Remember how impeaching Bush was "off the table" so the Congress could get important work done? For a refresher, here is one conversation with Speaker Pelosi on this:
Dave Johnson (of Seeing the Forest):The following from today's Wall Street Journal is right-wing propaganda so of course doesn't explain that the reason nothing got done is that Republicans blocked everything. But this was the point we in the Netroots were trying to make -- the Republicans are going to block everything anyway... Here is the right today: As U.S. Economic Problems Loom, House, Senate Sweat the Small Stuff,
We seem to be at a historic time right now with an administration that is starting to frankly assert that they are above the rule of law, and I'm wondering if you as Speaker can give us a short statement on this issue and what Congress is prepared to do to re-assert the rule of law of the people of the country.
(Follow [this link and scroll down] to read her response.) Then Mike Stark asked about impeachment. Her reply,
I made a decision a few years ago, or at least one year ago, that impeachment was something that we could not be successful with and that would take up the time we needed to do some positive things to establish a record of our priorities and their short-comings, and the President is... ya know what I say? The President isn't worth it... he's not worth impeaching. We've got important work to do... If he were at the beginning of his term, people may think of it differently, but he's at the end of his terms. The first two years of his term, if we came in as the majority, there might be time to do it all...
Mike, of course, responded,
Mike Stark: Respectfully, that's not the question. Respectfully, the question is whether or not the Constitution is worth it.
Many argue that impeachment will distract the Congress from passing a progressive agenda. That is a pipe dream. The Republicans in the Senate are blocking everything. The President will veto anything that passes. And if something somehow manages to become law the Republicans and the President will just ignore it anyway.
In November 2007 I made some predictions for what we would see happen in time for this year's Presidential election. One of my predictions for the w008 election was:
Barring a burst of legislative activity after Labor Day, this group of 535 men and women will have accomplished a rare feat. In two decades of record keeping, no sitting Congress has passed fewer public laws at this point in the session -- 294 so far -- than this one. That's not to say they've been idle. On the flip side, no Congress in the same 20 years has been so prolific when it comes to proposing resolutions -- more than 1,900, according to a tally by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Guess what, the Republicans blocked everything, and now say the Democratic Congress is not getting anything done. Duh!
3) Accusations that we have a Do-Nothing Ineffective Congress -- Republicans are filibustering everything, and Bush is vetoing the rest. Every single bill. The media is already running with a "Dems won't compromise' and "Dems can't get anything done" narrative and Congress is at a record low approval. You bet we'll be hearing this - they are hard at work developing it. Unless the Democrats start making a lot of noise about this and sustain it -and get the media to report the facts - the Republicans will get away with it.
But who could have seen that coming?
Follow Dave Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcjohnson