"...this President and his Administration must be held accountable for their misdeeds. If we in the House of Representatives, as the body charged with oversight of the executive branch, do not hold him accountable, then we have no legitimate claim to governing this country." --Bob Barr (R-GA), 11/5/97
Noble words, indeed-unfortunately, they were used to justify the impeachment of the wrong President. Congressional Republicans spent 6 years and 60 million taxpayer dollars investigating Bill Clinton, before impeaching him for lying about a personal indiscretion that had nothing to do with his official duties. That Republican hypocrisy has now been surpassed by their failure to impeach, or even investigate, George W. Bush. That is why Republicans "have no legitimate claim to governing this country" , and deserve to be voted out of office.
With Democrats in control, maybe Congress can stop worrying about flag burning, gay marriage, and tax cuts for the rich-long enough to focus on more important matters, like the long-overdue Congressional hearings on the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and some other Democratic leaders have made conciliatory noises about how they are not interested in pursuing impeachment if the Democrats were to gain control of Congress this fall. They must be joking.
An MSNBC online poll with over 300,000 responses finds that 86% of people believe that "President Bush's actions justify impeachment" (as of 8/21/06). A more scientific poll (Zogby International) found a more modest majority (52%) of respondents who "want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he wiretapped American citizens without a judge's approval." (1/16/06) This is twice the number of Americans (26%) that supported the impeachment and removal of President Clinton.
Just because the Republicans failed to do their Constitutional duty to remove a President who had become a menace to America and the world; doesn't mean the Democrats should do the same. They should start the investigations.
"And it is our highest duty today to vote for this inquiry so that if the result is there are no impeachable offenses we can move on, but if there is more to be done, then we can assure that the rule of law will not be suspended or ignored by this Congress." --Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), 10/8/98 (right words-wrong President, again)
Democratic-led hearings are not payback for the ridiculous impeachment of President Clinton. It is what the Constitution demands when a President acts as if he were above the law. It is the people's representatives fulfilling their Constitutional duty to investigate and remove a President, when necessary-just like the 93rd Congress did when Nixon came to believe, "When the president does it that means that it is not illegal."
"Compared to Spygate, Watergate was a kindergarten picnic. The Bush administration's lies, felonies, and illegalities have revealed it to be a criminal administration with a police state mentality and police state methods. Now Bush and his attorney general have gone the final step and declared Bush to be above the law. Bush aggressively mimics Hitler's claim that defense of the realm entitles him to ignore the rule of law." --Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, 1/2/06
"A President, any President, who maintains that he is above the law-and repeatedly violates the law-thereby commits high crimes and misdemeanors, the constitutional standard for impeachment and removal from office. ...President Bush has thrown down the gauntlet and virtually dared Congress to stop him from violating the law, nothing less is necessary to protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy." --Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, member of the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach President Richard Nixon, The Nation magazine, 1/11/06
I believe history will find that the Watergate hearings and the resignation of Richard Nixon was one of America's finest hours. It proved that the system worked.
"The system has thus far failed during the presidency of George W. Bush-at incalculable cost in human lives, to the American political system, to undertaking an intelligent and effective war against terror, and to the standing of the United States in parts of the world where it previously had been held in the highest regard." --Watergate hero, Carl Bernstein, Vanity Fair, 4/17/06
So: Lights...camera...action. Let the hearings begin. Subpoena witnesses, put them under oath; and see how many of them are willing to commit perjury to protect George W. Bush and his merry band of outlaws. Then, if there is any justice in the world; George W. Bush will be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, convicted by the U.S. Senate, stripped of the Presidency, and turned over to the proper authorities to stand trial for war crimes. There is no better way for America to demonstrate to the world that it is still a nation of laws, which honors its treaties, and respects the human rights of all peoples.