Friday, November 09, 2007
The Democrats' Impeachment Farce
When Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced a privileged resolution to impeach Vice President Cheney on November 6 (H.Res.799), there was a lot of hoopla on the Left. But the real cheering was among the Republicans.
A privileged resolution takes precedence over other House business. If a motion to table (set aside) the resolution does not succeed, the resolution must then be debated for at least one hour.
The Repugs figured that a mini-impeachment debate might be just what the Democrats didn't need. Jonathan Kaplan described the proceedings—
The vote to kill [table] Kucinch’s [sic] privileged resolution began as a largely party-line affair, but halfway through the vote, Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) persuaded Republican leaders to get rank-and-file GOP lawmakers to change their votes to force the debate.
At one point, the vote to table the motion stood at 246-165. Once Republicans began switching their votes, momentum swung the other way. When the vote stood at 205-206, some Democrats began switching their votes.
The vote to kill Kucinich’s resolution finally failed 162-251, giving Republicans the opportunity to watch Democrats debate whether to impeach Cheney — a debate in which many liberal Democrats were more than willing to engage.
House Republicans clearly enjoyed watching Democratic leaders squirm during the series of votes, which lasted more than one hour.
The resolution was finally referred to John Conyers' Judiciary Committee, where it will of course languish. Only Kucinich and three other Democrats voted against sending the resolution to committee.
While the Republicans may have enjoyed "watching Democratic leaders squirm," what they succeeded in doing was to expose the utter duplicity of the Democrats who voted to move forward on the resolution while expecting it to be tabled. If anyone can track down the Democratic vote-switchers, I would love a list.
In 2005 I wrote with some hope of the possibility of a Bush-Cheney impeachment. I have long since ceased to harbor such a hope.
New Republican idea: A bounty on politicians (7/27/05)
Editorial of the Day (11/8/05)
Rep. Conyers works toward Bush impeachment (12/21/05)
Political Wire: Democratic Leaders Back Away from Impeachment Talk (3/7/06)
Must-Read of the Day (9/8/07)