20 July, 2007

Impeach now

Glenn Greenwald's latest post highlights the primae facie abrogation of the independent prosecutorial powers of the judiciary by exerting "Executive Privilege" en masse to the executive branch as a whole, and to the US Justice Department, that branch's largest constituent. This is nothing new, but, continues Greenwald:
(4) I confess some difficulty here in becoming particularly outraged over this latest theory. There is nothing new here. As has long been known, this administration believes themselves to reside above and beyond the reach of the law. What else would they need to do in order to make that as clear as can be? They got caught red-handed committing multiple felonies -- by eavesdropping on Americans in precisely the way the law we enacted 30 years ago prohibited -- and they not only admitted it, but vowed to continue to break our laws, and asserted the right to do so. And nothing happened.

This latest assertion of power -- to literally block U.S. Attorneys from prosecuting executive branch employees -- is but another reflection of the lawlessness prevailing in our country, not a new revelation. We know the administration breaks laws with impunity and believes it can. That is no longer in question. The only real question is what, if anything, we are willing to do about that.

Yes, it is true that, as various Democratic statements are claiming, this theory poses a constitutional crisis since, yet again, the President declares the other two branches of government impotent and himself omnipotent. But we have had such a crisis for the last five years. We have just chosen to ignore it, to acquiesce to it, to allow it to fester.

There is no magic force that is going to descend from the sky and strike with lighting at George Bush and Dick Cheney for so flagrantly subverting our constitutional order. The Founders created various checks for confronting tyrannical abuses of power, but they have to be activated by political will and the courage to confront it. That has been lacking. Hence, they have seized omnipotent powers with impunity.

At this point, the blame rests not with the Bush administration. They have long made clear what they believe and, especially, what they are. They have been rubbing in our faces for several years the fact that they believe they can ignore the law and do what they want because nobody is willing to do anything about it. Thus far, they have been right, and the blame rests with those who have acquiesced to it.


It has been six months since the Democrats took over Congress. Yes, they have commenced some investigations and highlighted some wrongdoing. But that is but the first step, not the ultimate step, which we desperately need. Where are the real confrontations needed to vindicate the rule of law and restore constitutional order? No reasonable person can dispute that in the absence of genuine compulsion (and perhaps even then), the administration will continue to treat "the law" as something optional, and their power as absolute. Their wrongdoing is extreme, and only equally extreme corrective measures will suffice.

Dear (progressive, lefty or even centrist readers), the time to rattle your Congressperson's cage is now. George Walker Bush and Richard Cheney must be brought before Congress to answer for their crimes, and John Yoo and Richard Armitage and others need to stop creating the policy that enables the unitary executive.

Now, I have advocated impeaching or otherwise removing Bush 43 from office from the beginning, and it is no secret that I am not a fan. But what, in October of 2001, may have seemed a radical position is now one which any sane American should, when presented with the evidence, surely come to believe as I do: Impeach Now.

Because, well, in spite of Keith Olbermann's best efforts, I sincerely doubt our POTUS and VPOTUS will resign as asked.