There are 360 days and 19 hours left in the terms of President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. Mr Bush is constitutionally barred from serving another term, and Mr Cheney, who has serious heart problems, chose not to run for president. At noon on January 20, 2009, they become the honored former president and vice president.
- is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich’s 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997,
is one of those for whom 360 days and nineteen hours is just too much to bear — even though he has borne it for seven years, five days and five hours!
Nadler Is Blocking Impeachment
By David Swanson
A private off-the-record meeting was held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that included House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Judiciary Committee Member and advocate for opening Cheney impeachment hearings Robert Wexler, and several other committee members, activists, staffers, and former staffers from the Watergate days. I wasn’t there, so I’m free to talk about what happened.
Wexler proposed opening impeachment hearings on Cheney. Conyers committee staffer Perry Appelbaum laid out instead a schedule for non-impeachment hearings over the coming 11 months. Conyers’ notion is to hold non-impeachment hearings on “the imperial presidency” and run out the clock. I guess that would be sort of like a dozen police officers paying a non-arresting visit to the home of a mass murderer. Seriously? An “imperial” president, and you don’t impeach him, and you don’t retire or commit suicide? This baffles me.
More at the link, on Mr Swanson’s site. The article is also cross-posted on OpEdNews, where I first saw it.
To say that Mr Swanson is heavily invested in impeachment would be a bit of an understatement; if you look on his site, you’ll find impeachment blurbs and books for sale in both sidebars. One of the books is, from the sidebar blurb:
The Case for Impeachment, by Dave Lindorff and Barbara Olshansky, an amazingly popular and extremely readable book that explains the context while also setting forth six articles of impeachment against Bush, plus an extra section on Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Alberto Gonzales.
Apparently no one bothered to tell them that Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzalez are no longer in office.
The current target of Mr Swanson’s ire is Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
- The chief opponent of impeachment hearings was not Conyers. It was Nadler. Nadler argued strongly against any use of the I word. He argued that Congress should focus on passing bills, even though they will be vetoed, and then pass them again next year.
I was going to make some crack about if Mr Nadler was standing in the way, nothing could get past him, but the formerly very rotund Manhattan Democrat had bariatric surgery to induce weight loss back in 2002. But, even though I dislike almost all of Mr Nadler’s politics, the notion that a legislator ought to focus on legislation seems like a fairly practical notion.
What Mr Swanson and the rest of the impractical leftÂ¹ fail understand is that the mainstream Democrats are a little too smart to go for impeachment. Pursuing impeachment would:
- Suck all of the coverage of the presidential campaigns away from the Democratic candidates, and none of the candidates, especially Senator Hillary Clinton, wants to be reminded of the impeachment of Bill Clinton;
- Reunify the Republicans in a way almost nothing else could do; that’s what the Clinton impeachment did for the Democrats;
- Result in President Bush (or Vice President Cheney, as the case may be) being acquitted in an impeachment trial in the Senate; removal would require the votes of at least sixteen Republican senators; and
- Even if the impeachment of President Bush was successful, it would take half of the year to conclude, and we’d wind up with President Richard Cheney! If Vice President Cheney was the one impeached, President Bush could name a replacement Vice President. And the impeachment and removal of Mr Cheney would take so long that there would be no time left to impeach and remove President Bush.
I’m certain that if I continue to read OpEdNews, I’ll find “impeach now!” articles through the spring, into the long, hot summer, and proceeding into the fall. But as I (briefly) looked at Mr Swanson’s site, I have to wonder: being so heavily invested in impeachment, when President Bush and Vice President Cheney leave office peacefully at noon on January 20, 2009, what will Mr Swanson have left in his life?
Â¹ – The term “impractical left” is a redundancy.