Friday, February 24, 2006

Feeling impeachy

Bonnie Erbe joins the ranks of those in the "Time to impeach Bush" camp. She talks about the Zogby poll in which 52% of Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush "if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval", which he did - which means the only reason there isn't an outright national majority for impeachment right now is that some people haven't been paying attention. Although, Erbe lists lots of other reasons she views as more compelling than the warrantless domestic spying.

However, the warrantless domestic spying program is the definitive issue on which Bush must concede defeat or face impeachment. Why? Because, without any way to pussyfoot around it, he threw all his savings into the ante and said he had authority for the warrantless domestic spying program because the Johnyoostitution of the United States says the president is unbounded by any statute, judicial decree, or guarantee of the Bill of Rights. In other words, Bush has staked a claim on the power of a tyrant - on an abandonment of American government and the rule of law.

Domestic wiretapping without a warrant is mild compared to some of Bush's other offenses that Erbe lists, such as bleeding the nation's finances and manipulating intelligence on Iraq. Not only mild but it has been legal in the past, before FISA. But that's not the issue - the issue is that if Bush succeeds in establishing the power he claims, we will have no recourse to stop such offenses, mild or otherwise, except for this or any future President's own good nature.

Who really wants to find out where that leads?

John Dean gets it.

UPDATE - Lewis Lapham drives home a few comments on impeachment, in his own flourishy, polemical way. (The link is an excerpt, in case you haven't read your hard copy of this month's Harper's yet.)

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