The Case for Impeachment
Original draft posted in response to discussion forum on Facebook
It's not uncommon for people with just about the lowest possible opinion of the Bush administration to support the idea of impeaching Bush, but advise against it for practical or tactical reasons. While I understand such concerns, I feel they are ultimately misguided. I'll address two brief statements that are representative of the supposedly pragmatic rationale for not attempting to impeach Bush that I saw used in a recent discussion.
First statement: "It would be an utter waste of time."
Even if Bush were not impeached, or even if he were impeached on his last day in office, it would not be a waste of time.
Exposing the depth of this administration's corruption, bringing it into the light, making it a 24/7 coverage news item, letting it highlight the systemic flaws in our government, and getting it out there just how fucked up things can get in the White House, would be one of the most important national services that anyone could perform for us.
Yes, people know things are bad ... but they still don't see the depth of the problem. They don't see the dirty details in a way that has real impact. The discontent is a low level discontent. It's a snarky remark about Bush over dinner, or a general complaint about the untrustworthiness of all politicians. It's an apathetic discontent. A useless discontent.
We need people to get fucking OUTRAGED.
Second statement: "Let's worry about who gets elected next."
I am worried about who gets elected next.
I'm worried that whoever ends up in office in 2008 will look at the Bush presidency and take it as an example of how much you can abuse your authority, shit on the Constitution, lie to the people, waste taxpayer money, order innocent people killed, enrich your friends/allies, and so on, knowing that so long as you've got a little partisan support and the rest other side is too cowed and timid to even vigorously investigate your abuses and demonstrate, through action, just what kind of heinous criminal they think you are ... the worst you have to worry about is a verbal beating from your opposition.
Considering the utter contempt Bush has shown for the idea of checks and balances; the flagrant and almost casual manner in which he's suspended basic civil liberties; his amoral, unilateral war of aggression against a sovereign state; his transparent imperialist agenda to privatize the resources of said state; his facilitation of the most extravagant, abominable forms of war profiteering; and the way he (and his allies) have used base, jingoistic nationalism, overblown assertions of presidential authority and fear-mongering as as a bulwark against criticism (and the way it's been largely effective) ... I'd say the United States already bears some of the hallmarks of a fascist/totalitarian state.
Future presidents need to know that there's a line that must not be crossed, and a good many people think it was crossed a long time ago. If future presidents don't get that message, we're just going to slide further into the abyss, even if we are fortunate enough to go a four or eight year stretch with someone with a little more restraint and a little more respect for the Constitution, and the people.
The fact that the front-running Democratic candidates for president see impeachment as an unacceptable proposition does not fill me with hope for the future. It fills me with foreboding. It tells me we have a ways to go before turning the corner.
Personally, I've run out of patience for this bullshit and I'm tired of the tergiversation of the corporate liberals in the Democratic party. It's time for them to put up, or shut up.