Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Thinking About Impeachment

 

There is little doubt that the even if the Bush administration doesn’t go down in flames, it will go down in history as one of, if not the most incompetent, corrupt and dangerous presidencies in the history of the republic.

The question is, with crimes so colossal, why isn’t there a public demand for his impeachment?

In fact, there is a powerful and growing popular sentiment for impeachment–we just don’t hear about it. The Zogby organization, the only polling outfit to have posed the question to date, found last June that 42 percent of Americans felt Bush should be impeached if he lied about the war (a much larger percentage believe he lied). That, of course, was before the mainstream media began finally reporting, as a result of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation of Plamegate, on the disinformation campaign for war against Iraq directed by Vice President Dick Cheney and the White House Iraq Group. It was also before Bush himself was found to have been in on the cover-up of the outing of Valerie Plame by Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and presidential advisor Karl Rove. It was also before the US death toll in Iraq topped 2000.

Significantly, it was also before Bush’s callous and inept performance following the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, which has driven his approval rating down to the size of his hard-core conservative base.

It’s a safe bet that the percentage in favor of impeachment of this liar and joke of a president today would be a lot higher than Zogby found it to be in June–a figure, incidentally, which is higher than it ever was during the entire impeachment saga of President Bill Clinton in 1998/9, when the issue was, not an illegal war but an adulterous blow job.

The question now is why Congressional Democrats aren’t calling for Cheney’s and Bush’s impeachment. So far, not one member of the minority party in Senate or House has made that call. Not one Democratic member of the House has tried to introduce a bill of impeachment in the House.

The argument being made by even more progressive members of Congress like Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) is that there is no way, with a Republican majority in both houses, that impeachment could happen, and that pursuing that goal would simply make them look like “radicals.”

Being radical, however, is exactly what is called for today, and fear of that appellation is why the Democratic Party is on such a sustained loosing streak.

I remember back in the late 1960s, when I used to have hair (long), hitchhiking and sometimes driving cross-country through the vast Midwest, West and Southeast, and seeing big billboards calling for the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren. Those signs, funded by right-wing Republican groups, seemed Quixotic at the time. With Democrats firmly in control of both houses of Congress, there wasn’t a chance in hell of Justice Warren’s getting put in the dock. But that seemingly pointless campaign had a tremendous impact on rallying conservatives to the Republican cause, and contributed mightily to the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, and to the election of Ronald Reagan a decade later.

An impeachment campaign aimed at Bush could have the same impact, only much faster. With the interminable war in Iraq getting worse and worse and less and less popular, with the economy wobbly, and with state and local governments struggling because of federal cutbacks in all kinds of programs from education to Medicaid, impeachment could become a campaign rallying cry in the 2006 off-year Congressional elections, when every member of the House and every third member of the Senate must face the voters.

It is time for progressives in the House to forget about propriety, to forget about calculation, and to remember what being a progressive is supposed to mean. The spirit of Paul Wellstone, the late and sorely missed senator from Minnesota, who would surely be calling for Bush’s head today, needs to be resurrected in the House Progressive Caucus, if it is to continue using that name.

I for one will be pushing this argument in a book on impeaching Bush which I am currently working on, with Barbara Olshansky of the Center for Constitutional Rights, for St. Martin’s Press, (due out this spring).

Fitzgerald’s investigation is a welcome blow against the creeping fascism of this most deceitful, manipulative and corrupt regime, but a special prosecutor can only go so far. Progressive forces need to focus now on wresting back the initiative and drumming Republicans out of House and Senate in 2006–no easy task.

A good start would be a concerted impeachment campaign, aimed at tying down the Bush administration with hearings and investigations so it can do no more damage to nation and globe.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

October 23, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
The Middle East, Not Russia, Will Prove Trump’s Downfall
Ipek S. Burnett
The Assault on The New Colossus: Trump’s Threat to Close the U.S.-Mexican Border
Mary Troy Johnston
The War on Terror is the Reign of Terror
Maximilian Werner
The Rhetoric and Reality of Death by Grizzly
David Macaray
Teamsters, Hells Angels, and Self-Determination
Jeffrey Sommers
“No People, Big Problem”: Democracy and Its Discontents In Latvia
Dean Baker
Looking for the Next Crisis: the Not Very Scary World of CLOs
Binoy Kampmark
Leaking for Change: ASIO, Jakarta, and Australia’s Jerusalem Problem
Chris Wright
The Necessity of “Lesser-Evil” Voting
Muhammad Othman
Daunting Challenge for Activists: The Cook Customer “Connection”
Don Fitz
A Debate for Auditor: What the Papers Wouldn’t Say
October 22, 2018
Henry Giroux
Neoliberalism in the Age of Pedagogical Terrorism
Melvin Goodman
Washington’s Latest Cold War Maneuver: Pulling Out of the INF
David Mattson
Basket of Deplorables Revisited: Grizzly Bears at the Mercy of Wyoming
Michelle Renee Matisons
Hurricane War Zone Further Immiserates Florida Panhandle, Panama City
Tom Gill
A Storm is Brewing in Europe: Italy and Its Public Finances Are at the Center of It
Suyapa Portillo Villeda
An Illegitimate, US-Backed Regime is Fueling the Honduran Refugee Crisis
Christopher Brauchli
The Liars’ Bench
Gary Leupp
Will Trump Split the World by Endorsing a Bold-Faced Lie?
Michael Howard
The New York Times’ Animal Cruelty Fetish
Alice Slater
Time Out for Nukes!
Geoff Dutton
Yes, Virginia, There are Conspiracies—I Think
Daniel Warner
Davos in the Desert: To Attend or Not, That is Not the Question
Priti Gulati Cox – Stan Cox
Mothers of Exiles: For Many, the Child-Separation Ordeal May Never End
Manuel E. Yepe
Pence v. China: Cold War 2.0 May Have Just Begun
Raouf Halaby
Of Pith Helmets and Sartorial Colonialism
Dan Carey
Aspirational Goals  
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail