movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Wed Jan 23 2008, 09:07pm | 5 comments
via The Real News
(Technorati tags: impeachment, Robert Wexler)
While I agree wholly that impeachment (and conviction) is the best course, I don’t think it likely to happen. The reason I think it’s necessary is that the administration has horribly abused its power in a way that makes it virtually impossible to be checked by the other branches of government. Some say it’s easier to simply ride it out, because he’ll be gone in less than a year, but the point is to set a precedent. Bush’s actions have set a precedent for expanded presidential power, and unless an unmistakably clear signal is sent, future presidents (of either party- this isn’t a partisan issue, and I think President Hillary Clinton would be very likely to overreach) will rely on Bush’s precedents to justify their own actions. But I think the Democrats don’t want to risk coming off as petty during an election year like the Republicans did in 1998. The speaker in that video was wrong when he said that the party that impeaches usually wins- the Republicans were thumped in 1998, the first time a president’s party had gained seats in a mid-term election since 1934. So impeachment is a gamble, but I think it’s worth it to protect separation of powers. And, again, this is not partisan, which is good, because there’s no way it gets done without some Republicans crossing the line.
Side-note: over 200 members really signed the articles of impeachment? I had no idea they were so popular. Maybe it really has a chance.
If it’s “petty” to impeach the president for clear high crimes and misdemeanors, then the United States of America truly is over.
It doesn’t have to be, but it was petty when the Republicans impeached Clinton over a blowjob. They were clearly doing it for purely partisan reasons- they couldn’t convince Americans to reject his policies, so they tried to present the man himself as unworthy. The impeachment was the attempt to criminalize politics, since they were unable to get rid of him by legitimate means. The right-wingers were trolling for dirt on him even before the election. The key, then, to a successful impeachment of Bush would be for the Democrats to make it clear to the American people that it’s not simple bitterness over being in the minority and shut out of power for six years, but rather an attempt to correct for massive abuses of power. To do that, it’s absolutely necessary for a significant number of Republicans to join in condemning him. Impeachment at the outset of the Republic was the legislature’s greatest check on expansive presidential power, but since it’s been used so rarely, it’s become an empty threat. I’d love to see it used against this president, but I think our best hope is that the next president is more humble about using his/her powers. Obama’s probably the only one I could count on for that.
Having sex is not a high crime. Nor is lying about it.
The term “High Crime” is very ambiguous. There is nothing “clear” about it. I personally don’t know that Clinton should have been impeached, but there is no need to sugar-coat a possible Federal Offense, particularly when commited by the President of the U.S. It wasn’t just “lying about sex”, it was lying about sex UNDER OATH.
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