2006: Impeachment Vs. Defending America

Russ Feingold, who looks to be sucking up to the Kos crowd on the net in order to build momentum for a run at the presidency in 2008, is calling for the censure of President Bush because he had the audacity to order warrantless wiretaps of people in the United States who were conversing with foreign terrorists:

“In an exclusive interview on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold called on the Senate to publicly admonish President Bush for approving domestic wiretaps on American citizens without first seeking a legally required court order.

“This conduct is right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Feingold, D-Wis., a three-term senator and potential presidential contender.

He said President Bush had, “openly and almost thumbing his nose at the American people,” continued the NSA domestic wiretap program.”

First of all, if you call a terrorist in Afghanistan and you’re both yakking it up, talking about murdering infidels, your favorite explosive, or who your favorite Democratic Senator is, does your phone company consider that to be a domestic call or an international call? An international call, right? After all, you’re talking to someone in a foreign country, right? Yet, those are the type of calls that are tapped, in some cases, without warrants, and yet the media never seems to challenge the Democrats when they call them “domestic calls.”

In any case, you can see where Feingold is going with this talk of “high crimes and misdemeanors:” impeachment. He’s not the only one either:

“30 US House Representatives have signed on as sponsors or co-sponsors of H. Res 635, which would create a Select Committee to look into the grounds for recommending President Bush’s impeachment, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

…Over 14% of US House Democrats now support the impeachment probe; almost 7% of all US House Representatives now support the probe. In December 2005, there were 231 Republicans in the US House, 202 Democrats, 1 Independent, and 1 vacancy, a clerk for the US House of Representatives told Atlanta Progressive News.

The best represented states on H. Res 635 are California (7), New York (6), Massachusetts (3), Georgia (2), Minnesota (2), and Wisconsin (2).

The current 30 total co-sponsors are Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Rep. John Olver (D-MA), Rep. Major Owens (D-NY), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN), Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), Rep. John Tierney (D-MA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).

…The thing about H. Res. 635 is, it deals with impeaching Bush over a cluster of issues from misleading the public to go to war, to authorizing torture. Wiretapping was not listed as one of the reasons to investigate the grounds for Bush’s impeachment in the bill because the existence of the secret, illegal wiretapping had not come to light yet when the bill was being prepared.”

So, 14% of the Democrats in the House support the impeachment probe for “misleading the public to go to war,” “authorizing torture,” and they may add the wiretapping of terrorists on as well before it’s all over. Of course, Bush didn’t mislead the public, authorize torture — and the wiretapping of calls between US citizens and foreign agents without a warrant is not only legal, it would likely take a Constitutional Amendment to strip him of that power.

But, regardless of those facts, it seems to me that we have a pretty clear split between both parties that needs to become an issue in the 2006 elections. Republicans believe that we need to act aggressively to defend Americans from terrorists who want to harm us and Democrats believe that the President should be impeached for acting aggressively to defend America from terrorists.

That’s why all Democrats running for reelection in 2006 need to be asked, for the record, if they support the impeachment of President Bush. In other words, do they support the partisan attempt to undercut the Commander-in-Chief, in a time of war, for purely political purposes or are they concerned about defending America? That’s something the American people need to know before they go to the ballot box in 2006.

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