By taking impeachment "off the table," Nancy Pelosi and John Conyers may have made partisan sense during the run-up to the November 2006 midterm election -- the Dems didn't want to scare away any wavering Republicans. Perhaps it even made sense in the first few months of their new majority status in Congress. But it's now mid-2007 and a whole lot of awful, fetid water has flowed under the political bridge in the interim.
It's long past time for Dem leaders to re-think their strategy on this issue, and to use the great leverage their majority status now conveys -- much of that leverage inadvertently supplied by Bush and Cheney themselves -- to help protect the American people from the Administration's dangerous policies.
The old issues are still there and together would make up formidable reasons to begin impeachment hearings in the House. But some or all of those highly-publicized issues (lying to take the country to war, U.S. attorneys scandal cover-up, torture as state policy, widespread domestic spying without court warrants, et al.) might not fly with many Republicans. They can choose to believe that the Administration has the right to be wrong in its policies but are not generally engaged in anything that would rise to the "high crimes and misdemeanors" required for impeachment.
What I'm proposing here is that the Democrats stick to one simple yet vastly important, impeachment charge that might well garner enormous support from Republicans and Dems alike: that CheneyBush have endangered U.S. national security in a wide variety of ways, and thus have violated their oaths of office to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," and thus the citizens of these United States. Since CheneyBush are not permitted to run for another term, impeachment is the only constitutional form of accountability for such criminal behavior.
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