Impeachment? Maybe. If we get around to it


McClatchy Newspapers

If campaign talk means anything, there’d be at least one sure vote on the House Judiciary Committee to impeach President Bush if the matter ever came up.

It would come from freshman Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the Minneapolis lawyer and former state legislator who got a plum assignment when he was named to the storied House panel earlier this month. It has jurisdiction over impeachment.

At a rally last October, Ellison said Bush has been “running amok” and needed to be reined in: “There is one way that you can truly hold this president accountable, and it’s impeachment.”

But for the time being, anyway, Ellison seems in no hurry to push the matter.

“My opinions really have not changed over time, but the circumstances that I’m in have,” he said. He said he was “a step before impeachment,” and that his emphasis as he learned the ropes in Congress was on a broader range of human- and civil-rights issues.

Democratic leaders have made it clear that they don’t intend to move to impeach Bush. But pro-impeachment groups continue to press their case.

“All of us are thrilled that Mr. Ellison is in Congress and is on the Judiciary Committee,” said David Swanson, the Washington director of ImpeachPAC. “Keith Ellison, I think it’s safe to say, has gone further toward impeachment than any other member of Congress.”

Ellison introduced a pro-impeachment resolution in the Minnesota legislature last year. He received a $1,000 contribution from ImpeachPAC.

Since taking office Jan. 4, Ellison hasn’t made impeachment an issue. He joked recently that he’s still learning where the bathrooms and cafeterias are. But he said he was backing proposals to fully investigate Bush and that “a little more homework” was required before Congress could move to impeach.

“I’m a lawyer, you know. I don’t think due process is just for some people, it’s for all people, including the president.”

Ellison added that Congress must take its time.

“These things are fluid,” he said. “You know, these things have to take shape. … The bottom line is we’re going to have to let this thing run its proper and due course.”

Impeachment backers say Ellison has been on the job for only three weeks and that it would be unfair to jump on him for not moving aggressively on impeachment. But Swanson said he’d be “extremely disappointed” if Ellison had done nothing after a month or two.


  1. Bert

    I’m for seeing Congress back on the job providing their authority as a body capable of asserting themselves in opposition as provided for in the Constitution, rather than a rubber-stamp institution that never met a spending bill it didn’t like.

    8.5 trillion in the red, 3 trillion in new debt(and counting) under Bush alone, perpetual war, 700 billion dollars for ‘defense’, Congress needs to take charge. Period.

  2. Cailleach

    To Steve Horn or anyone else still reading this blog: In no way is Condi Rice in line fore the presidency, nor is ANY appointed official, cabinet or otherwise. The next in line after the vice president is the Speaker of the House, then the President Pro Tem of the Senate. I don’t who is next, but they must be elected officials, NEVER appointed.

  3. Ralph Long

    The fastest way to get the impeachment of both George W Bush

    and Delusional Dick Cheney underway in a hurry; is simply to

    raise so much Hell with the Democrats about that gutless wonder

    yellow coward Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Gutless Wonder

    Democratic Senate Majority Leader Wimpy Harry Reid that thet

    have to dump both Pelosi and Reid or realize they will all be

    voted right back out of office in 2008 if they fail to Impeach

    both Bush and Cheney! And you bet Iam alos sick of American

    Troops dying to protect Bush and Cheney lies about WMDs and to

    cover up George W Bush’s Personal Vendetta Against Saddam

    Hussein,who Bush claimed “Tried to kill my Daddy,George H W Bush” as anyone,and I also did not vote to elect Members of

    Congress that do idiotic toothless non binding Resolutions

    on the War in Iraq,did any of you do so?

  4. Bill Jonke

    Psychiatric evaluation for bush and cheney does seem to be a very good option.

    I’m suspecting that cheney’s so loaded up with heart medicine that something in his little cardiac cocktail is affecting his judgment and action.

  5. The South Point

    Oh… the prison has walls 40 feet below ground…

    Good. That means neither Bush nor Cheney will be doing the Great Escape routine by tunneling out any time soon with a plastic spork stolen out of the chowhall.

  6. The South Point

    Bush’s and Cheney’s new home, sweet home…

    And, if you’ll notice, the prison has a psychology services program for “problematic mental health issues experienced by inmates.” Maybe the both of them will finally get the help they obviously need so badly.

  7. Bush seems to be under the same delusion Nixon was, that the President is above the law. They both failed to see that if anything the president should be held more accountable under the law then any private citizen.

    The mai difference of course was that Nixon was smart!

  8. Steve Horn

    Impeachment – yeah right – good idea – so Bush, Cheney and their friends can retire on their fortunes and continue to have protection from the secret service – so they can avoid being held to task for the wrongs they’ve loosed on the world – impeachment – so they can be pardoned by Condi when she’s approved by the senate to complete the term as president – yeah – great idea – screw impeachment – have Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney brought before the world court for crimes against humanity.

    The cost in lives of all nations exacted by the current administrations actions is so great that there can be no other rational response than to hold the “deciders” responsible for their action(s). No way congress will have the courage to have someone in government held responsible for their own actions – that action may come back to haunt THEM in the future ….

  9. Lynda

    Declare Bush and Cheney insane and have them Baker Acted. (The Baker Act is a law in Florida requiring a 3 day involuntary commitment for psych evaluation, which can be extended if they are determined by mental health professionals to be dangerous.)

  10. Presidents should be subject to the law like any other chief executive. Courts, not congress, should be involved. We especially don’t need a crook in wartime.