A Republic, If We Can Keep It

Don’t bet your freedom and our republic on a comfortable assumption. Be prepared for a desperate grab for permanent, dictatorial power.

Why not impeach?

The Congressional Democrats offered several excuses for keeping impeachment “off the table.”

One familiar response (even by such estimable Senators as Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders), is that following a successful impeachment in the House, the Senate would surely not convict.

Two replies come to mind: (1) Don’t be so sure of that. When the impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon began in the House Judiciary Committee, the Republican Senators were solidly against conviction and removal. All that changed when the evidence was brought forth and the public responded.  (2) So what if the Senate fails to convict? When the Republican Congress filed impeachment charges against Clinton, they knew full well that it would never get the necessary 67 votes for conviction in the Senate. It would suffice, they assumed, to drag Clinton’s name and behavior through the mud. Of course, they failed to correctly anticipate the public response. In the case of Bush and Cheney, it will be quite enough to expose their treason and their numerous “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Senators who vote against conviction will then have to justify those votes in the next election.

Another dodge is that impeachment would distract the House and the Senate and,as Russ Feingold argues, “put important issues facing our country on the back burner.”

But what “issues” are more important than restoring the Constitution and the rule of law, and saving our republic from dictatorship?  Moreover, as Feingold fails to tell us, in any case the Senate Republicans are succeeding in keeping these “important issues … on the back burner.” The devious GOP strategy is to see to it that, by means of filibuster and cloture, Congress “does nothing,” so that the GOP can run in 2008 on the charge that this was a “do nothing Democratic Congress.”  If the Senate Republican continue at their current rate, by the end of this Congress they will have forced 153 cloture votes –almost three times the previous record.

The final excuse for keeping impeachment “off the table,” is “just be patient, the term of Bush/Cheney, Inc. will end in January, 2009. And there are strong indications that the GOP will be crushed in the 2008 election, and that a Democratic will occupy the White House. Then, our long national nightmare will be over.”

The almost universal and unexamined assumption that an “ordinary” Presidential election will take place in November, 2008, is extremely dangerous. We have always had our quadrennial Presidential elections, so why not assume that the next will take place in 2008?  We must assume that it might not, because the consequences of a Democratic victory in 2008 would exact an extraordinary cost to the losers, and because they have put in place the means to cancel  that election.

What “cost”? Put simply, the loss of ill-gained fortunes, and still worse the likely conviction and imprisonment of numerous neo-cons, Busheviks and corporate fellow-travelers. To prevent which, either the Busheviks must remain in power after 2009 (presumably by canceling the election), or the Bush/Cheney regime must be succeeded by a GOP Administration and Congress that can reliably shut down investigations and prosecutions. And to accomplish that, a mainstream media blitz and widespread election fraud will be necessary.

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