Republicans Back Impeachment of Cheney!

Well, sort of.

House Democrats on Tuesday narrowly managed to avert a bruising debate on a proposal to impeach Dick Cheney after Republicans, in a surprise maneuver, voted in favor of taking up the measure.

Republicans, changing course midway through a vote, tried to force Democrats into a debate on the resolution sponsored by longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich.

The anti-war Ohio Democrat, in his resolution, accused Cheney of purposely leading the country into war against Iraq and manipulating intelligence about Iraq’s ties with al-Qaida.


“We’re going to help them out, to explain themselves,” said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. “We’re going to give them their day in court.”

I wonder if Sessions reads The Anchoress who said the following back in May:

Oh, I think it’s definitely time. Let’s do it - let’s impeach President Bush! In order to establish and investigate the articles of impeachment, let’s have all of this brought forward and get it all looked into, for real, let’s get it all entered into a real, actual record, instead of in someone’s book of dreams and opinions or in a convenient, “bumperstickeresqe” meme. Let’s get all the tawdry lists and narratives together and finally get them “on the record and testified to.”

Of course, the Democrat leadership doesn’t want this proposal to see the light of day for the various reasons the Anchoress highlighted in her post. But the frothy netroots activists hungrily salivate at the idea of legislatively hoisting Cheney’s head on a pike. With Congressional approval levels as low as they are, those activists may force Pelosi’s (Hoyer’s?) hand. As I noted in my commentary on the Anchoress’ challenge:

Invariably, debate with anyone on any topic concerning Bush is rife with tropes and conventional wisdom. Hacking through the tall grass of bumper-sticker arguments (”Bush lied! People died!”; “selected, not elected!”; “No blood for oil!”; etc.), and media-enhanced myths (”Bush was AWOL!“) is both tiresome and annoying. Unfortunately, those who most fervently push such arguments and myths comprise the netroots crowd, who happen to have a great deal of influence over the Democratic majority in Congress. Accordingly, the national legislative agenda is largely driven by the Hobbesian maelstroms emanating from those who seek to destroy their political enemies at the expense of their own country.

Succumbing to those maelstroms will become ever more difficult to resist if the Democrats don’t do something, anything, to prove to their base that putting them in power was worthwhile. So the Republicans will give the Democrats enough rope to hang themselves with on impeachment, thus presenting them with a Hobson’s Choice: either allow a full debate on impeachment (and risk the consequences) or use parliamentary procedure to keep the issue off the floor against the most fervent and vocal wishes of the Democrats most fervent and vocal supporters. Or maybe that’s a Catch-22.

Whatever kind of choice it is, Kucinich has put the Democrats in the center ring, and the Republicans appear eager to sell tickets to the show. Although, as Don Surber notes:

I’d call it a three-ring circus in the Democratic Congress, but circuses are organized.

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