For those who may have missed it – easy enough to do if you get your news from the mainstream media – on Monday, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D – Ohio) introduced 35 articles of impeachment against George W. Bush. Bravo!

Back in 2006, when the Democrats re-took control of the House of Representatives, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the table, thus virtually guaranteeing that Bush and his cronies would not be held accountable for their repeated and flagrant violations of our constitution and laws or their crimes against humanity.

Perhaps Pelosi and the other leaders of the Democratic party did not want to be seen as repeating the pettiness of the Republican persecution of Bill Clinton when he was in office. Perhaps they felt that the slim Democratic lead in the Senate (if you want to even call it a lead, given the Blue Dog Democrats and Sen. Lieberman) would make impeachment a costly and ultimately futile gesture. Perhaps their decision was part of some cynical strategy to let Bush drag the rest of the Republicans down with him in public opinion, ensuring major Democratic gains in the 2008 elections.

I don’t claim to be a mind reader, so I can’t tell you what the reasons are for their failure to take action. But I would beg them to consider the possible consequences of not impeaching Bush and Cheney. What message are they sending by failing to take action against possibly the most corrupt administration in history? What are they telling future members of the executive branch?

The answer is simple: they are saying, in essence, that the Democrats are unwilling or unable to stand up to rampant abuse of authority by the executive branch. They are saying that we are no longer a nation of laws. They are saying that there will be no consequences for starting a war of aggression against a nation that was never really a threat. They are saying there will be no consequences if an administration wants to spy on our citizens, violate our constitution, and torture those who they think might be a threat. That it’s okay to use departments in the executive branch as if they were merely subdivisions of the Republican party, existing to ensure the continued dominance of the Republican party.

And by failing to stand up to the White House, they are effectively complicit in its misdeeds. Which is why it is so critical that they impeach Bush and Cheney now, while there is still time.

jane doe