Will impeachment of GWB become serious consideration?

According to the most recent Newsweek poll, Bush’s approval rating has reached a new low of just 26%. Only Nixon had a lower rating at 23%.

Regardless of how you look at it, his approval rating is continuing to erode. If this trend continues and he reaches the same level as Nixon or lower, do you think that his impeachment will be seriously considered?

There’s just 19 months or so left of his presidency, so it is possible that he could run out the clock. But, assuming that over the next few months his popularity drops to low 20s, would Democrats try to impeach him and be able to get enough Republicans to join them?

I know to impeach him, he must have committed a crime. That’s not the point, however. They could always bring up something. The question is that if his popularity is low enough, would Democrats gain anything by trying to impeach him. And would enough Repbulicans see him as liability to join them?

Of course, whatever charge is brought up must pass the prima ficia test.

Welcome to the SDMB. We’ve visited this issue many times, so if you join up you can search out those threads. Frankly, I doubt it will be a consideration. It would take a lot of time, and it would be almost impossible to get enough votes in the Senate to kick him out of office. And don’t forget that as low as Bush’s approval ratings are, Congress’ aren’t much higher. I think people want the Democrats to concentrate on getting us out of Iraq, and instigating impeachment proceedings against Bush would not do that.

Approval ratings, strong or weak, are not a valid reason for impeachment.

Let’s not forget that Carter’s lowest approval rating was of a par with Bush’s, and Truman’s was even lower. Would either of these men have deserved impeachment?

Approval ratings might get people to do things that should be done, but that they are afraid to do because they are unpopular.

What?! Dude! We can’t impeach him even when he totally sucks, and everybody hates his guts? That’s just wrong!

Someone can certainly make a case for Bush’s not upholding his Oath of Office, but they (both Republicans and Democrats) will not want Cheney in as President.

Bush has certainly been a big black mark on our history.

While impeachment is a political and not (necessarily) a legal issue, the link between approval and impeachment is pretty tenuous. What exactly would the charge be? ‘He lied’? ‘He’s unpopular’? ‘Bush is a poopy-head’?

Unless something concrete (to the non-believers) comes out I think its a non-starter…no matter how low his approval ultimately goes.

No you don’t…you just have to have the political will to follow through with impeachment proceedings. Impeachment is defined as whatever Congress THINKS it is (IOW, its pretty undefined). Certainly committing a crime would help though. What crime has Bush committed?

Again, his popularity has little to do with impeachment proceedings. The only real link would be if the Dem’s THINK they could pin something on him and get away with it…i.e. it has to do with political will and political power. As low as Bush and the Republican’s have sunk and as little time remains in his term I don’t think so…again, no matter how far his numbers dip.

Well, again, impeachment is a POLITICAL process…not a legal one. So, in that respect they could impeach him for whatever they want to impeach him for. Of course, if its something obviously politically motivated and petty they they will pay the price. One can look at the Clinton impeachment and see how the process can backfire and bite the party who pushed it through squarely on the ass. Anything I can think of that Congress COULD try and pin on Bush I think could very well bite them on the ass as well…unless someone has something more solid than I’ve ever seen on the man to date, which basically boils down to ‘Bush lied’. I don’t think ‘Bush lied’ is sufficient, even it todays climate, to find very favorable ground with the majority of American’s, who would rightfully see impeachment on those grounds as politically motivated.

And of course this leaves aside the fact that the 'Pub’s aren’t going to exactly line up in support…so impeachment isn’t a POLITICAL reality, at least not today. And the window for an impeachment, even if there WAS something concrete enough to get some significant number of Pub’s to back it is over (and probably was 6 months ago)…these things take time to build up and go through all the dog and pony shows the politician’s love so much. It would take at least a year to really build up the steam, go through all the press conferences, speeches, shouting matches…oh, and the trial thingy before Congress. Probably more like 2 years since this would be a bit more complex than an unauthorized blow job…

-XT

No need to worry about that.

:smiley:

Democrats want a sitting republican president with as low an approval rating as possible before the polls open. I don’t think they have much to gain by getting rid of a sitting duck president with terrible public approval.

Gerald Ford put it simply when he stated: “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

Obviously, Bush will not be impeached. Even Pelosi said in the fall of 06 that impeachment was off the table. I take her at her word, in this case.

However, if a person thinks Bush can not be impeached in principle, then I would be frightened to see what a president would have to do to warrant impeachment in their view. Perhaps if he ate a baby on live television it would be possible to broach the subject. The heart of the matter is that he would be brought down in any sane nation for the entire Iraq fiasco, warrant less wiretapping (every violation of FISA is a felony), torture, or just plain incompetence and the wrecking of major institutions by filling them with people who have no idea what they’re doing (or worse, do, to startling effect).

The American people wouldn’t mind either, and that was a year ago for warrantless wiretapping. Similar polls can be found for Iraq on the conditon that Bush lied about the reasons we are there.

Another factor, which hasn’t been mentioned yet, is that impeachment would shine a spotlight on the darkest regions of the administration due to the hurricane of subpoenas. In my view, that would be worth it, even if the vote itself would fail (and it would, of course). It’s important to get these facts on record, with as much media attention as possible (they certainly won’t cover it otherwise, just look at the past six years). Otherwise, we’re in for a Reaganizing effect.

If we don’t believe in the U.N. then we need to stop funding it and reverse all treaties related to it. Otherwise, Bush should be in huge trouble just for the act of Iraq. People were hanged for similar actions in WWII. The problem with this rationale, of course, is that we like being able to meddle in the affairs of other nations, even if it involves out and out conquering, and a rationale of this type for impeachment would invariably lead one to conclude all presidents should be impeached and sent to the Hague. However, if the Democrats wanted to start impeaching without setting such a dangerous precedent they could easily find something else to “pin” on the criminal in chief. As the military would say, it’s a target rich environment.

Truman hit a low of 22%. Think about the implication of that number.

I ask again, did Truman deserve impeachment at any time in his presidency?

Simulpeachment’s the answer. It’s hard to imagine that anything Bush has done that’s impeachable wouldn’t involve Cheney to a substantial degree as well. :slight_smile:

But absent that, I’d contend that removing Bush and promoting Cheney to the Presidency would be substantial progress. Cheney’s great freedom of action in this Administration flows in part from his ability to operate in the shadows. Everyone ‘knows’ he wields great power, but he doesn’t testify in Congress, he doesn’t take questions from skeptical journalists - he’s completely unanswerable in his use of power. Hell, we have to read tea leaves to get more than a vague idea of what he’s doing. It’s kinda like what Kremlinologists used to have to do, back in the day.

Making him President would flush him out of hiding, and into the spotlight. Can’t imagine a potential President less suited for it. :smiley:

Quis impeachiet ipsos impeaches? (wth apologies to Juvenal). Given the current levels of confidence in Congress, one wonders if instead Bush should impeach them.

A Congress looking for a bump in the polls might want to consider if concentrating on impeaching someone more popular than they is a smart move.

Regards,
Shodan

Only Cheney would consider becoming the President to be a demotion.

Ideally, polls should have nothing to do with the impeachment process. Yes, both Carter and Truman and the current Congress had low poll numbers.

None of them deliberately lied to start a war.

None of them blew the cover of a CIA agent in retribution for the agent’s spouse exposing their lies.

None of them illegally wiretapped American citizens.

None of them held prisoners without charge and without representation.

None of them bought favorable news coverage for their policies with public funds (the Armstrong Williams matter).

None of them flew prisoners to other countries to be tortured.

None of them condoned the use of torture.

None of them fired US attorneys for not being sufficiently partisan.

Despite all of this, impeachment will not be considered. Two reasons- the votes to convict are not there and the spectre of President Deadeye Dick Cheney.

Ahem.

:smiley:

We could do some of the others, but past experience indicates that it would do no good. As ever, IOKIADDI.

Regards,
Shodan

’Luc was obviously being sarcastic.

But for purposes of this discussion, can we assume that Bush has done things that are at least arguably grounds for impeachment (without debating what those grounds might be, and how good the arguments for those grounds really are), and that the question of unpopularity has to do with the extent to which his political support is a bulwark against attempts to act on the basis of those grounds?

Given that assumption, I’d say the answer is still: no impeachment. Even with Bush’s job approval in the 20s in four of the 10 most recent major polls (per PollingReport.com, with the Newsweek 6/18-19/07 poll being the most recent at this writing), the fact is that Bush’s support among Congressional Republicans is far stronger and more unified (aside from rare exceptions where Bush goes up against the GOP base, like the immigration bill) than it was for Nixon when he had similar numbers, or than Congressional Democratic support for Carter was when he had similar numbers.

So absent new evidence of more significant Administration wrongdoing than has yet been produced, impeachment’s going nowhere. And it’s hard to say just what sort of evidence of what sort of wrongdoing it would take to break the GOP’s near-total unity in support of Bush.

I personally believe that if the Dems feel they have solid grounds for impeachment, they ought to soberly pursue the matter, draft clear articles of impeachment with detailed arguments and supporting evidence available online, pass articles of impeachment in the House, then move to a Senate trial. Then the American people can decide whether they agree with the Dems or the GOP, and vote accordingly in 2008.

Not only is standing up publicly for what you believe to be true generally the right thing to do, but in practical terms, it’s not like the Dems are going to be able to get a raft of legislation through Congress this term, so the practical objection most often raised last winter, that impeachment would interfere with the Dems’ legislative agenda, seems to be void.

Well, Bush certainly didn’t. But in the case of Truman and Carter, you might want to look up the names of Tommy “The Cork” Corcoran and Truong Dinh Hung, respectively.

Might give you a better perspective on this particular subject.

In my opinion, Truman’s wiretapping of Corcoran was very shaky legally. Carter’s warrantless wiretapping of Truong was perfectly legal, and provided the precedent for Bush’s subsequent actions.

No.

I’ll go along with that. History generally supports such a view.