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Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Impeachment? Not yet

I've started to hear talk of impeachment, both on the net and on talk radio. Even Bob Graham has uttered the "i" word. But I don't think it's the right thing, at least yet, for both practical and tactical reasons.

First, the tactical. If you impeach Bush, you get....President Cheney. OK, impeach him too. President Hastert? I just don't see much improvement here. Moreover, how are you going to get any political traction for impeachment with the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress? It'll be a minor miracle to get public hearings.

Second, the practical. As much as I believe Bush lied, it doesn't take as much evidence to convince me as to make me so certain I'd advocate impeachment. I don't think Clinton deserved to be impeached not because he didn't lie under oath, but because I don't think the offense was serious enough to warrant impeachment (and no, not all cases of perjury are equally serious).

So what to do? What I'd like to see is a special prosecutor. Not a Ken Starr, but a Leon Jaworski. I think the people in a democracy have a right to know if they've been lied to, and I flat out don't trust the Republican-controlled Congress to investigate a Republican President. Let's see what the special prosecutor finds then talk about whether impeachment is warranted.

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