Monday, July 30, 2007

Fredo's Impeachment (Thank you Jay Inslee)

About time. (from Think Progress):

Inslee (D-WA) is introducing legislation that would require the House Judiciary
Committee and the House of Representatives to begin an impeachment investigation into Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, in the wake of his damaging testimony last week.

While these aren't articles of impeachment or anything, they would require the House to pursue an investigation as to whether or not they are necessary. Ol' Fredo seems pretty deserving.

The fact that Gonzales has survived this long is pretty pathetic. It's about time Congress started flexing some serious muscle.


When it comes to impeaching Bush or Cheney, I think I am of like mind with Josh Marshall.
I've always been against the movement to impeach President Bush. I take this
position not because he hasn't done plenty to merit it. My reasons are
practical. Minor reasons are that it's late in the president's term and that I
think impeachment itself is toxic to our political system -- though it can be
less toxic than the high officials thrown from office. My key reason, though, is
that Congress at present can't even get to the relatively low threshold of votes
required to force the president's hand on Iraq. So to use an analogy which for
whatever reason springs readily to my mind at this point in my life, coming out
for impeachment under present circumstances is like being so frustrated that you
can't crawl that you come out for walking. In various ways it seems to elevate
psychic satisfactions above progress on changing a series of policies that are
doing daily and almost vast damage to our country. Find me seventeen Republican
senators who are going to convict President Bush in a senate trial.

I know it's important to stick to one's convictions, but I don't think a Bush/Cheney impeachment is practical, and unless the House moves forward with 67 Senators in support, it will be viewed as a partisan move and will, I think, hurt Democrats in the long run. More importantly, though, as Marshall points out, impeachments are toxic and the reasons for drafting such articles had better be pretty damn explicit, otherwise it's just another partisan move which does nothing to strengthen Congressional institutions (which is, I believe, the point of impeachment proceedings). When it comes to Gonzales, though, I think the case is much stronger, and support in the Senate looks as though it might follow through. Also, it's just damn prudent; Gonzales has lost the confidence of the Senate, and the public more generally, and it looks like he's perjured himself and crippled the efficacy of the Justice Department. It seems to me, then, that impeachment in his case has strong legal and normative backing.