Being a responsible citizen has its ups and downs, but the downs seem to predominate. The forces of evil are so rich and powerful that they control public discourse and direct public policy for long periods until, suddenly and ever so briefly, there's a hint of accountability, and that's when citizenship pays off.
We may be in one of those times now. For the thugs who lead us, this ultra-hot summer is shaping up as a meltdown. Richard Cheney, a vice president who also functions as the president's insurance policy against impeachment and removal, is on the brink of impeachment himself. William Gates, the war secretary, has been convinced by the army that our military adventure in Iraq is over. Attorney general Alberto Gonzales, who transformed federal law enforcement into a racketeering scheme, is contemplating a retirement in prison. White House officials are abandoning the ship of state like rats escaping a sinking vessel, as former congressional allies cut and run. Main Street, Crawford, Texas, is dead, and the town's most prominent resident can't show up there or anywhere (except possibly Albania) without confronting protest.
We had an impeachment summer in Connecticut a few years back. Our third-term governor, a known liar and crook from day one, finally got caught red-handed taking bribes from state contractors. Republicans and Democrats alike had covered John Rowland's butt for years (they all feed at the same trough), but a Hartford Courant reporter caught the governor in a donated hot tub, and he stayed up to his neck in hot water until he quit and we put him in jail for a little while. We suspect today that he escaped serious prison time because of his political connections to the White House, but he did abide for several months in a cell. He's a highly-paid motivational speaker now, but we spent a productive and satisfying summer watching his life turn to garbage.
This could be the summer of retribution for Rowland's benefactors in the White House. Big crowds will gather in Washington on July 23 to demand Cheney's ouster, and once he's gone, there's nothing to deter us from removing Bush. As we've been reminded over and over, impeachment is a political act and not an act of law enforcement. If that's true, Cheney's fate is sealed. The political momentum for his removal is irresistible and there's no ebb in sight. Bush will unravel in quick succession.