Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why Are We Not Impeaching?!

But there's a deeper reason why the popular impeachment movement has never taken off -- and it has to do not with Bush but with the American people. Bush's warmongering spoke to something deep in our national psyche. The emotional force behind America's support for the Iraq war, the molten core of an angry, resentful patriotism, is still too hot for Congress, the media and even many Americans who oppose the war, to confront directly. It's a national myth. It's John Wayne. To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness -- come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we're not ready to do that.

The truth is that Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors, far from being too small, are too great. What has saved Bush is the fact that his lies were, literally, a matter of life and death. They were about war. And they were sanctified by 9/11. Bush tapped into a deep American strain of fearful, reflexive bellicosity, which Congress and the media went along with for a long time and which has remained largely unexamined to this day. Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. This doesn't mean we support Bush, simply that at some dim, half-conscious level we're too confused -- not least by our own complicity -- to work up the cold, final anger we'd need to go through impeachment. We haven't done the necessary work to separate ourselves from our abusive spouse. We need therapy -- not to save this disastrous marriage, but to end it.
I've noticed that people just don't want to accept the end of this bizzarro "marriage" and take the next logical step. The notion that there isn't enough time or that we might as well wait it out is ridiculous. It may be the only way for America to heal itself and move on to bigger and better things. The whole world needs to see Bush, Cheney and the rest go down in flames and wind up, hopefully, behind bars. And the Democrats need to go for broke here, because they may not get another chance. Simply holding on and waiting it out is not going to cut it. They need to show that they are different, and like the ethics reforms and ending the war, they need to follow through. It's now or never.

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