Maybe I just have Bush Derangement Syndrome. But I find myself agreeing with James Wimberly and Mark Kleiman: there exist more than sufficient grounds for impeaching George W. Bush. In his recent statements about CIA detainees, he essentially confessed to violations of U.S. law. The laws in question provide for criminal punishments – of 20 years or more – for acts of torture and violations of the Geneva Convention.
Keep in mind that just eight years ago, Bill Clinton was impeached for committing perjury. Some of Clinton’s defenders insisted that he was really impeached for fellatio. But the Republicans argued that the law is the law. Clinton was subpoenaed to testify in court – under a sexual harassment law that Clinton himself had signed into law – and he lied under oath. That was the crime that left Clinton vulnerable to impeachment, on the theory that perjury counts among the high crimes and misdemeanors for which the Constitution authorizes impeachment. In all honesty, I bought that argument at the time. And now I have to wonder: are the Republicans willing to apply the same strict standard to their own man at the top? (That was a rhetorical question, of course. But I’d love to hear some Bush supporters try to answer it.)