Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Why we must impeach

Tonight Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate are stepping up the pressure on the GOP by actually making them filibuster the Reid-Levin amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill. The Reid-Levin amendment would actually require a withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 120 days. It's a good idea, but, sadly, irrelevant. The best case scenarios are either that enough Republicans feel the pressure and either the amendment gets the 60 votes it needs to end the filibuster, or the GOP drops the whole idea of the filibuster and lets the amendment pass with a simple majority.

What if that happens? Well, President Bush has already made it clear he will veto any bill limiting his power to do whatever he wants in Iraq, so he'll veto this one.

Then what? Okay, let's say that the GOP finally sees what the rest of the country has seen, and we get the 67 votes we need to overturn the veto (and the same thing happens in the House). Yippie! Right?

Wrong. Two words - signing statements. President Bush will never allow something like Congress overturning a veto to stand in his way. The war will not stop while he is in office. There's precedence for this model of "governing": Richard Nixon.

From the Boston Globe:

In Iraq bills, a Vietnam echo: Legislating an end is a thorny quest

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | July 16, 2007

WASHINGTON -- In December 1970, Congress passed historic legislation revoking the 1964 Tonkin Gulf resolution, which had authorized military force in Vietnam, and banning the deployment of ground troops in Cambodia. War opponents hoped Congress was on the verge of forcing a quick end to the bloody quagmire in Indochina.

"The president, in our judgment, now lacks legitimate authority to keep on prosecuting the war," said Senator Frank Church , Democrat of Idaho, in a 1971 speech. "Under these circumstances, a great opportunity is presented to Congress -- the chance to fill this constitutional vacuum with a disengagement policy that could help unite the country again."

War opponents' hopes were dashed. Despite signing the bills, President Nixon said he had independent authority as commander in chief to keep combat in Vietnam going. For the next two years, Congress failed to agree on further restrictions, and nearly 3,000 more American soldiers died. Nixon finally ended the war on his own terms with a cease - fire agreement in January 1973.

Charlie Savage, you may recall, is the reporter who blew the lid off Bush's signing statements. He knows what he's talking about. Does anyone doubt that George Bush, controlled, err, advised as he is by Dick Cheney, would fail to follow the lead of Mr. "Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal."?

Not only have our President and Vice President wantonly and repeatedly violated the Constitution, but they continue to do so, ignoring the intent of the founders and any semblance of respect for the balance of power which has served our nation so well. How can we stop them - before more unnecessary deaths? Before an attack on Iran? Before our willful ignorance of the real threats to our nation lead to more terrorism on US soil? Before even more of our civil liberties get trampled?

George Bush will never listen to "reason" - he believes that he is guided by his God in this war. He must be removed from office - not in January 2009, but now.


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