The Crash of 29

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Gallup's first post-Libby poll has George W. Bush's approval numbers falling to 29 percent, the first time he's been below 30.

More findings: 62 percent of people say it was a mistake to go into Iraq, 60 percent say the economy is getting worse (!), and only 68 percent of Republicans approve of Bush, thanks largely to the immigration fight.

Speaking of the collapsing Bush administration, Megan McArdle argues against the idea of just impeaching these guys and getting it over with.

[Democrats,] you will divide the country. Remember 1998? 2000? The various merits of impeachment will be all anyone can talk about. And all that talk will have the effect of moving anyone who voted for Bush back towards the Republican party. Every vehement attack on Bush is an opportunity for a disgusted moderate Republican to experience a vehement attack on his or her judgement in voting for the bastard. Right now, the country is united in hating Bush. Impeach him, and most of the haters will peel off.

Nixon fell because his behaviour was inarguably criminal, and worse, petty criminal. And he had it all on tape.

Bush's behaviour is not inarguably criminal. Impeaching him will generate a gigantic mess. And the negative feelings about that gigantic mess will almost certainly be laid at the Democratic Party's door. An impeachment is almost the only thing guaranteed to deliver a Republic president and the loss of at least one house of Congress in 2008.

So an impeachment trial would 1)waste Congress's time, 2)take the Democrats' knees out, and 3)humiliate Bush and legions of wide-eyed Republicans. And… what are the arguments against it?

NEXT: We've Lived in Bars and Danced on Tables

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  1. The (GOP) dog won’t learn if you don’t rub his nose in his own shit when he dumps in the house.

  2. 60 percent say the economy is getting worse

    Who says polls serve no real purpose?
    They demonstrate again and again how stupid and emotional and irrational we can be.
    And how we repeatedly vote for candidates for all the wrong reasons.

  3. Who are these 29% that approve of how George Bush is doing his job?

    Who out there is saying, “He really nailed it in Iraq, I love how he handled the immigration bill, and don’t even get me started on that brilliant push for Social Security reform!”

  4. Gosh, I never thought of that. Deadlocked Congress….no bills getting passed….the chattering classes gassing on at length about whether or not a traffic ticket rises to the level….Mmmmm, impeachment.

    Brilliant!

  5. And if GWB is convicted, great, and if not, who cares? It’s win-win!

  6. 60 percent say the economy is getting worse

    And this would be correct. The numbers show that consumer spending is stalling because of the drying up of MEW. It is starting to look like subprime contagion is hitting AAA. We are about to be hit by a full-on credit crunch. And seeing as working people have a significant amount of expenses on food and energy (excluded from core), they are currently looking at around 10% inflation.

    Betting money is on recession by the fall.

  7. Joe – My fundy relatives who named their second son George W. I don’t remember what the “W” stands for. When you get into the 20s you’re getting into people who see him as a religious figure rather than a politician.

    Anyway that’s the best guess I’ve got.

  8. joe, those are the same people who think Iraq is a great idea because “Hanoi” Jane went to North Vietnam.

  9. Lamar: “The (GOP) dog won’t learn if you don’t rub his nose in his own shit when he dumps in the house.”

    This only works if you assume that impeaching Bush is the only way to make the GOP dog learn.

    But a good whipping in ’06 AND ’08 could very well get you where you want to be.

  10. “””Who out there is saying, “He really nailed it in Iraq, I love how he handled the immigration bill, and don’t even get me started on that brilliant push for Social Security reform!””””

    Nobody. However, 68% of the Republicans are placing partian politics over the welfare of the nation. They continue to stick with Bush because to abandon Bush is to allow the Dems a victory and that’s a problem for them. They don’t care that the AG is bullshitting Congress under oath, they turn a blind eye to that behavior. They act like lying under oath is OK if it serves their purpose. It’s really piss-poor of them to put their party first, the American citizenry second.

    As Frank Zappa said, “They only look out for number one, and number one ain’t you. You ain’t even number two.”

  11. Who are these 29% that approve of how George Bush is doing his job?

    The people like my co-worker who absolutely adores everything GWB (and any Republican, for that matter) does. Kinda sickening.

  12. Walker: “Betting money is on recession by the fall.”

    A recession is “traditionally defined in macroeconomics as a decline in a country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two or more successive quarters of a year (equivalently, two consecutive quarters of negative real economic growth).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recession

  13. If the Republicans really loved Reagan, why are they trying to bring back the days of Nixon?

  14. If you exclude the volatile food, energy, healthcare, housing, and education sectors, there’s very little inflation.

    I think the immigrant stuff that’s blown up the last couple years is a tell that people are feeling insecure out there.

  15. X,Y Didn’t George miss that question when he was coming in and Clinton was leaving.

  16. Miss what question?

  17. I think the obvious argument against impeaching Bush is that it will come across as revenge for the asinine impeachment of Clinton. It will lead possibly to the cycle of revenge where every President will be in danger of impeachment if he or she’s unfortunate enough to have a Congress controlled by the opposition party.

    Impeachment should only be used in the rarest of circumstances, where there is a bipartisan consensus that the President has committed an actual crime serious enough to warrant what amounts to the overturning of an election.

    I think the Democrats in Congress are doing the smart thing by taking the high road on this one.

  18. x,y: I was making an argument against impeachment. Simply getting rid of the shit doesn’t teach anybody a lesson. I want GWB2 to stay in the White House so that I can rub GOPers noses in their own shit. Alberto Gonzalez lied again to Congress about FBI abuses, and yet Bush stands up for this immoral behavior? You voted for the idiot president twice!! Rinse and repeat. (Not you personally, mind you)

  19. The Democrats should offer Bush a deal: voluntarily forego pardon and commutation power in exchange for no impeachment proceedings. Make Cheney sign the deal, too.

  20. “A recession is “traditionally defined in macroeconomics as a decline in a country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two or more successive quarters of a year (equivalently, two consecutive quarters of negative real economic growth).”

    Considering that we haven’t had one of those since 1992 (the 2001 “recession” was not one because GDP did not contract for two quarters in a row) and haven’t had a serious one since 1982, the “recession by fall” statement is pretty baseless.

    Impeachments are a bad thing for the country. They were bad in 1998 and they would be bad now. Further, how does puting Nancy Pelosi in office do any good? What is she going to do? Oh pull out of Iraq only to come back a year later after it continues to be a giant Al Quada and Iranian terrorist training ground only without the pesky U.S military around to mess up the operations.

    How about insteading venting over Bush and worrying about domestic politics, people start worrying about how to win the war? I frankly could care less if the Republicans win in 2008. Maybe we should pull out of Iraq and start paying Iran, Syria and Al Quada protection money. That would totally take terrorism off the table for 2008 and then the Republicans could really win!! Joy!! Rapture!!

    People like McCardle can sit around and pretend that all the world’s problems relate to Bush all she wants, but whoever becomes President in 2009 will have the same problems Bush is facing and there won’t be any easy sollutions then either.

  21. Wouldn’t it put Dick Cheney, not Nancy Pelosi in office?

  22. My mistake Lamar. I read your post (plausibly I think) as an endorsement of impeachment.

    Impeaching Bush will raise his approval ratings. I believe this is what happened to Clinton. Not saying this makes any sense, but it’s how people react.

  23. “”Miss what question?”””

    The exact question, I don’t remember, but it had to do with the country being in a recession. I think Bush said “no comment” and then Clinton answered that it had to be in decline for two successive quarters.

  24. “””Wouldn’t it put Dick Cheney, not Nancy Pelosi in office”””

    I keep saying that the problem with impeaching Bush is that you end up with a Dick for president.

  25. John,

    Here’s a quote from the Wiki page on the “Early 2000s recession” that supports your post:

    “The US economy experienced negative growth in three non-consecutive quarters in the early 2000s (the third quarter of 2000, the first quarter of 2001, and the third quarter of 2001). Using the common definition of a recession as ‘as a fall of a country’s real Gross Domestic Product in two or more successive quarters’, then the United States was, strictly speaking, not in recession during the period.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_2000s_recession

  26. “Impeaching Bush will raise his approval ratings. I believe this is what happened to Clinton. Not saying this makes any sense, but it’s how people react.”

    It makes perfect sense. People didn’t elect Congress to have emotionally satisfying temper fits through impeachment. They elect Congress to do something. They elected the Republicans in 1995 to reighn in Democratic corruption and to pull Clinton back to the center where he campaigned. When the Republicans did that, they got re-elected in 96. When they stopped doign that and started obsessing about who was giving blowjobs to Clinton, they got their asses handed to them in 1998. The same is true now, people elected the Democrats last year to come up with sollutions not to undo the 2004 election. What Weigel doesn’t mention is that Congress’ approval ratings are even lower than Bush’s.

  27. TrickyVic: “The exact question, I don’t remember, but it had to do with the country being in a recession. I think Bush said ‘no comment’ and then Clinton answered that it had to be in decline for two successive quarters.”

    If Clinton said that, he was wrong, strictly speaking. But a broader, less traditional definition of “recession” would cover the early 2000 economic downturn.

    Not that this downturn could be attributed to Bush. Or Clinton.

  28. What Weigel doesn’t mention is that Congress’ approval ratings are even lower than Bush’s.

    The approval ratings of Congress are irrelevant because who cares if a voter approves of people who don’t represent him or her?

  29. What happens if you want both teams to lose? Maybe if congress impeached Bush and then he and Cheney went on some shooting rampage from the roof of the White House? Yes, this is sounding better to me…

  30. “I think the Democrats in Congress are doing the smart thing by taking the high road on this one.”

    Are they taking the high road is it because they would rather Bush and Cheney still be in there so they will have something negative to run against?

  31. “The approval ratings of Congress are irrelevant because who cares if a voter approves of people who don’t represent him or her?”

    It does matter because some Congressional elections turn on national issues. Go ask the Republicans who used to be charge. People were fed up with the spending and the corruption and took it out on them in 2006. It sure as hell mattered to your rank and file Republican Congressman that people didn’t approve of the Duke Cunninghams and Trent Lotts of the world.

  32. The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for. No provable high crime or misdemeanor. Policy decisions different than what you would have done do not constitute a crime (believe it or not).

    You can’t just get a “bad” president out of office. That’s what term limits and elections are for.

  33. it’s good to be the king because it’s not mass murder when you get thousands of people killed.

  34. It does matter because some Congressional elections turn on national issues. Go ask the Republicans who used to be charge. People were fed up with the spending and the corruption and took it out on them in 2006. It sure as hell mattered to your rank and file Republican Congressman that people didn’t approve of the Duke Cunninghams and Trent Lotts of the world.

    I believe that polls generally show that people approve of their own representatives at a much higher rate than Congress in general and I believe that over 90% of representatives get re-elected. I’m sure Nancy Pelosi has pretty low approval ratings in the Southeast but those people can’t vote her out.

  35. “The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for.”

    Some may argue that he lied to the American people about WMD’s to get us involved in Iraq. There could be grounds for impeachment there if it can be proved that he deliberately lied.

  36. The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for. No provable high crime or misdemeanor. Policy decisions different than what you would have done do not constitute a crime (believe it or not).

    That’s true in principle but in practice impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. It wouldn’t be that hard to find something Bush has done and declare it a crime – for example, he violated Jose Padilla’s civil rights. Does that count?

  37. I believe that polls generally show that people approve of their own representatives at a much higher rate than Congress in general and I believe that over 90% of representatives get re-elected.

    Actually, I think that people feel more held-hostage by their representatives than they approve of them. Seeing as you never have someone running against an incumbent in their own party, and many districts are ridiculously gerrymandered, people are disinclined to vote out their deadbeat, ineffective representative in favor of the challenger from the other party because they are so stuck on voting for the same party. That just frequently means that you have to vote for the same person, or whomever the party delivers to your district.

  38. The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for. No provable high crime or misdemeanor.

    Blatant FISA violations publicly admitted leaps to mind. (Although I don’t advocate impeachment.)

  39. Ann Coulter in her book “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” gave examples of judges who had been impeached in the past over drunkeness and uncomely behavior, so high crimes and misdemeanors aren’t the only things that get you impeached. Does anybody know what Andrew Johnson’s crimes were? Basically, the way I understand it, the radical Republicans opposed him because he didn’t support their punitive treatment of the South.

  40. Plus that whole FISA thing, or trying to void umpteen other laws through signing statements. He is supposed to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” isn’t he?

  41. The True Believers are out there bleating about how Republicans are actually different from Democrats (and vice versa), but Congresspersons in general are not eager to shine a bright light on their own actions in the recent past.

  42. The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for. No provable high crime or misdemeanor.

    Uh, how ’bout blatantly violating FISA with the warrantless wiretapping and trying to cover those violations up?

    Also, keep in mind that none of the actions Clinton was impeached for were illegal (except the witness tampering one, which there was zero evidence for). His failure to tell the truth before the grand jury and deposition were not perjury in a legal sense, since they didn’t affect the outcome of the case.

  43. de stijl and NotThatDavid got to it before me, but also recall that the White House tried to pressure the NYT not to make the wiretapping scandal public.

  44. We know GWB2 had truth and power-crazy issues, and we re-elected him. Heck, he should be rewarded for acting like the idiot we all knew he was in 2004. Don’t re-elect an incompetent and sleazy politician, then impeach him for the qualities you knew he exhibited.

  45. “There could be grounds for impeachment there if it can be proved that he deliberately lied.”

    You’re proposing that a group of politicians would create the precendent that lying to the people is a high crime, worthy of impeachment? Yeah, that’ll happen.

  46. “His failure to tell the truth before the grand jury and deposition were not perjury in a legal sense, since they didn’t affect the outcome of the case.”

    I thought you could be prosecuted for perjury regardless of the outcome of the trial in which you testified in?

    “except the witness tampering one, which there was zero evidence for”

    Didn’t Linda Tripp have Monica Lewinsky on tape saying she threatened to tell her parents about their affair if he didn’t get her a job in New York?

  47. “Don’t re-elect an incompetent and sleazy politician, then impeach him for the qualities you knew he exhibited.”

    But what choice did the public have? It was either that incompetent and sleazy politician or the other one?

  48. Well, the FISA deal is probably the best chance at impeachment, even though it too is debatable as to its unconstitutionality.

    Crimethink, your statement, “his failure to tell the truth before the grand jury and deposition were not perjury in a legal sense, since they didn’t affect the outcome of the case” just isn’t correct.

  49. I thought you could be prosecuted for perjury regardless of the outcome of the trial in which you testified in?

    Yes, but the question you lied about has to be material to the trial. If you’re testifying about a murder and you lie about what you had for breakfast the previous week, you’re not liable for perjury (barring some Law & Order-esque chain of deduction where that lie proves you were really in Manitoba on the day of the crime or something).

  50. Can we have an impeachment followed by public execution for Bush, Cheney, Gonzalez, et al?

    We need to start executing politicians again.

    All “public servants” including politicians and LEA should be the only persons subject to capital punishment.

  51. How ’bout if you lie about having sex with a female then promoting her to a higher job during a case about a woman who alleged she wasn’t promoted because she refused to have sex?

    I’m sure there are some here that will say that is immaterial…..kinda like breakfast.

  52. “””X,Y: A recession is “traditionally defined in macroeconomics as a decline in a country’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for two or more successive quarters of a year (equivalently, two consecutive quarters of negative real economic growth).””””

    TrickyVic: “The exact question, I don’t remember, but it had to do with the country being in a recession. I think Bush said ‘no comment’ and then Clinton answered that it had to be in decline for two successive quarters.”

    X,Y: If Clinton said that, he was wrong, strictly speaking. But a broader, less traditional definition of “recession” would cover the early 2000 economic downturn.””””

    Clinton was saying we were not in a recession because there were not two consecutive down quarters for the GDP in 2000. He was correct.
    http://money.cnn.com/2000/11/29/economy/gdp/

  53. There are some very good arguments for not impeaching Bush and Cheney.

    “What on earth would we charge them with?” is not among them.

    I think there have to be some consequences for lying us into a war, spying on us illegally, using federal prosecutors to influence elections through bogus accusations, disappearing and torturing people, and directing subordinates to lie about it under oath. Othewise, the next politician who gets it into his head to prey on us like that, or worse, is going to conclude that he can get away with it.

    On the other hand, the Republicans in Congress are very likely to side with their party leader against the American public if an effort is made to hold administration figures accountable, and the last thing we need is for there to be a “not guilty” verdict. No matter how partisan and indefensible it may be, such a ruling could actually serve to encourage such behavior in the future.

    I think justice for Bush and Cheney needs to go the Pinochet route. While they’ve still got enough political clout to skate, they skate. As the country comes to its senses over the subsequent years, ordinary criminal and civil cases can be filed.

  54. Joe,

    Doesn’t Sovereign Immunity (which needs to go) make that impossible?

  55. “””The argument against impeaching him is that there is nothing to impeach him for. No provable high crime or misdemeanor.”””

    How about confirming the existance of a classified program to the general public?

    Or giving troop movements to our enemy when he spoke publicly about the surge. Telling the enemy we are going to place X amount of troops in Y city is a no no in wartime.

  56. Anyone pushing for impeachment is an idiot, full stop. Even if they had the votes, by the time the whole thing is said and done the 2008 election will be almost here.

  57. “How about confirming the existance of a classified program to the general public?”

    Info is classified and/or declassified at the discretion/whim of the President. I don’t see how the President can be liable for wrongfully disclosing classified information. If the President reveals it (or condones it being revealed), it isn’t classified.

  58. “How ’bout if you lie about having sex with a female then promoting her to a higher job during a case about a woman who alleged she wasn’t promoted because she refused to have sex?…I’m sure there are some here that will say that is immaterial…..kinda like breakfast.”

    joe, we’ve found one of the 29 percenters.

  59. The approval ratings of Congress are irrelevant because who cares if a voter approves of people who don’t represent him or her?

    That might be true but for the Senate. The genius of our bicameral legislature is that big states can’t trample little states. They each get two votes in the Senate regardless of their population. So what Sen. Dope from New York votes on does affect Sen. Dink from Montana, and his constituents. Sen. Dope’s actions affect every American, not just those from his own state. So I have a right to voice my displeasure, regardless of whether he represents me directly.

  60. That might be true but for the Senate. The genius of our bicameral legislature is that big states can’t trample little states. They each get two votes in the Senate regardless of their population. So what Sen. Dope from New York votes on does affect Sen. Dink from Montana, and his constituents. Sen. Dope’s actions affect every American, not just those from his own state. So I have a right to voice my displeasure, regardless of whether he represents me directly.

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean to imply that other Congressmen don’t affect you or that you don’t have the right to express your opinion of them.

    I’m just saying that Sen. Dink from New York has little reason to care what people in Montana think of him.

  61. “””Info is classified and/or declassified at the discretion/whim of the President. I don’t see how the President can be liable for wrongfully disclosing classified information.”””

    But the classified domestic spying program is STILL classified. So says the government in court briefs. So Bush did NOT declassify it.

    Plus, there is a process for declassification. I can’t get on board that the President could never commit a crime by giving away classified information, because as soon as he says it, it’s declassified.

  62. I add, someone show me where, it says the President can do so, at his whim, void of any process.

  63. “””Anyone pushing for impeachment is an idiot, full stop. Even if they had the votes, by the time the whole thing is said and done the 2008 election will be almost here.””””

    Where the Republican idiots in the Clinton impeachment? The Republicans didn’t share that wisdom back then.

    I’m not for or against impeachment. Hey, Bush will be gone before long.

  64. LOL.

    Yes, he’ll be gone and the Rs are already clamoring to elect his clone.

  65. TrickyVic-

    The system for information classification in the US is set up via executive order (except for certain specific type of info, like nuclear weapons information). The whole system of classification is backed up by authority delegated from the President. The current system is established by Executive Order 13292.

    The President can deviate from this at his pleasure, and direct his subordinates to deviate from it.

  66. Note to self … read more carefully.

    I see. I read the quote as Clinton saying that we were in a recession.

    This is what happens when you post from work.

  67. Bush’s behaviour is not inarguably criminal.

    Yes it is. I mean from a moral standard, of course, not a kangaroo-legal standard. If you don’t think it’s inarguably criminal, you are a goose-stepping fascist. I think two more years of meat-grinding in Iraq followed by retirement in Paraguay is the most likely scenario.

    The only way he will be impeached is if he starts doing (more) crazy/stupid shit that alienates the Republicans, which is also a possibility. One thing I don’t doubt about the Bush administration is their ability to find new ways to fuck with us.


  68. Where the Republican idiots in the Clinton impeachment? The Republicans didn’t share that wisdom back then.

    Yes, they were idiots of the highest order in that ordeal. They were the only people who were capable of making me feel sorry for Bill Clinton.

  69. I don’t think people would feel sorry for Bush.

    His accusations would have nothing to do with a sexual dalliance or lying about one, which many many people can relate to and empathize or sympathize with.

  70. People learned all the wrong lessons from the Clinton impeachment. It’s pretty simple, however.

    “The public has to be behind it. If not a majority, damn close.”

    That’s really it — mind you, having the votes to succeed is probably nice.

    The public support wasn’t there for the Clinton impeachment, which is why it bit the GOP on the ass. The support is close for Bush’s impeachment (Cheney’s already into a bare majority) but it’s iffy — the real roadblock is, well, the votes aren’t there.

    So until it gets to be a much stronger public demand (in which case public wrath will be on blocking Republicans, rather than Democrats who failed because of blocking Republicans), it’s better to keep making votes on issues that command public support (troop pullouts) and let the GOP and Bush keep blocking them.

  71. Still, the amount of time needed just isn’t there. By this time in Clinton’s term, the impeachment had been over and done with for seven months.

  72. “How ’bout if you lie about having sex with a female then promoting her to a higher job during a case about a woman who alleged she wasn’t promoted because she refused to have sex?…I’m sure there are some here that will say that is immaterial…..kinda like breakfast.”

    “joe, we’ve found one of the 29 percenters.”

    Why can’t somebody be opposed to Clinton AND Bush” Why can’t somebody consider them both to be slimebags worthy of impeachment?

  73. “His accusations would have nothing to do with a sexual dalliance or lying about one, which many many people can relate to and empathize or sympathize with.”

    The Republicans went after the wrong things. They should have looked at more closely Clintons’ campaign finance scandal in 1996 and whether or not he gave up secrets to the Chinese for campaign financing.

  74. The Republicans went after the wrong things. They should have looked at more closely Clintons’ campaign finance scandal in 1996 and whether or not he gave up secrets to the Chinese for campaign financing.

    You’re right. If only they had a zealous, heavily funded, very partisan independent prosecutor with the full resources of the government and the FBI behind him, they might have uncovered that dirty truth and nailed him for it!

  75. “You’re right. If only they had a zealous, heavily funded, very partisan independent prosecutor with the full resources of the government and the FBI behind him, they might have uncovered that dirty truth and nailed him for it!”

    And if we had an unbiased attorney general that wasn’t covering for Bill Clinton and allowed an independent counsel to look into it. She allowed Clinton to be investigated on sex because she knew he would never be ousted from office on that.

  76. Can’t we learn from the folly that was the Clinton impeachment? Do we have to have a tit-for-tat shredding of the rule of law?

    Clinton arguably committed perjury, but he shouldn’t have been called to testify in that perjury trap of a sexual harrasment suit in the first place. Bush may be “criminal” according to a “moral standard,” but he’s bent over backward to make sure all of his scummy acts met the letter of the law. This isn’t Nixon hiring some fixers under the table- the Bush administration knows it’s being watched, and blatantly covers its ass accordingly.

    “The public has to be behind it. If not a majority, damn close.”

    Damn close to a majority isn’t worth shit. A bare majority isn’t any better. Two-thirds of the Senate is required. Call me back when you’ve found a third of the Republicans in the Senate willing to vote to convict on an impeachment motivated purely by politics, then we can talk.

    I like a completely gridlocked Congress as much as the next person, but I think defining “high crimes and misdemeanors” to mean whatever 218 members of the House of Representatives says it does is as wrong as the creative interpretations of the Commerce Clause that has destroyed the 9th and 10th Amendments.

    Despite all of the hype about “the people sending a message to Bush” in the 2006 mid-terms, the Dems have the barest of majorities. If the people felt that strongly about it, there’d be a veto-proof Dem majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof Dem+Indie majority in the Senate. Personally, I’m about as satisfied as I can be with the status quo: both sides are powerless to make things worse.

  77. “”” but he’s bent over backward to make sure all of his scummy acts met the letter of the law.”””

    Are you friggin kidding? Bush has does everything to block oversight authority. He tries to use signing statement for the purpose of NOT having to obey the letter of the law. Which is unconstitutal, it’s a form of line item veto.

  78. Unconstitutal, is that even a word?

    Unconstitutional.

  79. Is the executive required to enforce provisions of laws it interprets as unconstitutional?

    If someone with standing doesn’t like it, they should sue the executive. Let the SCOTUS interpret the Constitution. Something tells me there isn’t anyone with the stones to get it done.

    Please don’t take any of this as condoning Bush’s tyrannical actions, but Congress is as much (or more) at fault as him.

  80. barris wrote: “I think the obvious argument against impeaching Bush is that it will come across as revenge for the asinine impeachment of Clinton.”

    Oh, Fox news and the Washington pundit class will look at it that way.

    Most Americans will see it as substantive.

    Pretty much the reverse of the Clinton impeachment, which Fox and the Washington pundit class thought was just and of critical world-historical importance, while most of the country thought was bullshit.

  81. Scooby wrote: “Something tells me there isn’t anyone with the stones to get it done.”

    Good luck finding anyone who the courts will say has standing to sue.

  82. Scooby wrote: “both sides are powerless to make things worse.”

    Bush and Cheney have ample power to make things worse than you can imagine.

  83. Good luck finding anyone who the courts will say has standing to sue.

    Depends on which signing statement you want to challenge.

    “Bush and Cheney have ample power to make things worse than you can imagine.”

    Congress probably won’t go along with them as they have in the past.

  84. Who out there is saying, “He really nailed it in Iraq . . .”

    People who think:

    1 – That ‘liberated’ Iraqis turned out to be less pro-American than Bush expected, reflects badly on the Iraqis rather than Bush.

    2 – Iraqis resisting the occupation will give up as soon as they are convinced that America is serious.

    3 – Any specific criticisms of Bush’s Iraq policy come only from people who sympathize with Islamofascist terrorists and want to weaken American will.

  85. “Why can’t somebody be opposed to Clinton AND Bush” Why can’t somebody consider them both to be slimebags worthy of impeachment?”

    You certainly can be for impeaching both. I’m for impeaching neither. We have to take responsibility for electing the wrong guy. Impeachment is for real crimes, it isn’t a mulligan.

  86. David Tomlin almost had me until that bit about how Dick Lugar and John McCain “sympathize with Islamofascist terrorists and want to weaken American will,” because they offer “specific criticisms of Bush’s Iraq policy.”

    Way too over the top, dude. There’s no way anyone is going to think you’re serious if you write like that.

  87. Lamar,

    Violating FISAby spying on Americans’ phone calls without a warrant, which Bush has admitted to and has admitted violate the law, is a high crime in my book.

    What higher crime can a president commit, besides breaking the laws that restrain the government from using the power of the military and intelligence apparatus against innocent people?

  88. And… what are the arguments against it?

    It would lead to a lot of perfectly entertaining TV shows being interrupted by blabbering pundits.

  89. What higher crime can a president commit, besides breaking the laws that restrain the government from using the power of the military and intelligence apparatus against innocent people?

    Seriously? The government is full of murderers, rapists, and thieves at all levels, and you feel that this- the equivalent of the creepy ham radio guy at the end of the block that likes to listen in on your baby monitor- is the highest crime a President can commit?

  90. impeachment? why cut him a break? to use a watergate metaphor, i’d rather see him slowly twist in the wind. it may be perversely cruel, on the order of torturing a dumb animal, but it is interesting, watching his standings shrivel to the point that the question is universally asked, “who is stupid enough to admire this clown?”

  91. “What higher crime can a president commit, besides breaking the laws that restrain the government from using the power of the military and intelligence apparatus against innocent people?”

    How about lying about it and hiring people to break legs that speak out about it? Even better, using the information to further his personal or political agenda? Is there evidence of this or just evidence that the FBI broke the law? I guess, to borrow from tort law, what are the damages? I’m not condoning Bush’s behavior, and I think the GOP should be elected out for, say, two presidential terms for it’s former unwavering support of Bush. I just don’t think you can impeach the president for violating the law. Perhaps I should say it like this: Bush’s policy was against the law, that’s different from saying George W. Bush broke the law. Nixon, for example, broke the law by ordering or covering up a criminal act. What are the penalties for a FISA violation?

  92. 5 years in prison lamar, its a felony. Bush could be impeached, and we could be looking at more articles of impeachment against himthan against any other president in history. Andrew Johnson had 11 articles against him. Clinton had 4, Nixon 3.As for your comment, If a policy is against the law then anyone who follows it breaks te law, and anyone who wrote the policy is liable under the law as well. so Bush is liable if his policies are illegal, which many of them most certainly are..

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