Labor Week
Impeachment
By Henry Meyerding
May 6, 2007 - 7:45:00 PM

My dictionary says of "impeach":

"To call in question, to challenge the credibility of, to bring an accusation against, to charge with wrong-doing, or to accuse (a public official), before a competent tribunal, of misconduct in office.

In other words, to impeach an elected official is to bring them to fully and publicly account for their actions in office. In any country that cherishes democratic ideals and a heritage of government being responsible to the people, an impeachment should occur whenever a sizable portion, or even a majority, of the people question whether the government has been doing their job. This does not mean that we convene a court whenever three people want to complain, but it also doesn't mean that we wait until 99% of the people know the SOB is certainly guilty before we compel them to answer for their deeds.

A sizable percentage of the American people now seriously question the conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another sizable majority of the people conclude that the government either lied or was incompetent when making a case for the invasion of Iraq. Certainly, the promises made by the administration concerning the planning of the war and the timetable for tangible results leaves many, many Americans unsatisfied.

Let's impeach them then, and when I say "them" I don't just mean Bush, but also the Vice President, Mr. Cheney and the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Gates, as well as Mr. Rumsfeld, and Mr. Wolfowitz. Each of these men plays a very important role in the story of how we got into our current mess. They should be compelled to give a complete accounting of their actions.

Certainly, there has been no leadership team in the history of this country, with the possible exception of Enron, whose promises have been so wide of their achievements. There isn't any kind of system of reckoning that would show this bunch in the black. If they's been in charge of a single corporation instead of the entire nation, they'd have been fired a long time ago.

"We shouldn't impeach our leadership in time of war," some say, but when our leadership's actions can only be plausibly explained in terms of war-profiteering and a considerable percentage of the American people suspects that they might be guilty of that and of even worse crimes, then impeachment in time of war is perfectly appropriate. Bush has already said that he doesn't see our nation getting out of a state of war in the next couple of generations - does that mean that we should dispense with any accountability for our political leaders until they decide to proclaim the war over? Don't we all have the right to compel our leaders to end wars when we think the time is right, not when our leaders do? What good is democracy if our leaders refuse to listen to our collective voice?

And if impeached, these men bring forward cogent arguments and proof for their defense and our legislature accepts their arguments and acquits them, then they will have been well and truly exonerated. Our political system will have faced another difficult situation and show itself to be strong enough and wise enough to have weathered the controversy: the system will have worked.

In the contrary case, where our legislative representatives find culpable guilty in these persons and removes them from their various offices, then we and our form of government will have been vindicated: we will have done in law and through the application of high ideals what other countries can only accomplish through violent revolution. Millions of brave young people do not need to be maimed or killed in order to overthrow a corrupt or incompetent government in these United States: we have a better way: our Constitution and rule of law. The system will have worked.

Either way, if the process itself is not corrupted or made false, then we're stronger after than before: a nation divided shall not stand - a nation united shall endure.



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