Saturday, July 14, 2007

Impeachment - Do it for the children

By Libby
Updated below

Since I wanted to join in on the Bastille Day Blogburst, I've been thinking all day about impeachment. My earlier post generated a fair amount of discussion but I wanted to add something new to debate for this occassion. Fortunately, Crooks and Liars came to the rescue with this clip of Bill Moyer's roundtable.

Joined by John Nichols and Bruce Fein, who are, refreshingly in these days of lopsided talking head formats, ideological opposites, they raise an important point on why we should start impeachment, late though it may seem, that I hadn't considered. While the practical effect may be moot since I still doubt impeachment could be concluded much before the end of his term, it's more than about symbolic reprimands. It establishes a precedent for accountability.

If the Congress fails to hold Bush and Cheney responsible for failing to adhere to the rule of law that cements our republic, our form of democracy will crumble as future administrations also take the unitary powers being established by the Bush regime as their own. Nichols and Fein argue that impeachment must not only be immediately begun but it must followed through to its ultimate conclusion, even if they resign, which we failed to do with Nixon. A mistake that allowed Bush and Cheney to make the same power grab again.

While I continue to think that we should also be beseeching the dastardly duo to resign at the same time, the roundtable convinced me in that five minute clip that we need to do this to protect future generations from this danger. Contact your Senators and Congressmen. Let the impeachment proceedings begin.

Update: Via Avedon again, MEC has the list of impeachable crimes.

TPM Cafe has the transcript for the whole Moyers roundtable and hones in on the key talking points.

Blogswarm for Impeachment

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Blogger AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Libby: Back at the old impeachment gig, are you? Thought I'd check back in over here. Not much has changed! I see you've all ganged up on me a bit in that earlier post (to which you've amazingly linked - spread that venom a bit, I say!). Each of you are so nice to pat each other on the backs.

Now, for Burke, I think old Fogg has the direction of opposition pointing the wrong way: Burke supported the American colonies in his dispute against King George III! What is wrong with you people? Ever read any books of political philosophy? And calling me a troll, of all things. I like the disagreement, Libby, and was actually inviting you - yes, you honey - to come back to my page. I thought you loved content! I actually put some of it up in concrete form, with links to -- gasp! -- evidence for my points! The comment thread on my impeachment post, by the way, was running ten-to-one against. And that includes many of my readers who don't like Bush! Ha ha!

I know what's happening: You're comfy in your little lefty corner over here, without anything to upset your cuddly coffee house cum echo chamber. First you guys say I'm not really debating, then you claim victory in the exchange! Well, have your cake and eat it too while youre at it! My my! The Burkean impeachment post is probably well buried in the archives by now, and that's really where I was directing you. I couldn't care less if you or the one or two readers of this blog happen skip over to my page. That's not why I visit. I'm interested in holding your feet to the fire a bit, sweetie pie.

You really need to get out and sample some differences in opinion. You've yet to respond to my substantive points. It looks like you're more interested in impugning my professional credentials. I've paid my academic dues, babe. You were really off on Machiavelli, and I should know. I teach political theory. I'll check back later. The simpleminded attacks on me don't belittle. I thought I actually might have been able to roust you out of your stupor a bit, but that's looking to be a tough nut to crack.

11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let’s just impeach them all. Ok not really.

Every blog or should I say political blog, has something about this. The conservatives say it’s just the liberals trying to get revenge and the liberals say there are grounds for it. The conservatives call the liberal crazy and stupid.

Are the guidelines for impeachment clear? And does a claim have to be proven to proceed with impeachment or is it proven in a trial?

I beginning to think no one is right or wrong. It’s how you interpret the constitution?

This reminds me of baseball. I like the Dodgers and hate the Giants. There is no proof, but I am convinced he has been doping. Like I said no concrete evidence, but there are things to strongly suggest he has.

12:18:00 AM  
Blogger AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Vanessa: Did you mention evidence? That's not something you'll find around here!

12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah there doesn't seem to be any. Thats what I keep asking people, but each side just rambles on not really saying anything.

I guess this isn't like math with one answer.

Being an almost liberal...although I think I belong in the ;I'm really confused party; Shouldn't the focus be on making posative changes. Everyone has complained about how things are being done so with an election coming up the focus should be on whats best for the country?

Right now it does seem like revenge from Clinton and Bush hating. I have said I don't like the man, but country comes first.

12:48:00 AM  
Blogger AmPowerBlog said...

Hi Vanessa: Impeaching Bush is not going to bring about positive change. It's all about payback - you said it yourself. Note that I didn't support the Clinton impeachment back in 1999. Clinton lied, and he betrayed those who voted for him, but it wasn't treason, bribery, or even high crimes, as far as I'm concerned, or the American public for that matter.

We need progressive change. The irrationalist Democratic agenda is not likely to achieve it. Black-on-black violence is something I've discussed recently - especially the phenomenon of witness intimidation in the poor communities - but the Democrats completely ignored the issue at their forum before the NAACP this week in Detroit. The Republicans skipped the event altogther, which is a shame, because what will really help the black lower third is more police protection combined with a cultural revolution toward educational opportunity, market entrepreneurship, and personal responsibility.

Have a great weekend!

1:19:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Advocating conciliation is not actually support for the revolution, but you're off on a diversionary fugue again. It's not about old Ed Burke, or donald the jerk. This was about the power of Congress to impeach a president for what ever it considers to be an impeachable offense, about which you have little to say - yet you keep saying it.

Sentiment against impeachment in general is not quite at the level one might find in your echo filled fortress of solitude and amongst your smug sycophants and delusional dittoheads. The strongest arguments against impeachment involve the necessary delays, not the legality.

It's the United States ganging up on you, donny boy. The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go.

11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Yes, Vanessa, country comes first but George Bush is not the country. We are the country.

George swore an oath to uphold the constitution and more than half the country believes he has broken that oath and put us all in peril for personal reasons. a LArge and growing part of that number includes former supporters and staunch Republicans and military brass.

Using the power of office for private gains and personal retribution is impeachable and that's only a small and Nixonian example, but don't you think it's a little precious to ask for a complete list of Bush's offenses with extensive documentation before you consider letting congress do its job?

Nobody has stopped you or douglas from reading the papers and the best he's able to do is to defend his baseless assertions by categorizing people, tossing around words like "left," trying to direct any opposition into irrelevant dead ends and making slurs and snotty innuendos about grammar and syntax without reference to any actual relevant facts.

Sure, the people who hang around his blog agree with him - what do you expect? He posts here to try to get more traffic at his blog

There is a bottom line and it's that all the impeachments in US history have been for smaller offenses than what Bush has done.

12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Vanessa my dear, perhaps your not acquainted with how reality based bloggers work. One must click the links and read the supporting information to understand the meaning of the post. Try it. It will help.

Fogg, bless you for making the points so eloquently that I need add nothing more. But I fear your efforts are wasted on those who prefer to ignore the plain meaning of words and seek to redefine language into some twisted dialect where facts become hate and delusions become real events.

12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

"“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity." Said Orwell.

Pace the twin arguments that the "surge" is working, despite rapidly escalating losses and that Impeachment is not an option for lack of "evidence" I'll offer il miglior professore Bruce Fein - former assistant director of the Office of Legal Policy in the U.S. Department of Justice, the associate deputy attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan, general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, followed by an appointment as research director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Covert Arms Sales to Iran. Mr. Fein has been an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a resident scholar at the Heritage Foundation, a lecturer at the Bookings Institute, and an adjunct professor at George Washington University. number of volumes on United States Constitution, Supreme Court, and international law, as well as assisted three dozen countries in constitutional revision, including Russia, Spain, South Africa, Iraq, Cyprus, and Mozambique. Fein currently writes weekly columns for THE WASHINGTON TIMES and CAPITOL LEADER, and a bi-weekly column for the LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER devoted to legal and international affairs. Fein also testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee on June 27, 2007 about President Bush's use of "signing statements." to grant himself extra-constitutional powers.

From a recent Slate article, here are his reasons for impeaching Cheney:

1 Asserted Presidential power to create military commissions, which combine the functions of judge, jury, and prosecutor in the trial of war crimes.
2 Claimed authority to detain American citizens as enemy combatants indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay on the President's say-so alone.
3 Initiated kidnappings, secret detentions, and torture in Eastern European prisons of suspected international terrorists.
4 Championed a Presidential power to torture in contravention of federal statutes and treaties.
5 Engineered the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program targeting American citizens on American soil in contravention of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
6 Orchestrated the invocation of executive privilege to conceal from Congress secret spying programs to gather foreign intelligence, and their legal justifications.
7 Summoned the privilege to refuse to disclose his consulting of business executives in conjunction with his Energy Task Force.
8 Retaliated against Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame, through chief of staff Scooter Libby, for questioning the administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction as justification for invading Iraq.

As George Bush has supported each and every one of these things, he is likewise culpable.

At the top of the heap of offenses, in my own opinion was the May 9th, 2007 executive order by Bush giving himself absolute and unlimited dictatorial power in an "emergency" which includes the power to define emergency and to determine when there is one and when it is over.

As much as the jingo don, the "Victory Professor" admires royalty, that is not what America is about. One of the reasons for giving congress the ability to remove a president or vice president fro office was to create an ultimate check on the power of that office. Without it, we will fail and fail to the right as democracies before us usually have done.

1:59:00 PM  

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