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7/23/2005

The inadequacy of impeachment

A Republican who is running for Bernie Sanders' House seat (Sanders is running for Senate) wants to impeach President Bush:
GOP candidate calls for impeachment

A Congressional candidate who wants to impeach President Bush insists he can win the Republican primary.

Dennis Morrisseau, 62, of West Pawlet, plans to seek the Republican nomination to run for U.S. House of Representatives. A central part of his platform, Morrisseau said, will be bringing articles of impeachment against Bush.

...Morrisseau said he considers himself more of a Republican than the president, and he thinks a lot of Vermont Republicans agree with him.
Speaking of impeachment, Liza Sabater says it ain't gonna happen:
The trail of slime is everywhere: Tenet, Flischer, Hughes, Powell, Rice, and of course, her hus ... I mean, her employer, Dubya.

...Couple this with Bush's approval ratings ... and you know he will never get impeached. The man is the anti-Clinton. Even if he got caught performing voodoo sex on Condoleeza on a bed of slaughtered spotted owls and after signing away 20lbs of uranium to Osama Bin Laden, he'd still wouldn't be booted out of office. No wonder people have to resort to revolutions to overthrow tyrants.
Does Bush deserve to be impeached? Probably. Will it ever happen? Not unless something completely unanticipated happens in 2006.

Another question: what would it accomplish? As Liza says, the trail of slime is everywhere, and Bush is basically just a figurehead; the administration wouldn't miss a beat in the event of his removal. You could impeach Cheney, too, but he's just one of the many "slimy" members of the administration.

Basically, you'd have to gut the whole administration, which is of course impractical. Impeachment is really a very limited mechanism for dealing with misconduct in the executive branch. If the president were the equivalent of a dictator, it might make sense, but rarely is corruption limited to the nominal head. Impeachment removes a piece of the apparatus, but leaves the apparatus itself intact.

What we need is some mechanism for removing an entire administration. Rather than (or at least in addition to) impeachment, we could call a special election, with members of the incumbent administration (though not the incumbent party) prohibited from running, thus guaranteeing a new order.

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