At this point I feel that there are so many things that Bush *needs* to be impeached for -- not needs in the sense that it'd be good to have him gone, or needs in the sense that they are clearly, unmistakably impeachable offenses, but needs in the sense that Bush's getting away with this will do grievous, probably permanent harm to the republic -- that I feel like impeaching him once would not even be sufficient. Whatever we impeached him on, it would imply that the many other crimes -- high crimes, the highest of crimes, crimes against our beloved country (not to mention so many others) -- he was skating on.
How could we not impeach him for the signing statements, by which he has openly announced his intention to wantonly disregard the very laws he was signing, attacking the very structure of our constitution?
How could we could we not impeach him for his admitted spying on American citizens in direct violation of FISA and the fourth amendment (the extent of which remains wholly unknown, although it is likely to be not simply for security, since those would have clearly been approved by the FISA court)?
How can we not impeach him for sanctioning torture, in direct violation of American law, the Geneva conventions, and the basic principles of morality?
How can we not impeach him for imprisoning American citizens without trial, in defiance of habeas corpus -- indefinitely?
How can we not impeach him for running secret prisons around the world, sending prisoners off to be tortured in other countries, picking up random civilians (many picked out randomly by bounty hunters) and holding them indefinitely in Guantanamo Bay?
And how can we not impeach him for waging an aggressive war based on false claims -- a war that has left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, not to mention thousands of Americans -- a war that is surely, finally, the greatest of his many crimes?
Not to mention whatever secret crimes this most secretive administration has committed without public knowledge.
Obstruction of justice? Of course. Nixon was going to be impeached for it; Bush should be too.
But it's not enough. It leaves to many crimes -- high crimes, the highest -- unanswered.
That they were committed wounds the republic. To leave them unpunished would wound it permanently.
But how unlikely is it that he will be impeached even once?
And even if a miracle occurs and he is -- it would not be enough. It could not be enough. Not enough to restore our country to us.
At this point, I don't know what would. Or if anything can.
Update - Kung Fu Monkey explains everything:
I suggest this post by Kung Fu Monkey as wonderful reading on this topic. It might even be the first step of a General Theory of the Bush Administration. Here's a small taste of what the post says:
According to the Dictionary of Video Game Theory, an "exploit" is... "a case where a player knowingly uses a flaw in a game to gain an unfair advantage"....and I'll leave it on that cliff-hanger, in hopes that people go read it.
[T]he Cheney Administration has discovered... the "exploit" within the United States Government. As I watched Congressmen and Senators stumble and fumble and thrash, unable to bring to heel men and women who were plainly lying to them under oath, unable to eject from public office toadies of a boot-licking expertise unseen since Versailles, it struck me. The sheer, simple elegance of it. The "exploit".
Update 2: Predictions Past and Future. Jeff Lomonaco explained why Bush commuted rather than pardoned Libby... two weeks ago.
In that spirit, I'll take under consideration Jonathan Zasloff's questions "Will Bush pardon Cheney before leaving office in January 2009?" and "Will Bush pardon Cheney in January 2009, then resign and be pardoned by newly-sworn-in President Cheney the next day?", and suggest that what will happen is bigger than the first and simpler than the second: I predict that between November, 2008 and January 20, 2009, Bush will issue a general pardon for all employees of his administration who committed or may have committed crimes "in the course of their official duties" or some such smeg. A get-out-of-jail free card for the whole crooked lot of them.
What? You think they wouldn't dare? You're forgetting the exploit. And the fact that these sociopaths will do, and dare, anything.
Update 3: Glenn Greenwald has a good summary of the context here. And Avedon Carol has a post which, in its final paragraphs, discusses Obama's reaction -- and captures something I find essentially lacking in him as a candidate at this moment in history. Obama's probably my first choice at this point -- but as a candidate and potential President he has some very serious deficits, of which Carol puts her finger on one, using the Libby situation as an example.