House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently said that, if Democrats regain control of Congress after this November’s elections, pursuing impeachment for President Bush was “off the table.”
I hope she was either kidding, or lying so as not to scare off moderate voters. No man in the US deserves to lose his job right now more than George Bush. (OK, Rummy runs a close second. OK, and that cashier at Hess last week who took his own sweet time with customers even when the line was out the door.)
If Bush were to be impeached, it would be his own damn fault. But it would also be the fault of his party. Republicants, you see, set the bar for impeachment very low with Bill Clinton.
They and their Democratic counterparts sat impassively as President Reagan faked his way through the Iran-Contra Affair. Though giving weapons and other support to terrorist countries (Iran) and terrorist groups (Contras) was explicitly forbidden by Congress, making doing so a crime, Reagan was given a free pass with his “I do not recall” nonsense.
Still, Republicants could not stomach the affair Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky. They had loathed the man long before he made it to DC, and were looking for any excuse to get rid of him. So they used their control of Congress to try and force him out. Hmm.
Bush II, well, he’s guilty of any number of criminal acts, not the least of which is trying to turn a democracy into a dictatorship. That’s as anti-American as it gets. And his party has helped him along the way with virtually everything he’s asked for, no matter how illegal or just plain wrong.
Add to Bush’s legal transgressions his extreme mismanagement of the country and issues that have impacted (or will impact) it – Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Katrina, etc., etc. – and the reasons for impeachment become too compelling to ignore. Even bosses get fired when they screw up.
Bush should not be relieved of his duties for the sake of political retribution. That tradition is old and tired and would make our government even more unproductive than it has been in recent sessions.
True, the impeachment process would put a strain on the government. It’s a painful process that I do not relish witnessing again. But we can’t allow a task’s difficulty to stop us doing it. And, in light of their severity, we can't allow Bush’s offenses to go unpunished.
I go back to that low bar set for impeachment – if we don’t punish Bush for what he did, what’s to stop a future president of any party from doing worse? There certainly isn’t any deterrent, if we're afraid to use it.
There is perhaps a more palatable alternative to impeachment – a recall election, a la Gray Davis. That's what happened when voters became disenchanted with his performance as the governor of California. American voters are pretty damn disenchanted with Bush right now. Let's give them another chance to rethink their previous lapses of reason.