Yay for checks and balances.
I always say that you can't shame the shameless, so a campaign of embarrassing the White House is a bootless effort. They don't care. You could catch President Bush engaging in white slavery, Dick Cheney sacrificing babies to whatever ancient Babylonian devil he owes his power to, and that exposure would not stop them from continuing. I'd like to say that they don't care because they don't have to worry about re-election, but the FISA wiretap scandal broke before the dems came into power -- the fact is that they don't care because they're shameless.
If you want the White House to stop committing crimes, you have to stop the White House from committing crimes. Seriously, they obviously don't care if something's legal or not. When caught wiretapping without warrants, Bush basically said, "Yeah, we're going to keep doing that." Exposed for all the world, Bush just didn't give a crap. Shamelessness is a defense in itself -- it's a moral and ethical nihilism that allows Bush to continue doing whatever he wants, no matter what anyone might think of it. Other opinions aren't wanted; the Bush White House suggestion box goes straight into the office shredder. They think this is what "strong leadership" means -- lawlessness, contempt for constitutional principles, and a middle finger in the air for anyone who criticizes them.
Taking impeachment off the table is the same as telling them, "Do whatever the hell you want." Taking impeachment off the table is consent.
Even when it was shown that the White House authorized torture, Pelosi considered it unimpeachable. Apparently, Nancy is committed to establishing that there's no such thing as an impeachable offense. She had a lot to say about torture; that " I think that protecting the American people being our top priority, we should do so in a way that is within the law," that "experts agree that you do not obtain reliable intelligence through using these tactics and you diminish our reputation in the world, which hurts the cooperation we need to collect the intelligence we need to protect the American people."
What she didn't say is that torture is criminal, evil, and inexcusable. She didn't say that freakin' torture was an impeachable offense. As I said, she seems to believe that there's no such thing.
Meanwhile, the dems' leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, is no better. Political Cortext reports on a recent interview of Reid by Reno, NV radio host Christiane Brown.
Brown, when Reid scoffed at impeachment as a "foolish" idea, replied to Reid's dismissive statement that Bush had only one more year to serve as chief executive, saying that lives could be saved in an illegal Iraq War if Bush were removed from office.
When Reid irritably exclaimed that Cheney would assume the presidency upon the removal of Bush, Brown countered by informing him that the former Halliburton CEO could be removed as well by the same process.
To defend his and Pelosi's stance on allowing lawlessness, Reid brought up the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Of course, Brown answered that the comparison wasn't a very good one. The trial of Clinton was a "ridiculous" action, Brown countered, while an impeachment of Bush and Cheney would have real merit.
"Ridiculous is in the eye of the beholder," Reid said. There's your stupid-assed statement of the day.
Of course, all of this dodging of the impeachment question is about '08. Reid and Pelosi apparently believe that it would hurt them somehow in the next election. It's hard to see how. In an impeachment, the facts would be laid out and it's hard to see how anyone other than the most blindly partisan idiot would see that it added up to anything other than a career in crime. Newsflash Harry and Nancy, blind partisans would vote for a rabid baboon before they voted for a Democrat. They're freakin' nuts; you're in no danger of "losing" their votes.
In fact, there's a damned good argument that not impeaching is, in itself, a offense against the Constitution. Article II, Section 4 reads, "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." Notice how it says, "Shall be removed." It doesn't say, "May be removed, at the discretion of opposition party leadership, after making political calculations regarding the next election cycle." When someone commits a crime, you pretty much have to put them through the legal system.
So, while Reid and Pelosi pretend that impeachment doesn't exist, crimes are being committed in our names. In Gitmo, someone's having a feeding tube jammed up their nose twice a day and is slowly losing their mind. In Europe and the middle east, people are being kidnapped to secret CIA prisons where they're tortured and held without even being charged with a crime. In Iraq, people are blowing the living crap out of each other while we press the Iraqi parliament to pass an "oil law" which would put the stamp of legality on our oil grab. None of these people give a good goddam about elections in '08. None of these people can wait that long. The only thing we can do to help them is to stop it. Stop it all.
And Pelosi and Reid won't. Because the only way to stop it is to stop the Bush White House. Investigations without consequence are like trials without sentencing. It's a pointless waste of time.
If you're going to let Bush do whatever the hell he wants, stop pretending you're doing something about it. Inaction is endorsement and anything short of impeachment is inaction. Clucking over the shamefulness of it all isn't going to do a damned thing.
Technorati tags: politics; war; Iraq; torture; human rights; civil rights; By refusing to impeach, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid put their stamp of approval on every crime Bush and Cheney commit