Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Impeachment Talk

Mathew Yglesias recently posted about impeachment -- he doesn't seem barking mad about the idea, but he seems to think it should be seriously considered. (More here.) But then he makes the point that getting rid of President Bush doesn't change much, as Vice President Cheney becomes President, and our policies stay the same. (Or, from his point of view, probably get a little worse.) This leaves the possibility of impeaching Cheney too, or maybe impeaching him first. He suggests maybe impeaching both at once and then having Pelosi and Reid agree not to serve, letting it fall to Condi. (To prove that it's not all partisan. Of course there is the unspoken but real fact that a President Pelosi would make a great foil for the eventual Republican nominee to run against.)

He seems mostly concerned about the politics of the whole thing, rather than considering whether Bush has committed the constitutionally-requisite high crimes or misdemeanors. One would think that would be the first question, but with Yglesias, you know that the politics of the matter (and how it impacts the Democratic Party) will be his first and, usually, only question.

In any case, his commenters go to town discussing a bewildering array of scenarios. Some people seem to assume that Bush could make one of the existing candidates the Republican front-runner by nominating him to replace Cheney. Of that I'm not sure. Under normal circumstnaces that would certainly be true -- if Bill Clinton had resigned over the Lewinsky matter, I think it's pretty clear that Gore would have won a solid victory in 2000, for example. But I'm not sure that being associated with the Second Bush administration is that much of a political asset, given how politically-poisonous Bush has become.

That said, some folks have suggested a deal could be struck where Bush nominates an elder statestman like Bob Dole to replace an impeached Cheney. This individual could then be a caretaker President if President Bush himself were impeached and removed from office.

Well, of course this is all fantasyland -- Bush isn't going to be impeached and removed from office. If nothing else. the Democrats want him to run against. I promise you, they are going to be running against George W. Bush for the next forty years. I don't think they see it as politically-advantageous, given the current situation. So it won't happen.

But since we are in fantasyland, let me suggest my own candidate whom Bush could nominate to replace Cheney were Cheney impeached and removed from office or choose to resign: George Herbert Walker Bush.

I never thought I would say this, but I rather miss the careful temperment of the elder Bush. He wasn't My Favorite President Ever, but he was better than his son. His stature has probably risen since he left office, and his decision to not "finish the job" in Iraq is looking better every day. Everybody knows he is up to the job, but at the same time he is almost certainly not up for another campaign. The perfect choice!

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