THE BLOG
03/01/2006 03:36 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Impeachment Talk Rumbles Toward the Mainstream

While Rep. John Conyers' bills to censure President Bush and VP Dick Cheney haven't received much attention, his lengthy minority report The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War did inspire Harper"s Magazine editor Lewis H. Lapham to argue The Case for Impeachment. From the lengthy on-line excerpt:

Before reading the report, I wouldn't have expected to find myself thinking that such a course of action was either likely or possible; after reading the report, I don't know why we would run the risk of not impeaching the man. We have before us in the White House a thief who steals the country's good name and reputation for his private interest and personal use; a liar who seeks to instill in the American people a state of fear; a televangelist who engages the United States in a never-ending crusade against all the world's evil, a wastrel who squanders a vast sum of the nation's wealth on what turns out to be a recruiting drive certain to multiply the host of our enemies. In a word, a criminal--known to be armed and shown to be dangerous.

While Harper's does not have the mass appeal of even a low-rated network news shows, it does have a degree of longevity and respectability. Arguably, Garrison Keillor does have broader mass appeal -- to the right as well as the left -- and he's joining the Impeach Bush camp after the New Yorker's most recent revelations about the Administration's sanctioning of torture. From Keillor:

Wiretap surveillance of Americans without a warrant? Great. Go for it. How about turning over American ports to a country more closely tied to 9/11 than Saddam Hussein was? Fine by me. No problem. And what about the war in Iraq? Hey, you're doing a heck of a job, Brownie. No need to tweak a thing. And your blue button-down shirt -- it's you.

But torture is something else. When Americans start pulling people's fingernails out with pliers and poking lighted cigarettes into their palms, then we need to come back to basic values. Most people agree with this, and in a democracy that puts the torturers in a delicate position. They must make sure to destroy their e-mails and have subordinates who will take the fall. Because it is impossible to keep torture secret. It goes against the American grain and it eats at the conscience of even the most disciplined, and in the end the truth will come out. It is coming out now.

According to the leaders of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, our country is practically as vulnerable today as it was on 9/10. Our seaports are wide open, our airspace is not secure except for the nation's capital, and little has been done about securing the nuclear bomb materials lying around in the world. They give the administration D's and F's in most categories of defending against terrorist attack. ....

The peaceful lagoon that is the White House is designed for the comfort of a vulnerable man. Perfectly understandable, but not what is needed now. The U.S. Constitution provides a simple ultimate way to hold him to account for war crimes and the failure to attend to the country's defense. Impeach him and let the Senate hear the evidence.