Impeach Bush?

William F. Buckley's picture

It’s not as it was with President Nixon. The thought of Nixon is impossible except under the shadow of Watergate, which would have meant impeachment and probable conviction.

But it isn’t widely remembered that there was a movement to impeach Nixon before Watergate — over the bombing in Cambodia.

I remember a moment, in the course of a debate with Arthur Schlesinger Jr. before a huge crowd of students, when I ridiculed the idea of impeaching President Nixon.

“I never came out for impeaching him,” Schlesinger said.

“Ah,” said I, “but you are a vice president or whatever of Americans for Democratic Action, and they have come out for impeachment.”

“I wasn’t present at that meeting,” Schlesinger said tensely.

An amusing and instructive aftermath came in the limo in which we were both driven off to a reception. Schlesinger sat in the back seat next to his mother, the widow of the hugely respected historian Arthur Schlesinger Sr. “Arthur,” she said sternly, “you should not have come out for impeaching the president.”

“Mother, I didn’t. I wasn’t even there.”

What amused especially was Mother Schlesinger’s refusing to take her son’s word for it and sticking to her opposition. “Your father would never have come out for impeachment.”

The dividing line is between just plain partisanship and Constitution-bending to advance a political cause. Several thousand convened in Washington last spring demanding the impeachment of President George W. Bush. The moving spirit of this enterprise turns out to be Ramsey Clark, who would be in favor of impeaching St. Peter if Peter gave out the least emanation in favor of a Republican president.

So Clark continues to live in jerkdom, but that does not alter the fact that there are people out there who believe the time has come for impeachment.

The rules for impeachment were drawn up by a Constitutional Convention that was seeking means by which the checks and balances among the different branches of government might be enforced. The constitutional provision explicitly applies to “the president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States” — which includes federal judges.

Observers have sometimes wondered whether it also applies to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, but the consensus has been that it does not. Then again, legislators can be removed, in extreme cases, by a two-thirds vote of their own house of Congress.

In any case, the president, like those other “civil officers,” can be removed from office if impeached by the House and convicted by two-thirds of the Senate, but this provision of the Constitution has hardly ever been invoked. The impeachment-minded succeeded, in the post-Civil War fever, in impeaching President Andrew Johnson, but didn’t get enough votes to convict him.

You have to jump from Johnson more than 100 years to see it come up again. Richard Nixon almost certainly would have been impeached over Watergate, but Tricky Dick coped with that threat by resigning.

Still, a presidential impeachment lay ahead — that of Bill Clinton. He was impeached by the House for lying to a grand jury and for obstruction of justice, but the Senate declined to follow through, and Clinton was free to accept his next honorary degree.

The bill of particulars drawn up by Ramsey Clark et al. against Bush accuses the president of everything this side of ignoring his parking tickets. The articles of impeachment have him down for bombing civilians, lying to Congress, lying to the people, giving unconstitutional orders, etc. If he were indeed guilty of one-half the charges laid against him, he’d belong not in the White House but in jail.

What stands out this time around is that there are no serious people urging impeachment. By “serious” is here intended, men and women of sobriety who weigh conscientiously what constitutes impeachable presidential behavior.

Mr. Bush is swimming in very low political tides. Although he beat down with ease the outrageous and insulting charges of Rep. Pete Stark of California, it is striking that a member of Congress felt free to indulge in that level of public obloquy. There was enough of that for Bush in the election of 2006, which was interpreted, reasonably, as a repudiation of his leadership.

If ours were a form of government patterned after that of the Europeans, Bush would probably have been replaced as leader of his party. But the majority of the American people still think of him as a man of good will and very stout heart who is pursuing his duties as he sees them, a man, moreover, of conspicuous incorruptibility.

Let the people pronounce on his stewardship in November 2008.


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Submitted by Yo on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 10:24am.

The people have spoke: We voted him in twice.


ZERO Iraqis on the 9/11 planes

ZERO Connection with Bin Laden and Saddam

Al-Qaida came to power AFTER Dubya invaded Iraq

He started a war based on lies

He continues a war based on changing story lines.

He chooses to do nothing with Iran and N Korea, using the same argument to invade Iraq. Amazing

He has opened up our borders

Our economy is in shambles... a market boosted by fluff & junk

8 years of lame duck

7 Years of war

Just like Eisenhower.... Reagan.... Dubya Part I.... hmmmmm

Submitted by jondough on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 6:48pm.

That is a no brainer. I agree that Clinton lying to Congress was also an impeachable offense. But Clinton's lie did not cost the lives of thousands!! Yes, thousands have died because of the lies Bush told, just one being the reasons to invade Iraq. Clinton should have just told the truth. Who cares about the sex thing? That is really between him and his husband hillary. But Bush is the worst president we have ever had. We will be paying the costs (& i don't mean just monetary) for years and years to come because of his crazy, greedy, illegal acts!! Cheney TOO!

Submitted by lilly on Thu, 11/01/2007 - 5:30pm.

Who cares about the sex thing with Clinton. For one thing I do. He was doing it with my tax dollars. He was working when he was having his sex fun- or should we call it power hunger fun. For one thing do you think I enjoyed telling my kid that he would find out what he did wrong. If we lie under oath we go to jail. Clinton lies under oath and nothing is done. Don't you see something wrong here. So, I guess if I have to go to court I can lie under oath and remind them that Clinton did it- why can't I????????? I won't go to jail-will I?????
Clinton is the worst President we have ever had.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 8:39am.

was mildly thrashed today by non-other than Pat Robertson regarding the President's position on Palestinian statehood. I guess you can't make everyone happy.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 7:14pm.

No point in going after Bush now since he is out in 14 months. Let us focus on Hillary Rodham - our next president. Let us go after her and with the same intensity that you all pursue Bush. She is going to be the next president, so let us get ready with our questions and accusations.

Judging from CBS's pursuit of Bush in the 1960's, I guess it would be fair to pursue Hillary and get that speech from Radcliffe or wherever she went to school - you know - the secret speech - the one she has been hiding. Let us start there and move forward into everything else she has done in the last 40 years.

In fact, I have decided that I am voting for her so I can see the media treat her the same as they (or it) has treated Bush. They will, won't they?

Submitted by teetaw on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 9:40pm.

way to try to hijack the topic here with your god d***ed idiotic, deflective post.

trentrivers's picture
Submitted by trentrivers on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 8:11am.

why is hate filling you? Do you desire suffering on yourself? hate only kills the heart that harbors it.


Denise Conner's picture
Submitted by Denise Conner on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 9:59pm.

Using **** doesn't allow you to post profanity. Sad

Submitted by teetaw on Sat, 10/27/2007 - 10:13pm.


edit: rules don't say that, I censored it. I've seen Git censor himself as well. Nice try though denise, you're about as knee jerk reactionary about the forums as you are about politics. funny, that.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sun, 10/28/2007 - 9:47am.

Hey Buddy,

Everyone knows it is a mortal 'Citizen Sin' to leave out a couple of letters in a truly offensive and nasty word phrase like you did. Let me show the difference. {{{{SELF-EDITED}}}} Now what I 'self edited' is the word Dum-Dum. Now don't tell Cal, because if he realizes that I used the word Dum-Dum he might fire me. Now examine the true differences between our 'self editing' methods and you can understand how wrong it was for you to say... "But Git.....".

BTW TeeTaw.... Why do hate God so much? Puzzled

Have a great day.


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by teetaw on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 10:06pm.

... would be absurd since he's merely a creation of man. But thats a thread hijack for another time, which I would love to discuss.

trentrivers's picture
Submitted by trentrivers on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 8:12am.

how can man create a god when he cannot create or destroy anything? where did man come from if not from God?


mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sun, 10/28/2007 - 5:54am.

I thought you were the kinder and gentler element of our society - all inclusive, help the minorities and downtrodden (except for the babykilling) and redistribute the wealth. Where is there room for such anger?

Submitted by teetaw on Sun, 10/28/2007 - 9:37am.

Because Hillary isn't guilty of war crimes, warping the power of the executive branch, secrecy not seen since the cold war, fear mongering the public, wasting billions of our dollars on a war we very well won't see back and *I* will have to pay for over the next few decades. No one looks up to our country like they used to and its because of the idiot in the White House. If we continued running the country without raising taxes while carrying on the war we would be completely broke, and Bush pandered to people who don't understand the system who thought that he was going to "help him keep their own money" while only the very rich benefited from him. Meanwhile, he ran around dressed in sheep's clothing to persuade people he was a devout Christian and only had Christian morals on his side to get the Christian vote.

Hillary hasn't done anything near that awful so lets just wait and see before we judge and try to turn the topic about that, okay? For the record, I'm not voting for Hillary, and rather wouldn't like to see her as president. I'm just pissed people are still trying to turn this into a debate when we need to address Bush's crimes against humanity and the public.

I'm mad that people still think that its acceptable for the President to behave this way, while good Americans continue to die, and the country continues to hemorrhage cash. If you're a conservative (and I assume you are) you should be behind getting him out of office as much as anyone else because he is wasting trillions of tax dollars, fighting a war against an enemy with unacceptable civilian and American costs, and treating this country like its his own personal dictatorship.

The fact that you try to portray liberals as a contradicting group is pretty funny though. The reason for me is look who I have to deal with. People with blind party affiliation who refuse to address party issues and try to spin it back to the other side like they're Bill O'Reilly.

Submitted by lilly on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 5:10pm.

No she will be guilty of sex crimes like her husband Bill. That's why she wants in the White House and He wants her there so he can have his fun again. They are both a DISGRACE to our country. Do you think I like my child finding out what Clinton, was all about- please have morals a little.

As far as President Bush- Best President we have ever had, besides Regan.

By the way write what you want with the Bush bashing I won't respond.
Not after Clinton's little 8 years of sex fun. He is the cause of this war-He knows it. Don't blame Bush when they were plotting and planning on what to do for 8 years of Clinton doing nothing.

I think this nation needs to come back to the morals we use to have. Believe me I blame Clinton- so maybe his wife can make it worse.

chippie's picture
Submitted by chippie on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 8:34pm.

Lilly - "As far as President Bush- Best President we have ever had, besides Regan."

First thing - if you think so much of "Regan" if may help to spell his name correctly, it's "Reagan."

Second, you need to stop drinking the Kool Aid that makes Bush, Dubya, and Reagan look like the best presidents ever.

History won't be kind to Dubya. Wake up, smell the coffee, and drink some of it, too.

I'm not defending certain activities Clinton did while in office, or any of his offices, but your "sex fun" can be had anywhere by anyone.

Nice to see you've already announced you've bailed out of this blog and won't respond to any Bush Bashing. Too bad you can't back up your opinions.

Submitted by lilly on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 12:28pm.

You paid for Clinton to have his sex fun while in the White House- he did it with your tax dollars. Just tell me what he did that was so good for our Nation. He is the reason we are in war. While in office he didn't do anything.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 7:24pm.

As far as President Bush- Best President we have ever had, besides Regan.

As a Conservative I have to say that your statement sounds like some kind of lie that might come out of Clinton's mouth. Yikes!! Shocked


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by lilly on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 12:29pm.

I don't think I could not lie as much as Clinton. That's all he did while in the White House- well not all.

AF A-10's picture
Submitted by AF A-10 on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 5:44pm.

Now I'll be the first to say Teetaw has a beef. Tee's not alone. Anyway, to blame President Clinton for 9-11 and the Iraq debacle is like shooting yourself in the foot to get a perp. What do you think of President Bush's response to the Presidential Daily Bulletin (PDB) titled "Al Qaieda determined to strike within the US using aircraft?" Was that PDB handled well, Lilly? Lilly, personal question. You don't have to tell anyone else; just me. Have you been smoking some whacky tobaccy or something? Are you for real, or are you in character? Just curious.

Kevin "Hack" King

Submitted by lilly on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 12:33pm.

No, only liberals that support Clinton do that. I'm for real, President Bush has been our best President. You know how did he win again if he's so bad. Liberals on T.V. always saying things about someone like him. President Bush thinks they are quacks and don't have time - unlike Clinton to mess with such things.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sun, 10/28/2007 - 9:49am.

Tell us how you really feel about. Even though you are only 'partially' factual. Shocked


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


Submitted by teetaw on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 9:58pm.

well then lets hear it at least

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