Letter to The Nation Magazine
Issue of March 19, 2007; distributed March 2, 2007
IMPEACH, IMPEACH, IMPEACH
Our February 12 Impeachment articles, Elizabeth Holtzman's "The Case in Favor" and Sanford Levinson's "The Case Against," surged our mail. It ran overwhelmingly in favor of Holtzman's case for the impeachment of the President and overwhelmingly against Levinson's case for dropping the idea. --The Editors
Philip Green writes:
To argue as my friend Sanford Levinson did that the Administration is only "grossly incompetent"--and that the President therefore should not be impeached, having not committed "high crimes"--is to completely miss the point. It's a highly competent Administration, one of the most competent ever, the way a sociopath--say, Ted Bundy--is competent.
As for high crimes: Under the leadership of George W. Bush, tyranny is now institutionalized in the form of the unitary executive and, especially, the anticonstitutional extension, as though by an absolute monarch, of the constitutionally allocated role of "commander in chief." This is probably the most breathtaking assault on democratic government ever to take place in a supposedly stable democracy. The President's ultimate command (rarely exercised by past Presidents) over the armed forces has been turned into a claim to exercise dictatorial command over all persons, not only in the United States but in other nations as well. As for the legislature, its role in the separation of powers has been effectively abolished, no matter who controls it; it remains to be seen whether any part of that role can be recaptured.
As things stand, the President still ignores it and suffers no penalty for doing so. He does whatever he wants--e.g., setting out to destroy New York State's public hospitals. The things he can't do--e.g., invent and implement an overall "healthcare" policy all by himself--are things he doesn't want to do anyhow, since he and his accomplices are against all government other than that which further enriches or empowers themselves. So all the agitated discussion on the left about what the Democrats ought to be doing is about nothing. Can anyone seriously believe that Bush will give up his warmaking powers if Congress denies him funding?
And what have the leaders of the one-party state accomplished? They've stolen countless billions from the national economy (and Iraq's as well), and transferred it to themselves and their friends; they've installed a regime of spies and torturers at the heart of the state; they've suborned the military to surrender its professional responsibilities to an ex-deserter turned tyrant. Abroad they engage in willful slaughter, including that of the nation's young, to enhance their own control. They've carefully presided over the continued destruction of a center of African-American population exactly as they want to; taken over the National Labor Relations Board for their antiunion agenda; cemented their party's coalition with Christian totalitarians at the expense of science, healthcare and democracy itself; packed the court system and ignored its remnants of independence when it would interfere with their power; stolen one and possibly two presidential elections.
This is incompetence? What could they possibly have done with more success? Quite possibly the idea of impeachment is chimerical. But please!
New York City