Thursday, June 28, 2007

Impeach Cheney?

As long as we've been discussing VP Dick Cheney this week, here's an article that makes a case for impeaching him, written by Bruce Fein, a conservative attorney who served in the Justice Department in the Reagan era. Fein has been upset with the Bush administration's grab for overweening executive power for a long time -- he opposed the Patriot Act, for example. Now he traces much of the abuse of power to Cheney, to whom, he argues, Bush has "outsourced" much of the presidency. For his dominant role in authorizing unwarranted wiretaps and other surveillance on Americans, bending U.S. policy toward approving of torture and detaining people (including U.S. citizens) indefinitely without filing charges, urging signing statements announcing the president will enforce laws selectively and ignore parts he doesn't like, and his hostility to civil liberties and freeedom of the press, he thinks Cheney is eminently impeachable.

Of course the words "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the impeachment clause of the Constitution are a term of political art meaning, in effect, "we've had enough of your stuff, buster; it's time for you to go." I think we should have impeached a president (whether we convicted him or not) every 20 years or so just to keep them all a little nervous. Maybe we're moving in that direction. Impeaching a vice president wouldn't be a bad idea, and this one certainly deserves it. Whether there's the political will to do so when the country faces so many other problems and is already distracted by the upcoming election is another question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have you heard about H Res 333? I urge you and your readers to take a few minutes to look at:

It's a list of the 25 most recent comments made by real Americans participating in an online poll/letter-writing campaign concerning the impeachment charges recently filed against Vice President Cheney, which are now being evaluated by the House Judiciary Committee. Comments can be sent to elected representatives and local newspapers at your option. The participation page is at:

Since this campaign began, several members of Congress have signed on as co-sponsors, in part due to hearing from their constituents. Has yours? Make your voice heard, and let others know!