Monday, July 16, 2007

Here's Why U.S. Should Impeach Bush

One of the best shows on TV right now is Bill Moyer’s Journal on PBS. I am amazed at both the superb quality and at Bill Moyer’s courage for hosting it. Last Friday it was about impeaching U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. There were two constitutional scholars being interviewed, one a Democrat and the other, a Republican. They both gave eloquent and compelling arguments in favour of impeachment.

The U.S. Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi has insisted that impeachment is not on the table. So far at least a dozen books about impeaching Bush and Cheney have already been published. Apparently a recent poll has 54% for impeaching Cheney and 45% for impeaching Bush. Congressman Dennis Kucinich has put forth a motion to impeach Cheney but only thirteen other Congressmen have signed on as yet.

A serious movement to impeach Bush and Cheney would probably hurt the Democrats because people would perceive this as a power grab. No-one wants to impeach Bush by himself, because then Dick Cheney would become president. Oops! Both of them would need to be impeached and that means that according to the
American political system, the House Leader would become President. This is one reason why Nancy Pelosi does not want to be seen supporting impeachment.
Here is my brief but incomplete list of reasons for impeaching: The Bush administration has consistently acted as if it is above the law and unaccountable to the people. Bush through his many “signing statements” has attempted to nullify legal restrictions on his actions. Bush together with Cheney has refused to answer subpoenas and refused to cooperate with congressional investigations; has used lies to get the United States into an unjustified war; has been involved in illegal spying on the American people,etc…

The two scholars on Bill Moyer’s Journal – Bruce Fein and John Nichols, both argued persuasively that if Bush and Cheney are not impeached then future presidents will have a precedent for expanding their power and practicing illegal activities with impunity. They pointed out that once such a precedent is made it is very unlikely that a future president, either Republican or Democratic – for instance, Hilary Clinton – would give up those extra powers. Therefore, it is in the interests of both sides to impeach them now.

Nichols and Fein argue that the United States Constitution, with its central doctrine of the separation of powers, is being subverted by Bush and Cheney’s actions. Not going forward with impeachment would set a dangerous precedent for the future of America.

These are undoubtedly interesting times. Imagine, TV. that actually makes a difference. Don’t be surprised if Bill Moyers is kicked off the air for this.

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