Sunday, January 6, 2008

Get that man an ITMFA™ bumper sticker!

George McGovern - who did not call for Nixon's impeachment as the watergate investigations ramped up, because it would certainly have been construed as nothing more than sour grapes - has finally spoken out against the Bush/Cheney cabal, averring that calling for their impeachment is the only honorable thing he can do. Nixon was bad, but these criminals are far, far worse.
Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly "high crimes and misdemeanors," to use the constitutional standard.

From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team's assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged -- perhaps even by a congressional investigation.

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion -- by far the highest in our national history.

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?

How could a once-admired, great nation fall into such a quagmire of killing, immorality and lawlessness?

All this has transpired because they are all, to a man, accomplished liars. They have lied to Congress, to the press and to the American people. They lied about the status of threat presented by Saddam Hussein, and launched an illegal war and occupation based upon those lies.

Whereas in the past we were told that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - these people only have fear to offer.

They have used it to their most cynical advantage.

They have violated the public trust by tapping our phones, and they have violated the American ideals of justice and due process. Even after learning that Iran had abandoned their quest for nuclear weapons, the president and vice president continued to beat the drum for war with Iran, using the same strategy of dishonesty that led us to an intractable war in Iraq.

Even as the current administration made counterterrorism the rallying cry and their very raison d'etre, they have pursued policies that have amplified the terrorist threat, and made the United States and our interests less secure. Iraq has become a breeding ground of terrorism and bloody civil strife.

McGovern does not just point to the inept way the war has been prosecuted. He also blasts the way the Katrina disaster was mishandled.
In addition to the shocking breakdown of presidential legal and moral responsibility, there is the scandalous neglect and mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The veteran CNN commentator Jack Cafferty condenses it to a sentence: "I have never ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans." Any impeachment proceeding must include a careful and critical look at the collapse of presidential leadership in response to perhaps the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.
Impeachment is not a Constitutional crisis. It is the answer to a Constitutional crisis, and we are in a Constitutional crisis right now. My Congressman has lost my respect and my support by feebly insisting that "history will impeach" this administration.

He is wrong. Wrong, wronger, wrongest. A perfect specimen of "not right at all." History renders judements. What we demand is Justice. Congressman Cleaver and the rest of the spineless cowards in Congress need to learn the difference and step the hell up. If they don't we need to find some real Democrats to run against them in the congressional primaries.

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