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Independent_Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:38 PM
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Thinking About the Need for Impeachment
Please read this article.

Thinking About the Need for Impeachment by BooMan
Thu Dec 28th, 2006 at 06:11:45 PM EST


If we are going to instigate the process to remove Dick Cheney and George W. Bush from office, we are going to need the quiet go-ahead from at least eighteen Republican Senators. It's premature to judge what our chances are because it won't really begin to become clear until the oversight committees start their work. But it is not too early to see where we are right now...

It is my contention that the GOP can take Bush and Cheney down at any time. All they need is for Republicans that work within the various agencies to leak the right paperwork or suggest the right people to subpoena. But before they are willing to do that, they will need to be convinced of the necessity of replacing Bush and Cheney. This isn't a matter of arguing over the impeachability of this or that specific charge. This is a matter of the Republicans (or a significant minority of their caucus) becoming convinced that the nation cannot afford another two years of Bush and Cheney guiding our foreign policy and ruining the GOP brand. I believe that there already exists a rump in the Senate that is willing to consider impeachment for specific national security reasons. They do not believe Bush and Cheney are capable of leading us out of Iraq or that they can lead us to 'victory'. These Republicans are realists who see the Presidency as essentially bankrupt and paralyzed. I have little proof, but I think we can put the following Senators into that category.

1. Chuck Hagel
2. Richard Lugar
3. Arlen Specter
4. Gordon Smith
5. Lindsay Graham
6. Olympia Snowe
7. John McCain
8. John Warner

I think the real question is whether they are ten more GOP Senators that can be convinced their best interests lie in removing the administration. Here's a list of who I think might eventually join in what is essentially a vote-of-no-confidence coup. The list is heavy on senior Senators. These are the people have been in Congress a long time and are not from the post-Reagan generation of hyper partisanship. They may be bedrock conservatives, but their experience could lead them to put the country over their President. I think this possibility will become more likely after Bush lays out his new way forward for Iraq. I anticipate that the new way forward will garner little to no true enthuisiasm within the GOP caucus and will cause a wave of panic.

9. Pete Domenici
10. Orrin Hatch
11. Ted Stevens
12. Robert Bennett
13. Thad Cochran
14. John Ensign
15. Charles Grassley
16. Jon Kyl
17. Richard Shelby
18. John Sununu
19. John Thune
20. Susan Collins

I anticipate that a lot of people will take a look at some of the names on this list and think it preposterous that they would ever support removing the President and Vice-President from office. But it is important to remember that the administration is simply not listening to advice. They are not really consulting Congress, they are overruling the judgment of their military commanders, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the conclusions of our intelligence agencies and the Jim Baker-led Iraq Study Group. If they decide to come out for a major escalation, that is when the wise old men of the Senate will begin to take a serious look at impeachment.


The job for the Democrats is to make it clear that we will not start an inquiry of impeachment until we have reached agreement with a bloc of 18 Senators about a caretaker government. An impeachment inquiry must be based on three elements.

1) A consensus view within the Senate that we simply cannot afford two more years of Bush and Cheney in charge of our foreign policy.
2) That the impeachment inquiry is not an effort to take the White House out of Republican hands, but only to take it out of Bush and Cheney's hands.
3) That the process will be fair and articles will only be voted out of the House Judiciary Committee if they are warranted by high crimes and misdemeanors.

It is my belief that once the GOP agrees that Bush and Cheney are too big of a foreign policy liability to remain in office that evidence can by produced that directly contradicts Bush and Cheney's representations, and calls their truthfulness and law-abidingness into such question that impeachment will not be a political liability for anyone. For one example, the NSA could leak evidence that clearly shows they have been spying without warrants on American phone calls, and that it had nothing to do with, or was not significantly limited to suspected terrorists. I admit that that belief of mine is largely one of faith. But I have a high degree of confidence in my hunch.

Impeachment is a tool for removing executive officers that are not fit to remain in office, for any reason. If Bush refused to show up for work he could be impeached for it. If he became incapacitated, he could be impeached for it. In this case, he has lost the ability to lead, he is showing dangerous psychological tendencies, and the country can't wait for a functioning presidency until his term of office is up. In this situation, the duty of the Congress is to replace him. And since Cheney has all the same problems and is showing all the same tendecies, Congress must take radical and unprecedented steps.


However, having said that, the actual articles of impeachment must have more legal basis than asserting the President has lost his credibility and is pursuing bad policies.

We will see what oversight turns up. The important thing to remember here is that we are not going to convince 18 Republicans to impeach the President AND the Vice-President over upholding the rule of law (barring really damning revelations). We are going to convince them on two wholly practical considerations:

1) Bush and Cheney are incapable of directing our foreign policy and not acting responsibly as commanders-in-chief.
2) Bush and Cheney are destroying the GOP brand and hurting the party's future political prospects.

These two facts, and they are increasingly accepted by Republicans (at least quietly) as facts, form the basis for a consensus.

It is not about revenge or gaining political power or, ultimately, the rule of law. It's about doing what is absolutely critical for the well being of the country. Go below for an excerpt that kind of shows the mood in the Senate on this issue.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 05:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nominated.
A positive message, presented in a thoughtful manner, on the most important topic of 2007.
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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R Putting country over loyalty to President
This is a very cogent argument for not getting caught up in the "we don't have the votes" argument against impeachment. I have felt for some time that we must work from an assumption that there are Republicans who will finally say "Enough," and act to take Bushco down.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. SO what you are saying is that until the Republicans are willing to put party over jr
we are fked? All things considered it is a better plan than waiting for them to actually think about upholding their oaths of office or doing what is right for the country.
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