Gray Panthers of San Francisco
December 2006 Newsletter

To Impeach Or Not to Impeach


In "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia", author William Shallcross cites a chilling statement made to David Frost by Nixon in a 1973 interview.  When Frost asked Nixon to justify his order to bomb and invade Cambodia without Congressional authorization Nixon replied, "Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

 The current administration has done more than any to usurp the powers of congress and destroy the balance among the three branches of government; administrative, legislative and judicial. President Bush has used the “signing statement” prerogative nearly 600 times. He has issued 214 executive orders to put policies into place that would encounter resistance. Many Americans lack an understanding of the use of impeachment

Barbara Jordan in addressing Congress in July 1974, provided this understanding. ”It is a misreading of the constitution for any member here to assert that or a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that. The powers relating to impeachment are an essential check in the hands of the body of the legislature against and upon the encroachments of the executive. It is chiefly designed for the President and his high ministers to somehow be called into account. It is designed to “bridle” the executive if he engages in excesses. It is designed as a method of national inquest into the conduct of public men. The framers confided in the congress the power if need be, to remove the President in order to strike a delicate balance between a President swollen with power and grown tyrannical, and preservation of the independence of the executive.

The Bush administration has committed high crimes and many misdemeanors and will continue to do so. Time has come to learn from the past, and never again allow anyone to steal peoples’ rights.


(back to December 2006 Newsletter front page)