Grassroots Democrats have been calling for their Washington counterparts to move against the Bush Administration on impeachment. And who should take up the banner for this all-important demand?
Boy, I feel better about impeachment, don't you?
With Kucinich drawing up articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney, there are a few questions that come to my mind.
1) What will be accomplished? Let's say the Democrats' dream comes true and Dick Cheney gets impeached and removed from office. Who gets to pick the new VP? Under the Constitution, that would be George W. Bush. Not Nancy Pelosi. Not Harry Reid. Not George Soros. Not Dennis Kucinich. GEORGE W. BUSH. Consider Cheney doesn't want to be President, that slot could go to someone who could, like...oh I don't know...Fred Thompson. And if you thought Cheney was rough, Thompson will make Cheney look like Barney the Dinosaur.
2) Is this really what the American people want? Let me quote Nancy Pelosi from prior to the election: "Impeachment is off the table." You know why she said it? Because people didn't want impeachment at that time, even though the Democrats did. And do you think the people have warmed up to it yet? I don't think so. You can do as many skewed polls as you want, but the vibe I get is that people are unhappy with the Bush Administration, but they aren't gathering up pitchforks and storming 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There are people who want impeachment to happen tomorrow, but they've wanted Bush and Cheney to be impeached since January 2001.
3) How would the House vote if the articles of impeachment get to the floor? The Democrats may have a majority in the House, but that doesn't make a Cheney impeachment a lock by any stretch of the imagination. The freshman Democrats tended to be far more conservative than their leadership...and they have a lot more to lose if they torque off the people back home. They also risk the wrath of their party leaders if they don't vote in favor of impeachment. Then, there are the conservative Democrats already in place in the House. Will they be willing to buck the party to save Cheney? Ultimately, I think the Democrats might be able to sneak an article or two through to the Senate, but not a whole slate. And it will be a very close vote either way.
4) How would the Senate vote if the articles of impeachment get to the floor? The words "kissing your sister" come to mind. And I don't mean it in the good way. The Senate makeup is 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and 2 Independents, with 1 of the Democrats being incapacitated. For Democrats to remove Cheney, they would need at least 60 votes. Somewhere along the line, they'd have to pick up 12 votes if every Democrat in the Senate voted to remove. Bernie Sanders is a lock. Joe Lieberman? Not so much. That means 11 Republicans would have to jump ship, and I don't think there are that many RINOs in the Senate. So, it will be just like the Clinton impeachment: close, but not close enough to matter.
5) How strong will the case against Cheney be? Having seen some of the articles of impeachment against Bush written up by some of the people on the left, I don't think it can be that strong. Impeachment articles are serious business, but the brain trust on the left haven't come up with a legitimate or even semi-legitimate offense that meets the minimum requirement of being a high crime or misdemeanor. After all the talk Democrats have done, to come up with anything less than an airtight argument is to announce to the world, "We are going to waste taxpayer dollars on an exercise in stupidity." And people tend to remember that sort of thing.
6) Is it just me, or does Kucinich look like a cross between Ross Perot and Casey Kasem?