Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 15, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IMPEACH BUSH?....Elizabeth Holtzman has a cover story in The Nation this week called "The Impeachment of George W. Bush." Here's her case:

  1. Bush illegally approved the NSA's surveillance of calls between al-Qaeda suspects overseas and persons inside the United States without getting a FISA warrant.

  2. He spun the evidence for WMD and deceived the country into supporting the war in Iraq.

  3. He's incompetent.

  4. There is evidence that "suggests" that Bush "may have" authorized detainee abuse.

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew. By my count, based on Holtzman's criteria, the following recent presidents would also have been in acute danger of impeachment: Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton. I've provisionally left out Ford and Carter, but I'm open to arguments that they ought to be on this list too.

Still, logic aside, I suppose the argument in favor of running articles like this is that they're good for getting the base riled up, and a riled-up base is what Democrats desperately need. But is that true? We had a pretty riled-up base in 2002 and 2004 and it didn't seem to do the trick.

But perhaps times have changed. After all, George Bush's approval ratings are in the low 40s these days, not the high 50s, and maybe the country is finally ready for a tub thumping campaign against our commander in chief (though please spare me the "evidence" of childishly contrived polls like this one). Maybe.

I guess I'm still skeptical, though, and the limpness of the Alito confirmation hearings is why. John Aravosis tries to pin the blame for this on the Democratic establishment, arguing that "Heads need to roll. ROLL." But guess what? Senate Dems pretty much followed the script favored by the blogosphere. Strip searches? Check. Membership in CAP? Check. Abortion rights in danger? Check. Imperial presidency? Check. This was the activist case against Alito, and it failed miserably. Maybe heads do need to roll, but we'd better have some better ones at hand before we haul out the guillotine and commence our knitting.

Personally, I'd like to see us warm up by actually winning a midterm election before we get too excited about impeaching George Bush. In addition to a coherent position on national security, maybe some good old fashioned populist business bashing would do the trick. Highlight the thousands of payoffs to Republican donors that have been written into law during the past five years of GOP legislation; tie it all in to Jack Abramoff and the K Street Project; and just tar the hell out of insurance companies while we're at it. I think they'd make a great target, and it might even soften up the ground for universal healthcare in some happy-but-not-too-distant future.

Anyway, consider this an open thread for random vituperation. What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?

Kevin Drum 7:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (250)

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Comments

Why do we have to choose between the two?

Posted by: Tony Plutonium on January 15, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Since you put our alternatives that way......

Posted by: Monstertron on January 15, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew. By my count, based on Holtzman's criteria, the following recent presidents would also have been in acute danger of impeachment: Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton. I've provisionally left out Ford and Carter, but I'm open to arguments that they ought to be on this list too.

WTF kind of argument is this? Please explain your logic.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on January 15, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to see how any of the presidents mentioned has anything to do with Holtzman's criteria as outlined by you.

Perhaps you should elaborate. I'm anxious to find out what other Presidents may have approved torture, spun us into wars, and allowed the NSA to spy on Americans without obtaining warrants.

Posted by: Ron Brynaert on January 15, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

As the Republicans so amply demonstrated in 1998, impeachment happens regardless of the facts of the case. Impeachment happens when there is sufficient political will to go through with it.

Don't worry about the "weak brew." Just let it sit and it will get stronger.

Posted by: alan on January 15, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the Republican efforts to constantly harass and tar Clinton helped Republicans win elections long-term? Working on a campaign in 2002, I constantly heard that Democrats were "corrupt." When I asked for clarification, Clinton's purported misdeeds and impeachment were all mentioned.

I think Democrats need to be willing to slander and slime with the worst of the Republicans, and a small part of that is idle chatter about impeachment. Also, Democrats need to find SOME foreign policy initiative that (1) sounds tough and (2) runs counter to a Republican owning Business interest.

Republican foreign policy largely amounts to finding policies that are INTENTIONALLY bad enough that Democrats can't sign on, so then Republicans tar Democrats. Democrats need to find policies that Republicans can't sign onto and then tar Republicans with them - With Democrats, Republicans find these policies by making the policies objectively ineffective and/or counter to the Constitution. For Democrats to find such policies, they need to be counter to one of the Business groups that runs the Republican Party (Phrma, Oil, etc). And remember, the policy needs to sound tough in a one sentence description.

Posted by: MDtoMN on January 15, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Get a Democrat majority in the Senate and/or House, hold real hearings and let the chips fall where they may. I wouldn't be sorry if they led to impeachment proceedings.

Posted by: Wombat on January 15, 2006 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

"Senate Dems pretty much followed the script favored by the blogosphere." Perhaps that is the problem: DXemocrats too much under the influence of Kos, Drum, Atrios, et al.

Posted by: Zhombre on January 15, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Kevin, we ought to be thinking about the limits of presidential power and the actual boundaries of the law first as opposed to electoral strategy. Maybe we ought to consider the idea that there should be actual limits to our President deciding the limits of his own authority in a democracy and maybe we ought to think about that as opposed to how we can get the next empty suit (*cough*Kerry*cough*) into office. But maybe thats just me.

Posted by: brent on January 15, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Re: other presidents' transgressions, if I'm thinking of the same things you are, them that's also weak. Re: GWBush, he's the only one to have wrapped all the deeds mentioned, and perhaps more, into one neat little package.

Were it in a court case, perhaps it would be called Special Circumstances. I dunno...

Different sides of the Dem/Prog movement can deliver both styles of attacks, to reach different parts of the base. Some folks need red meat, some need cerebral arguments. We should try to connect with both.

Posted by: SteveAudio on January 15, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Wow Kevin, you really are Marshall Whitman without the third person animal fetish.

Liberal bloggers lost the Alito fight? Right. We should've insisted on a more centrist approach. Less Dean, more Lieberman. Gentle criticism would have done the trick.

On Alito, the case was made. Period. Leahy wasted time, Biden wasted TONS of time, but it you watched the hearings, you know he's a wingnut, and a liar, and a bigot, pure and simple.

At the end of the day, the problem is this: the media simply isn't a neutral observer anymore. They're been completely coopted by the GOP.

Interestingly, though, Americans remain aware of the lives they are living, Elizabeth Bumiller, Sue Schmitt and their fellow courtesans aside.

If Roe goes, the Rethugs go.

Posted by: HeavyJ on January 15, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

If only he had gotten a hummer!!!

it had to be said. :)

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 15, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Both. Elizabeth Holtzman is not a candidate, an elected official or a Democratic Party strategist -- she is, at most, a part of the left-wing noise machine. It is the job of the LWNM to jostle for things like the impeachment of Bush even if they're not practically feasible -- just look at how many Scaife henchmen called for the impeachment/arrest of Clinton from 1994 to 1998. At the same time, Newt and the gang actually running for office made moves that were more policy-related. These things are all parts of a whole.

Posted by: Aaron S. Veenstra on January 15, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'll concede that Kennedy was undoubtedly in grave danger of impeachment. His and Bobby's close association with Marilyn Monroe must have raised the specter of fellatio.

Posted by: MillionthMonkey on January 15, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

You've got to say how the others meet all those criteria, Kevin, or this post makes absolutley no sense. I'm scratching my head.

Posted by: adam on January 15, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

An electoral strategy would be better than impeachment. I am not sure the Dems have one so the only way for them to prevail this fall is to hope people vote against Reps because of corruption.

Posted by: Carl on January 15, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I'd like to see us warm up by actually winning a midterm election before we get too excited about impeaching George Bush. In addition to a coherent position on national security, maybe some good old fashioned populist business bashing would do the trick. Highlight the thousands of payoffs to Republican donors that have been written into law during the past five years of GOP legislation;...

Exactly! Look, writing academic articles about why Bush should be impeached is one thing, but let's not be naive. This Congress isn't going to impeach their guy! It's just silly. Hold some hearing on the eavesdropping and really grill them but don't kid yourself about where it's going.

The bottom line is that elections have consequences and one of them is that the winners get to set the agenda.

We need to win elections and to do that we need a goddamn coherent message!

Posted by: Don on January 15, 2006 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew.

Of course, as has been previously discussed, you're a Republican, Kevin.

Naturally it's less than persuasive to you.

Posted by: sixteenwords on January 15, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

They made the points the blogosphere wanted but they made them weakly because they want Alito confirmed so they can run against him.

Posted by: rabbit on January 15, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

They made the points the blogosphere wanted but they made them weakly because they want Alito confirmed so they can run against him.

Naah. Joe Biden was my poli-sci prof back in '74. He's not that smart. Really likes to hear himself talk though.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 15, 2006 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I agree with Arlen Spectre that impeachment of Bush is a perfectly reasonable response to the NSA wiretaps without warrants, and disagree with Kevin Drum that it's a weak brew.

Never thought I'd see the day when Kevin was to the right of Arlen Spectre...

Posted by: DanM on January 15, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

He spun the evidence for WMD and deceived the country into supporting the war in Iraq. ... weak brew

Kevin, I hope you don't have kids. Hmm, maybe I do.

Posted by: jerry on January 15, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?

I guess that depends on whether or not one wants to vent or govern.

Posted by: TWAndrews on January 15, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Arlen Spectre

Spooky.

Posted by: Dante on January 15, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

I'm confused about several of the more substantive parts of your post, Kevin, but this was the real headscratcher for me:

Maybe heads do need to roll, but we'd better have some better ones at hand before we haul out the guillotine and commence our knitting.

Knitting? WTF?

Posted by: Oregonian on January 15, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yup. That's it. Just business as usual the last few years in the United States of America.

Interesting thing about shills. Many don't even know they are shills. Nope. They are thoughtful. You know, when you stop to think about it, nothing is unthinkable. Everything is like something else, isn't it?

It would be rude to think otherwise. And, oh lord, stressful.

Posted by: razor on January 15, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

hmm strategy. How about the desperate senior citizens without meds because of the insane medicare prescription drug benefit (stress on disabled not poor) ? Why aren't prominent Dems talking to them one on one ? Could one link problems with the medicare bill to corruption ? Easy. Could one fail to notice the connection. Hard but the press has managed.

Do Republicans think they are above the law ? Well do they say so ? Why yes.

Only genius of a sort can leave the Democrats without a message.

I agree "impeachment" is not the magic word.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on January 15, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Perhaps then you should lay out what the bar is for a Kevin endorsed impeachment is.

Clearly, illegal torture, lying to take the country to war, and illegal wiretapping don't cut it for you.

What would it take then? Could a President ever be impeached under the Kevin Doctrine?

Posted by: jerry on January 15, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hang on to your rightous anger and fantasize about an impeachment of the worst president in American history. Fantasy is healthy ...

At the same time, on the other side of your brain, make pragmatic political plans to take power back from the Republicans.

When the Democrats return to power, they will then have the tools to fully expose for posterity the parade of Bush horribles.

And the burden of trying to repair the damage.

Posted by: bassfish on January 15, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

LW Phil,

That musta been some high powered poli-Sci class considering Biden was elected to the Senate in '72.

Posted by: wks on January 15, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

the following recent presidents would also have been in acute danger of impeachment: Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton.

I think I've seen you around town

Posted by: Mornington Crescent on January 15, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

There is one huge reason why impeachment now is problematical: Dick Cheney is next in line. Would there have been as much as of an incentive to go after Nixon if Agnew had still been Veep? Now if Cheney is forced to resign, or 'health problems' force him to step down.....

Hmm. Kind of odd to think about it, but the only moderate-center Republicans to get the top 2 spots (Ford & Rockefeller) had to do it through the back door. I'm sure there's some signifigance to that.

Posted by: Larry Roth on January 15, 2006 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're exactly right. We should just let the Republicans stay in office and reap the benefit from their glorious reign...delicious!!! Just bend over and enjoy...

Posted by: coffeequeen on January 15, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew.

Kevin Drum

Fucking idiot.

Posted by: Econo Buzz on January 15, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oregonian,

You must have had a public school/NEA controlled education -- knitting is a reference to "A Tale of Two Cities." Look it up on wikipedia.

Posted by: wks on January 15, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, Kevin, tell us about the knitting. I didn't follow that one at all.

Posted by: lee on January 15, 2006 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW, Noam Chomsky has repeatedly said that every US President since WWII should be tried as a war criminal...

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 15, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like you're failing to impress the "scream and leap" crowd again, Kevin.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

University of Delaware, summer session, 1974. Hadn't given up his academic position yet, although his TAs did most of the work. He's still an adjunct professor at Widener University. Why would I make up something as stupid as that?

Posted by: LW Phil on January 15, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

1 and 2 each seem to be sufficient.

1 is very clear cut--breaking a law specifically written to limit the powers of the President. He even admits to it.

2 will require proof, but the Downing Street Memos and the testimony of others should establish that Bush was deceiving Congress and the country. Going to war based upon a deception is one of the worse things a President could do.

Proving incompentence is difficult so I doubt it would be an easy case to make to the satisfaction of both parties. While this is a valid argument, I doubt it will work for impeachment. I also doubt four by itself would work.

This leaves us with two good reasons for impeachment which Democrats should be able to prove if in control of at least one house of Congress with full investigative abilities (or if faced with a President who refuses to cooperate with such investigations).

Posted by: Ron Chusid on January 15, 2006 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

No, it's a strong enough brew. Just take point #1--

Bush illegally approved the NSA's surveillance of calls between al-Qaeda suspects overseas and persons inside the United States without getting a FISA warrant.

On the day that Bush stood in front of the microphones--instead of giving his Saturday morning address via audio only he gave it in front of the cameras--I knew he had committed an impeachable offense. And what's more--he knew he had committed an impeachable offense.

What he believed, though, was that super-lawyer and legal genius Harriet Miers had told him, 'nah, it's legal--go for it! You're number 1!!!'

Turns out, she was wrong. Oh well.

Looks like poor Rep Bob Ney won't be one of the impeachment managers.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks wks for the information, but not the gratuitous insult. No, my education did not include the complete works of Charles Dickens!

Posted by: lee on January 15, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Chomsky said that in a colloquium at Wichita State in 85 for an anthro class that Clay Robarchek was teaching. I dropped my fucking pencil. I was already married to Major Tom back then. I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut about it in tht crowd though.

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 15, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't any of you folks read A Tale of Two Cities?

Posted by: Kevin Drum on January 15, 2006 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, give up.

What the idiotic reason for thinking that the two choices are mutually exclusive? (For that's how you wrote the question.)

Posted by: cdj on January 15, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, tell us some stories about Joe in the classroom, Phil. For your own safety, don't be annoying when you do it.

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz>Looks like you're failing to impress the "scream and leap" crowd again, Kevin.

Figured you for a niven fan.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 15, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

What would it take then? Could a President ever be impeached under the Kevin Doctrine?

Posted by: jerry on January 15, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

How about violating the Tenure of Office Act?

Posted by: Edwin Stanton on January 15, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

A syllogism for your morning:
If the President did something illegal, he should be charged with a crime.
The President has done something illegal.
Therefore...

Posted by: fontor on January 15, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Lee,

I apologise for the insult (directed at our education system, not you) and will try to be more circumspect in my posts in the future.

Posted by: wks on January 15, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

None of the reasons or evidence holds any water. There's plenty of reason to go after Bush, without having to make things up.

Posted by: No Tin Foil on January 15, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

How about criminal disregard for the economic well being of the country?

Posted by: Michael7843853 GO in 08! on January 15, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Incompetent?-not at all! He promised his supporters lots of tax cuts. He delivered 1.3 trillion and counting.

Posted by: lee on January 15, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Bruce:

Well, like the Kzinti, the Democrats always attack before they're ready.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 15, 2006 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

The priority has to be to gain a handy number of seats at the mid-terms and win at least one house.
Talk of impeachment can help that effort. Do I think an impeachment case against Bush ought to be considered? Here is the quandary. It seems that he has admitted publicly that he willfully broke the law in order the NSA wiretapping. The president should be prosecuted for breaking the law, just as would any other citizen, and it should be considered whether his doing so is a high crime or misdemeanor. This is serious lawbreaking, and should not be dismissed for mere political reasons -- I would call on Patrick Fitzgerald to give another speech about how important it is for public officials to follow laws designed to protect citizenry. Bush should have gotten the law changed and didn't and that is highly problematic.
Here's the problem: do we really want to make impeachment commonplace?

Posted by: LisainVan on January 15, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Aaron makes a very good point.

Calls for impeachment are NOT expected actually to come to fruition; what they do is communicate to the public the level of seriousness of the illegal and irresponsible things Bush has done.

It's a great mistake to think that everything any Democrat says must be feasible and 100% justifiable just as it stands. We are allowed, and must have, a certain number of, well, outliers.

Just not too many, and not TOO far out.

The Republicans know how this game is played. Their fringe asserts something, the "responsible" people say it's going too far, but these fringe people DO have a legitimate gripe, and the public buys the compromise position.

Really, it's political good cop, bad cop, and it's been working for the Republicans forever.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 15, 2006 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: fringe asserts something, the "responsible" people say it's going too far, but these fringe people DO have a legitimate gripe, and the public buys the compromise position

Excellent point. Bad form for any Dem politician to say this, but good for The Nation (double meaning intended).

Posted by: alex on January 15, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Get an electoral strategy that will take back the House and the Senate then you can go for impeachment. But, a Rupulican controlled Senate did not find that Clinton should be removed from office.

You should probably just find an election strategy and MoveOn.

Posted by: berlins on January 15, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oh My God. THe Kzin are the cat-race, right? Whose creation are they?

Posted by: Global Citizen on January 15, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I'm with those who would have to hear your reasoning behind your list of past Presidents.

And if the reason is that you've had a few beers while watching the NFL playoffs, that's ok.

Don't allow Bush's creeping crimes inoculate him from impeachment. He's pretty bad.

But I don't think he could be impeached unless the Dems were to capture Congress and do some serious investigating. I wouldn't doubt that he deserves it.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 15, 2006 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting point about Holtzman's count #1: Bush has asserted both that he committed the impeachable act, and that he intends to continue committing the impeachable act. He's essentially daring us to do anything about it. (To muddy the waters he throws in a few risible claims about his actions not being illegal, of course.) At the base of this is a much more far-reaching claim, made explicitly by Yoo and various lower level GOP officials, namely that the President is not subject to the law. This is the thing which demands to be slapped down very hard if we want to tell ourselves we are still living in a secular constitutional republic and not a totalitarian theocracy.

BTW, I too am waiting for Kevin to back up his claim that his list of recent Presidents would all have been liable for impeachment.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 15, 2006 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

Well since only the House of Representatives can impeach someone in the executive branch or civil officers. (Article 2, section 4,) This means that both Bush and Cheney can be impeached. We are not limited to impeaching Bush, leaving Cheney in charge.

Having said that, the reality is that this process must start in the House. That means, we must have the electoral strategy, and win many seats before the impeachment can reasonably be thought of as a political objective. Clearly there are moderates that would toss Bush out on his unstable ass, but we do not know how many at this time. Whatever moderates still exist are laying low, probably playing the chameleon more often than not just for political survival.

So...my blogging friends....I suggest that not only should we make our opinions known in the very visible blogosphere, we actually need to come up with a viable electoral strategy that the DNC can sink its teeth into. God knows, left up to their own devices, Dems will talk themselves (ourselves?)in circles. It is up to the populace to show them the way. Dean is no dummy. He'll catch on and make something of it. We just need to stay on target with one sense of focus. Pure and simple.

I say the corruption is the best angle right now. There are no Dems involved in The K Street Project...there will be indictments as added fodder. Then... there will be more from the "untouchable" Fitz this year to add more relative to the deceit, coverup, and betrayal of a CIA agent. Really, the deceit and greed of those currently in positions of power is manna from heaven. Let's not let this be one more 'snatching defeat from the jaws of victory' again....

Not only is this what I consider to be our best focus point, but this is also the weakest spot in the RNC armor. Look at how they are clammoring to put out talking points about 'bi-partisan' involvement in the K Street Affair. Look at how there has been absolute silence about Rove's connection to the Plame Affair in the last few months.

This party has nothing but 'alleged' felons sweating bullets about how much is going to be uncovered. How can America be proud of that?

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Count1: Lying to Congress
Count2: Authorizing the use of Torture as opposed to the United Nations and the Geneva Conventions,
Count3: Authorizing the spying on American citizens without warrant and without the approval of Congress both within and without the United States.

Sounds like a good start to impeachment to me...far better than being fellated by a Jewish Princess

Posted by: murmeister on January 15, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Good idea, frankly0.

Maybe we should get our fringies to talk about how Bush should be drawn, quartered, and hung from the highest yardarm for war crimes - and then have our "responsible" people say 'Well, that's going too far... can we compromise, and just string the SOB up by his balls?"

Then the GOP wind machine can go to work saying how awful it is that the Democrats want to string Bush up by his balls. Maybe they'll play the soundbite of the Democrat saying "String him up by his [bleep]" over and over again.

And maybe we can get a few photos of Republicans crossing their legs and wincing, then ask, "How can we trust America's defense to people who can't even say 'balls' without cringing? What are they afraid of?"

And in scenes reminiscent of those "Purple Heart Band-Aids" so popular at the GOP Convention, Democrats could start sporting little bronze testicles as tiepins, cufflinks, earrings and pendants. Make 'em real little, real shriveled, and call 'em Bushieballs.

Call it Operation Tiny Package. Heh.
....

....

....

Y'know, I was just having fun with the idea at first, but I'm starting to really like it.

Posted by: CaseyL on January 15, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK


Is it too soon to talk about impeaching Kevin?


Posted by: jayarbee on January 15, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of what platform he was elected on, Bush as head of the executive branch is constitutionally responsible for executing the law of the land. In what area of governmental responsibilty has he not been guilty of negligence and/or malfeasance?

He has obstructed every department from the performance of its duties. He has been guilty of exactly the sort of thing he accuses the courts of doing. His job is not to make or interpret the law. Whenever he prevents the IRS, EPA, FDA, SEC, FTC, INS, ATF, FBI, .... from doing their jobs as prescribed by statute and upheld by the courts, he is at the very least guilty of dereliction of duty.

It may not be treason to advocate the virtual dismantling of the federal government, but without constitutional permission, it has to be illegal for him to do so, no matter what percentage of the population agrees with his actions.

Posted by: Michael7843853 GO in 08! on January 15, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen>Oh My God. THe Kzin are the cat-race, right? Whose creation are they?

Larry Niven, a "hard" sci fi writer. Fun stories for geeks, but so-so character development, and he became a bit of less-fun right-leaning political crackpot as he aged. Or due to the influence of his writing partner. One of those.

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on January 15, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

You* could probably make a good case that Bush should be impeached based on his immigration policy and on his attempts to create a "North American Community" (like the EU).

* The word "you" assumes an intelligent, patriotic, non-corrupt Democratic leadership.

-- Immigration Reform

Posted by: TLB on January 15, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Poor Democrats, can't win an election."

Have you been paying ANY attention?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 15, 2006 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I don't understand - why was the Zogby poll 'childishly contrived'? It had a straightforward statement (which happens to be true) and it was conducted by a respectable polling firm...the results were pretty easily interpretable...I don't understand the 'contrived' part of your criticism (I can see 'childish', but I think that's because you live in Irvine, where I used to live, and not in a big city where people are really hurting on a large scale so I think you are a little out of touch like I used to be myself).

Posted by: reader on January 15, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Your always a step behind. The Alito confirmation hearings went badly precisely because of a lack of coordination between dems. What do dems have to lose by changing party members? Nothing!

Dems weild effectively no real power at the moment. Dems who are close to power are feeding off the scraps of the repubs. Now is exactly the time to change horses.

As for the impeachment of the president. The case is extremely strong. Let's start with creating a fraudulent case to go to war. Let's start with creating an alternate system of checks and balances to favor the executive with outlandish authorities. The white house is out of control, and must be stopped. A large majority of the republican power brokers in the house are enmeshed in a corruption scandal of the greatest magnitude in the history of the republic. It's time to go on the attack. Its time to dismantle the republican machine.

Posted by: patience on January 15, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just glad that Chomsky made it out of Wichita alive.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on January 15, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

A weak brew?? Christ almighty, what a numbed, jaded citizenry we've become. What's Bush have to do, take a shit on the Constitution in public view?

And then you ask us to read Charles Dickens to understand what the hell you meant. Belittling your readers isn't something I'd thought I'd ever see from you, Mr. Drum.

Posted by: Jones on January 15, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Tom wrote:
Well, like the Kzinti, the Democrats always attack before they're ready.

Amusing, in light of the Iraq debacle.

Posted by: josef on January 15, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, I'll just take one...let's go with FDR:

- sold destroyers to the British without congressional approval. Hmm, pretty imperial Preisdent of him, dont'cha think?
- lied about the attacks on the USS Kearny that precipitated our "shoot on sight" policy for German warships,
- threw thousands of loyal US citizens into internment camps via executive order, for which we had to apologize and give restitution later.

Anyone want to work up the retroactive bill of impeachment?

Presidential lying's not very unusual these days (JFK, LBJ, Clinton all did it on national TV). That in and of itself is a shameful statement on the Presidency...but it's not like this isn't a bipartisan strategy.

Posted by: eponymous coward on January 15, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

Haven't any of you folks read A Tale of Two Cities?

How about this: we live in a time where there simply aren't any qualified or decent people to lead us.

Welcome to the 1890s or the 1920s.

This is a fallow time in American history as far as leaders and statesmen/stateswomen are concerned. The person who arrives on the scene to provide the necessary 'correction' to what ails America won't be named Roosevelt (although, how cool would that be?) as was the case when TR and FDR arrived on the scene and, literally, took the country in a direction away from decline. Whoever that person is, their political affiliation and political party will be irrelevant. They will have their detractors and their critics, but the country will be realigned, hopefully in a more liberal way.

History won't regard GWB as anything more than an accident, an unqualified President who was incapable of leading a unified America in the right direction. This is the era of the Karl Rove presidency anyway--when the veneer is lifted, people will realize that they've been suckered by a charlatan who used a failed Texas oil man with name recognition to severely damage the United States of America.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: Really, it's political good cop, bad cop, and it's been working for the Republicans forever.

This is exactly right.

And the best way to tell it's working is that every time a Dem bulldog (oh, how few we have) does this, our trolletariat sorrowfully informs us that this kind of talk isn't going to do the Democratic party any good with the swing voter. Thanks for looking out for us, guys.

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Don't impeach.

Impale.

Posted by: trueblue on January 15, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

I will take up knitting again and sit in the front row, cackling with glee, when the House votes not only to impeach Bush, but to guillotine him publicly.

Posted by: Madame LaFarge on January 15, 2006 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

It would be political suicide to impeach the president if the surveillance is found to be limited to national security targets.

I'd like to see the possibility of impeachment discussed, but then in gesture of gravely responsible statesmenship, have the House pass a motion of formal censure.

All of this, of course, depends on retaking the House.

Posted by: Mike B. on January 15, 2006 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Defarge, if you please.

Posted by: Robespierre on January 15, 2006 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

eponymous coward "FDR:

- sold destroyers to the British without congressional approval. Hmm, pretty imperial Preisdent of him, dont'cha think?
- lied about the attacks on the USS Kearny that precipitated our "shoot on sight" policy for German warships,
- threw thousands of loyal US citizens into internment camps via executive order, for which we had to apologize and give restitution later."

FDR was also a wartime president fighting a real war. WW2 wasn't a cynical political gambit to consolidate Presidential power. Big diff.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 15, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

It is painfully evident that Bush is not fit for office.

However, I think it would be the wrong move for the Democrats to pursue impeachment, unless Bush's poll numbers sink into Cheney territory.

I think even though the guy doesn't have a lot of support right now, the public may rally around their President if they see the Democrats trying to push him out. "Yeah, he's a shitty President, but he's OUR shitty President!"

Look, Bush's policies are just wrong and he is starting to reap the blowback. Just let him slow burn. Bush's own policies will ultimately do more damage to this new brand of Republicans than any amount of Democratic PR campaigns.

Posted by: spot on January 15, 2006 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Not your finest moment, Kevin. I have no idea how you arrived at your list, but it's pretty clear that FDR, JFK and LBJ are on that list for their roles in leading our nation to war. Kevin, I think you know the difference between Iraq and the wars this country fought under those presidents, so I won't belabor it. Sufficeth it to say that FDR did what he had to do, and JFK and LBJ did what they believed they had to do in response to communist aggression. bush did what he didn't have to do, and he did it for reasons that have brought shame upon every single one of his countrymen. And even if one grants that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a total fraud upon which LBJ capitalized to drag us into a Vietnamese civil war, it doesn't begin to compare to the protracted and orchestrated campaign of lies engaged in by bushcheney to create war where none existed.

Kevin, why don't you rethink this, or at least pare down that list. To compare any one of those presidents to bush is slander of the worst kind.

Posted by: Thomas on January 15, 2006 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, mais oui! It's delightful, it's delicious, it's delovely, it's Defarge.

Posted by: Madame Defarge on January 15, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

I understand how one can (maybe should) view impeachment in political terms, as a partisan act.

But it strikes me that willfully violating the Fourth Amendment (NSA spying) and willfully violating the balance of powers (Bush's signing statements) creates a non-partisan constitutional crisis. If you're a Senator or House member, and Bush gets away with trashing the constitutional role of Congress, you have two choices: go home because you no longer have a job or fight by impeachment.

Maybe that's naive but I don't see how you can view impeachment in any other light than a bi-partisan threat to Congress that has to be dealt with. Either the President backs down or he gets impeached.

Posted by: Fred on January 15, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Pale Rider: meanwhile we wait and watch as.....

truly unscrupulous politicians run up the public debt to ridiculous number, guaranteed to harm our children and grandchildren.

a partnership of head-in-the-sand, greedy, dishonest corporations and their political accomplices trash the environment, ignoring and denying all warning signs.

our once proud military is so abused, trashed and transformed into an institution that I am reluctant to encourage my three children to join and serve their time as I did.

Im not having a particularly good time waiting for the worm to turn. I live in a Republican neighborhood whose families would not think of encouraging their kids to serve in the military and go to Iraq. Thats for the poor folks. It so reminds me of the Vietnam days.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 15, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Add me to the list of people annoyed with the word choice here, among other things. It seems like someone hopped in, took control of Kevin's logic and then twisted it to just piss me off. Just because you say it's childish doesn't make it so, just because you say its a pretty weak brew doesn't make it true. Seriously, that makes no sense, especially when impeachment is over crimes and you said it yourself thatour president "ILLEGALLY" approved NSA wiretapping. Come on, Kevin, you're better than this.

I also like the logical fallacy of your final question, great work.

Posted by: Steve L on January 15, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

As I shift assets offshore and cautiously watch the gates that can close and force people to stay here I consider no what a shame that Bush and his cohorts could destroy America but that he would have so much support in his efforts. If, as Hermann Hesse described it of fascist developement in Germany in the 30's, all the elements necessary are replicating here again then it again is a shame that so few can recognize it-republican or democrat. It's the perfect storm of fascist political impowerment and should be accompanied by mobs attacking the whitehouse, hauling offending parties out and stringing them up but instead they lie fearful of terrorists that the politicians in power lack any realistic or hopeful ideas to stop and allow them to begin gradually to control everything. It's all so very interesting that, as Hesse found out, that a literate citizenry would not, could not be able to see the extremely dangerous conditions develop as they passed them by on their way to totalitarian government. How fitting that while someone worries about Brad Pitts next moron girlfriend, George Bush gradually works to remove their freedom and rights. When do we form the Nazi youth corp? Should be anyday now.

Posted by: MRB on January 15, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, as has been previously discussed, you're a Republican, Kevin."

"Kevin Drum Fucking idiot."

Wow, I guess the most vicious scorn are reserved for apostates.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on January 15, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

cause for impeachment is whatever the house says it is, and arguing about justification is a waste of breath. does it make any political sense to try for it? beats me, but I would bet a very large sum of cash today that it would not succeed if the vote was tomorrow morning.

Posted by: supersaurus on January 15, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

It would be political suicide to impeach the president if the surveillance is found to be limited to national security targets.

It won't. Remember, all roads lead to the public official who entered the national stage by barging in on a Florida election recount session by saying, "I'm John Bolton and I'm here to stop the count."

This act, in 2000, was proof that the current gang is an anomaly, and will be completely irrelevant in about four years. No one currently serving the Bush Administration will ever see real power in American politics again. They have 'criminalized' themselves by serving here in the second administration. It was also the antithesis of American political discourse--democracy goes forward, it doesn't regress because someone with a bad moustache uses lawyerly tricks on behalf of his benefactors to stop it.

When Bolton reveals the how and why--in some confessional book, in some series of interviews--in order to flip on the aforementioned benefactors, it will likely be revealed that his knowledge of the NSA wiretapping program involved people of the Democratic Party persuasion or peaceniks or some other 'harmless' segment of the loyal population.

The NSA wiretaps were declined by the FISA court--and ultimately by John Ashcroft on his hospital bed--because they didn't want to go to jail.

The strongest force in American politics is the desire to avoid jail time. Look for that desire to become more 'revealing' in the next few months and years.

As for Kevin's assertion that the Democrats need to find some candidates or whatever to reverse this, it won't happen any time soon. Not enough Democrats are being threatened with jail right now to get them to do something good for their country.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

If you're a Senator or House member, and Bush gets away with trashing the constitutional role of Congress, you have two choices: go home because you no longer have a job or fight by impeachment.Posted by: Fred on January 15, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

...choice #3: Stay, collect a paycheck for little to no work (how hard is it to vote as you are told?) and maybe if you are a good enough soldier, you can promote to Lobbyist on K Street where you can not only rake in your congressional pension, but can rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually?

I bet #3 was / is the choice of most of the R's in congress....

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think this should turn on the R seats. Let Dean and the Kossacks wage war there. Let them ignore the sitting dems, and let them run on the most radical program that suits the district or the state.

I'm from Maine, and in Maine we've always respected politicians who stood up for what is right. In the past, Olympia Snowe fit that bill. But today she is not a Senator from Maine. She's a Senator from the Republican party. I think that meme--a representative from [my district], instead of from the Washington establishment--is one that will resonate. And it does not depend on the DLC or Joe Biden's presidential prospects.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on January 15, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

'When do we form the Nazi youth corp? Should be anyday now.
--MRB

It's called the College Republicans, MRB. By the way, good post. We are well down the road to fascism.

Copy this address into your browser and hit Go:

http://www.ericblumrich.com/14.html

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 15, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Im not having a particularly good time waiting for the worm to turn. I live in a Republican neighborhood whose families would not think of encouraging their kids to serve in the military and go to Iraq. Thats for the poor folks. It so reminds me of the Vietnam days.

We're not headed for doomsday. We're headed for a course correction. It will be a transformational change, one that will make the standards for being elected President much harder. In ten years, it will be unthinkable to elect a small state governor or a bumbling idiot with no foreign policy experience to the highest office in the land.

I suppose it's too optimistic to think that way, but oh well. People will pity this administration when a few years go by and Americans get involved in solving problems in a meaningful way again.

And, to the FDR crowd:

FDR really didn't have much to do with fighting WWII. George Marshall did. Oh, and about thirty really mediocre generals and admirals who did their level best to hold back the ones who could fight.

FDR fixed the American system of capitalism and gave poor, elderly people a safety net. That's why Republicans have hated him since day one.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the Season Premier of 24 is coming up, so I don't have time to give a really thoughtful reply to this garbage... other than to wonder once again how Kevin keeps his penis so soft, limp and pliable.

Hey, if you're going to have a crap post, why not just link to Sullivan or Yglesias? Or have Glastris do it.

OK, time to see Jack Bauer lose another good night's sleep for the good of The Republic. Thank God for Modafinil.

Posted by: Brian's Dog on January 15, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Let's bash us some business! 'Cause, you know, neither Kerry nor Gore went into the bag o' tricks on that score. Maybe that's why they're not called "Mr. President", in addition to other reasons.

And let's start the corporate corruption scandal mongering with Rep. William Jefferson(D) from LA. And then onto the rest of 'em. All. Of. Them.

Posted by: Birkel on January 15, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

The risks have always been there: two party system dependent upon massive cash flow. Eventually those represented take the form of the extremely wealthy or their cash and not the average citizen. A choice of one party in power or the other-all held together by a hoped-for distribution of power in a three branch government pretty much insured that at sometime totalitarians would try to exert control through the executive branch. It is the weak link. Now that it is happening, the very odd part is that individualistic conservatives (but, of course the development of fascism proved this) are apparently so afraid of losing their money and terrorists that they will allow their own freedoms to be diluted and removed. In fact, as is shown, their fear of equal freedom of gays, minorities, women, and the poor is so great that they will vote their own rights away. How very interesting. Their very fear is used develop a form of government that will destroy them. And they don't even realize it. It's almost funny.

Posted by: MRB on January 15, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

But seriously, much as I would like to see Bush impeached, I think our primary goal has to be to stanch and reverse the damage caused by these ideologues. We need to regain the trust of moderates.

Twenty-five years ago, Reagan was elected by talking about "morning in America." I would like to see the Dems start talking about what America used to be, before Bush, and what it can be again--the USA that was a beacon of hope, admired around the world for our freedom, our generosity, our work ethic, our humility, our innovativeness, our admirable government of, by and for the people.

Under Bush, we have pursued policies that have brought shame to this great nation. Other nations mock us. They have contempt for what we are now. Under Bush, the people have been divided, our wealth squandered. Washington reeks of corruption.

Bushco has done things he ought not to have done (the Iraq war, the revenge games, the propaganda, the torture, the spying, the corporate cronyism) and he has left undone things that he ought to have done (investing in clean energy, addressing global warming, competent government.)

I think if we attack the man, his fundamentalist base and the 35% of no-nothing Americans will feel protective. They will dismiss any criticism as petty partisanship. So we need to go after his policies, what his administration has done and not done. Americans need to understand that the pain they are feeling now is a consequence of Bush's policies. And we need to swear to defend the American Constitution. We need to remember that we are not just taxpayers or consumers, we are responsible citizens of a great nation.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 15, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK
Looks like you're failing to impress the "scream and leap" crowd again, Kevin.Posted by: tbrosz
As long as he supports the obsequious Bush lickspittles, he's earning his pay.

I surprised to learn that Bill Clinton was impeached for warrantless wire taps. He claimed never to have done that. Perhaps he was guilty of incompetence, or spinning WMD but I don't recall those events occurring during his presidency.

THe Kzin are the cat-race, right? Whose creation are they?
Posted by: Global Citizen

Larry Niven, Ringworld

Posted by: Mike on January 15, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

That's the extent of Republican political thought in this country:

Freedom Fries, "ooo, liberals are criticizing Kevin Drum!"

Brian's Dog: "I want a soft penis in my mouth."

Birkel: "Bill Clinton once got a blowjob!"

MRB: "...Godwin's law..."

Add it up, see what you got: they're bankrupt of ideas and the soft penis of a Hitler worshipping fascist idiot is all they have to wave at real problems. No wonder v1agra is the most spammed, most abused drug in red state america, along with oxycontin and hydroxycut.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

vituperation. What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?

Kevin Drum

Stick with impeachment. Winning is less important than feeling good about yourself for 'sticking it to the man'.

On the rest of you, make sure you are in the Democrat party and in a position to vote for who gets the nomination. Don't let the DLC betray your principles.

Have I ever given you bad advice?
-McAristotle

Posted by: McAristotle on January 15, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

The last impeachment we had in this country was such a shabby, spiteful, mean-spirited affair there really is no stomach in the country for another one. Advocates of impeachment are just dreaming. Besides by impeaching Bush you get President Cheney and even more crazy imperial presidency ideas. No thanks.

Posted by: aline on January 15, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

I really like this site, come here often, but everyonce awhile you throw out comments that make absolutely zero sense.

I'm not sure if pursuing impeachment is wise politically or not, but I fully agree with many other comments - its not an choice between that and electoral strategy. Not even close, any more than you must either be for protecting America from terrorists or for protecting civil rights.

As several others have noted, your assertion that the case for impeachment against George W. Bush is no stronger than for most of the last 8 or so Presidents is also empty rhetoric. Perhaps by your standard Nixon didnt deserve to be impeached either if he had refused to resign?

Of course, its yet to be fully proven but the charges are substantial: Hundreds and perhaps thousands of knowing and premeditated criminal violations of FISA. Repeated violations of required to keep Congress informed and using secrecy laws to keep entirety of program including concept, secret unnecessarily. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of illegally rendered persons to be tortured in violation of ratified treaties. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of individuals tortured and/or inhumanely treated by US personal in violation of law. Lying to congress on the war, cost of the medicare bill, ordering persons not to report costs to congress.

Does you "electoral strategy" include anything about holding elected officials accountable for their actions or does accountability only apply when electorally convenient?

Posted by: Catch 22 on January 15, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

MRB probably shouldn't have been on that list, but when you can call Godwin's law, you have to take the shot.

I have a feeling that our little freeper friends are going to be busy tonight.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kev, you gotta be kidding.

Ordering an illegal act isn't grounds for impeachment?

Sheesh.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on January 15, 2006 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Add it up, see what you got: they're bankrupt of ideas and the soft penis of a Hitler worshipping fascist idiot is all they have to wave at real problems. No wonder v1agra is the most spammed, most abused drug in red state america, along with oxycontin and hydroxycut.

Posted by: Pale Rider "

I definitely think witless vituperation is in order here. Otter said it best in Animal House. It's time for a futile gesture. Impeachment seems to fill the bill. I think this is a much more promising program than actually campaigning for House and Senate seats next November.

Is there anything I can do to help ? Write letters ?

You don't need money as the Moveon people have taken care of that.

Posted by: Mike K on January 15, 2006 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Our witless old fool, Mike K shows up.

Tell the truth, Mike K--swallowed enough v1agra to pitch a tent in a hurricane, haven't you?

Why limit your ranting to moveon.org? Don't you know there's a whole new world out there full of people who have dedicated themselves to destroying the lies and bullshit spread by this administration?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 15, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

It seems the civilized governments have more than two parties so that the power of any one party by itself is marginalized. America is not like that. Here we have but two choices if we want to make a difference. Republicans or Democrats. Nothing else. So with choices like that our only true alternative is to amass extremely high levels of money and buy the government we want. Thus the children, the women, the minorities, the students, the poor, and the handicapped are effectively without representation. Their representation comes only from the compassion of those with the money. Ha, now that is funny. As Hesse weeped for his beloved Germany, I weep for America. So much potential, sold to the highest bidder.

Posted by: MRB on January 15, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

If he survives the impeachment process (which he would, I venture to say), then what? Those who are associated with him in the administration would be sullied (but they already are), and the GOP will come up with a "fresh slate" for the 2008 elections (which they will anyway, of course).

If there were actually a chance to remove both Bush and Cheney, then it is a desirable strategy to begin impeachment processes agains them.

There is not actually a chance. What WILL happen, though, is those pressing for impeachment will be on TV (as in the Alito hearings) getting beaten at every turn, and most of those watching from the grandstand will be either amused or outraged by the "political theater".

Is THAT what we want? I think Kevin is saying there are things the democrats COULD be doing that increase their chances of taking over in Congress and Statehouses. To the extent that a "failed impeachment process" gets all the energy and coverage (media) and party leadership focus, it detracts from the other important stategies that the party SHOULD be attending to.

So to those of you who say, "the two are not mutually exclusive", I say: That's right. Theoretically they are not, if you assume unlimited resources and also that lack of success in one venue does not "leak over" into the other one. If anyone here on this page has actually run a business (something I do have experience with), you know, you just KNOW, that you have to prioritize; unless you are willing to be half-assed about everything you are trying to do (which will probably put you out of business).

There IS no strategy until you make choices and say "not now" to some of the things you might feel like doing.

We have an awful lot of ivory-tower-dwellers here, it would seem.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 15, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

hah! karl's kevin bot has taken control. it's just a matter of time before his posts sow begin the ultimate destruction of the vast left wing blog-spiracy from within.

you will be assimilated...and given some of rush's oxy for the initial painful period of adjustment.

hee hee ho ho ha ha

Posted by: papalovesmambo on January 15, 2006 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Will everyone check their shoes please? I think someone brought some dogshit in the house.

Posted by: jcricket on January 15, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

George "Otter" Bush:

"Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our laws -- we did. [winks at Samuel Alito] But you can't hold a whole administration responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole Republican party? And if the whole Republican party is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our political system in general? I put it to you, Tim -- isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?"

"Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!"

[Leads his cabinet out of the hearing, all humming the Star-Spangled Banner.]

Posted by: trex on January 15, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment wouldn't be a distraction from winning elections, as many have said, it would be part of an election winning strategy.

The charges against the Bushies are so many and varied right now that they have produced an incredulous fog that obscures the evil heart of the Bush government's actions. A trial, or even the threat of one, would have the effect of focusing national attention on each charge from a platform we would otherwise not have. Millions of the medias words, thousands of headlines, would go into the grinder. What comes out the other side would be the important charges to stand starkly and to stick. Liar. Promoter of greed and cronyism. Murderer of tens of thousands. Massive waster of the nation's money.

He really has done these things, Kevin, and you think they are not sufficient grounds?

Posted by: James of Dc on January 15, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

A weak brew? Kevin, goddamn it - what's weak about a clear cut case? The statute is clear, not the slightest bit ambiguous and it has requirements that Bush did not meet. That makes the goddamned wiretaps unreasonable per se because they are illegal warrantless searches. That's in direct violation of the 4th Amendment. Which means he violated his oath of office.

Jesus man - what is wrong with you? It doesn't fucking matter what anyone else has or hasn't done - take if from an ex criminal defense appellate specialist - you are totally full of shit and know nothing about what you purport to talk about. Opinion is meaningless, how many people agree with what he did is meaningless. This is a criminal matter. There are rules.

My god I'm ashamed of you. It's a clear cut violation of the law. He has to be held accountable or the rule of law is irretrievably broken in this country. Jesus Christ - I should think that would be self-evident to anyone with a brain.

Posted by: tena on January 15, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

I don't hang out here a lot, just look in from time to time. So, maybe I lack the standing to commend another's post. If so, excuse me for applauding this one: PTate in MN on January 15, 2006 at 11:01 PM |

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 15, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

As my conservative republican father sifts through the insanity of the drug medicare health mess and watches as the government fucks his business, I smile as he blames it all on democrats that have not been effectively in power for 5 years. It's then that I realize how truly wonderful the cash based two party system of compassionate representation really works. Vast cash-based propaganda convinces him that those fucking him are helping him. It just doesn't get any better than this. Meanwhile, they convince him that fascism is OK and actually representing citizens is leftist and socialist. It's rather hilarious in a way.

Posted by: MRB on January 15, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Terry Ott: You don't have to hang out here often to have "standing" to commend or criticize someone's post. Actually doing a little reading around the blog before commenting might, however, have prevented you from making idiotically condescending statements like, "If anyone here on this page has actually run a business..."

I doubt that anyone finished your post after that.

Posted by: shortstop on January 15, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

rex, I think you lassoed the main reason why the media treads so lightly on Bush's desecrations. No one wants to believe our beloved country and the political system which we have been taught from our earliest years is a perfect work of the godsthe system that produced Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt, the greatest politicians in the history of the worldcould mess up so badly.

They don't want to face it, but eventually they must. Impeachment would be a great help.

Posted by: James of DC on January 15, 2006 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Tena: Your passion is commendable. But I think you have to acknowledge that the law is not quite as "clear cut" as you contend. I'm not saying this charge COULDN'T stick, but I believe a good attorney could make a solid argument on either side. I've read some on both sides from people who definitely appear to know whereof they speak. Of course, more facts about the actual processes could swing the thing one way or the other.

Even IF the "law" is ultimately interpreted in the way you see it, and as many others do, the outrage you express will be blunted by the fact that an awfully lot of people will want to know "who, so far, has been harmed?" and want to see evidence that the monitoring of communications was for a reason other than that alleged by the administration, namely reducing the likelihood of terror initiatives playing out.

Tactics have to consider both the upside and downside consequences in a matter like this.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 15, 2006 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has willfully violated a federal criminal statute and claimed unlimited constitutional power both here and in his "presidential statement" that accompanied his signature of the appropriations bill to which the torture ban was attached -- crossed fingers dontcha know

Bush dares the Congress to impeach him or live with the consequences.

Sure we need at least one house to regain agenda control but yours is a false choice. Democrats must lead. They should support the Conyers resolution openly and vigorously. It doesn't have to mimic the GOP's 1994 Charade on the House Steps. It doesn't have to be an official party position. At a minimum though, no democrat running on DCCC funds should be permitted to voice outright opposition to those with the courage to fight.

To paraphrase, a War Party Slogan failure is not an option.

No Lieberman Statements.


Posted by: John McC on January 15, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Calling for impeachment suits a mag like The Nation well. The people who subscribe to it are mostly a highly educated well-heeled over 60 years of age crowd. The kind of person who wont shop at Wal Mart for ideological reasons. Really nice people, dont get me wrong, but a pretty tiny base to work from if you want to win elections.

Posted by: JohnFH on January 15, 2006 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Incompetence, corruption and biblical scale evil are pretty weak, eh? Thousands dead. Trillions squandered. The nation slipping towards fascism. The health system in chaos--can't even get enough flu shots. Kevin, you are slipping away into irrelevance. You can make a lot of deals with the devil, but your last blog is from Hell.

Posted by: Sparko on January 15, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?

Too lazy to read through the 120-some responses, so it's probably been said a dozen times already, but both, just in the opposite order.

Posted by: The Dad on January 15, 2006 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Electoral strategy.

Posted by: ppGaz on January 15, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

To Terry Ott: If a burglar enters your house but steals nothing and damages nothing, is it a valid argument that no one has been hurt? The law has been broken and by no less a person than the President of the United States of America

Posted by: murmeister on January 16, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew. By my count, based on Holtzman's criteria, the following recent presidents would also have been in acute danger of impeachment: Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton...

Kevin, you ignorant slut. Impeachment is not about punishing a president for his crimes.

Impeachment is the means to get rid of the man before he does any further harm.

Weak brew, strong brew...it simply does not matter. What matters is that/when a sufficient number of the House and Senate have decided that the man must be removed for the good of the country. The articles of impeachment need only be "sufficient."

Posted by: Libby Sosume on January 16, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop: I appreciate the feedback. The better wording would be:

"Many of you who face decisions in business realize it is not feasible to proceed on all initiatives without regard to available resources and without considering how success or failure in one initiative will affect the others."

With that as context, I believe impeachment is a non-starter. The point is, I think the ultimate goal is to get enough control of governance to get the country headed in a better direction. Some might think that impeachment proceedings would serve that end, but I do not. We can imagine the down and dirty street fight that would come from impeachment hearings. There would be plenty of mud flying in all directions. Personally, I would rather see the Democratic party take a high road that says, "our priorities now are to outline positions and governing principles that are so clearly preferable to those of the past administration that they will carry the day, easily, in future elections. Join us in doing that."

My fear about impeachment is that the public will say: "They are all just about smearing the other side; same old stuff; I'm sick of all of it."

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 16, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Murmeister: Of course your position is correct IF a law has clearly been broken, but I have observed that arguments can be made on both sides of that. I think the better comparison arises if the burglar was shot dead when he was out on the porch with something menacing in his hand, and saw you in the window -- was it self defense or not? You'd have to know about the situation and read the law carefully.

Aside: I said the "who was hurt?" point is relevant because of public sentiment on this issue. Importantly, impeachment proceedings not leading to removal from office are advantageous only insofar as they (1) deter future actions of elected officials, and (2) affect voter sentiment. The "who was hurt?" (besides potential terrorists) is important because I think it would be a fairly widespread sentiment in these times. That's all.

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 16, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

A Tale of Two Cities was published as a newspaper serial before it became a book. If Kevin is looking for "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" I submit any Iraqi could give us perspective about now. The thread must have some similarity to the way it originally appeared. And to "tend to one's knitting" could have more than one meaning in this context.
tbrosz The Niven thing is just that American policy could have been developed by a Pak Protector right now. All aggression, no restraint in the face of .....I badmouthed a smart critter. I'm sure any such would correctly identify the the opposition, unlike some we could name.

Posted by: opit on January 16, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Here's some actual data to chew on. Charlie Cook makes a strong case that the Democrats will not retake Congress this year barring an extraordinary wave of "throw the bums out." So the Dems' task, it seems to me, is to build that movement.

Posted by: praktike on January 16, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of contrived polls, did anyone evar discuss the MSNBC poll that had 80% in favor of impeachment? Why bother quoting 50-60ish when you can get 80?

Posted by: Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu on January 16, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Still, logic aside, I suppose the argument in favor of running articles like this is that they're good for getting the base riled up, and a riled-up base is what Democrats desperately need. But is that true? We had a pretty riled-up base in 2002 and 2004 and it didn't seem to do the trick.

Yeah, and pulling pages from the Fritz Mondale Big Book of Nuance sure helped Gore, Kerry, and Daschle, didn't it. Free hint: The other side was just as riled-up as we were.

Here's a free hint: Its The Marketing, Stupid.

And how else better to market that the sitting President believes he is above the law by actually calling him out on it?

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 16, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Praktike: The debate would be, then, what strategy will build that movement? I'm fearful that impeachment would bring out the worst in both parties and could backfire in terms of public sentiment. Kind of like, "Enough already, we know the whole thing stinks, now what are we going to DO about it?" I'm hopeful that with the public increasingly fed up, they would react more enthusiastically to an upbeat vision of what the future "could look like" in terms of governance, with a very heavy emphasis on reform/integrity, openness, principled leadership, AND national security.

But maybe I'm wrong about that. The conventional wisdom seems to be "trash the opponent until people grudgingly accept that you might be a little better than he is."

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 16, 2006 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

Why Chomsky was basically right about post WWII Presidents--

Truman--The Korean War was just, but the way it was fought--with massive bombing of civilian populations, causing at least many hundreds of thousands of deaths--was criminal. Guilty as charged.

Eisenhower--Same complaint. I think he was the one in office when the legitimate governments of Iran and Guatemala were overthrown, leading to a brutal dictatorship in Iran which resulted in much anti-Americanism (which is blowing back on us now) and in Guatemala it led to a series of brutal dictators which slaughtered 200,000 Guatemalans. Guilty, obviously.

JFK--Read Neil Sheehan's book on Vietnam and you'll find we were already bombing civilians. South Vietnamese civilians. He also supported a terrorist campaign against Cuba. Guilty, of course.

LBJ--Need you ask? Aside from Vietnam, there was also the support given the mass killings of Suharto when he took over Indonesia in 1965. Guilty.

Nixon--Cambodia. Don't need the formality of a trial for this one. Aside from Vietnam,Laos, and Cambodia, Nixon also sided with Pakistan as it engaged in what was probably the largest slaughter in any country after WWII-killing possibly as many as 3 million people in Bangladesh. Or maybe only 500,000.

Ford--Gave Indonesia the green light to invade East Timor, causing 200,000 deaths. Guilty

Carter--Supplied weapons to Indonesia as it slaughtered Timorese. Some of those 200,000 deaths are on Carter's head. Carter has done the world an immense service with his activism after his Presidency, so Guilty, but with commuted sentence (or whatever).

Reagan--Supported mass murderers and genocidal killers on four continents--Suharto, Savimbi, the Argentinean neo-nazis, the Contras, the Salvadoran death squads, various Guatemalan killers, including the worst, Rios Montt. Guilty.

That takes us to 1985. Chomsky was right.

Posted by: Donald Johnson on January 16, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

I forgot Reagan's support for Saddam,and also the Iranians. You can't get more cynical than that, supporting both sides of a WWI style conflict with massive atrocities. But you knew that. No wonder we named an airport after this guy.

And btw, the US trained torturers all through the Cold War.

Much as I despise Bush, his crimes don't stand out so much as his sheer incompetence. The difference is that the preceding Presidents had some redeeming qualities, something good you could say about them. Bush--well, there's the AIDs initiative, but he's not really serious about Third World health or he'd do a lot more.

Posted by: Donald Johnson on January 16, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Kev wrote:

But guess what? Senate Dems pretty much followed the script favored by the blogosphere. Strip searches? Check. Membership in CAP? Check. Abortion rights in danger? Check. Imperial presidency? Check. This was the activist case against Alito, and it failed miserably.

I just wanted to say that I think these comments need a little clarification. The Dems can hit all the points they need to hit, but if they don't win with those points, that does not have to mean that those weren't the points you have to use in an argument that does win. Any seasoned trial lawyer will tell you that presentation makes a big difference. These kinds of things really are like a trial where Dems and Republicans argues to a jury, the American people. With an opponent who is trying his hardest to make a compelling case vying against you, just mumbling the substance of your best points is not good enough. You have to present them well.

I don't think anyone should make sound like they're suggesting that we throw in the towel or that we can't win with the arguments we have. The fact is that sometimes you can put in a better effort than you have been, and sometimes that's what it takes to win. The GOP really does seem to put a lot more time, thought, and effort into determining what's persuasive to people, and then implementing that presentation. It certainly seems like that might be one factor that's making the difference for them, nowadays.

Posted by: Swan on January 16, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you are, as always, a fucking tool.

Is there a place to write the Washington Monthly to get an actual progressive blogger, or at least a blogger capable of fending off right wing talking points from embedding in their mind.

Posted by: Mysticdog on January 16, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

The amusingly named Freedom Fighter writes:

Wow, I guess the most vicious scorn are reserved for apostates.

Interestingly, I've been suggesting Kevin is the liberal blogger most likely to becaome a conservative blogger since the CalPundit days. Nothing's changed except he's become more obvious as he frantically triesto save his bourgeois sinecure.

The center isn't going to hold, Mr. Fighter.

Posted by: sixteenwords on January 16, 2006 at 1:04 AM | PERMALINK

Terry Ott:"The debate would be, then, what strategy will build that movement?" [to throw the bums out.]

A very legit question. imho, one part is to advertise that under the current administration the US is growing weaker and weaker. The military is hurting. The middle class is slipping. The quality of our lives is deteriorating. Bush war policies have not made Americans safer. We are squandering our resources on non-essentials.

The problem is that Bush supporters are nuts. They are so afraid of Democrats that they justify everything Bush does. Anything is okay as long as Bush says so: They are paranoid, hostile and closed minded at the same time. So a second part is to figure out how to shatter their impenetrable mental fortress. Harriet Miers and Katrina caused some hairline fractures, but we need something bold. Possibly fresh approaches on affirmative action and immigration.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on January 16, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and another important point: We need to keep reminding people that it doesn't have to be this way. These threats to the nation are the consequence of bad Republican policies. The president is making bad choices. The Republicans are misleading the nation.

We can choose not to go in this direction.

Posted by: PTate in Mn on January 16, 2006 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think anyone should make sound like they're suggesting that we throw in the towel or that we can't win with the arguments we have. The fact is that sometimes you can put in a better effort than you have been, and sometimes that's what it takes to win. The GOP really does seem to put a lot more time, thought, and effort into determining what's persuasive to people, and then implementing that presentation. It certainly seems like that might be one factor that's making the difference for them, nowadays.

B-I-N-G-O.

Interestingly, I've been suggesting Kevin is the liberal blogger most likely to becaome a conservative blogger since the CalPundit days.

Nah, my money's been on Kevin angling to take up the Alan Colmes slot next to Hugh Hewitt's Sean Hannity if/when they ever got their own show. I think Hewitt's star hit its peak a while now, so Kevin's busy plying his schtick in case someone else comes looking for an Obligatory Wimpy Liberal.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on January 16, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is there a place to write the Washington Monthly to get an actual progressive blogger, or at least a blogger capable of fending off right wing talking points from embedding in their mind.

Posted by: Mysticdog

There is no hope. Most of the WM writers are as aggravating as KD.

The main thing they should shut the blog down entirely. KD is becoming the Harold Ford Jr. / Joe Lieberman of bloggers: the blogger the right would love to quote as he basicly gives them Mulligans on all their talking points.

KD should be bumped upstairs to the NY Times, where he would feel right at home.

Posted by: Libby Sosume on January 16, 2006 at 1:36 AM | PERMALINK

What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?

Gosh, I guess there's no danger to the Republic or the end of the rule of law in America, so golly-gee, maybe it will hurt Dems election chances if they stand up to a would-be tyrant, fulfilling their oath of office.

What the hell are you thinking? Do you really not know that right at this moment Bush claims that he exists above the law, that data is being gathered on political opponents, that "secret police" powers are being concentrated in the Pentagon, and that the media is cahoots with Bush? What planet are you on? Is it the need to write even when you don't have any thing to say, or what accounts for posts like that?


Posted by: jim p on January 16, 2006 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Impeachment isn't going to happen with a Republican Congress and it wouldn't be a winner if Bush were ousted because we'd have Big Time to preside over us. I agree with the poster who said "let it ride" until Bush's term is over and let the American people see what the years of Republican rule have wrought.

But even that's not going to help much if the choice the voters have in '08 is between the corrupt delusional Republicans and the weak-as-water Democrats. If the Democrats want to offer a clearer choice, they're going to have to get better organized for battle. And growing a set of cojones to call out the Republicans on their corruption and absurd policies/actions wouldn't hurt either. But something tells me we're going to be getting a Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton or some other form of Republican Lite on the ballot.

Posted by: Taobhan on January 16, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

For those arguing that FDR wouldn't have deserved impeachment since he was "fighting a real war", you do realize that that is exactly the kind of arguement the Republicans want you to make. Because it makes it sound like you don't treat terrorism seriously. Is it an unfair accusation? Yes. But it's one the Republcan establishment would be gleeful about every time they hear a democrat make it.

Posted by: Jeff on January 16, 2006 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

PTate in Mn sez: "So a second part is to figure out how to shatter their (Bush supporters') impenetrable mental fortress."

And, "We need to keep reminding people that it doesn't have to be this way. These threats to the nation are the consequence of bad Republican policies....We can choose not to go in this direction."
===
I don't think it is necessary (or possible?) to shatter that fortress. It's crumbling somewhat, and the people DO see that. There are the ardent supporters who will try to patch it up, and there are lots of other "Bush 2004 voters" who are not really "Bush supporters" in a proactive sense. That's the crowd to appeal to, and I don't think that either Gore or Kerry did as well as they could have. That's the crowd that would listen to the message about choosing not to keep going in the current direction. But they DO have to hear that the new direction will not downplay the threat of terrorism and radical Islam.

Dead horse, please, so I can beat it some more. Going after BushCo via impeachment IS (in one sense) going in the same KIND of direction --- that is, politically charged confrontation. It's the tool of Republicans; that IS the current state. And the GOP is damned good at it, whatever else you might think of them.

What I would do: ASSUME that people are fed up with the current GOP governance model. Remind them WHY that is, as you suggested. Just take that as a given and repeat it. Again and again. Congratulate them for coming to that conclusion; for not being hoodwinked. Then comes the "it doesn't HAVE to be that way." And then (this is the part that requires some serious work) describe how things should be --- in broad terms, not promises about "fighting for you, Mr. or Ms specific demographic", and not "liberal platform" kinds of things. Rather, focus on the process of governing, the principles of good government. This is where BushCo. is vulnerable, I believe. The only question in my mind is whether the Democrats have it in them, and have enough credibility, to be the party that "rises above" the crappy muck that passes for governance these days.

I'm thinking that right now is about the most opportune time for a "new" party. That could be a third party, which probably would not get enough traction, or it could be the Democrats, but not looking and sounding like they have for too long. The downside of pursuing impeachment is that it will portray the Democrats in ways that would work against them creating a new identity. That's what I have been trying to say in my various posts here; i.e., you probably cannot have it both ways. It's a strategic question, and should not be answered emotionally. It's all about what gives you the best chance of a turnaround in image, and popularity, and respect, and ultimately in votes.

It should NOT be decided based on what makes YOU feel better. Ultimately, the scoreboard on election day is where you get your vindication, and anything else is just "personal".

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 16, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

Ott sez that people won't want to impeach based on the NSA scandal because they will ask "who, so far, has been harmed?"

That question sure didn't stop Clinton from being impeached, did it.

Posted by: whocares on January 16, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

It isn't quite true that no one was harmed by Clinton's extracurricular activities. A friend of mine, and her mother, had to explain to her grandmother, a fan of Clinton's, exactly what oral sex was. (Apparently it was invented in the second half of the twentieth century.)

Little old grandmother thought it was gross. I didn't hear if it diminished her regard for Bill.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 16, 2006 at 4:17 AM | PERMALINK

A really dumb question for the folks who are "voting" for impeachment:

Since Bush has claimed that Congress cannot limit the power of the presidency in time of war, what makes you think Bush would go even in the unlikely event he was impeached and convicted?

Posted by: Daryl Cobranchi on January 16, 2006 at 4:39 AM | PERMALINK

I'd add brain damage caused by long-term chronic use of cocaine and alcohol, as reasons for removing Bush. He is mentally unstable. Force him to submit to MRIs, CAT and PET scans. I'd bet you would see a brain like Swiss cheese...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 16, 2006 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

stephen,

How is it swiss cheese brains keeps on tap dancing on the heads of the brillinat left?

Not only are the uber-conservatives Robert and Alito on the Supreme Court for the next 35 years but they made fools of the Democratic Judicial committee.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that Bush supporters are nuts. They are so afraid of Democrats that they justify everything Bush does

Why would the Republicans be so afraid of Democrats when they only have 44 Senators and 202 Congressmen?

Under your greatest hero of the last 50 years the GOP GAINED 55 House seats and iron control of that boy for the 1st time in 60 years. We just watched two candidates Conservative Judicial candidates evicerate the Democratic Senate judicial committee.

There are certain feeling the Republicans hold toward Democrats. Fear is not one of them.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, Kevin's try to be a smart Democrat concerned more with actually getting Democrats elected and policy enabled than going rabid about Bush, and that's extremely unpopular in the blogosphere.

There's a lot of grumbling about Republicans by conservatives right now, and it would seem that 2006 would be a great time to strike. First, the Democrats need to cage the howler monkeys and get their act together.

Not too hopeful looking, though.

Posted by: Frank J. on January 16, 2006 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

My idea for a Democratic strategy:

"The Republicans came to office arguing that they would give you less government. They claimed that would be good for business. Well they got it half right. Under the Republicans, Big Business has nearly completed its hostile takeover of your government. The halls of Congress are awash in corporate dollars put there to pay for favors from your eleceted representatives. But the result hasn't been less government, just bad government.

Democrats offer a better alternative: government that remembers what government's role is supposed to be, government that looks out for the interests of the little guy. There's a term for that type of government. It's called representative government. You might remember it from your social studies class but you sure haven't been seeing it in Washington lately. We want to talk about the steps our government needs to take to lift us out of the cesspool the Republicans have created in Washington and move us back toward the ideals upon which this country was founded. Let's talk about providing health care in such a way that all of us are protected from the devastating effects of an unexpected illness, let's talk about a return to an internationalist foreign policy, let's talk about tax reforms that don't screw the middle class, let's talk about once again protecting our environment from those who would destroy it so they could make a bigger profit. Finally, let's talk about ensuring that your elected representatives do what they were sent to Washignton to do--represent your interests, not the interests of Big Business. In short, let's talk about a return to good government--for everyone."

Posted by: bummer on January 16, 2006 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Harriet Miers and Katrina caused some hairline fractures, but we need something bold. Possibly fresh approaches on affirmative action and immigration.

The Harriet Miers 'fracture' healed better than anyone expected. Samuel Alito was a home run for the Conservative base which removed Harriet. They demanded a battle on ideological grounds with a solid conservative candidate. They got it and won very decisively. The next candidate will be at least as conservative. The President now understands he has to nominate a solid conservative (for all judicial levels) and he can get smart candidates passed easily.

Katrina hurt the administration but the liberal press as well. Bush won't run again and the Democratic Governor of Loiusanna is finished. In addition the huge advantage the Democratic Party held in New Orleans has been evicerated. Bobby Jubal would beat Mary Landreau if the elections were held tomorrow. He may run for Governor instead.

You are least realize you need a few ideas. It's been decades. You can only do as Clinton did and swing rightward as he did with his support for the death penalty, stronger sentencing, more prisons, police, etc. I suspect that's not what you are talking about.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

I am sitting here reading a short bio of George Washington. Just like George Bush, the opposition press called for his impeachment. The issue was the Jay Treaty (to keep us out of the war between England and France by tilting towards England but staying neutral). Anyway, I am confident I am not going out on a limb by saying that most presidents have faced an article like The Nation's. Tis not a big deal.

(By the way, like Reagan and, partly, the current Bush, the opposition painted him in part as lovable but incompetent and slightly senile. The real evildoers were in the cabinet controlling things behind the scenes. Hamilton then, Cheney now.)

Posted by: David Mastio on January 16, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

David,

Their playbook of trashing Conservative Presidents as stupid and been in effect for decades. It's something to watch and enjoy for it is a significant reason why the opposition fails so consistently. It's never smart to misunderestimate ones political foe but then they wouldn't be elitists otherwise!

If you ever want to see Chris Matthews go ballastic watch him react to any liberal calling either Reagan or GWB stupid. Chris worked for Tip O'Neill. He had a front row seat watching that dope consistently beat Tip at his own game. Not that it was fair. Tip only had a 60 seat majority.

The Republicans greatest advantage is liberal elitism. The Alito hearings prove it is alive and well and as disasterous as ever.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

rdw is a not an American.

Don't respond to this foreign interloper.

His purpose is to interrupt the thread with his idiotic posts.

Ignore him. Always.

Posted by: Public Service Announcement on January 16, 2006 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, please explain your criteria for impeachment then. What does it take? Presenting a false case for a war that has gotten thousands killed should do it right there. If you don't think that's enough, then explain why and tell us what you think is impeachable.

Posted by: rch on January 16, 2006 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ott sez that people won't want to impeach based on the NSA scandal because they will ask "who, so far, has been harmed?"

That question sure didn't stop Clinton from being impeached, did it.

Whocares,

One can never ignore the sleezy pig factor. Even forgetting the perjury and loss of his law license the bottom line is Americans don't want a sleeze bag in the Oval Office. And if we end up with a Sleeze Bag the least he can do is take his sleezy act someplace else. No one who knows Hillary can really blame him. But on your own time in your own place and the Oval office wasn't the place. ABSOLUTELY NO CLASS!

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Bobby Jubal would beat Mary Landreau if the elections were held tomorrow. He may run for Governor instead

That depends on whether Bobby Jubal can beat Bobby Jindal in the primaries.

Posted by: cel on January 16, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Brilliant rdw, arrogance and elitism are surely the left's greatest weakness, but don't tell them that. I found the musing of having an actual "electoral strategy" vs more Bush Bashing hysterical. They have yet to realize that they will not be running against GW, and they certainly didn't have an "electoral strategy" the last time around, so why start now. They believe that if only they would shout their position more often, and if the American public wasn't so stupid, they just might win, completely blind to the fact that they are the vocal minority.

Posted by: Jay on January 16, 2006 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

Very close to your worst-ever post, Kevin. I presume that there must some big media deal in the works for you, and you have to curry favor with the new media overlords.

Posted by: SavageView on January 16, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Ignore him. Always.

Posted by: Public Service Announcement

The truth is hard to ignore. You lefties might actually try something besides telling each other the right is stupid and evil. You keep getting your asses kicked in elections. That might tell you that the public does not care about or believe the wild eyed accusations and whining of the left.

You lost the Senate, House, Presidency and SCOTUS. What more does it take to tell you that your leftwing message does not resonate with the people that vote.

You might try to actually present some original ideas of your own. Instead bitching, whining and lying about the other side. Some decent candidates might help a little too.

With left wing Hillary out there pretending to be a centrist. Which absolutely nobody belives. Your prospects for 2008 look pretty bleak again. I love it!

Posted by: Fat White Guy on January 16, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Frank J:

I totally agree, I dislike Bush just as much as the next guy, but simply ranting and raving and calling for blood isn't going to fix our country.

A strategy is needed. Unification on the Dem side is needed. The most important thing is to get congressional seats in '06, then it's time to GET A ROPE!!! That is, unless the neo-cons (they're not Republicans) hang themselves first without our help.

Posted by: MyPetGoat on January 16, 2006 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

PSA,

Prefer an echo chamber? Afraid of a little dialogue? Let's agree this is what your party needs. For whatever you are selling there aren't enough buyers. Democracy is obviously healhty as we saw with the highst turnout since 1968 and a decisive win by Bush and the GOP. Your parties seats in congress are the lowest in 75 years. And you twits are talking about impeachment?

Slick Willie wasn't impeached because he's a low class sleeze. The simple ass lied to a judge under oath and got caught by his own stains. You are not going to impeach GWB because you don't like him and you don't have a shot at getting Congress back in 2006. It doesn't matter how low GWBs polls are. It matters how competent your party is and we just saw in the Altio hearings you are more incompetent than ever.

It's going to be fun watching Dean, Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, Kerry, Biden, Feingold, Warner and all of the other Wannebes agree on a coherent program. Like that's going to happen

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

cel,

You got me. I know I should have looked that one up. I've been outted. So what is your opinion on Bobby Jindal? I'm from PA but rad about him a couple of years ago as a potential GOP star.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

That is, unless the neo-cons (they're not Republicans) hang themselves first without our help.

Now that's going to happen. The neocons just did something Chuck Schumer could only dream of. They fired Harrier Miers and appointed Sam Alito to the Supreme Court. As we speak they're laughing at Harry Reid. Does he really want to drag this agony out another week? His whacko base wants him to show some spunk yet the week delay is another week of pounding. For Joe Bidens sake don't do it Harry!

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, check back in the morning and the trolls are out in force, spewing the usual venom!

Terry Ott: "...focus on the process of governing, the principles of good government. This is where BushCo. is vulnerable, I believe."

bummer: "Democrats offer a better alternative: government that remembers what government's role is supposed to be, government that looks out for the interests of the little guy."

Yes, these are both excellent points. Even David Brooks complains that Republicans don't have a governing philosophy.

So I wonder what the Republicans will do in 2008? Will Bush's corporate sponsors field another fascist stooge--Jeb?--or will the Republicans back reform from within? On the one hand, vast corporate profits bought by promoting a religious agenda. On the other, an incompentent government and declining standards of living.

Over the next three years, as we stay the course, Bushco policies guarantee that things will continue to get worse domestically and abroad. People will take risks to avoid a certain loss: that suggests that the Democratic strategy involves reminding Americans that with Bushco and cronies Americans are facing certain losses. It doesn't have to be this way. We can choose.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 16, 2006 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is the faux left Joe Liberman/Joe Biden of left blogostan: working harder on defeat, always triangulating, doing the wingnuttia's bidding rather fighting the hard fight for what is right, i.e., left values.

Posted by: zoot on January 16, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't any of you folks read A Tale of Two Cities?

Sweet Jesus, Kevin, you read through a thread that asks you several pointed questions this far, and that's the only response you have? A pretty weak brew, indeed.

Posted by: Gregory on January 16, 2006 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Wow!! I re-read rdw's posts and I found a common thread in them. Clinton's penis.

Listen man, it's been at least 9 years since Clinton got a blowjob in the WH. Let it go.

from 1-19-01 WaPo regarding Clinton's law license:

The Senate Judiciary Committee's top Republican, Orrin Hatch of Utah, suggested that President-elect Bush pardon Clinton to "end a problem in America that needs to be ended."

Bush responded by saying, "I think it's time to get all of this business behind us" and let Clinton "move on and enjoy life and become an active participant in the American system." Regarding the possibility of a pardon, Bush has said, "The suggestion that I would pardon somebody who has never been indicted, that doesn't make any sense to me."


GET....OVER....IT

Posted by: MyPetGoat on January 16, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

"The Best of times" - perhaps the stock market?

"The worst of times" - everything the Twiggies have screwed up?

Let the tumbrels roll.

Strange reading PTate in MN's comments on the Iranian thread where she spoke of Wagner, while listening to Wagner being played on the CBC Radio 2 from Toronto. Eerie.

Posted by: stupid git on January 16, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Impeachment is like masturbation, fun for a few minutes, but unproductive. Anyone who listened to the Alito hearings can testify that those Senators (both parties) sounded like feeble blowhards. Impeachment ahs always been a partisan political weapon. Thats why it was used against both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, where the Congressional majorities loathed them. The Rethugs have a majority and a few more speeches by Biden, Kennedy and Schumer will guarantee that they keep it. Problem is that the general public are not sure that the Democrats are any more honest or free of lobbyist deals. If the Democrats got a majority in Congress and made a serious effort to impeach Bush, we might have civil war by 2009.

Our Constitution needs wholesale reform, not genuflection. Instead of one man-one vote we have one dollar-one vote. Bush has crossed the Rubicon with his wholesale spying on millions of Americans. Hes got every Democrat Senator and Congressman bugged. Yet the American public remains more interested in intelligent design than in the creeping dictatorship. The status quo is unsustainable...

Posted by: Salmonize on January 16, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I gotta be honest: this strikes me as pretty weak brew.

I can see that. What's a little bum's rush into war between countrymen? A little defiant assertion of the president's supremacy before the law? A little shameless cronyism that costs thousands of lives?

Seriously, what would be a "strong" brew? Fucking a live goat on national television? Nuking an American city?

Bush's offenses are impeachable, or absolutely nothing is.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Calls for impeachment are counterproductive and work against an electoral strategy. Anyone making that argument will be dismissed by the bulk of the electorate as shrill and non-serious.

1. Many of us think that the FISA violations are dispositive as "high crimes". Well, guess what, they're not. There are reasonable (although in my opinion, incorrect) arguments why FISA would not apply. The underlying law is not well settled. Hence, no impeachment. Consider this versus Clinton, who got nailed on a perjury count. Furthermore, hammering this issue reinforces the weak-on-defense stigma Democrats carry.

2. The Republicans have both houses. No impeachment even possible until 2007.

3. A huge proportion of the population considers surveillance to be a good thing. And they hear all the underlying talk about Echelon program from the 90's, etc. Impeachment rings hollow in such an environment and such talk works against Democratic Party chances in November.

4. Democrats need something to sell other than anti-war, anti-Bush. What do Democrats stand for? Abortion rights? Universal health care? Union power? Those are non-starters with the populace.

The party had best come up with something or November will be another big disappointment. Serious talk of impeachment by party leaders will guarantee losses in November.

Posted by: FF36 on January 16, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Roosevelt saved Democracy, Capitalism and the World -- the Republicans have a problem with that, go figure.

Johnson and Congress and the American Establishment and most of the American people all agreed to fight Communism in Southeast Asia. They were wrong and LBJ faced the result of that when he had to step aside in 1968. It was a very sad experience for America, the war, our decision to go there, the results, our way of exiting, the whole bloody thing. But, it wasn't impeachable in political terms.

Nixon...nuff said

Reagan culd've been impeached for breaching the Boland amendment helping the contras or for selling arms to the Iranians. But, they had Congress and showed they were all willing to be criminals.

Bush I apparently tricked everyone into believing his "This aggression shall not stand." b.s. But, maybe it was part of the tremendous Grand Plan we're still engaged in. Maybe Congress even backed him 100%. Maybe they still back Bush II. It's hard to say.

Clinton - pretty good president

Bush II - worst president since Caligula and needs a spanking real bad
Lying to Congress to get us into war.
[ Forged documents show it wasn't just poor intelligence or misunderstood intelligence. ]
Lying to Congress on cost of Medicare.
Okaying torture.
Overseas gulag.
Neglect of New Orleans, even if only the aftermath.
Failure to defend us properly on 9/11/01.
Failure to produce documents and other information to Congress.
Failure to capture our avowed enemy Al Qaeda.
and oh so many other things.

Yep, Dubya stands out as much worse than the others.

Kevin, get yer head out of yer ass and look at the world around you.


Posted by: MarkH on January 16, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Listen man, it's been at least 9 years since Clinton got a blowjob in the WH. Let it go

Can't let it go. It's too cool. This is the essence of Slick Willie. The 55-yr Old leader of the free world conning blowjobs out of some 21-yr old pathetic dupe. It's a wonder she was able to figure out how to do it. Tell me this isn't one of the amazing stories of the last 50 years. I think everyone remotely familiar with Hillary Clinton and Gennifer Flowers knew what that was about. It made sense. But Monica?That's the best he could do? Please!

You do of course understand as long as impeachment is the topic Bill and Monica are too.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Our witless old fool, Mike K shows up.

Tell the truth, Mike K--swallowed enough v1agra to pitch a tent in a hurricane, haven't you?"

I'm disappointed in you, Pale Rider. I thought you read my book. Is that what you consider debate ?

"Why limit your ranting to moveon.org?"

Well, I didn't want to take up a lot of room with the billionaire funders that pay Democrats to look like fools on TV.

" Don't you know there's a whole new world out there full of people who have dedicated themselves to destroying the lies and bullshit spread by this administration?

Posted by: Pale Rider"

I do and they look like a bunch of clowns. Why don't you try to think about governing ?

Read the Niall Ferguson piece in the NY Times today. You could even read the book review of Gaddis' history of the Cold War. That was in yesterday's NY Times book review.

You have got to be smarter than this.

Posted by: Mike K on January 16, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Ms. Holtzman forgot to add something about sex to please the tbroszes.

Posted by: lib on January 16, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

FF36: "The party had best come up with something or November will be another big disappointment."

Government of, by and for the people is still a brilliant idea. For the past 5 years we have seen what happens when the Republicans--who view government as the problem, not the solution--are in charge. Of course they are incompetent: Their idea of government is of, by and for their corporate cronies. As the Onion foretold when Bush became President, the Republicans set out to end "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity."

The Democrats have got to start remembering our American roots--government of, by and for the people: "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. We need to remember what it means to be middle class.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 16, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton - pretty good president

Bill will be one of the least memorable Presidents of all time. He did so little. His name will always come up when impeachment is discussed which is every other day among Democrats as well as anytime pardons come up. The major political event of his term was 1994 and the politcal realignment so disasterous for his party.

It's a given he was weak on terrorism after even the left accused him of wagging the dog and his current attempts to rehabilitate Kyoto are laughably ill-timed. Kyoto is just another political disaster based on junk science. Ditto for his attempts to defend the UN and the EU. Both are failed institutions who's best days are long past. Poor Jacques. His approval ratings are 21%. Gerhardt is gone and Martin soon will be.

The things I count as his accomplishments are things like NAFTA, Prison building and tougher prison sentencing. None please the left and one are especially big. Bill will represent the beginning of the end of 20th century liberalism. He's a big part of the reason the term is disappearing from public use.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, this kind of post should be beneath you. Making assertions you know will generate disagreement is a fine and bloggy thing to do. Presenting them in the most offensive way possible -- un-backed-up by any arguments, and peppered with gratuitous insults -- is trolling from the main page.

It's designed to evoke the kinds of responses that will let you dismiss pro-impeachment Democrats even more blithely.

A case can be made (though you haven't made it) that laying the groundwork for impeachment is at cross-purposes with a winning electoral strategy.

No case can be made (which is why you apparently decline to make it) that most of the presidents you mention committed impeachable offenses, much less the specific kinds of offenses Holtzman lists. [I say 'most' because Reagan was impeachable on similar grounds related to Iran-Contra, as was Bush Sr.]

Care to offer some specific criticisms of the Zogby poll in place of flinging insults? Any suggestions for how the question should be constructed when the main news organizations' polling operations finally get around to asking it (in striking contrast to how quickly they did impeachment polling immediately after the blue dress revelations)? Failure to answer tells me that you're simply not interested in knowing what the public thinks about it.

You've made up your mind. If, a year from now, impeachment investigations are off and running, you'll probably try to pretend that no one worth paying attention to supported impeachment in January 2006.

Posted by: Nell on January 16, 2006 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Care to offer some specific criticisms of the Zogby poll in place of flinging insults? Any suggestions for how the question should be constructed when the main news organizations' polling operations finally get around to asking it (in striking contrast to how quickly they did impeachment polling immediately after the blue dress revelations)?


Zogby lost his credibility long ago and it doesn't matter. Impeachment proceedings are not the results of polls and never will be. The interesting thing about the blue dress and impeachment is that George Stephanopoulis on ABC was one of the 1st one's to suggest it. The world knew of Clinton's testimony and they knew if there was a blue dress he committed felony perjury under oath to a judge he appointed to the bench.


Kevin is showing good sense. You are simply not going to impeach Bush no matter how long you rant. The left is not only out of power but far from power.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ptate,

Liberals are the last group to sing America the Beautiful. Most would rather you pull their fingernails out. You are the party of goverment is the solution and you are suggesting a platform telling of massive government incompetence. As if the management by your party of recent political affairs (Roberts, Alito) is going to convince anyone you can run a government.

No one will by that. You need specific promises and higher taxes won't work.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Curious. I used to subscribe to the Washington Monthly and actually read it. Kevin Drum's views are consistent enough with the Monthly's long term policies -- Charles Peters called it neoliberalism as I recall. For the trolls out there, I guess it's easy enough to type vicious nonsense behind the comfortable anonymity of the internet, but it's not any real courage. It also reveals your ignorance of what the Monthly actually stands for, and an unconvincing grasping for one last turn of the hard-left wheel.

And I attended public school and I read A Tale of Two Cities. The knitting scene is a classic metaphor and cultural icon.

Kevin is of course entirely correct. The correct strategy is to reveal Republican malfeasance for what it is, to attack relentlessly, and to pick up as many House seats as possible.

There is a perfectly fine strategy available to Democratic challengers. Simply keep pointing out that the country is now weaker after five years of Bush rule, that peoples' lives are getting harder and less secure, and that we know we can't trust any Republican leadership because when they had power, they used it to steal. Toss in a few policy ideas like relief from health care bankruptcy fears, and yes, protection of the Social Security program. Point out that every Republican in the House voted to put DeLay and Hastert in charge (got to go after Hastert too).

Kevin's point is correct: Impeachment is a fantasy under the current reality; any change in reality (such as Dems taking control of both houses of congress) would effectively neuter Bush in a lot of ways. Under current realities, impeachment is an impossibility. Under the most optimistic scenario for Nov 2006, impeachment will become unnecessary.

What has been left out of this equation is the necessity to fight back against the talk radio "right wing noise machine." It is possible to do, but Dems seem to have lacked either the heart or the leadership to do it. I suspect that the leadership thinks that ignoring it is the best strategy. They are wrong.

Posted by: Bob G on January 16, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

A WEAK Case for Impeachment?
1. Bush violated the FISA law repeatedly, continues to violate it, and has expressed his intention to continue violating it. What's the prescribed penalty for that?

2. Bush has asserted that he will violate the McCain anti-torture bill, even while signing it into law, whenever he alone deems it "necessary."
What's the penalty for a president who vows to break a law whenever he wants?

3. Bush clearly lied repeatedly and knowingly in order to get Congress to pass the resolution that gave him authority to invade Iraq IF NECESSARY. Aside from the lies he told to bulldog Congress into passing the resolution, he clearly violated it by initiating the invasion when he KNEW it was not necessary.

Are his crimes comparable to those of other presidents? No. They are way, way beyond even those of Nixon. Is he likely to be impeached? If the Dems regain the Congress, it should and will be the first order of business.

Posted by: Bradenton on January 16, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Congress, including my Democrats, has a constitutional obligation to bring articles of impeachment against President Bush.

The GOP gave us all the language we need during the many runs they made at President Clinton.

If lies about blow jobs can trigger impeachment of a popular President, then certainly the NSA intercepts can do so.

If anyone has the courage to actually perform their constitutional duties. Given the track record of Congress in recent decades, I don't hold out any hope.

But the duty remains.

Posted by: zak822 on January 16, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

How in the world do you include Clinton on that list?

In fact how do you include anyone pre-1978 when FISA was passed?

What was wrong with the Zogby poll?

Why do you think that the Dems followed the script of the lefty blogosphere? They failed to focus on the NSA questions and, most notably, they failed to filibuster. Sure ain't my script.

I'm thinking of taking this blog off my short list. Kevin just gets worse and worse.

Posted by: The Fool on January 16, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Bob G

Sadly, you're only half right. The correct response is to proceed with your prescribed electoral strategy, but also to relentlessly pound home the fact that the pResident believes he is above the law, has contempt for the Constitution and needs to be impeached as soon as possible. There is no possible scenario under which Bush's continuation in office is acceptable. He has violated the very essence of our freedom with his demagoguery, fear-mongering, lying, invasion of privacy, denial of the basic rights of a citizen to face his accusers, to a trial by a jury of peers. Bush has to go. He has to go in disgrace. Only in one way can we set him up as an example for the future: His head on a pike.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Bob G,

And how do you fight back against Talk Radio?

Many more people listen to Radio for political news than to the networks. Fox is killing CNN and the fact is both get most of their news from the internet. The only way to get Talk Radio to stop mocking clowns like Teddy Kennedy and Joe Biden is to get them to stop being clowns. The internet had made celebrities of a small army of conservative thinkers and writers who would otherwise not receive a minute of exposure on the Networks or the NY Times.

A decade ago Talk Radio was Rush Limbaugh. Today Rush is only a small part. Talk Radio is 24 x 7 and there are 3 conservative networks. Unlike the one liberal network these have large audiences and are profitble.

Stopping or changing Conservative Talk Radio is not an option. There's little market for liberal talk radio. Democrats only have one path to power and that's new ideas the majority will embrace. It's not enough to attack Bush. Democrats have to stand for something.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think there is a powerful moral argument for impeaching GWB (and Cheney, of course.)

The War in Iraq is immoral and should never have been started. Bushco are war criminals. Instead, our leadership continues to justify and perpetuate exactly the injustices that infuriate the terrorists.

The US would garner far more respect from everyone in the world if we cleaned house, if we hold our leadership accountable for their deceit. Impeaching Bush would send a powerful message to the entire world that corruption and deceit have no place in a Democracy. In a democracy, Might doesn't make Right.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 16, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

They failed to focus on the NSA questions and, most notably, they failed to filibuster.


They did ask NSA questions and the got answers. They fail to filibuster because they cannot filibuster. Even Feinstein says she won't support a filibuster. You've got several Red State Democrat Senators up for re-election and they saw what Karl Rove did to Cleleand and Daschle.

Sam Alito is an excellent candidate with outstanding qualifications and experience. The Senate twits made a serious mistake in failing to support Roberts and they're making another here. If we get a democratic President in 2009 they will not get an opportunity to appoint an ACLU liberal. With 47 conservative Senators a filibuster will be a piece of cake.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

There is NOTHING more fundamental to America, its founding, and its purpose than protecting the rights of the individual against the tyranny of the government - its the whole philosophical underpinning of the American revolution against England.

So if a president's direct and intentionful violation of that underpinning of America, by his own admission is not grounds for impeachment, then you might as well eliminate impeachment and removal from office as capabilities of the government.

Kevin's posture that the arguement for impeachment is weak is proposterous.

Posted by: gak on January 16, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

ptate, baldrick,

You need to get a grip. There is no basis for impreaching GWB and you have 3 more years of this agony you create for yourself. He's not going to be impeached and you are not going to have control of the house for many decades. Your demographics are killing you.

There's a reason why there's only been two impeachments in 220 years. You can rant as long and as loud as you wish. GWB has NOT violated any laws. Congress will be holding hearings on FISA and they'll change the law to allow GWB to do exactly as he is currently doing. The fact is the public wants these scans to be done. The politicians will make it happen. Conservatives pray we continue to debate if GWB is working too hard to protect Americans.

As far as Iraq he got his get out of jail card when your Senators voted so overwhelmingly to approve his invasion and kept on approving it by passing the budgets which could stop it. A few will continue with the, "I was duped because I'm that stupid" thread but only the CA and a few other Senators. You've got the fring on your side and tha's all you'll ever have.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bob G,

Here's why your problem with talk radio really isn't talk radio. The blogs are your problem. That's where they and Fox get all of their material. Here's an example:


"Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, during a tour of Republican red states last week, was peppered with questions about campaign contributions he took from Indian tribes connected with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The five-state tour through the West and Midwest to raise money for Democratic candidates was one of a series of campaign forays the Nevada Democrat plans this year to make political inroads in Republican-held territory. But Mr. Reid also faced often sharply critical questions from reporters about the money he has received from Indian tribes and their connections to Abramoff, who lobbied for them.

"If Senator Reid's mission was to travel to red states to get beaten like a pinata by the media about his hypocrisy on ethics and Abramoff-related funds, then he was quite successful, and we applaud his efforts," said Brian Nick, chief spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee."


This was originally reported in the Washington Times. It seems there were many Democrats implicated in the Abramhoff Scandal and all of them are getting unwanted publicity. This is why it won't be the issue Democrats wish it to be. 79% of the public thinks both parties are equally guilty. That number will be going up.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

gak,

The constitution is not a suicide pact. The 1st role of government is to provide safety and security. It must balance this responsibility with our freedoms. GWB did not violate any laws and impeachment is not an option.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Impeachment for the Democrats is the equivalent of Newt Gingrich's theory that shutting down the government in 1995 would bring success to the new majority in Congress.

It was a disaster.

But go ahead. Be my guest.

Pale Rider; Are you having some trouble that causes you to keep bringing up sexual non sequiters ? Would you like to talk about it ?

Posted by: Mike K on January 16, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

You gotta love rdw (well, no, you don't, really, but...).

He says:

Congress will be holding hearings on FISA and they'll change the law to allow GWB to do exactly as he is currently doing.

And barely 15 minutels later asserts:

GWB did not violate any laws

If that's true, why would Congress need to change the law to allow Bush to do what he's doing?

Still, rdw reads PowerLine to us so we don't have to. That's something, I guess.

Posted by: Gregory on January 16, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

RDW, please take a break. Unremitting ejaculation on weblogs weakens the life force and may cause insanity.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

I disagree strongly with Kevin, and I think it is imperative that we do bring articles of impeachment or censure to this president as a signpost to all future holders of the office and to the political parties.

However, I don't want to string Kevin up to the nearest lamppost because I disagree with him. In case some aren't aware of it, Kevin is much of the reason the blogosphere has any credibility at all. It was his excellent reporting that brought us to the notice of the traditional media and led to the publicity about blogs. Many of you would never have heard of blogs and wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Kevin Drum.

Now I'm not suggesting you should kiss his a** for this, but some of the remarks on this thread are over the top when directed at someone who is at least in alliance with the left, if not quite as left leaning as others here. Kevin is often delibrately provocative as well, it's part of his style and if you can't deal with it, you don't need to be reading him.

I've got to say, I'm not liking the lynch mob mentality that has lately grown up on the blogs. We are sounding like the right more and more. This tendency to go barking after every contrary opinion is getting out of hand, and I see us earning more and more the title of "crankosphere."

I once thought of the blogs as a place to get and exchange information, to organize for change, and to enter in to valuable discourse. I'd like to see it get back to that and out of this mean spirited slash and burn that is becoming all to commonplace.

Posted by: carolyn13 on January 16, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

carolyn13: "I once thought of the blogs as a place to get and exchange information, to organize for change, and to enter in to valuable discourse. I'd like to see it get back to that and out of this mean spirited slash and burn...."

I agree 100%. I'd like better trolls as well.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 16, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

gregory,

He goes, it's not hard, GWb can do what he's doing because it's his Executive Privledge. These are powers granted to him by the Constitution. The Congress is going to update it's laws because it needs to do so. They were poorly constructed to apprehend terrorists in the wireless age. So they will play a game of catch-up.

I've agreed all along there s/b some level of oversight and review. At the end of it all the Congress will accomodate the needs of the Executive while fairly asserting itself in a review function. The NSA will continue to do what it is doing because it has wise pubolic support. This is how the process should work.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

He goes, it's not hard, GWb can do what he's doing because it's his Executive Privledge. These are powers granted to him by the Constitution.

Not to be too self-referential here, but it may already be too late for rdw (concerning unremitting wankery). The public may notice a significant falling-off in rdw's coherence (or, more accurately, imitation of coherence).

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Rightwing DickWad opines:

"Democratic Judicial committee"

and

"Democratic Senate judicial committee"

It doesn't matter that there is no such thing as a "Judicial committee", a "Democratic judicial committee" or a "Democratic Senate". Rightwing DickWad merely offers this as further proof that he is a sub-literate cretin absolutely ignorant of American government: a male (barely) cheerleader for all things Bush, whose most breathless dreams involve Dubya and the kind of deviant sexual acts that would make most of us turn pale.

Republican trolls are like football fans gone bad- Rah-rah our side is better. Further than that they don't think, just (as does Rightwing DickWad and fellow candy-ass morons) slobber over their dream date Dubya. Isn't there some alternative lifestyle website where you girls can profess your undying devotion to Georgie?

Posted by: solar on January 16, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

"The War in Iraq is immoral and should never have been started. Bushco are war criminals. "

PTate in MN is exactly right. The bushcriminal regime (bush, cheney, rumsfeld, rice, powell, wolfowitz, and feith) should long ago have been rotting in prison for their war crimes. That republicans and democrats, and the American people failed to do their duty to remove this blight from humanity is unforgiveable. Democracy requires responsible people and demands participation and knowledge. Had these strictures of a free people been practiced, the US )and the world) could have already been headed down the road to recovery instead of drowning in the cesspool of repuublican corruption and a tyrannical executive branch.

Posted by: gak on January 16, 2006 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Sure buddy. Sam Alito is a great nominee.

I guess if King George III is not available...

Posted by: The Fool on January 16, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Witless Wootten is upset about Clinton, because in his day the young ladies at West Catholic High would not give any to him. The main problem was that they always forgot to bring their tweezers and microscopes.

Reminds me of a scene from "Where's Poppa".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 16, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

I don't approve of Bush in a lot of ways, but: Impeachment should not be pursued, if only because there was at least a mitigating motive (national security) for what may have been wrong. It isn't the same as doing such things for personal gain or to strike at political enemies (especially like journalists, etc.) If the later could be proven, then impeachment would be in order.

Posted by: Neil' on January 16, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Finally, I was wondering where the hell the true Democrats and Liberals were while their psycopathic fringe party leadership made themselves look like complete asses(again, or still, I can't tell).

As to the insults regarding various incarnations of male genitalia: Anatomical humor only goes so far, eventually you have to actually make an argument other than "you like penis so you're gay and gay people suck!"

Seriously people, the Republicans are STEAMROLLING you. As conservative and Republcian as I am, a one-party system is just asking for a dictatorship, and if you all would stop the mindless insults and tell your leaders "Chappaquidick Eddie", "Waffle Iron Kerry", "Dr. Defeat"(Dean), and "No Digital Brownshirts Gore" to get their heads out of where the sun don't shine, you might actually win an election or two.

So you think there's an imperial presidency. Then do something about it besides complain and make random allegations. Allegations aren't good enough anymore, Rathergate and Newsweek's Koran Flush should have made that readily apparent. You need evidence, the allegation doesn't hold anymore thanks to the blogosphere checking your every move. Much to Gore's dismay, now "guy's sitting at home in their pajamas" have an actual influence and don't have to rely on garbage spewed out by a partisan media as the only source of truth.

As it stands, Bush has ousted a dictator known for his flagrant violations of UN sanctions, and has set up a democracy in Iraq. Despite the NYT's apparent obliviousness to good news in Iraq, Iraq has created its own constitution and has been having democratic elections for quite a while. If you ask the troops(and not the NYT) the morale is high. Murtha got his rear end handed to him when he let a soldier speak.

As to the NSA "spying on citizens" I don't care if you are an American citizen, if you are consorting with al-Zawahiri and his ilk you are a traitor. Bush shouldn't have to go up with the black van and say "we suspect you of contacting Al-Queda, your phone is being tapped." Obviously if we did that it would jeapordize national security. FISA court be damned, we can get the warrant later, after we hear this conversation with a terrorist.

Posted by: Brian on January 16, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Brian - We all needed some comic relief.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 16, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, are you ever going to defend your claim that the Zogby poll in question was "childishly contrived"?

Posted by: ArC on January 16, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

rdw rants:

"The constitution is not a suicide pact. The 1st role of government is to provide safety and security. It must balance this responsibility with our freedoms."

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK


Your understanding of our Constitution is weak.

The first role of government is to protect our rights (our liberties, if you will) "in order to form a more perfect Union".

There is no 'balancing' of the protection of our citizens lives against the protection of our other liberties. There is only protecting our rights. In that all these rights are unalienable they cannot be prioritized the way you suggest.

The tactic used to protect our lives and property, is sometimes diplomacy, sometimes economic, sometimes military, sometimes police, but it's only a tactic. One might also have to use the military to protect a Black girl who wants to go to an "all White" school as ensured by Brown v. Board of Education. Same difference, n'est pas?

I wonder if even Judge Alito would answer a basic Constitutional question properly. What rights does the government have? None, they're all held by the citizens. I suspect many Republicans would flunk that one. The government is assigned duties (responsibilities) and powers, not rights (rights can't be assigned anyway).

What is the government for then? To ensure our Rights are protected while protecting the Constitution and the Country for future generations.

Well, what rights are protected? All of them including the right to eat ice cream until you puke. People who specifically say it's only free speech and religion and right to bear arms overlook the 9th amendment which says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." It doesn't say one or two others rights, it says "others".

Some people need convincing that "others" also refers to the right of Privacy or the right to an abortion.

So, where does this "balancing of rights" come from? It sounds like someone wants to feel empowered to take away one right to ensure another. That would mean "national security" would always trump the others; thus giving the government the power to bar free speech (protesting, for example) or peaceful assemblage (protest rallies, for example) in order to protect the national security. That's a very bad reading of the Constitution.

But, when does "freedom of speech" trump other rights? Never. Those who prefer a fear-based fascist system will always try to establish "national security" as dominate and stamp down the other rights, as secondary or conflicting. This way they can claim to be patriots while destroying the Union.

Posted by: MarkH on January 16, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

3rd Paul,

You are confusing me with Bob's father. He went to West Catholic Boys HS. But you get credit for nailing 5th grade humor. Never hear that one before.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

solar,

How's this, The Democratic Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee? You know, the fools who've been getting torched ever since they started reading their opening statements.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Wooten, you ignorant sack of shit - we do not disparage any poster's family - you are fair game, for many reasons, one of which is your obession with Clinton's affair. You and Alice/Patton constantly speak of same. Do not bring Bob's father into this subject - Bob conversed about his families history in Philadelphia - This does not give you the right to smear him. If you are a man, you will apologize to all concerned. If not, crawl back into your rat hole in Drexel Hill. You are vermin.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 16, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Mark H,

You make no sense. Not that it matters. GWB is sticking with the program and no one is stopping him. Congress saw the Rasmussen poll and understands this has wide public support. The Democrats simply can't afford to be seen as weak on security so will be very anxious to go along with a deal to expand FISA. You'll have the usual freak show like Howard Dean and Barbara Boxer ranting but that's just to placate the moonbats on the left.

Karl Rove owns national security. This can only b a loser here. Look for some kind of Bush engineered vote in September on a NSA compromise and we'll see if the left cares about protectinig Americans.

BTW: You've got a ways to go on painting the GOP as corrupt. The left leaning Pew foundation did a poll and found that a full 80% of the population believe both parties are equally guilty and 9% have no opinion. Politically speaking there's nothing here.

Posted by: rdw on January 16, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I read the interchange between the wingnuts here and the regular Americans with interest. It's tempting, but I believe a waste of time, to offer normal logical argument to the few wingnut shills that appear here. They are either paid by
the Republican National Committee, or are simply warped cult followers beyond the reach of rational discourse. They disdain the US and all it stands for. Only one aspect of their otherwise ridiculous posturing here is worthy of attention, and that's the schoolyard taunt: "What are ya gonna do about it?"

And that's a good question. In fact, it shpuld probably be the ONLY question. Obviously, the right wing seedbed of lies, pseudo-patriotic hogwash, and character assassination has borne fruit for them in the form of power. How the people who actually believe in the Constitution and the ideals America was founded on respond to this fascistic challenge will determine whether our nation is destroyed or not.

With enough money, you can always get a third of the people to support fascism by waving a flag and calling the other guy a traitor. Add in an attack from a mysterious and threatening enemy, and you've got about half. Drum is apparently saying it's the wrong strategy to point out that the Republicans have allowed their party to be hijacked by fascists. Maybe...but, in the absence of a Democratic strategy equally brutal, invidious, and conscienceless as the Republicans' (which I would dearly welcome), I think Americans can handle the truth. What else is there?

Posted by: bradenton on January 16, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

"...if you all would stop the mindless insults and tell your leaders "Chappaquidick Eddie", "Waffle Iron Kerry", "Dr. Defeat"(Dean), and "No Digital Brownshirts Gore"..."

Brian (no one would confuse this with "brain") thanks for what I'm sure was unintentional humor. All you have are the insults you just printed- you know nothing and care less for any elected official's position - you just care whether they are, like you, a Republican.

Rightwing DickWad- thanks for using Google. It is comforting to know you can access it from your country.

But:

"How's this, The Democratic Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee? You know, the fools who've been getting torched ever since they started reading their opening statements."

Really. You mindlessly regurgitate the lunatic fringe talking points of the day that you crib from far right websites and then talk about others being fools. Tsk. And knowing as little as you do about American government I can see why you think being outvoted on a straight party-line vote is bieng "torched". Alito has done nothing to distinguish himself before the committee. Your cringing adulation for him (a man you couldn't identify in a crowd three months ago) is just a testament to your fawning lapdog subservience to the Republican party and lack of higher brain functions.

Posted by: solar on January 16, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Terry Ott - A good lawyer can make an argument out of nothing, but it doesn't mean it has any meaning.

The law is clear. It is unambiguous. Warrants are required, either before or after, within a certain time period. There is no exemption.

You are dead fucking wrong.

Just wrong. He broke the law. It's clear as day. He violated the statute, the constitution and his oath of office. He has committed high crimes and misdemeanors. There's no parsing here - it's fucking there in the 4 corners of the fucking statute.

Posted by: tena on January 16, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Gore today said things that Democrats need to act on. I wish it were not Gore saying them, but rather someone who has a bright future in national politics. Gore did the party a service, nonetheless. He talked about principles of governance, which is THE winning theme.

Where does one take it from it from here? Well, it's not rocket science. The leaders of the party need to take the key points and outline what their message is around each one --- not just the "Bush did this" part, but also the more difficult "Now, this is what WE would do, and will do, when assuming positions to lead the government in this country."

Close the deal with: "Tell me, honestly, doesn't that sound like a better approach and one that Americans can truly be a part of, and be dedicated to? --- not special interest groups, not pockets of people here and there --- all of us."

The Gore speech could become THE speech; no need for 56 others to simply echo it. They need only to refer to it, and let it become something to rally around. But, most of all, they need to build off of it with ideas and actionable principles. The fragmented and ABB (as the only unifying theme) approach we saw in '04 didn't work. Time for rallying around a strong positive vision of "what can be."

Posted by: Terry Ott on January 17, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Tena --- here is what I said: "...I think you have to acknowledge that the law is not quite as 'clear cut' as you contend. I'm not saying this charge COULDN'T stick, but I believe a good attorney could make a solid argument on either side."
====
You may be right, you may not, but (to borrow your phrase) I don't think you are "dead fucking right" --- as you would be if there is no substantial argument to be made on the other side. Can you not agree that a case could be made about the POTUS having inherent power under Article II of the Constitution to take military actions appropriate to protect the nation's security? Have not federal courts held that the President has the inherent constitutional power to order warrantless intercepts to gain foreign intelligence information?

Can Congress limit the President's constitutional powers (as Commander-in-Chief) by legislation? What the federal courts have repeatedly held is that the President has the inherent constitutional authority to order warrantless surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes.

I cribbed these thoughts from elsewhere, as I am not an attorney nor a student of the law. I've seen these arguments advanced, and I expect that in an impeachment proceeding they would be brought to bear, with all the appropriate citations and background.

IF the law is unsettled on this matter, then it ought to be clarified. It seems to me that an impeachment process is not the best way to go about that.


Posted by: Terry Ott on January 17, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

After watching Gore's speech on cspan and listening to MLK's incredible and prophetic anti-Vietnam speech from April '67, I came by here to check the latest on this thread. After reading the rants of power-ass-kissers and fake patriots like rdw (don't you have anything else to do besides posting your nonstop demeaning drivel here, rdw?), what can I say. The chasm between the extremes of wisdom, compassion and eloquence in the human race is truly breathtaking.

Posted by: Jones on January 17, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

You make no sense. Not that it matters.

Thanks for stating that the American constitution doesn't matter to a brownshirt like you, rdw, it clarifies things. Your whole argument is that Bush can do whatever he wants and to hell with the law. Stay the hell out of my country you punk fascist, bedwetters like you have no place in this great nation.

Posted by: Another Bruce on January 17, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Brian (no one would confuse this with "brain") thanks for what I'm sure was unintentional humor."

Well as you know, truth is always funnier than fiction.

"All you have are the insults you just printed- you know nothing and care less for any elected official's position - you just care whether they are, like you, a Republican."

Oh no, I think Lieberman is quite a good man and if you pulled some pointers from him, you'd be in better shape. Instead of following the "war we can't win" mantra of Howard Dean, go with Lieberman. Lieberman is more moderate, is stronger on defense than the moonbats(in that he actually has a position that doesn't revolve around Bush hatred but focuses on getting things done), isn't stuck on stupid, and if he ran for President, I'd consider voting for him if the Repubs didn't send anyone good up. I vote conservative before I vote Republican, and Lieberman has a good head on his shoulders. It is not my fault the ole boys wing of the Democratic Party are out of touch with the American people. Howard Dean says we are losing, and I don't vote for losers.

"Alito has done nothing to distinguish himself before the committee. Your cringing adulation for him (a man you couldn't identify in a crowd three months ago) is just a testament to your fawning lapdog subservience to the Republican party and lack of higher brain functions"

Not that this was addressed to me, but could anyone from either side identify Alito in a crowd three months ago? As far as the hearings go, I trust the testimony of the 20 or so people who knew him personally over randomly selected officials of special interest groups who, after they left the hearing, went back to lobbying for my tax $ with the hope to increase pork-barrel spending at the expense of everyone but themselves (aka the common taxpayer, you and me).

Insults against other individuals are tacky (public figures are of by nature subject to attacks, of course. It's in the contract). The true tactician can win an argument without insulting his adversary.

As to the duties of the government: Aside from the fact the question of government authority and duties has been debated since 1776, it is without purpose to have liberties without protecting them. We must jealously guard our liberties both from our own government and from invaders who would impose their systems on us. I personally have nothing to hide, and I have more problems with people being UNABLE to keep their own personal business out of everything. They walk into my place of work with the cell phone on, they drive everywhere with a cell phone to their ear, they feel the need to have their cell-phone on in the movie theater. In short, my biggest problem is getting people to shut up, not alleged government spying. If people held their conversations in such high regard, they wouldn't be talking in every damn public place possible.

Posted by: Brian on January 17, 2006 at 2:37 AM | PERMALINK

On your article you said that we shouldn't impeach Bush for these reasons because if we did than me might as well have impeached several other presidants such as Clinton. Who was impeaced for purigury. However according to Al gores speach the president lied himself about the wire tapping.
During the period when this eavesdropping was still secret, the President went out of his way to reassure the American people on more than one occasion that, of course, judicial permission is required for any government spying on American citizens and that, of course, these constitutional safeguards were still in place.

But surprisingly, the President's soothing statements turned out to be false. Moreover, as soon as this massive domestic spying program was uncovered by the press, the President not only confirmed that the story was true, but also declared that he has no intention of bringing these wholesale invasions of privacy to an end.

Wouldn't this be purgury also?

Posted by: robert nuttall on January 17, 2006 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

Your cringing adulation for him (a man you couldn't identify in a crowd three months ago) is just a testament to your fawning lapdog subservience to the Republican party and lack of higher brain functions.

Solar,

I've not really said much about Alito. My conversation has been focused on dolts like Kennedy, Biden and Schumer. I've accurately reported they are getting killed in the press and have gained votes for Sam. As far as my brain function it's high enough to figure out Sam's a Supreme Court Justice and there's nothing the Democrats can do about it.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

tena,

The law does not apply to the Executive. If you did it you'd be breaking the law. The President can do it because the Executive has it's own powers under the Constitution separate from the legislative.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

Terry,

You can't follow Al Gore. He's a whack job. Anyone following Al is going to be tarnished just by association. Al's been on the fringe for a long time now.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks for stating that the American constitution doesn't matter to a brownshirt like you, rdw, it clarifies things. Your whole argument is that Bush can do whatever he wants and to hell with the law. Stay the hell out of my country you punk fascist, bedwetters like you have no place in this great nation.

No one is suggesting GWB can do anything he wants. We are suggesting he can do these wiretaps and data mining exercises. We are suggesting he has powers Congress cannot limit especially so during wartime.

I'm not wetting my bed. You are the one with your panties in a bunch. I am quite content that GWB is doing everything he can to fight terrorism. I am equally confident he is on the correct side of this debate legally as well as politically. I am thankful you have whackjobs like Al Gore and Howard Dean leading the fight. I am thankful you have sleezebags like Teddy K and gas bags like Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer.

BTW: Chuckie is by far your smartest politician. It's a shame he has this used car dealer aura. He should be your majority leader. The man knows how to work the camera and he knows politics.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

Wootten, you never apologized for your smear of Bob's father - As I said, poster's families are off limits - You crossed the line.

Your obsession with Bill and Monica makes me wonder which position you have pined for, standing or kneeling?

You are one gutless sack of shit.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 17, 2006 at 10:54 AM | PERMALINK

Brainless opined:

"Oh no, I think Lieberman is quite a good man and if you pulled some pointers from him, you'd be in better shape."

followed by:

"...if he ran for President, I'd consider voting for him..."

and

"...I don't vote for losers..."

finishing up with:

"... went back to lobbying for my tax $..."

Brainless doesn't know that Joe ran for president-and lost. But Brainless would vote for him anyway, even though Brainless says he doesn't vote for "losers" (Brainless apparently waits until the election is over and then mails in his absentee ballot, like many Republicans do). Brainless is just like many Republcian trolls, encouraging Democrats to put up their weakest candidate.

Brainless continues the hilarity by claiming to "pay taxes". A real laugh-a-minute guy.

Rightwing DickWad, not to be outdone on stupidity, chimes in:

"As far as my brain function it's high enough to figure out Sam's a Supreme Court Justice..."

Really? When was he confirmed by the Senate? Better check out that brain function again...


Send better trolls.

Posted by: solar on January 17, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

3rd Paul,

I never smeared Bob's Pop and I don't cross those kind of lines. Bob and I discussed the issue futher and he's now a big fan of mine. I am not obsessed with Bill and Monica. They are a faulous love story. Why not celebrate it?

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

solar,

True, he hasn't been sworn in yet. Thankfully the Democrats prolonged their agony a week so we can all share their disastrous performance last week a little longer.

Here's another Alito related clip out today courtesy of Alberts internet:

HIGH-FRICK'N-LARIOUS

Ted Kennedy is going to quit an organization he's been a member of for five decades -- and to which he still pays dues -- because he's just discovered that it discriminates against women. When Kennedy tried to smear Alito as a sexist, critics noted the Senator belongs to an all-male group called the Owl Club. In 1984 Harvard cut ties to the group because of legislation Kennedy sponsored but he remained a member nonetheless.

But here's the best part. He says he will quit, as fast as I can.

Don't you hate it when this happens? Now it's going to be all over talk radio and on Fox every half hour. This is so good even CNN might run with it. The worst part is everytime this sleeze accuses someone else of racism or sexism this will come up again.

The good news for Sam is he will be sworn in before the February schedule starts and he'll take part in no less than 3 important hearings where it's expected O'Connors swing vote will now swing the other way. Now the more conservative Kennedy becomes the swing vote.

Sam is in!!!!

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Does impeachment carry the stigma it used to? I'd vote Bill back in office today without a qualm.
What impeachment does is leave a vacuum. (sorry Bill no pun intended) I am not confident the Dems are organized enouph to fill that vacuum with a logical candidate We the People can get behind. I vote strategy, strategy. My intestines couldn't take another 4 (8?) years of watching this country's foundations gutted to augment the privilages of an already privilaged few.

Posted by: Your Rant Sally on January 17, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Rightwing DickWad doesn't know the difference between an organization that lobbies for discrimination against women and minorities and one that is merely all male. Did your sorority admit men?

Is there anything you DO know something about? If not, there's probably some money to be made (at least a mention in the Book of World Records) with this universal ignorance thing you have going.

Posted by: solar on January 17, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: 2fgf999 on January 17, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Solar,

He says he will quit, as fast as I can.

Why is that?

Sounds serious to me. I'm thinking Teddy will be hearing a lot more about the Owl club. Even if he doesn't watch Leno. The man who loves pointing fingers will be getting them pointed right back.

The CAP did no such thing. Laura Ingraham and Dinish D'sousa were each editors. The claim was stupid in the 1st place. That's why the entire Alito hearings were such fun. Every conservative website ridiculed Kennedy for his incredibly stupid tirade against Spector and demand for a suponea of CAPs records. Besides getting publically smacked by Arlen Spector the records were in the friggin library you moron. Besides being in the library for everyone to see the NYTs already went through them and reported NOTHING WAS THERE!

You go Teddy, you quit as fast as you can. The man defines over the hill. I pray he lives a long as Robert Byrd. He's incompetent. He'll never leave. You can't remove him. He's perfect.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Electoral strategy. Impeachment just puts Dick Cheney or the next Bush-nominated Gerald Ford into office and thereby advantage in 2008.

Posted by: Jimm on January 17, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

What is a "suponea" when it's at home?

"The CAP did no such thing."

Except, well, you are a lying scumbag:


"CAP complained about the admission of women to Princeton. T. Harding Jones, Alitos classmate and CAPs executive director in 1974 (two years after they graduated) told the New York Times that Co-education has ruined the mystique and the camaraderies that used to exist. Princeton has now given into the fad of the moment, and I think its going to prove to be a very unfortunate thing.1

CAP also complained about the admission of minorities to Princeton. An alumnus wrote in 1974 in CAPs magazine that We had trusted the admissions office to select young men who could and would become part of the great Princeton tradition. In my day, [Dean of Student Affairs] Andy Brown would have been called to task for his open love affair with minorities.2

CAP repeatedly warned that the admission of women and minorities would undermine the university. A 1973 CAP fundraising letter claimed that a student population of approximately 40 percent women and minorities will largely vitiate the alumni body of the future.3 And in 1974, T. Harding Jones claimed that Annual giving has been hurt very substantially by the equal-access vote.4

CAP supported a quota system to ensure that the vast majority of students would continue to be men. Asa Bushnell, then chairman of CAP, told the New York Times in 1974 that Many Princeton graduates are unhappy over the fact that the administration has seen fit to abrogate the virtual guarantee that 800 [out of roughly 1,100] would continue to be the number of males in each freshman class.5

CAP opposed affirmative action for women and minorities but supported affirmative action for athletes and the children of alumni.6 For instance, CAP principal John Thatcher argued in 1974 that Academic weakness below the projected graduating level, or character defect, should be the only grounds for rejecting athletes.7

Prospect magazine, published by CAP, specialized in reactionary rhetoric and ad hominem attacks. Feminists were labeled frumps and freaks and a 1983 item on sexual harassment was illustrated with a female student sunning herself in a bikini.8 In 1983, a column in the Prospect had the following to say about international students at Princeton: I suppose the new students I am observing all had the required SAT scores to get into Princeton, but I really do not believe it for a minute. They are here on the basis of a theory.9 In 1984 the year before Alito touted his CAP membership in his job application letter the magazine observed the death of a female coal miner who won her job through a discrimination suit and concluded, Sally Frank, take note. 10 Sally Frank was a Princeton student who took legal action to open the doors of exclusive, all-male eating clubs at the university to women.

CAP advocated a quota system to ensure that humanities and social science departments hired right wing professors.11


Further background on CAP is available on request.

1 Lepeles, Maxine. "Conservative Alumni Act to Alter Princeton Image" New York Times, 3/3/1974
2 Dujack, Stephen. "The Contradictions of CAP" Princeton Alumni Weekly 4/9/1986
3 Dujack, Stephen. "The Contradictions of CAP" Princeton Alumni Weekly 4/9/1986
4 Lepeles, Maxine. "Conservative Alumni Act to Alter Princeton Image" New York Times, 3/3/1974
5 Lepeles at 4
6 Dujack at 3
7 Dujack at 3
8 Dujack at 3
9 Dujack at 3
10 Dujack at 3
11 Lepeles at 4"

http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=20029







Posted by: solar on January 17, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton and Carter did all this too. Maybe they should've been impeached.

Posted by: DarkSaturos on January 17, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Solar

An unwise old owl

Ted Kennedy has quit The Owl Club, a social club for Harvard alumni that bans women from membership. Apparently, Harvard severed ties with clubs like the Owl in 1984, citing a federal law championed by Kennedy. Now, 21 years later, Kennedy is severing his ties.

Kennedy has also admitted that he "probably" could not pass muster with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He's right about that -- for reasons having nothing to do with The Owl Club.

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Rightwing DickWad- what is it like to have a brain the size of a pea, cappable only of cutting and pasting? Whoever hires you to do this should employee a monkey instead.

Posted by: solar on January 17, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

"What's your preference: ringing calls for impeachment or an actual electoral strategy?"

False dichotomy. REALLY OBVIOUS false dichotomy, and I'm kind of embarrassed you used it.

I used to check this weblog multiple times daily, but I'm really cooling on it lately, and this is a good example of why.

Posted by: A. Signalstation on January 17, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

246 comments so far with at least most of the first 2/3 of them relating to your post and you've made by my count a total of one comment asking if people have read _A Tale of Two Cities_.

It would be helpful if you could engage a little more. Perhaps you're busy now, but when you come back, it'd be nice if you could explain in more detail how the current officeholder's transressions are essentially no worse than the past. Your assertion was unsupported.

Posted by: Pete on January 17, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Solar,

AT least now you understand how it works. The Owl Club will now be better known for a longer period of time than the CAP. Your claims are bogus. Dinish D'Sousa and Laura Ingraham, two former editors of the magazine, take issue with your racism and sexism charges. We know the charges were a dud anyway because Kennedy was the only one getting smacked around in the press. And that was before we knew aobut the Owl club. Can't you wait for the next time Teddy plays the race or sexist card? THey just aren't what they used to be,

Posted by: rdw on January 17, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well solar, that was a wonderful bit of well reasoned argument. Oh, except for the fact that your idiotic string of insults proves nothing except you lack for an actual argument and prefer the Ted Kennedy method of bombarding your target with random insults and idiotic tangents and expecting to get a stir out of them. Go back to the playpen solar, the adults are talking.

You are right though, the lefties really should send better trolls, solar has lost his touch (like the Democratic party themselves, ironically enough).

Yeah, so Lieberman lost a presidential race, big fricking deal. Gore lost one (to Bush of all people, don't you remember, or do you still think the "world's dumbest man" stole it from your "intellectually superior" elite democrats?) and the Democratic sheeple still follow him around like he shits mana from heaven and they get to pick up the droppings. The way I see it, the losers picking a lesser loser to lead them is a step up from continuing to pick the most pathetic loser available. Lieberman is less of a loser than Kerry, Gore, Kennedy, or most of the other left-wing hacks up there. As far as I'm concerned he's your best shot for getting off loser lane. Seriously, if you think another left-wing idealogue like Kerry or Dean is your best card, you DESERVE to lose to the Republicans... AGAIN, AND STILL!

Now solar you can join the adults and have a serious discussion, or you can post more evidence of your inability to read and recall other's chosen names and continue your mindless and directionless rant about people, not arguments.

Posted by: Brian on January 17, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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