Saturday, July 26, 2008

John Dean comments on the Kucinich impeachment hearings:
Given the fact that Bush will be out of office in less than six months, it is not likely that the Kucinich resolution will receive the consideration it deserves. This is unfortunate. It has been clear to me since 2004, when I wrote Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush, in which I analyzed the basis for the very charge that Kucinich has now leveled, that Bush’s actions with regard to Congress – in essence, telling Congress and the American people a deadly lie involving the nation’s blood and treasure – constituted, without question, a “high crime” and impeachable behavior.
Based on prior subcommittee hearings, the House Judiciary Committee knows well that the checks and balances of the Constitution do not work when the Executive Branch has made itself preeminent among its co-equals, and made a mockery of the separation of powers, as Bush and Cheney have done. Nor is there any real mystery on Capitol Hill about how this happened, for it is the clear result of the action – and inaction – of the conservative Republicans in Congress who assisted Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II with their increasingly radical expansion of presidential powers. Ironically conservatives once opposed an excessively powerful presidency but they now favor it because they believe they can more easily win the White House than control of Congress.
Accordingly, I thought if I could merely make the point that conservatives, at one point, decided that they could not tolerate Nixon’s imperial behavior, and explain exactly why they came to that decision, it might clear the Republicans’ focus to deal with Bush and Cheney. Unfortunately, explaining this Nixon-versus-Congress history would be no easy task, for I discovered how ignorant current members of Congress are about Watergate when testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago. At that hearing, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham made statements and asked questions about Watergate that were less informed that I get from today’s average high school student.
As today’s hearings continue, it will be interesting to see if any members of Congress are prepared to defend Bush and Cheney’s lies about taking the nation to war in Iraq. Disturbingly, it has been clear for some time that Bush and Cheney did indeed lie – and that their lies fit within a clear, extensive pattern of abuse of power. Yet condemnation from Congressional Republicans has yet to be heard. Sadly, it seems possible that today’s Republicans -- unlike [Charles] Wiggins and the other Nixon apologists who changed their minds when confronted with proven presidential lies -- have no moral lines that they will draw.
No further comment needed.

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