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Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Winter of Our Discontent

The Downing Street Memo is a tiny fissure in the GOP fabric of lies, a small but significant rent in the raiments of deception enshrouding the Bush junta that have emboldened many to utter the "I" word -- "impeachment."

But even those enjoying only a casual relationship with reality must concede that the possibility of bringing articles of impeachment against this President are unlikely when his party holds healthy majorities in both houses of congress, and its members are currently on an unchecked rampage of corruption and greed unseen since the death of John Gotti. Their pursuit of theocracy is in reality just a cheap masquerade for pursuit of kleptocracy. An attack of conscience is not likely to interrupt any of them from gorging themselves on a steady diet of pork as they binge and purge off the fat of the land.

That Ken Mehlman has smashed all records for GOP fundraising this year should stupify no one. Never has so much been for sale for so little. The halls of congress have been turned into a tattered pinchbeck of Ross Dress-For-Less.

Yet on Thursday of this week, John Conyers, our own Childe Roland, proceeds apace to the White House, half a million signatures in hand, demanding answers.

It is a shot across the bow in the battle for 2006.

If -- and it is a big if -- the Democrats can cut through the bloviating noise machine of the right and force a change in the balance of congressional power, district by district and state by state, then the brute can be dragged to justice.

The constitution provides an instrument for impeachment in the case of bribery, treason, or the delightfully vague "high crimes and misdemeanors." As constitutional scholar Jack Rakove notes:
The impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998 set the bar for "high crimes and misdemeanors" so low that any subsequent president could legitimately worry about this generally moribund provision of our Constitution being deployed against him whenever an opposition party controlling Congress found it convenient to do so.
By fortune or curse we need not stoop so low. Dissembling to the American public, whether you know the meaning of the word or not, for the purposes of luring them into a bloody, illegal and morally bankrupt war stretches no one's definition of the term.

Let him toss and turn in sleepless nights on a jag of adrenaline-laced fear that reduces him to Nixonian flopsweat at the prospect of that most ego-puncturing of humiliations. Leave him pacing the floor with his privileged feet, unable to outrun the ghosts of his victims, with the specter of eternity as history's shrunken codpiece looming before him.

Gore Vidal once said:
Mark my words. He will leave office the most unpopular president in history. The junta has done too much wreckage.

May his words be prophetic.

(photo by Carol Moore)