Some Democratic leaders in Congress seem to be clinging to the ludicrous belief that there is such a thing as "risk free" politics. They look to the 2008 elections while handing George W. Bush victory after victory, such as the shameful cave-in on Bush's nomination of Michael Mukasey for Attorney General. Voters in New York and California should hold Senators Chuck Schumer and Diane Feinstein accountable the next time these pitiful cowards are up for reelection. With their vote in favor of the waterboarding apologist Mukasey, Schumer and Feinstein have rendered their previous grilling of Alberto Gonzales a vacuous political pantomime.
Mukasey made it crystal clear during his testimony that he will run the Justice Department in the same obfuscating and imperial manner as his hapless predecessor. He shows every sign that he will prevaricate and contort the law in behalf of the Bush White House; stonewall investigations into public corruption cases involving Republican politicians and contractors; defend torture, the suspension of habeas corpus, "extraordinary rendition," secret prisons, and warrantless surveillance; help the Executive Branch duck Congressional subpoenas; and block any meaningful reform of the department that might impinge on Dick Cheney's expansive, Musharaf-like view of Executive power.
We are in a serious Constitutional crisis. Democrats were elected to Congress to put the brakes on the Bush-Cheney juggernaut. They should be willing to take some political risks to honor, protect, and defend the Constitution. (It is, after all, their oath of office.) If we allow Bush and Cheney to succeed in permanently altering the balance of powers between the branches of government, the Constitution will become a dead letter, a yellowed reference document for school children to gaze at under glass at the National Archives.
Representative Dennis Kucinich has introduced House Resolution 333, which calls for a vote on articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney. It is a long overdue measure coming from a Democrat who has the guts to stand up for the United States Constitution. Other courageous members of Congress who signed on to HR 333 include Jan Schakowsky, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Keith Ellison, Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, Albert Wynn, William Lacy Clay, Yvette Clarke, Jim McDermott, Jim Moran, Bob Filner, Sam Farr, Robert Brady, Tammy Baldwin, Donald Payne, Steve Cohen, Sheila Jackson Lee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Ed Towns, and Diane Watson. Please contact your representatives in Congress and demand that they support HR 333.