(This is a response to Autoegocrat at the Flypaper Theory, Bob at 55-40, and Jim Maynard (No relation) of Queer Notes, all of whom have taken issue with me for arguing against impeaching George W. Bush)
Think about a fire.
You’re not just standing there looking at a burning building, but there are people inside. People that you are uniquely in a position to save.
You can pull them out of the fire and keep it from spreading through the rest of the neighborhood. Or you can drop what you’re doing and run through the streets chasing down the guy that smells like gasoline.
What do you do?
Personally, I’m much more concerned with saving lives that are already in peril than I am in launching what would be a lengthy and ultimately fruitless legal proceeding against the vaguely human current occupant of the Oval Office.
Over the forty months we’ve been in Iraq, we’ve suffered, on average, 90 casualties a month. Now, we can prioritize and end to the war, thereby saving lives, or we can launch an investigation into the president that, if they complied with every single subpoena (And they absolutely will not), never claimed executive privilege (And they absolutely will), and every single decision from the Supreme Court regarding said privilege went our way (You’re kidding, right? We still can’t find out who was in the pre-9/11 Cheney Energy Task Force meetings thanks to his hunting buddy Scalia), and every single piece of the case broke our way, might lead to an Articles of Impeachment vote on the floor of the House of Representatives a year from now. We might even pull off a major miracle by keeping the Blue Dog Coalition from voting against the Articles of Impeachment, which would allow it to pass with a slim margin.
What happens when all that breaks our way? Not a damn thing. Because those charges are then recommended to the Senate for trial. We could uncover video of George W. Bush and Mark Foley tag teaming a little boy on top of a Satanic altar with “Property of Saddam Hussein” tattooed on his ass cheek while confessing to Foley that 9/11 was an inside job, and we are not getting a 2/3 vote in the Senate.
But hey— Let’s pretend for a moment that all of this breaks our way. The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee is a fast one (The last impeachment vote was preceded by a four year Ken Starr investigation), clocking in at a year. The House votes our way. The Senate votes our way. The votes sail through both chambers within three months of ending the investigation.
Congratulations. You have now ended the president’s term three months early.
In the meantime, soldiers are still dying in Iraq and will be for quite some time if satisfying bloodlust is more important than bringing them home.
17.8% of America’s children are living below the poverty line today. At the rate that it’s rising, you can expect that number to be closer to 18.5% by the time this would be finished. Congratulations.
Our government is failing the people that are getting maimed needlessly in Iraq by failing to provide them with adequate care once what’s left of their bodies arrives home. But that’s okay— We’ve got bigger fish to fry.
We’re moving backwards in the drive for energy independence which not only creates a security risk (Giving buckets of money to the guys that fund extremists) but breaks the back of the working class that actually drives our economy (A gallon of gas has gone up over 300% since the last minimum wage hike), but that’s okay— Because our government had more important things to do.
If you cannot find a better use of the MINIMUM fifteen months that would be required to make impeachment happen, then you’re just not thinking very hard.
Make no mistake. This president is a criminal. He and the rest of La Cosa Dubya deserve to be run out of town on rails. If we had gained Capitol Hill back two years earlier, I would not only be saying “Impeach the scum”, but I would be recommending that we try the Bush White House under RICO statutes.
But we didn’t. If the Democratic Party deserves any derision for not trying to impeach the president, it should be for not breaking away from the DLC assclowns before the 2004 cycle.
There could be no more fruitless endeavor than trying to impeach the president. They could be sitting in their offices throwing pencils into the ceiling tile of the Hart Building and that would still not be a more substantial circle jerk than launching an effort to impeach.
This is an empty gesture. A threat is not worth making if you cannot back it up, and we simply cannot.