The Case for Impeachment—And Why The Democrats Won`t Do It
The case for impeaching President
George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is far
stronger than the case against President Bill Clinton or
the pending case that drove President Nixon to resign.
With Republican control of Congress, especially of the
House where impeachment must originate, it is hardly
surprising that impeachment of the Republican Bush
administration is a dead letter.
What is surprising is that
conservatives with a long tradition of adulation for the
US Constitution and Bill of Rights have not been up in
arms against the Bush regime`s all out assault on the
foundation of America`s political system. Instead, the
case for impeachment has come from the left-wing. This
weakens the case, because it can be portrayed as a
partisan political move instead of a last ditch attempt
to save the Constitution.
In "Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney,"
edited by Dennis Loo and Peter Phillips, left-wing
professors, journalists, and activists present a
300-page twelve-count indictment.
It is for the most part a sound
indictment. A conservative American constitutionalist
who loves his country can find little in the case for
impeachment to which to take exception.
Despite the strength of the case
for impeachment, I do not think it will happen, because
Bush has convinced Americans that his crimes against
truth, the US Constitution, and the Geneva Conventions
are necessary measures in the "war against
terrorists." As long as Americans understand 9/11 as
an attack on America by "Islamo- Fascism," the
executive branch will have wide latitude in usurping
Seymour Hersh in his book,
Chain of Command, asks:
"How did eight or nine neoconservatives redirect the
government and rearrange long- standing American
priorities and policies with so much ease? How did they
overcome the bureaucracy, intimidate the press, mislead
the Congress, and dominate the military? Is our
democracy that fragile?"
"How indeed?" ask the
editors of Impeach the President. Their answer
seems to be that the Democrats have been intimidated and
"truth and facts have been barricaded off from
reaching most of the American people." The editors
have faith in the American people to do the right thing
if only they can find out the truth.
It is refreshing to see that the
left-wing, unlike the neoconservatives, believes in the
American system. However, as Claes Ryn indicates in his
book, America the Virtuous, it would appear that the American system has been
eroded over the decades by the rise of the new Jacobin
ideology known as
At a recent conference hosted by
The National Interest, it was the Democrat,
Will Marshall, president and founder of the
Progressive Policy Institute who sounded like Richard
Perle and William Kristol, not Republican Stefan Halper
who served in the Reagan administration. Halper
presented a devastating critique of Bush`s neocon
The problem is not that the
Democrats are intimidated. The problem is that the
Democrats are part of the problem. The editors of
Impeach the President indirectly acknowledge this
fact when they report that Congress "looked the other
way" when Bush acknowledged that he lied to cover up
his felony of illegally spying on US citizens and
declared the real criminal to be the NSA official who
blew the whistle.
Democrats, no less than
Republicans, have permitted the Bush regime to violate
the separation of powers and the rule of law. A branch
of government that no longer defends its power is a
branch of government that no longer believes in its
power. Just as the Reichstag faded away for Hitler, the
US Congress has faded away for the Bush administration.
Claes Ryn is correct when he says a change of mind
has occurred. The Constitution and the political system
based on it are on the ropes because the players no
longer believe in it. They believe in executive power to
act forcefully in behalf of "American exceptionalism."
Civil libertarians rely on the
judiciary to defend Constitutional rights, but the
Supreme Court has been compromised by Bush`s
appointments of Roberts and Alito, men who believe in
"energy in the executive." Without support from
Congress, the judiciary cannot protect civil liberty.
With the passage of the recent detainee and spy bills,
Congress has allied itself with the Bush regime against
Beliefs are more important than
Michael Polanyi wrote that if people believed in the
principles of Stalinism, democracy would uphold
Stalinism. If people believe in American hegemony, they
will not complain when barriers to hegemonic actions are
removed. If people believe fighting terrorism is more
important than civil liberty, they will lose civil
What America needs to refurbish is
its beliefs. Without renewing our beliefs, we cannot
renew our civil liberties and hold government
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Paul Craig Roberts
him] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of
Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington;
and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy,
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of
The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice. Click
here for Peter
Brimelow`s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.