Republicans Keep Kucinich's Impeachment Resolution Alive

News & Politics

Back in April, Dennis Kucinich announced that he would file articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney.

The story was largely ignored at the time, the leadership wanted nothing to do with it and the resolution was on a fast-track to nowhere.

Until yesterday, that is, when a frustrated Kucinich used a privileged resolution to force a vote on the matter. This was when the 'serious' members of the party -- those who understand that protecting America's ability to wage trumped-up wars unchecked was more important than petty partisanship -- were supposed to step in and join a loyal GOP in tabling the motion.

But something interesting happened along the way. First, there was much more support for the measure among rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers than anyone had expected. What was supposed to attract the dozen or so legislators who make up the infamous "far left" of the party garnered support from 86 Democrats.

But it got stranger still. As the vote to table the motion dragged out, one-by-one Republicans started switching their votes an keeping the resolution alive. According to Raw Story, this was a calculated move to force the issue to a vote, a move that the GOP believed would hurt the Dems. Raw Story quoted Georgia Republican Jack Kingston explaining the maneuver to Roll Call:

"We don't wish to save the Democrats from themselves when their left wing exposes themselves," Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) told Roll Call, noting that Democratic leaders were trying to draw as little attention as possible to the impeachment issue by voting to table the resolution. "When there's an opportunity to show their strong left base, it's important for it to be seen," he added.
I applaud this thinking. That the GOP believes it hurts Democrats to debate the role a VP with an approval rating lower than that of gonorrhea played in launching a war that's as unpopular as Vietnam was in the final years is a sign of how out-of-touch they are with Americans' fury. That the Dem leadership feels similarly -- Steny Hoyer offered the motion to table the resolution -- is depressing, too, in that is shows the degree to which the leadership drinks from the same fountain of conventional Beltway wisdom.

Kucinich's resolution was recommended to the Judiciary Committee, where it will likely die a lonely death. But perhaps not -- unlike Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, the House Judiciary Chair, has been ambiguous on the issue. He issued a report that laid out a road-map for impeaching Bush, but he also penned an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he reassured jittery colleagues that he was in "no rush" to impeach anybody.

As I said, Kucinich's resolution is almost certain to disappear into a black hole in the Judiciary Committee.

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