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Kill the Precedent
Congress does nothing, so we can hope
By Ian Murphy
Do I often fantasize of jamming a rusty shiv into the Vice President’s eye socket and twirling it around until he passes out from shock and slowly bleeds to death? Of course. Would I do it? No. This author does not torture.
Not only are there insurmountable logistical problems, there’d be dire consequences! Never mind my jail sentence—imagine the draconian reactions of W. and the thoroughly whipped, subservient congress. We’d be a police state on steroids quicker than two shakes of cat’s ass.
Luckily, we have a built-in constitutional mechanism for removing rogue vice presidents from power. There’s just one problem: the Democrats are worthless piles of chicken shit.
Last week, UFO-spying sprite Dennis Kucinich introduced House Resolution 799, Articles of Impeachment Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney. And then a funny thing happened: Republicans went for it.
Naturally, the Democrats followed suit, right? Wrong. The idea was that by supporting the bill and forcing an up or down vote in the House, the Republicans would “embarrass” the Democrats into… following the constitution and demanding justice on behalf of those who put them in power.
How embarrassing! The Democrats will never do that. Pelosi took impeachment “off the table” the second she took office. Why? So we could all just “move on” to brighter days and put all this ugliness behind us. The Democrats were trying to prove that they’re the classier party by forgiving and forgetting. The negativity of an impeachment, so goes the conventional wisdom, would tarnish the Democratic brand. Too late.
The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee, as was a near identical bill submitted by Kucinich in May. So don’t expect action on this anytime soon (read: never). Public support for impeaching Cheney is higher than it ever was for Clinton, but people in the beltway just don’t get it. In D.C. an impeachment amounts to partisan politics, rather than following the laws of our land.
This is the latest in a series of Republican outmaneuvers. It’s the same scenario running on a loop in Washington: Democrats do something that demonstrates conviction, like attaching a time table to the Iraq War budget or introducing impeachment articles. Then they fold, unwilling to face the heat or challenge the status quo. Acting on what they portend would provide too much fodder for their opponents in the next election.
And that’s what this is all about: getting reelected. The Democrats want to paint themselves as the party of hope and possibility. But if they took action, all that hope and possibility would dissipate into feelings of contentment and accomplishment. It’s their MO to do nothing significant, put on a smile, and tell us to hope. Keep on hoping. The less they accomplish the more we hope, and as the party of hope, the better they look. Meanwhile, Republicans and the unitary executive will continue cramming their agenda down America’s throat.
The Democrats are still playing the roll of battered minority, fighting the well-oiled Republican machine. It as if they’re waiting for the Republicans to destroy themselves, or by doing nothing they’ll look like saints by comparison to right-wing criminality, and they’ll pick up more seats in ’08. But this congress was elected to carry out the will of a deeply dissatisfied nation. And by incompetence and the willful tact of delayed gratification they have failed miserably.
The appeasement precedent set by this congress is shameful. They're not giving inches, they’re giving miles. They're not doing what they were elected to do. They’re not following the constitution. They’re not doing nothing. This is their MO.
And it’s going to backfire.
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