Constant's pations

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Invalid Arguments Against Impeachment on Democracy Now

Democracy Now discussed reasons why Conyers was not going to support impeachment. Others were speaking for Conyers and Pelosi.

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Using the information on Democracy Now, we conclude Conyers and Pelosi are making flawed arguments. They've set a policy, regardless the arguments, on the assumption that it will always be prudent to do nothing about impeachment.

All of the arguments presented on Democracy Now -- possible rasons why Conyers and Pelosi view impeachment as imprudent -- are not valid. Supporting these flawed arguments asks that we take two approaches to arguments: Supporting Pelosi's arguments against the original Iraq invasion; but taking the opposite approach and not using the same prudent logic to support accountability for that flawed policy making.

Pelosi rose to power on the back of prudence. She cannot credibly argue that her power is sustainable when her subsequent decisions and arguments are not valid. The may be able to fool people to believe inaction is prudent, but she's relying on sophistry to a credible basis for confidence in her policy on impeachment.

Detailed Discussion of Flawed Arguments

Two general arguments, among many, against impeaching Bush that doesn't make sense.

Argument1: If we impeach Bush, Cheney will become Vice President, and that won't help us.

Argument2: If we impeach Bush, it will take a long time, and that would be a waste of resources.


1. Incorrectly assumes only Bush will be removed

The arguments implicitly assume that only Bush would be impeached, and does not correctly assume that Cheney might be impeached and removed first. The argument fails to consider that Cheney could be also guilty of the same charges, or other conduct.

2. Implicitly arguing for inaction

The argument fails to consider the fundamental problem: The argument is premised on the assumption that the President has committed offenses that the Senate would convict him of; but the solution is to not do anything.

3. Implicitly argues that inaction is good

If we fail to impeach, despite the implicit assumption that Bush is not fit for office, then inaction is unacceptable.

If we fail to act, despite the implicit assumption in the argument that Bush could be removed from office, doing nothing about what should be done -- removing an unacceptable leader from office -- is unacceptable.

4. Implicitly argues that nothing can be accomplished

Incorrect. The oath of office, when it is not enforced, will be meaningless. If there is an impeachment, it will send a clear signal: The oath matters and it shall be enforced.

5. Implicitly argues for ignorance

We are helped if the facts are on the table, and we do the right thing: Charge someone with a crime, especially when the argument assumes Bush is guilty and would be removed from office.

6. The argument stands on both sides of the argument

One cannot credibly argue that "Bush cannot be removed from office" as a basis for inaction; but use the opposite "Bush could be removed from office" as the same basis for the same inaction.

The arguments cannot credibly argue at the same time: "It is impossible" and "We might get what we want" -- this grasping at straws to justify an invalid decision.

7. Unconstitutional view of the House Power

Whether the House does or does not take action has no relationship to whether the President is or is not guilty: This is a matter of the Senate, not the House to decide.

8. Incorrectly refers to time

The argument implicitly assumes that the impeaching investigation will take a long time. This is not correct. Recall Saddam's trial in terms of charges, not the length: Saddam may have committed many illegal acts, but he was only charged with killing several hundred people -- the charges were narrow, linked with what could be proven. Similarly, Bush's charges could be similarly narrow, and quickly provable.

9. Incorrectly shifts attention from the scope of misconduct

The prospect that the impeachment investigation may take a "long time" is meaningless: If the required investigation would take time, then it means the assumed charges -- and basis for lawful removal -- are long, exhaustive, and credible warranting review. Doing nothing about what is overwhelming is not a credible path of leaders.

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Pelosi's position on impeachment, according to the report on Democracy Now, is based on the implicit assumption that it is most prudent not to impeach.

The above arguments are not valid.

Pelosi correctly argued against the Iraq invasion. However, applying the same rules of logic to impeachment, Pelosi isn't on the right side of the argument.

Perhaps Pelosi and Conyers will be able to formulate a credible reason not to impeach. They have not done so.

As with Iraq, if the leadership does not have a compelling case for their policy, then the policy is flawed. If the flawed policy is not corrected, the leadership will have to be lawfully adjusted.

Our choice is not between the GOP non-sense, and the DNC non-sense; new leadership can be identified. If one were to listen to the Members of Congress who were elected in the GOP, it is easy to see that they are not as intelligent as some might presume. Their thinking is flawed, they are not well spoken, yet they have the support of We the People.

It doesn't take much for alternatives to appear who are fairly well spoken, and can marginally demonstrate they have an ability to credibly discuss things, are open to solutions, and are willing to put their oath of office first.

Some may suggest that the DNC is in charge, and nothing can be done, and this is just about the 2008 election. That may be true for the DNC leadership, but We the People have an eternal interest in the Constitution beyond the 2008 election.

If the Constitution is not protected and asserted, then the issue isn't whether the President is or isn't doing his job, but whether the Congress, despite the change in leadership, is willing to put partisanship aside and put the Constitution first.

It is disingenuous for the Democracy Now guests to assume or assert that the "Far left Wing" of the DNC is the only group that is pushing for impeachment. Recall how the DNC won: Members of the GOP, conservative right wing hawks, defected. Nobody should accept the argument by anyone that only a fringe element in the DNC supports removing the President or holding him lawfully accountable for his alleged war crimes and other impeachable offenses.

Rather, the same defection from within the GOP that sparked support for the DNC, could very well work with all political parties to credibly form a new third party, outside the DNC and GOP.

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I would prefer the DNC leadership to accept that the support for Bush's impeachment is not a fringe element, but something solid republican, right wing hawks, support. It is not appropriate for the DNC leadership to label the supporters of impeachment as fringe, left wing, or a narrow element in the DNC.

Pelosi said she will represent the entire country as the Speaker of the House. Fine, then she should put her partisan loyalty aside, and do what the GOP defectors sent her and her DNC colleagues to DC to do: Hold the President to account.

I would prefer that the Conyers and Pelosi supporters consider whether you are supporting an idea of leadership, or whether you are seriously considering the arguments that your leaders are offering. The way forward is not, as the GOP did, to remain loyalty to leaders who are using more absurd arguments. As with Iraq, the flawed arguments come home to roost; do not be left taking responsibility for supporting a flawed leader.

The way forward is to compel the DNC leadership to use the same sound arguments, and openly discuss the impeachment issue, not make a decision and restoratively devise arguments that supposedly support that decision. The above discussion shows the arguments which have been presented are not valid. It would be a shame for the DNC Members to remain supportive of flawed arguments just as the Congress supports the flawed Iraq invasion arguments.

I would also prefer that the DNC leadership not view the appropriations for the President as something that is automatic. The flawed argument is for the President to couch everything in terms that are "for the troops." It is not credible to call flawed policy making and funding for that flawed policy as something that is "for the troops." Being "for the troops" means giving them the leadership to do their job, not making flawed arguments to justify doing the same thing: Sending more funds for a flawed policy.

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With enough waiting, the Pelosi-Conyers approach becomes circular: By delaying the review, Conyers and Pelosi will, by default, run out of time to start.

If, after Congress reviews the classified information, and finds more illegal conduct, Bush will need to be held to account.

Today’s decision to do nothing is premised on an assumption the leadership in the DNC knows the full scope of the abuses, and can make a decision about what should be done. If this is true – that the decision about what should be done – is knowable now, then there is no reason to hold hearings or conduct fact finding. This is not acceptable.

Rather, by arguing for (a) inaction on impeachment; but (b) more fact finding, the Congress is asking that we decide to do nothing about what we do not know about.

___ What happens if the President is connected to other illegal activity?

___ What happens if, after the November 2006 election, the President created more classified-illegal programs that violated the Constution in other ways?

___ What level of abuse is the Congress saying, “We are not going to do anything about?”

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Recall the lesson of the GOP and the gradually warming waters. There is a story about cooking frogs which apply. To cook a frog, you don’t put the frog in hot water as it will jump out; rather, you put the frog in cold water, and gradually raise the temperature.

What the GOP is doing is gradually increasing the temperature on impeachment: Letting information slowly leak out; and getting the DNC to believe that doing nothing is appropriate. Recall the lesson of Watergate: Shoes kept dropping, but the one that finally did it sent a clear signal to the Senate: “This has gone far enough.”

One day, we’ll find more information and say, “Enough is enough.” The voters already did that. The error is for the DNC leadership to jump back into the warm water and call this, “Bipartisanship.” No, the GOP is still controlling the water temperature, and plans to slowly raise the bar on what the DNC will find acceptable.

____ Why should Americans have confidence in the DNC leadership that will not start a review of the President?

____ What basis does the DNC leadership have to decide, without exploring the facts, that the prudent thing to do would be to do nothing?

___ Why should the DNC be trusted with power in 2008 if it will not use the power in 2007 to assert its oath of office?

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The DNC cannot argue that it has a legacy of prudent leadership, or that Pelosi’s approach to politics is prudent. That is history and it may have been true. But we’re dealing with new issues. A new leader, left unchallenged, gave us the mess in Iraq. The American people cannot be expected to blindly support Pelosi’s arguments – regardless their asserted connection with prudence – when the logic does not add up. The same flawed arguments could have been reviewed on the eve of the Iraq invasion and would have shown that the US arguments about WMD were invalid. You can read more of those at this link to scrapple face, where you’ll see a familiar language style asking questions, and making conclusions.

The same approach can be taken to the Pelosi argujments: The arguments, as were the arguments about Iraq as represented on Scrappleface, are flawed.

Change means changing, not doing the same: Blindly embracing a decision and making invalid arguments.

Pelosi challenged the President’s invalid arguments; the way forward is to challenge Pelosi and Conyers invalid arguments.