The Glittering Eye On Impeachment
Some good points by Dave Schuler:
The reality is that impeachable offenses are defined circularly: they are precisely what the House of Representatives finds that they are. Under current circumstances it seems pretty unlikely that the House will find what the President has done (whatever that is) will rise to the level of an impeachable offense.
Perhaps the better question is should the authorization be an impeachable offense? If what the President did was a violation of the law and the law was constitutional and the President knew what he did was a violation of a constitutional law, then it probably should be but thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an awful lot of ifÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s and those ifÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s are, apparently, not completely clear.
If I were a sitting Congressman I think that I might hesitate before going too far down this road. The courts might find that Congress was acting unconstitutionally by arrogating to itself power that the Constitution does not give to Congress. And that, in turn, might be a felony which is a constitutional basis for the removal of a sitting Congressman.
And then a point about partisan politics…
One thing is clear: partisan discord should not be allowed to become a grounds for impeachment whatever water has flowed under the bridge.
But as I take a moment to consider…as well intentioned as Dave’s last point is, how can that ever be determined? The voices calling Bush’s actions dubious are coming from both sides. So I think the whole “partisan politics” argument is pretty much moot at this point, no matter how many of the Daily Kosers are crying foul.
And let’s not forget, it was Bush who chose to go around existing wiretap laws. Also, doesn’t publicly stating that the Constitution gives him absolute authority to do whatever he pleases to protect this country seems inherently contrary to why the Constitution was written in the first place? I thought the point of that document was to make sure that the President DOESN’T have that type of authority and must first go to the representative body that was elected by the states.
Anyway, food for thought.