Christopher Caldwell in The Spectator is predicting that the impending Republican loss of the House will bring Impeachment from a gesture by the democrat party’s activist extreme to actual application by a newly empowered House majority.
Until recently, the move to impeach Bush was confined to the Democratic party’s cranky fringe. The city council of Santa Cruz, California, the country’s marijuana Mecca, has urged the President’s impeachment since his first term. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has recommended an impeachment inquiry, as have Democratic parties in Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin. So have the retired Manhattanites who style themselves the Vermont State Legislature, and the village of Nederland, Colorado, a member in good standing of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns. Neil Young has released a song called ‘Impeach the President’. Being able to express one’s views on such matters is ‘what this country’s all about’, says Mr Young, a Canadian. Ramsey Clark, a veteran of both Lyndon Johnson’s cabinet and Saddam Hussein’s legal defence team, has his own impeachment website.
Ordinarily, you need a crime to remove a president from office. But the question of what one should impeach Bush for has not preoccupied his opponents unduly. Most often the charges levelled involve Iraq and the war on terror. Bush lied to get the country into war, say his detractors. He countenances torture. His plan for warrantless wiretaps of al-Qa’eda has compromised the privacy of countless ordinary Americans who receive calls in Arabic via portable satellite phone from tribal areas of the Hindu Kush.
But since last winter the movement to be rid of Bush by extra-democratic means has won converts among intellectuals — including former Harper’s magazine editor Lewis Lapham and the Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe — and in the Democratic party’s mainstream. Al Gore now seldom gives a speech in which he does not allude to the wiretaps. At a Christmas party in Finn McCool’s, a bar near the US Senate, John Kerry told several veterans of his 2004 campaign, ‘If we win back the House, I think we have a pretty solid case to bring articles of impeachment against this President.’
Get ready for an ugly 2007.