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Why Are Dems Such Cowards on Impeachment?

M.J. Rosenberg

I don't get it.The Constitution prescribes a remedy when a President or Vice-President commits "high crimes and misdemeanors."

It is impeachment.

And everyday we learn more about the unconstitutional behavior of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Every poll on the subject indicates strong support in the country for impeaching the Veep (who has a 13% approval rating.)

But Democrats do nothing, thereby themselves thwarting the Constitution and allowing to stand the idea that impeachment is appropriate when a President lies about his sex life but not when a Vice President operates entirely outside of the law.

I know why they are ducking the I word.

The Democrats in Congress are focused on only one thing: holding Congress next year and winning the Presidency.

I'm down with that.

But I have to wonder about a party that, in pursuit of victory, would join Republicans in trampling the Constitution by not applying the prescribed Constitutional remedy for criminal behavior.

I also reject the idea that impeachment would hurt the Democrats. Public approval of the Democratic Congress is in the basement. And that is because Congress appears to be doing nothing about anything.

Of course, the reason Democrats reject impeachment is that they continue their quixotic pursuit of the Republican vote. The DLC types are always pushing Dems to pursue evangelicals, gun owners, tough white males, hawks, people uncomfortable with gays, African-Americans, etc.

The thought of impeachment terrifies those determined to seek votes from people who would never vote Democratic anyway.

Think of it this way. Any voter turned off by impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney is not voting Democratic in 2008.

So why not do the right thing? Read the Constitution and then do what James Madison is telling you to do.

At the very least, the initiation of impeachment proceedings would shut Cheney down for the remainder of the Bush term. Remember what they did to Clinton and how he was forced to devote almost all his time to his own defense?

More likely impeachment would succeed, with Republicans joyfully using it as an opportunity to distance themselves from a failed administration while not directly turning on their President.

Just do it, Dems. You can't be wusses forever!

M.J. Rosenberg works in Washington supporting US efforts to advance an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

© 2007 The TPM Cafe

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