The Legacy of Not Having Impeached Richard Nixon


This president, in the face of united and complete disagreement with his policies, in an atmosphere where he enjoys absolutely no support
either nationally of internationally, refuses to change any aspect of
his failed policy. What the hell can be done with a man like that?

Impeachbushposter_1
There is a rather broad coalition of the angry across the nation,
fairly salivating over the possibility of impeaching George Walker
Bush. I am not among them. The assassination or impeachment of
presidents is outrageous to the minds of Americans who cherish our
willingness to accept differences, to mediate between disparate
opinions and to slog on through the difficulties of governance.
Having said that, there are limits.
Slogging through doesn’t admit a temperament of indefinitely sitting
on our hands while the national body politic is ravaged. The time has
come to bring the principal executives of the nation before the law; certainly George Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld; probably David Addington, Paul Wolfowitz, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice as well.
Nixonbush_1
A scant 40% of Americans survive who remember the impeachment of
Richard Nixon. Nixon resigned rather than stand before that humiliation
and we, along with then president Gerald Ford, made the mistake of
letting him off the hook. It was perhaps understandable. Up to that
time we hadn’t much experience with seriously devious, paranoid and
crooked presidents. Then, much like now, the nation was raging over an
endless and unwinnable war.
The mistake was not warning future presidents, by our
actions, that the American Constitution was not only a document they
swore to uphold, but one to be feared as well. We are, because of that
document, a nation of law. Letting slip the nation’s most visible
defender of that law, the president, is to denigrate and trample the
principal of our equality under law. If we are not equal, we are nothing. If we allow ourselves inequality, then the whole precept of our nation under law comes tumbling down.
Cheneyrumsfeldyoung_1
It is alarmingly coincident to the Nixon avoidance of prosecution that it spawned two
lawless mentalities, each of whom worked in that failed
administration–Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. They are the long
expected “what goes ‘round comes ‘round” of the Nixon legacy.
Urging-on a weak and desperately unconfident President Bush, they bring
us to another national moment that tests who we are as a nation. That
moment tests who we will be to future generations of Americans as well.
Our international reputation is also being measured, but I set that aside as an (almost) irrelevant argument, because this is an American moment.
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Elizabeth Holtzman, former congresswoman, Harvard Law School graduate
and member of the House Judiciary Committee that brought about Articles
of Impeachment against former President Richard Nixon, recently put the
Bush situation in remarkable perspective;

   
“The
constitution doesn’t require the minimum. It requires the maximum. We
can’t have a president of the United States who puts himself above the
rule of law if we want to continue with this democracy. That’s it. No
ifs ands or buts. The fact that we have checks and balances does not
mean that we are not obliged to remove the person who threatens our
democracy from the presidency.”

Maryann Mann writes in OpEd News.com;

  Yet, on November 15th – eight days following the Democratic victory –
John Conyers sent an email to supporters telling them that proceedings
of impeachment are now “off the table.” Newly appointed Speaker
of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca., is in public agreement with Conyers,
declaring the potential proceedings “a waste of time.”
    But where is the opposition? The force of electoral frustration
which surged Democrats into power November 7th seems filled with the
very opposition the Democratic Party itself lacks. Indeed, come
January, if Conyers and Pelosi hold fast, the 110th Congress will allow the criminal precedents of Bush/Cheney to escape reproach without ever being held to account.

Nancypelosi2_2
By whose definition does Nancy Pelosi determine a Bush impeachment to be a ‘waste of time?’
How dare she determine that an administration that has ransacked the
laws of the nation, whose leader continues to wreak havoc as a majority
of one, is beyond the boundaries of law?
This administration (knowingly and deviously)

  • lied us into a war that has multiplied our exposure to terrorism by a factor of ten;
  • aided and abetted a wholesale waste and fraud among war zone contractors;
  • made a revolving door at the Pentagon and in the field, among generals who disagreed with their war strategy;
  • closed off the avenues of ‘advice and consent’ that constitutionally belong to the Congress
  • and (by signing statements) rewrote congressional laws to suit themselves and their purposes.

Bushgrimace_1
This president, in the face of united and complete disagreement with his policies, in an atmosphere where he enjoys absolutely no support
either nationally of internationally, refuses to change any aspect of
his failed policy. What the hell can be done with a man like that? The
nation, his generals, his own party as well as the opposition keep
telling him they don’t want what he (and he alone) insists upon and,
like a recalcitrant child, he doesn’t get it.
Reluctantly, but insistently, we must hold his feet to the fire.
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