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Top-Down Versus Bottom-Up Impeachment

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It is impossible to exaggerate the stark difference between the impeachment of President Clinton and the impending impeachment of President Bush.

There is currently no talk of impeaching President Bush or Vice President Cheney in the US House of Representatives, but there are measures moving through the state legislatures in at least three states, Washington, Vermont and New Mexico. Hopefully more states will take up similar legislation.

This grassroots movement around the country to bring law and order back to our executive branch is precisely the opposite type of proceeding from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. President Clinton's impeachment was initiated at the top levels of the Republican elite hierarchy, and pushed through the House by rich, white, ultra-conservatives without significant public support. By the time those proceedings were done, President Clinton had an approximately 70% approval rating with the public.

President Bush's current approval rating is approximately 30%, and even that hard core conservative base of 30% is very uneasy about President Bush's capabilities and proclivities. There is currently little impetus in the House of Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings, but the grass roots movement is expanding rapidly. If enough states pass joint resolutions to initiate impeachment proceedings, it may force Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to take up impeachment hearings in a serious way.

This is the big difference between the Republican and Democratic parties, Republicans are authoritarians who do things from the top down, whereas Democrats and progressives are populists and do things from the ground up. It will be a wonderful expression of our democratic society if the impeachment of Bush and Cheney are brought about by the actions of hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans who want to reclaim their country from the corporate, Republican elite.

 

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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.

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