Sunday, October 22, 2006

IMTF...not just another clever acronym

Impeachment...there, I said it. After being convinced for the longest time that this was a dirty word in American politics, I have come around to the view that this may just be the only way to save the American democracy. "BDS!" the neocons and their sympathizers will harumph at this point, "That's not how the American presidential system works!" Actually, folks, that's exactly how the American system works and the one remedy I think that the great and quasi-mystical Founders would have recommended as the remedy, their 'original intent' for stopping corruption in the executive branch.

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine who is a public school teacher and one of the few people my age living around here that has purchased his own home, even had a book of his published in the time I've been gone. He argued forcefully that should the Democrats regain control of both houses of government that impeachment proceedings would definitely be next up on the drawing board. I opened my mouth to make an argument against it when I realized, well why shouldn't they be? Why should that be beyond the pale to consider for them. If for such a stunning rebuke of the entire Republican enterprise to be delivered, it could be considered a far clearer mandate from the American people across the multiplicity of Congressional races than a one-time razor-thin victory due to voter supression and faulty machines in Ohio, nevermind the most partisan Supreme Court decision in history.

We can argue all about the myth of bipartisanship, but it should be clear to anyone who argues that the vast majority of the population is centrist and wants everyone to cuddle and get along, that this latest Republican Congress has already held the funeral for that concept and while there sold the country away over its rotting corpse. Logical and reasoned arguements, like how we should not have, in no uncertain terms, have made the strategic mistake of going to war in Iraq, can no longer compete with the shitstorm of emotional appeals resorted to by the unitary and ever-campaigning executive branch.

Iraq, as you can see from Bush's delusionary defense of 'just wait for history's verdict', was about Bush's vindication after a lifetime of failure rather than America's security. He never wanted advice or consensus, just a confirmation of the superiority of his own narrow worldview. Please don't tell me that 'democracy is God's gift to the world', not only is that Biblically inaccurate, it also misunderstands the nature of representative government in that it is not always aligned to American interests. Bush is stubbornly pushing his party and this country to the brink so as not to admit to his latest and greatest failure, hiding it with talk of Jesus, just as he once hid from failure with alcohol and cocaine. When you have lost the support of an American family like the Tillmans, appeals to rationality and bipartisanship are not worth the keystrokes. And you have to think that the Saddam was worse argument is growing thinner by each body count. As bad as the Butcher of Bagdhad was, you didn't have to worry about your daughter being raped on her way to school or your sons kidnapped for walking in the wrong neighborhood and a power drill put to their heads.

All of this is going to come to a head here if the Democrats can pull off a double-house sweep of Congress. People might at this point wonder what kind of charges could be brought to justify impeachment, but it is pretty obvious that any amount of digging will produce revelations far more serious than illicit blowjobs. Also it will be more than necessary to impeach Cheney first to avoid him oiling his way into the presidency by default, in which case this would remove him from trying his own case as the President of the Senate and allow the President Pro Tempore to preside. Of course, this requires a two-thirs majority of Senators, but only a simple majority in the House so it remains to be seen just how large a change will be electorally accomplished. The House is all but in Democratic hands, barring something truly miracluous by the Republicans to offset the pileup of corruption crowned by Mark 'Stickyfingers' Foley. But the Senate is 6 seats away from a simple majority by the Democrats, while the Republicans are concentrating their financial resources in only a few states to create a 'firewall' preventing their total immolation. Whether by giving up Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island they can hang on to Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia is still to be decided, but there is a palpable feeling of hatred towards the chickenhawk party, especially from a legion of newly Democat veterans.

In short, we don't need to look far to find reasons to impeach George W. bush or any member of his administration. Just this past week, Bush signed a law effectively destroying the Bill of Rights: the Military Commissions Act of 2006, our generation's version of the Alien and Sedition Acts. This law allows for Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution and nine of the ten Bill of Rights to be effectively nullified. This law allows the President to define torture as he wishes while denying Habeas Corpus to detainees and other foreign-born legal residents, though that can also be expanded to Americans as well. In addition, the law allows the complete destruction of our freedom of speech, freedom to use guns in self-defense, freedom of due process, freedom of a right to a speedy trial, freedom of a right to a trial by jury, and freedom of property rights. In short, the only right now a given under the constitution is the freedom to not offer board to a member of the US Military.

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