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Motion to Impeach

Thursday, Feb. 09, 2006 12:03 AM

San Francisco Supervisors are mulling over a resolution calling for the, "... full investigation, impeachment, or resignation," of both President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The resolution, which exists only as an item on the board's calendar, comes from the pen of Supervisor Chris Daly. Daly cites an unnecessary war in Iraq, the torture of prisoners, a failure to respond adequately to Hurricane Katrina, and the secret wiretapping of U.S. Citizens without a warrant.

San Francisco wouldn't be the first city to call for Mr. Bush's ouster; Santa Cruz went on the record back in September of 2003, with a 6-1 vote on the subject. (Seeing as Mr. Bush went on to win a second term, one can gather that the Senate Judiciary Committee's findings were not consistent with the requirements for impeachment.)

But back to Daly's resolution. I've no particular love for the current occupant of the Oval Office, but here's how I see things playing out:

The resolution passes and nothing changes.

The key phrase lies in Article II of the Constitution. The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

What Supervisor Daly thinks, and what Supervisor Daly can prove are two different beasts. It's like trying to defend Willie Keith after the Caine Mutiny.

Remember the collective embarrassment as the media learned that absolutely no one in the Bush Administration had ever said, "imminent" in regards to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's alleged WMDs? And all those tenuous connections linking Saddam to 9/11? Disproven, the result of bad intelligence.

Tortured prisoners? Find Bush's signature on an order. Good luck. Even his signing statement, with its implied waiver on Sen. John McCain's language prohibiting cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners, does not specifically state or show that Mr. Bush has ever given a direct order pertaining to torture.

Hurricane Katrina? The sad fact is, even if folks had been evacuated sooner, the levees would still have failed, New Orleans would still be flooded, and the reconstruction would not be significantly advanced. But if 1,000 deaths from a natural disaster qualifies as being worthy of impeachment, where do the 3,037 deaths on 9/11 belong?

Illegal spying? While I'm not buying into or selling tickets for Alberto Gonzales' dog and pony show, the Senate hasn't even finished their inquiry, which will likely require the Supreme Court to rule on either the specific interpretation of law (FISA, Authorization of Force) and/or the limits of presidential authority as bound by the Constitution.

Hell, even the referees in the Steelers-Seahawks game would rule against Daly.

I'm not saying Daly is wrong to voice his opinion, or that the American people and their elected representatives shouldn't be paying attention to the George W. Bush Follies, but it'd be nice if there was proof to go along with the outrage, and facts to predicate the course of action Daly is recommending.

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