Impeach Bush Chorus Growing Among Democratic Base
Congressional Democrats say that, while they themselves do not think impeachment proceedings make sense at this juncture, they are getting increasing pressure from their constituents, reports Christina Bellantoni in the Washington Times.
Congressional Democrats say their constituents are clamoring for something even the most liberal lawmakers promise they won’t pursue: President Bush’s impeachment.
“I get one call after another saying, ‘Impeach the president,’ ” said Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat and one of Mr. Bush’s most relentless critics on the Iraq war. “It’s a simple process but a very divisive thing,” Mr. Murtha said. “You’ve got to measure what it’s going to do to the country, and at this point I don’t see that happening. Instead we’ll fight it out on the issues.”
ome members speculated that the Democratic takeover of Congress and passage of Iraq withdrawal timetables in both the House and Senate have emboldened liberals across the country who want to see the president embarrassed during his final 21 months in office. “The timing is all wrong,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat. “If this were the first two years of his administration I would advocate impeachment. A lot of people at home say impeachment, and I’m sure he committed a lot of impeachable offenses, but think about it practically.” Mr. Nadler said impeachment hearings would be pointless and would only distract the country from the presidential election next year.
Democrats say their constituents also want them to target such administration figures as Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser.
Rep. Diane Watson, California Democrat, said she hears calls for impeachment from every crowd. “They say, ‘Democrats: Do something. Get Cheney, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales.’ They are saying impeachment. I am hearing that more and more and more,” said Ms. Watson. She said she has been receiving “nothing but kudos” for being one of just a few Democrats to vote against the party’s Iraq spending bill on the premise that Congress should not keep funding the war.
The only Democratic Member going on record favoring impeachment proceedings is a familiar one:
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said he thinks impeachment has merit. In a video on his 2008 presidential campaign site, Mr. Kucinich tells supporters: “We need to reevaluate the direction of this administration by looking at its conduct in office, by determining whether it has faithfully followed the laws of our nation. I’m prepared to start that process.”
While his 2004 candidacy was the butt of jokes and his nascent 2008 bid is largely being ignored, he was ahead of his party’s constituency on the war and may be there on this issue as well. As insane as the idea strikes me, it’s clearly something that a solid and vocal minority of Democratic activists would welcome.
The story’s in tomorrow’s edition but Hot Air is already all over it.