The United States Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush this afternoon. Once again, he has violated the U.S. Constitution by issuing a "signing statement," this time to gut the intent of a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Congress stipulated that there would be no funds expended for building permanent U.S. military bases inside Iraq. Bush has now nullified or "waived" the section of the Act that would tie his hands in turning Iraq into a permanent U.S. military outpost.
Congress cannot allow this abuse of power to continue. Why should the Congress bother to pass laws at all if the President, or "unitary executive," can with the stroke of a pen nullify any provision in the law he so chooses?
It's time for Congress to hand George W. Bush his first-ever Constitutional defeat. The Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate are making a huge mistake by capitulating to Bush over and over again as he tramples on the division of powers. This is not how the Constitution is supposed to work. The Congress passes laws and the President either vetoes them or signs them into law. Once he signs, he's bound by the law. We have an arrogant brain dead mean-spirited bully as "our" president who insists on behaving like a monarch. He must be stopped now!
The Congressional Democratic leadership is betting the farm on 2008 -- but this is a risky strategy. Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, Harry Ried, and Patrick Leahy have apparently decided that the Democratic Party's political objectives trump the vital need for the Congress to reassert its status in our Constitutional government as a co-equal branch. What good is the next election going to be if we end up with another monarch who can lie us into war and then issue "signing statements" like a King nullifying acts of Congress?
Bush showed with his State of the Union speech last night that he has no intention of doing anything other than whatever suits his whims. He must be shown that he is not a King or a Dictator. And only the Congress has the power to do it. He must be impeached because he deserves to be impeached and because if he is not impeached he might succeed in permanently altering the balance of power in our Constitutional system of governance.
Shredding the Constitutional system of checks and balances could be the one lasting and disgraceful "legacy" of the Bush years.
No President should be granted the authority to invade and occupy a sovereign nation and then build permanent U.S. military bases there.
Follow Joseph A. Palermo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JosephPalermo1