Monday, July 16, 2007

The "toolbox theory" of impeachment

On November 2, 2006, I heard the MOST COMPELLING reason to pursue impeachment. It was presented by John Nichols, (photo) Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, in conjunction with promoting his book, The Genius of Impeachment - The Founders' Cure for Royalism. I describe the compelling reason as the “toolbox theory of impeachment.”

Thanks to Nichols, I moved from a neutral position regarding impeachment into full gear, organizing and moderating an impeachment forum in my hometown, Healdsburg, on January 10, 2007. This event prompted my first post on January 13.

Since then, I, in conjunction with my friend and politically ally, Janie Sheppard, have posted about impeachment numerous times, in random order, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Frankly speaking, until recently I hadn’t seen enough action by a sufficient number of people to make a difference.

However, I’m finally beginning to see a groundswell of support for impeachment of Bush and Cheney, or Bush, or Cheney individually.

The most persuasive reason I’ve heard for supporting impeachment came from Nichols. Now, you, too, can hear or read it because John Nichols and Bruce Fein were interviewed by Bill Moyers on July 13, Tough Talk on Impeachment (video link and transcript).

Here’s the “toolbox” exchange:

BILL MOYERS: "That struck me about your writings and your book. You say your great-- your great fear is that Bush and Cheney will hand off to their successors a toolbox that they will not avoid using."

JOHN NICHOLS: "Well, let's try a metaphor. Let's say that-- when George Washington chopped down the cherry tree, he used the wood to make a little box. And in that box the president puts his powers. We've taken things out. We've put things in over the years.

"On January 20th, 2009, if George Bush and Dick Cheney are not appropriately held to account this administration will hand off a toolbox with more powers than any president has ever had, more powers than the founders could have imagined. And that box may be handed to Hillary Clinton or it may be handed to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or someone else. But whoever gets it, one of the things we know about power is that people don't give away the tools. They don't give them up. The only way we take tools out of that box is if we sanction George Bush and Dick Cheney now and say the next president cannot govern as these men have."

I’m sure John Nichols won’t mind if you use his toolbox metaphor.

(photo of John Nichols – Wisconsin Book Festival)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed. The administration is creating precedents, which if not thwarted now, will continue on into future administrations.

In addition, this morning the Guardian says that Cheney has regained the ascendancy in the ongoing White House debate about Iran. That means that if he remains in charge of our policy on Iran, we'll be dropping bombs there.


He's got to be impeached!