The Blogosphere has had a bit of a twitter over the issue of the
impeachment of President Bush. The most assertive progressive
are upset that the issue is “off
the table,” in the words of Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers.
Conservatives are skeptical,
imagining that the Democratic leadership is just as vicious as the
Cindy Sheehan is one of the progressives upset by the apparent
weakening of their stance. After all, there is evidence
that a lot of people support the notion of impeachment. (The
MSNBC snap poll, showing 87%
support impeachment, is not evidence. It was linked
from the headline of Huffington Post for a while,
which doubtless caused a significant bias.)
Sheehan wrote a letter, published on Buzzflash,
in which she expressed disappointment:
We the people are shocked that you two are already
over and over again that impeachment is “off the table.” Since the
historic Nov. 7th elections, I have talked to a boat-load of Americans
who want impeachment on the table. We activists worked hard to make
these elections about national issues, like the illegal and immoral
occupation of Iraq, and the culture of corruption that, especially you,
Ms. Pelosi have been railing against for months now. And you, Mr.
Conyers, have already written a brilliant and detailed indictment of
BushCo. We the people are definitely puzzled by your rhetoric.
I think Ms. Sheehan is a sharp individual, having heard her speak a few
times. But I trust Conyers, and think he is both wise and
He addressed the issue of impeachment at a town hall meeting
Detroit, which I
attended. I also heard him discuss it on the Jack
Lessenberry show. Unfortunately, the audio has been
taken down from the Lessenberry Blog, so I have to go by memory on this.
Basically, Conyer’s argument is that we cannot go directly to
impeachment. We have to follow the process. First,
investigate. It is true that much
of the investigation has been done already,
but what has been done does not meet formal legal standards; the
minority in Congress does not have subpoena power. If the
investigation shows that impeachment is in order, you go from there.
It’s the old innocent-until-proven-guilty thing we have in
country. That’s the wise part.
Then, there is the shrewd part. Even if over
half the people in the USA support
that does not mean that over half the people have the gumption to go
ahead with it. To get that to happen with the support of the
majority of the people, the people would have to see the evidence.
only that, but they would have to see it over and over and over again.
Repetition is the only way to convince most people.
the media have not been willing to give it that kind of coverage.
But if Congress plays this one well, I think the media will
The other thing is this: a lot of people will not listen to the
evidence, and follow it where it goes, if you first try to get them to
buy into the conclusion. They want to see the evidence first,
draw their own conclusion. So if you want to get them to buy
conclusion, you just start showing the evidence.
Investigate the story of the aluminum
tubes. Investigate the uranium
Niger. Let the Plame
investigation unfold. Investigate the
contacts between Abramoff
and the White House. Investigate the
to Katrina. Investigate the business that Halliburton
Iran. Investigate the buying
the use of video
news releases. Investigate the suppression,
distortion, and misuse of science. Investigate the cronyism.
Investigate the missing
Iraq reconstruction funds.
Investigate our activities in
Central America. Investigate
profiteering. Investigate the evidence that Bush
before 9/11, to invade Iraq. Investigate the origin
of the “Foreign
Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts” document.
Of course, there is a problem with that approach. It’ll
take too long. There is just too
much to investigate. And we haven’t even gotten to Abu Ghraib,
the alleged attempt to bribe
Nick Smith, the numerous
intelligence leaks, not to mention wiretapping, habeas
corpus, oil company giveaways. And so forth.
Perhaps the best approach would be to pick a subset of topics to
investigate, and to target not only the President and Vice President,
but a few other top Administration officials, as well as Congress
itself, a few lobbyists, and some corporations. The idea to
to paint a picture of the culture of corruption. Of course,
this will do not good unless progress is made on real
reform, positive legislation (e.g. Universal Healthcare)
still goes forward, and we keep our unicorns
strong. The key will be to maintain the proper
balance between the positive and the negative.