He's already essentially said the old Nixon line, "I am not a crook."
And like Nixon, he is one.
It is becoming increasingly evident not just to liberals but to honest conservatives that unless this president who thinks he's a king is called to account on this and other violations of the Constitution, those "inalienable" rights we've always claimed as a birthright will have been alienated. That means gone the modern vernacular.
Today, the Washington Times, the Fox News of the print world, weighed in with a story in its magazine that claimed the White House is gearing up for an impeachment battle, predicting that even in the current Republican House, there will be an effort to impeach Bush over the NSA spying. The same article said the White House is worried about losing in the Judiciary Committee on that count, but thinks it can manage to get a tie vote.
I find that speculation a bit unlikely at this point, but who knows? The blatant unconstitutionality of this particular presidential transgression, and the fact that he was caught red-handed and had to admit to it, makes it what George Tenet would call a "slam dunk" case.
In a way, though, it would be unfortunate, because other presidential crimes are much worse--his use of 500 "signing documents" to ignore acts of Congress (no wonder the guy never vetoes bills!), his lying to get the country into a war of agression that is bleeding the nation and its youth, his multiple war crimes and his "crime against peace," his gross negligence in not responding to the Katrina disaster or the looming global warming threat...
The list goes on and on. It would be a tragedy if this Constitutional outlaw ended up being brought up just on a charge of illegal spying by a Republican Judiciary Committee, and then battled that one charge to an almost certain win in the full House, and that was the end of it.
Better, I think, to let the charges keep growing through the 2006 campaign year, and then hit him with all of them at once.
Still, it's nice to see the president starting to squirm.
US Impeachment Campaign is Part of a Larger Crisis of Western Democracy
Meeting with a group of Italian and US expat peace activists while staying briefly in Rome, and discussing the impeachment issue, it became clear that it is not just the U.S. that is being led by a manipulative, dishonest, and criminally dangerous man.
The same situation exists in Italy, and in the U.K. and a number of other Western democracies as well.
Although the mechanisms for gaining and clinging to power vary from country to country--in the U.S. it is corporate concentration and conglomerization in the media, for example, whereas in Italy is it outright ownership of the most of the media by the prime minister--the result is the same: governments that are operating against the interests of their people, that enter into wars despite majority opposition to war, and that are overseeing the destruction of domestic economies while enriching the elite.
One thing that was clear was that new ways need to be found to break out of the strangle-hold these regimes have on the media.
There was consideable pessimism expressed at the Rome gathering about the likelihood of defeating the imperialist agenda of the U.S., given its enormous military power, but as I pointed out, we were meeting in a city that was once the capital of a state that dominated the known world, and that collapsed, a hollow shell, precisely because it over-extended itself in its imperial ambitions.