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For Economy's Sake, Pelosi Needs to Push for Impeachment Now
For economy's sake, Pelosi needs to push for impeachment now
BY Rochelle Riley | Freep.com
Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s ineffectiveness became clear the day she became Speaker of the House and immediately announced that there would be no impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.
Guided by politics, she said leading investigations into just how much the Bush administration did – and did wrong – would be divisive. What she didn’t express was her worry that too many Democrats faced elimination from the House if they took on the difficult task of proving who knew what, when.
But Congress is running out of time to finally make the Bush administration own up to its actions for eight years. If Congress isn’t careful, the president who already has issued 171 pardons could also pardon every appointee and employee he has ever had – and their dogs. And then Americans will never find out what happened to our country over the past eight years.
Pelosi wouldn’t have to start from scratch: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the bravest member of Congress, introduced legislation 11 months ago to impeach the president and vice president. Last January, the House gave a first reading of one of those articles of impeachment. Our own Rep. John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, joined 38 other representatives to sponsor HR 635, which would form a committee to look into whether there are grounds for impeachment. Revive that effort!
Last week, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, submitted a resolution demanding that Bush stop issuing “pre-emptive pardons of senior officials in his administration during the final 90 days of office.”
Nadler said in news reports that he was moved to action by the president’s “widespread abuses of power and potentially criminal transgressions against our Constitution” and that he wanted to prevent the “undeserved pardons of officials who may have been co-conspirators in the president’s unconstitutional policies, such as torture, illegal surveillance and curtailing of due process for defendants.”
Nadler is storming the beach; others should join him.
If Congress moves quickly and forces the president to focus on impeachment, then he won’t have so much time to push through last-minute regulatory changes that will continue to hurt our country and our ideals. He already has pushed deregulation that would allow employers to talk directly with employees’ doctors and allow power companies to build polluting facilities close to national parks.
Anyone worried that our congressional representatives can’t tie their shoes and chew gum at the same time, or cannot focus on the economic crisis and impeachment hearings at the same time, will find that many answers to our economic and global defense problems will come from those hearings.
The only question I have for Nancy Pelosi is this: What are we waiting for?