How Not To Be Seen, Pt. II

December 14th, 2007at 11:54pm Posted by Eli

These three congressmen have figured out how not to be seen…

Apparently Democratic congressmen and House Judiciary Committee members Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) have shopped this op-ed around to major papers like the Washington Post and the New York Times without any takers (h/t dirk). They’re calling for Cheney’s impeachment, which is kind of a big deal:

On November 7, the House of Representatives voted to send a resolution of impeachment of Vice President Cheney to the Judiciary Committee. As Members of the House Judiciary Committee, we strongly believe these important hearings should begin.

The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens.

I think this is the money quote, however:

Some of us were in Congress during the impeachment hearings of President Clinton. We spent a year and a half listening to testimony about President Clinton’s personal relations. This must not be the model for impeachment inquires. A Democratic Congress can show that it takes its constitutional authority seriously and hold a sober investigation, which will stand in stark contrast to the kangaroo court convened by Republicans for President Clinton. In fact, the worst legacy of the Clinton impeachment – where the GOP pursued trumped up and insignificant allegations – would be that it discourages future Congresses from examining credible and significant allegations of a constitutional nature when they arise.

This is absolutely right, and I sometimes wonder whether it could have been deliberate, whether the Republicans were using it to immunize their next president from impeachment so that he would be completely unaccountable, completely unbound. Tempting as that idea is, here’s probably no need to assume conspiracy where petty vengeance will suffice.

But regardless of the reason, reclaiming the impeachment process as a tool to protect the government’s integrity would be very beneficial indeed. It’s just hard to imagine it actually happening.

Entry Filed under: Cheney,Democrats,Impeachment,Media,Politics

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