Rob Kall: It's not? That's good to hear.
John Conyers: Well that's why we're talking.
Rob Kall: Thank you.
Conyer's aide: Now the congressman has got to get back...
I must say that I have enormous respect for congressman Conyers. He didn't have to have the conversation and, like Matt Stoller, said, he's intensely interested in this. He is THE key factor in what could be a huge turning point in history. His refusal to proceed is perplexing though. I don't buy the argument that the concern about the Republicans attacking the action is holding HIM back. It might be enough to worry some the more invertebrate members of congress, but not Conyers.
On the contrary, I believe that if spun intelligently, taking the approach could dramatically help the Democrats in the 2008 elections. Conyers should take the position that Bush and Cheney have forced the house judiciary committee to use impeachment hearings as a last resort, because the whitehouse admin refused to obey, or allow appointees to obey conventional congressional subpoenas. Executive privilege can not be used in response to impeachment hearing subpoenas.
Perhaps my conversation with Conyers allowed him to tip off the whitehouse that there is more at stake than just saying no to the subpoenas already issued to Harriet Meiers and others. If so, I'm happy to be of help.
One thing seems clear. John Conyers is VERY aware of his place in history, the power we wields. The response from Bush to the Meiers subpoena will come soon. These are clearly very high stakes exchanges.
George Bush has been very concerned about his pathetic legacy, and it seems, he faces going down rather ignominiously in history. But John Conyers turns 80 in May. My guess he is contemplating how history regards him. There is still time to pursue the serial impeachment of constitutional and war criminals Dick Cheney and George Bush. I'm hoping that we will soon see that John Conyers has dotted his 'i''s and crossed his 't's to his satisfaction, and, having gone through all the proper procedures, so history gives him credit for giving Cheney and Bush a chance to work with the system and then giving them enough rope to hang themselves.
When Conyers says "There must be some compelling reason I'm not doing it right now, perhaps he has plans that are time sensitive. Perhaps when dealing with taking down the most powerful man in the world, who is a rogue killer, torturer, liar, you don't tip your hand. Perhaps you wait until the time is right and then spring your assault. How many people do you think Bush/Cheney would, if they could get away with it, KILL, to prevent hearings? So don't be so glib and quick to condemn Mr. Conyers yet. If, by the end of the 110th congress, he's done nothing, feel free, and history will surely look poorly upon his legacy. But now, the time is far too premature.
I've written about this many times before. Investigations of Agnew led to his resignation. Impeachment hearings of Nixon, which did not stop the work of congress, led to disclosures, confessions and discoveries that led a group of Republican senators to take "THE WALK" to the whitehouse, to inform Nixon that he must resign or face their cooperation in his impeachment.
History will recapitulate this series of events. Cheney will be investigated, and in short order, develop a "medical excuse" so he gets a note from the doctor that he needs to resign. Bush will appoint a vice president who the Dems in congress can live with, one who will not run for office-- probably a senior leader, like John Warner, James Baker, or maybe Bush will take advantage of the opportunity to make a minor correction to his legacy and appoint a black, woman or latino, or a native American (Senator Akaka has introduced legislation that would give native, indigenous Hawaiians the same right as Native American Indians. )
Then, hearings will continue against Bush. Just as history has taught us with the Agnew, Nixon and Gonzales hearings, lower level appointees will testify, provide evidence, then higher level appointees and ultimately, the ugly truth will lead to Mitch McConnell leading THE WALK to the whitehouse, informing Bush that the Republican party will be demolished for decades if Bush does not resign.
But timing is VERY important. I posted this as a comment below, but I want to be sure it is seen:
There's another way to think about this. If hearings are held early, and Cheney resigns, then Bush resigns, and it's, say, May, then there's a new, squeaky clean rebublican president, representing recovery, renewal, change-- and all of a sudden, the Bush presidency is behind them, with five months to go until the election. THAT could be a problem for the Dems. The ideal timing is to start investigating Cheney in March, for him to resign in June, with a replacement confirmed by July, then hearings on Bush, that start in july, are put on hold during the summer hiatus, continued in September, with the worst, most damning testimony happening in October.