Some Conservatives, While Discussing Bush's Surveillance Program, Mentioning Dreaded "I" Word
It's one thing when a liberal politician or publication mentions the word "impeachment" in reaction to President Bush allowing and then defending warrantless domestic surveillance.
But some very un-liberal sources are also mentioning the dreaded "I" word.
Consider that un-liberal publication, Barron's. On its website, Barron's Online, this was posted on Dec. 24 by the editors: "Willful disregard of a law is potentially an impeachable offense. It is at least as impeachable as having a sexual escapade under the Oval Office desk and lying about it later. The members of the House Judiciary Committee who staged the impeachment of President Clinton ought to be as outraged at this situation. They ought to investigate it, consider it carefully and report either a bill that would change the wiretap laws to suit the president or a bill of impeachment."
And on the Dec. 20 edition of NPR's Diane Rehm Show, Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general in the Reagan Administration, said:
FEIN: On its face, if President Bush is totally unapologetic and says I continue to maintain that as a war-time President I can do anything I want – I don’t need to consult any other branches – that is an impeachable offense. It’s more dangerous than Clinton’s lying under oath because it jeopardizes our democratic dispensation and civil liberties for the ages. It would set a precedent that … would lie around like a loaded gun, able to be used indefinitely for any future occupant.
On the same show, conservative pundit Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute added:
ORNSTEIN: I think if we’re going to be intellectually honest here, this really is the kind of thing that Alexander Hamilton was referring to when impeachment was discussed.
Also noteworthy were Dec. 16 comments from from Republican Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA), who spoke on the Dec. 16 edition of CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. (You can watch the video here.)
Although Barr doesn't mention "impeachment," his tone is nonetheless very clear as he debates Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA):
BARR: Here again, this is absolutely a bizarre conversation where you have a member of Congress saying that it's okay for the president of the United States to ignore U.S. law, to ignore the Constitution, simply because we are in an undeclared war. The fact of the matter is the law prohibits -- specifically prohibits -- what apparently was done in this case, and for a member of Congress to say, oh, that doesn't matter, I'm proud that the president violated the law is absolutely astounding, Wolf.