Friday, July 20, 2007
Impeachment, The Cure for a Constitutional Crisis
If you are not a personal friend or family member then you have not heard me strongly recommend listening to Bill Moyers Journal from last Saturday evening. The discussion was with Mr. Bruce Fein ( affiliated with conservative think tanks and served in the Justice Department during the Reagan years) and Mr. John Nichols who wrote "The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism". I donwloaded the free podcast on iTunes and have listened to it twice today!
"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any president has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools. They don't give them up. The only way we take tools out of that box is if we sanction George Bush and Dick Cheney now and say the next president cannot govern as these men have."
Abuses of presidential authority:
Harriet Miers is silenced
The founding fathers of the Constitutione expected a president to commute:
"Madison and George Mason spoke about was the notion that you needed the power to impeach particularly as regards to pardons and commutations because a president might try to take the burden of the law off members of his administration to prevent them from cooperating with Congress in order to expose wrongdoings by the president himself. And so Madison said that is why we must have the power to impeach. Because otherwise a president might be able to use his authority and pardons and such to prevent an investigation from getting to him."
Other things that are impeachable:
"The intelligence gathering, the enemy combatant status, the kidnappings in-- dungeons abroad, all in secret and never disclosing anything to Congress or the American people."
Nancy Pelosi says impeachment is off the table. "Nancy Pelosi is wrong. Nancy Pelosi is disregarding her oath of office. She should change course now. And more importantly, members of her caucus and responsible Republicans should step up."