11/16/2006 03:03 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Impeachment Hearings? No, Not Yet

I was at a gathering over the weekend where at least a couple of participants said something to the effect of:

"They lied to us, they started an unjust war, they were the political party that tried to impeach Clinton over a blue dress, and now that we have the Congress, we need to hold them accountable."

The talk then turned to buckets of subpoenas, getting a policy-maker to rat out Bush and his neocons, and then pounding the impeachment gavel.

I said no.

Listen, the urge for revenge goes deep. You feel it. A Scorpio engrammed for revenge- I feel it. We were lied to, the Iraq War is unjust. And as we've seen on so many bumper stickers, "nobody died when Clinton lied."

But let the impeachment urge just be lust for now.

What we need to do in Congress the next two years is to not tie up the national discourse on who cooked the books about WMD, nibble at the edges, trying to pass the type of incremental health care and other reforms that help the American public without being transformative enough to earn a sure Presidential veto. And be a profound voice for downsizing in Iraq much sooner rather than later.

Yes, we can and should filibuster more Alitos, but when it comes to legislation we don't have the numbers to override a veto. I wish we did but we don't.

But this will not be a durative state of affairs. This is a temporary accommodation, a means to an end.

In two years we Democrats can be seen as a party that is not obstructionist, but practical.

That's what we run on in 2008: hey, America, you gave us the keys and we legislated responsibly.

But if perchance we win the White House in 2008 while preserving our Democratic Congressional majority, that's when we really start pushing against the status quo and make things right again.