Cross-posted at Open Left
As much as I oppose Bush, I have long argued strongly against pushing for the impeachment of Bush and/or Cheney. I argued that we would not be able to win an impeachment vote in the Senate, that the public wouldn't be with us, that it would look like we are overreaching. Having been in the middle of the fight to defend Clinton from impeachment, and having seen how the country turned against the Republicans in Congress in spite of their disgust with Clinton's personal behavior, I thought it would be a huge mistake.
All of those arguments are still compelling, but as of this morning, I'm going over to the other side. With the announcement yesterday that the Justice Department will never be allowed to pursue contempt charges filed by Congress, the Bush administration has made it 100% clear, once and for all, that they consider themselves utterly and totally above the law. Democrats in Congress have to take a stand, and have to push back. They have to make it clear to the country that the President and Vice-President are not free to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
I wouldn't stop at impeachment either. Congress has an "inherent contempt" power, allowing them to hold their own trials and jail those found in defiance. It hasn't been used since 1934, but it's time to roll that power out of the mothballs. Democrats, if you fear going the impeachment route because of the reasons I mentioned above, then that idea is worth trying.
Or, refuse to appropriate money in the budget for White House staff salaries. If they are not upholding the Constitution, taxpayers shouldn't have to pay them.
I've reached my limit. This country was founded on the doctrine of separation of powers, and Bush and Cheney are violating the Constitution. It's time to raise the stakes and assert some authority.
Check out this video. OpenLeft.com worked with James Adomian, a great Bush impersonator, to do a video capturing his attitude about any attempts to limit his power. When we put it up on our site last Monday, we did it to be funny. But looking at it today, it feels all too serious.
Democrats, stand up and fight.