Ask yourself this: suppose the Democrats had announced weeks/months ago that impeachment was “on the table,” that they were deeply concerned about the Administration’s abuse of power, that it was undermining the Constitution and the rule of law across the board. There’s lots more you could add to the list, but you get the idea.
Suppose they had also said that impeachment wasn’t what they’d planned, and they certainly didn’t need it to retake the White House in 2008 given this Administration’s failures, but that they had become so concerned about the Administration’s blatant lawlessness, and the possibility it could get even worse, that they wanted to make sure a vehicle was in place before then, if it seemed needed to prevent irretrievable damage to the country.
Suppose they had also said that the Administration’s very acts of stonewalling every investigation being conducted to uncover wrongdoing could be viewed as an abuse of power, a coverup and potential support for an article of impeachment. For example, take the inquiry into whether the Administration had been careless in protecting national security secrets and assets; were they still trying to coverup the lying? Suppose that had been the setting yesterday, just before the President slipped his commutation into the media.
1. Would the President have hesitated in his actions yesterday?
2. Would the President have paid a higher price for his actions? e.g., would the public be more likely to see yesterday’s actions as a confirmation of what the Democrats had been saying? Would that give the Republican’s pause in defending it?
3. Would Democrats be in better shape both politically and legally to respond to the White House tactics regarding subpoenas and other investigative actions?
4. Would the Democrats be in better or worse shape for making the argument that the regime does not deserve to be in office, and that hence, removing them from office was now a more legitimate question?
5. Would the Democrats be in better or worse shape for the 2008 elections?
6. Would the country be in a better position to use its constitutional mechanisms to defend the rule of law, in a way that would strengthen those mechanisms for the future?
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and maybe I’m missing something. But can someone explain why answering these questions leads to doing nothing more than the Democrats have proposed so far?
The way I look at it, if you set the table correctly and hire a good cook who knows what to do with the ingredients given them, you’re more likely to have a feast. As I watch the Bush/Cheney regime, they look like a walking high crimes factory, a regime that every day brings into our kitchen ingredients worthy of being considered in articles of impeachment.
It happens virtually every day, but the Democrats don’t even look for impeachment recipies, while the nation is starving for justice and accountability.
(graphic courtesy Barbara)