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The Impeachment of George W. Bush | The Nation

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The Impeachment of George W. Bush

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Next Steps

Listen to Elizabeth Holtzman make the case for George W. Bush's impeachment on the September 24 episode of RadioNation with Laura Flanders.

About the Author

Elizabeth Holtzman
Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman is co-author of Cheating Justice: How Bush and Cheney...

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Mobilizing the nation and Congress in support of investigations and the impeachment of President Bush is a critical task that has already begun, but it must intensify and grow. The American people stopped the Vietnam War--against the wishes of the President--and forced a reluctant Congress to act on the impeachment of President Nixon. And they can do the same with President Bush. The task has three elements: building public and Congressional support, getting Congress to undertake investigations into various aspects of presidential misconduct and changing the party makeup of Congress in the 2006 elections.

Drumming up public support means organizing rallies, spearheading letter-writing campaigns to newspapers, organizing petition drives, door-knocking in neighborhoods, handing out leaflets and deploying the full range of mobilizing tactics. Organizations like AfterDowningStreet.org and ImpeachPac.org, actively working on a campaign for impeachment, are able to draw on a remarkably solid base of public support. A Zogby poll taken in November--before the wiretap scandal--showed more than 50 percent of those questioned favored impeachment of President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq.

An energized public must in turn bear down on Congress. Constituents should request meetings with their Senators and Representatives to educate them on impeachment. They can also make their case through e-mail, letters and phone calls. Representatives and Senators should be asked specifically to support hearings on and investigations into the deceptions that led to the Iraq War and President Bush's role in the torture scandals. Senators should also be asked to insure that the hearings already planned by the Senate Judiciary Committee into warrantless wiretaps are comprehensive. The hearings should evaluate whether the wiretaps were genuinely used for national security purposes and why the President chose to violate the law when it was so easy to comply with it. Representatives should specifically be asked to co-sponsor Congressman John Conyers's resolution calling for a full inquiry into presidential abuses.

Finally, if this pressure fails to produce results, attention must be focused on changing the political composition of the House and Senate in the upcoming 2006 elections. If a Republican Congress is unwilling to investigate and take appropriate action against a Republican President, then a Democratic Congress should replace it.

As awful as Watergate was, after the vote on impeachment and the resignation of President Nixon, the nation felt a huge sense of relief. Impeachment is a tortuous process, but now that President Bush has thrown down the gauntlet and virtually dared Congress to stop him from violating the law, nothing less is necessary to protect our constitutional system and preserve our democracy.

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