This is how bad it's gotten: 166 House Republicans
cast the only votes in favor of taking serious action by opening a debate of the full House of Representatives on the thirty-five Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush
introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) on Monday. The idea was "to highlight the ability of the 'loony left,' in the words of a Republican aide, to force a debate and distract the House from pressing issues like gas prices and funding for the Iraq war." (The Hill
) And while "Kucinich himself made the motion to send it to the [Judiciary] committee, saying his detailed allegations should be weighed in a hearing" (ibid), the prevailing view
seems to be that the resolution is effectively dead.
It's worth noting, in response to that aide's snarky comment, that pushing through more billions for an illegal and unwinnable* war, which doubtless has played a major role in pushing gas prices through the roof, isn't a particularly productive use of the House's time either. The above article from The Hill also claims that "Republicans suffered politically from the impeachment of President Clinton," providing another easily refuted
rationale for leading Democrats' aversion to impeachment. But that's not the point. The point is this:
"As required by Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, Members of Congress shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. Representatives, delegates, and the resident commissioner all take the oath of office on the first day of the new Congress, immediately after the House has elected its Speaker. The Speaker of the House
administers the oath of office as follows:
"'I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic
; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.'" (Question 3 on a House.gov FAQ page
Given that all 35 of Kucinich's Articles make reference to violations of the Constitution, it doesn't matter how distracting or politically inconvenient impeachment would be; it is quite simply the duty of Congress to investigate these charges
. But of course they never will. Kucinich plans to reintroduce his resolution in 30 days if and when the Judiciary Committee fails to hold any hearing on it, but of course there is every reason to suspect that it will just suffer the same fate again. Which begs the question: is there a way to impeach Congress?
If you're inclined to dismiss all this as a justifiable attempt on the House's part to ignore a set of patently ludicrous claims, please at least read the list of Article headings below, noting that if even one of them has merit, it serves as sufficient grounds for impeachment:
*What I mean by this is that we can't win the goal of a stable Iraq by continuing to treat the problem as a war. There is another way to achieve this goal. By starting troop withdrawals and scratching plans for permanent bases
, we can gain the cooperation we need from groups who currently view us as an imperialist occupation. That's the only way I can see to make political progress, short of committing to bankrupt our nation over the next decade or more by trying to defeat every insurgent group in Iraq by force of arms.