As the year crawls to a bloody and brutal end, I remain flummoxed as to why so many of my fellow Americans and our Congressional leadership look askance at impeachment for Bush and Cheney.
Some say, including Pelosi, that it is a time to heal rather than seek "political" revenge. Some look upon the impeachment process as destabilizing and threatening to our democracy. I am flummoxed by these views. In fact our timidity and reluctance to appropriately execute the remedy to presidential malfeasance provided by Article II, Section IV of the United States Constitution does great harm to the vibrancy and endurance of freedom and democracy.
We dread that important bit of constitutional wisdom as if we're convinced that our system of governance is extremely fragile and unable to endure any litmus test of any sort. In fact the impeachment process was featured in the very beginning of our Constitution by founders who understood that it would be a vital and critical tool in the preservation of democracy and freedom.
Impeachment provides an essential process that tests and renews our democracy. It allows us to measure and censor corruption at the highest level of government, rather than resort to revolutions, coups or rot.
Alternatively, we rot. Alternatively, we embolden and empower the corrupt and the power hungry; the message to them is that we truly lack the will to responsibly implement the constitutional check on corruption and misdeeds. The result is a president who comes to believe that if he can weather some bad press and a ill-informed electorate, he can expand the powers of his office unchecked and beyond what is reasonable and healthy for democracy and freedom.
Nancy Pelosi tells us that impeachment is "a waste of time" and "is off the table."
One of the victims of this nation's nasty bi-partisanship appears to be justice, morality and constitutional law. Pelosi denies this democracy the curative and restorative process of impeachment because she "fears" it will appear to be nothing more than an act of bi-partisanship and political revenge.
As a result of this bizarre perception, lawlessness at the highest levels of power takes a giant step forward. And freedom and democracy tremble on the sidelines.
Because a Republican Congress abused it's power and impeached a Democratic President for attempting to cover-up an adulterous act of sexual impropriety from his family we jeopardize the vitality of our democracy and rule of law. Forgive the cliche, but have we stupidly thrown out the baby with the bathwater?
Despite the failure of the American press to campaign for justice until Congress and the Justice system do their jobs–as it did during the Nixon years–the crimes stand. A quiet and obedient press does not make them go away.
The President and the Vice President lied under oath of office to engage the nation in an illegal war against a nonbelligerent country. They conspired to violate international treaties and the Geneva Conventions to torture prisoners and violate the human and internationally-recognized civil rights of POWs. They have conspired to illegally spy on millions of American citizens, also authorizing warantless acts of search and seizure. They have engaged in illegal profiteering on a massive scale via the likes of Halliburton. Billions of taxpayer dollars have simply gone "Enron" in the war effort, Katrina relief and the global AIDS program. And this administration has funneled millions upon millions of dollars in public funds to support evangelical institutions in exchange for votes. Pick your poison.
Some conservatives say that while the White House may be guilty of some "bad decisions" no laws have been broken, no oaths have been violated. I believe the mafia has a similar code of honor, Omerta. We saw Omerta in action during the Foley scandal. Murderers, embezzlers and thugs depend on it. Perhaps Congress needs an Eliot Ness rather than a Nancy Pelosi.Powered by Sidelines