INTERVIEW: IMPEACHMENT, IMPEACHMENT, IMPEACHMENTSun Aug 5, 2007 16:45
8/5/07 Action Point
INTERVIEW: "The Genius of Impeachment" by John Nichols
Interview: David Sawanson, After Downing Street
IMPEACHMENT, IMPECHMENT, IMPEACHMENT
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Arguing that regular elections are an insufficient democratic guardian against corrupt officeholders, Nichols, a writer for the liberal journal the Nation, exhorts his readers to support an impeachment of President George Bush. The impediment, as Nichols assesses current affairs, is not doubt that Bush (and British Prime Minister Tony Blair) by invading Iraq deserves this constitutional ejection from office but the wariness of politicians on the Left to consider the procedure. Nichols rejects the view that impeachment is unrealistic in the course of surveying the history of the impeachment power, citing cases from England, commentaries about the U.S. Constitution, and the impeachment proceedings against Nixon. As if to deflect a charge of partisanship, Nichols extols Republicans who demanded Truman's impeachment, as well as Nixon's. And to mobilize the anti-Bush grassroots, Nichols lauds impeachment activists in Vermont and Wisconsin. Substantively slight on constitutional analysis of the war power, this work relies on its power-to-the-people persona for its appeal, which may extend past the moment should Democratic victory in the November elections augment the author's advocacy. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
A sharp and eye-opening argument that impeachment is an essential American institution.
"I guess these are yours. Impeach Eisenhower. Impeach Nixon. Impeach Lyndon Johnson. Impeach Ronald Reagan."—Annie Hall, going through Alvy Singer's political button collection in Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977)
This surprising and irreverent book by one of America's leading political reporters makes the case that impeachment is much more than a legal and congressional process—it is an essential instrument of America's democratic system. Articles of impeachment have been brought sixty-two times in American history. Thomas Jefferson himself forwarded the evidence for impeachment of the first federal official to be removed under the process—John Pickering in 1803. Impeachment is as American as apple pie.
The founders designed impeachment as one of the checks against executive power. As John Nichols reveals in this fascinating look at impeachment's hidden history, impeachment movements—in addition to congressional proceedings themselves—have played an important role in countering an out-of-control executive branch. The threat of impeachment has worked to temper presidential excesses and to reassert democratic values in times of national drift.
The Genius of Impeachment also makes clear that we sorely need such a movement today, and that both the president and vice president deserve impeachment.
In the spirit of maverick congressmember Henry B. Gonzalez, who introduced articles of impeachment against both George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan for making war without a declaration, this book is a fearless call to Americans to hold our leaders accountable to democracy.
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Join me this Sunday on Action Point, noon to 2PM, 1480 KPHX. Let's talk about your reaction to SICKO and hear what author Drew Weston is advising Democrats ...
Action Point with Cynthia Black 8-05-2007: The Reference Shelf
Today's article and item links:
* IMPEACHMENT: The Impeachment Imbroglio: Sheehan, Conyers, Pelosi, and Feingold: Did you know; “The notion that John Conyers or Nancy Pelosi can make impeachment happen is mistaken, (John) Nichols says. "The way Jefferson and Madison set it up, it's supposed to be an organic process--it comes from people slowly convincing individual members to step up."
* MORE IMPEACHMENT: Conyers: 3 More Congress Members and I'll Impeach: According to David Swanson "...this target of three more members seems perfectly doable. It's safe to assume, I think, that we're talking about impeaching Cheney first. But, even if Conyers is talking about Bush, the target is perfectly achievable."
* Election Protection: State Decides to Secure Electronic Voting Machines: California's Secretary of State Bowen steps up. Get and keep this SOS's back. She'll need it. AND: PAPER BALLOTS FOR CALIFORNIA! - SECRETARY OF STATE ANNOUNCES DE-CERTIFICATION/RE-CERTIFICATION PLANS FOR E-VOTING SYSTEMS : Brad Friedman's BradBlog coverage and analysis of the same.
* They Called Me Crazy: Fight Looms over Construction of Huge Texas-Mexico Freeway: Josh Holland claims there is no NAU. However, during his June 10, 2007 Action Point appearance David Morris of Institute for Local Self-Reliance confirms there is an NAU, under the guise of the SPP. Either way, Rudy Giuliani's law firm (Bracewell-Giuliani) defends a Spanish owner of the road that will cross it all, regardless of what it's named....hey, since we can't afford to pay for American safety on “infrastructure”, maybe after he's appointed King President Rudy can get us some Direct Investment money instead?
* PUSHBACK: Campaign for America's Future: New video ala “Harry Potter” featuring Jason Alexander as “Lord Rovemort”! Titled Caught on Tape! - The Plot to Bury Progress, the video is the first step for the Campaign for America's Future (CAF), to criticize GOP "obstructionism" during August recess.
* Local Stuff I Support: Maricopa County's Election Integrity Committee - and any other Democrat with an interest or inclination - will be meeting, yet again, on Monday August 6 at the Offices of the State Party on the northwest corner of Thomas Road and Central Avenue (Light Rail construction willing) at 7:00 pm.
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