( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I've been skeptical of the calls to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney, fearful that acting this late in their terms will create a circus that overshadows the question of who will succeed them in January.
David Swanson, of Democrats.com, ImpeachCheney.org, and AfterDowningStreet.org, will surely disagree when he speaks in Milwaukee Thursday, sponsored by Iraq Moratorium and others. His topic is, "Peace, Impeachment and Election Day: Which Comes First." Swanson's own writings make a strong case for impeachment.
Dennis Kucinich, who read his 35 articles of impeachment against Bush into the record on C-Span the other night, clearly thinks there are more than enough grounds to impeach.
But the person who may convince me that it's time to act is a conservative Bush backer, a Marquette University professor and blogger named John McAdams.
McAdams lives in fear that a Barack Obama administration might prosecute Bush or others for crimes they may have committed while in office, based on this statement from Obama:
What I would want to do is to have my Justice Department and my Attorney General immediately review the information that’s already there and to find out are there inquiries that need to be pursued. I can’t prejudge that because we don’t have access to all the material right now. I think that you are right, if crimes have been committed, they should be investigated. You’re also right that I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.
You know, I often get questions about impeachment at town hall meetings and I’ve said that is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances. Now, if I found out that there were high officials who knowingly, consciously broke existing laws, engaged in coverups of those crimes with knowledge forefront, then I think a basic principle of our Constitution is nobody above the law — and I think that’s roughly how I would look at it.
That seems pretty straightforward. If someone "knowingly, consciously broke existing laws" they should be prosecuted. You'd think a law and order Republican would have no trouble with that concept.
But McAdams is horrified, somehow twisting that to say this:
Let’s see: a party loses an election. Members of that party are put on trial by the new regime, and punished for this or that supposed “crime.”
What kind of government is that? Not a democracy.
I'm not a political science professor (he is). But a system where no one is above the law sounds very much like a democracy to me.
The alternative is to give Bush, Cheney and others in their administration a pass — a "get out of jail free" card. If we were to issue that now, regardless of what they might do in the seven months they still have in office, they'd have free rein to operate outside the law.
Kucinich, Swanson and others would argue they've been operating that way all along.
Like Obama, I'm not persuaded that impeachment is the route to take. But if the choice were between impeachment and letting them off the hook no matter what they do, it would be an easy decision.
Fortunately, that's not the case. Investigating and prosecuting criminal violations is still an option, and one Obama must keep open.
What do you think John McCain would say about it? Perhaps someone should ask.
Swanson speaks at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 001 of Cudahy Hall, 1313 W. Wisconsin Ave., on the Marquette campus. Admission is free. Parking in the Wells Street ramp.
It’s the same campus where McAdams teaches. Maybe he’ll show up.