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I disagree with the top of Josh's post, and I think if you think about it more, you will too.

I disagree because I think that Iraq is *harder* than impeachment. That's because attacking Bush -- let alone Cheney -- is much, much easier than "attacking the troops".

That in turn is because it's not just dead-enders who are bitterly regretting the sunk cost of 1000s of dead troops for zero payoff. (That's all it is. Nobody among the holdouts gives a damn about Iraq.) But that sunk cost is powerful disincentive, angry humans hate sunk costs.)

By contrast, however, you'll get hardly any argument from anyone that Cheney and Bush are a**holes hardly anyone sees an ounce of good in.

I suggest that an early road out of Iraq may be via an impeachment process we DON'T KEEP THROWING IN THE TOWEL ON.

The rest of Josh's argument is wrong, too. We don't absolutely need to *convict* Bush, all we need to *impeach* him to salvage a pre-Bush understanding of the Constitution -- and most importantly, a Democratic party identified with its defense, and a Republican one identified with its subversion.

GOPers should have to choose which they love more -- the war, Bush, or their own re-election. If Josh and digby and, um, you could see it, just working on impeachment -- or at least not undermining it or damning it with faint praise -- could bring both the end of the Iraq war and the annihilation of the Republican Party on to the horizon.

Clarification: ideally, a salvaged understanding of the Constitution would be paramount. Practically, at least one political party is required.

Maybe we're not arguing as much as it seems to me right now; if so, I'm sorry for ranting.

You're not ranting. I can understand your frustration with people who don't want to risk everything to save the Constitution. I have the same frustration with people who don't want to drop everything to regain the integrity of our vote, which, I believe is the only real way to fix what's at the root of all of this.

And I agree with what you say about the troops v. BushCo. If we did move forward with impeachment, it would be a great way to hang the loss in Iraq on the people who are truly responsible, which are the people who started the war and then prosecuted it so badly.

Here's the thing - I am all about impeachment. I think they should have been impeached in the first term when the DSM came out. In a frictionless world, it would have happened that way. But how do you plan to deal with the push back - the tidal wave of push back and just plain noise - that's going to come when impeachment proceedings begin?

Also, I'm not sure that you don't have to convict. We're not dealing with sensible, law-abiding people here on any level. If they're impeached and not convicted, that will be a characterized as a win - a vindication - an absolution. Everything BushCo did would be right by definition. It's my new hobby horse now so I'll say it again - we're living in a kleptocracy abetted by a corporate media that serves their every whim, which means that it's more like being ruled by the Mafia than anything we read about in our civics classes. If you're going to impeach a Don, you'd better get a win because whatever doesn't "kill" (figuratively) him only makes him stronger.

Didn't Avedon say something about impeaching people after they leave office? Is that an option?

I think, ultimately, an effective impeachment would depend on an informed and active public. That's very bad news for your side. I'm happy to that I'm underestimating the American people. (That thought is what keeps me going) But I think that you're overestimating them and that at the end of the day, I'm closer enough to right to mean that an actual impeachment would be a mistake. (but agitating for one at every chance is the way to go)

Bush is at historic high disapproval ratings today. I think if the Democrats try to harness that for impeachment and conviction, they will be rewarded by people, even if they don't ultimately succeed. If they don't even try, they will be despised.

Sure, there's a "kleptocracy abetted by a corporate media that serves their every whim". Even so -- especially so -- providing an alternative is what must be done and what might just set the stage for a sea change.

I continue to think that just representing that alternative would be hugely important and beneficial. This "Don" isn't getting stronger, and he's gone soon anyways. Letting him go scot free without even trying to hold him accountable would be the real defeat -- not trying and failing to convict him. And your definition of the country ("kleptocracy" etc.) would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I guess you can accuse me of keeping my powder dry, which would really sting. I don't trust Congress to have the will to carry it through. I don't trust the American people to do the same once the media starts the inevitiable barrage of misinformation. I watched this country get lied into invading a country that had done nothing to us and posed no threat to do anything to us. I think it will be able to be fooled into thinking that impeachment of a president during wartime is a bad idea and that the charges against him are "partisan" and so, without merit.

This Don is a figurehead who means nothing on his own unless he survives an epic battle over the legitimacy of his crimes.

And your definition of the country ("kleptocracy" etc.) would have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Well, we're already there and those are the rules we're playing under - it's not as if my cynicism makes it so.

Bush has a lot of ill will behind him now Robin. It would cost a lot of money to mount a media campaign to try and push his numbers up. You can see this by comparing it with an election - since that's exactly what they do for an election. So it might cost many hundreds of millions of dollars to save Bush and why bother? He's yesterday's news and an anchor round the neck of next year's new product as far as the Republicans go. So I don'[t think you'd see that media campaign to save Bush. He's operating at a loss about now. Time for a new front man.

I agree with Thomas on Iraq. Iraq would be 100 times harder because you'd be fighting both parties not just half of one party.

The Democrats could have stopped the Iraq war with one vote. Louise Slaughter's vote. One woman -- her or Pelosi which comes to the same thing. they could have just never brought a bill to fund the war. Nothing to veto. Slaughter went on dKos and said she could have blocked the bill if she had wanted to but she chose not to (she's the head of whatever the committee it is that decides what bills get through I guess).

Btw didn't the Republicans impeach Clinton during war time (I mean pretty much it's permanently war time in the US)?

. It would cost a lot of money to mount a media campaign to try and push his numbers up.

Nobody would be paying for anything. The corporate media would just do what it do.

I don't understand comparing impeachment to ending the war in Iraq.

The GOP didn't impeach Clinton while there were 150K troops on the ground losing a war and anyway IOKIYAR.

Nobody can refuse to fund the war unless they have a PR strategy that would outplay the corporate media, which would position even the smallest defunding attempt as sending our troops into combat without bullets and food.

It's impossible to consider making any big steps w/o thinking about how the corporate media will portray them.

There's always a cost even if it is an opportunity cost. It takes a lot to mount a full campaign and that's time the media couldn't be brainwashing people in other ways. Saving Bush cuts into their anti-socialised medicine time or their pro-Empire time or their global warming doesn't exist time or their unions-hurt-you time or their taxes are bad for poor people time etc etc.

Your argument that they will always try something with the media cuts both ways Robin. In this case that very fact actually makes it better to impeach Bush because if we're really lucky that means the elites use their limited (albeit large) resources up on defending a lame duck. And Bush would take a hell of a lot of resources to defend at this point. I don't think they'd bother but if there's a chance they would --- even better.

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