Saturday, July 26, 2008

Democrats Intent on NOT Impeaching Bush

After spending long hours, sometimes late into the night, making his case for impeachment before a nearly barren House chamber, Rep. Dennis Kucinich finally got more of an audience for his case against President Bush Friday.

Even though Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers insisted early on that the panel's evaluation of Bush's "imperial presidency" was decidedly not an impeachment hearing, the prospect was not far from many minds during the six hours of testimony.

Kucinich formally introduced his articles of impeachment into the record of the committees proceedings -- although he did not utter the dreaded I-word, instead referring to the resolutions by their more legalistic titles "H. Res. 333, H. Res. 1258 and H. Res. 1345."

A committee aide tells RAW STORY that members were cautioned to abide by the Rules of the House, which prohibit lawmakers from "impugning" the president's character during official debate. Some apparently took this to mean they could not explicitly call for Bush' impeachment. None of this would stop Republicans from accusing the committee's majority of seeking just that.

The prepared text of Conyers opening remarks referred to Congress's "power to impeach." When he spoke before the committee, Conyers modified that line to the "power to remove through the constitutional process" officials who abused their powers.


"Based on all of the things this administration has done, it is probably the most impeachable administration in the history of America,” said Hinchey, who appeared alongside Kucinich and North Carolina Reps. Walter Jones and Brad Miller.

The New York lawmaker even accused the administration of deliberately letting America's No. 1 enemy escape after 9/11.

"I think it is very clear they did not want to capture bin Laden," Hinchey told the committee.

That Hinchey referred to "they" was no accident. House rules forbid direct attacks on the president's individual character or motives, so most of the witnesses were sure to couch their criticisms as aimed at members of the administration generally.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If Today’s Congress Presided During Watergate

Mike Luckovich:

The Wonderful Progress of the Democratic Congress

In the 2006 mid-term elections, Americans handed The Democratic Party a sweeping, staggering, and historic victory -- as the GOP was removed from power and Democrats given control over both the House and Senate. It marked only the third time in the last 60 years that there was a change in control of the Congress. The Democrats defeated six GOP Senators, and picked up 31 House seats. Six Governorships switched from the GOP to the Democrats. Not one single Democratic incumbent in Congress and not one Democratic Governor lost -- only the second time in U.S. history in which one of the major parties failed to defeat even a single Congressional incumbent from the other party.

Since that overwhelming Democratic victory, this is what the Democratic-led Congress has done:

* Repeatedly funded -- at the White House's insistence -- the Iraq War without conditions;

* Defeated -- at the White House's insistence -- Jim Webb's bill to increase the intervals between deployments for U.S. troops;

* Defeated -- at the White House's insistence -- a bill to restore habeas corpus, which had been abolished by the Military Commissions Act, enacted before the 2006 election with substantial Democratic and virtually unanimous GOP support;

* Enacted -- at the White House's insistence and with substantial Democratic and virtually unanimous Republican support
-- the so-called Protect America Act, vesting the President with extreme new warrantless eavesdropping powers;

* Overwhelmingly approved the Senate's Kyl-Lieberman Resolution, to declare parts of the Iranian Government a "terrorist organization," an extremely belligerent resolution modeled after those which made "regime change" the official U.S. Government position towards Iraq;

* Deleted from a pending bill -- at the direction of the House Democratic leadership and at the insistence of the White House -- a provision merely to require Congressional approval before the Bush administration can attack Iran;

* Overwhelmingly enacted -- at the White House's insistence, and with substantial Democratic and virtually unanimous GOP support -- the "FISA Amendments Act of 2008," to vest the President with broad new warrantless eavesdropping powers and to immunize lawbreaking telecoms, all but putting an end to any chance for a real investigation and judicial adjudication of the Bush administration's illegal NSA spying program;

* Confirmed, with the indispensable support of two key Democratic Senators, Bush's nominee for Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, despite his support for radical Bush theories of executive power and his refusal to oppose torture;

* Stood by passively and impotently while Bush officials flagrantly ignored their Subpoenas and refused to comply with their investigations.