January 7, 2008 5:30 AM

Widespread ignorance of reality doesn't make it any less real

Why I Believe Bush Must Go: Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse.

MY NEW HERO #103: George McGovern

As we enter the eighth year of the Bush-Cheney administration, I have belatedly and painfully concluded that the only honorable course for me is to urge the impeachment of the president and the vice president. After the 1972 presidential election, I stood clear of calls to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for his misconduct during the campaign. I thought that my joining the impeachment effort would be seen as an expression of personal vengeance toward the president who had defeated me. Today I have made a different choice…. Bush and Cheney are clearly guilty of numerous impeachable offenses. They have repeatedly violated the Constitution. They have transgressed national and international law. They have lied to the American people time after time. Their conduct and their barbaric policies have reduced our beloved country to a historic low in the eyes of people around the world. These are truly “high crimes and misdemeanors,” to use the constitutional standard. From the beginning, the Bush-Cheney team’s assumption of power was the product of questionable elections that probably should have been officially challenged — perhaps even by a congressional investigation.

I suppose that by this point we all understand and recognize the political realities. Unless Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader © is caught with a female intern’s lips wrapped around his Johnson, impeachment will not be considered a realistic option…if only because Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid lack the courage to do the right thing. Apparently, lying and propagandizing one’s way into an immoral war that has so far killed almost 4,000 Americans is considered a crime of a lesser order than, say, having an illicit affair with an intern and staining her blue dress.

No, apparently it takes one of the Democratic Party’s old lions- George McGovern, in this case, to point out what should be blinding obvious to Congressional Democrats. The truth and the sad reality is that we have been saddled for the past seven years with an inept, corrupt, and disturbingly venal President who, while trumpeting his Christian faith, was not above allowing his even more corrupt and venal minions to steal the 2000 election on his behalf. The man who rode into Washington promising to be “a uniter and not a divider” and to “restore honor and dignity to the White House” has spent seven years demonstrating the craven emptiness of those high-minded promises.

Yeah…how’s that working out for you?

Four thousand Americans are dead in a war that was purchased with lies and propaganda. This Administration twisted and massaged intelligence. When that proved insufficient, they simple created “evidence” of Iraqi perfidy out of whole cloth. Mark my words; if a Democrat had been guilty of this sort of malevolence, he would have long since been impeached (and deservedly so).

What double standard?

In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion — by far the highest in our national history.

All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

I have not been heavily involved in singing the praises of the Nixon administration. But the case for impeaching Bush and Cheney is far stronger than was the case against Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew after the 1972 election. The nation would be much more secure and productive under a Nixon presidency than with Bush. Indeed, has any administration in our national history been so damaging as the Bush-Cheney era?

How could a once-admired, great nation fall into such a quagmire of killing, immorality and lawlessness?

There’s a very simple answer to McGovern’s question: because the American sheeple allowed it to happen. While the 2000 election took place prior to 9.11 and the subsequent manifestation of the true nature of this sorry excuse for a President, there is simply no excuse for Americans making the same mistake in 2004. If you voted for The Worst President EVER © , you’re complicit in the deaths of not only 4,000 American, but also the deaths of perhaps 600,000 Iraqis. And this doesn’t even account for the wounded, the maimed, and the permanently psychically disfigured, both in this country and in Iraq.

(Cue the “Don’t blame me; I voted for McGovern” bumper stickers that those of us of a certain age still remember.)

Couple the carnage with the almost incomprehensible squandering of our tax dollars, and it would seem that any reasonable person would be up in arms. That, of course, assumes that Americans have been paying attention, which clearly hasn’t been the case. While a majority of this nation lapsed into a moral slumber, this Administration has also launched a frontal assault on our civil liberties. Using 9.11 to keep a significant portion of the American sheeple terrified of the specter of terrorism, we’ve seen a gradual, inexorable chipping away at the rights guaranteed Americans by the Constitution. And yet all we hear is…silence.

The sad thing is that a political figure who hasn’t set foot in the political arena in years is one of the few people to stand up and make a rational, reasonable case for impeachment…not that anything will change, of course.

George McGovern is right. In the end, unfortunately, he’ll be roundly ignored by the Deomcratic leadership and exactly nothing will change. Yes, it would seem that we have exactly the quality of leadership we deserve.


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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 7, 2008 5:30 AM.

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