Too many people are thinking about impeachment as an act aimed at removing the president. And it's true, that is one aspect of the impeachment process. But that's putting the cart before the horse. The most important reason to impeach is to open up hearings-- hearings that Bush is not allowed to claim presidential privilege to block subpoenas.
Dealing with the most secretive white house admin in history, it is certain that most congressionial hearings will be impeded to great extreme. We've already seen this over and over again.
The Whitehouse, Bush and Cheney are hiding from and blocking the truth on so many fronts.
We know that when aggressive hearings on any subject are held, concrete results are produced. Look at the Gonzales hearings. They worked to get rid of Gonzales and to cast much more light on attorneygate. I don't think it is a coincidence that Pete Domenici is not running for senate again. He's another victim of the hearings, or should I say, "positive result?"
Congressional hearings are the THE answer to exposing corruption, fraud and criminal and treasonous acts.
There's one problem. Bushco can block too many of the subpoenas.
Fortunately, there's a solution.
Holding impeachment hearings.
Before the congress actually acts to impeach, it holds hearings. There is one difference between usual hearings and impeachment hearings. Presidential privelege to refuse to allow testimony is not allowed.
You heard that right. The president cannot block witnesses from testifying when the hearings are about impeachment.
I'm not sure if an impeachment hearing for the vice president precludes the president from blocking testimony. But if Bush tries to do it, that would be excellent reason to include Bush in the impeachment hearings also.
There shouldn't be a hurry to vote on impeaching Bush or Cheney. There SHOULD be a hurry to start holding impeachment hearings. Before the house of representatives actually holds a vote on impeachment, it must hold hearings. This is where the findings come out. This is where we learn in detail about the abuses, the crimes, the treason that we suspect occurred.
There are so many ongoing congressional hearings that are being blocked by the Bush administration. How many of them would be opened wide if they were held in coordination with impeachment hearings? The answer is-- a whole lot.
This is a different way of thinking about impeachment-- as a process, not an outcome. The process is the aspect of impeachment that is most important in healing America. It is the process that will clearly, step-by-step, reveal the abuses and crimes, the lies and deceptions. As I've been saying for over a year (Nov. 13, 2006 Ultimately, Republicans Will Force Bush/Cheney Resignation,) hearings will start with lower level workers. They will turn over higher level power brokers who will, ultimately, to protect themselves, testify against those at the top of committed the worst offenses.
Ultimately, I believe that congress will never even have to hold an impeachment vote. Cheney, once evidence appears, will resign "for medical reasons, with a note for his doctor.The Democrats WILL have to approve a VP replacement, proposed by Bush. The Republicans will make sure Bush does not appoint an intolerable one. And Bush will not appoint a presidential candidate. He'll appoint a senior statesman, perhaps John Warner or James Baker, or even his father, George Herbert Walker Bush. Or he may go for an appointment that will give him a place in history that is positive-- by appointing a woman, a black or a Latino.
Next , as I wrote, over a year ago, the Republicans will take "THE WALK" to the Whitehouse, just as they did with Dick Nixon, and demand that Bush resign. No vote, just an exit on a helicopter.