Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich called for the impeachment of President Bush Monday. This marks Kucinich's latest effort (past attempts to initiate hearings have, thus far, stalled and been largely unsuccessful) to bring about some measure of Constitutional justice. Even today, Kucinich's move does not have much political support, though many of us non-politicians can certainly appreciate it in principle. This is especially true in light of former WH press secretary Scott McClellan's recently-published book about the Bush administration's propaganda machine and outright lies, and his (hardly-news-to-most) outline of how these paved the way for the nation's unlawful, immoral, and catastrophically bloody and costly invasion of Iraq.
The Ohio representative outlined his intention to propose more than two dozen charges against Bush on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kucinich, a former presidential candidate, accused Bush executing a "calculated and wide-ranging strategy" to deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she opposes trying to remove the Republican president who leaves office next January because such an attempt would be divisive and most likely unsuccessful.
Kucinich, an outspoken Iraq war critic who has consistently voted against funding the war and led anti-war efforts in Congress, offered a resolution to impeach Vice president Dick Cheney in April 2007. That also failed to move forward.
Many Democrats and civil liberties groups have accused the Bush administration of providing misleading information before the 2003 Iraq invasion as well as violating the rights of U.S. citizens with its warrantless surveillance program. The White House denies the charges.
I think it's important to file, and to keep filing, these impeachment charges, even as I also believe, with no small measure of sadness, that it's unlikely any attempt to impeach the President or Vice President will be successful between now and January 2009. Sometimes one must act in accordance with one's principles--and with the so-called governing principles of our Constitution, ahem--simply because it's the right thing to do.
If I could, though, I would have to ask Speaker Pelosi, for whom I have tremendous admiration and respect, to whom exactly is she referring with the term "divisive"? I mean, who here is not already on one side or the other?
Despite the traditional media's pooh-poohing or glossing over of anything to do with impeachment, and the liberal blogosphere's tendency to throw its hands in the air or cower in the corner--if not out-and-out demand the beheading of any blogger who dares suggest such a thing (as they did when I wrote about impeachment last year)--support for impeachment hearings continues to stand firm, with scholarly underpinning from both conservative and liberal camps:
Conservative constitutional scholar Bruce Fein and The Nation's John Nichols have both made compelling arguments for impeachment from the conservative and progressive perspectives including a bi-partisan appeal on Bill Moyer's Journal last July.
From the Bill Moyer's program:
"The founding fathers expected an executive who tried to overreach and expected the executive would be hampered and curtailed by the legislative branch... They [Congress] have basically renounced — walked away from their responsibility to oversee and check." — Bruce Fein
"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this Administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any President has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools." — John Nichols
In a related development, Scott McClellan accepted Rep. Wexler's invitation to testify before the House judiciary committee:
President Bush's former spokesman, Scott McClellan, will testify before a House committee next week about whether Vice President Dick Cheney ordered him to make misleading public statements about the leaking of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity.
McClellan will testify publicly and under oath before the House Judiciary Committee on June 20 about the White House's role in the leak and its response, his attorneys, Michael and Jane Tigar, said on Monday.
Also at Cogitamus.