Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tough Talk on Impeachment

From the website for PBS's
Bill Moyers Journal:

Bill Moyers gets perspective on the role of impeachment in American political life from Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, who wrote the first article of impeachment against President Bill Clinton, and THE NATION's John Nichols, author of THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT.

"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

here to read the transcript or watch the discussion.

This is a really fantastic discussion, the kind they're not having in Congress or in the mainstream media. And it's really compelling. The short version: Democratic Congressional leaders seem to view impeachment as having only political, rather than legal, importance, and because they fear some sort of hypothetical political backlash, are totally unwilling to do what they are required by the Constitution to do. That is, if Bush is allowed to get away with his multifarious executive power expansions, it sets an awful precedent that may very well spell the end of our Constitutional system as we have understood it for over two centuries. What I'm talking about is the end of democracy and the beginning of something else, royalty maybe, or totalitarianism. I don't really think I'm being unreasonably alarmist here.

Go check this out now!