For those puzzled by Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi's taking impeachment/ouster of President Bush and Vice President Cheney "off the table" of the U.S. House, it might be instructive to read the reasons given Nov. 28 by a House member "Oregon's Earl Blumenauer" to me, a constituent in the state's bluest district where he won re-election by 74%. His views undoubtedly are shared by many House colleagues and need to be countered right now.
Last summer, his opposition to impeachment was that: 1) Republicans controlled the House; 2) to get 67 Senate votes for ouster would be impossible. But after Nov. 7's midterm elections: 1) Democrats now control the House AND Senate; and 2) Republican senators fleeing Bush and Cheney may provide those 70+ votes for ouster within the first three or four months of 2007 (Clinton proceedings took three months). All proposed investigations could be encapsulated in those proceedings to save time, money, effort
It's a given that: 1) Congressional business goes on as usual concurrently with impeachment proceedings; 2) the Senate held trials for both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (both saved by one vote); 3) the Bush regime still has 25 months to totally topple the Constitution and our system of government before it is "on its way out the door"; 4) impeachment will scarcely distract Americans on the Constitutional grounds for which they'll be tried (1st, 2d, 4th, 6th Amendments; Article I, Sections 7, 8, 9; Article III, Section 2); 5) Blumenauer and all in Congress will be swearing an oath to preserve, defend, and defend the Constitution from those violations that set future precedent for the divine right of kings.
Here's Blumenauer's current reasons why he opposes impeachment/ouster-"plus his email address should you wish to respond to him or any other Congressional member who might share his view:
Dear Dr. Ellis:
Thank you for contacting me with your deep concerns about this administrations behavior. I have heard from a number of people who are ready for this president to be censured, even impeached. Certainly having endured the travesty of the Republican impeachment of Clinton, I can understand and sympathize with that point of view.
There are few people who worked harder in the 2004 election for George Bush not to be president. I traveled more miles, raised more money, gave more speeches, and did more political organizing than I think anyone else in Oregon.
I truly believe the country deserves better than what George Bush is providing, and I am committed to finding a new direction here in Congress. Our Democratic leaders made clear, as did virtually all our new successful candidates, that we were running to regain control of Congress and change the direction of the country.
While we will hold the president, vice president, and their administration accountable, we will not indulge in an impeachment process for an administration on its way out the door.
The practical matter is that given the rules of the Senate, there is no way that an impeachment process would lead to the removal of the President or Vice President. Instead, it would create a media circus that would detract from our mission of reversing the policies (both domestic and international) of what the public continues to see as a failing presidency.
While there is a part of me that would love to see this President publicly admonished by the Congress, I feel the American people have done that in terms of their votes in the 2006 elections.
If I were Karl Rove I would like nothing better than an impeachment process that wouldn't go anywhere to distract people from the very real failures of this administration in Iraq, with the economy, with the environment, with the ethics of this administration, and with civil liberties.
Member of Congress (Oregon, 3d District)
For more information on my work in Congress and to sign up to receive electronic updates about these and other matters, please visit my website at http://blumenauer.house.gov.