May 23, 2007

Impeachment vs. American “violent self-righteousness”


Gary Kamiya at Salon gets right to the point, in my opinion, about why impeachment hasn’t gained Democratic party traction yet:
To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness — come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we're not ready to do that.

To paraphrase, Democrats still want “imperialism lite.” (That was my biggest complaint about Andrew Bacevich’s “The New American Militarism,” is that it left the idea of “imperialism lite” on the table. The second complaint was that it never touched Peak Oil, which of course ties directly to Iraq. But, I digress.)

Kamiya goes on to talk about impeachment as an emotional, not a legal, maneuver. I agree, with the idea that the emotional fragility beneath Bush’s smirky shell can and should be “pushed.”
Read below the fold for more of Kamiya’s article and my comments:


Going beyond the Democratic Party, Kamiya says that Bush’s war crimes cut too close to the American quick for the public to really be ready for impeachment.

He adds that much of the public just isn’t ready to change its minds that much:
The unpleasant truth is that Bush did what a lot of Americans wanted him to. And when it became clear after the fact that Bush had lied about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, it made no sense for those Americans to turn on him. Truth was never their major concern anyway — revenge was. And if we took revenge on the wrong person, well, better a misplaced revenge than none at all.

For those who did not completely succumb to the desire for primitive vengeance but were convinced by Bush's fraudulent arguments about the threat posed by Saddam, the situation is more ambiguous. Now that his arguments have been exposed and the war has become a disaster, they feel let down, even betrayed — but not enough to motivate them to call for Bush's impeachment.

Kamiya says he thinks this is also why other items, such as the fired district attorneys/vote fraud scandal, have failed to build more steam.

Kamiya goes on to point out that the public’s original carte blanche for Bush’s Iraq invasion means that impeachment as a legal measure will never gain traction, and that it may not, as an emotional issue, gain much more traction.

Because of that, he says this is part of why Bush continues to play the war card. It keeps at least a few emotional props braced in place.

That, in turn, means that “retreat” on war funding bills is not just the wrong option, it’s the wrong option in spades. Why? It fails to further dial up the emotional thermostat. Given the emotional fragility that seems to lurk beneath this president’s smirky shell, as any halfway astute observer knows, the Democratic Congressional leadership’s failure to push harder becomes more incomprehensible all the time.


1 comment:

libhom said...

I think there is another element to this, the role of money in the war and in politics. The corporations and wealthy investors making money off the war don't care if it was done for good reasons or bad. The last thing they want is for the people responsible for defrauding us into the war to be held accountable for their actions.