American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

What does it take to get a President impeached?

Posted by Joel Friedlander | 5 Comments

death of habeas corpus(The following comment, in response to Another Test for Habeas Corpus received 80 reader recommendations and was an editors’ selection on the NYTimes online today):

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Presidential Oath of Office.

Now, I ask you: Has this President lived up to that oath?

He has vitiated the right to Due Process of Law in the name of what he calls national security; He has intentionally determined not to enforce the laws passed by the Congress by using “Signing Statements”; He has violated the laws of the United States, the World, and Humanity in general by creating secret camps to hide prisoners; He has encouraged the torture of prisoners of the United States; He has violated the Laws of the Geneva Convention to which the US Congress has ratified; He has violated and abrogated treaties which the US Congress has ratified; He has eliminated the right of trial by jury to American Citizens held in foreign countries by American Forces, and he has attempted in various other ways to destroy the Administrative Bureaucracies lawfully created by the Congress by ordering them NOT to carry out their lawful stated missions, all in violation of numerous Court Orders at all levels.

What does it take to get a President impeached? Must such an action be entirely political or does there come a time when it is a patriotic duty?


5 Responses to “What does it take to get a President impeached?”

  1. Matt Cipriano
    April 8th, 2008 @

    It’s funny, just about a year ago I wrote on here about Democrats being Pansies for not trying to impeach Bush. I think after the last impeachment hearings we went through there is a fear of a backlash.
    If there is a move to impeach the President and it fails (or the President decides to over rule the decision), especially so close to an election, there would be significant repercussions to the Democratic party. In impeaching the President you essentially need to vilify him, if that doesn’t work you end up looking like the villain, a position no Democrat currently wants to be in. I think a decision was made at some point just to ride out his term and hope for the best.

  2. Matt Cipriano
    April 8th, 2008 @
  3. Joel Friedlander
    April 8th, 2008 @

    The high crimes and misdemeanors on the list set out above have existed for years. It is only recently that it has become obvious to all of the American People that this President is an unmitigated failure, but it is not that which must guide us; it is the fact that Bush has systematically attempted to destroy the very concept of a Republican Government. He doesn’t believe in the separation of powers, and this contempt first displayed itself when he refused to let the Congress know who was consulted concerning the energy proposals made in his administration before 9/11. He is the strongest supporter of Executive Privilege since Nixon, and we know why he was hiding things.

    The real problem with Nixon is that neither he nor the Republicans were ever punished politically for their contempt for the domestic political process (Note: I believe that RMN was terrific in foreign affairs, and in many national ways.) The current administration seeks to create a monarch who is president in name only. This is bad politics and bad statesmanship. Instead of paying a price for what RMN did, the Republicans have had 28 years out of the past 40 where they have been in power and they have made a muck of it.

    My real query is, what does it take in American Politics to make statesman out of politicians? This wouldn’t necessarily have required impeachment, but it would have required that the members of the presidents own party go to him and warn him that if he did not reverse course on the things mentioned, his own people would toss him out. The threat to impeach Nixon was all that was necessary because of the patriotism of people like Howard Baker and others.

  4. Jason
    April 8th, 2008 @

    I’ve got a mantra that goes, “One time on an episode of The West Wing…”

    Well, I’m going to use it again.

    In an episode of The West Wing (“The Wake Up Call” season 6) some important politicos from Belarus travel to the White House to meet with a constitutional scholar and Toby Ziegler to work on drafting a constitution for their own fledgling democracy.

    The Belarussians insist on having a constitution that provides broad powers to an executive. Toby argues against such a move in a country previously ruled by brutal totalitarianism. But more importantly he points out that constitutional democracies giving broad powers to an executive have historically failed and that most democratic scholars argue that the Constitution of the US is a recipe for disaster. Basically, America got lucky.

    But I think Bush is proving how correct Toby was in that episode.

  5. Eric Hazard
    April 8th, 2008 @

    I agree with Matt. If the people want to impeach Bush, they need to persuade their Congressmen to pursue articles of impeachment. I would like to see these vague allegations people like to toss around turn into actually crimes, not just dislikes of Bush’s mangement style. To wit, from the above post, “[H]as attempted in various other ways to destroy the Administrative Bureaucracies lawfully created by the Congress by ordering them NOT to carry out their lawful stated missions.” To which I ask, what does that mean? How would one ever prove this intent? Lawfully stated missions, you mean like the Post Office has to deliver mail in the rain, sleet or snow no matter what? And again, what evidence is there to support these orders? I have not seen one shred of evidence pointing to an explicit order in which Bush, as President of the United States, ordered an Administrative Bureaucracy not to carry out a mission.

    Also, “He has violated the laws of the United States, the World, and Humanity.” Where exactly are the laws of humanity written, and when does Bush take an oath to uphold them? Where does the Constitution spell out the President of the United States, a soverign nation, is bond by some arbitrary “law of the world?”

    The liberals don’t like Bush. They think he is dumber than a sack full of hammers. They don’t like his “cowboy” image. They think they can ex post facto rewrite our Constitutional election system so their guy wins. I understand all of this. But the leftist echo chamber has produced the the assine idea that somehow all of this is a punishable offense. Seemingly intelligent, well educated, well read people will post things in the blogosphere such as, “”[H]as attempted in various other ways to destroy the Administrative Bureaucracies,” and actually believe this is somehow a) a crime and b) an impeachable offense.

    So to the original question: “What does it take to get a President impeached?” I offer an answer. Use a cigar tube as an instrument of foreplay with White House intern and then lie to the American people about it. That is what it takes to get a President impeached.

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