Saturday, July 2, 2005


So some of the more strident voices on the left have been calling for Bush's impeachment for a while now. After only a little thought, I initially dismissed these ideas as pointless pipe dreams. It doesn't matter in the least what this President might deserve; politically, Congress is Republican, and they'll remain so until 2008. Coverage like Salon's left me yawning; I already knew this, I thought, I wish people would stop wasting their voices on it.

However, Robert Parry's latest article (not to mention Zogby's poll) led me to rethink this. Okay, I thought. If an impeachment campaign would successfully support and mesh with recognizably worthwhile projects, and we decide to wax optimistic--what would it take to make it real?

In my opinion, an impeachment could only succeed if two unlikely conditions are met: the Democrats regain control of the House in 2006 and they gain bipartisan support for impeachment. This of course would be most crucial in the Senate, since if we remain the slightest bit realistic, we write off the Democrats regaining the Senate in 2006, let alone winning a pie-in-the-sky unified two-thirds majority.

I didn't find anybody doing a systematic page on the 2006 House contests yet, so I did some research of my own, in which I found the Swing State Project the most helpful. Assuming the Democrats lose no seats, I think I've found a minimum of 15 Republican seats they should try to take. Many of these at the moment appear hopeless, but at least a few are already competitive.

A few I have some hope for:

California, Duke Cunningham v. Democrat
Colorado, Rick O'Donnell v. Ed Perlmutter or Peggy Lamm for an open seat, and Marilyn Musgrave v. Democrat
Illinois, Henry Hyde v. Christine Cegelis
Pennsylvania, Don Sherwood v. Greg Skrepenak or Chris Carney
Texas, Tom DeLay v. Nick Lampson

A few I think should be contested:

California, Richard Pombo v. Democrat, and open seat of Chris Cox
Connecticut, 3 moderate Republicans, including Nancy Johnson v. Christopher Murphy or J. Paul Vance, Jr.
Florida, Republican v. Les Miller for open seat
New York, Vito Fossella v. Democrat
Ohio, Jean Schmidt v. Paul Hackett for an open seat (Aug. 2 special election)
Washington, Doc Hastings v. Democrat

The Democratic leadership has already announced a nationally themed campaign, running on broad ethical violations by the governing GOP and trying to tie local candidates to national leaders, especially Majority Leader Tom DeLay. I think this could be potentially profitable--almost all of the Republicans mentioned above, and a number more beside, have specific allegations of corruption against them, many tying directly back to people like DeLay--as long, of course, that local conditions are given their proper, primary place. However, I think it ought to be accompanied by positive Democratic steps in the direction of ethical reform: things like exhaustive self-audits to ensure complete compliance, proposing and implementing where possible more reforms to House ethics procedures and regulations, etc. Rhetorically, Democrats should draw the link between ethics and values; remember, seize ground for yourself as the "party of values"?

I guess a few other things happened lately too; did I hear that Justice O'Connor touched off the expected Court confirmation war? ;-) (Cagey of her, wasn't it. Everybody was watching Rehnquist, and when no news had come by Wednesday, we all started to think there wouldn't be any. Now, it's already on: the ad campaigns, the supporter turn-out emails, a march!...) Oh, and that thing about some reliable reporters and lawyers blabbing prematurely that the notes of Time magazine journalist Cooper name Karl Rove as the Valerie Plame leaker. It's going to be a long, hot summer.

In the under the radar department, the day the Supreme Court found in New London's favor for expanded eminent domain, an activist developer filed to take possession of Justice Souter's home; and in an encouraging development, Bush's latest primetime address appears to have been quietly postponed from Friday June 24 to Tuesday June 28 because of networks' noncompliance, with most of them further leaving the White House hanging on their decisions whether to broadcast Tuesday. A saucy move and a promising sign!


Post a Comment

<< Home