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Cheney moves into the crosshairs
February 23, 2007 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Resolved, that Richard B. Cheney, vice president of the United States, should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that these articles of impeachment be submitted to the American people. If the evidence presented at the Scooter Libby trial was not already enough of an indictment of Real Journalism in the U.S. mainstream media (when it falls to New Yorker magazine to break the really big stories) it takes a magazine with the political prowess of GQ (and bloggers) to make a cohesive case for action against most unconstitutionally powerful Vice President in U.S. history. Those following the Libby case closely are beginning to realize that the Plame leak prosecution is anything but over. With a guilty verdict for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice, Libby would effectively be removed from being a defense witness in any forthcoming charges against Cheney. Fitzgerald still has Sealed v Sealed in his back pocket and it is now beginning to dawn on some that it indicts not Rove, but Cheney. Hat's off to Emptywheel for seeing this as far back as Oct. 30th, 2005: Tricky Fitzgerald!! He's been hiding Dick right in the middle of his Libby indictment. Now with a job approval rating in the teens the Curse of Dick Cheney continues. (Interesting to note that both New Yorker and GQ are owned by Conté Nast)
posted by spock (112 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
With a guilty verdict for Perjury and Obstruction of Justice, Libby would effectively be removed from being a defense witness in any forthcoming charges against Cheney.

What if the verdict isn't guilty?
posted by drezdn at 7:30 AM on February 23, 2007


While anything is possible (when human juries are involved), you obviously didn't follow the trial (via the excellent liveblogging available). I don't see any way he isn't found guilty on at least three of the five charges.
posted by spock at 7:34 AM on February 23, 2007


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment. Deadeye Dick will be gone in two years anyway.
posted by caddis at 7:36 AM on February 23, 2007


Impeachment isn't just about getting these idiots out of office, it is also about sending the message to future Presidential law-breakers that their nonsense won't be tolerated.
posted by DU at 7:42 AM on February 23, 2007


Damn. I got all excited because I thought this was for real.

We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.

For this, I think I could hang in there.
posted by contessa at 7:42 AM on February 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


Or, put somewhat more simply, if they'd gone through the full process with Nixon (and his minions) or Reagan (and his minions) we wouldn't even be in this situation.
posted by DU at 7:43 AM on February 23, 2007


GQ should stick to articles about fashion.

The whole article is ridiculous, and the most ridiculous sentence was the one about Clinton exercising "good taste".
posted by tadellin at 7:44 AM on February 23, 2007


the national trauma is the bush presidency the impeachment would be the surgery to repair the damage.
posted by subtle_squid at 7:44 AM on February 23, 2007 [12 favorites]


If they try to impeach him, he's just gonna pepper the jury with buckshot, whereupon the jury will dutifuly apologize for being, you know, in the wrong place at the wrong time in the courtroom, and it'll all blow over. But by god, they're gonna get peppered pretty good.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:44 AM on February 23, 2007


DU has it right. These guys fuck around because they don't fear any reprisal.
posted by chunking express at 7:45 AM on February 23, 2007


If anyone on this earth needs to be knocked off his horse and forced to answer for himself, it's the VP. Impeachment would be like a soothing balm to many Americans.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:46 AM on February 23, 2007


I dunno, I hardly call the last impeachment a trauma, and not sure I think that is a good argument against impeachment in general even if it was. "well we impeached the last one, and this one is worse, but since we already did it once we don't need to do it again"? If anything a willingness to impeach even in these circumstances would indicate that future executive office holders need to NOT BREAK THE FUCKING LAW!
Which brings up the other, more emotional point. If there is a reasonable belief someone has committed a serious crime they need to stand trial for it, not get a pass. One of the things that is wrong with so many systems is there seems to be two sets of laws, one for the haves, one for the have nots, even in America it seems like this happens far too often, and it should not.
posted by edgeways at 7:50 AM on February 23, 2007 [4 favorites]



While anything is possible (when human juries are involved), you obviously didn't follow the trial (via the excellent liveblogging available).


I just don't believe in counting my Scooters until they're piked.
posted by drezdn at 7:51 AM on February 23, 2007


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment. Deadeye Dick will be gone in two years anyway.

I suspect Iranians don't want to go through the national trauma of catastrophic bombardment. A good fraction of them might be gone in two years, too.
posted by jon_kill at 8:03 AM on February 23, 2007


Too much going on!
posted by doublesix at 8:07 AM on February 23, 2007


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.

What's worse, pushing the hook through your hand so you can cut off the barb, or leaving it there to fester?
posted by Mikey-San at 8:08 AM on February 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Regarding Condé Nast: about six months ago, I noted some interesting editorial policy in two of their other publications. I'm glad to see it's continuing.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:09 AM on February 23, 2007


This will never happen because... the Australians LOVE Dick Cheney! They said so on Fox News... I saw the three oddly out of place three dudes with the "We Love You - Dick Cheney" Banner right there on Fox. And if the Aussies love him that must mean we simply ADORE him. Right. Right?

And for the record we absolutely DO need an impeachment hearing. If not public executions of these fuckers.

If starting a needless war on a proven foundation of lies and in the process murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people is NOT the grounds for the symbolic legal rejection of those responsible and their ruinous policies THEN NOTHING IS.

If we let these devious greedy inhuman fucks off we are simply asking for worse. And if we let them off... we DESERVE worse.
posted by tkchrist at 8:16 AM on February 23, 2007


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.

America's definition of national trauma is pretty lame. People in Iraq are suffering a real national trauma because Cheney likes him some war.
posted by chunking express at 8:16 AM on February 23, 2007 [10 favorites]


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.

Bullshit. This GOP administration is a cancer on this country, and it is killing everything worthy that this country stands for.

It needs to be removed, and then the country is going to have to undergo a very long course of political chemotherapy for it to survive.

The idea that the bullshit Clinton impeachment somehow makes it wrong to impeach Bush or Cheney is wrong. The fact that is has any traction whatsoever makes me think that this was the *explicit* goal of the Clinton impeachment -- to make it "politically unpalatable" to impeach future GOP executives for Treason, Bribery and other High Crimes.
posted by eriko at 8:22 AM on February 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.

Oh for god's sake, come on. What kind of general malaise do you need to be in to just say, "Well, it's only two more years. Yeah, then we can fix things." Ridiculous. You need to have more faith in the country. If America is strong enough to support the troops in a failed, illogical and illegal war they're strong enough to support getting criminals out of office.

And really, are you still traumatized over the blowjob?
posted by NationalKato at 8:23 AM on February 23, 2007


The idea that the bullshit Clinton impeachment somehow makes it wrong to impeach Bush or Cheney is wrong.

That won't stop certain foolish people from bringing up that fallacy, though.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:24 AM on February 23, 2007


Oh, yeah. The Aussies love Dick Cheney.
posted by spock at 8:27 AM on February 23, 2007


Why? I mean, why? What does this add to the Blue other than to be another BushHitlerFilter lightning rod for Cheney hate?

I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009? At least the Clinton hatchetmen still have Hillary. What are you going to do, post to the blue about the COMING EEVL of former education secretary Margaret Spelling's greeting card business?
posted by dw at 8:29 AM on February 23, 2007


The last impeachment was purely politcally motivated. Any attempt to impeach Cheney short of catching him accepting bribes or something would appear to also be politically motivated. The dems don't have the votes to win such a trial even if they had the votes to bring he impeachment. It would probably also through the congress back to the republicans in the next election. Yeah, I know you want to exact revenge and all, but what an incredibly stupid way to do it.
posted by caddis at 8:29 AM on February 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


If we worried about sparing the country some Trauma, we should let all of the contestants be American Idols. That's all they care about.

We impeached Clinton under the pretense of perjury.

Now we've got a guy who's wiping his ass with the Constitution, showing you the stain, and laughing about it. If he doesn't pay a heavy price, someone else is going pick up where he left off, and it's only going to get worse.

The world is also going to think that the american people are as twisted as our leaders, instead of just the mindless sheep that we are, and that's really not cool.

I hope and pray that someone with the power to do so has the stones to stand up for what used to be right.
posted by JWright at 8:33 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


"throw" dammit, I meant "throw"
posted by caddis at 8:36 AM on February 23, 2007


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Um....sigh with relief?
posted by contessa at 8:42 AM on February 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Yeah, I'm a Bush-hater. I just hate the guy - it has absolutely nothing to do with how he and his colleagues (cronies? henchmen? partners-in-crime?) have ritually and systematically turned their back on basic American freedom and ideals. I mean why worry about all that trivial shit when you can just hate him?

If people with principled objections to our current administration are Bush-haters, then you, sir, are an America-hater. (Gosh, label throwing is simple, childish, effective, and oh so fun.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:43 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Any attempt to impeach Cheney short of catching him accepting bribes or something

Do you think we have to catch him a la Candid Camera or can we just have regular ol' evidence?
posted by NationalKato at 8:44 AM on February 23, 2007


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Agitate for prosecution.
posted by delmoi at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


live television, preferably
posted by caddis at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2007


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Celebrate having control of two out of the three branches of the federal government.
posted by EarBucket at 8:48 AM on February 23, 2007


don't count your branches before they are hatched
posted by caddis at 8:50 AM on February 23, 2007


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Weep with relief.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:50 AM on February 23, 2007


I understand where you're coming from, caddis, really I do. I sometimes have to treat the weekly outrages with a bit of humor and a lot of flippancy (read: drinking). I mean, what good does it do to talk about it on the Blue? I think both you and I understand a bit what battered wives feel.
posted by NationalKato at 8:52 AM on February 23, 2007


Why there will be no impeachement:

Bush is just a symptom. Your neighbors are the disease.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:57 PM EST on August 22, 2006
posted by Chrischris at 9:01 AM on February 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


Celebrate having control of two out of the three branches of the federal government.

Partisan politics can seriously suck a fuck. It's not like Democrats are saintly beings from Heaven, either.

All I want is leadership I can respect. As it stands, we don't have any. That's all that matters.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:03 AM on February 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


I think you miss the probable reason for Sealed vs Sealed. I believe that it contains the indictment for the most serious charges: The outing of a CIA agent for mere political purposes. As Fitzgerald laid out when he announced the indictment against Libby (transcript, audio here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), on Oct. 28, 2005, this is a breach of "national security" (a phrase he used time and again). It really doesn't matter if most of the public doesn't "get it" yet. The law is on Plame's side and that puts Cheney on the wrong side of it.

Treason is a bit more serious than bribery charges.
posted by spock at 9:06 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


If Fitzgerald really has Cheney in his crosshairs with Sealed vs. Sealed, then isn't impeachment sort of the least of the VP's worries? If he comes under serious legal indictment, he'll have to: 1. resign, and 2. try not to go to jail.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:17 AM on February 23, 2007


Sometimes you have to do right, even if it hurts down the road. I question the idea that impeachment would throw congress back to the republican next cycle. And again... NO we don't want to do the right thing because it might hurt? That is another thing wrong with many systems. Keep trying, we might find some reason that makes sense not to impeach.
posted by edgeways at 9:18 AM on February 23, 2007


Bush is just a symptom. Your neighbors are the disease.

No reason to bring Mexico and Canada into this.
posted by Cyrano at 9:27 AM on February 23, 2007


Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.


I think it may be hard to make a charge of Treason reliably stick, the aid part in, aid and comfort, has possibilities but would still be difficult. there may be other tricks in the bag though.
posted by edgeways at 9:31 AM on February 23, 2007


Bush and my neighbors are both part of a cycle. Impeachment is a good first step in breaking that cycle.
posted by DU at 9:55 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

I'm going to Disney World!
posted by MegoSteve at 9:56 AM on February 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice. Scooter Libby's on trial for obstruction of justice and perjury (plus making false statements and lying to the FBI).

It's clear from the testimony in the Libby trial that Cheney was deeply involved in the whole mess. I think it's possible that Fitzgerald could indict Cheney for obstruction of justice and conspiracy if Libby is convicted of obstruction of justice. I also think Fitzgerald would indict Cheney if he had the goods on him, and wouldn't indict him if he didn't.

Spiro Agnew resigned to avoid being indicted for tax evasion, money laundering, and bribery, so a sitting vice president could be indicted.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:06 AM on February 23, 2007


If all you got is impeachment, then you're outta luck. That's like waving a finger at a spoiled, willful child. The child take the punishment, if it can't figure a way around it, but it won't change.

This calls for federal "pound-them-in-the-ass-prision".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


By caddis' logic if my kids accuse Uncle Charlie of inappropriate touches at the family reunion I should save my family the trauma of having him arrested (or immediately beating him to a bloody pulp). Apparently caddis thinks I should just tell the kids to hang in there until the reunion is over and everyone goes home.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:10 AM on February 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Party like it's 1999 2009!
posted by ericb at 10:11 AM on February 23, 2007


Call me a pessimist, but none of the fundamental problems with the US political system and those who operate within it will be solved by a democrat win in 2008.

As for impeachment, I'm all for it, but what the country really needs to do is address the issue of war reperations towards Iraq (I know it'll never happen, but one can dream).
posted by Vindaloo at 10:33 AM on February 23, 2007


Bush hater? I don't hate Bush, but I sure cannot stand his illegal administration and have little patience with people who mindlessly support them just because...what? They're on your team?
posted by maxwelton at 10:42 AM on February 23, 2007


...what the country really needs to do is address the issue of war reperations towards Iraq...

As you can see, we're far too busy blasting it to smithereens at the moment. Smashing things is FUN!

...none of the fundamental problems with the US political system and those who operate within it will be solved by a democrat win in 2008...

I think you have a grave misunderstanding of what the President's role is, no matter what party they belong to.
posted by contessa at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2007


i think you are absolutely right, Vindaloo, that a D president won't make our system better, because the structural way it is set up includes all these flaws. Sometimes you hope people make the right decisions despite the flaws and temptations within the system. the anonymous cabbie that returns the wallet with all the cash in it, the chaste volleyball coach of the women's team, the responsible politician who does the right thing even if that means they don't get reelected. All these things happen, but they get drowned out by the flood of news of the robbers, sexual inappropriateness, and crooks.
the path towards making things better is to have a supportive society and to hold everyone accountable at the same level.
posted by edgeways at 10:49 AM on February 23, 2007


Keep trying, we might find some reason that makes sense not to impeach.

Per caddis: "The dems don't have the votes to win such a trial even if they had the votes to bring he impeachment." Most students of military strategy (which set includes students of political strategy) would tell you that futility is a pretty good reason not to fight.
posted by cribcage at 10:55 AM on February 23, 2007


I'd like nothing better than to see Bush marched out of the White House and shipped off to the Hague, but I'd agree that launching a doomed impeachment trial is a bad idea. If we get a smoking gun, something that would force even a sizeable chunk of the Republicans to vote for impeachment, great. I'll bring the champaigne. Until then, though, it's a bad idea.
posted by EarBucket at 10:59 AM on February 23, 2007


If I get to celebrate Fitzmas twice in one year, I'm gonna be a happy man.
posted by Ber at 11:09 AM on February 23, 2007


Sometimes you have to fight, even if you lose. Or, so I believe. I understand people feel differently.
posted by edgeways at 11:16 AM on February 23, 2007


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Certainly not the same thing you egregious apologists for incompetency did in 2004 (and CONTINUE to do), IE: Blame and vilify the people that were RIGHT.

So. Bush being responsible for the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, including thousands of women and children, and the destruction of an entire nation is not worthy of HATE?

We should remove hate from the dictionary then as it no longer has any meaning.
posted by tkchrist at 11:39 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Fuck. In the butt.

While we still can.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:48 AM on February 23, 2007


now that chaney has been impeached by gq, does this make him a fashion victim?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:52 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

I dunno. What're you Bush-lovers gonna do? I was thinkin' we could catch dinner and a matinee somewhere.

(You guys like Szechwan?)
posted by katillathehun at 12:27 PM on February 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Most students of military strategy (which set includes students of political strategy) would tell you that futility is a pretty good reason not to fight.

Can you imagine how many accomplishments throughout history would not be had those responsible listened to this kind of advice? Pathetic.
posted by NationalKato at 12:29 PM on February 23, 2007


cribcage said: Most students of military strategy (which set includes students of political strategy) would tell you that futility is a pretty good reason not to fight.

Futility hasn't kept us out of Iraq. Or Vietnam. In addition, with a popularity rating in the teens, I do not think it would be a futile effort to attempt an impeachment of Cheney.
posted by karson at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2007


It's gonna either be great or horrible to watch this trial finish and the next start.

I happen to be on the side of the "Don't tell everyone who your spies are." And thus, I think Cheney (if he is the prime instigator) should hang. Nothing less than the full Padilla treatment, and then be forever known as the Benjamin Arnold of our times. (The side Cheney favoring being - (wait a minute, who's side is he on anyway?) instead of England...)

You psuedo conservatives, that you can consider this as anything less than abhorrent, the outing of our intelligence assets to assert a political position, shows an emberassing lack of spine.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:54 PM on February 23, 2007


Make sure Cheney does get the full Padilla treatment.

Experts: Padilla Unable to Stand Trial.
posted by ericb at 1:02 PM on February 23, 2007


Sorry to Godwin the thread, but it seems we're suffering from the World War I versus World War II syndrome.

In World War I America was dragged into a family squabble (the Kaiser was related to the Romanovs and Royalty of England) that was stupid, unnecessary and bloody. This was the equivalent to the impeachment of Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. (Still a stupid unnecessary family matter, only a different bodily fluid than blood.)

After being burned by World War I, we stood back and allowed a real threat to build in Europe and didn't want to get involved. This is the equivalent to giving Bush W a pass. He has done more to deserve impeachment than all of other presidents combined. He is why the founding fathers put an impeachment option in the constitution.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:07 PM on February 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


NationalKato: Name a couple.

(I mean, if you're gonna get uppity and be all, "Sun Tzu is fuckin' pathetic, man"...well, then bring the noise.)

Maybe you're confusing "futility" with "fighting despite overwhelming odds." Because the trouble with your assertion is that if a campaign resulted in an historic accomplishment, well, then it probably wasn't futile. As EarBucket pointed out, circumstances could arise wherein an impeachment wouldn't be "doomed"; but absent those conditions, I don't see the tactical wisdom in staging an unsuccessful impeachment vote purely for show. It may not be sufficient to torpedo Democratic chances for '08, but it sure would make them look ineffectual.

karson: There's a near-zero correlation between a vice president's popularity rating and the likelihood of any member of Congress voting to impeach that vice president.
posted by cribcage at 1:07 PM on February 23, 2007


LooseFilter: If Fitzgerald really has Cheney in his crosshairs with Sealed vs. Sealed, then isn't impeachment sort of the least of the VP's worries? If he comes under serious legal indictment, he'll have to: 1. resign, and 2. try not to go to jail. get a presidential pardon.

There, fixed that for ya.
posted by mach at 1:11 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Certainly not the same thing you egregious apologists for incompetency did in 2004 (and CONTINUE to do), IE: Blame and vilify the people that were RIGHT.

I dunno. What're you Bush-lovers gonna do?


I {heart} blind conclusion jumping.

So. Bush being responsible for the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, including thousands of women and children, and the destruction of an entire nation is not worthy of HATE?

Vietnam's on line 1, Nicaragua's on line 2, Guatemala's on line 3. They all sound pissed. Should I put them on speakerphone?

I happen to be on the side of the "Don't tell everyone who your spies are." And thus, I think Cheney (if he is the prime instigator) should hang. Nothing less than the full Padilla treatment, and then be forever known as the Benjamin Arnold of our times. (The side Cheney favoring being - (wait a minute, who's side is he on anyway?) instead of England...)

And then what?

I mean, you hang Cheney. You try and convict Dubya. You put most of these neo-cons in front of the firing squad. Good ol' fashioned French Revolution stuff.

What happens next?
posted by dw at 1:12 PM on February 23, 2007


Cake!
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:19 PM on February 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


And then what?

I mean, you hang Cheney. You try and convict Dubya. You put most of these neo-cons in front of the firing squad. Good ol' fashioned French Revolution stuff.

What happens next?


Apologize? Seems like a good first step.
posted by SBMike at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


you know, i had this long screed typed up about how i think two consecutive impeachments is a bad thing, in that it implies a tit-for-tatness about the whole thing, and how it will erode the meaning of the act and contribute to the further distortion of government powers, and how impeachment shouldn't be used for disagreements over policy decisions.

i've pretty much felt that way ever since people started discussing the notion of impeachment a few years ago, and i still feel that clinton was wrongly impeached. i think this administration's governance has been a string of disastrous clusterfucks, but i didn't think congress should go kicking these things around lightly.

but, reading over the GQ article again, pretty much every one of my arguments totally fell apart. and they're right. the guy has completely failed to live up to his oath of office. they are so, so right.

string that motherfucker up.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 1:37 PM on February 23, 2007


And then what?

I mean, you hang Cheney. You try and convict Dubya. You put most of these neo-cons in front of the firing squad. Good ol' fashioned French Revolution stuff.

What happens next?



Well, this being a revolution and all, I vote for democracy.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:37 PM on February 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


dw said: I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

So many Republicans confuse supporting American freedom and democracy with being a Bush-hater.
posted by JJ86 at 1:56 PM on February 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


I {heart} blind conclusion jumping.

Okay, but my blind-conclusion jumping was in response to someone else's blind-conclusion jumping. Can I have a cookie, now?
posted by katillathehun at 2:12 PM on February 23, 2007


Maybe you're confusing "futility" with "fighting despite overwhelming odds."

cribcage, I was indeed referring to 'fighting despite overwhelming odds.' But I'm not confused. What's the distance between one and the other? Between overwhelming odds and futility? By your statement, it would appear history is the difference:

Because the trouble with your assertion is that if a campaign resulted in an historic accomplishment, well, then it probably wasn't futile

So in order to know if impeachment is futile, we'd have to pursue it. Are there more members of Congress against the war now than there was two years ago? Was impeachment more futile then or now? Do you see a shift yet? How much does it take to change the odds in cribcage's playbook?
posted by NationalKato at 2:28 PM on February 23, 2007


Vietnam's on line 1, Nicaragua's on line 2, Guatemala's on line 3. They all sound pissed. Should I put them on speakerphone?

Oh. Jeez. Then lets give every future murderer a Bye... becuase, y'know, the past is full of giving them a Bye.

Fuck. Let's let Charlie Manson out of jail. Hell. Lydon Johnson got off Scott-free. Why not Charlie.

What a pathetic argument.

Ok. So let's say I take your non-argument at face value. Well. Gee. DW. Most of the people responsible for the crimes you listed - and it is reassuring that you see them as crimes - are DEAD. Except...

Dick Cheney.
And Don Rumsfeld.

Both instrumental in the war policies of Nixon (Vietnam), Ford (Nicaragua) and Reagan (Guatemala AND Nicaragua) administrations.

YEAH. Hang the fuckers!

What happens next?

We hang you for being an idiot.
posted by tkchrist at 3:00 PM on February 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


So many Republicans confuse supporting American freedom and democracy with being a Bush-hater.

Three years ago I would agree with you. I would.

But now the only 'rational' thing left is hate the bastard.

The only reason MORE people don't hate him is either they are too lazy to understand the reality or they are too fatigued BY the reality.

I guarantee you —and I say this without any intentional hyperbole— that in twenty years we, the majority of this world, will look back on this administration as the near (and TOTALLY avoidable) fatal wounding of the American Republic.
posted by tkchrist at 3:13 PM on February 23, 2007


You know what I hate? I hate the fact that we can only vote for one person.

C'mon, approval voting! Now there's something that would help the problem.

Plus, I don't see failure to satisfy the majority criterion to be an issue; in fact, I see it as the boon that will fix the problem, esp. in the example shown here -- in this case, the candidate preferred by a majority (55%) doesn't win, but the candidate considered acceptable by a greater majority (>55%) does win.

Every fringe voter could vote for the person they really wanted to see win, but also vote for an acceptable -- and more likely to win -- candidate (or two.) A person could even vote for, say, everyone but candidate X as a way of saying "I'll accept any of these candidates except this one."

Alas, it'll never happen, because "Freedom! Democracy! One person one vote! Terrists!" but it'd be a definite improvement if it did.
posted by davejay at 4:01 PM on February 23, 2007


“We don't need to go through the national trauma of another impeachment.”

Indeed. Execution then?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on February 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


The reality of the situation is that the possibility may exist for Cheney to be impeached, but not for the hyperbole-laced reasoning of "trampling all over the Constitution like a bull in a china shop" or somesuch. It's not that I think that's patently untrue; I too am horrified by the liberties that this administration has taken with our Constitution (to make a complete understatement).

But look, that's way too vague for any sort of successful impeachment. It's far too broad, too subject to the interpretation of constitutional scholars, judges, etc. The administration's "crimes" in this area seem monumental in scale (and I believe them to be, personally), but it would be very difficult to make such far-reaching accusations stand up in a court of law, or through the proceedings of an impeachment. You start working Congress' own complicity into the equation, with respect to the Iraq war, and it just gets more complicated.

Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Granted, it may have been a bullshit setup that put him in that position in the first place. I'm not disputing the motivations or fairness of the whole debacle. What I'm saying is, there was a very specific, identifiable, and--most importantly--unambiguous criminal charge laid against him. Similarly, while many people may have been convinced of Nixon's general crimes against the State, it wasn't until very unambiguous identifiable criminal charges were working their way into his office that he found himself in real trouble.

That's why I hope that Fitzgerald is sitting on further charges that would directly implicate Cheney. That's what you need for the impeachment. That sort of proceeding would have implications that cannot be brushed off by partisan politics. It's less sexy, but far more likely to get the job done.
posted by Brak at 4:57 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


We hang you for being an idiot.

That a threat? Because, you know, that sounds like a threat.
posted by dw at 5:24 PM on February 23, 2007


I remember a metafilter user emailing me about calling for the downfall of the president awhile back, sounding all concerned and shit. I wonder if he's having a nervous breakdown right now, you know, needing to type out all those concerned emails.
posted by tehloki at 5:35 PM on February 23, 2007


That a threat? Because, you know, that sounds like a threat.

Lord no! Bar the door Mamma! The libruls iz commin ta hang me!

Don't worry. You got a few years left before the Bush trial is over and then the Anti-idiot legislation is passed.
posted by tkchrist at 6:57 PM on February 23, 2007


That a threat? Because, you know, that sounds like a threat.

Then take it to MeTa so we can point and laugh.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:14 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Lord no! Bar the door Mamma! The libruls iz commin ta hang me!

I continue to find it fascinating how you all have decided that since I think BushFilter is old and tired I must be some mouth-breathing Republican. If I don't support your bloodlust, I most certainly must be against you.

And it's made all the funnier when you know that in the last, oh, 10 years I've voted for exactly one Republican in exactly one race. This guy. Who is certainly loved by the GOP faithful around here.

Don't worry. You got a few years left before the Bush trial is over and then the Anti-idiot legislation is passed.

Good. Plenty of time to pick up my gun show assault rifle, plan my escape to the border, and watch Bush and Cheney be turned into martyrs on global television with my Canadian permanent resident card in one hand and my National Insurance card in the other.

Be careful what you wish for, though. Revolutions are tricky things.
posted by dw at 9:05 PM on February 23, 2007


Then take it to MeTa so we can point and laugh.

Nah. He's mostly harmless.
posted by dw at 9:06 PM on February 23, 2007


Wait, is impeachment the one where we put him on a big pointed stick? Oh, that's impaling...right.

Which one is defenestration then?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:15 PM on February 23, 2007


For all you Bush haters who want him impeached - Let's Impeach the President (sound - courtesy of Lil Mike)
posted by caddis at 9:31 PM on February 23, 2007


Be careful what you wish for, though. Revolutions are tricky things.

I call bullshit. See, the thing is, we already had a revolution. A (mostly) successful one that started one of the freest and most successful countries this planet has seen. And yet, some people insist on calling those of us who want our country to honor the ideals that it was founded on traitors. Apologizing for has been happening in any way, shape, or form is just plain fucking wrong.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:43 PM on February 23, 2007


... for what has been happening...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:44 PM on February 23, 2007


Vice President Cheney is going out of his way to make it clear that he doesn't think he has anything to apologize for.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM on February 23, 2007



I mean, good Lord, what are you Bush-haters going to do in 2009?

Allow me to fantasize:

1) welcome home the mothers and fathers and sons and daughters whose lives we are wasting in an illegal and pointless war, give them the VA services they deserve, and help them get their lives back;

2) start, slowly, rebuilding our decaying national physical and social infrastructure with the billions we won't be spending in Iraq;

3) make sure the history books are accurate so that future generations will know just how badly the GOP fucked America between 2000 and 2008 and, maybe, the same mistake can be avoided in the future.

4) start rebuilding our country's standing in the rest of the world;

5) finally focus national attention on serious problems, like a lack of serious domestic anti-terrorism security, the health care cost crisis, and global climate change;

6) enjoy it every time we read the words "ex-president George W. Bush, who left office the most unpopular president in modern history, including Nixon" (or variations thereof)

7) laugh when people say "remember FOX news?"

8) close the Guantanamo Bay prison and enact strong laws preventing future administrations from trashing our most basic constitutionally guaranteed rights whenever it suits them;

9) Enjoy the trials of as many of these bastards as possible;

10) Practice saying "President Obama."

There, that's a start.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:05 PM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


homunculus:

When I wrote "apologize" above, maybe my intention wasn't clear.

Unfortunately, "apology" is a unique word, in that it can can mean two things that are seemingly 180 degrees apart. From the American Heritage Dictionary:

apology:

1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.
2. A formal justification or defense; an explanation or excuse.


I meant "apologizing" as in defending.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:26 AM on February 24, 2007


So many Republicans confuse supporting American freedom and democracy with being a Bush-hater.

It's not genuine confusion. It's a cynical tactic used by the right to paint anyone who disagrees with them as being overwrought, over-emotional, mentally unbalanced, etc.
posted by psmealey at 7:16 AM on February 24, 2007


You can't possibly have legitimate reasons for disapproving of Bush, his policies and his administration, so it must arise from a character flaw or an ideological blind spot borne of irrational spite. You are a "Bush-hater".

Despite his protestations to the contrary, dw carries water for this view, and wittingly or unwittingly invalidates whatever point he was trying to make, and then scurries to Canada for cover when he realizes he's out of this depth.

Seriously, guy. If you're going to use that kind of inflammatory language, at least understand how it might be interpretted and stand your ground, rather than using more careless and lazy rhetoric about not wanting to support "our bloodlust".
posted by psmealey at 7:28 AM on February 24, 2007


Which one is defenestration then?

Defenestration: "the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window." (I love that there's a word for throwing somebody out a window.) The most famous historical examples are probably the Defenestrations of Prague; Wikipedia also has a long list of fictional and historical examples.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:21 AM on February 24, 2007


Nah. He's mostly harmless.

And yet you felt threatened? snif. sniff. I smell pussy.

Look out DW! Behind you! It's a golden lab puppy with an "Obama '08" Button on it!

BTW. He was talking about pointing and laughing at YOU in MeTa, DW. Just in case that, like so many other things, escaped you.

You know, DW, if you really don't want people to mistake you for a Bush apologist you should stop doing such good impersonations of one every chance you get. Just spit balling here.
posted by tkchrist at 10:26 AM on February 24, 2007


Sorry about this but I have to say something. I have to apologize.

I looked at my last three posts to this thread and they were totally asshole-ish. I looked at DW posting history and he is what he says. Whith a few odd "bushfilter" exceptions. And I realized being pissed at him was MY problem not his.

So DW. I have to say sorry I dug after you. If I believed in impeachment as a legitimate course of action I certainly was not going to convince you this way.

So I am going to try an convince you of something. I alluded to this before. While I was being unduly sarcastic about "hating" Bush I meant what I said about why it's rational to seek the full recourse of legal putative action.

I felt as you do a couple years ago. What good was all this hate. this outrage about Bush. Then one of Y2karls posts outlined essentially ALL of the outrages at once. And it was so startling that I finally realized why I was essentially shrugging off my more lefty brethren. Fatigue.

Outrage fatigue. You have it and don't know it. I had it and realized it just in time.

It is a deliberate tactic this Administration has utilized. First to soak up bandwidth with competing outrages. And then to simply wear out the Liberal ability to counter things one at a time. They are masters of this. This tactic also does something REALLY insidious: "If you can't beat 'em, JOIN 'EM." They have successfully got liberals to fight FOR them by simply wearing them out fighting against them. The only counter is to attack the entire base policy of this administration at the top.

You don't have to answer, but let me ask you a couple of things. think about this.

The lead up to this war, do you think the Bush administration was honest about it's motives?

Do really think they were fooled by faulty intelligence?

Do you think they actually had a good plan that only went wrong becuase of the lack of Liberal domestic support?

And do you think that this war of unprovoked aggression, invasion, and occupation of a sovereign nation is not unprecedented in recent US history?

Do you really thing letting these people responsible for this war people retire to comfortable seven figure incomes is justice for those that have died so needlessly?

Do they really have you so frightened and cowed by any actions to hold them accountable that you fear the collapse of our society?

Here is the deal. We HAVE to try and hold these guys accountable by any legal means at our disposal. There will not be civil war. But yes there will be political cost. A cost we must bear if our Republic is to even approach any sort of reasonable ideal and integrity.

NOT doing so is to lame our Republic at a time we, and the civilized word, are uniquely vulnerable.

Not doing so we will pay a much higher cost. You can see this cost now. Our society is growing more regressive, and more apathetic, and the political class has every motive to keep it that way and every motive to pander to the Wealthy Elite classes at the expense of our principles and future prosperity.

I know this. Not holding Bush accountable is an invitation to disaster. The next batch of Righties will be worse. And the Lefties won't be much better. History has shown us that when corruption goes unpunished it just gets worse and worse.
posted by tkchrist at 11:50 AM on February 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Good. Plenty of time to pick up my gun show assault rifle, plan my escape to the border, and watch Bush and Cheney be turned into martyrs on global television with my Canadian permanent resident card in one hand

Yeah. Good luck with that.
posted by trondant at 11:58 AM on February 24, 2007


Cheney: Iraq War A "Remarkable Achievement".
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on February 24, 2007


Obama: ‘When Cheney Says It's Good…You've Got Big Problems’.
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on February 24, 2007


"For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.” Cheney yesterday: “I stand by what I said in ‘91."
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on February 24, 2007


You don't have to answer, but let me ask you a couple of things.

let me ask you a couple - do you think we have the votes?

do you really want to see this country descend into an orgy of mutual muckraking and backstabbing?

we don't have the votes and any impeachment attempt will just turn politics into a filthier game than it is already ... better to get control of the white house, release the appropriate information to the courts and prosecutors and look innocent as the legal system, not congress, goes after this administration ... the republicans won't be able to gather sympathy by making claims about the ulterior motives of democratic politians

revenge is a dish best eaten cold
posted by pyramid termite at 2:11 PM on February 24, 2007


let me ask you a couple - do you think we have the votes?

I don't know. It doesn't matter.

do you really want to see this country descend into an orgy of mutual muckraking and backstabbing?

And that is different than what we have how?

Look. We HAVE to go after these guys and hold them accountable. Any way we can. Via impeachment or other legal means. We cannot allow them to settle into a safe retirement like "elder statesman" - fat and happy like Kissinger - and go on talk shows re-writing history while the world just seethes in hatred of us.
posted by tkchrist at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2007


of course it matters if we have the votes ... it mattered back when the republicans tried to do it to clinton and it matters now

i think the legal system should handle this ... for one thing, they deal with actual crimes not subjective political crimes ... for another thing, if we're going to impeach bush and cheney for their actions leading up to the iraq war, what about the congresspeople who defended and voted for it? ... some of which aren't republicans

impeach bush for violating the constitution? ... what was congress doing when it passed the patriot act?

let the courts handle it ... as far as i'm concerned, not only don't the democrats have the votes, but they don't have the moral standing either
posted by pyramid termite at 6:14 PM on February 24, 2007


So DW. I have to say sorry I dug after you. If I believed in impeachment as a legitimate course of action I certainly was not going to convince you this way.

No worries tkchrist.

And honestly, that whole "Is that a threat" thing came with a heavy dose of sarcasm that didn't make it into text. I've had far worse in my time. Like, well, real death threats.

So I am going to try an convince you of something.

Look, I appreciate this. And I will admit I do have a lot of political fatigue. But I don't think impeachment is the right idea. And there are three reasons:

1. Impeachments have always been more political theater than true justice; there's no reason to think it won't be any different this time. Andrew Johnson was dragged before Congress for far less than what Andrew Jackson was "reprimanded" for. And of course, there's the blow job. What makes you think that this will be any different?

2. Impeachment will make martyrs of Bush and Cheney for more than a few people. Look at Clinton -- you had people doing moral somersaults trying to explain away his behavior. The GOP paid dearly in 1998 for their bloodlust. if you have an impeachment that stretches on for days and weeks, the American people may start souring to it. It will make the True Believers happy in the end, but they could well lose the center, and if things go really wrong, they could lose that center for a generation.

3. It's just not the right time. And I hate to use the same tired canard of an excuse Bush has been using, but we are at war. Right now this Congress and this president should be focused on getting this war wrapped up and Iraq stablized. Our paramount focus right now should be on cleaning up Iraq and getting out of there as fast as we possibly can. Impeachment would be a distraction from that. We will have plenty of time for recriminations after the war is over.

Let me offer you an alternative. On January 20, 2009, there will be someone in office who will have the power to undo every single secrecy decree Bush or Cheney used to effectively hide everything they've done. What if, on that day, the president announced he (or she) would immediately declassify everything related to Iraq? What if we could read all those e-mails, all those documents, and see what exactly happened? Were they duped by faulty intellegence? Did they play it up? What laws did they break in the name of political expedience?

That's what I want. Give the evidence to the American people. Let us try and judge them. Let us convict them in a public court. And let us determine what to do with them. Maybe the public will get so angry that we will see real trials. At the very least, though, the damage will be catastrophic to whatever tattered remains of a legacy Dubya and Cheney leave with in 2009. And all it would take would be Obama or Hillary or Edwards or even Giuliani to make a single proclamation, and the Furies shall be loosed.

I understand the anger. Hell, I lived with Republicans during the Clinton years; I know how their anger eventually ruled them until they broke. I just don't think hot anger is the right answer. The only thing that will make these guys understand is the cold calculus of vengance, not the heat of a public spectacle. Let them try to justify themselves in the face of their own words, held not by government classifiers or media blathermouths.

I know it's not the blood and justice people want right now, but sometimes it's better to wait. And I know a lot of you guys think I'm nuts for thinking this, but I just don't think now is the right time, not when they're expecting it.

I appreciate what you have to say, tkchrist, and I agree with you on many of your points. But the problem with justice is, well, I'll let Mr. Cockburn handle it.
Can you tell me how much bleeding
It takes to fill a word with meaning?
And how much, how much death
It takes to give a slogan breath?
And how much, how much, how much flame
Gives light to a name
For the hollow darkness
In which nations dress?

Everybody
Loves to see
Justice done
On somebody else
posted by dw at 7:26 PM on February 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sayings of the Phuquetard Buddha (Also known as the Guantanamo Buddha.)
posted by homunculus at 12:43 AM on March 1, 2007


The GOP paid dearly in 1998 for their bloodlust.

Did they? I don't see that. I agree that impeachment is always more political theater than justice at work, but when I hear the saw that the republicans somehow met retribution as a result of the Clinton impeachment, I just don't see it. It may have been a temporary setback for them in the opinion polls that year, but I think it carried George W Bush to (legal) victory in 2000.

If the impeachment had never happened, I think Gore would have run with Clinton in close support, and he would have beaten Bush by 15 points in an electoral landslide.

As it was, what came out of the impeachment hearings and the Starr report was used by the GOP to beat us all about the head and face with things like restoring dignity and integrity to the oval office, and all that moral values bullshit that split the moderate vote.

I realize that this thread is as fresh as last week's bread, but I think the GOP was helped immensely by its 6 year witchhunt that (er) climaxed into the impeachment trial. Not that any of us desires a repeat in the other direction now, but it's at least worth a careful examination of recent history.
posted by psmealey at 4:20 AM on March 1, 2007


Anyone who thinks secret documents will be around for a Dem President to release to the public, come 2009, has a screw loose or something. Bushco is not the sort of operation to leave incriminating evidence laying around. This administration is full of experienced criminals from the Nixon, Reagon and Bush I administrations. They've learned from prior mistakes, I'm quite certain.

As for the "political correctness" of impeachment: If the public became aware of what has been going on, they'd be behind it. As a group, we are better informed than the majority. A fact which I find surprising, counting myself in that number. (I hate politics). I'm not intimately aware of the American mindset these past 9 years, having been living abroad. But I have been made aware of the general failings of the 'main-stream media'.

Whether the awareness of the public can be corrected or not, I wouldn't know. But clearly, that is the root cause of America's woes. Not the politicians, but the lack of appropriate knowledge to guide informed voting.

We can't impeach the voters, but we sure as hell can go after the corrupt poltiicians. Can we go after the corrupt, corporate-owned media?
posted by Goofyy at 6:38 AM on March 1, 2007


Guilty on 4 of 5 counts.

Will the jailbird sing?
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on March 6, 2007


I just want to apologize to the original poster. While not outwardly superstitious, I was worried that there was a chance Libby would get off.
posted by drezdn at 10:45 AM on March 6, 2007


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