'Impeached' versus 'held accountable'

As the 2006 midterm elections loom closer, candidates on both sides of the aisle are dancing around how to talk to voters about the rogue president and his runaway administration. Depending on your demographic, you might hear them talk about impeachment, or you might just hear them talk about holding the president "accountable" for his lying and spying.

Even the Wall Street Journal took notice of the impeachment phenomenon yesterday, though. As reported on AfterDowningSteet.org, the WSJ compares popular sentiments about impeaching Bush versus 1998 popular opinions on impeachment Clinton. When asked in '98 if they thought the president should be impeached for lying about having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, 27% of the respondents said yes. This year, when asked if Bush should be impeached for not telling the truth about reasons for going to war, 51% said yes.

Democratic Party activists, however, cite the backlash against Republicans during the 1998 elections, where House seats were lost in the boomerang effect. Seems kind of obvious when looking at the polls, though, if only 27% of the country is on your witchhunt, you might not fare too well during the elections. But if more than half want to see a man removed for lying about why he's sending our servicepeople to die, then it's a different ball of wax.

Nonetheless, congressional Democratic candidates like Tony Trupiano, running for a seat in Michigan, avoid "using the word 'impeachment,' opting instead to call for holding the administration 'accountable' for its handling of prewar intelligence and its warrantless wiretaps." He cites the fact that "some people" are still uncomfortable with the big "I" word. But if the polls are any indication, that number is shrinking daily, and will surely shrink more when the Democratics pony up and explain just what they mean by holding BushCo "accountable."

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