Some of my friends are adamant that we should impeach President Bush for a multitude of reasons. While I am sympathetic to most if not all of their reasoning for this from an emotional standpoint, I have to object on the simple grounds of practicality.
Right now, President Bush is extremely unpopular across the country with approval ratings stuck in the low-30s. The NYTimes just had a story the other day about the disarray in the Republican Party over this dilemma and what it will likely mean for their 2008 presidetial hopes (not good).
So, just as a matter of practicality, why would Democrats want to impeach Bush and have him replaced by someone who would come in with a clean slate (assuming we don’t end up with Cheney which would be even worse) and the chance to rebuild GOP fortunes in time for the 2008 election? Why would we want to remove this albatross from around their neck?
There was a Senate election a number of years ago, and I can’t recall which one offhand, but the Republican frontrunner was suddenly hit with a sex scandal in the midst of the campaign and his numbers fell dramatically. Suddenly, the Democrats had a great shot at a seat where they otherwise would have been uncompetitive. But then the worst possible thing happened. The Republican candidate quit. The next thing you knew he was replaced with some no-name guy who didn’t have all the negative baggage. The Democrats faltered and the GOP held onto the seat. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
If someone can make the case that having Bush remain in office for the remainder of his term is so detrimental to the country - even after being neutered by the Democratic takeover of Congress - that it is worth the risk of losing the 2008 presidential election, then I’d like to hear it.
If we were to go forward with an impeachment campaign it would have the immediate effect of polarizing the country and this could only bolster Bush’s support by making him a more sympathetic figure. It would take the attention away from the things Democrats need to be concentrating on and make them seem no better than the Republicans who impeached Clinton. And furthermore, it would probably have the same end result - i.e. a hard-fought conviction in the House followed by an acquittal from the closely divided Senate where the Republicans would remain in lockstep and a few Liebermanesque Democrats would cross over to be the deciding votes.