Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Hijacked Rich Simon's Blog

You can see the real thing here.

You can read the full text of The Articles of Impeachment here:

Dear Rich,

Dennis Kucinich would have been my choice for President. I knew that he had virtually no chance to be nominated by the Democrats, but I was still sorely disappointed when he withdrew. I wish that, when the time comes to cast my vote, I could vote for Obama, adding the caveat that I only do so because Kucinich isn't on the ballot. As a matter of fact, I think that I'm going to put your whole email on the blog today. I chastised my sister for one of her posts, which was largely the text of an interesting article she had read. (With proper attribution, of course.) And now I'm going to do the same bad thing.

Regarding impeachment; there are wrongs that must be righted. An accounting must be made. Impeachment is more than in order and I look forward to seeing it proceed. If criminals are not prosecuted, if public officials can escape the consequences of their misconduct, then we will have proven that we deserve whatever unprincipled government that manages to wangle it's way into power. - Maggie

"RICHARD B. SIMON" wrote:Scorp10n BowlJune 11, 2008

Impeachment Is On The Table
Richard B. Simon June 11, 2008

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, perhaps one of few honest men in Congress, has introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush.

They are exhaustive -- a stunning indictment of this man, and this presidency.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on taking the speakership in 2006, announced that impeachment was "off the table" -- a position this page has likened to a new sheriff riding into a lawless town and announcing, don't worry, nobody's going to jail under my watch.Pelosi has argued (and indeed, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer argues today) that impeachment would be a distraction for the country, and would detract from House business that the Democratic leadership believes is more pressing.

More likely, they are concerned that impeachment proceedings against Bush will re-galvanize the right and jeopardize their party's chances of increasing their majorities in the House and Senate -- and taking the White House.

They apparently are taking, as example, the impeachment for perjury of President Clinton, whose approval ratings at the time were around 70%, and how it galvanized the American people against the Republican Congress that pursued it.

No doubt, Americans will find it more pleasant to have Barack Obama on the front pages day to day, with a positive, upbeat message than a potentially nasty and divisive dredging up of this Administration's crimes, and recriminations flying back and forth between the Republicans who gave every Bush policy their hearty approval, and Democrats, who -- in the face of Bush's artificial, post-9/11 popularity surge -- caved, on everything. Lest they be branded cowards.

But there is legal precedent to consider.

It may be an ugly reality to face months of impeachment, of the second Presidential Administration in a row -- but the key lesson from the recent past may well be that Gerald Ford's pardon of Nixon led directly to Cheney (and Rumsfeld, both being creatures of the White House in that dark time) believing that in the wake of Nixon's criminal behavior, some grievous injury had been done to the Presidency.

That was not because Nixon had broken laws, but because the Congress responded to Nixon's lawbreaking by tightening restrictions on what the President could and could not do (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, for example, which prohibited domestic spying without a warrant).

Nixon was never tried, never convicted -- and was pardoned. He was, therefore, not a criminal. Cheney carried that lesson for thirty years, plotting -- and eventually achieving -- the return of the Imperial Presidency. He knew there would be no consequences, even if he shot the moon and failed.

But if this precedent stands, what will be its next iteration? Will it be benevolent dictatorship, or will it be more malign, as the actions of the Bush Administration are far worse perversions than the sins of the Nixon White House?

The more recent lesson, which Congressional Republicans will certainly take from our time, is that by impeaching a Democratic President for misdemeanors, they inured the next Republican President against impeachment for high crimes. That is a lesson we can afford neither party to rest smugly assured in having learned.

This was once, famously, a nation of laws, not of men.

Bush and company have held themselves above the law. They have forced interpretations of law that excluded their own behavior from consideration of wrongdoing, and even scribbled notes on the backs of new laws stating, essentially, I reserve the right to not obey this law.He has changed the legal precedent -- indeed the very founding moral and philosophical core of this country -- to one in which the President is King, accountable to no one, and to no law.But John McCain, who would be the next President, has already asserted that, if he is President, the Bushist prerogative to violate FISA and listen to our phone calls, and read our email -- likely this email -- without warrant, will stand.

If that precedent stands, this nation walks crippled into the future.

It may be sad to muddy this glowing moment, in which the winds of change blow clear and crisp from off the Pacific, and begin to cleanse the continent of its decade-long illness.But while a new President may be the treatment for these years of lawlessness, impeachment is the cure.

"The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist more money or more power." -Henry Wallace, Vice President of the United States, April 9, 1944

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four.If that is granted, all else follows."-George Orwell


Richard B. Simon said...

Kucinich is a hero.

And this hijack victim is honored.

Of course, you done me one better by adding a great image. He does look worried in that shot, doesn't he?

Love the cowboy and the Hockney, too -- the tacomagals have killer taste in art.

Ride on!


Richard B. Simon said...

PS -- added some art to that post today -- with the artist's blessing ... Check it out -- you'll love it.