Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Friday, July 06, 2007

But I Want a Pony!

This message is directed to those blogs that are complaining that after five whole months in office, the Democratic congress has not yet impeached president Bush (and I have read several). Not that I don't agree with the sentiment! Certainly this is something that we all would like to see, but lets think abut this logically. Impeachment is not a simple thing.

Among other things, "In order to convict the accused, a two-thirds majority of the senators present is required." (wikipedia) Easy, right? Well, that might seem to be a difficult task seeing as we only have 51 Democratic senators, and one of them is still very ill. But lets just say for the sake of argument that passing this in the senate would not be a problem. Go, Team, Go!

The House of Representatives would have to pass "articles of impeachment" by a simple majority. That should be easy, right? Let's just forget about presenting evidence and which actual investigation this should be based on, considering none of them are complete yet. The idea is to just go sailing full steam ahead!

That done, the case against the president would be tried by the Chief Justice of the United States, or "the Vice President, in his capacity as President of the Senate, or the President pro tempore of the Senate presides." (The "President pro tempore" is the chief presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the vice president.

Cheney: 'Trust Me!'

We are a talking about Bush Appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Vice President Dick Cheney. (Those bumper stickers that say "Impeach Cheney First" say that for a reason.)

Impeach Cheney First!

So I put it to those bloggers that think jumping to an impeachment hearing right away is such a good idea. Tell me your plan from this part on, I'm a little unclear about how you are going to convince either of these two guys to go along with this.

So let's review the concept, we should start the ol' impeachment ball rolling without yet having clear and irrefutable evidence by asking for "articles of impeachment" by a simple majority in the house of representatives, so that we can have an impeachment hearing in the senate, where we only have a slim majority and one of those members is ill, to be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts or Vice President Dick Cheney.

Am I the only one that thinks that we might want to review our strategy on this?

Remember that the Republicans failed to impeach Clinton in the Senate after a huge brouhaha and many months of wasted effort, and they had a larger majority. In the end, they did not get what they wanted, and looked like major idiots for their efforts. Clinton ended up being a figure of sympathy, and had a very positive public approval ratings when he left office. Just because you have a plan, it does not mean that it will work.

I think that it does a disservice to our elected Democratic officials to say that they are not doing everything they can to stop the madness of King George. I don't think the Democrats are just fooling around and wasting time. This is very serious.

What has congress been doing since February?

I wonder how much positive legislation the Republican congress passed last year at this time. I would not sell our guys short so quickly as some. They have only in power since February. I would guess that it is probably not that easy to undo the many years of GOP damage in five months, especially with the Republican congress mucking up the works, and Bush threatening to veto everything.

I think that many in the media often portrays the Democratic congress as weak and ineffectual for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the majority of the media is owned by conservatives. Don't listen to them! These are the same people that told you that the war in Iraq was a good idea, and we all know how well that turned out.

Bush: 'Oh Crap!'

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At Fri Jul 06, 09:02:00 AM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

This was a very informative post, thanks. I don't have much to add to what I just wrote, maybe later after I absorb, (and do a little research) I'll post another comment.

At Fri Jul 06, 03:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I'm linking! Thanks so much for what you've written on this so far.

You've been consistent in your message - the Democrats are doing what they can to make government work within the reality that they're given.

At Fri Jul 06, 04:02:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I think the point of bloggers and others calling for impeachment is more to get the attention of the people we helped put back into power. By calling for the impeachment of those ass clowns we hope they will see how the people out here in the heartland feel and maybe then they will stand up to the Bush junta. My feeling is they should send Chimpy a bill to fund the war that has concrete benchmarks for ending the war in it and if he vetoes it, send it back. If he vetoes it, send it back, if he vetoes it send it back. You get the idea.

At Fri Jul 06, 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Ben Varkentine said...

And I think the Democrats need to take a good long hard look at that "perception vs. reality" ad campaign Rolling Stone used a few years back.

The problem isn't just whether or not they're actually doing anything, the problem is that they're not *perceived* to be doing anything.

And in politics, perception can break you. Or make you: How do you think George W. Bush fooled so many people for such a long time?

At Fri Jul 06, 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous fairlane said...

Forget impeachment we need a good old fashioned coup that incorporates thumbscrews, the rack and guillotines.

Sociopaths only respond to consequences and as long as La Cosa Bushstra continues to roll along unfettered they will not stop.

Who's to say they won't declare "Martial Law" the day before the elections to prevent a change of power? I know that seems ridiculous but what else is left for them to do?

We didn't elect Democrats so they could mug for the cameras. (I can do that myself). They need to take some kind of risk because they're losing ground anyway.

If reality doesn't conform to what you want, do as the Bushies do and change reality.

At Fri Jul 06, 08:38:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

I think people are frustrated with Democrats because they want them to try, even if it fails, to end the war. Let's make it so obvious that the Republicans do not care about the troops at all. Back Bushies into a corner that they can't get out of unless they outright change course and admit they were wrong. Not that that will ever happen! Still, people get impatient at what they perceive as the Democrats caving in to the bullying of Bush and Co. I don't blame them either. I get frustrated as well. But your points are well taken and are true enough. Still, people need to see that more Democrats need to be voted into office to change things so that the Bushies can't pull the crap they do. Democrats may be wasting time by pushing Bush to veto each measure the Democrats send him but maybe that's what the public wants and, to some degree, that is what they should get. That way the battle lines are drawn and it becomes crystal clear who to vote for the desired outcome in the next election cycle. Just my 2cents.

At Fri Jul 06, 10:41:00 PM, Blogger Johnny Yen said...

Excellent points and post. Impeach Cheney first, if only for the fact that otherwise, if Bush were impeached and convicted, Cheney would move from being simply the puppetmaster, to outright leader.

At Sat Jul 07, 02:07:00 AM, Blogger PTCruiser said...

If I was a Democrat Senator I would at the very least make an effort in spite of the odds. Perhaps that is the problem with this country. Lack of testicles.

You're wrong Zaius.

I win.

At Sat Jul 07, 06:24:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Angry Ballerina: Thanks! It is certainly a compelling subject.

DCup: Thank you, DCup! We have to support our team, they are all we've got - and losing is not an option.

Dr. Monkerstein: Let me say that I can definitely understand how everyone feels abut this situation. I certainly feel the same way.

Also, I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this issue, but I have not yet seen any of congressional critics mention in detail the many hurdles that would have to be overcome to actually perform an impeachment.

I am just not sure that repeatedly asking congress to do something that is not really possible or logical at this time, and then vilifying them for not delivering on said directive is really any help to anybody but Karl Rove and the GOP Propaganda machine.

The attempts to end the war as you describe, "if he vetoes it, send it back. If he vetoes it, send it back, if he vetoes it send it back," has similar problems, and I have little doubt that they are being addressed as best as possible by the Democrats that are in office.

Maybe I am wrong about this, but I have not seen anything to convince me otherwise. There is a lot of talk of impeachment and ending the war, but not a lot of reasonable explanations of how to go about it. Everybody just says, "just Do it." That is not a reasonable explanation. I could just say "bring me ice cream!" That does not mean I will get it.

I feel like everybody has forgotten H.R. 1591. That bill was supposed to start getting our troops out of Iraq by October, 2007. An attempt to overturn Bush's veto of this bill failed by a vote of 222-203. What everybody forgets is the bill passed! Bush had to veto it! I know by outward appearances that the President’s successful veto of H.R. 1591 might seem like a loss for the Democrats, but the fact is that for this kind of legislation to even reached the president's desk would have seemed like a miracle just a few short months before.

If they did it once, they can do it again, and I don't want to be the soccer mom or armchair quarterback that keeps moving the freakin' goal post. Let the kids do what they know best. I have little doubt that every single one them knows more about politics than I do. I am not saying that we should not criticize their actions, but if we do so we should at least put some thought into it. "Just Do It" is a Nike slogan, not an explanation on how to do something. But that is just my take on it. Everything I have said is really all just my opinion.

Ben Varkentine: That is a very valid point, but you also have to remember that they do not necessarily control the countries perception of them, the media does. And who owns 95% of the media? 6 companies. 6 conservative companies. There is a very good reason that it is easy for Bush to promote his agenda, and it is difficult for Democrats to promote theirs.

"How do you think George W. Bush fooled so many people for such a long time?" That's how. That - and Karl Rove. Rove is very good at what he does.

Fairlane: Bush very well might declare "Martial Law" the day before the elections. I am sure that his people are prepared for this possibility. I am equally sure that congress, both Democrat and Republican, are prepared for this as well. Even the Republicans don't want to see this happen. They would lose what little support they have left.

If you think that Democrats are just mugging for the cameras, how do you explain this? Show me evidence to back up your claim, or else I am dubious.

Liberality: "Democrats may be wasting time by pushing Bush to veto each measure the Democrats send him but maybe that's what the public wants and, to some degree, that is what they should get."

I am not sure that is such a good idea. Imagine Lou Dobbs and Wolf Blitzer every night saying, "another toothless measure by the Democrats was struck down by the president today, while congress is bogged down with blah blah blah ..." Also, I am not sure that the issue is as bad as it looks. The Democrats have only been in office for 5 months, and Waxman is just getting started. The thing I really like about Waxman - you can tell that man loves his job.

Johnny Yen: It is more than the fact that he would become president of the country. As it is now, Chief Justice John Roberts or Vice President Dick Cheney would act as the judge in any impeachment hearing. Talk about stacking the odds - Holy crap, think about that!

PTCruiser: Yes indeed! You win, PTCruiser! You win the Rude and Irrational Comment of the Day Award! Thanks for playing!

At Sat Jul 07, 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Phydeaux Speaks said...

I did not mean to imply, in my post on which you commented, that I felt that Congress was not doing anything. The list which you display in this post proves that they are doing a lot. I even agree with the essence of the letter from Harry Reid that I posted.

However, I do feel that to allow the Current Occupant to end his term of office and retire to his Paraguayan Safe Zone without answering for his disdain of the principles of American Democracy would do irreparable harm to the nation - and the memories of all who have fought (and even died) in support of those principles throughout our history. That was the point I was attempting to put across.

Oh, and thanks for visiting and commenting! :)

At Sat Jul 07, 07:44:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

I understand your position and I have felt that way myself. I want more Democrats elected. But...
the Constitution itself is in decline and we must do everything in our power to reinstate our Constitutional rights that have been taken away. I would hope that if Democrats get a solid veto proof majority that they would restore the Constitution. I think they would anyway. But what if they don't or won't? No, we need to do something about how Bush and Cheney have trashed the Bill of Rights and it needs to be done now! If that means impeach Cheney first I am all for it. Restoring the Constitution, in my view, is more important than electorial politics. I think a lot of people are reaching the same conclusions and that is why support for the Democratic Congress has fallen of late, although I still support them, don't get me wrong. I am and have always been a Democrat on the more liberal end of the party. I still support the Democrats. But, we need to try to restore the balance of power in our government first and then worry about partisan and electorial politics as usual.

At Sun Jul 08, 03:46:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Phydeaux Speaks: You said, "I did not mean to imply, in my post on which you commented, that I felt that Congress was not doing anything."

Nor was I implying that you said that congress was not doing anything. What you said on you blog was, "Dear Senator Reid, I'll make a deal with you. You press for impeachment with no whining about political costs, and I'll gladly sign on to your toothless complaint campaign."

This indicates that you are saying that Senator Reid has not yet impeached Bush because he is concerned with the political costs of such a maneuver. You indicate that he is whining about this. I am merely asking, in light of the many impeachment hurdles that I mentioned, are "political costs" really the issue?

You said, "I do feel that to allow the Current Occupant to end his term of office and retire to his Paraguayan Safe Zone without answering for his disdain of the principles of American Democracy would do irreparable harm to the nation - and the memories of all who have fought (and even died) in support of those principles throughout our history."

And I think that it is safe to say that the majority of us feel the same. My question is, is it logical or even sane to push for impeachment at this time? What would use for evidence, for example? What evidence of a crime do we have that Bush can't slime his way out of? Especially with Cheney or Roberts as the judge? And a 50% vote, because we have one man down. I ask you, how do we go about this logically? Perhaps you have an answer that I can't see, but at present I have not heard anything that sounds reasonable as of yet.

My question was not about how feel about an impeachment, but is it logical to pursue at this time? I love your blog. Monty Python Rules!

Liberality: You see, I agree with everything you say, but the question is how do we go about it? Unless somebody know something that I don't get, I don't see how we can logically move forward at this time.

I can say that I share you view, "Restoring the Constitution, in my view, is more important than electoral politics." But exactly what do you intend to do, and how? If you have a great idea about how to circumvent all of the problems that we are presented with, I sure would like to hear them!

Legislation has already passed that starts to undo what the president has done. These are just some examples;

Implementing 9/11 Commission's Recommendations - H.R. 1
The Freedom of Information Act Amendments of 2007 - H.R. 1309
Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2007 - H.R. 1255
Interim Appointment of U.S. Attorneys – H.R. 580

I's good to read once in a while, because that is what the house of representatives say about the issues, not the news pundits.

At Mon Jul 09, 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Phydeaux Speaks said...

Good Afternoon, Dr. Z.

In case you are interested, I have posted a further response to your questions above.


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