When is enough, enough?

T.A. Barnhart

What does it take to reach the breaking point?  If a burden can be tolerated until now, when does it become too much?  What's the straw that breaks the camel's back?  What does it take, to be more appropos, for the dam to burst?

Those of us who have been paying attention for the past six years know what we're dealing with: a liar, a cheat, a smoke-and-mirrors charlatan providing cover for religious fanatics and militaristic power-mad greedheads.  George W Bush is someone we know too well, and nothing we've seen in his 5 years in office is the least bit surprising.  The magnitude of his reign of error is stunning, but it's not surprising.  We knew it was coming, just not to this extent.  (Who could have predicted?)

But suddenly, slowly, the rest of the country seems to be catching up.  Hurricane Katrina, of course, was the big wake-up call, the live-on-CNN slap in the face that made even his staunchest supporters admit that the Chosen One was not up to the job.  The country has been accepting this hard truth, and they've been reassessing.  His poll numbers slide on all fronts; even the troops in Iraq want no part in his war.  With the civil war over there drawing closer, and the inevitability of it becoming clear, the one thing that people trusted him on most — defense — has become hollow.  Turning over security of our ports to the cousins of those who attacked us on 9/11 is an act that feels traitorous.  Isn't this what the pinko liberals were going to do, take power and give control of our country to our enemies?  And now it's Bush doing it?

Yet we do not have millions of Americans calling Congress and demanding invesigations and impeachment.  People are shocked and disgusted, but they aren't angry in the way that demands "throw the bum out."  What's it going to take?  Or will America just let things slide along, hoping to be ok until 2008 when a new hero arises?

Or will the video provided by the AP turn the trick?  24 hours before Katrina hits, Bush sat and listened to Brownie, of all people, tell him that FEMA probably didn't have the resources necessary for the impending disaster.  Brownie, who was not up to the job either, at least understood the Superdome was a bad place to send people with a Cat 5 hurricane coming.  Bush listened to his hurricane center experts tell him the levees were in danger.  And then, five days later, Bush got on national tv and lied his face off:  "No one could have predicted..." he said, knowing that it had been predicted.  He lied to America as it drank its morning coffee and munched its cornflakes, told them how sad he was that this was just so much worse than anyone could have imagined.  Lied in a way that warranted immediate lightning bolts, but God was too busy gathering up the souls of those who Bush had let die because he didn't give a rat's ass.

Is that bad enough?  Isn't it time to take him down?

In past months, I've asked Peter DeFazio's office why he has not called for hearings or impeachment proceedings.  Pete's stand at that time was that with the Republicans running everydamnthing, any hearings that might be held would be bogus.  Hell, they might agree to impeachment hearings and then bring no charges; later, when the Dems were in the majority, the Rs could claim redoing the hearings was wrong because they had done it already.  I get that; Pete's a lot smarter about not trusting those slimewads than our Senator has been, and I like that.  But maybe the outrage has spread far enough.  Many Republican reps and senators are in the process of abandoning their lame duck president, and maybe hearings are the tonic they seek to save their own butts.  Maybe it's time to demand that Pete and the rest of the Oregon Congressional delegation take it to the mat.  Now, not later.  We have no guarantee the November elections will turn out well.  But we do know that the public is fed up with Bush, and Congress has plenty of cover to investigate the ports, Katrina, the lies of war, all of the lies Bush has told, over and over, many under circumstances far more damning than Clinton's "I did not...." blip.

Is it bad enough?  Have we gone over the edge yet?  Do we join those who have been calling for impeachment?  Do we at the very least demand — and by demand I mean insist with no tolerance of an answer that is not "Yes" — hearings?  Bombard DeFazio, Hooley, Wu, Blumenauer and Wyden daily with phone calls and emails, faxes and letters to their local offices?  Letters to the editor?  Calls to Thom Hartmann and Lars Larson and Randi Rhodes and Majority Report and everyone else in the media?  Sign petitions?  Join MoveOn again? 

Just think on this: 1,300 dead in New Orleans.  2,500 dead Americans in Iraq.  2,800 dead on 9/11.  Three sets of numbers, all the legacy of George W Bush, all built on the lies he's told, every lost life dishonored by his continuing lying to save his sorry ass — and we allow him to continue to lead our nation?

Are we nuts?  When do we say, enough?

  • trolling around (unverified)

    Have we gone over the edge yet? Do we join those who have been calling for impeachment?<

    Yes you have and yes please do that. And be sure and mention as often as possible that W was responsible for 911.

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    And be sure and mention as often as possible that W was responsible for 911.

    With this sort of obfuscation, conflation of issues, and Bush-critic character assassination, you should get a job at Gard & Gerber.

    But meanwhile, what I wanted to post was this bit from Russell Feingold regarding the PATRIOT Act.

    "If Democrats can't stand up on something like this when the president's poll numbers are 34 percent, I just wonder how much right we have to govern this country," Feingold said in an interview Tuesday. "You've got to show people you believe in something, not just that you're gaming the issues."

    So much for that idea.

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    Impeachment on what grounds?

    t.a., nothing in those videos illustrate anything other than incompetence and ignorance, something that this administration may have in larger measure than some others, but one in which they have no monopoly on.

    There will be no impeachments. It's a sad commentary on today's vicious political culture that we even think there is merit for such an attempt.

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    i usually just wait and let others respond to the different posts, but paul, your's is just too unreal. it's very informative, too. if you can see Bush being told "the levees may breach" and then, 5 days later, he says "no one even imagined the levees might breach" -- and then you can say he was just ignorant? wtf?

    here's what we've been dealing with since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to decide who would be president. too many Americans have been willing to accept the lies and cheating. they are content to let thousands of their fellow citizens die and do nothing except get bent out of shape over Bode. no wonder we're in such sad shape. the President lies and gets caught -- but it's not fun & exciting like a blow-job, so who cares? it's only 40,000 dead Iraqis, please shut up so i can watch Idol. i gave my $25 to the red cross, so i've done my part.

    over and over, i forget: the truth simply does not matter to many people. like our president, they don't care.

  • Gil Johnson (unverified)

    Well, as much as I would like to throw the bum out, I have to ask, where would we stop? We'd have to impeach Cheney, too. Then we get Hastert, who isn't really up to the task. I don't know the exact line of succession from there, but it seems that in the first ten, Condi Rice is the only one who shows a remote competence to run the country.

    A lot of people would think the nation would be extremely vulnerable without an elected president in an age of terrorism. That may or may not be valid--we are already vulnerable and getting rid of Bush and Cheney would at least get rid of a big part of the problem.

    Maybe, too, the people who would want to see Bush impeached also understand it's not going to happen unless we get a different Congress.

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    Yeah I must admit I'm a little baffled by your comment, Paul. Bush's whole thing after Katrina was the "no one could have predicted" schtick. Now, if for whatever reason no one had ever told HIM about the predictions and estimations which in reality did exist out there, well then mayeb he was just being an idiot when he kept saying variations on "hey, how could we have known?" -- but what these videos (among other things) proove is that he very much was told, to his face (mediated by video though it might have been), what the dangers were.

    And then he came out days later, and then repeatedly afterward, and claimed he couldn't possibly have known about the dangers.

    That's not incompetence or ignorance. That's deceit.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    There is an alternative to impeachment that might be a little more likely, let's get rid of his lackeys in Congress, waldenbush would be a good start. I know somebody that would like to replace him, money and voluteers help...

  • NWW (unverified)

    This month's Harper's feature story is a case for impeachment. It's a great article, and provides some excellent insight on why W has crossed the line - ah, many times.

  • kings (unverified)

    [name-calling deleted.]

  • Tim (unverified)

    Hello! Oregon is a nice place, I live right across the river from Portland in Vancouver, WA. Anyway, this is certainly another interesting example of his lack of leadership. For 9/11 he was doing a photo-op with kids, for Katrina he was doing a photo-op with the elderly. Sigh Nothing he does surprises me anymore. But there are still those that will toe the line for this guy...and support him to the bitter end.

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    Paul wrote - There will be no impeachments. It's a sad commentary on today's vicious political culture that we even think there is merit for such an attempt.

    Prior to 1998, I would have agreed with you. But Bill Clinton got impeached for a blow job.

    Well, OK, for lying about it.

    I'm certainly not one to argue that there's much to be gained politically by shrieking "Impeachment! Impeachment!" but Bush has clearly hurdled far above the low bar for impeachment established by the House of Representatives in 1998.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Is that bad enough? Isn't it time to take him down?

    No. The last election was the time to take him down. We didn't do it.

    Most of us don't care if Bush lied, just the way we didn't care if Clinton lied. Politicians lie. So do used car salesman. We have long since learned to accept the fact that politicans/salesman spin stuff to their advantage. And there is no real difference between spin that misleads us and a direct lie that misleads us. We are conned either way.

    So Bush tried to duck responsibility by lying. That is hardly anything new and it certainly isn't an impeachable offense.

    Just think on this: 1,300 dead in New Orleans. 2,500 dead Americans in Iraq. 2,800 dead on 9/11.

    Thay are all just as dead if he had been telling the truth. The problem isn't with his lies, its with his competence. The only time his lies matter are when the media starts to report the next set as facts and people believe and act on them.

    His incompetence has lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi's and others around the world. His incompetence has left the American economy in hock to the Chinese. His incompetence is making the United States uncompetitive in a highly competive world. His incompetence is allowing the medical care industry to bleed us to death. His incompetence is destroying our retirement system just as the baby boomers start to swell the ranks of the retired. His incompetence is destroying the legacy of our national parks. His incompetence built Osama bin Laden from an obscure extremist in Afghanistan to an international figure and hero to millions as a "dangerous enemy" of the United States. His incompetence caused more economice damage from the response to 911 than the attacks themselves caused. His incompetence has left the person who sent weapons grade anthrax to Democratic leaders in the Senate still roaming around somewhere in the United States.

    Whether Bush is a fibber or not is hardly an issue. But he will be perfectly happy to have us debate whether "he lied" or not if we just ignore the consequences of his incompetence.

  • Karl (unverified)

    Bush's lying us into the Iraq war has killed more Americans than al-Qaida and maimed thousands more. It's also bankrupting our country. Osama couldn't have dreamed of a better ally to harm our country. Isn't that enough to impeach him? How about breaking the law to spy on us without oversight? And while he was doing that, he lied and said he doesn't do that because it's against the law. He lies so often that it's a safer bet to believe the opposite of anything he says. t.a., you mentioned the 1,300 dead from Katrina. Those are confirmed. There are still some 2,500 missing and unaccounted for. Every day Bush is in office harms our children's and grand children's futures more. He bleeds our resources, creates more terrorists, helps his buddies rob us blind and is turning "america" into a dirty word all over the world. Gee, I guess I sound like one of those "angry" Democrats. Damn straight!

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    Karl, i also did not mention the 40,000 Iraqis we have killed, or the thousands who've died in Israel and Palestine because Bush doesn't care about that region (Jesus will take care of them when he returns, doncha know), the millions who will die of HIV/AIDS because Bush lied about helping Africa (it was all tied to fundamentalist dogma, like no safe sex), the unknown number of Americans who will suffer and die because health care remains a profit-based industry rather than a humanitarian cause. and on and on and on.

    and Ross, i see no difference between his incompetence before the fact and his lies after. but it's the lies that are impeachable. the incompetence should lead us to the solution Chuck Butcher suggests: getting rid of Bush's Congressional toadies. but at some point, Bush, Cheney, Rove and every one of those bastards needs to be brought to account. simply letting them walk away opens the door for worse in the future. one day a president like Bush must sit in prison for his crimes. Nixon walked, and Reagan walked; i guess America is content to let another one walk.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    but it's the lies that are impeachable.

    No, they aren't impeachable. Its plain silly to suggest that lying is a "high crime and misdemeanor". It was silly when the Republicans said it about a statement Clinton made under oath and its sillier to say it about some public statement Bush made. All it does is make Democrats look like angry idiots who are not grounded in anything real.

    Impeach Bush for violating the wiretap laws, impeach him for approving torture, impeach him for committing war crimes in the handling of prisoners or war but to argue he should be impeached because he fibbed about whether he was told the levies were at risk is just plain ridiculous. No one cares about the lie, they care that nothing was done about the levies. Impeach him for that.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    ...but just impeach him!

  • Don Smith (unverified)

    Um, just to be clear, didn't the video show them saying specifically, "We're concerned the levees might be topped." which means that water would flow over them. As I understand it, that's a far sight different than breaching. I'm not saying they shouldn't have seen it coming, but to say that the video says they were warned the levees would be breached is not accurate.

  • LT (unverified)

    If anyone wants to read about impeachment done the right way (slowly, deliberately, without hype, just plain hard work) as it was done with Nixon over a period of years, read HOW THE GOOD GUYS FINALLY WON by Jimmy Breslin.

    You will learn that it mattered who won elections--that determined chair and members of House Judiciary. You will learn that choice of staff for the investigation mattered, as well as the leadership and members of Congress.

    Also, impeachment now is not worth it--impeach both Bush and Cheney? Then the Speaker of the House becomes president--do you really want President Hastert?

    Wait until Democrats control Congress, then start talking impeachment. It is just rhetoric before then.

  • Karl (unverified)

    Every minute we wait, more people die, more of the future is stolen from our children. The more we accept what's going on, waiting for the right time, the harder the momentum to gain to do something about it. Whether we can accomplish an immediate impeachment is not as important as focusing the public eye on his crimes. The more people we can get calling for impeachment, the sooner that day will come. And remember impeachment is the trial, where all the crimes will be laid out.
    Personaly, urging for Bush's impeachment is the least I can do to try to lift some of the collective guilt by association he's laid on me. He has shamed and embarrassed me and our whole country.

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    Yeah this is one that I'm rethinking. One of our HD leaders posted about the Mult Dems impeachment resolution and my immediate reaction was "Hell no." for tactical reasons.

    Thinking of the trolls, but watching Righty blogs for the last couple of weeks, there may be a good strategic argument for pushing this forward. The core Righties are still in denial, but the whole rotting structure of the administration is teetering, and stabbing them while they're down is definitely a viable option.

    Who knows? I may have to apologize to Gavin and the kids for the slam. I ain't yet, but it could be out there...........

    21 house members are on board with impeachment. Is your rep one of them?

  • gop lurker (unverified)

    It seems that someone else was video taped making a misstatement about the levies shortly after Katrina:


    (This is an AP story being passed on by Fox before you get your panties in a wad about it being the "F-word" network.)

    None other than Gov. Blanco was saying the levies were intact after the weather service had issued a flash flood warning...IMPEACH Blanco!

  • Former Salem Staffer (unverified)

    Instead of focusing on impeaching Bush, you guys should try and find candidates who can actually win a national election. FYI-You'll have to do better than Hillary Clinton. There are a lot of Republicans who reluctantly voted for our president, simply because the alternative (a pontificating windbag from Massachusetts) was unacceptable to them. I know a lot of Rs who would have voted for somebody like Wes Clark...just remember that your last three Democratic presidents were all from the south, a region you really need to have a presence in. Otherwise, you'll be spending the next several years whining about how the evil Republicans keep winning.

  • Bert (unverified)

    Reform's gonna be difficult. As usual, the problem is money. Bush didn't get into office by accident, no he had full backing of some high rollers. It's not going to be easy to get these guys n gals to take it on down the road, and it probably won't be cheap, either. Clinton's deal took a long time, and cost millions. No reason to expect that Bush's will be any different. Comma. Vox Populi speaks loudest. If, all of a sudden, you had about 10-20 million folks in this country taking to their city halls with cries of 'resign!', it'd have a heck of an impact. Further, the republicans aren't so sure about the whole King George thing themselves, anymore, so it could roll into a bi-partisan event.

    Now, here's a question: Didn't Mark Twain and Eisenhower warn us about this whole thing? Well, here we are, with our foot in the door in an oil war in the middle east, and the rest of the world deciding they really don't like us no more, and in the global sense, america's a minority. We've got the best of a lot of things, right NOW, but times and things tend to change. The whole world is looking at us now, to find out just how sincere we are about this whole democracy business, and everytime they find another one of these guys with their arm in the cookie jar up to the elbow, I think we look worse both nationally and internationally. If the rest of the world sees Iraq as america's Poland, what then? what then? I say 'impeach now', and get it over with, before any MORE damage is done to our country's reputation by slipshod policy and devil-may-care leadership.

    The shining light on the horizon is that the conservatives, the republicans, are starting to rein in their support for these guys, maybe remembering their roots a little more, coming down off the power high and realizing that maybe just maybe we're over the top, here, and that 8 trillion in red ink is going to come from SOMEWHERE, and it's time to face up to reality, here. The good ol' days that the boomers remember from their teens etc. are long gone, replaced by the fact that we've become the world's largest debtor nation, which is inexcusable if we're to believe all the economic noise they keep making. If, in my view, the economy's 'all that', why have a situation that promises to balloon into an all-consuming monster, that by the way has the unintended consequence of forcing americans to pay taxes to foreign ROYALTY? Is that not selling out? Think about it. Part of the tax burden goes to satisfy debt payments, and the interest on that debt. This debt is increasingly sold to countries like Saudi Arabia that may or may not think highly of america anymore, if they ever did, and what's more Saudi Arabia at least is governed by a king. So, if that king in his country holds our debt, and we, taxpayers, pay on that debt(which never goes to a PUBLIC vote prior to increases, mind you), then it stands to reason that americans are, in fact, paying taxes to a foreign king.

    I don't advocate violence, but at the same time, I have to wonder if these people ever read their history books, that whole 'letter to king George III' business etc. 'The Declaration Of Independence', I believe it was called, with such pithy statements as:" He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. "

    <hr/> <h2>Like the laws against illegal search and seizure, as found in the Constitution?"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."-Constitution, 4th amendment. (Ref.:'Patriot Act')</h2>

    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.


    Reference here is to the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, medical marijuana, prison sentencing, emissions standards. All of these were passed in their respective states, then tweaked with by Bush et. al. What relevancy do States' Rights still have these days?....weren't these guys supposed to be big supporters of that concept, originally?

    <hr/> <h2>" He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only."</h2> <h2>2 words: Texas redistricting (by the GOP). 2 more words: Voting irregularities.</h2> <h2>"He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. "</h2> <h2>What was that whole business with the energy commission, again?</h2> <h2>"He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people."</h2> <h2>Democrat's new name is Mud, thanks to Bush and friends, due to their willingness to stand up for people's civil rights in the face of mega-government. Democrats are now a minority, and for those they represent, there effectively IS no representation in Washington. They still pay taxes, though.</h2> <h2>"He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within."</h2>

    If you follow the polls, they tell you that most don't think the country's that much safer now, despite mega-government. Voting rights? Depends on whether or not you buy Diebold's integrity, I guess...

    <hr/> <h2>"He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."</h2>

    This administration has deliberately fiddled with the immigration issue, which is normally pretty clear, visas, green cards, and so forth...and the fiddling hasn't been in a good way, more like deliberate restructuring to the direct benefit of those who employ illegals in typically disadvantaged and somewhat unsafe settings. If you interpret deliberate negligence re: mexico's wave of illegal immigration, and this administration's apparent tolerance of it, then it can be said that bush and company are literally giving away the store. Saving grace: they are working on new legislation to clean up the immigration issue.

    <hr/> <h2>"He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers."</h2>

    This one takes you back to the whole business with the wiretap story. Cutting out the judicial branch pretty much nullifies their powers, I'd say...

    <hr/> <h2>"He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."</h2> <h2>The GOP at large make it no secret they want a republican supreme court that will exclusively do their bidding. Harriet Meirs etc.</h2> <h2>"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. "</h2> <h2>Pretty much, the whole Homeland Security thing, megabillions in yet-unprinted tax dollars for this and that...if that's not 'eating out your substance', what is?</h2> <h2>"He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures."</h2> <h2>Which raises the question, 'ARE we at war, and further are we at war with anyone besides ourselves and politicians who've pretty much lost it'?</h2> <h2>"He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. "</h2> <h2>State of Emergency, War on Terror, pick your euphemism...</h2> <h2>"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:"</h2> <h2>The Selling Of America...refer to the 'paying taxes to foreign kings' part again... you owe someone enough money, they start running your life...your country...etc. Bad idea, I think.</h2>

    "For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies: "

    <hr/> <h2>I say 'pick your own news story for reference', on these...</h2> <h2>"He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. "</h2> <h2>Halliburton, Abu Graib, Iraq in general...</h2> <h2>"He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. "</h2>

    Let's review that whole mexico issue again: while they not match the Declaration's orginal 'savages', Bush hasn't exactly lined the Army up along the border with Mexico to keep out the drugs, human trafficking, or made much of a big deal about new treaties with Mexico to keep them from just letting their maniacs and ne'er do wells run loose in america. Failure to plan=planning to fail.

    To close, this isn't the 1700's. It's 2006. But, some of the principles and concepts still ring true today, freedom from foreign influence/no taxation without representation, all that peanuty goodness. Independence really ain't such a bad thing, and it's a heck of a loss to throw it all away for a quick buck and cheap gas.

    Interesting fact of note: The Model T, the first mass-produced car, was designed to run not on gasoline, but on ethanol. Ford started researching how to build his cars in 1906, first production wasn't until 1909. In 2006, Ford is seemingly on it's way out of business, not even 100 years after becoming a global success. Changing fortunes...and our fortunes as americans are also changing. Statisticians now place the average american household savings well into the negative, with the average person/household carrying enough debt to wipe out those savings, just in credit cards. If you include the national debt, the 'back door' tax that has run amok under this administration, we're now additionally in debt to the tune of 27k per PERSON residing in america(that includes your sick grandmother who hasn't held a job in 15 years), what IS going on here, and who does King George III 1/2 think he's fooling, anyway? The buck certainly doesn't stop with him, that's for sure, and he may as well have replaced 'E Pluribus Unum' with 'what, me worry?'.

    Bush was supposed to have been a 'republican', 'to the republic, for which it stands', and all that business. Turns out, he's a hapless 'globalist', whatever that is. He doesn't like the constitution, either. I say 'impeach', and get it over with.

    Thank you.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Here is a story from before Katrina struck in which the Mayor of New Orleans warned that the levies might be "toppled":


    There is no doubt that possibility was understood before the storm. Bush claimed it wasn't. That wasn't a mistatement - it was an attempt to excuse the lack of preparation for what happened.

    I'm not sure what Governor Blanco's statement during the middle of the mess has to do with anything other than she didn't have good information.

    FYI-You'll have to do better than Hillary Clinton.

    You might be right, then again you might be wrong. Its a long time til the election and anyone who claims to have a crystal ball on 2008 is just blowing smoke.

    Your last three Democratic presidents were all from the south,

    Gore was from the south. He lost - sort of. And your last four elected Republican Presidents were all from the southwest. What happens if both parties put up candidates from the Northeast. McCain wins as an independent?

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    gop lurker -- gov blanco stated clearly that she was told the levees were ok at that time. jeez, at least get your info right before you start spouting from the hidden shadows of a made-up name so that you have no accountability for your misinformation.

  • LT (unverified)

    This in today's edition of ABC's THE NOTE: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/TheNote/story?id=156238

    "In any event, this new national poll......................... Contributing to the fall in Bush's approval rating since January was a slight increase in the new poll in the number of respondents who identified themselves as Democrats."

    "'Party identification is a dynamic variable that changes with the popularity of the party in control,' Pinkus said. 'The proportion of people who identified with the Republican Party was higher when Bush had more positive approval ratings.'" (For the poll details, see below.)

  • brett (unverified)

    Does anyone here understand the difference between the levees being "breached" and the levees being "topped"? The difference is critical, unless you are just in this to bash Bush.

    Oops, forgot where I was for a second.

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    ok, brett, i'll play your game.

    the trouble with the levees being topped is not some wet streets but that they will then be breached. no one would really care too much about some extra spillage; hell, a huge Cat 5 hurricane was already coming to dump tons of rain. but the levees were holding back a monstrous huge lake, dude. water starts going over the top, the levees start to give way. breaching is inevitable under those circumstances. this was known years before Katrina, which is why Congress funded millions to reinforce the levees -- money Bush diverted to Iraq.

    it's in the record. more evidence for the trial. word games do not bring back the dead.

  • brett (unverified)

    Nope, try again. No one anticipated that the levees, if topped, would breach. There is a huge difference between them, and no one understood how weak the levees were. And Katrina was a Category 3 storm, not Category 5.

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    jeez, what could i have been thinking! brett's game was not "here's what happened" but "here's what i get to pretend happened cuz it makes my make-believe world work better". i'm not going to play that game unless it involves Lauren Graham delivering a pizza to my door wearing a big smile.

  • Caelan MacTavish (unverified)

    For all of you expressing doubts about whether Bush could/should be impeached, read Lewis Lapham's incredible essay, published in Harper's last month (and mentioned above), The Case for Impeachment.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)

    They are called natural disasters; not "White House Disasters" Do you really believe a Democratic Administration would have handled the aftermath with any greater skill or efficiency? I don't.

    Kerry or Gore might have blamed State and Local governments for their failure to adequately evacuate the city and to provide food and public safety officials at the Superdome.

    By contrast, Bush chose to embrace a "buck stops here" response, which I think was his primary Katrina aftermath mistake. A Democratic Administration might have been more P/R savvy. Bureaucrats are great at bureaucracy, not action. Those who believe the government is the solution to all of society's problems should take note.

    Ray Nagin and Kathleen Blanco are yellow dog democrats, and they were powerless and ineffective in the face of Katrina. Remember the standard Red Cross/FEMA warning: be prepared to survive on your own food and water for three days, because it may take rescuers that long to arrive.

  • djk (unverified)

    As a Democrat, I'd rather see Bush and Cheney stick around for the next couple of years. Their approval ratings will likely remain in the toilet. We can put every Republican incumbent in either house next to them in 2006 and 2008, and tie the Republican presidential nominee to them in 2008. We make "Republican" synonymous with "Bush" and maybe win some seats.

    But as an American, I think he needs to be impeached and impeached now. The Administration's apologists will try to spin it until they're dizzy, but Bush, Cheney, and numerous members of the administration engaged in an organized campaign of deliberate deception to trick Congress and the American people into supporting a war -- one that has claimed over 2000 American lives, cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and severely compromised our national security.

    Yes, the apologists will go over it with a fine-toothed comb, parsing every statement to show, no, this was not technically a lie, it was literally true, and it's not the president's fault that you misinterpreted his true but misleading statement in the way he wanted you to misinterpret it... but that's all bullshit. Being able to lie without technically lying simply proves the speaker is a very accomplished liar.

    Bottom line: the president and vice president lied our way into a war and thousands have died as a result. If this isn't a "high crime or misdemeanor" that warrants impeachment, what the hell is? If they aren't impeached, the precedent is set: the President can do anything he wants to do, not matter how vile, as long as his own party controls the House.

    I'm not enthralled with the idea of President Hastert, but for the sake of America's future, Congress needs to make an example of Bush and Cheney. Congress cannot tolerate an executive -- of either party -- who intentionally feeds them false information.

    And if Bush is impeached, it's best done now. Republicans might be more willing to impeach and remove the President and Vice President if they know that their party will keep the White House. Impeaching Bush and Cheney while the Republicans control the House and Senate looks like discipline of a corrupt administration, not a partisan power grab.

    And it's really in the interest of Republicans to get Bush out of office now. They'll look patriotic and responsible, and distinctly non-partisan if they kick out their own president, and they won't have Bush/Cheney hanging around their necks in November.

    (You don't need a majority of the Republican party behind impeachment proceedings; you need just enough to make a majority with Democrats. Will party leadership block it? Will Hastert bend over backwards to block a process that might put him in the White House? Will Senate Republicans be more willing to convict if they get to chose one of their own as the new Vice President?)

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    What is baffling about it? Nothing in the videos can be used to prove a "high crime or misdemeanor." While you may believe Bush is lying, I think incompetence is much more likely. Tthere is nothing that rises to the standard of ending a Presidency. Not even close.

    By this standard, Carter should have been impeached over the helicopter mission in Iran. Reagan should have been impeached over Iran-Contra. Bush should be impeached. Clinton was impeached. Get any idea where this is going?

    I find it quite sad when Democrats are in such a "gotcha" mode that while, on the one hand, they castigate the Republicans for impeaching Clinton on weak ground, they then advocate the same sort of action for Bush.

    Impeachment is just about the most damaging think we can do to the institution of the presidency. Nixon's near-impeachment reverberated through our political culture for decades, as will Clinton's. This is not an action that should be taken lightly.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    Do you really believe a Democratic Administration would have handled the aftermath with any greater skill or efficiency? I don't.

    Of course it would have. When Clinton put his croney in charge of FEMA he chose a croney with 20 years experience in emergency response. It wasn't an entry level position for a campaign staffer.

    This crew really believes the "government isn't the solution, its the problem" line. They see government as a way to make it. White House staff to Congress to Cabinet to Halburton to Vice President. Its an entry point to the big bucks on K street - which is just a junior version of being CEO at Halburton. These people don't believe in government or care whether it delivers for anyone else if it delivers for them and their friends. Its about power and money. Their idea of preparing for Katrina was making sure their friends were in line to get the lucrative contracts cleaning up the mess. The same thing happened in Iraq with similar results except a lot more people have been killed as a result.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    "Nixon's near-impeachment reverberated through our political culture for decades, as will Clinton's."

    I think the Clinton impeachment was partially a result of Watergate. There are a bunch of Republicans who never accepted the fact that Nixon really was a crook. Clinton was payback. And the discussion of impeachment here is more of the same with the same overblown outrage about his dishonesty.

    I agree there is absolutely nothing in the response to Katrina that rises even remotely close to the level of impeachable offense. Lying is not a "high crime and misdemeanor", not even lying about WMD rises to that level. That's what elections are for and we lost. The only thing that really fits is the wiretapping of Americans in direct violation of a criminal statute passed by congress and hidden from the public by both the administration and the press until after the election. That situation is actually a direct challenge to the law and does warrant impeachment. But it isn't going to happen.

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)


    You can hate Cheney and Bush, that's your right as an American. It is folly to suggest that Cheney is not qualified to be Vice President. Ridicule his hunter safety skills if it floats your boat, but that doesn't change his lifetime of experience in leadership roles (including the youngest White House Chief of Staff since colonial times).

    John Kerry's pick for veep (John Edwards) served one term in the U.S. Senate before deciding he was ready to be the President, after a remarkable career as an ambulance chaser. But you would have let him serve one heartbeat away?

    Dan Quayle was a joke, too. Al Gore would have been a reporter for a local newspaper if his Daddy had not served in the U.S. Senate (ironically, Democrats never see the nepotism in their own party: it's just recycling of superior DNA).

    Lyndon Johnson had similar qualifications to Dick Cheney, but not the breadth of experience in the Defense Department or the White House (neither did Walter Mondale, at the time he served under Carter).

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    this thread should be very edifying to those who find themselves favoring impeachment. Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors are clear and numerous, from dismantling the security structure that could have prevented 9/11 to lying about WMD to his callous disregard for life and safety regarding Katrina. the case is not one that requires a lot of juggling to make; it's almost self-evident.

    yet we see how easy it is for the apologists to start parsing every little video and every single speech, to pull this little bit and add it to that little bit, to create frankensteinian logic about what Carter did and how that means Clinton's impeachment is only an excuse to get Bush, whom we hate.... if Bush had been caught on tape, on Cops, running out of a 7/11 with a gun and a wad of cash in his hands, firing at the police and screaming "die pigs" and then pulled down and led off to jail -- these people would talk about Clinton smoking dope and how the liberals are weak on crime and really it was just Dubya demonstrating how great the police are under his watch.

    writing this post took me from "maybe" to "wtf is wrong with us? impeach him now!" but it's going to be a hardass battle. i now have a lot of research to do. (and btw, it won't be sufficient to impeach Bush; Cheney and many others are equally guilty. the Onion once had a satirical piece about the Secretary of Agriculture bragging "I'm #9 in line!" well, Mike Johanns, get ready. you may be shooting to #1 with a bullet.)

  • askquestions1st (unverified)

    It is persistently amazing that some chose to argue that this criminal adminstration's incompetence and ignorance aren't sufficient grounds for impeachment in this and several other cases. And I'm leaving aside admitted unquestionably criminally behavior in the case of illegal wiretaps. I've heard Lapham talk about impeachment, but haven't yet had time to read the article, so I apologize if this may rehash part of his argument.

    First, does anybody want to moronically argue against the pragmatic proposition that the grounds for impeachment are whatever the Congress decides them to be? Or argue that criminal behavior is not or should not be impeachable?

    That reality aside, Black's Law Dictionary defines "negligence" as:

    "the failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation".

    It defines "criminial negligence" as:

    "A conscious, voluntary act or omission in reckless disregard of a legal duty and of the consequences to another party ... so extreme that it is punishable as a crime".

    Incompetence or ignorance are not defenses against "criminal negligence", although organic mental incompentence, a possibility in itself as the consequence of years of admitted alcohol abuse and probably drug abuse, on the part of the president is grounds for removal in itself. And does anyone want to argue about the executive's legal duties with regard to domestic security?

    More importantly, the modelling and the experts had long predicted the levees could fail (they actually were undermined before they were breached) and the kinds of actions that needed to be taken in view of just the possibility. Does anyone with a normal character development actually want to argue that the loss of well over half of of the property and population, not to mention thousands of deaths, of a major American city, and the abject failure in the aftermath to resolutely mobilize all of this nation's massive resources in relief efforts is anything less than monstrous criminal negligence? Or that the Congress, under both the Constitutional standards, and their clear perogatives does not have ample grounds to impeach? Let's be clear: This adminstration and a lot of their mindless adherents fundamentally actually hate government, and are committed to thwarting the very process of government itself (another fact that supports charges of criminal negligence).

    Gronke made one astonishing broadside: "There will be no impeachments. It's a sad commentary on today's vicious political culture that we even think there is merit for such an attempt." The truly sad commentary is that whoever actually wrote this post, and the rest of the whackjobs on this thread who endorse the spirit of it, have so lost their moral and ethical bearings that they are genuinely incapable of even understanding why this criminally negligent behavior, as just an example of a consistent pattern of behavior, is precisely the reason why this adminstration could be impeached and even prosecuted.

  • Ross Williams (unverified)

    It is folly to suggest that Cheney is not qualified to be Vice President.

    The only qualification to be Vice President is to be chosen as the running mate of the guy who wins the election. But I think you missed the point.

  • Steve Ponder (unverified)

    What's important at this point is that talk about impeachment needs to move beyond BlueOregon readers and those of us who were always alarmed about Bush's presidency. A few congressional Democrats, led by John Conyers, are beginning to speak up, along with John Dean and some other veterans of the Nixon era. (see Salon: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/03/03/impeachment/)

    But, as several posters pointed out, impeachment is a long, messy process. It doesn't help that the Clinton episode trivialized impeachment as a purely partisan act and left a bad taste in many mouths, so to speak.

    Long ago, my former congressional boss co-sponsored one of the resolutions seeking Nixon's impeachment. He and his staff were shocked at how much abuse of executive power it took before it was acceptable to even discuss the subject outside of Washington, D.C.

    Those hoping for quick action against Bush should read Kurt and Gladys Lang's interesting book (The Battle for Public Opinion, 1983) on how long it took the public to pay attention and eventually turn against Nixon. Impeachment is above all a political process, and without strong expressions of public support, Congress will not act.

    That Bush's approval ratings already are approaching Nixonian levels is only a start at getting congressional action. Ultimately, it took outrageous public acts by Nixon himself, such as the "Saturday Night Massacre," to jump-start the process. And that was with a solidly Democratic Congress.

    Whether the Katrina tape, in addition to Bush's other transgressions, qualifies as a sufficiently outrageous act, is doubtful, at least in comparison with the Nixon experience. But the discussion has to start somewhere. Your congressperson, Democratic or not, needs to know now that at least some of the public is more than merely disgruntled about Bush's failings.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    I have nothing against making GWB and ilk pay for their actions. I, and others, have a stake in people not getting distracted from the current opportunity. Who wants to run on GWB's coat-tails in the mid-term? That means they have to run on their records - GWB is their record. Waldenbush has a record, it's not real pretty, but the political gurus say nothing in Oregon is in play. I say it is, if the "same ole thing" isn't the approach. But, hey, it's free to post letters, it's free to bitch to your friends, it's free to grumble to yourself, or yell at the TV, it isn't free to print brochures, pay for Voter's Pamphlet, travel all over 2nd CD, buy ads, etc ad nauseum... I may have been real public in defense of the 2nd Amendment, but I'm not going to ask the NRA for money, I may advocate a middle ground and decision making for enviros and usage but I won't ask Sierra Club or Weyerhauser for money, no matter that it's to their benefit to have me running, no, I ask you guys. I'll never owe favors to anybody but you, that way. $25-$500 at a time can make a real difference, but this campaign isn't even bluecollar, it's abject poverty. I've made it real easy to contribute, just clicking my name will get you there. I'm not going to do fundraising for the other candidates, but you can bet they're in the same boat. BTW, waldenbush has over $800,000, where'd that come from?

    Ok, I'll piggyback every article that has something to do with what I'm trying to do and try to shame you into taking real action, but it's too bad to have to do it. Chuck

  • Sid Leader (unverified)

    Will some fat, ugly girl from Portland please BLOW THIS GUY so we can impeach him?


    Or, anyone from KXL will do, I guess.

  • trolling around (unverified)

    Bush new about 911 in advance and he knew the levies would fail.

    He also new the miners would die, and the tsunami was coming.

    Why impeach when he should be exorcised.

  • Chris Chappell (unverified)
    <h2>When will you communists ever quit? You people are a disgrace to MY flag and everything it stands for. At least George Bush is willing to stand up to terrorism and fight, while dems such as Clinton let the terrorists do as they see fit without the fear of retributions. If left to the left we will surely surrender.</h2>

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