Honorable Way out – The Democratic Party has a simple way to end this war and end the horrific nightmare that has been the George Bush Presidency. It’s a three step process.
One: impeach Dick Cheney. This seems simple and self-evident to me. This guy has no excuse for being a member ofinfluence in pushing forward the Iraq War, even though he knew it would be a quagmire in 1994. His use of his legal advisor, then-Chief of Staff David Addington to push the most radical legal positions on the Executive in the history of the nation, as Jack Goldsmith’s (former head of the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Council from 2003-4) recent book describes. His assertion that he is not part of the executive branch. I’d like to think we can all agree that we don’t like Dick Cheney very much. I could go on, I mean, I could talk about Cheney, in 2005, described the Iraqi insurgency as in its “last throes.” I could remind everyone how Cheney, in a September 14, 2003 interview on “Meet the Press” said we would be “greeted as liberators” in Iraq.
My point is, Honorable Way out I don’t think I need to talk about how Democrats shouldn’t like Dick Cheney. So why do we still have him? We have 233 Democrats in the House of Representatives to 202 Republicans, so getting the simply majority to pass articles of impeachment shouldn’t be difficult. Granted, Democrats might be daunted by the two-thirds majority necessary in the Senate to convict, but let’s be honest, how many of the 49 Republican Senators are going to feel comfortable standing up and voting, saying, “I support Dick Cheney.”
Really, there are two possible results: Cheney doesn’t get impeached, or he does. If he doesn’t, I’m fine with that. Democrats will have a head count of those who support the administration and those who don’t. Republicans need to defend 22 Senate seats while Democrats only have to defend 12 in 2008. Prominent websites like The Swing State Project and Senate 2008 Guru are realistically predicting pickups for the Democrats in Texas, New Hampshire, Idaho, Virginia, Oregon, Nebraska (for Hagel’s seat, since he’s retiring, and only if Bob Kerrey, a favorite former Governor and U.S. Senator of that State, gets in it), Minnesota, and Alaska (being investigated by the FBI doesn’t help). The Democrats also have many good shots at Elizabeth Dole’s seat and Mitch McConnel’s seat. Bottom line is, come election time, all you’re going to need to do is show footage of the Senate roll call vote when these guys are supporting Dick Cheney, and their sinking ships will fall like lead. And well, what if we win? We could, after all. These Republicans are vulnerable, and for all their talk of standing up to the administration, very few Republicans have done so (hear that Warner? No one’s impressed with your Sense of the Senate resolutions and your bailing on the Webb Amendment!), and some of them might know which way the wind is blowing, and bow to popular pressure.
Also Read : An Open Letter for Ed Miliband
The next step is for the Democratic leadership to urge President Bush to appoint a new Vice-President with anti-war credentials and then he, Bush, should resign. Retiring Sen. Hagel has been against the war, so has Rep. Ron Paul, or even a late-comer to the anti-war movement, like say, a Dick Lugar. The Democrats should urge the President to appoint a reliable, anti-war Republican, on the threat that if he fails to, they will not confirm his pick. If President Bush refuses to appoint a reliable anti-war VP, or does so, and fails to resign, impeach him. If you could impeach Cheney, you could impeach Bush. Repeat the same strategy as above. If it works, you get an anti-war Republican for about a year until 2008, or Nancy Pelosi if Bush fails to make an appointment at all. If it doesn’t work, make sure those C-SPAN cameras are rolling, because you now have 22 clips for Democrats in Senate campaigns, and even more drastic gains in both Houses of Congress.
But what’s the point of this little thought-exercise of Honorable Way out electoral strategy? Will the Democrats do this? Of course not. They’re taking a different road to victory in 2008 by proving how bankrupt they are to their supporters of 2006. The Democrats are going to continue to fail to end the war, continue to fail to stop the corruption in the Justice Department, and fail to stop all of the horrific programs inaugurated by the Administration’s War of Terrorism, because by keeping Bush & Co. in power, the Democrats think they can make the 2008 election be a vote against Bush, rather than against the Republican President candidate. They’re probably right. They stand to make huge gains if they do that, but at the cost of alienating a Democratic voter base that I didn’t think could be alienated a whit more. The Democrats were elected on an anti-war mandate, and they should pursue policies in accord with that mandate, but even the most optimistic fool in our Party Honorable Way out can’t think they will. And any faith the faithful have in the Party will be destroyed.