I Am Not a Crook?

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The ACLU has a full page ad in the New York Times today comparing President Bush to Richard Nixon and calling for a congressional investigation into the NSA wiretap program.

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  1. aclu only stick for rights of criminals so if bush is a criminal why arent they backing his rights up,, you fucked up wet back take your cocroaches and 12 kids a ten cars and go back to fox cunt

  2. Wow, two threads in a row where the first post is a nut.

  3. Except for when he’s bathing, I’m pretty sure Julain’s back is dry.

  4. I’m also pretty sure his name is spelled “Julian.”

    More coffee for me.

  5. I bet those windmills are trembling now!

  6. And now my comment makes no sense, because a thread was inserted between this one and Kerry Howley’s textile thread (no pun intended).

  7. No matter, Thoreau; you made a hell of a lot more sense than the guy who posted before you.

    Did somebody turn over a rock? Where are all these creepy-crawly people coming from, anyway?

  8. I found the Clinton impeachment hearings very entertaining, so I am all for another round. Except this time it might be about something important. I look forward to the bit when all the things the Republicans said during Willie’s trial get thrown back in their faces. I bet there’ll be some real juicy ones.

    Let me be the first: What did the President know, and when did he know it?

  9. He lied to the American people and broke the law.

    That’s the motto? You want to take down a sitting president with that? You’re kidding right. I can list the honest law-abiders elected to office on no fingers. Nixon fell because of the cover-up. Bush is proud of his law-breaking.

    I still say Dubya and his cronies should stand trial for war-crimes over the torture thing.

  10. les is ugly … 12 kids a ten cars …

    Is it code?

  11. My guess is that this whole thing will prove to be a tempest in a teapot.Outside of the ACLU,Congress,a few dozen pundits and blog addicts no one really gives a shit.Recent polls show a decided lack of interest by a large majority of respondents.

  12. The ACLU is sure keen to get Republicans elected this fall.

    Only Karl Rove would have the Democrats adopt a platform based on the dual pillars of impeachment/retreat from Iraq.

  13. I’m appalled at the whole NSA business, too, but I don’t think it’s really an impeachable offense (which is what the ad implies). At least, not from what we’ve heard so far. What the president can do in national security areas is a huge gray area. It shouldn’t be so gray, but it is. Part of the reason for that may be that none of the branches wants to provoke a constitutional crisis by challenging presidential perogatives (note that even presidents often back down a bit when outside challenges to their authority get too strong).

    Just to forestall the usual complaints about the ACLU, I have to acknowledge that while I agree with the spirit of the ad, I’m a little disappointed at the obvious partisan tone to what they’re doing. Clinton asserted similar “rights”, and I don’t recall the same level of attack. Oh, well, maybe it’s not so much partisan as a heightened concern about civil liberties issues since 9/11 (not that the ACLU doesn’t lean quite a bit to the left, whatever its motives here may be).

    All of that said, I agree that Congress should take a close look at what’s going on. If they don’t like it and upon further investigation decide that the president’s actions have no legal basis, then impeachment becomes a possibility. Though I imagine that the more likely (and probably more appropriate) course would be for the president to back down. Like I said before, that’s how these issues usually get “resolved”, which, of course, means that the matter isn’t legally resolved at all. I, for one, am not pleased that any president can assert such broad authority on such a tenuous basis, and I’d like Congress to do something (maybe even propose to amend the Consitution) to more clearly define the limits on presidential powers.

    Of course, the less practical-minded libertarian in me thinks that presidents should be impeached for anything remotely violating the Constitution or showing what might be called “moral turpitude” in a different setting. Which is why I didn’t think impeaching Clinton was so wrong, and why I wouldn’t spill any tears if Bush were to get impeached.

  14. I found the Clinton impeachment hearings very entertaining, so I am all for another round. Except this time it might be about something important. I look forward to the bit when all the things the Republicans said during Willie’s trial get thrown back in their faces. I bet there’ll be some real juicy ones.

    Maybe we’ll see impeachment proceedings if the Democrats get a majority in the 2006 elections; otherwise, I think the patriotic Republicans currently in office will put party loyalty over petty matters like the law, the Constitution, or the chances of our country’s avoiding dictatorship in the future.

    Remember the story of King Solomon and the two women who argued over a baby? Solomon offered to cut the baby in half and give one half to each woman. The real mother said “No, I’d rather you give the baby to the other woman.” But the false mother was more than willing to go along with Solomon’s proposal.

    The modern GOP would agree to cut the baby in half, too. Better to destroy the country than see their rivals in charge of it.

  15. Why didn’t they just buy an editorial?

  16. “The modern GOP would agree to cut the baby in half, too. Better to destroy the country than see their rivals in charge of it”

    but of course jennifer believed the little red book story too

  17. Ron,
    I don’t think anyone can just walk off the street and buy an op-ed. You have to throw in some exclusive access to the halls of power.

  18. Good one, Ron.

    Jennifer, I don’t see the GOP as any more–or less–partisan than the Democrats. “The best interests of the country be damned so long as we stay in power” is a great slogan for either party. The abuses of authority inherent in our system stink just the same no matter who is in charge.

  19. I agree, Pro Libertate. I’m not saying the Democrats would be any better if it were a Democratic President shitting all over the Constitution, but for now the GOP is the party in power, so they’re the ones who need to take responsibility for what’s going wrong.

    But they won’t. The party of small and limited government would rather vastly expand the size and scope of government than admit the possibility of wrongdoing from one of their own.

  20. “What the president can do in national security areas is a huge gray area.”

    Not nearly as grey as people insist on making it. There’s a relatively straightforward principle of constitutional construction that somehow everyone forgets in this context: where there is a conflict between an amendment and the original text of the Constitution, the amendment is presumed to control, since Congress and the states enacted the amendment with knowledge of the original text. (Equally, where there is a conflict between two amendments, the later controls.) Thus, even if the generic “commander-in-chief” language can be read to include warrantless searches of persons living in the United States, the 4th and 5th Amendments would supersede it.

  21. The modern GOP would agree to cut the baby in half, too. Better to destroy the country than see their rivals in charge of it.

    Oh, dear, this is, without a doubt, the funniest thing I’ve read all month! We’ve got a “loyal opposition” party lead by a group who are doing everything they can to make the US lose just so they can embarrass the party in power, and yet you say it’s the party in power that is the one hellbent on destroying the nation.

    Madam, you are an idiot.

  22. We’ve got a “loyal opposition” party lead by a group who are doing everything they can to make the US lose just so they can embarrass the party in power, and yet you say it’s the party in power that is the one hellbent on destroying the nation. Madam, you are an idiot.

    If the Republican-led Congress takes the President to task for his abuses of power, then you are absolutely right, and it was foolish of me to think they would put party loyalty over the best interests of the country.

    Unless and until that happens, Sir, you are a partisan hack.

  23. We’ve got a “loyal opposition” party lead by a group who are doing everything they can to make the US lose just so they can embarrass the party in power, and yet you say it’s the party in power that is the one hellbent on destroying the nation.

    Here’s the challenge, Bob: for every example you can come up with of Dems trying to make the US lose the Iraq war or the war on terror (they are 2 different things after all), I will come up with 5 examples of serious harm the Bush administration has done to this country. Ready…..Go!

  24. I hate to rain on all the high-minded rhetoric here about national interests and protecting the Constitution, but impeachment is all about politics. What’s more, that’s how the Framers intended it to be.

    Andrew Johnson’s impeachment was purely political. So was Bill Clinton’s. And if it happens, George Bush’s will be, too.

    That’s why the articles of impeachment are initiated in the House and require only a simple majority to pass, while the actual trial occurs in the Senate and requires a two-thirds majority to “convict”.

    The Framers wanted to make it easy for the people, through their direct representatives, to send a message to the President about his behavior, but to actually remove him would require the consent of the States. And the President would have to be obviously guilty of really bad behavior for that to happen, which is why it hasn’t ever happened in our nation’s history.

  25. Did somebody turn over a rock? Where are all these creepy-crawly people coming from, anyway?

    Link from Freep? Malkin? NRO?

    Just occurred to me that, just as the upside of the eclecticism of libertarian beliefs (“eclectic” != inconsistent) is the ability to engage both Dems and Reps in conversation, the downside is sometimes the crazies want to talk to you.

  26. Captain Holly,
    You are absolutely right, but when can we start impeaching? Soon I hope.

  27. If we do impeach Bush for authorizing the NSA wiretaps, do we also indict everyone who was in on the conspiracy? i.e. all of the congressional leaders who were told about it over the existence of the program.

    What about past presidents who took similar actions? Has the statute of limitations expired on Clinton and carter or can they be indicted as well?

  28. What about past presidents who took similar actions? Has the statute of limitations expired on Clinton and carter or can they be indicted as well?

    The Democrats did it too! The Democrats did it too! Stop criticizing Bush for what he did, since the Democrats did it too!

    I’d be quite happy to see everyone involved with this mess kicked out and thrown in jail. I don’t give a damn what political party they belong to.

  29. Ruthless:

    As soon as Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as Speaker of the House, if that ever happens.

    If it does, then the Democrats will have every right to pass articles of impeachment. It would be political suicide and go nowhere in the Senate(Hillary will lead the charge against it) but that’s how the system works.

  30. If Bill Clinton did something then it must be OK.

    You guys ever try using that line on your wives? “Look, honey, even Bill Clinton did it!”

  31. We’ve got a “loyal opposition” party lead by a group who are doing everything they can to make the US lose . . .

    1. Please name 10 office-holding Democrats who are “trying to make the US lose,” and be very, very specific about what the US “losing” entails.

    2. What do you suppose this party that doesn’t currently control any branch of the Federal government, and thus has absolutely no power to affect the conduct of the war in Iraq or anywhere else, is capable of doing?

  32. but to actually remove him would require the consent of the States.

    Another unintended consequence of the Seventeenth amendment.

  33. As much as I want W impeached, & as much as I think he should be, & hope he is found guilty, & must resign, in shame, have you looked at the sucession list after W? 2)Chaney 3)Hastert 4)Ted Stevens 5)Condi 6)John Snow 7)Rummy 8)Al Gonzales… the list only gets worse.
    Do we really think impeachment will solve the Republican problem in the executive branch? If W is sucessfully removed, we’ll be fighting Syria, Iran, & Chechen rebels, plus whatever any other group Cheney deems subversive within several weeks of the transition. Wait, doesn’t that include everyone, except, Cheney & Rummy?
    I personally yearned for impeachment, till I found out who would follow in his place, & his place, & his place…

  34. It seems to me that the GOP, depending on how things go and what facts turn up, might have an incentive to dump Bush. If his poll numbers continue to drop he isn’t going to do the GOP any good in 2008, so dump his dead weight now and then you can say on the campaign trail that you stood up for the rule of law and set aside politics for the good of the country. People just love that crap.

  35. Camus, I see what you’re saying. (Although I think a lot of people on that list need to be found criminally responsible, too.) The problem is, your comment is very similar in nature to the people who think “I will only ever vote for a Republican or Democrat, not a third-party candidate, since that would be wasting my vote; best to stick with the guy who has a chance of winning.”

    We’ve gotten ourselves into enough messes via the attitude “Instead of doing what is right, we should do what is politically convenient.”

    Or maybe this is a better analogy: remember when we couldn’t go three days without hearing yet ANOTHER story of how corrupt the LAPD was? Imagine saying “People who have been screwed by the LAPD shouldn’t be able to sue, because that only increases the tax burden of the already-oppressed Angelenos.” True, it does raise their burden, but letting people in power be unaccountable for abuses is no solution.

  36. Nancy Pelosi-Speaker of the House-pardon me while I puke

  37. You guys ever try using that line on your wives? “Look, honey, even Bill Clinton did it!”

    If I mentioned Bill Clinton to my wife she would get even more suspicious…

  38. Ethan:

    Bush’s poll numbers are actually rising lately, and considering polls that show solid majorities of Americans don’t think the NSA wiretaps are a big deal, this recent brouhaha will probably actually help him.

    That’s why I believe any talk of impeachment over this by the Democrats is manna from Heaven to the Karl Rove.

  39. Capt. Holly –

    The only poll I’ve seen on the wiretaps just asks if they should be allowed, not whether they should be allowed on anyone the President decides without any possibility of Congressional or judicial control or review.

    See here:
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_12/007878.php

    Ted

  40. SR, sure, but all of the amendments you’re referring to have been in effect all along. All of the presidential actions, all of the laws, and all of the Supreme Court rulings have happened since then. So if there’s some uncertainty about what a president can do in national security and foreign affairs, it’s part of our system, like it or not.

    Don’t get me wrong–I get annoyed when people start talking about implied powers not mentioned in the Constitution. There’s a little wiggle room for such assertions that I accept, but I do not buy into the kind of powers the federal government has claimed since the adoption of the Constitution (for the most part, anyway). An expansive view of Constitutional protections makes sense from the civil liberties perspective (the Constitution’s not intended to limit liberties except insofar as it does so in specific grants of authority to the federal government), but it doesn’t make sense from the political powers perspective. After all, the document’s principal purpose is to set out and limit the powers of the government.

  41. aclu only stick for rights of criminals so if bush is a criminal why arent they backing his rights up,, you fucked up wet back take your cocroaches and 12 kids a ten cars and go back to fox cunt

    Comment by: bill at December 29, 2005 09:43 AM

    BIll Frist, perhaps?

  42. I personally yearned for impeachment, till I found out who would follow in his place, & his place, & his place…

    I know what you mean. My personal pleasure at watching the Republicans v Clinton follies was dampened by the realization tha Al Gore might become prezidink.

  43. Ted

    As with all polls, the devil’s in the details. But I think it is clear that a solid majority of Americans are not reflexively opposed to NSA wiretaps, meaning the Democrats will have to convince them the President did something wrong.

    That’s a tall order, IMHO, especially if they’re trying to sell the idea that spying on terrorist suspects without a warrant is somehow wrong. It will only reinforce the popular view that the Democrats don’t take national security seriously.

    It’s not that I’m a big fan of NSA wiretaps — I didn’t like Bill Clinton’s Eschelon program much, either — but this whole episode has political disaster for the Democrats written all over it.

  44. “What the president can do in national security areas is a huge gray area.”

    To add onto what SR said, there is also the fact that Congress has not been silent on this issue. FISA contains language stating that the procedures it outlines for wiretapping Americans “shall be the exclusive” means of carrying out national security wiretaps.

    Bush’s argument isn’t just “The Constitution gives the President broad powers to act on National Security matters,” but “…and that includes violating black letter law passed by Congress.”

    The “Clinton and Carter did it, too” defense doesn’t work, because those presidents initiated surveillance in accordance with FISA, and Bush initiated it in violation of FISA.

  45. He lied to the American people and broke the law.

    That’s all that needs to be said: The plain, simple truth. I’m proud of the ACLU for taking out this full-page ad in a major newspaper. Bloggers also ought to be blogging the hell out of this, too. If enough of us get together, especially in an off-term election year, and exert enough pressure on Congress (especially those up for re-election), then we just may get this prick impeached. Democrats will grow some cajones just long enough to satisfy their voter block and the GOP Congress may just decide to roll over on Bubble Boy to make nice with their moderate voter block.

  46. joe, I agree with the spirit of what you are saying. The president really shouldn’t have any authority whatsoever beyond that granted in the Constitution and in the laws enacted by Congress. However, there is a line of cases that support (to varying degrees) the idea of implied powers within each branch of government. The president’s usually show up in matters of national security, war, or foreign affairs. I don’t like it any more than you do, but I don’t like the Commerce Clause being turned into a grant of general police powers for the government, either. I should add that Bush’s claim that this is the sole purview of the executive branch isn’t without precedent, either, though I don’t understand why anything any branch does should be above or beyond the checks and balances process.

    It’s a real problem, and if we ever do see the rise of a dictator in this country, it’ll probably be in part because we never issued a strong statement limiting the president’s powers in national security matters. The great achievement of our Constitution was to specify, check, and limit the powers of the government. If we allow assertions of power that are not specified in the Constitution and are outside of the appropriate checks and balances, then we are taking a grave risk.

  47. SR (whom I suspect to be a lawyer) got it right, and joe.

  48. On the advice of counsel, I can neither confirm nor deny being a lawyer.

  49. All this huffing and puffing about President Bush allegedly breaking laws ignores a critical fact: Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one.

    You might be outraged by the NSA wiretaps, but unless a large majority of Americans are outraged also, nothing is going to happen. There is no legal recourse for you because the Constitution shields the President from the judiciary. Congress is the final authority on whether or not the President broke the law.

    So there will probably be alot of breast-beating by the Democrats, but if they can’t take control of the House, there won’t be any articles of impeachment. Even if they do control the House, the issues here are so blurry, and the details of FISA are so arcane, that the average American will conclude (or has already concluded) there’s nothing to see here and the Democrats won’t be able to muster the necessary votes for impeachment.

    Now, some might consider this to be a sign of fecklessness on the part of the American people and their representatives. But as frustrating as it may be, that’s how the system was designed to work.

  50. This has little bearing on the NSA case, but I thought you might find this link from the EFF about the DOJ and cell phone tracking.

    “[On December 21, 2005] Magistrate Judge Gorenstein of the federal court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion permitting the government to use cell site data to track a cell phone’s physical location, without the government having to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause.”

    Link: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004272.php

    So, while they need warrant to track you visually, they don’t need one to track your personal phone. Nice.

  51. What about the War Powers Act? Presidents have consistently denied that Congress had the authority to enact parts of that act because they encroached on areas of presidential authority. In other words, these presidents are saying that Congress can’t touch a president’s Constitutionally granted authority via legislation alone (i.e., a Consitutional amendment is necessary). That’s clearly the type of argument Bush and his counsel are making. I DO NOT AGREE with this reasoning, but it’s simply not true that there’s no precedent for it. The Supreme Court hasn’t helped much, either, by deeming such cases “political questions” or by overly protecting the executive from Congressional “incursions” upon its authority.

    I agree the argument “but other presidents do it” is a weak one, and it alone doesn’t justify what the president is doing. But I will say one thing, joe, the fact that other presidents followed FISA doesn’t mean that they didn’t make similar claims in different areas. Reagan and Clinton both ran amok with executive orders, for instance. They really were legislating and encroaching on Congressional authority. Not good. And there are some other examples we can get into, I’m sure. The point is, of course, that this problem is beyond politics and is a systemic concern that needs to be dealt with, no matter how much you like or dislike the current occupant of the office.

  52. “I think it is clear that a solid majority of Americans are not reflexively opposed to NSA wiretaps, meaning the Democrats will have to convince them the President did something wrong.”

    This goes to the heart of the problem. That a majority of the citizens(forget Dems, or Repubs, or Libertarians) are not extremely opposed, or upset, or sickened, to these acts of breaking the law is scary, & sad. But the number of people in my office ready to give up privacy, rights, civil liberties, & whatever else to stop those terrorists(and give our gov’t a whole lot of power in the process) on Sept 12th, 2001 was scary, & sad, too.

  53. Reagan and Clinton both ran amok with executive orders, for instance. They really were legislating and encroaching on Congressional authority. Not good. And there are some other examples we can get into, I’m sure.

    Much of the worst that Bush has done (from domestic spying to torture) has been built upon the work of the last few presidents. I just hope he’s built too much, too fast, and that the reaction that’s coming will retard that “progress”.

  54. I did not mention the “Clinton Did It Too” argument as an attempt to justify any illegal actions that may have been taken by the Bush administration. But merely to suggest that if indeed a crime has been committed, we should be equally zealous in our cries for prosecution of all offenders.

  55. “But merely to suggest that if indeed a crime has been committed”

    Wait a minute. I fail to see how this is not breaking the law! He’s supposed to get permission,through the FISA secret court, up to 72 hours after the fact to snoop on people out of the country talking to people in the country from a kangaroo court that has denied 4 out of 17,569(guessing? sorry, don’t know exact figure) requests to wiretap? And he refuses to get FISA court permission, because he wants to save us any way, any how? The president is another citizen of this country. I thought no one was above the law in this country. Maybe we should start talking about old America, and new America, kinda like Rummy did with Europe.(If Bill Clinton had done this, I would think he had broken the law, also)
    SM must be in that majority of our citizens I was speaking of earlier.

  56. Jennifer wrote: “I’d be quite happy to see everyone involved with this mess kicked out and thrown in jail. I don’t give a damn what political party they belong to.”

    And you accuse ME of pulling the trigger too fast, Jennifer? You want ME to smoke pot and calm down? Christ.

  57. Does anyone here think that:
    1) If the mall in front of the white house was filled up with protestors, regarding these actions, that it would change anything?

    2)If a protest was called, would the mall fill up with people? I live approximately 500 miles from D.C., but would gladly drive there to show my intolerance of the law by our chief enforcer.

  58. Pro L,

    “joe, I agree with the spirit of what you are saying. The president really shouldn’t have any authority whatsoever beyond that granted in the Constitution and in the laws enacted by Congress.”

    That’s not really what I’m saying. The President does have broad powers under the Constitution – not as broad as Bush claims, but still pretty broad. What I’m saying is, Congress specifically limited those powers, and Bush wants to claim that he can unilaterally decide to ignore the limits Congress set on him.

  59. Captain Holly,

    I guess I have more respect for Republicans than you do, because I suspect that there would a be a handful of them who would stand up against a criminal president, even if they had to buck their party.

    Not many, mind you. But a few.

  60. joe, the argument the president is making is that Congress cannot limit the inherent powers of the executive (nor powers granted explicitly and exclusively to the president in the Consitution). Certainly, Congress could initiate a Constitutional amendment to narrow the scope of presidential authority, but it can’t do so by legislation alone. To give you an example, Congress couldn’t pass a law that took away the president’s veto power. Nor could it declare itself the Commander-in-Chief.

    What Bush is claiming is that his authority in this instance cannot be limited by mere legislation. I don’t agree with that argument, but it isn’t a completely unwarranted claim, either, given what previous presidents have done (going all the way back, I suppose). Like I said before, this problem with the expanding scope of presidential power needs to be dealt with, and it is not simply Bush going nuts (though he’s doing a little of that, too, in my opinion).

  61. I did not mention the “Clinton Did It Too” argument as an attempt to justify any illegal actions that may have been taken by the Bush administration. But merely to suggest that if indeed a crime has been committed, we should be equally zealous in our cries for prosecution of all offenders.

    I agree. Time to get some accountability back into the government. However, even if it turns out that Bush and Clinton committed the exact same crime, Bush should be prosecuted first for the simple reason that HE is still President, and HE still has authority to abuse. Clinton doesn’t.

    Jennifer wrote, “I’d be quite happy to see everyone involved with this mess kicked out and thrown in jail. I don’t give a damn what political party they belong to.” And you accuse ME of pulling the trigger too fast, Jennifer? You want ME to smoke pot and calm down? Christ.

    Jamie, you think that wanting criminals to be accountable for their crimes, despite their political affiliations, is an unreasonable belief?

  62. Camus,you would be very tired and very lonely after your long drive.I don’t think this is an issue that many people see as affecting them.

  63. Jennifer, it has yet to be determined if what the Bush administration did — and whomever else is involved in the NSA story — is considered constitutionally criminal.

  64. But of course at first blush it appears to be intrusive, from my libertarian point of view.

  65. IIRC, FISA also contains language allowing an affirmative defense from prosecution to those who carry out illegal wiretapping when acting in response to orders from their superiors.

    So, Jennifer, they’re not about to start jailing the guy who puts the clippy thingy on the phone line.

  66. I vas just obeying ze orders uv mein superiors.

  67. Bush should be prosecuted first for the simple reason that HE is still President, and HE still has authority to abuse. Clinton doesn’t.

    Assuming they are both equally guilty, a smart prosecutor would go after Clinton first, for the simple reason that he can’t claim executive privilege and delay having to answer until after he leaves office.

    So, how attractive is it to see this playing out as Clinton going to jail for Echelon in, say, early 2007, while Bush stays in office protected by executive privilege?

  68. I guess I have more respect for Republicans than you do, because I suspect that there would a be a handful of them who would stand up against a criminal president, even if they had to buck their party.

    joe:

    Whether or not the President is “criminal” is for Congress to decide. It might seem unjust, but the Framers intended for the President to be accountable only to the people, not the Judiciary. This was in order to prevent some politically-motivated judge or prosecutor from harassing him over differing interpretations of the law.

    If Americans feel their president is being an arrogant ass then they, through their elected representatives, can have him impeached. And if the Senate agrees that his crimes are serious enough, then they can remove him from office.

    Because of this, the whole debate over what crimes the president committed is just politics by another name; eventually it will be decided at the ballot box. If enough Americans agree that President Bush broke the law, then I’d expect the Democrats to start impeachment proceedings as soon as they take control in 2007. Otherwise, it’s another Washington controversy that will largely be forgotten by 2008.

    As much as I wanted to see Bill Clinton out of office, the impeachment process worked just as it was supposed to in 1998. The House decided that Clinton’s lies merited impeachment. But by the time it got to the Senate, most Americans were tired of the whole thing and were satisfied to let Clinton off with just a reprimand.

    Interestingly the Republicans, whose early poll numbers in 1998 suggested a big harvest of Democrat seats, saw that advantage evaporate by the time November rolled around. I expect the Democrats to experience the same phenomenon if they push the impeachment issue this year.

    None of this would be as satisfying to the Bush-haters as to see the President frog-walked out of the Oval Office. But that’s the way our system works.

  69. Capt. Holly:

    If the President is a “criminal”, it is because he has broken the law, and for no other reason. Whether or not Congress sees fit to impeach him for those crimes is an entirely different matter.

    President Nixon was a criminal, and he was never impeached or tried. But I think we are all capable of understanding that it is the commission of a crime, and not whether one is actually prosecuted and convicted, that renders an individual a criminal.

  70. There they go, bashing poor Mr. Nixon again. It’ll be fun to see all the Nixon apologists (Liddy, Ben Stein, etc.) coming out of the woodwork again.

    (My favorite example of Nixon apologism gone over the deep end comes from the late seventies when James Kilpatrick, dismayed over the Carters’ informality growled, “at least Nixon protected the dignity of the office.” Apparently in Kilpatrick’s world, authorizing illegal surveillance was not as grievous a transgression as being seen padding barefoot around the Oval Office…)

  71. Ar non-profits permitted to take out political ads and still keep their tax-exempt status? I’m kinda stupid about such matters.

  72. From my perspective, impeachment — be it Clinton or Bush or Andrew Johnson — is a tremendous waste of valuable resources.

  73. Ar non-profits permitted to take out political ads and still keep their tax-exempt status? I’m kinda stupid about such matters.

    http://www.aclu.org/acluf.html

  74. Madam, you are an idiot.

    Comment by: Bob at December 29, 2005 10:56 AM

    Did the White House hire Baghdad Bob? And is manning Operation Blowback at H&R his first task?

    Goodbye, Scott McClellan! Woooha.

  75. Just in case someone is waiting for my permission, it would be perfectly OK with me if the comment by “bill” at December 29, 2005, 09:43 AM, were to be deleted from this thread.

    Although I must say, Julian Sanchez’s ceaseless Hispano-centric ravings about “la Raza” this and “reconquista” that have become a little wearing lately. You’ve been asking for it, amigo. It’s high time someone took a stand against you.

  76. We’ve got a “loyal opposition” party lead by a group who are doing everything they can to make the US lose just so they can embarrass the party in power, and yet you say it’s the party in power that is the one hellbent on destroying the nation.

    The other day, I had another comment I pointed out as being the stupidest comment since like Easter, but there’s a few in this thread that offer that one some mighty competition.

    I’m so glad I’m not a knee jerk Republican anymore. I’d hate to have to apologize for these idiots.

    Sometimes I feel like somebody that quit drinking a long time ago, walkin’ past a bunch of drunks lyin’ in the street.

  77. I’d like to throw out there, once again, that if I was the President, I’d seriously consider calling for impeachment myself.

    …Nothing else could do more for the President’s sinking poll numbers, nothing could do more for the Republican’s chances of doing well in the upcoming congressional elections than having the President impeached for trying to keep Americans safe from terrorists.

    That’s not the way I see it, but that’s the way he’ll defend himself in the court of public opinion. Anybody itchin’ for a fight should consider that–it’ll be Oliver North times ten. Except, if he did it now, before the congressional elections, he’ll be sure that the friendly party dominates the hearings.

    Still, I’d like to see the President impeached just to reinforce the idea that the President isn’t above the law. …both in the minds of the American people and the minds of future Presidents.

  78. I guess I have more respect for Republicans than you do, because I suspect that there would a be a handful of them who would stand up against a criminal president, even if they had to buck their party.

    Not many, mind you. But a few.

    Joe, you’re probably right that there’d be a few. If I remember correctly, there were 5 Democrats who voted for one or more articles of impeachment against President Clinton. One of them was then-Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Tx.). I could tell you who the other 4 were if I weren’t too lazy to look it up.

  79. Interestingly the Republicans, whose early poll numbers in 1998 suggested a big harvest of Democrat seats, saw that advantage evaporate by the time November rolled around. I expect the Democrats to experience the same phenomenon if they push the impeachment issue this year.

    -Capt. Holly

    …Nothing else could do more for the President’s sinking poll numbers, nothing could do more for the Republican’s chances of doing well in the upcoming congressional elections than having the President impeached for trying to keep Americans safe from terrorists.

    -Ken Shultz

    I think you’re both right. Pressing for impeachment probably wouldn’t be good for the Democrats. It’d be 1998 all over again. Sure, I don’t like the president any more than my fellow Democrats do, and what he did was probably illegal, but the Democrats should stay away from impeachment talk and focus on picking up seats next year.

  80. Isn’t it sad that illegal spying on Americans, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and secret prisons are not enough to get the public worked up?

  81. Yeah, sad and really frightening too.

  82. Stevo,

    I say leave bill’s comment there. When anti-Hispanic racism is directed at someone as laudable as Julian, it’s absurdity is made even more manifest.

  83. …Make that: “its absurdity is made even more manifest.”

  84. Isn’t it sad that illegal spying on Americans, indefinite detention without trial, torture, and secret prisons are not enough to get the public worked up?

    Yes, very sad. Freedom just isn’t popular these days.

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