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John Dean
June 7, 2003 11:33 PM   Subscribe


 
Double post. Extra points for using the exact same link text.
posted by beth at 11:45 PM on June 7, 2003


Oh for Shrub's sakes. Questions of lame CNN links aside, this was posted yesterday! Not exactly easy to miss.

40 lashes for not even reading the front page before posting... to the dungeons with you!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:45 PM on June 7, 2003


All- So sorry for the repost. I will broaden my search criteria
(like looking at the front page for the same story!!)
30 lashes with a wet noodle!! or Metafilter impeachment.

Namaste
posted by thedailygrowl at 12:21 AM on June 8, 2003


Consider yourself impeached!
posted by apocalypse miaow at 12:27 AM on June 8, 2003


Must be some kind of astronomical alignment that the same link text is both the alpha and the omega for the same day. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:46 AM on June 8, 2003


Impeachment implies oral sex. That's far too light a punishment. Get creative, people!
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:11 AM on June 8, 2003


Nixon had oral sex...? Wow. I'd always thought of him as strictly a missionary position kind of dude.
posted by orange swan at 4:11 AM on June 8, 2003


Nixon wasn't impeached. So his sexual antics are still blessedly beyond our ken.
posted by rocketpup at 4:42 AM on June 8, 2003


Reagan wasn't impeached either. If circumventing Congress with that Iran-Contra maneuver wasn't more serious than a hummer in the Oval Office, Dubya can rest easy (sigh).
posted by Dinzie at 5:20 AM on June 8, 2003


IS DOUBLE-POSTING AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE?

LOLOLZ!!!!!!!!1!!@2!!!@!2!!11112
posted by delmoi at 6:01 AM on June 8, 2003


The plural of hippopotamus is hippopotamice.
posted by armoured-ant at 7:49 AM on June 8, 2003


IS DOUBLE-POSTING AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE?

Actually, what happens is a double-poster gets hit by 6-10 comments chastising him or her for carelessness. Of course 5-9 of those posts are redundant but I s'pose that's in the way of making the punishment suit the crime.
posted by orange swan at 8:06 AM on June 8, 2003


Is grasping at straws because your attempt to stop the war failed a sad and pathetic attempt to regain the moral high ground?

Are mass children's graves not a justifiable reason to accept that the toppling was a good thing?
posted by Mick at 8:35 AM on June 8, 2003


Is leaving your trollish astroturf in a thread you know is going to get deleted just so you can smirk at it being left permanently in the deleted comments section a sad and pathetic attempt to get the last word?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:39 AM on June 8, 2003


Is asking a question a method of avoiding actually stating a positition, or should we just get into the ad hominem attacks? Or better yet, propose three alternatives, all false dichotomies.

[One thing about the 'net is that it's broadened my understanding of debate skills]
posted by swerdloff at 9:22 AM on June 8, 2003


I do love that this phrase bookends June 7. Too bad it won't remain.
posted by me3dia at 9:44 AM on June 8, 2003


Nixon had oral sex...?

he used to shout "you suck" at the philipino maids.
posted by quonsar at 9:47 AM on June 8, 2003


Mick, you may be right about the war being justified. I was oppossed to the war, but now that it's done I'm reserving judgement until we see if we can build a functioning civil society in Iraq. I'm not optimistic, but we'll see.

But that is irrelevant to whether or not the Bush administration mislead the public. Even if Iraq becomes a utopia, the president has no right to mislead the public on matters of war and national security. It's premature to accuse him of lying, but the questions being raiseed are legitimate and necessary. If there was deceipt, those who lied need to be held accountable. If there was no deceipt and the intelligence was just wrong, we need to know so we can fix the problem. And if the intelligence was correct, we need to know if the weapons are still in Iraq or in shipping container sailing into an American port.
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM on June 8, 2003


Based on the previous thread and this new one, I see that few if any of you are aware of what impeachment actually is and what it is for.

It is not a means to de facto remove a President you simply don't like or agree with. It is, in fact, a means to indict a sitting President for, as the Constitution states, "high crimes and misdemeanors" -- in the most recent example, Clinton's alleged perjury when testifying under oath about his dalliances w/ Ms. Lewinsky -- which themselves were not impeachable offenses.

To quote chapter and verse, as it were, Article II, Section 4 directs that

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


I wish to point out that I can understand MeFi'ers from outside the US not understanding how this works, as, after all, it's not their country. But it's beyond lamentable that anybody from America following this thread and the previous one has his/her head so far up his/her ass as to not understand, or to care, what the hell he/she is posting about. Like a lot of those who follow current events as discussed on MeFi, I'm finding myself liking President Bush less and less, but at least I take the trouble to understand what the fuck I'm talking about.



posted by alumshubby at 10:38 AM on June 8, 2003


homunculus, I hate to tell ya, there's no 'p' in deceit. Just can't help mentioning it, not trying to be mean.
posted by beth at 10:40 AM on June 8, 2003


it's beyond lamentable that anybody from America following this thread and the previous one has his/her head so far up his/her ass...

As long as they got their heads up their own asses there is no need to worry! Sorry, couldn't help it.
posted by Termite at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2003


homunculus and almshubby, I hate to tell ya, this is a double post, which means there's a place for your ideas about the issue, and this ain't it.
posted by languagehat at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2003


Actually, what happens is a double-poster gets hit by 6-10 comments chastising him or her for carelessness. Of course 5-9 of those posts are redundant but I s'pose that's in the way of making the punishment suit the crime.

Call it censure.

Metafilter is the House, Metatalk is the Senate.

And I am Ted Kennedy.
posted by Hildago at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2003


I wish to point out that I can understand MeFi'ers from outside the US not understanding how this works, as, after all, it's not their country. But it's beyond lamentable that anybody from America following this thread and the previous one has his/her head so far up his/her ass as to not understand, or to care, what the hell he/she is posting about.

alumshubby:

A mefite did not write the editorial that began this thread. And I don't know that it is cut and dry that lying to start a war is not a high crime or misdemeanor. Even if it is not [and I understand the neccessity of not interpreting that term too liberally] then simple lying will becom perjury if he sticks to his story while testifying to a Senate inquiry.

But maybe my head is up my ass. Does your little view of the world not account for the conceivability of that which you do not understand, or merey have yet to encounter? You are a rhetorically spoiled child.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 12:25 PM on June 8, 2003


beth and languagehat: quite right.
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on June 8, 2003


IgnatiusJReilly, them's fighting words. Yeah, if you think I'm a "rhetorically spoiled" anything, or in particular a "child," I'd have to concede that yes, your head is indeed apparently so far and firmly inserted that you see only a faint glimmer of light each time you fart.

Bud, this ain't about "rhetoric," it's about the letter of the law. Basically, it's crazy to talk impeachment if you can't identify an instance of lawbreaking.

The (foreign? Fine) writer of the editorial should particularly taken the trouble to discover what impeachment's supposed to be about before perpetuating the mistaken idea that it's a convenient means to "get" a President who did something that happens to strike you as disagreeable. Andrew Johnson aside, it's not meant as a tool for political revenge. It's intended to be a way to deal with a President who breaks the law.

What law does a head of state lying to further foreign interests violate, exactly? It is morally reprehensible behavior, but lying doesn't constitute criminal activity in the law-enforcement sense of the term unless it's done while under oath, and the POTUS is not under oath 24/7. If there is a particular law on the books that W broke, then by all means let's start the proceedings. Otherwise, this is bullshit created and furthered by people who don't know dick about US Government.

Sorry to get all George F. Will on you, but hey...read your Constitution. And vote Democrat in '04.
posted by alumshubby at 1:53 PM on June 8, 2003


And I am Ted Kennedy.

hey! let's go swimming!
posted by quonsar at 2:38 PM on June 8, 2003


"What law does a head of state lying to further foreign interests violate, exactly?" International law, do I win something now?
posted by dabitch at 2:47 PM on June 8, 2003


The (foreign? Fine) writer of the editorial should particularly taken the trouble to discover what impeachment's supposed to be about before perpetuating

Uh yeah, shubby, John Dean is a foreigner. And knows nothing about impeachment. And findlaw knows nothing of the law. It astounds me that you can bring yourself to call others ignorant.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:57 PM on June 8, 2003


(foreign? Fine)

If you think that John Dean is a foreigner who knows nothing about the letter of impeachment law, then have fun with your intellectual superiority.

Look, I didn't want to be all nasty. You were the one who accused everyone in the world but you of having their heads in their asses. I usually enjoy your contributions to ciscussions, but this time you are wrong and you are acting like a complete prick.

Ignorrance is fine. I mean that. Sometimes you don't know everything. I like to go to this website called metafilter where sometimes I hear a thought that did not originate in my own highly-protected melon.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:18 PM on June 8, 2003


[in the most recent example, Clinton's alleged perjury when testifying under oath about his dalliances w/ Ms. Lewinsky -- which themselves were not impeachable offenses.]

yes it was -- lying under oath is definitely a high crime or misdemeanor...

[but at least I take the trouble to understand what the fuck I'm talking about.]

you should go to more trouble to understand ...
posted by alethe at 3:30 PM on June 8, 2003


alumshubby :

In case you didn't want to read the link in my last comment, Dean -- a red-blooded American and noted constitutional lawyer -- was at one time Richard Nixon's private council. He resigned around the time that Nixon decided to resign himself rather than get impeached.

As to the letter of the law, as happened with Clinton, all Bush may need is an opportunity to break a specific law. Getting him under oath at any point in time would probably take care of that, and it is increasingly likely that such will be the case if the Senate inquiry picks up any steam. I doubt that Dean thinks that Bush could be impeached with absolutely no additional inquiry or evidence-gathering. And all that is overlooking the idea that triggering a ruseful, self-interested war may be construable as treason or some as-yet-undefined high crime. With only two real impeachments on the record, the corpus of judicial or legislative precedent is hardly in place.

Your insults and bile could have been better phrased as something like: "it is important to distinguish between the unethical and the impeachably unlawful," but instead you speculate about what mefites may or may not have in their respective asses, which is always a dicey and complicated hypothesis.

Look, any continued screaming would be pointless. Sorry to be hostile. Feel free to have any last word that you want. I just ask that you reconsider your policy of pre-emptively insulting people based on facts that you do not have straight. See ya. :)
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:33 PM on June 8, 2003


I'm actually hoping Matt lets this double post live. Because some comments in here make it worthwhile.

Nixon had oral sex...?

he used to shout "you suck" at the philipino maids.


Quonsar, I adore you.
posted by orange swan at 4:16 PM on June 8, 2003


The US Constitution has the following to say about impeachment:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

That's it, except for a bit about the mechanics of how it works. There is no definition of what "high crimes and misdemeanors" actually are, except that a two-thirds majority of the House has to believe the President committed them.

During the Clinton impeachment, the New York City Bar posted a discussion of impeachment law. The essence of their view on "high crimes" is that:

We submit that Congress may properly impeach and remove a President only for conduct amounting to a gross breach of trust or serious abuse of power, and only if it would be prepared to take the same action against any President who engaged in comparable conduct in similar circumstances.

So if the House concludes that Bush manipulated intelligence to such an extent that the Congress passed its pro-war resolution only because it was relying on false evidence, it would certainly be justified in impeaching him. On the other hand, since the Republican Party has a fairly large majority in the House, an impeachment bill based on the evidence of manipulation that's appeared so far wouldn't stand a chance.
posted by kewms at 5:06 PM on June 8, 2003


During the Watergate scandal the House Judiciary Committee prepared a staff report, Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment. From the report's conclusion:
Impeachment is a constitutional remedy addressed to serious offenses against the system of government [my emphasis]...While it may be argued that some articles of impeachment have charged conduct that constituted crime and thus that criminality is an essential ingredient, or that some have charged conduct that was not criminal and thus that criminality is not essential, the fact remains that in the English practice and in several of the American impeachments the criminality issue was not raised at all. The emphasis has been on the significant effects of the conduct--undermining the integrity of office, disregard of constitutional duties and oath of office, arrogation of power, abuse of the governmental process, adverse impact on the system of government. Clearly, these effects can be brought about in ways not anticipated by the criminal law. Criminal standards and criminal courts were established to control individual conduct.
In my view, Clinton should not have been impeached, because committing perjury is not an abuse of presidential powers or a crime against the state. My opinion is that impeachment of a president is something that should only be used to redress wrongs that only the president can commit. He should have been tried for perjury after leaving office.

And before we get all "perjury's a felony and the Consitution says 'misdemeanors,'" at the time the Consitution was written, the word "misdemeanors" had a specific legal meaning that referred to severe crimes more serious than the jaywalking-type crimes it refers to now. The report also discusses the meaning of the term "high crimes and misdemeanors."
posted by kirkaracha at 5:57 PM on June 8, 2003


My bad. The New York City bar analysis I linked to was actually written during Watergate. Since the Web didn't exist then, I assume it was posted around the time of the Clinton scandals.
posted by kewms at 6:06 PM on June 8, 2003


maybe he should have taken a lesson from Saddam and destroyed the first post before people came looking at the second....
posted by moxienu at 12:57 AM on June 9, 2003


Ignatius J. Reilly? Don't dish it out if you can't take it, bud.

I'd already been aware of John Dean's speculation (I use that term advisedly) and he's detonated prematurely to write of impeachment. Your own remark about getting W under oath in a Senate inquiry underscores Dean's own gaffe. Let's let him lie under oath first before we talk of impeachment, OK?

Again: Unless and until Congress decides that W broke a particular law, international or domestic, there's no impeachable offense, and I stand by what I've written. The underlying tone of all these snarky posts we've seen about impeachment are suggesting that W should be removed from office, and I'm increasingly hard-pressed to disagree. But impeachment is a law-enforcement tool, not a crowbar. Registered US voters will have their opportunity to take out the garbage next November.

"Heads up asses" is my smoke-break diagnosis for people who don't know what they're talking about with respect to impeachment. If the shit fits, as Donald "Duck" Dunn once remarked, wear it. Don't like it? Think it's arrogant? Fine, I'm a rhetorically spoiled child, but I've got the truth on my side.
posted by alumshubby at 5:40 AM on June 9, 2003


This time I am done. I know that I look like a wierdo because I promised you the "last word," but instead of words you flung poop:

Don't dish it out if you can't take it, bud.

What does this even mean? I was trying to be polite. I didn't want any more pointless insults, as they hardly move discourse forward. But for what it's worth, I can fucking take it, homes. You continue to insult people instead of using reason or facts, and while that does not upset me, it does make me want to hug you and make you hot chocolate and tell you that it is OK to be wrong, and that lashing out will only keep you from learning.

Your own remark about getting W under oath in a Senate inquiry underscores Dean's own gaffe.

Does it? An investigation is very likely, and he will either change his tune or continue lying. Making predictions/decisions based on a likely outcome is hardly a "gaffe."

Unless and until Congress decides that W broke a particular law, international or domestic, there's no impeachable offense, and I stand by what I've written.

Yet you have no source, and two others above cited very specific examples that contradict this notion. Again, you have "truth" on your side only because you say you do. To claim "better" knowledge of the body of impeachment law than someone else is absurd, as there is no body of impeachment law. One lousy sentence in the constitution. I suspect that you just like to feel smart.

Fine, I'm a rhetorically spoiled child, but I've got the truth on my side.

Ha!

Interesting that you use the word "truth." It has long been a banner for people who can not prove their assertions to hide behind. Again, this just amounts to everyone in the world being wrong but you, and you not even having to meet any standard at all to prove your case.

I have always agreed with your idea that impeachment in a waste of time. I have even commented to that effect of Mefi. But somehow, I don't think that anyone who believes otherwise is stupid. I guess I just may not know the TRUTH.

Ultimately, this comes down to your belief that an opinion held by you should be held to a lower standard of scrutiny than if it were put forward by someone else. So of course you're right, facts and reason don't stand a chance against the TRUTH as spoken by alumshubby.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2003


Ignatius, a word of unsolicited advice: when the monkeys start crapping in their forepaws and throwing it at passersby, it's time to move on to the next cage. Standing there and arguing with them is ridiculous. You're talking to a shit-throwing cretin who thought John Dean -- constitutional scholar and White House counsel during the events leading to Nixon's impeachment -- is a foreigner who doesn't understand American law regarding impeachment. Why are you wasting your breath?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:06 AM on June 9, 2003


George_Spiggott:

Because I'm confused. I might be "wrong" here, but I have always found alumshubby to be a good contributor. Maybe my memroy is selective. At first, I was hoping to make him see that he could better participate in this discussion by bringing somethign to the table other than vitriol. Initially, his adoption of the voice of authority actually made me think that he was constitutional lawyer, so I also wanted to coerce a real contribution out of him.

Thanks for the "intervention," though, George. In all honesty, at this point I was pretty much primed to enter the clever insult penis contest that I was trying to stop in the first place.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:52 AM on June 9, 2003


[because committing perjury is not an abuse of presidential powers or a crime against the state. ]

Lying in a court of law in the United States of America isn't a crime against the state? What under your analysis would be then?

- btw the abuse of powers was the tiresome obstruction of justice carried on under the president's supervision and advice.
posted by alethe at 11:18 AM on June 9, 2003


Lying in a court of law in the United States of America isn't a crime against the state? What under your analysis would be then?

Espionage, treason, selling missiles to a foreign power with a proven history of sponsoring terrorism against the United States, things like that. These are crimes that are direct assaults on our system of government, and if done by a president would be abuses of the powers that are specific to the office of president; perjury and obstruction of justice, while serious crimes, are not. Anyone, not just the president, can obstruct justice or commit perjury, so if the president does those things, he should face criminal charges in a regular court the same way anyone else would.

From the Judiciary Committee report:
Not all presidential misconduct is sufficient to constitute grounds for impeachment...Because impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation, it is predicated only upon conduct seriously incompatible with either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the presidential office.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:09 PM on June 9, 2003


George: If I'm a cretin and shit-throwing monkey for not bothering to look at a link, so be it. And your mother barks. As I mentioned before and you utterly failed to notice, I was already aware of what Dean had written. I evidently misunderstood what Ignatius meant by "A mefite did not write the editorial that began this thread", but yes, I certainly know who Dean is (and was).

Please read my posts and think about what I've written before you call me anything else. (I'll take your future remarks under careful advisement as well.) In any case, I now feel less worse about my own regrettably colorful remarks considering how low you've chosen to stoop.

Ignatius: Belatedly, yes, my initial, regrettable and admittedly ill-tempered remark grows from my consternation that too many USians don't know or don't bother with this distinction because they don't know or care how their own government works. I usually wax more eloquent when I'm not as fed up.

I'm no Constitutional lawyer, but I am a citizen and voter, and I troubled myself to get acquainted with the instructions. Anybody here got a copy of the Constitution handy?That's not opinion; it's objective truth, despite all the "lousy" sentences in it. Yes, TRUTH, as you put it. And I mentioned my reaction to what I've read on MeFi, which you can read for yourself. If that's "no evidence," I give up.

Snarkish opinions about Bush's fitness for office aren't the same thing as whether he's been found to have violated 18 USC sec. 371 or any other laws. Is there an actual impeachment inquiry underway in Congress that I'm not aware of?

If you gentlemen have anything further to add, let's proceed to MetaTalk with it.
posted by alumshubby at 12:50 PM on June 9, 2003


Come to think of it, if 18 USC sec. 371 were applied rigorously and even-handedly, I bet that the vast majority of Presidents from Lincoln onward would've been toast. Notwithstanding which ones should have been, mind you.
posted by alumshubby at 12:59 PM on June 9, 2003


Vote to Impeach

I'm still more in favor of beheading, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:14 PM on June 9, 2003


Pretty good site, but how can you "VOTE TO IMPEACH" without asserting what specific laws were broken? It's almost like arresting someone and not charging them with anything in particular -- "Don't worry, we'll book you as soon as we figure out exactly what law(s) you broke." Almost like the Patriot Act or something. Are we going to hoist these guys on their own petard?

Beheading? Hmmm, don't do anything violent at/near the head area -- risk of implosion, y'know.
posted by alumshubby at 9:42 PM on June 9, 2003


Shouldn't that be deheading?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:51 PM on June 9, 2003


Good point.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:55 PM on June 9, 2003


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