God's Politics

God's Politics


Diana Butler Bass: Loving George W. Bush

posted by God's Politics

Recently, I was talking with someone who serves in Congress, a Democratic representative from a liberal constituency out west. My friend reported that people in the home district—especially those who make up the base—were furious with Congress.
“Over what?” I asked, “That you haven’t ended the war in Iraq?”
“No,” the Member sighed, “that we won’t impeach President Bush.”
This response startled me—perhaps it should not have. According to a poll released last week, 45 percent of American adults think President Bush should be impeached and 54 percent believe that Vice President Cheney should be. A few days before the poll hit the news, I was at my high school reunion in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sipping margaritas at a lovely hotel, many of my classmates—almost all of who had been Teenage Republicans back when—confessed anger about the current administration.
I do not like George W. Bush. I never voted for him. Following Sept. 11, when Bush had a 95 percent approval rating, I was one of the skeptical 5 percent. I think his policies have been consistently divisive, dangerous, and disingenuous. But I do not favor impeaching him.
The last time the nation went through impeachment was, of course, with President Clinton. We now know that the Republican crusade against Bill Clinton distracted that administration from increasing terrorist threats, leading almost directly to the events of Sept. 11. At this moment, it seems like impeaching Bush may play out in a similar way—distracting an already less-than-capable administration from issues with potentially deadly implications. I may not like them, but I want them focused on both terrorism and Iraq.
Of course, the “base” (of which I am part) may protest that Bush’s offenses are far worse than Clinton’s. Therefore, since Congress impeached Clinton, it should impeach Bush. From my perspective, the charge that Bush is worse is true. But the conclusion—that a Democratic Congress should now impeach Bush—strikes me as revenge politics rather than constructive policy. What is needed now is a reconciling national vision to pull troops from Iraq in the least harmful way, to restore American credibility in international affairs, and to direct attention toward the real threat of terrorism.
For religious voters, the call for impeachment should act as a call for discernment. What do spiritual and religious progressives believe God wants us to do? Since 2004, a renewed religious left has regained a voice in the politics. But much of that voice has been around policies—specific recommendations about poverty, immigration, and peace. But faith-filled politics is about more than policies. Progressive Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims ought to engage more than policy concerns. We also bring to the table dispositions and practices of faith, ways of being that strengthen the polis—things like mercy, charity, love, forgiveness, hospitality, and justice—that create more generous, loving, and honest community. Our policies should reflect who we are; our outer concerns and inner lives should interweave.
Impeachment is the politics of retaliation, a tool of political violence that should be used in the most extreme of circumstances (and something that was wrongly used against President Clinton). Religious progressives should not practice tit-for-tat politics. We are supposed to be peacemakers, agents of forgiveness, and those who build bridges across human divides. Drawing from this disposition, we are called to practice reconciliation—to create restorative possibilities for trust, healing, and shalom where no such hope currently exists.
Like many Americans, I am angry. And I am not particularly in the mood to forgive an administration that has endangered the course of human history for the next century. As much as I hate to say it, I am called to love George W. Bush and I do not think impeaching him serves that end. As a Christian, and as a religious progressive, I must move beyond revenge politics to reach deeply for spiritual dispositions and practices that nurture God’s dream for shalom. And I fear that if the religious left only becomes part of the “base,” our desire for a wiser and more just America will fail before it even begins.
Diana Butler Bass (www.dianabutlerbass.com) is the author of the award-winning Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (Harper San Francisco, 2006). Her fellow 1977 Saguaro High School classmates remembered her as an officer in the Teenage Republicans—and were surprised that she is now a Democrat and writes for Sojourners.



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Citizen

posted July 19, 2007 at 10:57 am


Ms. Bass,
If Democrats ever do attempt to impeach, Republicans will also argue that impeachment is “the politics of retaliation.” This is one of the more frustrating things about the Republican Party’s behavior. Because Republicans couldn’t be trusted to responsibly use the Founder’s remedy for high crimes and misdemeanors, Democrats are disqualified from using it for legitimate high crimes and misdemeanors?
That may be what Republicans will say, and what the media will push, but the truth is that this has nothing whatsoever to do with Clinton. This is about defending the constitution. If Presidents can exercise unconstitutional power, without suffering the constitutional penalties, then is the constitution worth the paper it is written on? This is about preserving our founders’ most valuable legacy from the dustbin of history.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:09 am


I generally like what you write but this posting does not fit the bill. To simply end on the note that you do not believe that Mr. Bush should be impeached leaves us in supsense and asking the question: Why not?
If it is true that he led us into a war based on lies, that he sanctioned illegal monitoring of international calls and emails, that he basically set up an illegal detention system in Guantanmo, Cuba, the question becomes why should he not be impeached? If they don’t try to do something like impeach him, what should it take for the next president (Republican or Democrat) to get impeached when he abuses his or her powers?



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:12 am


Correction to my previous post: The second sentence should read:
To simply end on the note that you do not believe that Mr. Bush should NOT be impeached leaves us in supsense and asking the question: Why not?



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Wolverine

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:22 am


Much as I disagree with DBB’s arguments here, there is one good thing to be said for this article: a willingness to apply Christian prinicples even where they lead to positions that are significantly different from that of the liberal base of the Democratic party.
For all the disdain that she heaps on the President, Diana Butler Bass has taken a stand against leftist moonbattery, and that’s a good thing.
Wolverine



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victoria

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:44 am


I understand what you’re saying…but there comes a time when it is the most Christian thing to resist what I now understand to be actual evil going on in the white house, particularly with Cheney. I know it is dramatic and even sounds extreme, but the similarity to pre-Hitler reign in Germany is just too similar. That atrocity happened incrementally and good people didn’t want to cause un-necessary problems for too long. But I can only imagine Bonhoeffer, if Germany had built-in protections like impeachment, would have pursued it with all the Christian apologetics available to him. And, yes, he would have been persecuted for it. But he may have also been effective in avoiding further violence and tragedy. Then again, I don’t know, perhaps this is the latest example of what the disciples of JEsus felt when he refused to participate at all in the politics of Rome. Frustrated. Confused. Helpless. Desperate.



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Diana Butler Bass

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:45 am


Readers: Please read the WHOLE entry! It does not end with the statement about impeaching Bush.



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Peter Carey

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:33 pm


Diana,
The title of this entry caught me (off guard), and I think your writing is (as usual) thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thank you for this entry. I agree with much of what you’ve said, but I think that you have perhaps forgotten that impeachment is NOT violence. We are fortunate to have a Constitution which allows for the President to be put on trial if there are gross violations of the law…
You say:
“Impeachment is the politics of retaliation, a tool of political violence that should be used in the most extreme of circumstances (and something that was wrongly used against President Clinton).”
I respect your opinion, but I disagree that Impeachment would be a “tool of political violence” … but I agree that it should only be used in the “most extreme of circumstances.”
I just wonder if perhaps we have reached this stage. I am not sure, but I think the question should be asked. I hope that the Democrats will offer some process for discussion before a rush to action, and I hope that religious progressives can practice reconciliation.
You state:
“We are supposed to be peacemakers, agents of forgiveness, and those who build bridges across human divides. Drawing from this disposition, we are called to practice reconciliation—to create restorative possibilities for trust, healing, and shalom where no such hope currently exists.”
This wonderful vision, but this MAY describe actions that would happen whether or not there were impeachment hearings. I could even see this work happening after Bush leaves office, Lord knows we need bridge-building!
Thanks for your thought-provoking and helpful posting…



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Moderatelad

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:46 pm


I am so glad that we are back to the ‘impeach’ articles – thought that Sojo had lost it’s focus.
Can we just remove the impeachment clause from the Constitution – please. Since Senators are now elected and not appointed – it will never happen. And yes – talk of impeachment is only political. It was talked about and almost acted on with Reagan and will Bush I along with Clinton. It ain’t gona happen.
With all that is happening in the world that could cause so much havoc to US and others – and we have the ‘Impeach Bush’ chatt again on Sojo. What – a little slow in the news room today?
Congress has a lower approval rating the Pres Bush – no one talking about that one. OH – and I would like to see the questions these polls are asking to get (influence) their results because anyone that has done any work on surveys knows that whoever writes the guestion(s) – determins the answer(s).
So – have you stopped beating you spouse yet?
So have a great day
.



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:47 pm


“I know it is dramatic and even sounds extreme, but the similarity to pre-Hitler reign in Germany is just too similar. ”
How so? In 16 months, we’ll elect a new president. The president has forbidden no-one from running. You are at liberty to voice your concerns regarding the administration as often as you wish. The administration is not performing research to determine which people are weakest.
If you find this situation to be similar to the time previous to Hitler’s reign, you do not understand history.
Also, where do you find that the disciples were confused and desperate that Jesus refused to engage in Roman Politics?
I echo Wolverine’s sentiments about the article. I disagree with most of it, but it is intellectually honest and consistent.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:59 pm


Dumb me! I didn’t read the whole thing.
I believe that you articulate a legitimate rationale for not impeaching the president. But what bothers me the most about the NOT pursuing impeachment is:
What will it take for a President to pass the threshold of impeachable actions? Certainly W has long since passed that threshold.
I guess that the inept administration part of your argument is your strongest point. If they are so busy defending themselves, they’ll take the eye off of the ball. Not sure if that hasn’t happened already.
“I know it is dramatic and even sounds extreme, but the similarity to pre-Hitler reign in Germany is just too similar. That atrocity happened incrementally and good people didn’t want to cause un-necessary problems for too long.” Victoria
Uh-oh! You invoked the name of Lord Voldemort! Expect to hear from some of this blog’s special luminary participants and to hear the the term “Reduction ad Hitlerium” thrown around like a cheap, filthy rag!



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Jason

posted July 19, 2007 at 12:59 pm


Us in the impeachment crowd are often set up as a “straw man.” We do not want to impeach to punish, but to, as you say, but to, “restore American credibility.”
There are few crimes as great as falsely leading a country to war. They have demonstrated that nothing, including protecting Americans, is sacred by outing a CIA agent as revenge for challenging the war rationale. Would the “No impeachment” crowd still feel that way if solid evidence emerged that the Administration purposely lied to the American people?
I agree that we are not at a point of impeachment for Bush because not enough evidence has come to light. This is because Congress has not done its job as an investigative and oversight body. Cheney is another story after he has disobeyed Congress and Executive Orders and claimed he exists in a legal limbo, untouched by any law.
It is the ultimate sign of cynicism and political expediency to dismiss impeachment because it is not politically viable. It is the epitome of patriotism to favor full investigations and possible impeachment to restore our values and tell the world that the US is truly a nation of justice for all.



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Anonymous

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:09 pm


Cheney first, or you’ll just be left with a greater evil.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:18 pm


Can we just remove the impeachment clause from the Constitution – please.
Sure. Then we’ll no accountability.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:19 pm


Can we just remove the impeachment clause from the Constitution – please.
Sure. Then we’ll have no accountability.



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jesse

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:20 pm


There are few crimes as great as falsely leading a country to war. They have demonstrated that nothing, including protecting Americans, is sacred by outing a CIA agent as revenge for challenging the war rationale. Would the “No impeachment” crowd still feel that way if solid evidence emerged that the Administration purposely lied to the American people?
–Part of the reason impeachment proceedings will not occur is because the Dems are afraid the above charges would be proved false, but the main reason is that the whole thing would damage Democrats politically.



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:43 pm


” Expect to hear from some of this blog’s special luminary participants and to hear the the term “Reduction ad Hitlerium” thrown around like a cheap, filthy rag!”
It’s reductio ad Hitlerum, and it is neither cheap nor filthy to identify its use.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:59 pm


Though I haven’t made a firm decision one way or the other, I think impeachment should be considered in this case. Let’s consider President Nixon for a minute — he resigned because his impeachment, which would have taken place for obvious reasons was imminent. It in practice reflects not so much “high crimes and misdemeanors” but loss of one’s political base.
But if you want to talk about “payback,” Clinton’s impeachment was retaliation — we found out a couple of years ago, when Mark Felt outed himself as “Deep Throat,” that the conservatives who backed Nixon to the end had been seething all those years toward the Washington Post for fingering him and, truth be told, wanted revenge. Even Charles Colson, who I think would and should have known better, made some inappropriate comments, saying that Felt “should have gone to the president” if he had had any suspicions. Excuse me?



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Ben Wheaton

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:41 pm


Rick, I believe what Colson was saying was that Felt ought to have resigned when he questioned Nixon’s actions. Breaching official secrecy and not telling anybody your name is the height of cowardice, and I think that Colson was saying this.



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Payshun

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:55 pm


I respect Dianna’s opinion but this is where I completely disagree w/ her. Loving George Bush should include the option of impeaching him. This is a man that has never had to take responsibility for much of anything in his life. I think it’s time that he learns that his wealth and privilege cannot protect him from the law and if it takes impeachment to teach him that then so be it. I am tired of giving many of the rich a pass when they do something wrong.
Mod,
Maybe you should read the article before you go off on one your “articulate” responses. In case you did not notice Diana said she would not support impeachment. There have only been less three people or less that said they would (I being one of them.)
p



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nad2

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:57 pm


where’s the phophetic sentiment around here?! the prophets of the hebrew bible would have a much different approach, & it wouldn’t involve ‘the repubs did it to clinton’ as their jumping off point for wanting to oust g-dub.



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Mary Hess

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:57 pm


While I’m sure there are people in the political sphere who feel that impeaching President Bush would simply be “retaliation,” I believe you are seriously underestimating the extent of both his, and Vice-President Cheney’s, clear disregard for the law. When serious scholars draw up sound articles of impeachment, it’s much more than political “spin,” and we, as practical theologians, ought to be including in our discernment such voices. You might consider the information at this site, or the work of this center. Impeachment IS a serious action to take, but given what the executive branch is doing, it may be one of the few democratic options we have left.
Thank you for raising the issue, but I think you need to listen more carefully in your discernment.



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The young fogey

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:58 pm


As neither a member of the religious right nor the religious left (explanation) I say impeach them both. Nancy Pelosi would not be ideal but a serviceable president and far better than what’s in there now.



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Anonymous

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:59 pm


prophetic sentiment, excuse me.



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The young fogey

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm

nad2

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm


Posted by: | July 19, 2007 2:59 PM



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Payshun

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm


correction:
There have only been three people or less that said they would support impeachment (I being one of them.)



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Mike Grello

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:09 pm


Can we really allow a dangerous criminal to continue to destroy the country because we may *appear* to be petty if we compell him to stop? It was, indeed, a shrewd political move to impeach Mr. Clinton for such a petty offense, allowing Mr. Bush to get away with, lterally, murder, while tying the hands of those elected officials whose job it is to balance his indifference, nay antipathy, to the well being of the American people. What do you suppose would be a serious enough crime to impeach Mr. Bush? Would he need to rape and beat an Iraqi child to death as his proxies have done (and been punished for severely)? Does he need to beat a taxi driver in his clves so many times that they are liquified? How about blowing up American service men by the thosands? Is this the Irkle president, that because HE is not actually doing the offenses, he is innocent of them? How about wire tappings, obstruction of justice, voter fraud, and other activities that qualify as raketeering? What actually does Mr. Bush have to do to be impeached? And after being proven to have done that, where will his enablers raise the bar next?



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nad2

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:13 pm


“So – have you stopped beating you spouse yet?” modlad
mod, i think my favorite of these of all times came from the late comedian mitch hedberg, articulating the types of questions he got on a job interview, “have you ever tried sugar, or pcp?”



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Wolverine

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:14 pm


With all the arguing over impeachment, I suspect that the real central idea she put forward is getting lost:
For religious voters, the call for impeachment should act as a call for discernment. What do spiritual and religious progressives believe God wants us to do? Since 2004, a renewed religious left has regained a voice in the politics. But much of that voice has been around policies—specific recommendations about poverty, immigration, and peace. But faith-filled politics is about more than policies. Progressive Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims ought to engage more than policy concerns. We also bring to the table dispositions and practices of faith, ways of being that strengthen the polis—things like mercy, charity, love, forgiveness, hospitality, and justice—that create more generous, loving, and honest community. Our policies should reflect who we are; our outer concerns and inner lives should interweave.
Here’s what I would take out of this: as Christians we should extend a measure of charity towards our political opponents. Among other things I think that means we shouldn’t let our rhetoric run away from us, nor should we assume bad faith is behind every difference of policy. And one implication of that is that neither Republicans nor Democrats should be too quick to file articles of impeachment.
But so far nobody is engaging this question of just how a Christian should pursue political change. Instead we have the same old boring talking points, that have been argued to death on other threads.
It may seem odd coming from an avowed conservative, but I do think a lot of folks here are missing the point.
Wolverine



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J B Fenwick

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:30 pm


While agree that as Christians, we must love and pray for George Bush, impeachment is needed. However, the motive should not be anger and political retaliation. It is not even about George Bush. The real issue is the illegally obtained greatly expanded powers of the executive office. It is about protecting our constitutional form of government and the separation of powers. If Bush leaves office unchecked, the next president will be handed a whole new tool belt of expanded powers. Things like the ability to spy on Americans without warrants, capture people, detain them indefinitely without any legal recourse, subject them to torture, etc… are all things that NO president should have the power to do. I don’t care what party the president is from. Power corrupts, and that is way too much power. If the constitutional abuses of this administration cannot be rectified any other way, the only way is through impeachment.



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:46 pm


“Things like the ability to spy on Americans without warrants,”
This already existed. Further, the Bush administration has not run afoul of any court orders. If you disagree that the President ought ot have these powers, the way to remedy this is by selecting another president, which we will have the opportunity to do in 2008.



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Anonymous

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:06 pm


I agree we are called to love a man who is hated by well over three quarters of the world. Apparently, only Hitler is more hated worldwide than George Bush. Can you imagine what kind of spiritual pressure he is under with so much negative energy directed at him? Yes, I am very angry about the corruption in American politics, and it feels good to use Bush as the scapegoat for my anger. I am really angry at those in power who openly manipulate the ignorant. What would Christ want me to do? He would want me to forgive and love Bush. Only love can heal and overcome evil.
The next question is would Christ hold Bush and his administration responsible for the evils acts they continue to perpetrate? Yes, Christ would call them on the carpet. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the temple and called the Pharisees “white washed tombs”. He forgave them, but he also called them what they were…wolves among the sheep.
If we allow this administration to go out without being held accountable for the many crimes they have perpetrated and/or allowed we are doing an injustice to the American people and the democratic process. By doing nothing, we are also placing a stumbling block in the way of both the Bush administration and the American government. If we do nothing we will be saying that, unlike European citizens, “We the People” are powerless to effect change and the American democratic process is a empty facade. Other countries already watch incredulously as we continue to fall prey to clever psychological manipulation, ignorance and fear…and all the while the wolves remain loose in the sheep pen.



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Ed Brewer

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:15 pm


Thank you: I have benefited from Ms. Bass’s comments through her reminder that we are called to love George Bush. That is a difficult struggle, but all of God’s calls involve some element of struggle, or our responses would not matter.
After that, Ms. Bass’s argument fails to live up to its billing: specifically, enlisting the spirit of forgiveness into the service of an argument against impeachment seems to me a seriously mistaken approach. Ms. Bass must have some latent sense of this mistake, given that she shores up her nominally spiritual argument against impeachment with all of the political and strategic reasons not to impeach Mr. Bush. My frustration with her political and strategic argument against impeachment is that I agree with her! The “politics of retaliation” argument is not well taken given the depth of the Bush-Cheney perfidy (as the first commenter observed), but the distraction and derailment arguments seem right to me, and Ms. Bass makes them well. Beyond that, Ms. Bass’s argument offers only the labels of non-violence and nothing of spiritual substance, and she leaves herself and her fellow believers trapped within the very real-politik that Messrs. Bush and Cheney exploit more horrifically than I have ever seen done.
First, Ms. Bass’s premise about impeachment is both textually and historically wrong. Impeachment is not an “extreme” instrument, and with respect (i.e., I am being descriptive here, not pejorative), it is simply inaccurate and without foundation to refer to impeachment as a “tool of political violence” (although it was no better than that in the Republican’s hands against Clinton, it would not be so against Bush/Cheney because of the nature of their wrongdoing). Textually, it is a valuable and carefully designed constitutional mechanism, intended to benefit the nation by ridding a government of laws, of men who have misused the nation’s political power for wrongful ends or by wrongful means. It is a highly structured and deliberate response of last resort to extreme conduct. Historically, it has been employed in the United States against the level of wrongdoing by Bush/Cheney, and earlier in England against far less serious misuses of political authority. (See Raoul Berger’s article from the Nixon era.) Leaving aside the serious collateral consequences that would attend its use against Bush/Cheney, does anyone seriously contend that more is needed before a reasonable Congress could find “high crimes and misdemeanors” by Bush/Cheney? (Make sure you understand the constitutional meaning of those words before you disagree on this point, which meaning is not apparent from the terms themselves to the modern eye. The “apparent meaning” argument was debunked back in the 1970s, when Dick Nixon made it, by United States v. Nixon and other authorities.)
Second, to the more important issue, the spiritual response to the profane, if you will. Who of us is to say that the better spiritual call is for or against impeachment? Ms. Bass offers and asks for Mr. Bush a Christian disposition of “mercy, charity, love, forgiveness, hospitality, and justice—that create more generous, loving, and honest community,” but what about some of that shalom for the sons and daughters of the United States, Great Britain, Spain, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and–God forbid they should join us–Iran, who have suffered and died because of the Bush/Cheney government? And how do Christians work to get that shalom for them? Leaving Bush/Cheney in power hasn’t worked well so far, now has it? Should Joshua bring the walls of Bush’s Jericho tumblin’ down? What would God say to Abraham if he took George to the killing-place and drew his knife? (As Bob Dylan retold it, “God say, ‘no!’ Abe say ‘what?’ God said ‘you can do what you want to, but the next time you see me comin’ you better run.'” One of the greatest spiritual leaders of the 20th century, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (referenced by victoria), became convinced that his Christian duty lay in an assassination plot against Adolf Hitler: Bush is certainly not Isaac, Bush and Cheney are not Hitler (although I have seen that capably argued here and abroad), and I certainly would not advocate such conduct in a society committed to the rule of law. But relying on that rule of law by using the constitutional machinery of impeachment is hardly out of the question as a Christian response to the most evil policymakers ever to occupy the highest positions of power in the history of the United States.
Within our higher calling as Christians, we are Christian citizens in a democratic republic. We are not slaves of Rome who are impotent beyond “turning the other cheek” in defiance of wrongly used authority. Having turned the other cheek towards Bush/Cheney as Jesus admonished us to do, what is the call for Christians in a modern democracy? What of John Howard Yoder’s powerful call to the prior loyalties of the people of God–which, not incidentally, was not to the political authorities, but to the call of God Herself? And Walter Wink’s description of “active nonviolence” in response to violence: is not impeachment active non-violence? (See above for my argument that calling impeachment “political violence” is an ignorant absurdity.) I do not pretend to know whether Jesus would come here to bring “not peace, but a sword,” so I will leave that call to our spiritual leaders and the quality of their arguments. Whatever the result, sadly, Ms. Bass has not made that spiritual argument, and I wish she had attempted to make it.
Finally, Ms. Bass, I have to tell you that your observation to readers, “Please read the WHOLE entry! It does not end with the statement about impeaching Bush,” suggests that you yourself are not listening. I am willing to assume that your response is not intentionally condescending despite its appearing highly so, so I will address the merits of your observation. The first two posts met you on the (presumably minor) premise of your own ground: whether impeachment should occur or not as a practical and political matter. You chose that argument and your responders responded to it, so please don’t blame them for doing so. The third and fourth met you on the ground you referenced but did not successfully occupy, that of spiritual pacifism, whether impeachment is or is not a Christian response to official perfidy. If there had been something not responsive in any of those posts, it were incumbent upon you to specify what it was, not chide readers whose posts are clear, intelligent, and responsive on their faces. My impression of this blog after a few days is that it is not a bully pulpit. You do not advance your argument, or the beautiful texture of the blog, by responding to its readers in that manner.
And let us all join and say together, shalom, peace, and may God hasten its coming at last. Whatever our agreements and disagreements, thank you, Ms. Bass, for speaking to this important matter.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:20 pm


Ms Bass said
“Impeachment is the politics of retaliation”
I could agree with that in some cases , but The Founders did not see it that way . To them it was another check and balance . Evidence should be the most important aspect of impeachment , not logically conclussions such as Bush allowed Scooter a Get out of Jail card to protect his own Administration . That is a logical “unproven” assertion , which Bush gets plently of press
on .
I do not know if he is guilty of crimes , and neither do the folks here . Politically it would help the Republicans if Bush was impeached , The democrats know that .
Clinton support went up 10 percent overnight in the sympathy scorecard when his impeachment process started .
We already have had a politcal partry take control because of another party’s corruption and incompetence , I am for not giving it back on the grounds of sympathy .
Ideas and policies still matter . Should anyway .



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Anonymous

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:23 pm


You mention the astounding amount of corruption and greed in the conservative Republican administration but my observation is more of that as a Cheney thing than a Bush thing. Perhaps I am getting fooled by Bush’s cowboy personna a bit but Cheney seems so diabolical. So, I’ll make it a point to pray for him twice as much.



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Ed Brewer

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm


Upon re-proofing too late I see that I owe Ms. Bass an apology. My first reference to her argument that impeachment is a “tool of political violence” stated that the argument was inaccurate and without foundation. My second [cross-]reference, unfortunately, was that the argument was an “ignorant absurdity.” I had edited the first reference, and had failed to edit the second, prior to pressing “send.” So Ms. Bass, while I have to confess that my view of your argument is fairly described by both references, I had not intended to use the latter terms in public, and I apologize for having done so. Please forgive me.



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Moderatelad

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:32 pm


Posted by: Payshun | July 19, 2007 2:55 PM
I read the whole article. Of all the issues today that could be deal with – Sojo goes to the ‘liberal crotch joke’ inmpeach Bush. Whatever the topic – you have to get in the article somewhere the idea of ‘we have to impeach Bush’.
Problem – Solution
Poverty – Impeach Bush
Darfur – ”
Unemployment – ”
Divorce – ”
etc etc etc – ”
Could we please have an article on an issue(s) and not harpoon the current adm. There are more solutions to the problems of this world than to impeach the Pres. I will say it again – we can loose the impeachment clause in the constitution as it will never happen as long as Senators have to be elected.
have a great day –
.



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Gwen Moore

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:33 pm


Ms. Bass, I might have agreed with you had I not happened upon a recent Bill Moyers interview where I heard reasonably and lovingly argued the reasons why the machinery for impeachment was put into place by the founding fathers of our country. You really might find a refreshing point of view by reading/viewing the show where Bruce Fein and John Nichols discussed this with Bill.
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/profile.html
God bless you for your willingness to love George W. Bush. You might find, like I did, that you can love him and impeach him at the same time.



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jerry

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm


bush’s evil acts, bush’s lies, bush’s whatever. i don’t think she has a point. just the same old whining from the left. the dems have made no effort to even begin to pursue bush’s alledged misbehavior. nor have any courts seen fit to convict him of anything. trying to bring christianity into the rationale on impeachment is just another lefty looking for a talking point. the dems have to keep all these old issues going because their candidates are floundering in a sea of ho hum. the democrats don’t care what we think and the republicans are busy. politics as usual.we have an election in 08 that will surely confirm all these self promoting polls and finally put this country in a more compassionate and secure mode. to repeat, i don’t think she has a point.



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sonny c.

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:53 pm


For guidance, Christians should look to the words of Jesus:”Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy.Mt.5,7.”. ” forgive us our debts,as we forgive our debtors.Mt.6,12″.”Love your enemy so that YOU maybe children of your heavenly Father.Mt.6,44.”. “Stop judging others,for as you judge,so will you be judged,and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you..Mt.7,1,2.” SHOW the secular members of America which party/group practices the Christian Faith rather than just giving the teachings of Jesus lip service like many Conservative “Christians”. From a political/secular/render unto Ceaser standpoint, impeachment is petty & reminds us that the country must have been in pretty good shape if we had time to deal w/Clinton’s impeachment in the mid-90s. With such a short time left in W.’s term & w/Cheney as V.P., I-talk is not real smart if one is looking for Independent voters to make a difference in 2008—only 18 months away.



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Pamela Payne

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:54 pm


Impeachment is not about revenge or tit-for-tat. Impeachment is the antidote to an already out of control Constitutional crisis. In the previous post, Gwen Moore points out the transcript for the most recent Bill Moyers telecast where the Republican who wrote Clinton’s articles of impeachment argues that we MUST impeach Bush/Cheney. To do otherwise is to allow all following presidents to continue an imperial presidency at our republic’s peril. Please read that transcript and I think perhaps you may change your mind.



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Bob Cornwall

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:13 pm


Diana,
I understand completely, and I think you’re right, but how much can we take.
But even more important than removing GW in any case would be the removal Dick Cheney. To impeach Bush leaves Dick in charge and the nation would be in much worse shape.
So, I’m praying we survive the next 18 months and then hopefully turn the country over to sane leadership.



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Justin

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:21 pm


Impeachment will only turn him into a hero… like Nixon.



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Robert Scott

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:35 pm


Very interesting article. I must however reply at several junctures. First, I don’t believe that God cares whether we impeach W or not. Perhaps the God of the OT took sides, but maybe we’ve moved beyond that. Second, those who buy into “tit for tat” can’t see the difference between what Bill Clinton was impeached for and what W or Chaney should be impeached for. Impeachment exists as an article of the US Constitution, not a message of the gospel. The only impeachable offenses are “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Those are man made and must be man judged. Now, compassion and social justice, those are different. They are metaphors for God. Finally, the issue of “homeland security” has nothing to do with either the constitution nor compassion and social justice (aka “God’s Politics”).



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Bobbi Dykema Katsanis

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:37 pm


“The dems have made no effort to even begin to pursue bush’s alledged misbehavior.”
Excuse me, Jerry, but this is completely untrue. The first step toward “pursuing misbehavior” is to investigate whether wrongdoing has occurred. The Democrats in Congress, particularly Henry Waxman and John Conyers, have pursued investigation of a number of the administration’s questionable actions, including the attorney firings, Cheney’s behind-the-scenes energy policy talks, and the entanglement of lies and misinformation that led us into the war in Iraq.
Sadly, the administration has chosen not to comply with these investigations, stonewalling, refusing to respond to subpoenas, and saying “I don’t recall” until blue in the face whenever asked a question. It begins to beg the question: if no wrongdoing was committed, why all the secrecy?
Ms. Bass, you could not be more wrong about impeachment. Yes, we are called to love all those with whom we share this imperiled planet. But it is not unloving, nor does it constitute “violent retribution,” to hold someone to account when they have seriously gone astray. President Bush’s policies and actions over the past six years have resulted in 3600 American soldiers dead, probably a million Iraqi civilians dead, millions more imperiled by global warming, about which the Bush administration did less than nothing; thousands dead and imperiled by the travesty of Hurricane Katrina; and then all of the myriad ways in which this administration has shredded the Constitution: ending habeas corpus, the right to not be searched (or wiretapped) without a warrant, and even the rights to free speech and free assembly have been seriously impacted by police actions regarding protests in New York City and elsewhere. Bush has claimed for himself “executive privilege” which means that apparently he is accountable to no one, not the courts, not the Congress, not the people, not the Constitution. Our democracy is in tatters and cannot survive long if these injustices are not corrected and those responsible are not held accountable. That means impeachment. It was our Founders provided for exactly the situation we face today.
If you love your child, you do not look the other way when they torture the cat. If you love your President, you do not look the other way when lies, secrecy, and arrogant disregard for human rights and Constitutional values are the way his administration operates.



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Lloyd

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:48 pm


I agree Christians are to love George W. Bush, but we also have laws. I don’t want to impeach Bush for revenge. I think he should be made to follow the law – lying us in to war, outing a CIA agent, cover up, torture, these should be investigated. If Bush & Cheney are not impeached, should anyone ever be impeached?



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mark

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm


Up to a point it’s none of my business (except that whoever gets to run your country also ends up to a large extent running mine…) But I’d like to ask: what is the most loving thing you can do for George Bush – let him stay in a job which is clearly of spiritual disbenefit to him, or ask him to leave?
I don’t know whether you should impeach the man or not, but I do believe it’s possible to do so out of love for him (as well as for the rest of the country and the rest of the world).
Mark



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Pat Hayes

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:28 pm


Impeachment is the tool given to us by the founders to ensure a balance of power. It is not retaliation or punishment. It does not create a constitutional crisis but is used when a crisis exists. I refer you to Bill Moyers’s Journal which aired on July 13 on PBS (www.pbs.org)where two people who could not be more ideologically apart argued for impeachment as a way of preserving the balance of power and re-establishing accountability to the electorate.
This has nothing to do with revenge, getting even, hate and other feelings. This is about our constitution and preserving the balance of powers-for the future,no matter who or what party is in power. It is about ensuring that we do not have unbridled power governing us.



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Susan R.

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:38 pm


“Impeachment is not about revenge or tit-for-tat. Impeachment is the antidote to an already out of control Constitutional crisis. In the previous post, Gwen Moore points out the transcript for the most recent Bill Moyers telecast where the Republican who wrote Clinton’s articles of impeachment argues that we MUST impeach Bush/Cheney. To do otherwise is to allow all following presidents to continue an imperial presidency at our republic’s peril.”
I fully agree that we must impeach Bush and Cheney to stop the rise of an imperial presidency that is completely contrary to the concept of co-equal branches of government enshrined in our Constitution.
But there is another consideration. Holding the president and vice president accountable for illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral acts that have caused grave harm to our form of government is very much needed to give them an opportunity to re-examine their conduct, motives, and thinking, and to come to repentance. They are in denial, and engaged in self-justification, which is completely preventing them from facing the evil they have done. They are so entrenched in justifying their actions that they are not capable of repentance, and it is possible they will never be. If Congress and history gives them a pass, they are very unlikely to ever see the truth.
Their immortal souls’ ultimate fate depends on their genuine repentance and crying out to God for forgiveness. As misguided and often evil as I believe many of their actions to be (particularly changing our national policy to one that justifies torture), yet I know that God would completely forgive them and rejoice, if they truly repented and turned to him. I too would be able to rejoice for them.



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Marylor Wilson

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:45 pm


I don’t agree that impeachment is “retaliatory.” If not by impeachment how can The People, through our elected legislative branch, exert our constitutional right to call the executive branch to account for its bizarre interpretations of the Constitution of the United States? I believe that the greatest threat we face today is the willingness of the current executive branch to distort our Constitution for self-serving purposes and to ridicule the huge body of time-tested interpretations and applications we have from our judicial branch.
I think I can offer Love to President Bush, no matter how much I object to his administration. I don’t think he is any less human than I am. I myself have had to face a very hard job that I was ill-equipped to perform. It was awful. –Marylor Wilson, Missoula, MT.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:56 pm


It’s reductio ad Hitlerum, and it is neither cheap nor filthy to identify its use. Posted by: kevin s.
I realized my typo after it posted. Thank you for the correction, though as you are always so precise.
It certainly isn’t cheap or filthy to identify its use, that is when it is *properly* used.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:04 pm


“Things like the ability to spy on Americans without warrants,”
“This already existed.”
The fact that it already existed is only a half truth, which is the poster’s typical argment style. The law allowed for warrantless taps and monitoring in emergent circumstances and then to have the taps and/or monitor reviewed by a judge afterwards. The administration couldn’t even abide by that and circumvented the judges all together. One more reason he should be impeached.



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Payshun

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:25 pm


I agree. It will be seen as retaliatory by some as I am sure some of the impeachment process will be that. But Bush has earned it. Oh and Mod I thought you would at least praise Diana for doing something you would agree w/. She doesn’t want to impeach him.
Guess we can’t even get that from ya huh?
p



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Stephanie

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:28 pm


I’m sorry to say that I don’t agree at all with the premise of this article.
Impeachment is not a tool of revenge. Right now there is a bill to impeach Cheney, H.R. 333, co-sponsored by 15 members of Congress. You can read about it at kucinich.us.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich has been against the war from the beginning and wants it to end. It is not for publicity, or for revenge that he wants to impeach. Read his speeches with an open mind and I think you will see that is true.
As for forgiving Bush and Cheney: if they would repent and ask for forgiveness, certainly. But instead they continue to cover up their lies. Those lies have destroyed many, many lives.
So, yes, pray for Bush and Cheney, but first pray for all those that have died because of their lies.



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Justin

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:43 pm


I don’t know what impeachment will accomplish. Will it get US troops out from Iraq? No. The next US President will have to deal with Iraq and Afghanistan.



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Debbie Lackowitz

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:46 pm


Ms. Bass, while I agree with you that Bush shouldn’t be impeached for revenge (or tit for tat) politics, the fact remains that this administration has committed egregious errors and must be held accountable for them. Oh, and by the way, I sense that you are one of the “base” that “blames” Clinton for 9/11. May we settle something here? It was the Republian “witch hunt” of 1998 that caused Clinton to be “distracted”. Mr. Bush was at the helm in 2001, not Clinton. Mr. Bush ignored the PDB that specifically stated “Bin Laden determined to attack in the US”. It was the Bush administration that got us involved in Iraq. So you “gently” want to let Bush go into that “good night” of former presidents? Well, I for one don’t. I want him held accountable for his actions. That’s not revenge, that’s just good sense!



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Sali

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:47 pm


This is a thoughtful article–thanks for writing it. I think it’s really too bad that we’re wasting time talking about impeachment this late in the term. I do agree that this administration has brought about many tragic things that the world will be paying for many, many years to come. I also think that as Christians, we’ve lost our belief in prayer–and love. I admit that I often wonder what the use is to pray for people you think are too hardened to change. But if that’s the kind of compassion we believe in, it has to go across the board–not just for attractive enemies (I know that sounds silly, but you know what I mean–the kind of enemies we feel cool and progressive about ‘loving’).
I wonder that we don’t spend more time praying for Bush and leave that job to all our fellow Christians who are still blindly infactuated with him; I wonder how God sees us; we like to think we’re smarter and better than ‘them,’ but at least they’re praying, and who of us is to say their hearts are not in a better place than us? We fault them for being too judgemental of that which we don’t judge due to our enlightenment, but then we pass heavy judgement on them ourselves–I doubt that God sees one judgemental attitude as being superior to the other. Maybe if we prayed more with attitudes of humility rather than superiority–even if the objects of our prayer never changed–we ourselves would change and have more strength to make a difference in action.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:54 pm


I believe what Colson was saying was that Felt ought to have resigned when he questioned Nixon’s actions. Breaching official secrecy and not telling anybody your name is the height of cowardice, and I think that Colson was saying this.
Even if that’s what he meant, Colson was still wrong to say it and I don’t think Felt’s stepping down would have mattered. This was probably one of those rare times when “civil disobedience” was warranted.
But anyway, you missed my point. The conservatives decided they had to take down somebody — it turned out to be Clinton — in retaliation for Nixon, even forming their own media to do so (the effort eventually backfired because such media were eventually exposed as fraudulent). And besides, other posters are correct in saying that Bush and Cheney consistenly operate above the law.



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Bach

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:18 pm


I believe we should love the sinner and hate the sin. I have nothing against Bush personally. From what I’ve seen he seems like he’s a warm and friendly person. What I am against is the way he’s used the presidency to promote a foreign policy which has left thousands of Iraqis and Americans dead. Impeachement isn’t nearly enough. People, real people, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters have been brutally killed because of Bush’s “mistakes.” I am disgusted that after causing so much pain and destruction for so many people he will simply retire to a nice home at the end of his presidency. It is unChristian to desire vengeance, not to desire justice.
Elizabeth Holtzman very accurately wrote:
“Failure to impeach Bush would condone his actions. It would allow him to assume he can simply continue to violate the laws on wiretapping and torture and violate other laws as well without fear of punishment. He could keep the Iraq War going or expand it even further than he just has on the basis of more lies, deceptions and exaggerations.
“There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President, whose ability to cause damage in the next two years is enormous. If we do not act against Bush, we send a terrible message of impunity to him and to future Presidents and mark a clear path to despotism and tyranny. Succeeding generations of Americans will never forgive us for lacking the nerve to protect our democracy.”



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:24 pm


“Oh, and by the way, I sense that you are one of the “base” that “blames” Clinton for 9/11. May we settle something here? It was the Republian “witch hunt” of 1998 that caused Clinton to be “distracted”.”
That’s exactly what Diana said.
“The fact that it already existed is only a half truth, which is the poster’s typical argment style. ”
No, though the putdown is certainly typical of yours. It is already in place for federal cases. We can wiretap mobsters without a warrant, but had not wiretapped potential terror suspects.
“It certainly isn’t cheap or filthy to identify its use, that is when it is *properly* identified-something you clearly are incapable of.”
I am perfectly capable of it. Regardless of your disagreements with Bush, the differences between this administration and Hitler (or pre-Hitler) are so pronounced that the comparison discredits whatever point you might have.
Hitler was Hitler because he murdered millions of his own people based on the notion that he could create a master race. He then sought to send his master race across the earth. No reasoned individual thinks that the President’s invasion of Iraq even comes close.



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Olav

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm


An impeachment in this case would not be “revenge politics.” It would be sending the message that the people of the United States of America will not stand idly by while CIA agents’ names are leaked to the press, torture is embraced, international law flouted, and our own Constitution by-passed. This would not be possible if the Republicans weren’t able to stop the Democrats with a filibuster. It also wouldn’t be possible if Republican supporters weren’t blind to the culture of being-above-the-law that has been fostered by Cheney, in particular, and this administration in general.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:55 pm


I am perfectly capable of it. Regardless of your disagreements with Bush, the differences between this administration and Hitler (or pre-Hitler) are so pronounced that the comparison discredits whatever point you might have. Hitler was Hitler because he murdered millions of his own people based on the notion that he could create a master race. He then sought to send his master race across the earth. No reasoned individual thinks that the President’s invasion of Iraq even comes close. kevin s.
I didn’t make the comparison. There you go putting words in my mouth. Your argument style has changed ever so slightly. From half truth to outright lie.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm


Finally, Ms. Bass, I have to tell you that your observation to readers, “Please read the WHOLE entry! It does not end with the statement about impeaching Bush,” suggests that you yourself are not listening. I am willing to assume that your response is not intentionally condescending despite its appearing highly so, so I will address the merits of your observation.
Cut her some slack. She said that in response to an earlier post that I had made saying that her post had abruptly ended. She was addressing my error.



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Longjohnsilver

posted July 19, 2007 at 9:14 pm


If you find this situation to be similar to the time previous to Hitler’s reign, you do not understand history.
Wow what’s up with this guy’s condescending remarks?



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Rachel Findley

posted July 19, 2007 at 9:19 pm


On loving AND impeaching:
Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behaviour, rather than retribution or revenge. But before the harm can be repaired, the harmful behavior must cease.
In this situation, where the executive branch led by Vice President Cheney and President Bush is willfully setting aside the laws passed by the legislative branch (through “signing statements”) and gaining increasing control over the judicial branch of government, the tools for bringing the harm to an end are limited.
Impeachment is a nonviolent and legal response to this situation, and it could bring the harm to an end so that it can be repaired.
Just as abused family members know that love does not require them to submit to abuse, and may require forceful nonviolent action to end the abusive situation, so love for Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney does not require continued submission to their misuse of power and disregard for law. Impeachment may indeed be an appropriate response, and one that is not incompatible with “spiritual dispositions and practices that nurture God’s dream for shalom.”
Shalom is peace. Shalom is also a just system.



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Betty Dodson

posted July 19, 2007 at 9:49 pm


The views expressed on the Bill Moyers Journal last Friday certainly challenged the concept of personal attack on these administration leaders. It is to put the whole issue of impeachment on a different plane when we realize that failure to stop the destruction of our constitution at top levels may well lead to the downfall of the constitutional government we have known as the United States of America. Are we really ready to throw that overboard?



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Jonathan

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:15 pm


“We now know that the Republican crusade against Bill Clinton distracted that administration from increasing terrorist threats, leading almost directly to the events of Sept. 11.”
Wow, Ms. Bass. You really just linked the Clinton impeachment proceedings to Sept. 11, as if they were a near-direct cause of the attacks. That’s the farthest stretch I’ve seen in a long time. I’m just about speechless. Where ever did you get your documentation that “we now know” such things? Your statement seems inflammatory.
And just how do you or anyone else who despises the man’s policies go about loving him? Do you pray for President Bush? I see a lot of self-righteousness in this “Well, I hate this administration…but I must suffer it and love the president.” Please.



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Jim Beggs

posted July 19, 2007 at 11:18 pm


I agree that this is a constitutional crisis that must be remedied by impeachment – which does not have to culminate in the firing of Mr. Bush (though I don’t see how Cheney could be kept on). The idea that their abuses could be fixed by electing a new president and vice president naively presumes that good people inheriting such unlimited power would not be tempted to use it – for their idea of what might be good for the country. These impeachments would help to curb the excesses of what has been a progressively more imperial presidency for well over the past three decades. This has become a mockery of our constitution and the people, through their elected representatives must stop it now.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:22 am


Posted by: Olav | July 19, 2007 8:30 PM
Get it straight – she was not a CIA oberative covered by pertection – that is the greatest ‘Wilson’ mith of this century. She was past the 5 year mark. So move on and get over it.
Whatever –
.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:28 am


“I didn’t make the comparison. There you go putting words in my mouth. Your argument style has changed ever so slightly. From half truth to outright lie.”
What is your deal? I didn’t say you made the comparison. You did, however, defend someone else’s use of the comparison to the point where you implicitly insulted anyone who might call someone out for making said comparison. I, in turn, stated that using the comparison discredits whatever point you (meant ubiquitously, in context) might have.
If you are a lawyer (and a military serviceman, and whatever occupation happens to suit your various appeals to authority) I am pretty sure you can grasp context. So you are either being disingenuous (though you accuse me same) or you are being obliquely mean.
Let me ask this. Do you find the comparison between Bush and Hitler warranted? Yes or no?
“Wow what’s up with this guy’s condescending remarks?”
Huh? I would like to see a rational explanation (explanation, not assertion) of how Bush compares to Hitler, without resorting to exaggeration of magnitude. Good luck.



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evan jellical

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:48 am


We made Iraq what it is today.
We have the responsibility to our Iraqi brothers and sisters to fix what we have destroyed.
It is a shame we have sought to build an empire through mammon and military. Oil and blood.
Same story, under a tree. A serpent says, “hey, wanna be like God?”
And the Administration said, “sure.”
And for that reason I feel sorry for Bush. Deeply and profoundly sorry – between my spasms of rage for the hell we are all going to have to pay for his eating the fruit of knowledge.
I remember Rich Mullins talking about being used by God, and he cited some examples, from Jesus to Judas. I think about that when the president very sincerely thinks he is doing God’s work to spread “democracy.” I think about those of the Judas ilk, or Pontius P…
Spreading democracy was not in the Great Commission… or if it was I must have missed that.
I think we all need our day of impeachment (judgement). We are fortunate if we get it during our life. I pray the Administration is impeached, if not for one singular purpose but to create an opportunity to repent and find the scandalous grace of God.
It happened for Adam. The jury’s out on Judas. Perhaps it could happen for these who have caused the world such suffering and trouble through their lust.



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Lisa LeDonne-Stan

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:50 am


First, I think Ms. Bass has bought the line given by the right wing about Clinton being “destracted” by the impeachment. this is false.
Second, impeachment is only retaliation if it is for past crimes. Our greatest fear is that another war will be started, another piece of the Constituion will be shredded, another 1000 or 10,000 people will be murdered.
Third, if we do not end this administration and insist that our leaders are just, then we all but ensure that another Rove, Cheney and Bush will come upon us again.
Lisa LeDonne-Stan, history/governmnet teacher



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Lorne B.

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:18 am


I’m not in favor of impeachment, but I am in total agreement with you about President Bush’s incompetence from day one. I did not vote for him because of his record as a businessman and a governor. He basically ran every business he was given or started completely into the ground and ruined it! He made a shambles of the Texas Public School system so much that they are still trying to undo that damage!
I must add that I have been regestered as N.P. (non-partisan) for over 30 years now and I always vote for the individual not for a party. I think it is outrageous to vote for somebody JUST BECAUSE s/he is for or against abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. There a thousand other important issues that touch our lives daily that need to taken into account and as an evangelical, Baptist Christian, I feel I must focus on all of the issues!
I have also been praying for decades that my fellow Christians would stand together and put aside many of our petty political differences so we would do the REAL business of what Christ told us is most important. He said that one day, in the future, MANY would claim, “Lord we knew you, and He would say, Oh no you didn’t.” “Where were you when I was hungry, thirsty, poor, or in prison?” “Now go away, I never knew you.”



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John

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:21 am


Dear Ms. Bass:
The call to impeach Bush must of necessity be also a call to impeach Cheney. It is now impossible to discern who’s the verntiloquist and who’s the dummy.
And this goes far beyond revenge politics. These two men have accrued to the office of the presidency powers that are dangerous no matter who sits in the Oval Office. I would not want John Edwards or Hillary Clinton having these powers at their disposal anymore than I would want Bush to be wielding them. These powers will accrue to the next occupant of the office in the absence of an impeachment inquiry. Impeachment is not reflective of a crisis in our nation’s body politic. It is the cure for such a situation, as the framers of the Constitution intended. If the spiritual values of equity and freedom mean anything to us who claim Christian core values, than we have a responsibility to urge our elected representatives to use the tools at their disposal to protect them.



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John

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:21 am


Dear Ms. Bass:
The call to impeach Bush must of necessity be also a call to impeach Cheney. It is now impossible to discern who’s the verntiloquist and who’s the dummy.
And this goes far beyond revenge politics. These two men have accrued to the office of the presidency powers that are dangerous no matter who sits in the Oval Office. I would not want John Edwards or Hillary Clinton having these powers at their disposal anymore than I would want Bush to be wielding them. These powers will accrue to the next occupant of the office in the absence of an impeachment inquiry. Impeachment is not reflective of a crisis in our nation’s body politic. It is the cure for such a situation, as the framers of the Constitution intended. If the spiritual values of equity and freedom mean anything to us who claim Christian core values, than we have a responsibility to urge our elected representatives to use the tools at their disposal to protect them.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:48 am


Moderatelad said
“Congress has a lower approval rating the Pres Bush – no one talking about that one. OH – and I would like to see the questions these polls are asking to get (influence) their results because anyone that has done any work on surveys knows that whoever writes the guestion(s) – determins the answer(s)”.
I once got a call that the person asked if I supported the estate tax or if I wish people like Paris Hilton could be left millions of dollars instead of the working poor or something like that .
No kidding . I answered honestly so I did not get to find out who was behind the poll .
I think the Congress disproval rating is based on the way they handled immigration from the right and the fact the new democrats have done nothing about Iraq , but hold a pajama party the other night .
Seems like the only person we can count on is Bush , unfortunately for us he keeps doing what he says he will do .



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 5:55 am


Let me ask this. Do you find the comparison between Bush and Hitler warranted? Yes or no?
No not really. But it is one thing to say that he is the same as Hitler and it is another to say some of his policies may be leading us down the slippery slope toward that type of regime. That is what the person was saying. But then again, why should I expect you to give anybody a fair shake or to understand the nuance. As soon as the name is mentioned you go ballistic.
Thanks for snide remark about my military service. Karl Rove (Mr. Swift Boat architect) would be proud. If my military service bothers you so much, they just upped the enlistment age. So you too can go make us proud.



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JCCarpJr

posted July 20, 2007 at 6:24 am


Ms. Butler Bass has a well thought through and well stated argument. However, just what does it take for someone to be impeached in this country? I think there are least 40 known “high crimes or misdemeanors” that are indictable at this time. More come to light every week. Among the latest are the admission of the previous Surgeon General that he was forced to mention W. favorably three times in each typed page of his speeches. He was absolutely prevented from doing any study of the effect of the 25% of the prison population who are HIV positive and who, never the less, are being released from prison early. He was absolutely forbidden to propose any study of stem cells or to react to the studies which show that “abstinence only” sex education has no good results or outcomes. The Organization of Concerned Scientists have a frightening list of white house politics trumping any use of well established science … among which, of course, is global warming. Need I remind anyone of torture, “extreme rendition”, and Bush and Chaney’s attacks on Hussein for gassing his own people when President Regan both tolerated it and then helped to cover it? I note with interest a recent History Channel presentation of the false provocations planned and executed by Hitler by having German soldiers in Polish Uniforms blow up a German instillation and thus have the excuse for the invasion of Poland. Is the falsification of evidence for WMD’s in Iraq substantially different?
She is correct that impeachment would be viewed by conservatives as revenge. I believe it is not, but rather that it is needed and necessary. Where has our courage gone if we are afraid a few more lies and distortions? Especially now that neo-conservatives have fully demonstrated their inability to honestly govern the people? I think it is more important to preserve the constitution and a modicum of freedom. I think impeachment proceedings should be undertaken against the Vice President immediately and then the President.
We need a constitutional amendment giving us, the people, a right to have a popularly counted (not Electoral College counted) vote of confidence that could remove the a official, and removed that official immediately. The next in line for succession (Speaker of the House re. the VP, or the VP in the case of the President) to serve in an acting capacity until there can be a new election within, say, 120 days. The British have muddled through more or less well with a similar system. It might not be too difficult to pass such an amendment now that both Dick Nixon and G.W. Bush have demonstrated the necessity.
Yes, we should all love and pray for the president. However, that does not mean that while praying that we have to tolerate his actions when they directly threaten the constitution, decrease our security and kill hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 8:41 am


Posted by: John | July 20, 2007 2:21 AM
You said a lot about the abuse of power with out saying anything definitive. The ‘powers’ that the Harry and Nancy crowd talk about and ‘mis-lead’ the voters on, most of them the Pres or the DOD, DOJ had the ability to do – just not as broad as they need to combat terrorism. The used these same tactics against drug smugglers etc. Yes – they can look at phone records – wow. As long as you are not calling know terrorist in the mideast – they are not looking at yours – you can relax. They are looking at band accounts – horrors. Well, as long as you are not transfering money from your savings account to groups known for laundering money for the terrorist, sit back and have a beer – no one is interested in you.
DGIH – what else can we accuse the conserrvatives with so that we have something to bitch about.
.



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Diane Marshall

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:22 am


While I agree with approaching all situations with diplomacy as a Mediator I have to say that one of my first tasks in any mediation is to determine the
ability for the parties to HAVE a successful mediation. Our current president has shown absolutely no indication that he is willing to compromise or mediate nor has he indicated any wrongdoing on his part. This lack of honesty or cooperation renders a true mediation impossible.
When crimes have been committed it is no longer a mediation but instead becomes a high stakes negotiation between skilled attorneys to avoid prosecution. I too, would not like to enter the impeachment process but what alternative do we have? If our president is above the law then I guess we can only hope that the rest of our country does not follow his lead and “decide as they go”.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:26 am


I note with interest a recent History Channel presentation of the false provocations planned and executed by Hitler by having German soldiers in Polish Uniforms blow up a German instillation and thus have the excuse for the invasion of Poland. Is the falsification of evidence for WMD’s in Iraq substantially different? JCCarp
First let me say that I agree with you 100%.
But again, you committed a major SIN, (all CAPS) SIN!, by invoking the name of Lord Voledmort, i.e. hitler, [all lower case like I’m whispering]). Get ready for the speech police to whack you over the head and accuse you of…REDUCTIO AD HITLERIUM!!!! (Did I spell it right, chief neo-con reactionary?) I know that those three latin words absolutely devastate your argument but you will recover.



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Susan

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:29 am


Impeachment as a tool of political violence? I absolutely do not agree! Our country is in constitutional crisis and I see impeachment as the solution. If we don’t impeach, it sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations and I fear for our country.



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Anne McCradu

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:36 am


While impeachment would give us an outlet for our understandable frustration, I believe the protracted process would divert our political energies from the more important cause of personally standing up for peace. Until, like Cindy Sheehan (whatever you think of her), we interrupt our shopping and tv watching to take courageous action on behalf of democracy, impeachment just lets us blame someone else (however deserving)for America’s sad loss of direction and the terrible price the world has paid for our aggressions. Read more about peacemaking as a personal endeavor at my website, InSpiritry.com.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:16 am


“Thanks for snide remark about my military service. Karl Rove (Mr. Swift Boat architect) would be proud.”
You are simply one of the few military servicemen who uses it as a bludgeon in political conversations. I am not criticizing your military service, but the way you introduce it into conversation.
“But it is one thing to say that he is the same as Hitler and it is another to say some of his policies may be leading us down the slippery slope toward that type of regime.”
Well, you say you do not find the comparison warranted, then go on to explain and defend the comparison that was used. The evocation of Hitler’s reign useless hyperbole unless you can provide a compelling case that the correlation is necessary.
Otherwise, you could draw all sorts of comparison between various leaders and Hitler. Hillary Clinton wants more public radio. Hitler wanted public radio. Edwards wants state funded abortion. Hitler had state-funded abortions. And so on and so forth.
The circumstances leading up to Hitler’s reign were not simply changes in infrastructure and the balance of power. It was a confluence of bad science, a tolerance for fascism, profound racism, and a major military defeat in the years previous.
You can argue (though I disagree) that we permitted the president to accrue more authority than the constitution affords, and that we did so because we were shellshocked after an attack on our soil. But that is as close as you get, which isn’t close, as you concede by way of indignation.



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Icelander

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:50 am


I don’t hate Bush. But I do respect the rule of law and the Constitution. If the Congress finds that he has committed a high crime or misdemeanor, I expect them to hold up their oath to the Constitution and impeach him.



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Sarasotkid

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:31 am


You can argue (though I disagree) that we permitted the president to accrue more authority than the constitution affords, and that we did so because we were shellshocked after an attack on our soil. But that is as close as you get, which isn’t close, as you concede by way of indignation. Kevin S.
Therein lies the problem. You seem to think you can tell people what they can and cannot argue. Quit being such a Bolshevik, you twit!



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Michael Grello

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:42 am


kevin s. said – “The evocation of Hitler’s reign useless hyperbole unless you can provide a compelling case that the correlation is necessary.”
Then followed that with:
“The circumstances leading up to Hitler’s reign were not simply changes in infrastructure and the balance of power. It was a confluence of bad science, a tolerance for fascism, profound racism, and a major military defeat in the years previous.”
He is still working on that last one. When we say that Hitler started out small, we don’t mean he took a few backslidden Lutherans out behind the waffle house and shot them, we mean that he enraged the people, perverted the constitution, hid the facts and created his own. To miss the parallels is true blindness, and goes back to a previous point; the assertion that we must not learn from the past because it would be tacky. This may have less to do with Mr. Bush than with a compliant citizenry; truly desotism can pop up anywhere, and be prevented anywhere; all dependent on how much the people value freedom.
And if you believe that Christian must be polite in the political forum, take a look at the OT prophets or the New Testament books of James and Revelation (or the words of Jesus for that matter). Bravely speaking truth to power os what a prophetic witness is all about.



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Steve

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:46 am


Dr. Dobson’s Focus of the Family books say we are supposed to punish someone when they do something wrong. Some people might call impeachment a form of tough love! Why is it when a conservative does something wrong excuses are made not to punish?



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Mike R

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:52 am


Failure to impeach George H. W. Bush because he was due for re-election only served to embolden those who perpetrated crimes against the constitution with him during his and Reagan’s presidencies, specifically, the Iran-Contra scandals and the Arms for Hostages deal made by Bush and Casey while outside of government during the Carter administration.
The fact is, these guys just don;t go back home to their farms. They remain active and have the support of well-meaning, patriotic Americans that they fool.
Their actions must be repudiated. Oliver North was pardoned and is spreading his lies on TV today. They all are around and in the Bush adminsitration or in powerful positions in Washington.
The excuse that we don’t need another impeachment opens the door for them to do whatever they want withut concern for consequences. And they have. It is up to the GOP to decide how it will play out. Offer the resignation of Bush and Cheney in exchange for allowing Condi Rice to finish out Bush’s term and Nancy Pelosi, Cheney’s term. Smooth transition. Bi-partisan.
My feeling is that the Democrats are hoping that Bush and Cheney will twist slowly in the breeze until the ’08 election with the hope that it will swing the executive branch to them. Cynical? OK. My faith is in Christ, not those who seek power for the powerful.
For the sake of future generations, Bush must be repudiated once and for all. After all, Christians, he invoked the name of Christ in many of his actions.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:56 am


Why is it when a conservative does something wrong excuses are made not to punish? Steve
Because there are a number of neo-conservative reactionaries for whom the ends justify the means and they idolize Bush. End of story.
To miss the parallels is true blindness, and goes back to a previous point; the assertion that we must not learn from the past because it would be tacky. Michael Grello
Yeah clairvoyance is never a charge that will be leveled against him.



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Wolverine

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:43 pm


Steve asked:
Dr. Dobson’s Focus of the Family books say we are supposed to punish someone when they do something wrong. Some people might call impeachment a form of tough love! Why is it when a conservative does something wrong excuses are made not to punish?
There are no excuses being made. We are not convinced that Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq. We believe it is entirely possible, in fact likely, that he sincerely expected that they would found there.
Interpreting intelligence is incredibly difficult. A lot of intelligence agencies reported that it was likely that Hussein did have WMDs, and by refusing to cooperate with inspections Hussein himself was acting guilty.
Now, the fact is that WMDs haven’t been found. There’s no question that there has been a huge screwup, but we’re not convinced that it is fair to blame the entire mess on the President.
The left is making a very specific, and very serious, accustion: not merely that the President was wrong about WMDs, but that he intentionally lied. In other words, you are alleging that the President intentionally said something that he knew at the time was untrue.
It’s not enough for you to say, years later, that he should have known better, or point to some newspaper columnist who reached a different conclusion. To make this accusation stick you need to show some evidence of a guilty state of mind and so far you haven’t. Until you can, I suggest you turn the bloodcurdling rage down a notch. Otherwise all you’re liable to accomplish is to give yourselves ulcers.
Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:53 pm


Hitler had state-funded abortions.
Hitler banned abortion for German women.
The left is making a very specific, and very serious, accustion: not merely that the President was wrong about WMDs, but that he intentionally lied.
It’s not just the left anymore making that statement, and that’s Bush’s problem. In fact, the left was all but dead in this country until the war started.



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Mick Sheldon

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:10 pm


“Because there are a number of neo-conservative reactionaries for whom the ends justify the means and they idolize Bush. End of story. ”
Huh ? Conservatives are not stopping Impeachment proceedings . All of a sudden you are hearing folks on Air America say Cindy Sheenan has lost touch with reality . Amazing even when the left fails to do what you claim is to be done in the name of justice , you blame conservatives . Conservatives yield little power in DC . Obviously liberals are afraid to use theirs. .



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Karl Keene

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:38 pm


Love them or hate them, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have broken our laws and have violated the Constitution, and they should be held acountable for their actions by the members of Congress, who have also been sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution! To close our eyes to the offenses of this administration further weakens and erodes the rule of law in this society. Having proved to be as incompetent as they are (a point to which you agreed), why on earth would we want them to remain in charge of this nation? They did nothing to prevent the attacks of 9/11, and their actions since have missed the target. Impeachment would not be a negative distraction, but a wonderful civics lesson in enforcing right over wrong – an exercise that would do alot in helping to regain respect for this nation and its Constitution world-wide. It would also be a good dose of “tough-love” for Bush and Cheney – two Americans who have gone seriously astray.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:42 pm


“We believe it is entirely possible, in fact likely, that he sincerely expected that they would found there.”
Would you like to buy the Brooklyn bridge?



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Wolverine

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:52 pm


Depends. First you’ll need to prove that you actually own it.
Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 1:53 pm


Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 20, 2007 1:42 PM
“We believe it is entirely possible, in fact likely, that he sincerely expected that they would found there.”
So did Senators Clinton, Kerry, Byrd, former Pres. Clinton, Sec. M. Halfbright just to name a few in this country. (you have to love video tape)
Brooklyn Bridge – naw, but I am willing to purchase the documents that crawled into Burgers BVD’s and donate them back to the National Archives.
Have a great weekend…
.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:42 pm


“Hitler banned abortion for German women.”
What does this have to do with my point?
“He is still working on that last one.”
The last one was the only parallel that can even be reasonably argued, and that case is growing weaker, not stronger, with time.
“When we say that Hitler started out small, we don’t mean he took a few backslidden Lutherans out behind the waffle house and shot them, we mean that he enraged the people, perverted the constitution, hid the facts and created his own.”
Which constitution did Hitler pervert? What do you mean when you say Bush has enraged people? I mean, I agree that some people are enraged w/r/t Bush, but I don’t think that is what you are talking about. Which “facts” has Bush hidden? Which ones did he create?
“To miss the parallels is true blindness,”
To create them where none exist is hysteria.
“and goes back to a previous point; the assertion that we must not learn from the past because it would be tacky.”
Nobody made this assertion.
“This may have less to do with Mr. Bush than with a compliant citizenry;”
Compliant how? The citizenry voted against Bush’s political party in 2006, and his approval ratings are, um, not exactly Hiteresque.
“truly desotism can pop up anywhere, and be prevented anywhere; all dependent on how much the people value freedom.”
Agreed.
“And if you believe that Christian must be polite in the political forum,”
I do not. Comparing our president to Hitler is not impolite, just dumb.



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Chuck Geshekter

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:27 pm


jerry says “bush’s evil acts, bush’s lies, bush’s whatever. i don’t think she has a point. just the same old whining from the left.”
Jerry, old boy, you’re in over your head. Just sit back, read carefully, and learn.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:31 pm


“Which constitution did Hitler pervert?”
Uh, the Weimar Republic constitution, genius.
“I do not. Comparing our president to Hitler is not impolite, just dumb.”
That’s true. While Hitler was diabolical he was also very intelligent and cunning- something that cannot be said of the current White House occupant.
But again, you selectively frame your issue (that’s a polite way of saying you lie). It is fair game to compare some of the developments of past years with the lead up to Nazi regime- the undermining of constitutionally protected rights by an administration that circumvents the law, etc., stoking an atmosphere of fear to achieve your political ends, blind nationalism.
If it is so dumb, Kevin, you sure get you back up over it. Maybe you could ignore it.



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Marian Neudel

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:07 pm


I keep thinking of the speech of the soldier Williams in Henry V before the battle of Agincourt:
“But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all ‘We died at such a place;’ some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection.”



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Jay S.

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:10 pm


Articles of Impeachment should be brought against Bush and Cheney because they have clearly flaunted and broken the law, not out of revenge. They obviously want to be the living embodiment of Nixon’s famous comment “If the President does it, it’s not illegal”, and Congress should do it’s duty to constrain them and, if needed, remove them.
Truthfully, there is little chance that the Senate would convict either of them (2/3rds majority is near impossible to get in a divided Senate). However, regardless, the House should uphold their duty to investigate possible wrongdoing, and if enough evidence is revealed, vote to bring articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Will this cause some upheaval and distraction at home? Yes, but this is an essential price to pay to restore the rule and balance of law in our government. The executive branch is but one part of our beautiful American governance, Bush and his successors, whoever they may be, MUST realize this and abide by the laws of our nation.



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:20 pm


“Uh, the Weimar Republic constitution, genius.”
You mean the one that Hitler dispensed with entirely in 1933, immediately upon his election, as part of his subtle effort to move toward fascism? That one? So we are comparing techinicalities w/r/t wiretapping to this?
“It is fair game to compare some of the developments of past years with the lead up to Nazi regime-”
How? Prior to Hitler’s reign, the German political system was in a state of chaos (especially after the death of a successful leader in 1929) that threatened the very Republic.
The circumstances predating Hitler’s reign were quite the opposite of blind nationalism. Once he took power, his changes were not at all incremental.
Hitler set himself against conservative fiscal policies, and against the capitalists and landowners, so you could perhaps argue that Bush is sufficiently alienating the working class to the point where they might elect a Hitler type from an opposing ideology. But what happens when you mete out the implications of that?
“If it is so dumb, Kevin, you sure get you back up over it. Maybe you could ignore it.”
It is dumb, but dangerously so. If you have the opportunity to prevent another holocaust, believing that one is on the horizon in this nation, how does this notion infect your political viewpoint? To what extreme will you go to prevent it? I am not interested in ignoring this question.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 5:59 pm


“Hitler banned abortion for German women.”
What does this have to do with my point?
Everything, because there’s no obvious parallel that you were trying to make.



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bd

posted July 20, 2007 at 6:35 pm


You have a valid point, it does help the country any by pushing the impeachment. I hope to God you did not vote for Bill Clinton. That would have been completely against your principles.
By the way there is so much hypocrisy in the comment section, it is funny. If they truly believe in peaceful resolution, where was the outcry on Kosovo and Somalia. We didn’t just intervene – we invaded. Regime change – About about Milosovic, Panama and Granada



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 8:22 pm


“Everything, because there’s no obvious parallel that you were trying to make”
My point was that the parallels don’t work. Did you read the exchange?



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Jim

posted July 20, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Democrats/Religion…what an oxymoron



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:29 pm


My point was that the parallels don’t work. Did you read the exchange?Posted by: kevin s
What did Rick do, Kevin? Adopt your argument style?! No!!!



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:26 pm


Democrats/Religion…what an oxymoron
You haven’t been to a black church lately, haven’t you?
What did Rick do, Kevin? Adopt your argument style? Noooooo! That’s pretty underhanded if he did!
Aw … he said that Hitler sponsored state-funded abortions, and I reminded him that Hitler had actually banned abortion for German women. No direct answer to that one yet.



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kevin s.

posted July 21, 2007 at 2:18 am


“Aw … he said that Hitler sponsored state-funded abortions, and I reminded him that Hitler had actually banned abortion for German women. No direct answer to that one yet.”
Do you not consider the Jews who were living in Germany to have been German? My statement was correct, unless you believe that the abortions were carried out based on private donations.
The logical counterargument is to note that Hitler did not consider Jews to be sufficiently German, which is why he had a separate set of rules to follow. Therefore, it is incorrect (and certainly hyperbolic) to compare Edwards’ position on abortion with Hitler’s.
You would be correct to present that counterargument, and that was my point.



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PeacePeach

posted July 21, 2007 at 10:00 am


Ms. Bass, and other “Christian Liberal/Progressive Base” people:
You conclude: “As a Christian, and as a religious progressive, I must move beyond revenge politics to reach deeply for spiritual dispositions and practices that nurture God’s dream for shalom. And I fear that if the religious left only becomes part of the “base,” our desire for a wiser and more just America will fail before it even begins.”
Anne Lamott writes about how difficult it is — and how necessary and important it is — to pray for President Bush. I understand that, and yet, like her, I pray. I do not understand your position, although you make your argument sound righteous.
I do not understand your belief impeachment does not serve the American (and the world’s) people. The administration has set a PRECEDENT for successive American Presidents. They have accumulated, amassed, and consolidated power in the White House. History tells us that when such power is acquired, it is not readily surrendered. To establish this precendent enables the next president to build on the concept of the Unitary Executive. Whether the next president is Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, or Mike Huckabee, or Mitt Romney, I do not want to see such powers so consolidated. THAT is why I believe impeachment is a necessary argument, perhaps the right argument at the right time and in the right place.
Beause the consolidation of power is a precendent I don’t want to set. This is a precedent that runs antithetical to the entire premise on which this country has been built. This is a precedent which returns us to monarchy, against which we fought so fiercely — and so wisely — over 200 years ago.
These concerns are addressed very well in a recent Bill Moyers journal. You will find that at PBS. I suggest you read or watch it and reconsider the fearsome precent we may establish by our failure to impeach and admonish this administration and its henchmen.
We are not talking revenge politics when we discuss impeachment. We are talking about preserving the very future of the Republic.
I urge you to reconsider your position.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 21, 2007 at 5:45 pm


Do you not consider the Jews who were living in Germany to have been German? My statement was correct, unless you believe that the abortions were carried out based on private donations.
Irrelevant. Abortion in this country is not, and has never been, a state policy the way it was in Nazi Germany. The funding source does not matter because no one in authority here is ordering women to get abortions.



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canucklehead

posted July 21, 2007 at 9:25 pm


Bravo, Diana! But another strong indication why it’s high time the Americans put a wise woman in the White House as an alternative to the current GI Joe!
I remember when I lived in the U.S. in 1984 and Geraldine Ferraro was on the Mondale ticket and the Americans were tripping all over themselves in praise b/c a woman might get to the White House.
Some wag wrote TIME magazine to the effect, “Israel, Golda Meir; India, Indira Ghandi; U.K., Margaret Thatcher; Canada, Kim Campbell;….yea, we Americans are world leaders alright!”



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Jonathan

posted July 23, 2007 at 10:26 am


I am starting to wonder if most American presidents moving forward will draw such ire — yea, animosity — across the land so as to “warrant” their removal. Clinton drew it. Bush draws it. Who’s next? We live in such despicably partisan and hateful times.
By the by, Golda Meir and Thatcher surely had their faults as well. Let’s not pretend a woman should be elected president just because a woman is one of the certifiable candidates in this election. Ferraro was next to a joke.



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Drane

posted July 23, 2007 at 5:03 pm


“Impeachment is the politics of retaliation, a tool of political violence that should be used in the most extreme of circumstances…”
A noble attempt, but I think Ms. Bass missed the point about impeachment. I confess that I don’t understand the postmodern equation that: (any type of) coercion = Violence, especially in this case. Assassination is Violence. Putting the president in a headlock and dragging him kicking and screaming from the oval office would be violence. Rather, impeachment is the alternative to violence in this case.
An angry thought is not violence, and anger is not even equivalent to sin, let alone violence. Thoughts of political revenge may be hateful, but they are not violence. They are hateful thoughts which could lead to violence if not restrained or changed.
Spiritual discipline is necessary and difficult, but our lack of it should not preclude any attempt at justice or reduction of future injustice. If Impeachment could help prevent the real violence of, for example, nuking Iran, I am 100% in favor of it, NOW!



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kevin s.

posted July 23, 2007 at 6:07 pm


“Irrelevant. Abortion in this country is not, and has never been, a state policy the way it was in Nazi Germany. The funding source does not matter because no one in authority here is ordering women to get abortions.”
Which again, was my point.



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canucklehead

posted July 24, 2007 at 1:24 am


>>>By the by, Golda Meir and Thatcher surely had their faults as well. Let’s not pretend a woman should be elected president just because a woman is one of the certifiable candidates in this election. Ferraro was next to a joke.
Posted by: Jonathan | July 23, 2007 10:26 AM
A predictable objection and one that entirely misses the point! Might it be that part of the U.S.’s political gridlock is that you’re so patriarchal in your thinking that you can’t even begin to believe there are other options?



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Jean C

posted July 25, 2007 at 4:20 am


While rallying the negro community to claim their civil rights, Dr Martin Luther King said that while it was good to pray, they should also get ready to march! It was this combination that finally brought justice. I believe it’s time the citizens of this country add mass marching protests, against their 4th grade criminal administration, to their prayers. The justice of impeachment or resignation could very well be the result.



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John Mustol

posted July 26, 2007 at 11:57 pm


Although Mr. Bush has made some stupendous errors in judgment and has exhibited thoughtless arrogance on a number of occasions, I do not think he is guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Until recently.
His direct denial of the claim of the recent National Intelligence Report that Al Qaeda and Islamic Extremism has increased in strength as a result of the Iraq War is, if not a lie, a blatant denial of the truth. But then he faces a propaganda bind. On the one hand he needs to say that Al Qaeda and “the terrorists” are a stronger threat in order to encourage support for the war. On the other hand, he needs to say that Al Qaeda and “the terrorists” are weaker in order to support his claim that the war is having a positive effect against terrorism.
I agree that impeachment would not be the best course of action. But a united effort toward reconciliation and peace is unlikely as long as Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney are in office. I am not sure how democrats should deal with him.



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Frank Damrell

posted July 27, 2007 at 8:49 pm


I am very passionate about the wisdom of our forefathers, as reflected in the Constitution. The ingenious checks and balances…the seperation and balance of powers…all safeguards that have served the orderly, peaceful and democratic transition of congress and the executive branch over two centuries, through discovery and expansion, through civil and international wars, and great depressions. I am saddened that a vast majority in this country are disinterested and unconcerned about the faithful adherence to this incredible document that is the “brain” of our republic (the Declaration of Indepence is our “soul”). Many Democrats may be motivated to impeach George W. Bush out of spite or revenge. But, a true progressive would be more concerned with preserving checks and balances for future generations. Many Republicans refuse impeachment because of the political humility/defeat history would record. But, a true conservative would want to adhere to the US Constitution and honor the forefathers’ disdain for abuse of power by a President and his administration.
I believe the President should be impeached for disregarding Congress’ FISA legislation and surreptiously excluding FISA Court review of search warrants and eavesdropping activities. I think the President should be impeached for corrupting the Department of Justice and abusing our legal system for affecting the outcome of elections. I want the President impeached for the illegal exploition of department and agency personnel and funds to influence elections (Hatch Act). I hope the President is impeached for circumventing and ignoring the laws regarding White House communications and permitting advisors and hundreds of staffers to use unsecured Republican Party email accounts to conduct official business, with the intent of deception and avoiding oversight. President Bush should be impeached for ignoring and/or instructing others to ignore congressional subpoenas.
George W. Bush has done a great disservice to our country for leading us into and mismanaging the war in Iraq, and he has severly harmed our reputation in the world with torture and rendition, so we need to be an example to the world that America won’t tolerate this arrogance and disregard for human life…especially from itself. Furthermore, if permitted to stand, Bush’s precedent of executive abuse of power would cripple the constitutional balance of power and checks and balances that we have relied on for 230+ years. The precedent of this White House will be passed on and assumed by the next occupant, who could take further liberties yet unforeseen, justified our tolerance of Bush, and we have a Constitutional crisis for future generations to suffer with.



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