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Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Talk Of Impeachment Gets Louder

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-27-07 05:43 AM
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Talk Of Impeachment Gets Louder

Talk of impeachment gets louder

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quick to quash any such idea after the Democratic sweep of Congress in last November's election. And the full-page ads from such groups as Why We Can't Wait, calling for the impeachment of the president, were dismissed as just more national noise from the Looney Left -- hardly to be taken seriously in the raging maelstrom of last fall's election politics.

But that was six months ago. Now, in midsummer and on the eve of a congressionally mandated assessment of the unending madness in Iraq, strange and ominous signs are beginning to appear in all sorts of odd and curious quarters, suggesting that this nation should not have to endure another 18 months of the George W. Bush administration and that, if we do, it well might be at the nation's peril.

Much of the current dismay swirls around Vice President Dick Cheney, who is busily ignoring rules of government he doesn't like and declaring his office to be beyond the purview of anyone's scrutiny, while actively setting about to demolish any government agency that has the impertinence to suggest otherwise. Cheney's advocacy of interrogation techniques for "enemy combatants" that many think tantamount to torture, of monitoring phone calls and e-mails without bothering about warrants, and of ignoring the niceties of the Geneva Conventions when dealing with terrorists has put him out of favor even with a growing number of conservatives. Some want to jettison him as a hopeless drag on the Republican Party's electoral prospects next year; others are beginning to join the throng that is convinced Cheney is out of control and needs to be dispatched for the heath and safety of the republic itself.

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The media are also speaking these days of a looming constitutional crisis as committee chairs in the House and the Senate confront a White House refusal to provide requested documents regarding the firings of U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department. The chairs of the two judiciary committees are seasoned, tough-minded Democrats who are not likely to take kindly to a flouting of their authority to look over the shoulder of the executive and his minions as they go about managing and manipulating the affairs of government. It's hard to imagine either of them blinking if the White House tries to stare them down.

The last time the nation heard talk of constitutional crises was in the tumultuous second term of the Nixon administration, when first a vice president and then the president himself bit the dust...

- snip -

What a difference six months can make!

Hubert G. Locke, Seattle, is a retired professor and former dean of the Daniel J. Evans Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.

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