WE are now seeing the same reaction that followed the Nixon era. As the evidence mounted about Nixon's high crimes and misdemeanors the call for impeachment grew from a murmur to a roar heard round the country. Article II Section 2 of the Constitution gives the President of the United States the power of "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment." Nixon knew that if he was impeached, he would be tried for his crimes with no possibility of pardon. A deal was cut, he resigned and was pardoned for his high crimes and misdemeanors and allowed to go his way. One of the arguments at the time was that the nation had gone through a time of great travail and it was time to move on. Some thought an impeachment and trial would denigrate the presidency.
Nothing could have denigrated the office of the President more than letting a liar; thief and crook walk away from his crimes, unpunished. That sent a signal that any well placed two-bit crook could gain the office of the President, do anything he wanted, then walk away with no consequences. Look at what has happened since.
The legislation punched through by Bush and his minions has gutted the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights, which is the list of the Inalienable Rights of Man that were to be forever protected by this government, so long as it should exist. The treasury of the United States, the collective wealth of the people, has been stripped away and given to a wealthy and powerful few at the expense and impoverishment of the many. The Congress has the sole right to declare war and that has been usurped by the Executive.
We have been involved in a war and occupation of a foreign sovereign nation which has cost us over two thousand lives, many billions of dollars, the Iraqis over a half million lives and has left their nation in ruins, all based on lies and cooked intelligence. Not to mention Afghanistan, which has been eating armies since the time of Alexander. New Orleans and the surrounding area is still a ruin after Katrina, despite millions in no-bid contracts to Bush Gang cronies, most of which, like Iraq restoration contracts to some of the same companies, has gone missing, unaccountable.
What is needed today is not revenge, but justice. The badly tattered Constitution of the United States and its almost totally destroyed Bill of Rights must be restored, intact and functioning to the halls of government. To do this properly, the rules and laws of the Constitution must be enacted and again carried out. This requires impeachment of the Bush Gang and, if found guilty, removal from office and remanded for trial. To go back to business as usual, leaving such a miscreant and his cronies in office, to continue to cover their tracks and do more harm for another two years is an act of moral cowardice that could well destroy what is left of our Constitutional government.
When you consider that the President's oath of office is, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." And then remember that, when one of Bush's staff suggested that one of his acts might be unconstitutional, he replied in a rage, "Stop shoving the Constitution in my face! It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" That, in itself, should provide sufficient grounds for impeachment.
Since 2000, when the Supreme Court took the election out of the hands of We the People, appointing a president by a 5-4 majority, the Constitution has been slowly, but steadily eroded. No people in history have ever received back the freedoms that they have once given up to entrenched authority, except by bloody revolution.
This is a time to break that losing streak and invoke our own Constitution to provide the people redress of grievances and restore our nation to health. To repair the damage done to the United States by this lawless bunch is going to require enormous effort and sacrifice over many years. It will be possible only if We the People start once again using our Constitution as the rule and guide of our actions, reaffirming the Rights of Man and bringing justice and the rule of law back to the nation.
Impeachment is the first step toward this goal. Let us not let it slip away yet again and leave chaos in its wake. A successful impeachment will serve notice to all that the government of the United States is no longer up for grabs; that those who wish to usurp the power of the Constitution and use public office for personal gain will face justice under that Constitution.
Perhaps this will once again give rise to true statesmen in office rather than power seekers. If our lawmakers realize that the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States means what it says and refers to them, then perhaps the legions of lobbyists seeking votes for sale to the highest bidder will begin to dry up. Then, We the People will once again have a nation to be proud of, that will be looked up to once again by the world, not for having a preponderance of weapons of mass destruction and a willingness to use them, but as a nation of law and respect for the Rights of Man and the environment everywhere, but more especially at home.
Stephen M. Osborn is a freelance writer living on Camano Island in the Pacific Northwest. He is a columnist for the Populist Party website and has had a number of articles published internationally. He is an "Atomic Vet." (Operation (more...)