. They learned from their mistakes and got back in to lie to Congress, bury the graft in supplemental budget appropriations and continue to hide the facts for 'security reasons'.

    Progress is already ground to a halt. I believe there will be no forward motion on important issues until we deal directly with this abuse of power -- even if it requires dragging the leadership kicking and screaming.

    Jeralyn, There are more than 3500 soldiers (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jazzcattg1 on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 06:59:49 PM EST
    and countless number of Iraqi's dead directly related to Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld lies and you are asking us to get over it?

    not at all (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 07:17:22 PM EST
    I'm suggesting we concentrate on winning in 08 so we can get the troops out once and for all.  

    I'd like to respectfully challenge your assertions (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by ctrenta on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:21:25 PM EST
    Jeralyn writes:

    I 'm suggesting we concentrate on winning in 08 so we can get the troops out once and for all
    If that's the case, then more lives will be lost in the meantime.

    I disagree that conducting investigations into impeachment is looking back. Hardly. It's precisely about the future: preventing future leaders from getting away with similar abuses of power.

    A common thing I hear is we don't have the votes. I think today's vote to kill Kucinich's resolution goes to show that anything's possible! But I digress.

    Investigations into impeachment may be the most effective way of ending the occupation in Iraq. Here's why:

    The president and vice president have made clear that they will not end the war while in office and will disregard anything Congress does to end the war. Congress has made clear that it will not attempt anytime soon to use the power of the purse to end the war. When Congress moved toward the impeachment of Richard Nixon, it developed the nerve to end the Vietnam War; and it was the pressure of the looming impeachment that led Nixon to back off on continuing the war.

    In the case of Bush and Cheney, the benefits to the antiwar movement of an impeachment movement are likely to be greater because the impeachment will be about the war and about crimes that the administration has attempted to justify in the name of the war. Investigations of these crimes by Congress have arrived at an impasse. The administration is refusing to comply with subpoenas and refusing to answer questions when testifying under oath. The current Supreme Court provides no way out of this threat to our constitutional republic.

    Impeachment is the only tool we have left and that is why I believe that impeachment has the potential of not only ending this war but also of reversing the militarism and imperialism that are driving our nation ever more rapidly into additional wars.

    I guess the only other thing I have to say is, how & why is this an invalid argument? I'm curious. Not to be a schmuck or anything but to engage in a serious discussion.


    And how will Dennis' little game (none / 0) (#22)
    by beefeater on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:08:42 PM EST
    End a war as you seem to assert? Would the new VP just pull out the troops, because there would be a new VP ya know.

    They have the power to do that now. (4.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 07:51:03 PM EST
    What will change after November 2008?

    If they win.

    The overall landscape tilts in the direction of the Democrats, but there is evidence in the new poll -- matched in conversations with political strategists in both parties and follow-up interviews with survey participants -- that the coming battle for the White House is shaping up to be another hard-fought, highly negative and closely decided contest.

    Democratic Party will not end the war (3.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Andreas on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:41:43 PM EST
    The Democratic Party has supported the criminal war in the past and present and it will do so in 2008.

    I just don't understand this mentality (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Jeff in Texas on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:36:58 PM EST
    Looking back???  There is STILL a war going on, our Constitutional liberties are being destroyed every single day, and there is another illegal war in the offing.  This is NOW and the very near future.  Looking back isn't the half of it.

    And I guess I have to say what I said to anti-impeachment people back in January, who felt it would be a "distraction" from all the other things the Congressional Democrats needed to do-- what better things are they doing with their time?  Enforcing their own subpoenas?  Not so much.  Restoring habeas, or even trying to in such a way as to score political points and make the Republicans look bad?  Non.  Preventing abortions like the FISA "fix" from coming to the floor and passing?  Uh, no.  Defunding the war, or otherwise limiting Bush's warmaking ability?  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Opposing the run up to war with Iran?  Heck no, they are signing on to resolutions declaring acts of war on the part of Iran.

    And so now you want the Congressional Democrats to focus on getting a Democrat in the White House in 2008.  Alrighty then.  How, if not by confronting this bunch of thugs at every turn?  And to what end, if the likely Democratic nominee more or less agrees with the worst of the Bush agenda, just not the execution of it?  Hillary likes a powerful executive.  Hillary will probably like to dispel any notion that she will go soft on "rogue states" like Iran.  And what makes you think that all the supposed political forces that make cowards of the Democrats now are going to change come January of 2009?  Will there not be a midterm election to think about?  Will there not be a second term to win for Hillary?  What on EARTH makes you think Hillary wants to be the President that "lost" Iraq?  This was the die that was cast when the Democrats first rolled on the Iraqi supplemental, and I said as much at the time.  The time to start forcing this administration's hand was IMMEDIATELY, because it was always going to take time.  Bush and the Republicans win by running out the clock.  The Democrats think they win, because the polls are telling them that they are going to have a landslide in 2008 as long as they keep their heads down and don't rock the boat-- but the joke is on them.  Their landslide will be a two or four year breather for the Republicans, during which time every chicken the Democrats have allowed to hatch since winning the majority will come home to roost.  And the point about Iran-Contra is dead on.  Look how much worse it was this time.  What do you think it will be like when the same criminals come back 2012???  

    yup (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Shahryar on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:42:02 PM EST
    14 months to go, plenty of time for something awful to happen, or a series of somethings

    By not impeaching (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by tnthorpe on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 08:49:17 PM EST
    the Dems have allowed the Bush presidency to set new, tyrannical precedents. Torture, CIA Black sites, politicization of the DOJ, signing statements that subvert the law, lying to get the country into an illegal, immoral war, illegal surveillance, and I could go on. While it may be inconvenient, impeachment is a necessity. If the Dems can't lead here when so much is at stake, how is 2009 going to be any different? If they can't make the necessary argument, and I've been watching them fail spectacularly with FISA, the AG, war funding, then what good are they?

    Yes...its the precedent. (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 05:50:58 AM EST
    It's important to set a precedent now for future administrations that such aggression against our principles will not stand, you can and will be impeached.

    Yes its too late, but better late than never. Besides, whoever takes office in 09 might be scared straight if we managed to get Cheney impeached, and think twice before betraying the country during their term.


    Great to see the impeachers visit this site (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by ctrenta on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:04:01 PM EST

    For a while I thought I was the only one.

    I can only imagine how this is driving BTD crazy!

    Yes, let's move on (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by candymarl on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:33:36 PM EST
    Thank goodness that MLK and others didn't take that attitude.  Move on to what? More nooses appearing on doors across the country?  Move on to more Jena Six kids?  Sometime you have to stop and say 'enough'! Like Rosa Parks. Like Megar Evers.  Like all the unsung dead heroes of the civil rights, labor, and suffrage movements. These people were willing to put their freedom and lives on the line.  But impeachment proceedings are too much? Please.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#43)
    by MikeDitto on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:10:06 AM EST
    Cheney is evil, but how on earth would getting rid of him make any difference with regards to the Jena Six or nooses on doors?

    It wouldn't (1.00 / 0) (#73)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:42:16 AM EST
    but,hey... Why spoil a good rant?

    (Glad to hear from. Hope all is well)


    Hey Jim! (none / 0) (#75)
    by MikeDitto on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 09:03:15 AM EST
    Doing great, just crazy busy working to get those evil Dems elected. :-)

    Hope you're well!


    too ironic that your previous entry (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Miss Devore on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:39:40 PM EST
    was that bush was more unpopular than Nixon. and yet...

    Impeachment attempt (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by BillE on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:42:12 PM EST
    The congress (Dems) should attempt impeachment for a number of reasons.  Impeachment investigations should crack the executive priviledge canard.  It would give cover to honest members of the military to stand up against Cheney/Bush and not attack Iran.  If we get momementum going and start impeaching the bastards (even after they leave office) just to attach the provision on not being allowed to serve in public office again.

    please watch your language (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:50:07 PM EST
    and don't use profanity here. It's not allowed. YOu can use the occasional asterisk Or # symbol in the word if you feel the word is essential to your meaning. Thank you.

    Thanks Jeralyn n/t (none / 0) (#32)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:02:09 AM EST
    I don't disagree that (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:47:36 PM EST
    the Dems have been disappointing since winning a majority in Congress. On the war and other issues.

    But, when I think about 2009, I think about more than the war. I think about the federal judges and Supreme Court justices that will be appointed in the next four years. I think about the crime bills and draconian sentences that will result with another Republican President and Congress.

    I want the Dems to win in 2008 for those issues and I think they need our help. I'm going to work for that rather than impeachment.

    But, I respect that others feel differently and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and passion on the issue here.


    A trend is a trend (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Sanity Clause on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:05:30 PM EST
    The Democrats can't afford to continue to disappoint the voting public for another whole year and expect a cakewalk into the White House or super majorities in both Houses of Congress.  You started by saying,
    Let's spend our energy trying to get a better President and Vice President in 2008.

    Isn't that exactly what Mr. Kucinich is trying to do by bringing accountability and the rule of law back to Washington?
    Of course, it's not going to work, so your "waste of time" characterization is not far off, but that's exactly the mindset that the Democrats have adopted on every tough issue presented to them so far, and that's exactly why they've earned their "do-nothing" reputation, a label that will be hung appropriately around the neck of every sitting member of Congress now running for President.  

    I think we are very close to losing in 08 (none / 0) (#31)
    by jerry on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:27:28 PM EST
    We were given a mandate in 06 and we have done absolutely nothing to show we should be given a mandate in 08.  All we have done is shown how weak and corrupt we are.

    I think impeaching Cheney is a great step forward.  

    And I think any Democrat that votes against it should be opposed in 08.

    Throw the bums out.


    Impeachment (none / 0) (#23)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:12:19 PM EST
    But, when I think about 2009, I think about more than the war. I think about the federal judges and Supreme Court justices that will be appointed in the next four years. I think about the crime bills and draconian sentences that will result with another Republican President and Congress.

    Why do you assume pursuing justice for BushCo equates to losing the presidency and a majority in Congress? The crimes are so evident and egregious now that it needn't be so if impeachment were pursued with proper conviction and principle. The CW on this has hardened to what you say, but it should be rethought. NOT holding them accountable is the reason Congress has a - what is it now? - 11% approval rating.

    Although I realize that by how they voted today Republicans in Congress agree with you.


    That's not the assumption (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:21:39 PM EST
    The assumption I'm making is that winning in 2008 will take a lot of attention and effort and I don't want to take time and energy and focus away from that goal by devoting it to an impeachment.

    Restoring justice, the international (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:42:54 PM EST
    reputation of the U.S., and the rule of law could be a good platform to run on for those who have the courage of their convictions and some remnant of a moral compass to go by.

    I don't know how anyone who's aware of what this administration has done can contain their outrage at this point in favor of political calculation. I can't.


    Helping them win (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 11:07:07 PM EST
    without forcing them to FIRST do the things voters want done to EARN that win will result in an executive and a legislature that is very nearly no different than what we have now.

    True but... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:23:11 AM EST
    My take is the Dems can handle investigations into impeachment and conduct elections at the same time.

    Looking back in '73-'74, the Dems in control of Congress passed some landmark legislation, such as the Endangered Species Act, a raise in the minimum wage, established the EPA, and passed the War Powers Act (as a result of Nixon's abuses). There's much more more that they accomplished but those are the highlights. If they can passed landmark legislation and conduct investigations into impeachment, then they can also handle the 2008 election and have the hearings.

    There's the assumption that investigations will take a long time. Keep in mind the Nixon hearings lasted eight months. Clinton's hearings lasted for four. With all the information we now know about Bush & Cheney, how long do we think this is going to last? IMO, not as long. Besides, in the event that investigations do not take up a long time, that should also give us more time to focus on election issues if need be, but IMO, the Dems can do both at the same time.

    As far as whether or not impeachment will hurt the Democrats chances of winning back the White House, I think evidence points to the contrary. Here's why:

    When the Democrats held back from impeachment during Iran Contra, they lost the next elections. And many of the people they failed to go after came back in the form of the Bush Jr. Administration to make life hell for the Democrats and the rest of us. When the Democrats led the effort to investigate and impeach Nixon, they won big in the next election, even though Ford was running as an incumbent. When the Republicans tried to impeach Truman, they got what they wanted out of the Supreme Court and then won the next elections. Articles of Impeachment have been filed against nine presidents, usually by Republicans, and usually with electoral success following. When the Republicans impeached Clinton, impeachment was actually unpopular with the public. Even so, the Republicans lost far fewer seats than is the norm for a majority party at that point in its tenure. Two years later, they lost seats in the Senate, which had acquitted, but maintained their strength in the House, with representatives who had led the impeachment charge winning big. Voters appreciate efforts to push for a cause. Cowardice and restraint are not very popular. Read John Nichols' "The Genius of Impeachment" for more information.

    Lastly, while I understand elections are important, IMO a healthy system of government based on checks and balances is more important. The president and vice-president have more powers than ever and have empowered themselves to abuse their roles. Elections will always be there every two and every four years. What about a healthy system of government and preventing it from further abuse? That to me is the better long term plan.


    An impeachment (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Lora on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:05:18 AM EST
    ...could rally a great deal of popular support and galvanize the party.  Ignoring the momentum may lose the day.  Too much caution can stall us.

    Not to call for impeachment (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Lora on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:18:26 PM EST
    ...sends the message that they can commit all the high crimes and misdemeanors they want and we will turn the other cheek and hope we can vote them out.  No!  We need to stand against them on all fronts.  With the crimes they've already committed, do you think that vote fraud is off the table for these yoyos?

    impeachment (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by croatin on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:50:43 PM EST
    Impeachment is looking back?


    First Watergate, then Iran/Contra.

    Now all of this?


    The rule of law depends on bringing them to justice.

    Anything less, and the country is gone, no matter what money puppet 'wins' in '08.

    Just joking- ha, ha!!!

    There can be no impeachment.

    Its off the table.

    On the floor.

    Next to the Constitution.

    It will not matter. (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:53:42 PM EST
    The Democratic Leadership are dead certain that they will win the Presidency and a Congressional majority next year simply on the strength of "we are not called Republicans".

    What motivations do they have to do anything differently? The Iraq occupation will not end, and none of the bullsh*t will stop, unless the Democrats become paralyzed with fear that they will lose congress and the presidency.

    Never Give An Inch. Vote for them when they deliver, not when they just make empty promises to deliver.

    Hillary has already said she expects the occupation to continue at least until 2013, and refuses to commit to killing the FISA bill.

    Votes and contributions are the only leverage people have over them.

    And they are counting on people not using it... out of fear of the greater of two evils. In other words they are selling fear. Same tactic the rethugs used so successfully.

    If people don't use the only leverage they have, the exactly who is doing the capitulating?

    It's a rock and a hard place situation, to be sure. But when you're between a rock and a hard place, choosing one or the other traps you.

    That leverage is the only thing people have that can force a paradigm change. They know it. And they are certain that not enough people will use it.

    It will not matter if the Democrats win the presidency and a Congressional majority without having been first forced to end the occupation of Iraq, reverse the FISA amendment, and a few other things. Do away with the MCA would also be a good start.

    Calling for impeachment is a waste of time. It is not going to happen. You need Nancy Pelosi onside for it to have any hop whatever. She is adamant that will not do it.

    If there was any chance whatever that she could be convinced to put impeachment back on the table, the occupation would ALREADY be over, and the FISA Amendment never would have seen the floor of the house. Congressional approval ratings would be at all time highs instead of all time lows, and the Democrats would be well on their way to not only a landslide next year, but to a sea change in the political paradigm that would last for a generation or more.

    That kind of paradigm shift can still be accomplished, however. But only through voters taking matters into their own hands and USING power and the leverage they have. to FORCE the Democrats to win by delivering on Iraq, on FISA, and on the dismantling of constitutional liberties, in spite of themselves. The question of Supreme Court appointees will naturally become a moot point if this is done.

    Never Give An Inch.

    OK I understand that... (none / 0) (#35)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:39:59 AM EST
    ... but the president and vice president have made clear that they will not end the war while in office and will disregard anything Congress does to end the war. Congress has made clear that it will not attempt anytime soon to use the power of the purse to end the war.

    We realize Pelosi is adamant but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop applying the pressure. IMO, impeachment is the more effective of the two in stopping the war and bringing the troops home. That's why we need to pursue it.


    Well, no. You don't understand it then. (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:15:32 AM EST
    Dude... (none / 0) (#45)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:27:33 AM EST

    OK, we've been through this before.

    Please explain why I and many many other "don't" understand. Tell me what is wrong in my arguement and let me defend it. We don't need snarky comments like," Well, no. You don't understand it then." I came here looking for an engaging discussion, not for put downs.



    It's too late for impeachment (3.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:46:14 AM EST
    to have any other effect than martyrizing Bush, handing the presidency and Congress to the rethugs next year, and being anything but a likely shoot yourself in the foot exercise, imo.

    What I meant with "You don't understand it then" was not a put down but, that I think we need to be focusing on results - forcing the Democrats to do what they were hired to do last year, so that their approval ratings go back up high enough to give them the presidency and the Congress next year having delivered on what they were hired to do.

    Use the leverage. Or capitulate.

    A related question to impeachment that I do not know the answer to, and perhaps one of the lawyers here does, is - are an ex president and vice-president immune from prosecution from crimes committed while in office, or can a president "pardon" himself before he leaves office? I see no reason to let these guys off the hook - but impeachment is counterproductive at this point. It wouldn't be had it been started a couple of years ago it, but counterproductive now.


    I am saying make your vote count. (5.00 / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 10:04:45 AM EST
    I am saying make your vote count. Use the leverage.

    Imagine. Imagine what they would do if 50 million people said to them:

    "If you Democrats defund and end the occupation of Iraq before November  2008 I'll contribute to you and vote for you.

    Don't waste my time with excuses. Come back or call back when you're done and you'll get my money and my vote. Have a nice day."

    Things would change. Things would change pretty godda*n fast.

    The corporate money will follow the market. It always does.

    People have the power to turn everything around.

    People need to reach back to the basic power.  

    And I think this is it. This is the one thing that everyone who feels that the problems are too big, who feels that there is nothing they can do, who feels hopeless, CAN do.

    Turn them away when they call wanting votes or money, but hold out the carrot.

    Tell them: "Come back when you've DONE it... or don't come back."

    They'll come back. They are politicians. They want to win. They need your vote to win.


    The hitch here of course (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:19:51 AM EST
    is how to get 50 million people to stop feeling powerless, and to do this.

    It's pretty clear by the numbers that it will work. But seeing that is a far cry from starting a movement.

    But there is a year to go. How do we start a movement? The only way I know is a few at a time, who convince another few at a time, who convince another few..... and so on.

    Anybody know of a faster way?


    Get this... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:21:43 AM EST
    Here's what Nancy Pelosi had to say to Corporate Crime Reporter's Russell Mohkiber re: cutting off the funds via today's Counterpunch.

    Question: Isn't it true Madam Speaker that you single handedly could end the war in Iraq by not allowing the Iraq funding bill to go to the floor of the House?

    Pelosi: No, that is not true. But thank you for making your point--

    Question: Why isn't it true?

    Pelosi: It isn't true because there are other parliamentary opportunities available to the minority in the Congress--for example, a motion to recommit which probably could prevail without condition.

    Question: Well, I was reading a Politico article titled "Dems Could Do Far More to End Iraq War." And in it, the authors say--"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could force a vote a day over Iraq, she could keep the House in session all night, over weekends, and through planned vacations." Why aren't you doing that?

    Pelosi: Well, because I don't think it would be effective.

    So she doesn't see this as effective and she hates impeachment. Seems to me we should go with the one she loathes the most, doncha think?


    Go with the one she loathes the most, doncha think (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:30:28 AM EST
    No. I don't think so. I've explained why I don't think so. It's self destructive.

    So... (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:44:45 AM EST
    Here is the situation.

    Pelosi can end the Iraq occupation anytime she wants to.

    Reid can kill the FISA bill by honoring Dodd's hold.

    Voters can force both of them to do these things by scaring the crap out of them and Democratic Presidential candidates:

    "If you Democrats defund and end the occupation of Iraq before November 2008 I'll contribute to you and vote for you.

    Don't waste my time with excuses. Come back or call back when you're done and you'll get my money and my vote. Have a nice day."

    The problem is how to get 50 million people to stop feeling powerless, and to do this.

    Things would change. Things would change pretty godda*n fast.


    So Edger... (1.00 / 1) (#77)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 06:53:17 PM EST

    You believe Bush & Cheney should be let off the hook? That's what I don't get.

    BTW, Russell Mokiber wasn't lying. That was a real interview he did for Counterpunch. And he did it AFTER she made those comments on Huffington Post.


    No. And I didn't say that. (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:12:38 PM EST
    You've read enough of what I've said here for years to know that is a silly question.

    She's lying. (2.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:28:13 AM EST
    Ending the War: Time for the Dems to Play Hardball
    October 27th, 2007
    by Arianna Huffington
    President Bush is getting a jump on the coming battle over Iraq war funding. On Monday, he added an additional $45.9 billion in supplemental war funding to the $150.5 billion he'd already requested, and then turned up the heat on Congress to sign off on the $196.4 billion before heading home for the holidays. Only 60 more browbeating days until Christmas!

    And you have to give Bush credit. Despite record-low approval ratings, he's unabashedly playing -- and winning -- the PR game on the war. By incrementally adding to his funding request, he made his ongoing plundering of our treasury to pursue his disastrous Iraq policy seem relatively modest. The headlines all focused on the $46 billion he's just added to the tab -- not the $196 billion he's really after.
    And some Democrats just seem resigned to the notion that their options are limited. As Henry Waxman told Politico: "If you don't have the votes, you don't have the votes." It's what David Sirota calls the "Innocent Bystander Fable" -- the idea that since Democrats don't have the 60 votes needed to end Senate debate or the 66 votes needed to override a Bush veto, the war in Iraq is out of their hands.

    But the truth is, Democrats have all the votes they need to stop the war -- if they are willing to use the power given them by the Constitution to block the supplemental funding bill unless it includes a deadline for bringing the troops home. As Norm Ornstein told me: "Whatever the White House sends to the House is constitutionally merely a suggestion." The prerogative to bring a funding bill to the floor rests entirely with the majority -- which, in case Democrats have forgotten, is theirs. As for the Senate, Democrats there would only have to find 41 votes to block the supplemental funding bill.

    I'm sorry for this refresher in Congressional Power 101, but Democratic leaders seem to need it. The White House cannot force Congress to spend money. Period. The end. The imperial presidency has not gone that far. At least not yet. So Democrats, who have the public behind them, need to be unequivocal that they are simply not going to continue to fund the war unless and until the president agrees to change course and set a date certain for ending it.
    They need to begin reframing the funding fight now -- hammering home the message that it's the president's obstinacy that is jeopardizing the well-being of our troops and the safety of our country.

    This is not the time for caution and playing it safe. This is the time to force the president's hand.

    Chief justice Chaudhry has manged to get hold (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:38:27 AM EST
    of a phone and make a speech to the protesting lawyers:
    Islamabad, Pakistan - In a telephone address to lawyers in Pakistan's capital, the ousted chief justice of the Supreme Court urged them today to continue to defy the state of emergency imposed by the president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

    "The lawyers should convey my message to the people to rise up and restore the Constitution," the chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, told dozens of lawyers on speakerphone at a meeting of the Islamabad Bar Association before his cellphone line was cut. "I am under arrest now, but soon I will also join you in your struggle."

    Today, the second day of protests, the police arrested 50 lawyers in the eastern city of Lahore and clashes broke out between hundreds of lawyers and Pakistani police officers in Multan, about 200 miles to the southwest. On Monday, in Lahore and other cities, thousands of lawyers protested, with many beaten by baton-wielding police officers and then thrown into police wagons. By the end of that day, about 2,000 people had been rounded up by the authorities, among them 500 to 700 lawyers, according to lawyers and political officials.

    It was unclear how Chief Justice Chaudhry, who was fired on Saturday and is under house arrest, was able to gain access to a cellphone. He and other lawyers said they hoped to re-create the protest campaign they carried out this spring when the lawyers mounted big rallies in major cities after General Musharraf had removed Chief Justice Chaudhry from the Supreme Court bench. General Musharraf's popularity plummeted during the protests, and Mr. Chaudhry was reinstated after four months, invigorating the Supreme Court and the general's opponents.

    Sorry - that was meant for th other thread. (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:47:20 AM EST
    What is it with the impeachment taboo? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Al on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:49:49 AM EST
    In 2006, all talk about impeachment was dismissed with the claim that the Democrats needed to focus on stopping the war. And we all know how that went. Now it's the presidential campaign? I would agree with you if the Democrats showed the slightest willingness to limit the damage by the insane Bush presidency, but they simply don't.

    Incredibly, America has no real choices right now.

    Attempts at Impeachment... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Jeff in Texas on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:42:09 AM EST
    "distract attention from the important issues at hand."

    What issues would those be, exactly?  And I will ask again, what progress are Democrats making on ANY of those issues, whether in substance or in terms of optics, while they are saving themselves all this time by not pursuing impeachment?  I'm dead serious-- make your case for how well spent the time is, and how much less they would accomplish if they were spending it on impeachment.  I guess we would not have gotten that minimum wage hike, and that would have been a real shame.

    And honestly, any of you expecting the Democrats to suddenly find their pocket Constitution in January of 2009, having won by keeping their heads down (assuming they do win), simply have not been paying attention to what Democratic leaders have done and said over the last year.  

    Dems do have issues--They are politically retarded (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by SFHawkguy on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:07:57 AM EST
    Hear, Hear!

    It's always about "moving forward" to centrist Democrats.  They are so focused on trying to triangulate in order to win the next election that they forget to stand up for liberal ideas and to fight for the liberal platform.  They seem to NEVER spend their political capital and are always keeping their powder dry to appeal to "moderate" Republican-leaning people.  They suppress real liberals (like Jeralyn) by implying that they will spend that captial once they get in power.  How many times can one fall for this trick?

    Dennis Kucinich wanted his day in court and he speaks for millions of Americans that think the Congress should at least debate whether Cheney and George have committed high crimes.  They have thrown the Geneva Convention and habeas corpus out the window, they have committed torture and other war crimes, they have illegally spied on Americans without a warrant, they have outed a CIA operative for political gain, and they have started wars and will start another war based on lies and hidden agendas--and oh, they are the most unpopular President and VP duo in hisotry.  24% and 11%  Maybe you're right.  If Democrats agreed to sweep these issues under the rug maybe the country will see how awesome Democrats are at getting real stuff done.  (ha!)

    And you think Kucinich is the reason most of the country loathes the Democratic Congress?


    I don't understand (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by kovie on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 10:07:24 AM EST
    How is it the job of the Democratic majorities in congress to focus on winning reelection and increasing their majorities? They were elected to do their constitutionally mandated jobs, which includes, among other things, holding members of the executive branch accountable for any violations of the constitution that they might have committed. To not do this is to not do its job. And as we all know, these violations have been numerous, egregious and hugely destructive to our country and democracy, Iraq, the mideast, and the world.

    Now, I don't dispute that it is important for Democrats to hold onto and hopefully increase their majorities in congress, to make it harder to Pubs to obstruct their efforts in the future. And I don't dispute that this has to be a top focus of Democratic members of congress and their supporters. But not in their official capacities as members of congress. Their political obligations to themselves and their party should not be affecting what their do in their moral and ethical obligation as legislators.

    Rather, I think that a much more compelling reason to oppose impeachment is that it is highly unlikely to succeed at this point, and it would distract from other, more viable legislative efforts, especially passing progressive legislation (most of which would get vetoed, of course, but some of which might get overriden, as happened yesterday in the house for the first time, and nearly all of which could be used against Pubs in the '08 election), conducting aggressive oversight (that includes contempt citations when warranted), and defunding the war.

    Personally, though, I don't see why congress can't perform its regular legislative and oversight duties AND persue impeachment proceedings--through the normal committee process, though, in which case it's just another form of oversight--while at the same time its members do what they have to do to get reelected and increase their majorities. Surely they can walk and chew ass at the same time.

    The Dems Inaction Also Sets a Precedent (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by SFHawkguy on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:22:39 AM EST
    for the future.  The Democrats are basically telling President Guiliani that he can get away with even more than Bush got away with.  They are setting the precedent that Bush can literally imprison Americans without charges and without access to a lawyer and torture him to boot--with absolutely no repercussins!  They are setting the precedent that the President can ignore a criminal law Congress passed and spy on Americans without a warrant.  

    Evidently Hillary Clinton the person is more important than fidelity to the Constitution and basic moral integrity.  We are doomed with an opposition party like the Democrats.

    The sooner the Democratic party implodes the better for liberals.  And this is a pragmatic argument Jeralyn!  It's funny you moderate cut n' runners allege that Kucinich isn't being practicable.  What exactly have the Democrats got done the last 7 years?  All they have done is associate the word liberal, in the minds of the public, with someone that has no defining principals and will capitualte at the first sign of adversity.


    It sets a terrible precedent (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by kovie on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 01:39:03 PM EST
    Just as did Gore's inept handling of the '00 Florida recount, Kerry's refusal to contest the '04 Ohio ballot, the Dems' decision to vote for the '02 AUMF, the Patriot Act, MCA and FISA for political expediency, etc.--ALL of which backfired. Not only is this capitulation for the sake of "political expediency" unprincipled, but it is politically foolish. The general impression that Dems have given the country over not only the past 7 years, but really the past 25 years, is of a party that will not fight the big fights, because they're "just being practical"--when in fact they're actually being stupid, unprincipled and cowardly, and everyone knows it.

    There have, of course, been some notable exceptions--e.g. Wellstone, Feingold, Kucinich, Byrd--but by and large this has been the Dems' MO since Reagan took over and figured out how to "tame" them. And the most infuriating thing is that it DOES NOT WORK. Well, not for the best of the party or country, or the principles of liberalism and progressivism, but clearly it's worked for more than a few morally if not literally corrupt Dems. But forward-looking, it's a really, really stupid way of conducting politics, which will eventually cede control of congress back to the GOP if not dispensed with. The progressives and backbenchers really have to mount some sort of Gingrich-like insurgency within the party soon, if the party is to remain in the majority. Which, I suppose, was part of Kucinich's motivation.

    Hear hear for the UFO-seeing little leprechaun from Cleveland with the big ears and pretty wife. He may be "different" but he's the real deal as Dems go.


    Your Premise is Not Possible... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by paddymick on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 02:24:15 PM EST
    You cannot get a better president in 2008 unless you hold those currently in office accountable. If we continue to give our country's leaders a free pass to do whatever they want and get away with it, our political system is doomed. Changing parties won't change this. Hillary (the 2008 likely) voted for war in Iraq. She supported the Patriot Act. She has done nothing to bring the troops home or curb the President's power grab (why would she if she is likely going to be president and inherit those same powers?).

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need to hold those in power accountable or we will soon lose the ability to do so.

    Impeachment (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Ladyjustice on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:28:52 PM EST
    Please get some spine and bolster your very low poll ratings by impeaching.  As it has been said many times before, "it is so easy to give up, but it takes much courage to stand."  What will you do?  Please set an example to our nation, our youth, that you have COURAGE and will STAND for what is right and for the rule of law.  Your example will have far reaching effects.  It has to begin at the top - we can no longer keep setting bad examples, as if there were no rules of civility or of law.  We must set examples of ethical behavior - that there are standards.  Our nation should no longer accept that what this administration has done is ethical and legal.  It is exactly how Elizabeth Edwards had the guts and the courage to stand up to Ann Coulter and her behavior.  Who is going to stand up now?  Please for our nation's future.  I'm sorry, but the majority of these comments favor impeachment.  It should count for something.

    We wil regret for the lack of accountability (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Saul on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 11:30:54 PM EST
    "On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools." -- John Nichols

    Impeach Cheney. The vice president has run utterly amok and must be stopped.
    Under Dick Cheney, the office of the vice president has been transformed from a tiny acorn into an unprecedented giant oak. In grasping and exercising presidential powers, Cheney has dulled political accountability and concocted theories for evading the law and Constitution that would have embarrassed King George III. The most recent invention we know of is the vice president's insistence that an executive order governing the handling of classified information in the executive branch does not reach his office because he also serves as president of the Senate. In other words, the vice president is a unique legislative-executive creature standing above and beyond the Constitution. The House judiciary committee should commence an impeachment inquiry. As Alexander Hamilton advised in the Federalist Papers, an impeachable offense is a political crime against the nation. Cheney's multiple crimes against the Constitution clearly qualify.
    Take the vice president's preposterous theory that his office is outside the executive branch because it also exercises a legislative function. The same can be said of the president, who also exercises a legislative function in signing or vetoing bills passed by Congress. Under Cheney's bizarre reasoning, President Bush is not part of his own administration: The executive branch becomes acephalous. Today Cheney Chief of Staff David Addington refused to renounce that reasoning, instead laughably trying to diminish the importance of the legal question at issue.
    The nation's first vice president, John Adams, bemoaned: "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived; and as I can do neither good nor evil, I must be borne away by others and meet common fate." Vice President John Nance Garner, serving under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, lamented: "The vice presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm piss." In modern times, vice presidents have generally been confined to attending state funerals or to distributing blankets after earthquakes.

    Then President George W. Bush outsourced the lion's share of his presidency to Vice President Cheney, and Mr. Cheney has made the most of it. Since 9/11, he has proclaimed that all checks and balances and individual liberties are subservient to the president's commander in chief powers in confronting international terrorism. Let's review the record of his abuses and excesses:
    The vice president asserted presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes. The Supreme Court rebuked Cheney in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Mr. Cheney claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the president's say-so alone, a frightening power indistinguishable from King Louis XVI's execrated lettres de cachet that occasioned the storming of the Bastille. The Supreme Court repudiated Cheney in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.
    The vice president initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists. This lawlessness has been answered in Germany and Italy with criminal charges against CIA operatives or agents. The legal precedent set by Cheney would justify a decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to kidnap American tourists in Paris and to dispatch them to dungeons in Belarus if they were suspected of Chechen sympathies.
    The vice president has maintained that the entire world is a battlefield. Accordingly, he contends that military power may be unleashed to kill or capture any American citizen on American soil if suspected of association or affiliation with al-Qaida. Thus, Mr. Cheney could have ordered the military to kill Jose Padilla with rockets, artillery, or otherwise when he landed at O'Hare Airport in Chicago, because of Padilla's then-suspected ties to international terrorism.
    Mr. Cheney has championed a presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.

    By Bruce Fein

    Fortunately (4.66 / 3) (#5)
    by Che's Lounge on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 07:38:57 PM EST
    The vast majority of feedback on the left blogosphere is overwhelmingly in favor of Kucinich's action. To tell us there are more important things for congress to do, like electing a Dem in '08 (WTF does congressional action have to do with THAT?) is the most defeatist statement that could ever be made. The Dem congress' effing ratings are in the tank right now, and the only "work" they are doing consists of recommending Mukasey for AG, or failing on the SCHIP bill.

    I love the fact that the Repugs forced this into the Judiciary committee. This will finally show us how the Democratic leadership and it's minions have defrauded the public and undermined the constitution just as Bushco has done. They will be forced to expose the fact that they too have no clothes.

    Or they could uphold the oath they took and turn the tables 180 degrees on the republican 'minority". What's in going to be? Apathy or action?  

    Heh (1.00 / 1) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 07:01:50 AM EST
    This will finally show us how the Democratic leadership and it's minions have defrauded the public

    Remember. Success is getting what you want.

    Happiness is wanting what you get.


    Optimists (4.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Natal on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 09:10:33 PM EST
    An optimist is someone who thinks that one of the current crop of frontrunner candidates is going to give us a whole new world and foreign policy. It's a guarantee that that when one of these birds is elected pres, in six months we'll be down his/her throats just like we are down on Bush's right now. An huge upheaval is needed and Kucinich's bill is start in the right direction.

    Pick Your Battles Wisely (4.00 / 3) (#69)
    by squeaky on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:43:35 PM EST
    And never make a threat that you cannot carry out. Otherwise your efforts will blow up in your face.

    There is not enough support in Congress to pull impeachment off. There is one year until elections. Impeachment from a weak position would become the Democratic election theme. A big loser in every way.

    Concentrate on getting these criminals out of office and we can indict them after we win a supermajority in Congress.

    Rebuttal to Squeaky (none / 0) (#80)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:16:31 PM EST

    Squeaky you say the following:

    And never make a threat that you cannot carry out. Otherwise your efforts will blow up in your face.

    According to Elizabeth Holtzman's The Impeachment of George W. Bush the House Judiciary Committee NEVER calculated the odds in '73 whether or not impeachment would succeed. NO ONE could fully predict what would happen. THey didn't know what kind of evidence would be uncovered, they only knew that preserving our democracy required a through investigation of Nixon's abuse of power. And look what happened.

    Nixon resigned.

    We REALLY can't get caught up in figuring out whether or not this effort will succeed. We need to stop that. As long as we go down trying, that's all the effort and time worth doing it! I think a lot of Americans will sleep better at night, knowing we tried.

    I guarantee it.


    Rebuttal to Squeaky (none / 0) (#81)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:16:47 PM EST
    Squeaky you say the following:

    And never make a threat that you cannot carry out. Otherwise your efforts will blow up in your face.

    According to Elizabeth Holtzman's The Impeachment of George W. Bush the House Judiciary Committee NEVER calculated the odds in '73 whether or not impeachment would succeed. NO ONE could fully predict what would happen. THey didn't know what kind of evidence would be uncovered, they only knew that preserving our democracy required a through investigation of Nixon's abuse of power. And look what happened.

    Nixon resigned.

    We REALLY can't get caught up in figuring out whether or not this effort will succeed. We need to stop that. As long as we go down trying, that's all the effort and time worth doing it! I think a lot of Americans will sleep better at night, knowing we tried.

    I guarantee it.


    UH (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 09:34:30 PM EST
    What was the makeup of the Senate in 73?

    56D 42R 1C 1I

    Sen. Scott said in December 1973 that Nixon would not get out of the Watergate "mess" unless he fulfilled a promise to disclose all records and tape recordings related to the scandal.

    On Aug. 7, 1974, Sen. Scott, Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona and House Minority Leader John Rhodes went to the White House to tell Nixon his position was hopeless - that perhaps only four senators would vote against convicting him. Two days later, Nixon resigned.



    Those were Holtzman's words... (none / 0) (#83)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 09:55:18 PM EST
    ... Not mine. I seem to think she's got a good grasp of the situation since she was a major part of those investigations.

    OK. I see those numbers you gave...but enough GOP senate members changed their minds and turned against Nixon. That's the point.

    In Holtzman's book, NOT MANY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS believed Nixon would be impeached or resign. The evidence came out and the rest was history. There was enough Senators who turned against Nixon and he had no chance of surviving an investigation. I think that same scenario can play out here and in a timely fashion. It took eight months to convict Nixon and four months for Clinton. With all the preponderance of evidence on Bush & Cheney coming out, it shoudn't take long.

    In Vermont, they made the same argument in the House of Reps. They debated for just half an hour and voted. If it took them that long to get through an impeachment resolution, then Congress can do the same.

    As Ed Schultz said to Debbie Wasserman-Schulz on the radio today that she was completely out of touch with the American people and that the politicians inside the beltway don't have a clue on what the people want. He told her "to hell with the newspapers, it's about the constitution, the rule of law, and justice!"

    Who cares if we win or lose. We have to go through with this because impeachable offenses are so obvious. As I said, in '73 the House Judiciary didn't care about the odds or what people said about them. They went ahead and did it, regardless of outcome and look what happened. Why can't we do that now? And if you really believe investigations into impeachment are a dumb idea, please tell me....

    What is your solution?

    Bush & Cheney CANNOT get off the hook for their greivous and obvious impeachable offenses. Something has to be done and I ask again, what do you think is the most effective means to hold them accountable?


    No Way (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 10:06:28 PM EST
    I think that same scenario can play out here and in a timely fashion. It took eight months to convict Nixon and four months for Clinton. With all the preponderance of evidence on Bush & Cheney coming out, it shoudn't take long.

    The Senate is in lockstep. Not to mention several Democrats that would not go along. It is a very different situation than 1973, where all but four senators would have voted to convict Nixon.

    Also that was in 1973. The presidential election was in 1972. Now we have one year until the next election. Impeachment is a negative. Not a good thing to be the focus of an election. The precedent of state secrets would prevail and no evidence would be released. Leahy cannot even get subpoenas or requests for documents answered.

    The only way is to get a supermajority in 08 and prosecute the criminals from a position of strength after the elections.

    Impeachment would drain resources and the negativity (in time of war) would be spun against us. It is an empty gesture that will wind up being like an exploding cigar.


    Rebutal (none / 0) (#85)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 10:49:49 PM EST

    First of all, I just want to thank you for engaging in this discussion. I really appreciate and enjoy it. Now let me respond to some of your points.

    Impeachment would drain resources and the negativity (in time of war) would be spun against us.

    I don't think it would drain resources and time because back in '73 they were able to pass major pieces of legislation (Endangered Species Act and War Powers Act are two good examples) and have investigations into impeachment in the House. Look at all the time spent in Congress on useless formalities, congradulatory (sp.?) speeches, recognition of this group and that, they spend so much meanigful time on useless items that they can put a hold on that for investigations. In the Vermont House of Reps, debate lasted for half an hour. HALF AN HOUR! While a half an hour isn't likely in Congress, that doesn't mean investigations can't be done in a timely fashion.

    You mentioned

    The presidential election was in 1972. Now we have one year until the next election.

    There was also an election back then, the '74 mid-term elections. If Congress was fully capable of handling major legislation, conduct investigations from '73-'74, and focus on an important mid-term election, than Congress can do it again now.

    You mentioned that

    Impeachment is a negative.

    The GOP really did a number on the meaning of impeachment. I just wish the Dems wouldn't sully the process of impeachment and instead the GOP for abusing it. Whenever I hear that impeachment is a negative I remind people that it isn't. here's nothing extreme about it. The authors of the Constitution expected investigations into impeachment to be used frequently. The U.S. House of Representatives has impeached 16 people, two of them presidents and as The Nation's John Nichols said:

    Impeachment is a remedy for trauma.

    Bingo. It's not negative!  

    I read this:

    The precedent of state secrets would prevail and no evidence would be released.

    We'd find out if Leahy et al quite stalling. It's been a year now and they're still playing the same song and dance. Get working on it! We're paying and electing them to represent us!  

    You also write the following:

    The negativity (in time of war) would be spun against us.

    Why can' t the Dems worried about that later, or more importantly, why are the Dems so worried about how an opposition party (or media for that matter) define(s) them? This is not about preventing them from saying "mean things" about the Dems. This is about doing it regardless of the circumstances or the results (just like they did in '73-'74) and do what they feel (and know) is right.

    And lastly,

    It is an empty gesture that will wind up being like an exploding cigar.
    Again, that's Republicans and other like-minded individuals defining the Dems and their actions. Are we really going to believe that it's an empty gesture, especially when we're dealing with restoring and/or protecting the sanctity of our constitution and branches of government?

    Say if it is a shallow gesture (which I assure you it isn't) we'll know when we get to that point, but right now, we need to take the necessary steps to find out if indeed the pres and vice-pres committed high crimes and misdemeanors, especially when there's evidence popping up all the time on these two. Even if the Dems don't succeed, history shows that voters appreciate efforts to push for a cause and reward them in the next election which has happened many times.  


    OK (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by squeaky on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 11:00:38 PM EST
    We disagree. There is no way in my mind that we will ever get more than 40 votes for impeachment, and that would be optimistic.

    Losing that battle would hurt Democrats who need to focus all their resources in elections less than one year away.

    I believe that this admin makes Nixon look honest. Nonetheless I believe Impeachment is something that republican operatives are praying for because it will help.

    No one likes losers. This is a loser battle. There is too much riding on a Democratic win in 08 to play idealistic games. Another Republican admin will ensure permanent republican rule and a SC that will send us back to the dark ages.


    i agree jeralyn (3.50 / 2) (#29)
    by cpinva on Tue Nov 06, 2007 at 10:56:36 PM EST
    attempts at impeachment, no matter how noble they may seem, are:

    1. doomed to failure., and
    2. distract attention from the important issues at hand.

    they were doomed to failure before 2004, the slight shift from minority to majority status in congress didn't change that.

    concentrate on winning the white house, and solidifying an insurmountable majority in both houses, then maybe consider going after bush and cheney.

    to do otherwise is a waste of time and effort. also, you run a great risk of putting bush in the position (in many people's eyes) of proclaiming himself a political martyr. do you really want that?

    Rebutal (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:35:24 AM EST
    We don't know if impeachment is doomed to failure. Back in '73'-'74, they said the same thing, just ask Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman of NY who served on the House Judidicary Committee during that time. We all know what happened to Nixon and back then people said it would not happen, just as they are now.

    When the evidence comes out, it's likely that people will change their minds and seriously consider removing Cheney (and eventually Bush) from office. If not, so what? I think a lot of us would be able to sleep better at night, knowing our Congress cares about preventing further abuses of government.

    I think yesterday's vote goes to show that nobody's votes are etched in stone. No one thought Kucinich's resolution would get the tine of day, and it did. The mere fact that they couldn't kill the discussion is a sign that it's not necessarily dead in the water.

    Lastly, the Dems can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can pass significant pieces of legislation, have elections, and have investigations all at the same time. That certainly was the case in '74.

    As for making Bush a martyr, I think it's safe to assume that Bush is no martyr, no matter how much he's put under the microscope. He's also less popular than Nixon according to new polls, so I don't think that's a problem.  


    yes we do, actually. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by cpinva on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 01:14:15 PM EST
    We don't know if impeachment is doomed to failure.

    absent a supermajority of dems, it is. these are not the republicans of 1974, finally willing to tell nixon, clearly guilty of criminal acts, to leave or be impeached. if they were, they'd have done so already. to assert otherwise is pure self delusion.

    so far, i've not seen any evidence that bush has actually committed an impeachable offense, pretty much everything can be argued as differences in politics/policy; you may not agree with his, but it doesn't amount to anything that will sustain an impeachment proceeding.

    so, why waste valuable, scarce allocable resources on it? just to make a point? geez, you can do that without costing millions.


    How Much More Clarity do You Need? (none / 0) (#64)
    by SFHawkguy on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:04:55 PM EST
    No evidence?  Bush has ADMITTED that he spied on Americans without a warrant in violation of criminal law.  He then lied to us about it (to paraphrase: "When we're talking about wiretaps we're talking about getting a warrant").  

    He also has openly seized the power to hold American citizens without charges and without access to a lawyer and claimed that no one could second-guess his judgment.

    These are just two crimes that Bush ADMITTED to.  Of course Bush committed other crimes as well.  But these are so simple I fail to see your confusion.  I suspect it is not so much a failure to see the evidence as much as it is a fear of what comes next.  

    Our President did these things.  And the Democrats and you are afraid to call him on it.  So our country will suffer because we lack the courage to stand up for our basic principles and the rule of law.  

    It is messy to stand up to the most powerful man in the world when he commits crimes.  It is even messier when his party stands by him despite the overwhelming evidence of these crimes.  But it is simply unconscionable that the so-called opposition party, the Democrats, would sweep his crimes under the mat and not even have the courage to allow other people to challenge his crimes and illegal usurpations of power via impeachment proceedings.  The fact that the Democrats fail to see the political upside to all this is even more of a kick to the teeth.  Not only are the Democrats moral cowards, they are politically retarded to boot.

    Don't be a sucker.  Don't fall for this pragmatic approach.  It's politically wrong and will ultimately end with you selling the last shred of your morality away.  


    Again you are perpetuating impeachment myths (none / 0) (#78)
    by ctrenta on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 07:06:11 PM EST
    Sorry but I still have to disagree. We can't assume these aren't the same Republicans of 1974. In fact, MANY of those Republicans were against the idea of impeachment and were staunch supporters of Nixon!!! Go ask former Congresswoman Liz Holtzman, a House Judiciary member and she'll tell you the same thing! They didn't care about the odds or the outcome. They just knew they had to go through with it because it was the right thing to do  at that time and place... and look what they did. Nixon resigned.

    You say the following:

    so far, i've not seen any evidence that bush has actually committed an impeachable offense,

    That's because we haven't had the hearings! Let's have the hearings in the House Judiciary and then find out whether or not this will lead to actual impeachment articles. If not, then fine. Let's move on. But I personally believe we'd be doing a great disservice despite all the obvious evidence of crimes and misdemeanors this administration is committing every single day. Read Raw Story and you'll get an idea!

    You also said the following:

    so, why waste valuable, scarce allocable resources on it? just to make a point? geez, you can do that without costing millions.

    IMO, it's well worth the taxpayers dollars when it comes to protecting the country from crimes and misdemeanors. As for a waste of time, I disagree because the evidence is out there for all of us to see. And whos to say this will take up precious time? It took Nixon's impeachment hearings eight months. It took Clinton's impeachment only four. With all the evidence we now know, and more coming out every day, it SHOULD NOT take as long.  

    I guess the only other question I have cpinva is if you do not think impeachment is worth it, how else would you hold Bush & Cheney accountable for the damage the've done over the last seven years? PS: You can't use the elections excuse! That lets them off the hook!


    I will only point out the (1.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 12:35:01 PM EST
    obvious for the sake of arguement.

    Cheney and Bush are not guilty of any impeachable crimes.   That is why the dems aren't pursuing impeachment.

    Even if they where (which they aren't) like Clinton it would develop into a political fire fight so the dems are smart to avoid it.

    But the simple fact reamins Bush/Cheney are only guilty of being wartime politicians (a war the democrats supported and continue to support) and to the netroots apparently the only way to pretend that this isn't the case is to throw out the impeachment card because that way they don't have to deal with the fact that our government got us into this war not just two guys named Bush and Cheney.

    Sure. Makes perfect sense slado. (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 12:41:09 PM EST
    The people who opposed the Iraq invasion in the first place are responsible for the ensuing debacle.

    Always remember slado: If We Lose Iraq, You're to Blame


    So (none / 0) (#62)
    by kovie on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 01:42:52 PM EST
    There aren't impeachable offenses:

    • Lying to congress to get it to approve a war
    • Authorizing illegal surveillance programs
    • Authorizing torture
    • Authorizing indefinite detention without legal rights
    • Authorizing the firing of US Attorneys for purely political reasons

    Right. Uhuh. None of these happened, or are impeachable.

    You are correct (1.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Slado on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:56:42 PM EST
    They aren't impeachable offenses.  IF they where the dems would honestly be pursuing them.  Since they aren't they aren't.

    In order...

    If Bush lied so did Hillary, or she's a moron who can't think for herself.

    How is spying on people overseas illegal again?

    Your torture is my interrogation.

    Club Gitmo

    Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the president have the right to fire US Attorneys for no reason at all?

    The fascination of the net roots with impeachment is amazing to me.   It's never, ever going to happen and it shouldn't because Bush isn't guilty of anything and it would be political suicide for the democrats.

    Fortunatley for Pelosi and unfortunately for me the dems take your vote for granted so they won't do it.


    If this is the best you've got (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by kovie on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:02:05 PM EST
    then there's no point in persuing the matter further with you, since you're clearly spouting GOP Talking Points 101, none of which is original or from your own mind.

    And Democrats are Afraid of (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by SFHawkguy on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 05:29:53 PM EST
    Slado and his ilk?  

    It simply amazes me that Democrats are actually scared of these dead-enders--let alone take political advice from them.  Slado and his fellow authoritarians are so morally reprehensible that they are actually braying about how the U.S. should torture and spy on its own citizens! They wear the badge of torture and war crimes like a true authoritarian would--they are proud of it!  These people used to not be allowed in polite company.  

    There is no downside for challenging these neo-fascists. Yet the Democrats are scared of them.  God have mercy on our souls as we slip slide into Slado's world of torture, war crimes, and fascism.  But I don't blame him.  He's ignorant and morally challenged--unfortunately 20% of our country is like him and will gladly follow Dick and George into the depths of hell.  I blame the Democrats for being cowards and unwilling to stand up to these petty authoritarian fools.  


    I marvel (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Slado on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 08:26:24 AM EST
    at the hysterics.

    Water Boarding is not torture.  It's a rough interrogation tactic that can be simulated by a blogger in his bathtub.  If a blogger can do it for a youtube video while carrying on a conversation then it's not torture.

    Last time I checked Bush will be gone in 2008 making your claim of an impending fascism pretty silly.

    We can disagree on policy but there is no need to exagerate the state of affairs to make one's point.


    Then Why do all 4 Branches (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by SFHawkguy on Thu Nov 08, 2007 at 01:26:56 PM EST
    of the U.S. military think waterboarding is torture?  Why has the U.S. prosecuted other war criminals that engaged in waterboarding?  Do you even care that it's immoral and illegal?  Wait, that was a rhetorical question--you clearly have abandoned all morality for the cult of Bush and care neither that it is illegal or immoral.

    Did you even bother to look into the evidence or is a blogger on youtube enough for you? Not only are you morally depraved you reason like a child.  If a U.S. pilot was captured by the enemy and waterboarded I guess that's ok with you.  AFter all, a blogger simulated it in his bathtup so it must be allright.

    The fact that you can't even admit such a simple fact, that waterboarding has always been considered torture in America, shows I have every reason to be "hysterical".  I will assume you are a well-intentioned human being (despite the fact you advocate for torturing people) so it is indeed depressing that the United States is "debating" whether we should be excused from the civilized world and be able to torture.  We are sooooo scared of the evil enemy that we just haaaaaave to stoop to their level and torture.

    I weep for my country that the such morally repugnant "arguments", such as your youtube argument, are put forward by "normal" Americans.  A civilized country would immediately put you in your place and call you what you are: A torture apoligist and a fascist (that's what fascists do--they torture).  You sir, are an evil, morally depraved human being and you and your fellow dead-enders must be stopped.  Thanks for revealing your true inner, sadistic, self.


    Cynical I know, but... (none / 0) (#44)
    by MikeDitto on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:23:06 AM EST
    The issues presented in Kucinich's first two articles (no WMDs and no Iraq/al Qaeda connection) were well known and publicized before the 2004 election, and yet people still voted for him--including the military vote, which was overwhelmingly for Bush/Cheney.

    Article 3 is extremely thin (sabre-rattling against Iran).

    Do the American people not deserve to get what they knowingly and willingly voted for in 2004? We knew about everything then--the war lies, torture, Valerie Plame. It seems to me that the American public needs to have its conscience shocked and realize that their votes have power and consequences.

    We don't have to agree with all the articles (none / 0) (#46)
    by ctrenta on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 09:28:28 AM EST

    They didn't do that with Nixon, remember?

    If the Process Worked (none / 0) (#65)
    by SFHawkguy on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 03:11:20 PM EST
    Kucinich's proposed articles would not be the final articles.  I would LOVE to work on an indictment of the President.  I'm sure there are many excellent lawyers that are salivating at the chance to draft articles of impeachment.  If the Dem leadership allowed the process to go forward the articles would be amended and vastly improved from the current format.  Kucinich is one congressman and he gave it at first shot.  He should be commended and others should help improve these articles.  Check out Kucinich's website.  He has supporting documentation.  With more minds workig on this the case will be even more ironclad.  

    Have you forgotten (none / 0) (#68)
    by Lora on Wed Nov 07, 2007 at 04:08:40 PM EST
    ...that the repugs had absolutely NO compunction about impeaching Bill Clinton?  THEY didn't sit and agonize and say, "we can't win, so we'd better not try.  Impeachment over a lousy blue dress will distract us from more important issues."  NO! They had a field day!  Now that we have actual reasons to impeach these thugs, are we going to sit here and cry that it isn't worth the effort, because we're "going to" lose?