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Kerry Calls for Bush Impeachment if Dems Retake House

Senator John Kerry said last night that, if the Democrats retake the House in the 2006 midterm elections, they should impeach President Bush.

Kerry Links Retaking House To Bush Impeachment (Hotline On Call)

MA. Sen. John Kerry said last night that if Dems retake the House, there’s a “solid case” to bring “articles of impeachment” against President Bush for allegedly misleading the country about pre-war intelligence, according to several Dems who attended. Kerry was speaking at a holiday party for alumni of his WH ’04 bid.

About 100 campaign vets gathered at Finn McCool’s bar in D.C. to hear him. In a short speech, Kerry praised Dems who were working on Senate and House campaigns, and then said, according to one listener: “If we take back the House, there’s a solid case to bring articles of impeachment against this president.” Another listener heard a slight variation: “If we win back the House, I think we have a pretty solid case to bring articles of impeachment against this President.” Kerry then quickly added, according to several in the audience, “Don’t tell anyone I said that.”

A Kerry spokesman, David Wade, put it off as a joke:

Is it really a story that, with a smile on his face and to ensuing laughter, at a Christmas party for his hardest working troops who are still working to win in 2006, a Democrat joked about why these diehard Democrats needed to keep dreaming of a Democratic Congress? Impeachment jokes in Washington are as old as Don Rumsfeld and as funny as Dick Cheney is gruff. Only the truly humorless would say bah humbug to the rarest of partisan red meat.

Of course, that was Trent Lott’s defense, too.

I believed Lott and tend to believe Kerry/Wade, too. Saying stupid things in an attempt to be funny shouldn’t be a career ender.* Still, this was pretty stupid.

The RNC is calling the statement “outragous” and engaging in some bluster about the issue:

RNC Communications Director Brian Jones responded to Senator John Kerry̢۪s call for presidential impeachment with the following statement.

“With his impeachment advocacy last night, John Kerry once again showed how out of touch he is with American people and how in step he is with the far left fringes of the Democrat party. For one of the leaders of the Democrat party to begin a push for presidential impeachment, in seriousness or jest, on the eve of the Iraq elections is both foolish and shortsighted.”

Sadly, Jones is not joking.

*I did think Lott should have been removed as Majority Leader for his poor judgment, especially given the number of other blunders he made in that capacity. Had he just been a rank-and-file Senator, though, I would have thought the whole controversy silly. He was rather clearly just buttering up an old coot on his birthday, not seriously suggesting that we’d have been better off in a segregated society. Which, ironically, we had for nearly two more decades even though Truman won the election.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    About the only thing one can say about the Kerry ststement is, That this country made the correct decision in 2004 and the thought of having Kerry as President is one of Disaster, Surrender, and the end of a Free way of life.

    How lucky we are as Americans not to have Kerry as President.

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  2. Steven Plunk says:

    When will these guys understand that jokes are for private conversation not public consumption. With the spotlight on them every word carries a measure of importance proportional to the stature of the speaker. As a former presidential candidate his words matter.

    I guess they (politicians) want to be thought of as humorous and witty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Anderson says:

    Kerry should indeed know better.

    That said, here’s my question: supposing that Bush were found to have deliberately misled the nation into war, would that be impeachable? Say, a memo or a witness where Bush is saying “regardless of whether this WMD stuff is true, we still have to act like it is, because I want to remove Saddam”?

    Excepting some overbroad statutes about gov’t officials’ saying anything false, I can’t see that Bush would be guilty of a “high crime or misdemeanor.” So he probably wouldn’t be impeachable.

    Of course, impeachment is a political, not a judicial, process (as we found out in 1999), and the political backlash would be tremendous. But it’s a little sobering to think that the president can’t be removed for deliberately tricking a nation into war. Where’s a parliamentary system when you need one?

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  4. Richard Gardner says:

    This from the same Senator Kerry that is trying to quash the Barrett Report on Travelgate of a decade ago likely because it would embarrass the Clintons. It is all about politics and grandstanding. Barrett Report details here:

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  5. McGehee says:

    Where’s a parliamentary system when you need one?

    Must… resist… temptation…

    Anderson, if I didn’t like you, that could’ve been ugly. 😉

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  6. Anderson says:

    That was tongue-in-cheek, I assure you. Though it is cool watching those Commons Q & A sessions.

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  7. […] Democrats openly flirting with impeaching Bush is the subject of tonight’s episode of Loveline. But could our limp dick donkeys even be able to consummate the deed given their embarrassing case of elect-ile dysfunction and long-distance relationship with reality? We’d ask a horsefaced jackass if he’d ever bother to shut up. (h/t to Outside the Beltway): MA. Sen. John Kerry said last night that if Dems retake the House, there’s a “solid case” to bring “articles of impeachment” against President Bush for allegedly misleading the country about pre-war intelligence, according to several Dems who attended. Kerry was speaking at a holiday party for alumni of his WH ‘04 bid. […]

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  8. PAXALLES says:

    Kerryings On: Senator Not-Too-Swift Boats Himself Again – Suggests Bush Impeachment if Dems Retake House

    Kerryings On: Senator Not-Too-Swift Boats Himself Again – Suggests Bush Impeachment
    if Dems Retake House

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Vogel says:

    With the comparison to Lott, it almost sounds like a set up. One difference though, Lott was guilty of insulting the entire Black race who have struggled for years to gain respect and equal opportunity. John Kerry on the other hand, did not insult anyone,he stated in jest a far reaching possibility that a President that has mislead the country and the Congress into an unnecessary war could possibly be subjected to impeachment. After all, the very party in power now was going to impeach President Clinton for a White House affair. I don’t think Kerry did anything wrong, those who are reporting it on the other hand, owe him an apology for printing ofhand remarks in an attempt to discredit him.
    This man should be our President.

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  10. Anderson says:

    What a jerk he is JOHN KERRY is a poor loser he should be bared

    Let me just say that I am strongly opposed to any baring of John Kerry.

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  11. Globalvillage says:

    What does Senator Kerry’s joke have to do with the Iraq elections? Is bush* on the ballot? Will his party joke have some impact on the outcome? Someone please explain, because I fail to see the connection.
    And what kind of ass goes to a private party then runs to the media to dish on the host?
    Last question. When do we hear about his floor speech from today on Katrina SBA loans, or is that not juicy enough?

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  12. Globalvillage says:

    Let me just say that I am strongly opposed to any baring of John Kerry.

    I, on the other hand, have an opposing viewpoint. I would have a problem with his barring, though, if that’s what the previous poster intended.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Leo says:

    I can’t help but think he was serious.

    Well, that’s just because he doesn’t appear to have any detectable sense of humor.

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  14. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘I don’t think Kerry did anything wrong, those who are reporting it on the other hand, owe him an apology for printing ofhand remarks in an attempt to discredit him.’

    That must be some sweet Kool-Aid you’re chugging. First of all they weren’t offhand remarks, secondly wherever people came up with this idea that this fop had ‘gravitas’ and is ‘serious ‘ inspite of all the evidence to the contrary is beyond me. My wife’s Uncle was a 16 term US Rep from MA and I have had the misfortune to spend a certain amount of time in Kerry’s company and even by political standards he’s a pretentious assclown.

    ‘This man should be our President.’

    I guess the whole representative Democracy thing didn’t work out so well for you. As I remember most voting Americans disagreed with this proposistion.

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  15. Globalvillage says:

    My wife’s Uncle was a 16 term US Rep from MA and I have had the misfortune to spend a certain amount of time in Kerry’s company and even by political standards he’s a pretentious assclown.

    My sister’s husband’s second cousin was the Ambassador to Lichtenstein (not really, but just as relevant). I, also, have had the pleasure of spending a bit of time talking with the Senator, and I found him to be brilliant and charming. Maybe a reflection of the company he was in?

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  16. LJD says:

    “I found him to be brilliant and charming”

    I guess he does better with interpersonal conversations than things like, campaigns…

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  17. Globalvillage says:

    I guess he does better with interpersonal conversations than things like, campaigns…

    Quite possibly because I made my judgement based on the whole of our conversation and not a few sound bites hand selected to boost my ego, ratings and/or revenues.
    Look at the debates.

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  18. Around The Blogosphere #30 (And Open Trackback)

    The “Tookie Abortion Of Australian Culture” edition in the continuing saga of interesting and thought provoking news from around the web. There’s sure to be something you’ve missed around the blogosphere. (All links open in a new window for faster…

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  19. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘not really, but just as relevant’

    Actually not – I mention the frame of reference because as a member of the MA delegation there is a protocol for attending social functions in particular a couple of dedications, rallies, parties and the mentioned US Rep’s wake and funeral.

    ‘Maybe a reflection of the company he was in?’

    More likely a reflection of similar vapid pretentiousness.

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  20. Herb says:

    If John Kerry was ever elected to the White House, He wouldn’t be there very long.

    The Terrorists would be in charge and spreading their hate from the Oval Office.

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  21. LJD says:

    “Quite possibly because I made my judgement based on the whole of our conversation and not a few sound bites hand selected to boost my ego, ratings and/or revenues.
    Look at the debates.”

    I did. All of them, and I watched closely. While I would not say that the President expressed himself very eloquently, I could at least relate with what he was saying.

    The whole time watching Kerry, even during the primaries, I just kept thinking “this guy is absolutely full of it. He will say anything to get in the White House”

    Global village? Nope, I prefer my private property.

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  22. Globalvillage says:

    Actually not – I mention the frame of reference because as a member of the MA delegation there is a protocol for attending social functions in particular a couple of dedications, rallies, parties and the mentioned US Rep’s wake and funeral.

    My sympathies, yet your statement regarding your relationship to this person really had little direct correlation to the amount of contact you had with the Senator.

    More likely a reflection of similar vapid pretentiousness.

    Obviously, your impression of me is founded on litle more than a simple statement of support for the Senator. A baseless snap judgement of my character. How clever. If there’s something else, please enlighten me and I’ll work on it.

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  23. Globalvillage says:

    Global village? Nope, I prefer my private property.

    Guess what? I have private property, too. A good bit, actually, and I plan to hold onto it. But it’s not all about what you own, you know. Unless, of course, you define yourself only by your posessions.

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  24. Globalvillage says:

    The Terrorists would be in charge and spreading their hate from the Oval Office.

    Oh, Herb. You forgot ‘windsurfer’. Tell Karl I said ‘hey’, and good luck with that indictment thing.

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  25. ECTIO says:

    Around The Blogosphere #30 (And Open Trackback)

    The “Tookie Abortion Of Australian Culture” edition in the continuing saga of interesting and thought provoking news from around the web.There’s sure to be something you’ve missed around the blogosphere.(All links open in a new window for faster cr…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. That was a very funny joke about impeaching the President.

    I guess that President Bush was joking when he ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on United States Citizens. That was pretty funny too.

    Or it was another “funny” when the Pentagon revealed it too was spying on United States citizens in apparent violation of the law.

    Or did you find it funny when the Chief of Staff of the Vice-President was indicted for leaking information illegally and lying about it; punishing a CIA Agent by outing her and threatening our national security.

    Or did you find it amusing when the Education Department violated the law paying Armstrong Williams to write columns to support no child left behind?

    Or did you find it amusing when President Bush violated the 14th Amendment protecting the validity of the Federal Debt and said that the Treasury Notes were just a “file cabinet of IOU’s”.

    Or do you think it was funny that the President called the Constitution a “goddamned piece of paper.” I am sure you thought that was a hoot!

    But my favorite funny thing about this President was his massive failure to protect this nation from terrorist attack on 9/11 when he failed to follow-up on the Presidential Directive“Osama Bin Laden intends to Attack America” the month earlier.

    But of course John Kerry should realize that Republicans only support impeachment for more important issues like having consensual sex with a White House intern and lying about it.

    Nobody can pin that on the President!

    Bob

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  27. Herb says:

    Globalvillage:

    It seem obvious from your comments that you have a “love affiar” for Kerry.

    I think that tells everyone everything they need to know about you.

    To bad you lost in 04.

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  28. Globalvillage says:

    you have a “love affiar” for Kerry.

    Oh, Herb. You dear man.
    No offense intended, but is English your first language? Nothing wrong with it either way, just wondering.

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  29. Democrats expect big increases

    I just saw a news story that dementia is on the rise.

    The number of people suffering from dementia is expected to double every 20 years and could reach more than 81 million worldwide by 2040, health experts predicted on Friday.

    That explains wh…

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  30. FreakinLibs says:

    Kerry Flip-Floppidness Hits Again?

    Senator John Kerry, the Democratic candidate for President in 2004 recently advocated the impeachement of President Bush. At first Kerry tried to get it spun as a simple joke. Kerry is attempting to back track on this quick. Dont expect many waves in the

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  31. Malioch Brementownie says:

    Too much wind, not enough truth. As usual online as well as in life. Bush deserves impeachment like few other presidents before him. Whether or not you see or admit it. And really, if not, he’s laughing at you, too. Love and Piece.

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