Cheney Impeachment: Courageous, But Not Surprising
For the first time since the Bush administration took office, three members of the House Judiciary Committee, Robert Wexler (D-FL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are calling for hearings on the impeachment of Vice President Richard Cheney.
Their position, while courageous, is not surprising. What is surprising is that it took this long for members of Congress to invoke impeachment, and that even now, they do so against enormous political resistance and cyncial indifference from the media.
No serious student of the Constitution would question that sufficient grounds exist to impeach both President Bush and Vice President Cheney. The Constitution provides that an Executive who puts himself above the law and abuses the powers of his office may be impeached, a point confirmed in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, for abuses such as illegal wiretapping.
There is little serious debate about whether Bush administration actions -- wiretapping without court approval (violating the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act), authorizing and facilitating mistreatment of detainees (violating US treaties and criminal laws), starting the Iraq war on a basis of lies, exaggerations and misstatements (an abuse of power) -- meet the constitutional standard.
So why hasn't a majority of Congress supported it? Twenty members co-sponsored Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution calling for the impeachment of Cheney, but bucked their leadership to do so. Democratic leaders took impeachment "off the table," apparently fearing it could hurt their chances in 2008.
About frickin' time. The Democrats have demonstrated as much courage as the Cowardly Lion, yet Dubya and Darth have approval ratings in the toilet.