Thursday, July 26, 2007

On Impeachment

I don't think that I have written a post on the impeachment of George Bush yet. The reasons for that are not just my usual excuses. I'm also not sure if a Greek goddess should address the issue, and there are the practical difficulties of getting the needed numbers in the Congress. These practical difficulties might mean that an attempt to impeach would be a failed attempt to impeach, and the consequences of a failed attempt might not be pretty. On the other hand, what is going on right now isn't terribly pretty, either.

Josh Marshall has written a post about all this today. He begins by stating that he is still opposed to impeachment for practical reasons. But his feelings about the alternatives to impeachment have changed:

Without going into all the specifics, I think we are now moving into a situation where the White House, on various fronts, is openly ignoring the constitution, acting as though not just the law but the constitution itself, which is the fundamental law from which all the statutes gain their force and legitimacy, doesn't apply to them.

If that is allowed to continue, the defiance will congeal into precedent. And the whole structure of our system of government will be permanently changed.

Whether because of prudence and pragmatism or mere intellectual inertia, I still have the same opinion on the big question: impeachment. But I think we're moving on to dangerous ground right now, more so than some of us realize. And I'm less sure now under these circumstances that operating by rules of 'normal politics' is justifiable or acquits us of our duty to our country.

And what is the new system of government that this precedent would create? What would it be called?