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{Empty title} | The Nation

Ms. Pelosi, in defending high-minded views of what can be realistically be accomplished, has lost sight of what is now lost--the rule of law. Taking impeachment off the table because "there aren't enough votes" is a frank admission that from here on out the President is above the law for all intents and purposes. The losses in privacy rights will never be regained. The loss of respect any citizen might have had for the law is forever diminished.

For people interested in justice, bringing the impeachment and rebuking the lawlessness stands as the important goal, not ultimately winning the verdict. Ms. Pelosi has now given her tacit approval, a wink and a nod to domestic criminality and international war crimes. From this point forward a new precedent has been set for executive power from which it will be forever impossible to back down.

Most progressives understand we've lost the war for economic justice to the unchecked influence of money on politics. Now, we've also lost the war for simple justice and equality too. The weakness, the fear and the rationalizing being done today by the Democratic leadership represent the last breakdown before fascism grabs the reins in America. In my 60 years I have never been as disappointed in a politician as I have been in Ms. Pelosi, who at one time had me convinced she was a warrior.