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Impeachment: Is there any other Way to Restore the Rule of Law in our Nation?

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 05:43 PM
Original message
Impeachment: Is there any other Way to Restore the Rule of Law in our Nation?
There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state it would be easier to catch terrorists If we lived in a country where people could be held in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion the government would probably arrest more terrorists or would-be terrorists But that wouldnt be a country in which we would want to live, and it wouldnt be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that country wouldnt be America Senator Russ Feingold, the only U.S. Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act, in his dissent against that Act, October 11, 2001.

There are two polar opposite types of nations in which people can aspire to live. One type of nation is a democracy, in which the people directly or indirectly (through elected representatives) choose the laws under which they live, and where those laws are supreme. In such a nation the rule of law prevails, and it applies not only to ordinary citizens but to ALL citizens, including the elected representatives of the people.

The opposite type of nation is one where a king, tyrant, dictator, or whatever you want to call him, rules supreme. In that type of nation there is no rule of law in the sense that the rule of law prevails in a democracy. The law is whatever the dictator says it is.

Of course there are also many nations that fall somewhere in between these two opposite extremes. And nations can and have changed from one to the other.


Changing from dictatorship to democracy and from democracy to dictatorship

In 1776 our Founding Fathers, who then lived under the dictatorship of Great Britains King George III, proclaimed a new nation, along with the right of peoples to overthrow their government when they found their government to be destructive of their unalienable rights. Of course, that was much easier said than done. In our case it took a bloody revolutionary war and 7 years to make the United States of America, proclaimed in 1776, into a reality. And then it took another bloody war, beginning almost eighty years later, to begin to extend those unalienable rights to people of another race.

To guard against future tyranny our Founding Fathers created a Constitution, which provided the foundation in law for preserving the unalienable rights that so many of them fought so hard for. Paramount among the constitutional mechanisms for guarding against future tyranny were provisions for removing from office elected or appointed government officials who abuse their delegated powers by becoming destructive of the rights of the citizens whom they are elected to represent. The great value of this provision was that it would enable future generations to remove incompetent, abusive, or tyrannical governments without having to resort to violence, as was required for the birth of our nation.

The Nazification of Germany in the 1930s provides an excellent example of how democracies can retrogress back into tyrannies. Milton Mayer, who studied the thinking of ordinary lower level Nazis during Hitlers rise to power, explained in his book, They Thought They Were Free The Germans 1933-45, the gradual process by which Germans gave up their freedom to Hitler:

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.


A short summary of how the Bush/Cheney administration is destroying the rule of law in our nation

The Bush/Cheney administration has given a clear message to the citizens of our nation that, as far as theyre concerned, neither the Constitution of the United States nor the laws of the United States in general pose any limits to their actions. The following is a brief summary of evidence for this:

By appending signing statements to more than 800 laws enacted by Congress more signing statements than all 42 previous presidents combined have used, George Bush has asserted his intentions be bound neither by the laws of the country he was chosen to serve nor by the Separation of Powers provided in our Constitution

By confining protesters to so-called first amendment zones; by tying up our airways, using tax dollars, with government propagandists pretending to be journalists; and by claiming the right to imprison journalists who expose administration crimes to the public, George Bush has repeatedly violated our First Amendment rights to free speech.

George Bushs warrantless domestic spying program has deprived hundreds of thousands of Americans to their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.

George Bush has repeated violated our Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights to due process of law, as detailed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush, by:

violating the constitutional and international rights of citizens and non-citizens by arbitrarily detaining them indefinitely inside and outside of the United States, without due process, without charges, and with limited if any access to counsel or courts.

Also detailed in the same document, George Bush has violated our Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and inhuman punishment by:

allowing his administration to condone torture, failing to investigate and prosecute high-level officials responsible for torture, and officially refusing to accept the binding nature of a statutory ban on cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.

By using his Justice Department to disenfranchise tens of thousands (or much more) voters who are unlikely to vote for him, George Bush has violated our Fifteenth Amendment right to vote.

By repeatedly lying to Congress and the American people about his reasons for invading Iraq George Bush has, as described by the CCR:

subverted the Constitution, its guarantee of a republican form of government, and the constitutional separation of powers by undermining the rightful authority of Congress to declare war, oversee foreign affairs, and make appropriations. He did so by justifying the war with false and misleading statements and deceived the people of the United States as well as Congress

And, by repeatedly refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas George Bush and Dick Cheney have put themselves above the law and violated the Separation of Powers required by our Constitution.


The role of fear and excessive trust in causing democracies to revert to dictatorships

The archetypal reason that democracies sometimes revert to dictatorships is fear and the related excessive trust that fear or laziness sometimes engender. Fear is a powerful emotion, which often clouds the reasoning process. Fear can therefore cause people to look for a savior to save them from their fear. Of course, the voluntary handing over of dictatorial powers to a tyrant requires a certain degree of trust that the tyrant is benevolent and will do whatever is in the best interest of his people. If their fear is great enough, however, people may be prone to handing over their freedom to a tyrant even if the tyrant has not done much to warrant their trust.

I believe that the people of the United States have already handed over a great deal of their freedom. This process did not begin under the presidential administration of George Bush and Dick Cheney, but it certainly has accelerated under it. The following issues of trust are highly pertinent to this process:

Trust that the balance of power required by our Constitution is no longer necessary because our President will not abuse his powers.

Trust that the war making power delegated to Congress by our Constitution can and should reside in the hands of a single man because that man will use that power more wisely and effectively than will Congress.

Trust that monopolization of our national news media is ok, because whoever has control of the news that we receive will responsibly exercise the role of providing us with the information we need to be a functioning democracy.

Trust that huge campaign donations from wealthy contributors are ok, because our elected officials will not be influenced by those donations to favor their contributors above everyone else.

Trust that electronic voting machines that count our votes in secret are ok, because nobody would use such machines to steal an election.

Trust that our First Amendment right to criticize our government is not necessary, because our government does not warrant much criticism, and criticizing our government provides aid and comfort to our enemies.

Trust that giving our president the right to determine the guilt of suspected criminals and detain them indefinitely without trial is ok, because our president will make sure that only the guilty are detained and punished.

Trust that giving our government the right to torture people is ok, because the infromation gained from that torture is necessary to protect us against our enemies.

Trust that giving our president the right to spy on us without warrants is ok because our government will not abuse that right by spying on its domestic opponents.


The United States at a fork in the road to democracy or tyranny

It should be obvious to anyone with a working knowledge of history and current events that the United States of America is currently going down a road to tyranny. It is up to us the citizens of the United States, and our elected officials, to decide whether we will continue down that road or instead take a fork in the road leading back to democracy.

When dictatorial practices are initiated and meekly accepted in a democracy, a precedent is set. The longer the situation continues the more locked in the precedent becomes. When it continues long enough people come to accept it as normal. As with the Germans of the 1930s, or the Romans of antiquity, most Americans dont even recognize that their democracy is slipping away from them, because they have gradually become accustomed to their situation and therefore accept it as normal.

The Bush administration has made a mockery of our Constitution and the rule of law in general in our country. Our Constitution provides a very good remedy for that, and that remedy is impeachment. Impeaching our President and Vice President, and removing them from office, would not only rid our country of the worst and most tyrannical presidential administration weve ever had; it would also go a long way towards restoring the rule of law in our country because it would give a clear message to all future elected leaders of our country that lawlessness is not acceptable to the American people.

As a long time believer in the Democratic Party, I, like millions of other Democrats in my country believe that it is very important that we elect a Democratic President and solidly Democratic Congress in 2008. My reasons for feeling that way are largely related to the fact that the Democratic Party is much more devoted to the rule of law in our country than is the Republican Party.

I also understand that the reluctance of my Party to pursue impeachment probably has a lot to do with their belief that doing so could jeopardize their chances to achieve control of the Presidency and Congress in 2008. I strongly disagree with my Partys assessment on this issue, for reasons that I have discussed elsewhere.

But even if it was true that impeachment would jeopardize the chances of the Democratic Party to gain control of the Presidency and Congress in 2008, there is another very important consideration to which our Democratic representatives should give much thought: Electing a Democratic President and Congress in 2008 could prove to be a pyrrhic victory for our nation if we cannot re-establish the rule of law here. Failing to send a message that lawless presidents are not acceptable in our democracy, the precedent of Bush and Cheneys administration will stand. I dont know how we can send that message if no steps are taken to make our current dictators accountable for their many crimes. In that case it seems likely that it will only be a matter of time before our country descends fully into tyranny.
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm beginning to think the only way to restore the rule of law is...
to take to the streets in an in your face, disruptive way.
I has become clear to me that there are a majority in the administration and the congress that like the way things are and only wish to make the current situation more stringent and anathema to all that has been the values and goals of this nation.
It's all about power and the easiest way to maintain power is by maintaining control.
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AuntPatsy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. I am beginning to suspect you are right.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
30. Non-violent civil disobedience. It doesn't mean blood won't be shed ...
... since that's the kind of reaction that's provoked ... but I don't see us changing course unless and until that happens.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #30
52. Let's get out our saffron robes....
Of course, they will then round us up and if they are feeling beneficent, lock us up in concentration camps. If not, mass graves.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
32. I believe you may be right about that
At least in the sense that we won't get a good response from our elected representatives until the American people make it clear how unsatisfied they are with the current situation. I'm not sure that taking to the streets in massive numbers is the only way that can happen ... but it very well may be.

It also may be, unfortunately, that that won't happen unless and until a large enough people feel the pain themselves. In 1930s Germany there was very little protest as the Nazis were taking over, largely because people didn't feel personally touched by the atrocities. They were directed against Jews and other "undesirables", and people were content to let that take its course because they didn't feel personally threatened. Very sad, but true.

Something like that could happen here as well.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. I suspect the easiest thing to do is simply not prosecute Bush-Cheney for any major crimes.
Sure, go after the low-level henchmen for political expediency, but political expediency might conflict with the impulses of justice as far as going after leaders who caused all the misery. That entails a big fight, and political expediency would shy away from such confrontations in favor of the next election.

In short, I fear Dem leaders, although probably not all, will simply say, "Forget about it. It's in the past now. Let's move on." If that is true, then it means that if you rise up to a high enough level of power and commit crimes, you can get away with it, and the letter of the law becomes meaningless. It wouldn't be a meaningful Republic if there are people who are above the law simply because politicians are too afraid to uphold their sworn duty.
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radiclib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
42. "..if you rise up to a high enough level of power and commit crimes, you can get away with it.."
True, but ONLY IF YOU"R A REPUBLICAN. As you said, Dems are likely to "let bygones be bygones", while Repubs are totally unafraid to be as vicious and aggressive as they need to be. Dems tend to be hand-wringing pansies, which is a big part of the reason they have trouble winning elections.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #42
53. only as long as you have the house speaker in collusion.
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 05:03 PM by ooglymoogly
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
46. I'm afraid you're right about that
That's exactly what I was trying to say.

"Let's move on" without holding the criminals accountable for their many serious crimes. That is the attitude that too many of our elected leaders have towards the rich and powerful, I'm afraid. In contrast, consider the three time convicted drug user who receives an automatic life sentence for his/her victimless crime.
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Whoa_Nelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
A must read, just released in September, that's on point with all of Time for change's post:

The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot by Naomi Wolf

http://www.amazon.com/End-America-Letter-Warning-Patrio...

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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Second the motion. I'm reading it right now. It's concise and...
...to the point, and it's written by a Jewish woman with direct ties to the Holocaust, and no hesitation to point out the very real parallels that exist between then and now.

The mere mention of the U.S. becoming a fascist state raises irrational anger in a lot of people. This little book is a great antidote to the denial involved in such a response.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
47. Thanks for the reference
It sounds like it's well worth reading.
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rambler_american Donating Member (565 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
50. Should be required reading.
The parallels with Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Fascist Italy and other totalitarian states are frightening. This country is going to hell in a handbasket and it may be too late to do anything about it short of revolution.
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bobthedrummer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST. K&R
IMPEACH CHENEY FIRST
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. Did Feingold say all of that or just the first paragraph?
It matters not really except it would be wondeful if just one of our Democratic leaders were to issue such a statement. It is my thoughts exactly. Either we are a nation of Law or we are a nation of "Unitary Executive" and by what has taken place so far we are the latter and will remain so no matter who actually gets "selected" as "Unitary Executive". We either have a Constitution that is abided by or we are no longer America, home of the "brave"...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
25. Feingold said what I quoted him as saying in the first paragraph of this post
The part in italics.

And he said a lot more too:

And, of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists.

But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. That would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.

Preserving our freedom is the reason that we are now engaged in this new war on terrorism. We will lose that war without firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people.


I think that is a great quote by Feingold. I admire him a great deal for being the only U.S. Senator to vote against the PATRIOT Act and for being so eloquent in his criticism of it.

But I really don't understand why he has voiced an opinion against impeachment. I think that is something that the Democratic leadership has tried very hard to get uniformity on within their Party. I believe that it has to do with political calculation, and it disturbs me a great deal. As far as I know there are only two U.S. Senators who have spoken in favor of impeachment of George Bush, and one of them is a Republican! They are Barbara Boxer and Chuck Hagel.



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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
35. russ feingold on impeachment (Feb 1999)
But I would like to conclude by just talking a little bit about this impeachment issue in the modern context. When I say that the vote in 1996 is the primary issue, I don't just mean that in terms of the rights of people. I mean it in terms of the goal of the Founding Fathers, and our goal today; that is, political stability in this country. We don't want a parliamentary system. And we don't want an overly partisan system.

I see the 4-year term as a unifying force of our Nation. Yet, this is the second time in my adult lifetime that we have had serious impeachment proceedings, and I am only 45 years old. This only occurred once in the entire 200 years prior to this time. Is this a fluke? Is it that we just happened to have had two `bad men' as Presidents? I doubt it. How will we feel if sometime in the next 10 years a third impeachment proceeding occurs in this country so we will have had three within 40 years?

I see a danger in this in an increasingly diverse country. I see a danger in this in an increasingly divided country. And I see a danger in this when the final argument of the House manager is that this is a chapter in an ongoing `culture war' in this Nation. That troubles me. I hope that is not where we are and hope that is not where we are heading.

It is best not to err at all in this case. But if we must err, let us err on the side of avoiding these divisions, and let us err on the side of respecting the will of the people.

Let me conclude by quoting James W. Grimes, one of the seven Republican Senators who voted not to acquit Andrew Johnson. I discovered this speech, and found out that the Chief Justice had already discovered and quoted him, and said he was one of the three of the ablest of the seven. Grimes said this in his opinion about why he wouldn't convict President Johnson:

I cannot agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an unacceptable President. Whatever may be my opinion of the incumbent, I cannot consent to trifle with the high office he holds. I can do nothing which, by implication, may be construed as an approval of impeachment as a part of future political machinery.

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superkia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. I feel good supporting a candidate that wants to impeach!
Go Dennis Kucinich! Any of the candidates that brush it away must like the new found power that Bush has found and if any one of them are elected, they will enjoy that power as well. Bad news for America. Now is the time for real change in Washington, not just a change of the guard to one of the usual suspects, someone that will give us a voice against this corruption.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. Since the congress has not sought it's constitutional remedy,
the next president elect would have to start re instituting the constitution by executive order I guess.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Happy to be the 10th to recommend.
The precedent that would be set by not impeaching now would seem to be a terrible one. It's not about revenge, it's not about hurting the other side, it's simply about showing that the abuses of the past 6.5 years CANNOT be allowed to happen again.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
48. That's exactly how I feel about it.
I just think that failing to hold the criminals accountable will be like giving license to all future Presidents to do the same thing.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:33 PM
Response to Original message
10. No. IMPEACH BOTH OF THE FREAKS!
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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. K&R Another "thank you" for another piece directly from the heart and mind...
...of one of DU's very best writers.

I'm nominating you for the DU Griot award (which I just created). You're a great storyteller and keeper of the historical flame for our nation.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
29. Cool -- and thank you very much
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. I'm all for impeach ment, but i still think most of your post is
hyperbole. And it's unlikely impeachment will restore the rule of law.
If impeachement were introduced today, it's unlikely that it would garner enough votes to move to the Senate. If it did, there aren't anywhere near 67 votes to convict.

Oh, and dems do NOT have a solid majority. Not even close.
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Baby Snooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Even if failed...
Even if it failed it would at least have been filed and voted on and it would restore some sense of respect for the Constitution.

Those who voted for and against impeachment would be on the record with regard to the Constitution and the abuse of the Constitution by this administration.

There is no valid reason for not filing it. Despite the attempts by some to claim that there is.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #15
36. Why have a failed one instead of a working one?
Why would that be better?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. I don't claim that it will restore the rule of law by itself
But I do strongly believe that it is a necessary, or at least a crucially important first step.

In considering whether or not it would receive enough votes in the Senate to convict I think it's important to keep in mind that much of the American electorate is ignorant of the extent of Bush/Cheney crimes. Impeachment should garner a great deal of national attention and should help a lot in educating the American public as to what's going on.

Once the electorate became educated with regard to the Nixon crimes the support for impeachment went up dramatically. I expect that the same thing would happen with Bush and Cheney. And once the American public is brought up to speed then I believe that a lot of Republican Senators would find it very difficult to vote against conviction, and if they did they would risk losing their Senate seat.

Anyhow, even if they couldn't muster enough votes to convict, Bush and Cheney would be on the defensive. They might even feel the need to restrain themselves from nuking Iran, in order to increase their chances of surviving.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. k&r. . . n/t
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Quit voting for establishment candidates.
That might be a start.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Common people can't afford to run for office any longer ---
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. They can where I come from. n/t
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. Where's that?
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. When Pelosi said "Impeachment is off the table" did she mean
only her lovely George?

If a Pres. commits 30 Crimes is the only remedy Impeachment?
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Dennis Kucinich is doing so.
I agree that they are few and far between, but the more you support, the more we can elect. The more elected, the more might be willing to try.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
49. I agree with that with regard to primaries
Not for general elections, however, because in general elections we're often faced with a choice between two candidates who are far from desirable but where, nevertheless, one candidate is substantially preferable to the other.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #49
62. Well, sort of.
There are usually more than 2 candidates on the ballot in a general election. If NONE of them are desirable, then we can write in a desirable candidate, or choose the least evil.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. That's very true, however
usually there are only two candidates who have a chance of winning.

The election that comes to mind is the fateful 2000 election. Many thousands of people who voted for Ralph Nader would have voted for Al Gore had Nader not run, in which case Gore would have beaten Bush by enough votes that the election couldn't have been stolen.

There were many liberals, including some whom I talked to, who thought that Gore was too conservative for them to vote for. Many bought the line that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. In retrospect I'll bet the good majority of those people who voted for Nader wish that he hadn't run.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #63
70. Of course, we're all more than familiar with
the 2000 selection. I don't think it is appropriate to place blame for that debacle on people who are voting their minds, their hearts, their consciences, for the loss. We know that the loss was not because some voters did not vote for Gore, but because of election fraud. Anything else is gang-driven propaganda. In my opinion.

If we value democratic principles, it's the candidate's job to earn votes; they aren't owed. If we want to see a less corrupt political process, we will work to end the two party system, not enable it.

The "if you don't choose the D, no matter how bad he/she is, you've given victory to the enemy" propaganda is designed to keep voters in line, voting against their own best interest, and corrupting and diluting the democratic process.

I would prefer to see a Democrat on the ticket I can vote FOR, of course. That's what I'm doing; I'm voting FOR a candidate, not AGAINST the opposition. I would be thrilled if that candidate were a Democrat.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. I wasn't blaming anyone
I was just pointing out that voting for third party candidates who don't have a chance of winning can have consequences.

Events can and do have more than one cause. Saying that Gore lost because of election fraud, while true, does not negate the fact that he also lost because Nader was on the ballot.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. If you need to place blame,
why not look at the fraud, rather than people exercising their right to vote their conscience?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-14-07 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. I told you that I wasn't blaming anyone for that
As for looking at the fraud, I have looked extensively at that and posted numerous analyses (regarding 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006) on it, many of which you can find in my journal.

I don't blame anyone for voting their conscience. At the same time I think it is reasonable for me to say that I believe people who voted for Nader in 2000 because they believed that there was no difference between Gore and Bush were badly mistaken about that, and there have been terrible consequences as a result.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
18. IMPEACH . .. IMPEACH . .. IMPEACH . . . IMPEACH --- !!!!
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. K&R! Well done, my friend, as always.
Intelligent and passionate.

Wake up America! :kick:

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
26. K&R thank you n/t
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. Impeach Cheney and Bush, that is the only way to stop the insanity
...of more war and endless war and ultimately the end to the United States of America as a republic of free citizens
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-10-07 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
28. apparently Madame Speaker is unaware of this
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dougolat Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Pelosi on Tuesday's Ed Schultz show
She admitted that Bush had acted criminally, but said she
needed convincing that it warranted impeachment! That's so
crazy, impeachment should never be "off the table",
it's integral to the balance of powers. Any doubts about the
outcome or repercussions of impeachment can't dispel the need,
the DUTY, to defend the Constitution; and remember, double
jeopardy doesn't apply to impeachments, nor do Presidential
pardons!  Yes, these guys play dirty (anthrax attacks, Max
Cleland, Cinthia McKinney) and our congress critters are
justifiably cowed, but the whole world needs us to live up to
being "the home of the brave."
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radiclib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #31
43. Well said
and welcome to DU, dougolat :hi:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #31
54. I just don't believe that she sees nothing impeachable about the crimes he's committed
I have to conclude that she's just trying to play it safe -- and I don't believe that's warranted under these extreme conditions.

Welcome to DU dougolat :toast:
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Perry Logan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 06:18 AM
Response to Original message
33. How would the election of one honest President not restore the rule of law? No impeachment necessary
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. It might or it might not
Or it might do so temporarily.

We would still be left with the sorry fact that a presidential administration had committed a large number of travesties against our Constitution and the rule of law in general in our country, yet little was done to hold them accountable for their many crimes. Future presidential administrations would look back on that, and the lesson would be that one can do the sort of things that the Bush administration did, and yet not be held accountable for them. An honest President would abuse his/her office. But I think it is very unrealistic to think that all of our future Presidents will be honest, or that we won't have another one like Bush.

Impeachment hearings would also do a lot to educate the American public. There are many who aren't outraged because they're ignorant of what's happening. An educated citizenry is one that less susceptable to abuses like those perpetrated by Bush and Cheney.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Investigations first
They are nowhere near finished yet. Impeachment is simply not going to happen otherwise, and being upset that it isn't happenning is like being upset that the sky isn't red.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #37
39. There have already been a great deal of investigations and a great amount of evidence produced
How much evidence do we need before even initiating impeachment hearings?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. How about evidence that specifically states that Bush committed impeachable offenses?
We might want that. If you think there is something that fits that description from one of the investigations, then list it.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #40
44. I listed 8 of them in the link found in my post # 39, above
Here's the link again:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Tell me which ones you disagree with, and why, and we can discuss it.

But even if there are some of them that can be reasonably argued against, the accumulated evidence is so overwhelming that I just don't understand what Congress is waiting for.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #40
57. How about the New York Times?
Look, stop pissing around, BushCo doesn't even deny their lawbreaking. Warrantless wiretapping, torture (sorry, "harsh interrogation"), ignoring subpoenas. All inpeachable in and of themselves and BushCo don't deny any of them. Oh, and Contempt Of Congress is an impeachable offence too.

The only way to not see the evidence is if one is busy arguing the nature of an elephant with a lot of other blind men.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #37
60. not this again.......... INDICT.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #33
56. Four reasons
1. Find an honest politician (barring Kucinich)
2. Get them elected (simply not possible if they want to stay honest)
3. Perseude them to voluntarily give up the massive extra-constitutional powers that CheneyBush has appropriated.
4. Find some way of avoiding having the Republicans in Congress nuke the fuck out of them over every tiny little thing, thus preventing everyone from getting anything done.

If you can do all that then I expect your next trick to be walking on water.

Oh, and that assumes that Bush will voluntarily leave office when his term ends and that's certainly NOT a sure thing anymore.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. 5
5. Find an honest election
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 07:25 AM
Response to Original message
38. At one time in early 2001, there may have been a chance otherwise to restore the rule of law
Edited on Thu Oct-11-07 07:25 AM by tom_paine
Now though, impeachment or general strike.

And the truth is both of which would lead to the Bushie murders of many, many people.

I no longer believe (REDACTED).
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #38
58. I doubt impeachment would work
As soon as Congress starts talking impeachment, BushCo will either refuse to acknowledge their authority (the Charles I Defence and sadly, we don't behead them anymore) or find some pretext to invoke Directive 51 and assume dictatorial powers (well, the ones he doesn't already have).

General strike might work although how you'd go about doing so with such weak unions is beyond me, especially with the massive base of manual and semi-skilled labour (in the form of undocumented immigrants) available.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
41. Personally, I think a second revolution is way overdue. (France has had 6
depending how you count). Unfortunately, that's even more unlikely than impeachment at this point.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #41
59. You may be right
France has had six, we (Britain) have had either three or four (depending on whether you count Richard's overthrow and the Civil War it led to as one incident or two).

Perhaps sometimes, you need to tear everything down in the hope of building something better from the rubble.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #59
66. Let's see: War of the Roses, Cromwell's rebellion, certainly the Glorious
(bloodless ) Revolution that brought William & Mary to the throne. I suppose
one could count either Bolingbroke's (Henry the VII's) successful coup or Henry VIII's split with the Church. Sentimentally I'd favor DeMonfort's revolt or Wat Tyler's rebellion, though both of those were unfortunately quashed too soon to really be regarded as revolutions. Which ones do you count?

Personally I think the American Revolution self-aborted after the successful rebellion from Britain, when Alexander Hamilton re-established the aristocracy (through a long series of policies, not by any particular single act). Would that Aaron Burr had shot the bastard 20 or 30 years earlier!

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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 04:47 AM
Response to Reply #66
68. Traditionally
We count the Wars of the Roses, Cromwell (Cromwell and the Restoration count as one incident) and the Glorious Revolution. Of the rest, Bolingbroke's coup is usually counted as infighting rather than full-blown revolution, ditto DeMontfort and Henry's split with Rome. Wat Tyler is usually counted as a peasent uprising. That's the version I learned but I'll be the first to admit that it's fairly arbitrary.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #59
67. Wonderful blog by the way. I left a long-winded comment.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-12-07 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. Danke
Trying to find it now

I'm woefully neglectful of updating either blog.
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T.Ruth2power Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
45. It's obligatory
those that don't demand it should be recalled from office.

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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
51. It's a shame there isn't a way for the people themselves to impeach
Shrub and Darth. Thom Hartmann was asking what we could do and said something about civilians suing the president. Unfortunately I had to get out of the car and away from a radio and didn't catch any more of that line of thinking.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
55. No, and I doubt impeachment would work either
CheneyBush has the DoJ corrupted and that piece of paper that would give him dictator powers all nice and legal safely stored away.

The second Congress starts talking impeachment, he either refuses to acknowledge their authority (aka the "Charles I Defence") or invokes Directive 51 and crowns himself His Imperial Majesty.

Frankly, I think your nation is too far gone to be saved now or at least, in it's present form.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 08:56 PM
Response to Reply #55
64. Yes, I agree that Bush might very well try that
But that doesn't excuse Congress from not even TRYING to remove him and Cheney from office.
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Prophet 451 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-11-07 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. of course
Always, always fight.
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