Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yes, yes, yes. Impeach Gonzales

Posted by olvlzl.
Robert Kuttner has it so right that it almost hurts. Impeachment of Alberto Gonzales would be a very valuable thing, more useful than his forced retirement.

But can the House impeach the attorney general? The Constitution is clear that Congress may impeach "all civil officers of the United States." In our history, the House has impeached two presidents, and just one member of the Cabinet, William Belknap, secretary of war under president Ulysses S. Grant.

Belknap had profited from kickbacks by military contractors. The House began impeachment proceedings, documented the charges, and just before the articles were formally voted, on March 2, 1876, Belknap resigned. But the House voted impeachment anyway. The reason, as House Judiciary Chairman J. Proctor Knott explained to the Senate, "was that his infamy might be rendered conspicuous, historic, eternal, in order to prevent the occurrence of like offenses in the future."

Impeachment has to become real or we don't have a republic but a monarchy. If we had a parlimentary system we would have an effective vote of no confidence, as it it we have only the quasi-mythic tool of impeachment. If the Bush regime crimes aren't punished by impeachment it is truly a myth.