Investigate Yes; Impeachment Maybe

CNN reports that fifty-seven percent think it would be good for the country “if the Democrats in Congress were able to conduct official investigations into what the Bush administration has done in the past six years.” Forty-one percent said such probes would be bad for the country. However, 69 percent said Bush should not be impeached or removed from office,while only 30 percent said he should be impeached or removed from office.

It is premature for polling on impeachment to mean very much before the investigations have even been held. The Bush Administration has been extremely secretive, and the majority of the country likely does not realize the degree to which policy has been based upon deception. Investigate first, and then ask the country whether Bush should be impeached after the specifics are known.

Republicans have been trying to keep their discouraged base from staying home this fall by arguing that impeachment is one of the major goals of the Democrats shoiuld they take control of Congress. Nancy Pelosi has already been playing down talk of impeachment. Recent history has shown that it is the Republicans, not the Democrats, who have misused impeachment. We saw how they impeached Clinton over a private sexual affair, only to be unable to convict him in the Senate.

In contrast, Democrats decided against impeaching Ronald Reagan over the Iran Contra Scandal after Howard Baker took over as White House Chief of Staff promising to clean things up. Reagan also escaped prosecution after Iran Contra Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh found that Reagan, suffering form Alzheimer’s, did not recall his role in the scandal. This makes me wonder whether in the future Bush will attempt to avoid prosecution for his actions as President by claiming he was an idiot who didn’t understand what he was doing.

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