The Devil and Dick Cheney

You know the Veep is in trouble when he’s lost David Broder. “[W]hen presidential candidate George W. Bush chose Dick Cheney as his running mate, I applauded the choice. … Boy, was I wrong.”

Truly, there’s not much lower Dick can sink. I checked to see if Hugh Hewitt had turned on him yet — that would be, I think, absolute rock bottom — but I found no recent Hewitt postings on Cheney. Yet. Even really stupid rats will get off the sinking ship before they drown.

Do a news google for “impeach Cheney” and you get an eyeful. Coming at a time when the Bush Administration faces mutiny over immigration, it can truly be said the White House is (finally) under siege from all sides. Some parts of the Republican Party are still trying to provide a buffer, of course, but the GOP is starting to look like the last defenders of the Bastille.

Raw Story reports that this morning the White House asserted “executive privilege” and said it would not turn over documents related to the firings of federal attorneys. I believe we’re still waiting for a response to yesterday’s subpoenas regarding the warantless wiretap program.

My understanding is that if the Administration refuses to comply with subpoenas from Congress, Congress has to go to a federal court to get the subpoenas enforced. If a court rules the Administration must comply, the White House can appeal, and fish around for federal judges who will allow them to continue to operate outside the law. That’s how the Dickster was able to avoid turning his energy task force records over to the General Accounting Office, for example.

I assume the White House can appeal this all the way to the Supreme Court. Yeah, that’s so … not reassuring. Judging in part by how the voting went in Bush v. Gore, in which Kennedy, O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas voted to stop the recounts, I can see the votes falling the same way they did during the recent Carhart decision — Kennedy, Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas supporting the White House; Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens upholding the law.

Right now, this nation is as close to totalitarianism as it has ever been. Closer, probably.

What if the White House exhausts all appeals and still refuses to turn over the subpoenaed documents? I honestly don’t know what the next step might be. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before. How might they be forced to comply? There have been many times in American history in which some or all of the three branches of government were at odds with each other, but the extreme behavior of the Bush Administration is taking us into uncharted territory.

An appeal process could drag on for months. The Bushies might run out the clock. Or, if it is resolved late next year, Congress might decide to spare itself from sending law enforcement agents into the White House to enforce the subpoenas.

Even so, I sincerely hope all appearances of criminal behavior will be investigated, and the perps brought to justice eventually. As long as it takes. That means it’s essential to seek no pardon pledges from all our Democratic presidential candidates.

And, David Broder — shut up and listen to us dirty bleeping hippies next time, OK?

Essential reading — don’t miss Sidney Blumenthal’s essay, “The imperial vice presidency,” in Salon today. See also “Impeach Cheney: The Vice President Has Run Utterly Amok and Must Be Stopped” by Bruce Fein in Slate and “Cheney and the National Security Secrets Fraud” by Scott Horton at Harper’s.

Also — I realize Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney last April. Does anyone have a link to the exact document that Kucinich submitted to the House? I ran into one commenter who said that Kucinich’s bill, while well-intentioned, did not introduce the strongest reasons to impeach Cheney. I’d like to read it myself before I comment.

12 thoughts on “The Devil and Dick Cheney

  1. Your post title, “The Devil and Dick Cheney,” implies that they are separate beings, somehow. I do not believe that is the case.

    I can’t imagine what would happen if they did not comply with a court order. That would pretty much be the end of democracy in this country.

  2. Re Kucinich resolution: go to Thomas (Library of Congress) and type in H. Res. 333 to pull up the text of his resolution to impeach Cheney.

  3. I don’t see the logic of running out the clock. When the clock runs out the domestic spying program will still be running, gitmo will still have prisoners, and all of bush’s signing statements will be on file somewhere. Or are bush and cheney just going to shred everything, just shut down the spy program, strand the prisoners and then leave the country???? My first thought is that there will be nothing left to put in the bush library.

  4. ..I sincerely hope all appearances of criminal behavior will be investigated, and the perps brought to justice eventually. As long as it takes. That means it’s essential to seek no pardon pledges from all our Democratic presidential candidates.

    This is absolutely critical. It’s literally how we got into this mess in the first place, the Dems pardoning and excusing Republican wrong-doing from way back, from Iran-Contra and earlier. Someone needs to do the definitive history of this line of criminals, beginning with the country’s failure to absorb the lessons of VietNam. And highlighting all the breaks the Dems gave these people so they could metastatize into their full blown arrogant glory these last six years.

    I just don’t know if the Dems are up to it. Someday they have to learn, like the battered wife, to stop making excuses for bullies. The moment they do, the country will begin to respect them, and start to feel good about them, instead of merely enduring them as not-as-bad-as-the-Republicans.

  5. I don’t know which outcome I fear more: the White House refusing to obey subpoenas upheld by the Supreme Court, or a Supreme Court refusing to uphold them.

    The latter would finally crush my remaining hope that the Court might wander back into legitimacy following the Bush v. Gore fiasco, and mean we truly had not just one, but two branches of our government firmly in the grip of lawless and cynical men. (Perhaps the Court would issue another “this is not a precedent” decisions, lest a future Democratic president get benefit.)

    Yet, if the scales can fall from Broder’s eyes, maybe there is still room to believe that the nation can be saved. Impeachment for Cheney would be a good start.

  6. From Jeff Huber’s diary on DailyKos:

    “Dick Cheney has more lives than Freddy Krueger. How many times before this have we thought he was on his last one? Cheney has so many defensive layers of subordinates, claims of privileges, and legal arguments he can probably ride out this subpoena business until the next Republican president pardons him. The guy has committed enough sins to run for Satan and win by a landslide, but don’t expect him to ever pay a price for them in this life.

    “But is it worth harassing him to the maximum extent possible? You bet it is. Dick Cheney is still the high priest of the administration’s neoconservative “crazies in the basement.” Every moment Dick spends covering his six is a moment he doesn’t focus on driving U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and every moment we can keep Cheney’s hands off of U.S. policy is a good moment for America.”

  7. I’m waiting for the “it’ll tear the country apart” reason why these criminal head’s of state can’t be brought up before the people’s justice. Apparently the criminals must be left free to destroy the republic because “tearing it apart” would spell disaster?

    If Clinton had had a ‘proper’ war going for him – even like Bush’s phony one, the impeachment proceedings brought against him would never have happened. The Iraq war is the Bush/Cheney ace in the hole.

    If anyone who represents me, Feinstein, Boxer, Harmon pulls that it’ll-tear-the-country-apart shit, she’s gone.

  8. from Wikipedia – ‘In the United States, impeachment can occur both at the federal and state level. At the federal level, different standards apply when the impeachment involves a member of the executive branch or of the judiciary (and dispute currently exists over the use of impeachment against members of the legislative branch).’

    If and when the legislature finally grows some and attempts to impeach Cheney the VP, he will once again become simply a member of the legislature and … well … see above.

    It’s deja-vu all over again.

    There is a better chance that Cheney will die of old age before he is brought to justice. Oops, I just said Cheney and die in the same sentence. I probably just made my way onto Cheney’s secret surveillance list.

  9. Micheal Moore endorses HR 676 US National Health Insurance Act that was cowritten by Congressman and Democratic Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich and Congressman John Conyers. It is the only True Single Payer Universal Healthcare Plan being offered to the American Public. Please Support it. To Learm more about the bill please go to http://www.NationalHealthcareForAll.Info . Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards and all the other cnadidates healthcare proposals are not Single Payer and all include the Large Private Health Insurance Companies that suck billions in profits from the system and leave countless millions un-insured and Under-insured.

  10. One of the Articles of Impeachment for Nixon was that he refused to hand over documents that the congress had supoenaed. It would only make the two of them MORE impeachable, if that’s possible.

Comments are closed.