So a judge has ruled that not only is Bush's warrantless wiretapping program illegal, it's also unconstitutional. And not just unconstitutional, but doubly unconstitutional; it violates both the 1st and 4th amendments. We're talking a smackdown of Judge Judy-esque proportions.
Now, I'm not really pushing the impeachment of George Bush, unless it's about lying about that fish I talked about last season. Them I'm all for it.
But if this decision stands, and this program is unlawful and unconstitutional, federal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies while in office. Moreover, it is not only illegal for a president to order such surveillance, it is illegal for other government officials to carry out such an order. And that means Alberto Gonzalez could be tried, convicted, and deported.
So let's just say for the sake of argument that the Supreme Court upholds this decision and says Bush broke the law and violated the Constitution. President Clinton was impeached for lying under oath in a civil case, a case that had no bearing on the public as a whole. This would - unquestionably - be a greater offense.
How would you square impeaching Clinton and not impeaching Bush? Or would Bush have to sleep with this judge in Detroit?
It's sort of like the 7 minutes question I always ask Republicans. Are you loyal to the man, or to the principle?
Bill Maher is the host of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" which returns to the air 11PM Friday, August 25.