The checks and balances that used to protect our 200+ year-old republic failed visibly on the day the Supreme Court voided the national electoral process. From that point to this, all praise is due the men and women who haven't been asleep, the ones who continue to engage in rational non-violent struggle against the cancer that the Court-appointed thugs have introduced into our political process.
Each succeeding confirmation that the government of the United States is in the hands of criminals is painful. Today's is no exception. But at this point, I'm about out of shock at how far they will go. They're criminals. They'll do whatever they think they can get away with. There are only two limits on them: a) their fear of reprisal if they commit their criminal acts prematurely, and b) sufficient unwillingness on the part of those who serve them to execute their orders.
It's my belief that they will not be prepared to declare a national election null and void in 2008, provided that a sufficient number of their (not intending to be criminal) servants acknowledge they've lost it. Things could change. But, right now, I don't believe they have the stomach for that overarching piece of criminality -- nullifying a national election. Their corporate sponsors don't actually want to initiate a civil war. Their sponsors want to take as much loot as they can grab without violent repercussion, consolidate their positions and prepare for future opportunities to continue looting -- not to initiate a bloodbath.
Being someone who doesn't believe he can cut the vampire's head off, I'm in favor of convincing it to bow to the Sign of the Law in 2008. Let the vampire retreat to its coffins in Texas and Wyoming and allow the living to repair the damage--for a time. In the ensuing years, maybe the American public can be educated sufficiently about vampires that it won't invite the bloodsuckers back into the parlor.
Democrats in Congress might conceivably be able to initiate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney within the next year -- if public outrage is sufficient. But, as we know, the Republican occupants of Congress will not allow that impeachment to succeed.
So what happens after the failed impeachment? I look at the issue in terribly pragmatic terms. Not "the criminals should be impeached because it's the moral thing to do," but "how will that expression of morality affect our chances of purging the criminals from the government in 2008?" How will morally justified (but unsuccessful) impeachment proceedings affect what the criminals do (which we *cannot stop* short of large scale civil disobedience by their servants) in the next two years?
For the Democratic leadership in Congress, it's a chess game. They don't see a winning position on the board if they make the impeachment move now. For the existentialists among us, initiating an impeachment is a gesture of purification. As for me, I don't have a clear sense of whether an impeachment would help or hinder Democrats in the 2008 election. I would like to find out, but I'm also aware of how much I don't know and can't predict about the consequences of an impeachment attempt. It is true that 60% of the respondents in some polls favor impeachment. It's also true (I believe) that the willful criminality of the current government is limited only by its flawed sense of self-preservation. Will impeachment proceedings cow Bush and Cheney into doing less harm in their remaining time in "office" or make them flamboyantly more irrational and aggressive? Are we ready to cope with a civil war if we goad them into actions that are even more outrageous?
Talk to me, smart people. Convince me that impeaching Bush and Cheney (and being voted down) will actually improve the general welfare of the United States--that they won't go apeshit after it and do even more damage than they plan to do now. I'm willing to listen.