Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Repudiating Evil

Last night in an interview with Keith Olbermann on Countdown Rachel Madow made the, to me, rather odd comment that “the purpose of impeachment is to save the office.” Ms. Madow is a charming person and an outstandingly clear speaker. I’m on the same point of view as she is pretty much most of the time.

I had to ponder that for a while, though, to figure out what “saving the office” might mean. I imagine that what she meant but didn’t have time to say was that impeachment is the proper response to a person tarnishing the office and that such action would restore the honor and dignity of that office.

Fair enough, but to me a higher purpose of impeachment is to repudiate the action upon which the impeachment is based; to announce to the world and to our own population that “this country does not countenance that behavior by our government.”

I believe it to be supremely important the we as a nation tell the world that George W. Bush does not represent who we are. And, to our everlasting shame and detriment, we are not going to do that. We can no longer vote him out of office and, thanks to a supine Congress, we will not impeach him as our founding fathers designed for us to do when a president disgraced his office.

Nancy Pelosi swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution and then she announced to the world, and more importantly to the president, that her oath was meaningless when she said that one clause of the constitution she would not uphold; that “impeachment is off the table.”

That statement, a violation of her oath of office, was a political calculation to secure her rise to power. Rather than raising her to greater power, it should have been just cause to remove her from the office she held at the time. But such is the degree of corruption that our government has descended to that it achieved its calculated effect.

It also turned an abusive president loose to engage in even more blatantly open dishonesty, abuse of “executive privilege” and secrecy, and thuggish foreign policy, secure in the knowledge that he could not, would not be called to account.

And so George W. Bush will complete his term and retire to his sybaritic life of retirement, building a library as a monument to his own self image. And a country will be forever tarnished and shamed by his term in office, having failed to stop his crimes.

Congress didn’t have the will, and we were just too busy shopping.

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