Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Why Nancy Won't Impeach... 

Raw Story reports that California Democrats are pressuring Nancy Pelosi to proceed with impeachment proceedings against W. and Dick Cheney. They comment thusly:
But the fight will be complicated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unwillingness to hear their message and the encouragement that her stance may give opponents of the impeachment measure within the California Democratic Party leadership...

The California Progressives are particularly concerned with persuading Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to reverse her earlier position that impeachment was "off the table."
They can be concerned, and pressure her all they want -- but they misunderstand her reasons for not supporting impeachment, and therefore can't see that she's the wrong Congressperson to be cajoling. Better to go after the biggest power brokers in the House and get their support, and the rest will follow.

Speaking of which, here's a reminder to Howard L. Berman: when I wrote to you early last year calling for impeachment, you said, in so many words, it would be useless, since there's no Democratic majority in Congress. Well, that excuse is out of the way, so what the hell are you waiting for? But I do digress...

Here's why Speaker Pelosi cannot, will not and should not pursue or support impeachment herself: if W. and Cheney are kicked out of office, she becomes the President. The second she endorsed impeachment, the Republicans would latch onto this detail, and attack the effort as merely a power-grab by the Democrats, most likely painting Pelosi as an ambitious Lady MacBeth character. No doubt they'd also portray the event as a snub of Hillary Clinton, with Rush Limbaugh loudly proclaiming (from his prepared talking-points memo), "Pelosi can't stand the idea of someone else being the first woman president..."

None of the Republican spin would be true, of course -- but that wouldn't stop their most rabid of fans from believing it, and the most politically unaware of Americans from hearing it. There's already little enough understanding among the voting public of which part of government has which responsibility, who runs which elected body and what happens when someone is removed from office. In their muddled, American Idol-distracted way, the misinterpretation of events would be enormous.

So, wisely, Pelosi is staying out of the impeachment fight, which is a good thing. Dennis Kucinich is already spearheading efforts -- and California (and other) Democrats would do well to understand exactly why this is so. If Pelosi took up the charge of calling for impeachment, the Republicans would turn this event into an apparent coup. But, if she doesn't, there's a chance, however slim or not, that we get what impeachment of the President and Vice President would really represent: justice, at last, for the American People and the world.

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