There is a dramatic and growing split between rank and file Democrats (particularly those of an activist bent such as those on DKos or DU) and Democratic politicians in Washington who have basically placed Impeachment "Off the Table." Many Democrats have been frustrated and even outraged by this - but have they truly listened to the reasons why?
From the Blogger Conference Call
Nancy Pelosi: I made a decision a few years ago, or at least one year ago, that impeachment was something that we could not be successful with and that would take up the time we needed to do some positive things to establish a record of our priorities and their short-comings,
Pelosi statement here alludes to a point of mine, which bears repeating.
Impeachment and Removal, though frankly necessary, is not yet a possibility except as a pointless exercise in vainglory. Just as failed subpoenas have further emboldened the rampant lawlessness of this Presidency, a failed Impeachment Vote or even a failure to Remove in the Senate would make Bush nigh unto a God. All powerful. Unstoppable.
Senator Feingold, who at one point stood virtually alone on the issue of Censure, has also tamped down Impeachment Expectations in his own DKos Diary
I believe that the President and Vice President may well have committed impeachable offenses. But with so many important issues facing this country and so much work to be done, I am concerned about the great deal of time multiple impeachment trials would take away from the Congress working on the problems of the country. The time it would take for the House to consider articles of impeachment, and for the Senate to conduct multiple trials, would make it very difficult, if not impossible, for Congress to do what it was elected to do – end the war and address some of the other terrible mistakes this Administration has made over the past six and a half years.
As could be expected Feingold's position was not well received.
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold wrote a diary on this site recently...a smoke screen for why he was being a wimp and not taking the will of the people with him when he had to vote on the get-out-of-Iraq bill. He wanted HIS cake and to eat it, too.
Some have pointed out that Feingold stood shoulder to shoulder with Republicans intent on Impeaching Bill Clinton.
At issue was a motion by Senator Robert Byrd (D - W.V.) to dismiss all charges against the President. The vote was 44 to 56. 44 Democrats voted yes. 55 Republicans and one Democrat voted no.
55 Republicans. And one Democrat. Just one. Russ Feingold.
Regardless of whether you feel that Feingold is either gutless or some form of hypocrite, it should be noted that he does have a point when he essentially says there are bigger fish to fry than Bush.
There is for example, The War Occupation.
This week the Senate staged a dramatic All-Nighter in an attempt to break a Republican Filibuster over an Iraq Redeployment Timetable. Despite several hints that Republicans such as Pete Dominici, George Voinovich, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Hagel and Richard Lugar just might be willing to finally budge and break with the President on Iraq - only Senators Snowe, Hagel, Susan Collins and Gordon Smith actually did by voting to end the Filibuster against Levin-Reed.
(It should also be noted that the only Democrat voting against ending the Filibuster - was Harry Reid for procedural reasons so that he could bring the measure up again in the future. And of course, Lieberman.)