Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Are we there yet?

No, not yet.
I think bloggers need to stop talking about impeaching Bush and Cheney and start talking about what exactly they have done wrong.
Half of the population of the United States did not vote for Bush and Cheney in either 2000 or 2004. Some statistics would appear to indicate that a quarter or more of Americans would now support impeachment.
But there will be no groundswell of support until a majority of people can see what illegalities have been committed. So far, its still sort of vague -- did they violate the FISA Act with the NSA wiretapping program? Did they violate the Geneva Conventions when they approved torture and rendition? Did they deliberately lie to start the war with Iraq?
But Bush and Cheney did it all with the cover of Executive Orders, they got some tame lawyer (AKA the Attorney General) to provide supporting opinions, and they even got some degree of Congressional support, back when Congress was majority Republican.
So the "high crimes and misdemeanors" still need to be identified and defined.
Nixon tried to cover up a crime (the Watergate break-in). Clinton lied under oath. In both cases, these were individual actions; they were done by the President without any legalistic "cover"; and they were done for a personal benefit -- neither Nixon nor Clinton could claim they did what they did to protect the nation. Also, it was pretty easy for the average person to understand what could be called "criminal" about these actions.
With Bush and Cheney, while their stupidity and incompetence and cowardice certainly disgust many Americans, this may not be sufficient to make a clear majority support impeachment. The specifics of the case have to be spelled out.

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