Sunday, December 17, 2006


According to Gingrich, Bush Should Be Impeached

So there I was - ironing my shirt and yelling at the television. It was Meet the Press and this has become standard Sunday morning activity. If I'm not yelling at the guests, it's Russert. Most Sundays it's both. Today it was Newt Gingrich and his batshit crazy views on the Iraq war, homeland security, and his legacy as a politician. Let's just say his self opinion is quite high. But when they got around to Gingrich's past behavior regarding impeachment, I damn-near burnt a hole in my shirt. If I'm not mistaken, he said that George W. Bush should be impeached.

MR. RUSSERT: you regret pressing the impeachment of President Clinton so hard?

FMR. REP. GINGRICH: President—you know, I’m—I’ve been divorced twice.

Both times I’ve been deposed. Both times I was told, “Perjury is a felony. You should tell the truth under deposition.” President Clinton lied under oath as a lawyer in front of a sitting federal judge in a civil rights case. This was not about his personal behavior in the Oval Office. That’s a matter of judgment, and people can render judgment. The question is, do you want to go down the road of Nigeria and corruption and have a country in which, as long as he’s popular, he can break the law? And if Clinton gets to commit perjury on this topic, then what does the next president get to commit perjury on, and then what does the next president get to commit perjury on? This was entirely about something I knew personally. We have an obligation as citizens to tell the truth to a federal judge under oath. The president failed that.

So let me get this straight - the impeachment of Bill Clinton was done to send a message. It wasn't just about punishing Clinton for his actions, but to make sure that future presidents would know that they aren't granted immunity simply because they are well liked. In short, it was about checking the power of future office holders.

For six years, George W. Bush has skirted laws and regulations under the guise of security. And how has he gotten away with it? Because his party was more popular. They held the majority and prevented any meaningful investigations. If the Newt Gingrich rationalization was good enough for the Republicans to impeach Clinton, it should certainly apply now. If for no other reason than to check the power of any future president. Would Republicans tolerate a Democrat who circumvented the FISA court? What about one who suspended Habeas Corpus? What about one who supported torture and the violation of the Geneva Conventions? What about one who deliberatley ignored congress through hundreds of signing statements? How about one who paid journalists for favorable coverage. Or what about... Well, you get the idea and I think we all know the answers.

So if I understand Newt Gingrich correctly, and I believe I do, we need to impeach George W. Bush for his past behaviors lest we be forced to endure more egregious behavior in the future. Sounds good to me. Maybe Newt and I can agree on something after all.


Thanks to everyone who's stuck around for the last several weeks. Over that time I've had two graduate classes end with major projects due, two performances of my students, a major fundraiser to deal with that involved over 400 boxes of citrus fruit, my kids' Christmas programs, and my regular job. Hopefully things have calmed down a bit and I can get back to normal. Like I said, thanks and I hope to be posting more regularly again.

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