Issues: Domestic

Why is impeachment off the table?

Given that the constitution calls for impeachment if high crimes or misdemeanors have been committed, and the current president has flouted constitutionally mandated checks and balances, why is impeachment off the table? How do you intend to not give him free reign if you remove one of the only constitutionally given ways of limiting a president's abuse of his authority?


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


  1. Comment

    Please vote for this, even though Pelosi will brush it off.

  2. Comment

    Excellent question, however I would like to add an extension to the end of it that asks her what would prevent any future presidents from breaking the same laws if there is no repudiation.

  3. Comment

    Actually she has answered this several times. She admitted that is a political caculus. That it is all about the election and winning democratic seats. She and her advisors believe that the inherent food fight that an impeachment will be more damaging to their election chances than the importance of punishing the president. And I might add (she didn't say this) and protecting the constitution. Howeer this is her answer. I don't agree with it but I believe it is what they believe and I do give her credit for a truthful answer, a rare thing in politicians.

  4. Comment

    The question needs to be modified to include " Given that impeachment is necessary to remove executive immunity in order to try him for federal crimes yet to be uncovered, does not removing impeachment from the equation make your refusal to move through the Constitutional process make you complicit in those crimes? How can we trust Democrats with our country's future when you fail to hold accountable those responsible for our country's present?"

  5. Comment

    Isn't the very act of "taking impeachment of the table" an attack on the Constitution and therefore an impeachable offense?

  6. Comment

    Speaker Palosi and Harry Reid have either been bribed or threatened into supporting the felons of the Administration. The threats probably have to do with there knowlege and support of the torture, spying, disappearing, and theft of American rights and property. Lets be straight and ask her, would you impeach Bush to keep us from starting an impeachment against you?

  7. Comment

    Any question about impeachment should extend beyond Bush and Cheney to include key members of their administration, past and present, such as Rice, Rumsfeld, and Gonzales. In fact it might be even more important to target the latter than the former, as the Constitution provides that the punishment upon impeachment and conviction may extend not only to removal from office (already a moot point for characters like Rumsfeld and Gonzales) but also disqualification to hold and enjoy any further office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States. It is vital that we prevent the reappearance of Bush/Cheney's henchmen in future administrations. And for those who think that a Rumsfeld or Gonzales is beyond the reach of impeachment, remember that Secretary of War William Belknap, the only cabinet official ever subject to impeachment, was impeached after he had already resigned from office.

  8. Comment

    We can ask this, but we already know the answer. It is perhaps far more profitable to push her to do some investigation, and put the information in the public domain. As things stand right now, we would not even know everything that went on.

  9. Comment

    And to preclude her standard reply that it's politically unfeasible, here is a raw story link pointing out that Bush had a "strongly dissaprove" rating by Gallup - two months after she assumed the Speakership ( March of '06) - that was only 2 pts higher than Nixon *when he left office*:

    That was almost 2.5 years ago and his numbers have fallen precipitously since (and we needn't even mention Cheney's numbers which are as dismally low as Congress' - in the low teens).

  10. Comment

    Given Pelosi's reasons for not pushing to impeach Bush (refer to rayleeholden's comment which I'm taking on faith since I haven't heard Pelosi personally say this), Congress needs to be aware of the high price they're paying for this. They are setting a dangerous precedent for future executive abuse of power. If politicians aren't called on to answer for their crimes then what does it matter whether we have Republicans or Democrats in office. We will have ceased to be a Republic at that point. The fact that President Clinton was almost impeached for nothing more than a blowjob also makes this all the more outrageous that W's actions aren't being smacked down by Congress (who are seeming more and more to be boneless and corrupt themselves).

    Impeachment is NOT a partisan issue. It is an issue of justice in the face of facts. It's justice to the American people.

  11. Comment

    How about censuring them since you've taken impeachment off the table? Is there NO accountability?

  12. Comment

    Impeachment of Bush and his corrupt and incompetent cronies was required as a duty imposed on Congress, in particular the House of Representatives by our Constitution.

    Not impeaching high elected officials and those they appointed to high government positions who dishonored their oaths of office by disrespecting the Constitution, the laws of our country, and those of the international community and who were complicit and guilty of bringing our country to war and dishonor using deceit and lies amounts to complicity!

    It is still not too late, but if those in the present administration are not held responsible the terrible precedent will have been set for future administrations to deem themselves above the law, as those in the Bush administration have.

    Madame Speaker,

    Please do your sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our country!

  13. Comment

    Maybe the question is whether she should be treated as a Republican. Probably everyone who's dissatisfied with her answer should contribute to one of her challengers in the November election. Here's the list:

    * Republican: Dana Walsh

    * Independent: Cindy Sheehan

    * Libertarian: Philip Z. Berg

    * Socialist Workers: Lea Sherman (write-in)

    Democrats have been way too comfortable. They don't think we have anywhere to go but to vote for them. If they make major mistakes, we have to hold them accountable. The first line of defense is the Democratic primary elections. However, those are over and the only recourse at this point is to hold them responsible at the general election.

    Obviously, there are many issues where we want our elected representatives to use their judgment, even if we disagree. However, on questions like this, where we are talking about the successful functioning of the government, we should not permit our officials to escape responsibility at their next election.

  14. Comment

    It is a shame you are all wasting a good opportunity to ask a real question.

  15. Comment

    When the Republicans start screaming "witch hunt" just use their own FISA logic against them: If the Bush administration hasn't done anything wrong then it should be OK for Congress to read their email. Law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from the law.

  16. Comment

    Pelosi is an old-fashioned politician from a line of old-fashioned politicians and her genes tell her that she knows better than to take notice of the rats in her neighbor's house when her own cupboards are filled with roaches. Her reluctance to take on this crew of war criminals makes me suspect that there is something very seamy in her own recent past, private or political, that she is trying to hide and is afraid that will be revealed in a retaliatory strike by the Republicans. I once was very glad to see her as Speaker. Now, I have concluded that she is just another crook.

  17. Comment

    It is obvious that the Democrats were and still are afraid of impeachment. They think the public will see it as dirty politics and a payback for the impeachment witch hunt the Republicans waged against Clinton, and they think they will loose the upcoming election if they institute impeachment proceedings no matter how appropriate impeachment is.

    The fact is that the Democrats, and in fact the Republican members of the house have failed to perform their sworn duty and fear of what might happen in the next election if they did perform their Constitutional duty is not an acceptable excuse.

    It cannot be Pelosi herself making that decision.

    Unfortunately, the Republicans have perpetrated what is probably the most corrupt and incompetent administration in the history of our country and they have committed so many crimes that impeachment is not only appropriate, but demanded by the Constitution. Since the Bush administration refuses to comply with congressional investigations, in fact all legitimate investigations for that matter, it is the only way that the truth of how deep and pervasive the lawlessness and contempt for our Constitution by the Bushies can be uncovered.

    The Bush criminal conspiracy's blatant contempt for our laws and the Constitution make the myriad of Republican scandals far worse than Watergate, and if this lawlessness is left unaddressed will destroy the public's confidence in our entire system of government in the future.

    When our elected officials are not required to obey our laws why would anyone expect the public to do so!

    The evidence of the public's loss of confidence in our government can be easily seen in the national polls which now show less than ten percent of the public has confidence in congress and of course the dismal ratings for Bush shows the public's disgust with the current administration.

  18. Comment

    The choice not to pursue accountability for this administration's numerous abuses of power is absolute cowardice.

  19. Comment

    I would add a comment/extension to this question regarding the fact that if they begin the impeachment proceedings it will prevent Bush from issuing pardons to the executive branch people, INCLUDING HIMSELF. The impeachment must include Dick Cheney as well to prevent additional shenanigans such as Bush resigning an hour before the inauguration and then Cheney pardoning him if Cheney is not also under impeachment.

    That is the only way to make sure all these lawbreakers are held to account and for the American People to find out what they were doing. And that is far more important than their election calculations. Polls show that the public is ready to impeach - so the Dems will not suffer if they STAND UP AND DO THIS - FOR ONCE!

  20. Comment

    I heard that if we are not in the process of impeachment hearings, Bush can pardon all his cohorts and everybody gets off free. That is a good enough reason to impeach right there, even if we don't get him out of office!

  21. Comment

    What we need is to stop relying on congress to do the right thing and enact the National Initiative. ALL of us need to vote for this. PLEASE investigate this great piece of legislation and help enact it.

  22. Comment


    Sorry Fellow Dems, but as (Salon's) Glenn Greenwald blogged today about (Harpers') Scott Horton's interview with (The New Yorker's) Jane Mayer demonstrates -- what's really been put "off the table" is anything that might reveal Nancy Pelosi's own, active and personal, war criminality.

    She and a handful of other self-important (and self-deluded) DC-Dems signed on to the The Torture Team.

    They, at minimum, failed to object when they should have. And are now engaged in a furtherance of that criminal conspiracy by shielding their co-conspirators from the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

    Perhaps now that it is exposed Conyers can reclaim his role as Conscience of the Congress.

    He may now see that all their lame rationalizations were just that and that only he can speak for The American People.

    Impeachment remains our ONLY moral, patriotic option.


  23. Comment

    I love how people confirm their own statements by writing "CONFIRMED." Give us some links to follow man.

  24. Comment

    It's important to not sound like we're attacking Pelosi. We have to assure her that we're all Americans here (except for the corrupt neo-cons who need to spend a few years in jail studying the US Constitution, American History, World History, and the Geneva Conventions).

  25. Comment

    No offense, but why do we need to assure Pelosi of anything? She should be assuring US that she is intending to do the job she was elected to do, by US. Technically, we are her employer. Her salary is paid with taxpayer dollars. If about 90% of the people in government today worked in the private sector, they would have been fired for cause by now.

    Why do elected officials always seem to get a free pass? The problem is we aren't paying NEARLY enough attention to what these people do in office. When it comes time for elections people often just go off sound bites on television commercials and never bother to do any of their own research. Likely, most of the people here on this board are an exception. But the majority of people out there don't watch what their politicians are doing and are dreadfully misinformed by the media.

    So, again, why do we need to assure Pelosi that we are on her side? In 2006, we voted in a majority of Democrats who didn't do what they said they would do on our behalf. It's gotten so bad that I have officially changed parties and don't plan to vote for a candidate of either major party this presidential election. It's been said by many others that the Democrats can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and I believe this is the truth.

    The only folks I see doing a damned thing in office are people like Kucinich, Waxman, Wexler and Feingold. For the most part, my local congressman is voting okay, but I disagree with him on a few bills here and there and he seems to discount my concerns on those bills altogether or makes it seem like those concerns are ludicrous. Example: the Homegrown Terrorism bill. That is awful legislation. To me, it's just like the McCarthy era all over again. He thinks that is an exaggeration, but all one needs to do is read it to see how vaguely defined terms are and what a can of worms it will be.

    The moral of the story is PAY ATTENTION. Sign up for, megavote, etc. Watch how your local politician votes. And when it comes to people in leadership positions like Pelosi, if you're not one of her constituents and she doesn't put actions behind her words, then help her competition.

    I'm sick of giving these politicians one chance after another and them not doing a damn thing they say they will. There are plenty of others out there willing to make a positive difference. I have no mercy for the likes of her.

  26. Comment

    There is still hope that Pelosi will do the right thing. It makes sense to not alienate her. I'm not proposing we don't tell her like it is, but "thedeanpeople" comment probably won't get much useful information out of her. If what "thedeanpeople" says is true then we shouldn't be wasting our time talking to Pelosi in the first place. I'm not all knowing though so I just assume Pelosi isn't corrupt. I agree that if she isn't corrupt then making this administration pay for its crimes against America would be her only sensible course. Above all the rule of law and balance of powers needs to be reestablished. No more cowboy presidents and "I hate the world so I'm going to ruin it" political advisers (Rove).

  27. Comment
    flahooley ( Idea Submitter )

    Pelosi isn't corrupt. She is a politician, and a damn smart one at that. She can't bring this without the political movement to demand it.

    It is our job to create a movement to force her to do what I believe she probably thinks is right.

  28. Comment

    You folks are giving Pelosi a lot of credit. How are we supposed to interpret her stating "impeachment is off the table" as soon as she assumed the speaker of the house role? Why on earth would she make such a statement unless she is somehow complicit in Bush's crimes and she knows that digging under the covers is going to net more than just the Bush clan?

    Seriously. There is no other way to look at it. Continuously burying Kucinich's articles of impeachment--try #3 now. And threatening Conyers if he begins investigations?

    90% of those in office wouldn't know the right thing if it hit them on the head.

  29. Comment

    The MOMENT you took impeachment "off the table" can you imagine what Karl and Dick and George said? "Thank you, Nancy, we have a GREEN LIGHT to disassemble the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Ms Speaker: Imeachment should NEVER be a STRATEGY - it is a REMEDY. Don't take that away from We, The People.

  30. Comment
    Call Up

    I can tell you her response. It will be her standard talking point: we wanted to get the people's business done, and not divide Washington more than it already is.

    This is her political talking point and she repeats it over and over whenever asked. She won't address accountability, oversight, or her responsibility to the American people to ensure that the Executive Branch doesn't violate the law.

    The ONLY reason that I can rationalize is that she's complicit - that she was aware of the lawbreaking, authorized it, and now needs to cover up for the Administration in order to cover up for her own complicity.

  31. Comment

    Wow. She really has no shame. I hope Cindy Sheehan kicks her ass out of office. This pandering is obnoxious as hell.

    So, on the one hand we have Gore telling us we are doomed unless we get good leadership and on the other we have crappy leaders refusing to do what they need to do to move the country in the right direction. All our ills will be fixed by Barack Obama though, right? (*shaking head*)

  32. Comment

    Trying to be bi-partisan my ass. Why doesn't she try being American?

  33. Comment

    In an interview on CNN, the California Democrat was asked to respond to video of the president criticizing the Democratic-led Congress....

    "You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject," Pelosi replied. She then tsk-tsked Bush for "challenging Congress when we are trying to sweep up after his mess over and over and over again."

    Civility is one thing but the Speaker's own words suggest an incompetent. President Bush is hardly incompetent. His immoral and unethical administration has ruthlessly enacted an agenda not possible before 9/11. He has gutted existing laws, defied oversight by the legislative and judicial branches and deliberately lied and misled the nation while redacting and destroying evidence of his crimes that would make Nixon's erasure of tape an act of childplay.

    Speaker Pelosi became an enabler of Bush by trying to appear the political player. Unfortunately these are times when principled representatives of both parties need to stand up(as they did in Watergate) on the side of justice and the constitution instead of political pandering.

    The first business of the next Congress should be replacement of the House Speaker Pelosi and the Majority Leader Reid. Their boldest statements barely reached the threshold of timidity.

  34. Comment

    Impeachment is off the table because there isn't grounds for it.

    While folks may be unhappy about the current administration, impeachable offenses were not committed.

    I think most practical / rational elected officials know that the recent calls for impeachment are a useless sideshow, a waste of time and energy that doesn't advance us toward solutions to the problems at hand.

    We got what we voted for, now digest it and move on.

    Wallowing in anti-bush / cheney sentiment doesn't solve the problems at hand, focusing on impeachment is wallowing.

  35. Comment

    wh - sorry, but your comment is total BS. Firstly, the 2000 and 2004 elections were both STOLEN in multiple ways: bad electronic voting machines that were easily hacked, not enough machines in areas that were primarily Democrats, lots of shenanigans like the phone bank incident in new england, purging voter rolls of valid voters, etc. Then we had the supreme court appt King George in 2000.

    We did NOT get what we voted for.

    Bush is a CRIMINAL. He ginned up information to take us to war in Iraq. It's an illegal war/occupation. They outed a CIA agent - grounds for treason. He was directly complicit in that action. Telling his staff not to appear before congress for subpoenas. There are so many ways that this man is a criminal it's not even funny. If we DON'T follow through with impeachment, it sets a bad precedent for future presidential activity. In fact, it has been stated (and I agree) that Nixon should never have been pardoned. It set the groundwork for this sh*tty administration we now have. This man and his cronies all think they are above the law. Politicizing the justice department - against civil service laws. Illegal wire tapping. Oh there are so many I don't even know where to start. Kucinich raised 35 (THIRTY-FIVE) areas where this administration has been criminal. I suggest we investigate it or bear the consequences of even worse administrations going forward.

  36. Comment

    There certainly are more than sufficient grounds to start impeachment proceedings in the House.

    Impeachment proceedings are the investigation. If the House finds that there are sufficient grounds then the trial is done by the Senate.

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