I'm just back from giving a talk on impeachment in Mill Valley, California, last weekend, and the event was a lot of fun.
That's in part because Will Durst put on his hilarious comedy routine about Bush. (You can find a joke a day from Durst on our website.) And Andrea Lewis, another regular writer for us and co-host of KPFA's Morning Show, did a superb job emceeing the program.
Here are three questions I get when I speak on impeachment, and the answers I give:
1. Why bother? You're never going to succeed.
Who ever thought Richard Nixon would get impeached after his landslide victory in 1972? While the odds are long now, we may not have seen the last of Bush's illegal acts, so momentum is likely to build. And even if we don't succeed, we are at least standing up for the principle that the President should not trample on the Constitution. There is also a chance that raising the cry for impeachment will in itself act as a curb on further lawlessness.
2. What, you want Cheney to be President?
No, we want to impeach Cheney and Bush. When you dust for fingerprints at every Bush crime scene, Cheney's digits show up all over the place.
3. The drive for impeachment only helps the Republicans by galvanizing their base. Isn't it better to bide your time and hope the Democrats win in 2006 and then talk about impeachment?
This effort for impeachment is way beyond partisanship. It's not about who controls the House or the Senate or who sits in the Oval Office.
It's about whether we have a constitutional system of government or something that approaches monarchy--or worse.
But if you're obsessed with tactics, here are two tactical responses.
First, by raising the demand for impeachment prior to the elections, Democrats would be galvanizing their base.
And second, by not raising the demand, progressives would set the stage for Democrats to squash the impeachment effort even if they won on the grounds that it's "too divisive," or "the country can't handle it."
Only if there is an organized, vocal campaign for impeachment prior to the elections are Democrats likely to have the spine to follow through.
And if you or a friend or anyone in your family loves Star Trek, I just posted the transcript and the audio of an interview I did recently with George Takei ("Mr. Sulu"). I'm hardly a Trekkie myself, but Takei's story of his four years as a child in a Japanese-American internment camp caught my attention, and his stance now for gay marriage is something to be applauded.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
Matthew RothschildEditor, The Progressive
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