The Rise and Fall of the American Republic

Radley says about Bush and Cheney:

I find these numbers a little suspicious, though I personally wouldn’t mind if both of them were impeached, convicted, and tossed out on their tuckuses.

NO! BAD LIBERTARIAN! The drive for incumbency is already too strong. The last thing we want to do is to foster a climate where you have to win every election or suffer permanent defeat. This is a very slippery slope. The founders were pretty wise with the terms they put in place. Elect the voice of the rabble to two year terms. Elect the executive for four year terms. Elect the voice of the States for six year terms (in the hopes that cooler heads prevail.) They didn’t enact “throw the elections out and toss whoever you want whenever the political winds change.”

What would Bush be impeached for? Engaging in a war authorized by Congress? This is a High Crime? No matter what the charge is, the real charge would be “membership in a party not in control of Congress.” I dread the day that we see an impeachment result in removal on these grounds. It could very well be the death knell of the Constitution. We have already seen this impeachment tried (Andrew Johnson) and cooler heads prevailed by a single vote. Do you really think there are cooler heads in this Senate?

What would we see as the result of this? We would see a state where there are no checks and balances. The Congress controls all. The sitting president would suffer under monumental pressure to ensure that his party wins every election. Should the other party manage to win Congress with an opposition president, they would need to impeach not only the president but enough Supreme Court Justices to ensure that this impeachment will withstand judicial review. On the other hand, the President would need to put enough Congressmen under investigation to ensure that he can blackmail enough of Congress into submission — or simply use the reckless impeachments as a justification for violating posse comitatus.

I’m sure there would be some initial glee from a lot of people if you could get revenge on the People for electing someone you didn’t want in office. But that will be an expensive rush, and we will all end up paying for it.

One Comment

  1. bob says:

    “What would Bush be impeached for?”

    How about failure to “… defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic …”

    Of course the domestic enemies of the constitution are the very people who would be conducting the impeachment procedings (i.e., congress). Which brings us right back to the list of problems you laid out.