Proving that he’s not one to be outdone by the colorful rear end of some 1997 Volvo station wagon, Congressman (and first-ever Venutian-American to run for president) Dennis Kucinich has filed articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush. The Huffington Post is already drooling over this non-starter of a non-event, with Joseph A. Palermo calling it, “the most thorough and powerful case made to date.”
If that’s the case, then Dennis is going to have to try lots harder — certainly harder than he did in his failed 2007 bid to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. Surely you remember that doomed effort, don’t you? Well, there he goes again.
Let’s take a look — a mercifully quick look — at a few of the greatest hits from Kucinich’s 35-count impeachment, and what others are saying about it. (Masochists can actually watch Kucinich present his bill to Congress on YouTube.)
On the most damning charge, the Belfast Telegraph reports that Kucinich
accused Bush of executing a “calculated and wide-ranging strategy” to deceive citizens and Congress into believing that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States.
Oh, really? Here are Bush’s own words, from his 2003 State of the Union address:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.
Ben Fritz at the nonpartisan website Spinsanity wrote, months later, that on the imminent threat issue, “conservatives are largely correct and liberal critics and journalists are guilty of cheap shots or lazy reporting.” And now we have a six-term Congressman guilty, I guess, of writing a cheap and/or lazy article of impeachment. It’s almost enough to make you pine for the days of Bob Barr and Bill Clinton.
The Sun-Sentinel adds that Kucinich’s bill charges the President with the “Illegal use of torture during interrogation, the authorization of a warrantless wiretapping program on American citizens.”
Now, I’m against the use of torture, starting with the fact that as Americans, we’re supposed to be better than that. But when a total of three non-Geneva-protected prisoners, in a raging war zone, were threatened with fake drowning for a total of less than a minute, and valuable intelligence was obtained… well, that’s not exactly up there with Jimmy Carter’s abandonment of 52 American hostages to the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 1979.
And wiretapping? How illegal can an action be when the Supreme Court refused even to hear a lawsuit on it back in February? And remember, the wiretaps were only against international calls or emails between suspect foreigners and (potential fifth-column?) Americans. I’d like to see more Congressional and federal court oversight on those taps, but the Supremes don’t seem to think there’s a problem, and the Democratic Congress doesn’t care enough to pass a law one way or the other.
Dependably, Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Iran) has signed on as a co-sponsor, claiming that
President Bush deliberately created a massive propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the charges detailed in this impeachment resolution indicate an unprecedented abuse of executive power.
What Wexler wants you to forget is, anytime any President wants to get anything passed into law, he must wage a “propaganda campaign.” The President, after all, has nothing more than the bully pulpit to get Congress to do something he wants — whether it’s war in Iraq or socialized health care for kitties. So in 2003 the President asked for something, and Congress — by overwhelming bipartisan majorities — delivered. Now then, how does Wexler prefer people to think of Congress — as pushovers to a dumb Texan or as warmongers against innocent jihadis ?
But what about the current Democratic majority in Congress? Couldn’t they make Bush an election issue by holding hearings on Kucinich’s false charges all through the summer and fall? Not likely. The Politico’s John Bresnahan reports that even San Francisco’s Nancy Pelosi has stated flatly that impeachment is “off the table.”
And Dennis Kucinich is off his rocker for hoping otherwise.