Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bush argues for his own impeachment

In his press conference this morning, President Bush unwittingly articulated a case for his own impeachment.

Washington Post reporter Peter Baker asked Bush why no administration officials, like Donald Rumsfeld, have been held accountable for the failed Iraq war policy. Bush offered his standard defense of Rumsfeld, and then said that ultimately, accountability rests with him.

"That's what the 2004 election was about," Bush said, repeating a previous assertion that the sole "accountability moment" for his presidency was on election day, and that there will be no other. Bush interprets his re-election as the complete validation of every one of his policies and practices. If the American people did not want him to do what he has done and continues to do, Bush believes, then they had a chance to communicate that on election day. Having failed to do so, he further believes, means the American people have no choice but to accept the decisions that he has made, and continues to make, on their behalf.

Not so.

If the American people, through their elected representatives in congress, determine that Bush has failed to adhere to the oath he took to govern according to the constitution, then that very document provides a mechanism to address those concerns. The American people, via their elected representatives, have the right to indict George W. Bush for crimes against the constitution. They have the right to try him for those alleged crimes, and to eject him from office if he is convicted.

So, Bush is mistaken if he believes the only opportunity to hold him accountable ended on election day, 2004. And if, as he claims, ultimate accountability for the planning, promotion and execution of the Iraq war rests with him, then one hopes that he will accept his fate with grace should a Democratic congress find that he has violated his oath, the law, and the trust of the American people.