Thursday, June 12, 2008

Impeachment: To Heal the Wound

Buried in the news (NY Times p. 21, short para., LA Times no mention that I could find): Congressman Dennis Kucinich has the guts to call for the impeachment of George W. Bush on the floor of the House. Finally someone does the right thing--and no one pays attention. It might have escaped my own, but for a Huffington Post link shared with me by an anonymous correspondent. Back when he was still a candidate, struggling against the neglect afforded him by the media, Kucinich would have been my first choice for President, based solely on his policies. I wrote to that effect back then. Now, despite the opposition of his party leadership, he speaks out for the truth and I applaud him.

Quixotic, perhaps. But necessary. The first time I heard this matter discussed by a Democrat was shortly after the mid-term elections, when the party emerged victorious over the still powerful Republicans. I was at a small gathering with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, where she was asked her opinion of impeachment. Her response was essentially that it was too late, potentially too time-consuming and unnecessarily divisive, a misplaced use of the new Democratic advantage. I suppose this was the rationale that Nancy Pelosi and other leaders applied in rejecting efforts to bring the Bush administration to account for its actions. At the time, I myself was swayed by Sanchez's argument.

I now think differently, and have done so for some time. I believe that a wound must be cleaned if it is to heal properly, and that the wound to the American Constitution, to our political system and our society is a grave one. It will continue to fester below the surface for many years to come if it is merely patched up carelessly or ignored. So far as I can tell, our body politic has not yet recovered from the disaster of Vietnam and the lies of Richard Nixon; the wounds of Bush's ill-advised rush to war in Iraq, his dishonesty with the people he was elected to serve and his besmirching of America's reputation in the world are deep and still bleeding. He and his co-conspirators must be held accountable if for no other reason than the need to heal these wounds, and impeachment is the most powerful means at our disposal.

Kucinich is right. Bush should be impeached, not out of malice--well, maybe a little out of malice--but so that we may finally learn the truths he has so long hidden from us, and begin to heal.


citizen of the world said...

The other reason we ought to move forward with an impeachemtn even at this late date is for the history books. There needs to be a record of the mind-boggling wrongness of his reign.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I couldn't agree more, Peter. I don't know how many times I have remarked to total strangers, even, that I don't understand why we have not impeached Bush. The usual response is that he is a war criminal, and nobody else quite gets his fabled impunity either.

There is also the matter of our reputation with other countries who have to assume that we approve of Bush since we haven't removed him.

Kucinich is a courageous lone voice in the wilderness, unfortunately.