Been thinking this over for a few days since I read where Aravosis said that "Markos is right" with a link to this:
Bowers throws fuel on a fire that was simmering down and lists his argument against impeachment. I'll add further fuel with one more argument --
We have one year to make our case for 2008 to the American people. We need to show not just that we deserve to hold on the Congress, but that we should be given the White House as well.
2008 won't work, since as an election year, all meaningful legislative work will grind to a halt and the press will be focused on the horse race (as will we). So 2007 is it.
We can spend 2007 either pushing impeachment (which isn't as popular as Zogby claims, see Bowers' piece), or we can use it educating the American people about what a Democratic government would look like -- passing meaningful legislation that would improve their lives like the minimum wage, health care reform, ethics reform, stem cell research funding, policies that help families and the middle class.
Impeachment does none of that.
In a perfect world, we could do all of the above. But we don't live in a perfect world. And the second we start impeachment proceedings, the media will focus on that. Heck WE'LL focus on that, and the Democratic legislative agenda will fade into the background, ignored. A perfect opportunity to brand the Democratic Party in a positive light will be forever squandered.
So what is more important, proving that we can govern and making the case for future Democratic majorities? Or a high-profile vendetta campaign against Bush? It really is just one or the other.
It's an easy call.
Don't worry about Bush and company. Congress will pursue its oversight duties. Waxman and Slaughter and Conyers and the rest of those guys aren't about to take the next two years off. People will be held accountable. Impeachment isn't the old path to accountability.
And Bush? He's going down as the nation's Worst President Ever. We don't need "impeachment" to make that case, Bush has done a great job of it all by himself.
What the Hell?
There are so many wrongheaded ideas in this post that it's hard to know where to begin.
1) First of all, I guess, the idea 2007 could be spent "educating the public about what a Democratic government would look like" is a farce. The public already knows what a Democratic government would look like, and that's why they kicked the Republicans' ass. The only people who need to be educated are the 30% that still say that Bush is doing a good job, and they are beyond hope, so they must be written off. There is nothing we can do to change their minds--in fact, in their minds, having Democratic control of anything is anathema and tantamount to impeachment anyway, so we might as well do it.
2) Markos rightly worries about what the media will make of the situation if impeachment were to go down. He writes here that the Democratic legislative agenda will be obscured. It seems to me, though, that that's how you get things done, as the Republicans have shown us--you distract with wars on Christmas and/or actual wars (our distraction would of course be impeachment instead of war).
3) He says "impeachment isn't the old [sic--I'm sure he meant "only"] path to accountability." That may be, if by "accountability" you mean "a slap on the wrist." Markos tells us not to worry, that Bush is already going down as the worst president in history, so the next two years can only dig a deeper hole for him.
The thing is, though, is that Bush's war in Iraq and his war on our freedom have to stop--the sooner the better. If Bush is still president for the next two years, neither of those wars will stop before he leaves office and they are likely to escalate.
Bush needs to be removed from office, and Cheney along with him. I don't know why it wouldn't be possible to have the hearings and trial in January-February 2007, and Bush and Cheney are in jail by March. Then it's over with--Bush and Cheney get their just desserts, the war is over, Democrats are in power, and the electoral coup that began in 2000 is finally and thankfully over.
That scenario would also be a good way to educate the public about what a Democratic government would be like--waste our blood and treasure on an unnecessary war and you pay the price for it.
If Bush isn't impeached, I can imagine the conservative taunts after 2008: "Why would anybody vote for Democrats--they're weak and spineless! They had the pistol of impeachment against Bush's head but couldn't bring themselves to pull the trigger--even though they said he was irresponsible, dangerous, and a threat to the country and the world! How can such wimps be trusted to fight al Qaeda?"
Or look at it this way: our soldiers in Iraq don't have two years for us to wait to take them out of harm's way. This fucker Bush has got to be reined in and made an example for the future.
I would feel completely different about this if it wasn't for the wars mentioned earlier. But this guy has abused our trust and the Constitution from the day he was (s)elected.
There are some other points I wanted to make, but they kind of vanished for now...I'll have to think about them some more and then update this post or something.
Here's one final thought, though. A lot of people thought there was no way that the Democrats could take back the Congress in 2006. Very few thought there could be a complete upset like there was. My point is, a Democratic takeover (of both houses of Congress, no less) seemed to be too much to hope for on Nov. 6. On Nov. 8, it was a reality.
I think it could be the same way with impeachment. Markos and Aravosis and others are hedging their bets, and not trusting in the people by thinking that they somehow couldn't handle impeachment and would be turned off by it and the Democrats. I think that the sweep of the elections ought to embolden our side and give us confidence. Right now, it seems to some that impeachment would be too politically costly--but what if it actually turned out to be politically beneficial, which is also a likely outcome.
Let's face it, the Republicans didn't take over and get us into this situation by being timid and hoping the press would be nice to them. And we should learn from that...