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700 Days... or LESS

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Barring the most horrible of (not quite unforeseen) possibilities, George W. Bush will sit in the role of President of the United States and Richard B. Cheney will sit in the role of Vice-President for 700 more days, AT MOST. At least that's what my "BackwardsBush Countdown Calendar" tells me. And I delight in watching it count away the hours, minutes and seconds as that number will soon be even less.

And thinking about that inevitable moment of departure of the Rethuglican scum that has controlled our executive branch so ruthlessly and with such evil intent, two words come to mind. The obvious one that is being much discussed is "impeachment," and the second one, that I am led inexorably to from the first, is "pardons."

Many of the "insiders" and supporters of the Democratic Party insist that impeachment is the wrong strategy to take, NO MATTER WHAT CRIMES AND VILE ACTS ARE UNCOVERED BY THE ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS. They preach that progressives and those who support the Constitution of the United States (no Republicans need apply, as continued membership in that party condones the actions of those set upon destruction of that magnificent document and the rights and rules it prescribes) should spend their time working to elect a Democratic President, and not worry about the lame ducks of Bush and Cheney and their neo-con clan.

Unfortunately, if Bush is allowed to exit office gracefully in January of 2009, you can be assured that one of his last criminal acts will be to issue a massive slate of Presidential Pardons at the last minute to all of his co-conspirators. Knowing the proclivity of his Attorney General to stretch the law, and his knowledge of many partisan (and criminal) friends on the Supreme Court, it would not even surprise me if he were to make these "blanket" (i.e. not crime-specific) pardons, and if he might not even attempt the never-before-tried act of PARDONING HIMSELF. Or, perhaps, he will simply wait until a few moments before the inauguration of the next POTUS and then pardon Cheney, resign, and have Cheney assume the Presidency and pardon him. With these criminals who actually believe that "the constitution is just a piece of paper" and who would throw out human rights that have been granted in civilized societies for hundreds of years, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. The bottom line, is that without impeachment, pardons are the unavoidable result.

And pardons means that even if they do not control the executive branch from 2009 to 2011, they will still be around. Just as Rumsfeld and Cheney were around before, all of these criminals will get to be around AGAIN if they are not properly prosecuted and driven from public life once and for all.

Given the likelihood that this criminal conspiracy will attempt ways to protect themselves from future prosecution, I believe that impeachment is necessary. Not out of vengeance or the even the desire to make it clear that CRIMES HAVE CONSEQUENCES; not to re-establish a more practical and reasonable balance of power between the executive branch and the legislative; but simply to assure that proper accountability is POSSIBLE.

So, while I will happily count down the next 700 days, I really think it needs to be a few hundred less.

 

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Charlie Levenson is a writer and activist in Portland, Oregon. In addition to serving as the Manager of Electronic Communications for a social/athletic club in Portland, he instructs in Digital Media at Portland State University, consults on (more...)
 

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I quit the Democrats. Call me when there's something better.

700 Days... or LESS