Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

David Swanson: Can Cheney Save Bush's Presidency?

Can Cheney Save Bush's Presidency?


By David Swanson

Talk of censure and impeachment has begun swirling around President Bush. Can Vice President Cheney come to the rescue? He will do so if enough of Bush's opponents adopt the position of this Philadelphia Daily News op-ed writer
-- the position that impeaching Bush would be a mistake, since Cheney is worse than Bush.

That position is already fairly widespread on the left in the United States, and is typical of the left in the United States. Why must we get five steps ahead of ourselves in order to fantasize about defeat, precisely at the moment when we should be on the attack?

The Republicans impeached Clinton over his sex life without any hesitation. They did not remove him from office, of course. No one has ever (nonviolently) removed a president from office. But the impeachment of Clinton destroyed most of what little was left of a Democratic Party.

Now the fantasies of defeat include making Cheney president, making the Speaker of the House president, and so on down the line of succession. There's also the fear that if Cheney were removed first, Bush would nominate a more attractive replacement. Then there's the fear – expressed even by some who fear impeachment – that censure would somehow block impeachment.

Let's examine these a little. Exactly how horrible would it be for Cheney to become president? Here is a man who couldn't win an election against a year-old pile of road kill. He'd be a lame duck and a major advertisement for voting against the Republican party. Currently he runs the show, but he does so backstage. The prospect of Bush replacing Cheney with someone else, should his heart fail, should give slightly more concern, but not much.

Let's step outside our role of amateur pundits for a moment and try on the role of citizens, just for laughs. As citizens of a democracy, it is our sacred duty to demand the impeachment of a president and vice president who have committed high crimes – and there can be no higher crime than taking a nation to war aggressively and on the basis of lies. The targeting of civilians, use of depleted uranium, use of white phosphorous, ghosting of prisoners, use of torture, illegal spying, and so forth – that's all icing atop the strongest case for impeachment conceivable. If we do not impeach for this, we can never impeach – or impeachment must be reserved for sex.

If anything can provide immunity from impeachment here, it must not be the presence of criminal underlings in the line of succession. What a precedent! Imagine if we'd made Nixon a dictator because we didn't like Agnew! Where does this thinking come from? Our duty here is to save international law and our constitution and to put a holy fear of popular revolt into every future executive who contemplates lying us into a new war. It matters less who sits in the Oval Office than whether he or she is terrified of being the next person investigated and impeached.

As a practical matter, of course, there is no way imaginable to conduct a serious investigation of Bush or Cheney without incriminating the other. It cannot be done.

But to even fantasize about it is to get two steps ahead of ourselves and try to talk ourselves out of action that it is our duty to take. An investigation – a real one, with subpoena power – is a step in the right direction and also an end in itself. It serves an educational purpose. As does a debate on censure. And censure – far from blocking impeachment – focuses attention on impeachable offenses.

Can you imagine the good it will do the Democratic Party and the country as more and more Democratic congress members speak out for impeachment? If enough of them show Americans where they stand, they might just win a majority and be able to act on their intentions.

And can you imagine the damage that an investigation will do to the Republicans? Can you? Or are you too scared of Cheney to think straight?

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

Even in times of pandemic crises, some things never change. While Australia gurgles and bumbles slowly with its COVID-19 vaccine rollout, there are other priorities at stake. Threat inflators are receiving much interest in defence, and the media ... More>>

Richard S. Ehrlich: Cambodia's Hun Sen Feels Politically Vaccinated

BANGKOK, Thailand -- When Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen received his AstraZeneca vaccination shot, he suddenly felt invulnerable and vowed to rule indefinitely. Hun Sen is already one of the world's longest ruling prime ministers, confident his successor ... More>>

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: My Final Column?

I’m dying. It’s not easy to write these words. But it’s true. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Brawling Over Vaccines: Export Bans And The EU’s Bungled Rollout
The European Union has been keeping up appearances in encouraging the equitable distribution of vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2 and its disease, COVID-19. Numerous statements speak to the need to back the COVAX scheme, to ensure equity and that no one state misses out... More>>

Jennifer S. Hunt: Trump Evades Conviction Again As Republicans Opt For Self-Preservation

By Jennifer S. Hunt Lecturer in Security Studies, Australian National University Twice-impeached former US President Donald Trump has evaded conviction once more. On the fourth day of the impeachment trial, the Senate verdict is in . Voting guilty: ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Let The Investigation Begin: The International Criminal Court, Israel And The Palestinian Territories

International tribunals tend to be praised, in principle, by those they avoid investigating. Once interest shifts to those parties, such bodies become the subject of accusations: bias, politicisation, crude arbitrariness. The United States, whose legal and political ... More>>