Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Impeachment revisited

So last year, in my fitful start on this blog, I wondered whether a minimum condition for impeachment could be met: Democrats retaking the House. I started reading about it again this week, and if you've paid any attention you already know it's looking much more likely. There are some close races coming up in places like Ohio and New Hampshire that might lead me to donate Democratic for the first time. I should try to engage with and support the local Georgia candidates, too; I hold grudges against each of them, but we need 'em, and they need the help. Though they're incumbents, they're running against experienced former congressmen, out thanks to redistricting if I'm not mistaken, which puts them a notch above the average challenger.

So now the question becomes more practical. Nancy Pelosi has said that in the event of a takeover, there will certainly be investigations, and if they lead to impeachment, then Democrats will consider it. Will they actually have the will and unity to do it? Would enough Republican senators join enough Democrats voting to convict? There would, of course, have to be a sustained public campaign in favor of it against whatever organized G.O.P. operation were mounted against it.

At the moment I'd like to skip over all those demanding intermediate activist steps actually requiring hard work (not least of which, repeatedly stiffening the official Democratic backbone) and notice from my armchair that for impeachment to have meaning and effectiveness, it has to include the Vice President. It's as much or more his administration as Bush's--and could there be anything more pointlessly symbolic than replacing Bush with Cheney?

Ach, it's all pointless anyway. Any Congressional investigation that would pass the fair test would take at least a year, no doubt, and at that point there's only a year left. The Senate would take a nice chunk of that to deliberate conviction--multiply it by two for condemning both the President and Vice President, in this ideal parallel world of justice--at that point, is it still worth it?


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