Thursday Mar 16 2006
Impeachment not discussed since days of Clinton
By: Bud Pisarek, Special to the Loomis News
The mainstream news media has skirted the issue and is reluctant to suggest it. The "I" word has become a "no-no" with those who should be responsible to its readers when it comes to matters of such importance. A few talk show hosts bring up the issue but quickly change the subject as callers start accusing them of being unpatriotic. After all, we are at war. Some bloggers on the Internet aren't that bashful. They mention the "I" word almost on a daily basis. So where does that leave a columnist in a small town paper, in so far as responsibility lies? Is there a journalistic responsibility? Or do we abondon such lofy terms as integrity, honesty and responsiblity? If some readers are in the dark about the "I" word, I guess we should say it out loud in print. Impeachment. That process hasn't been around since the Clinton years. Remember, he went through the process on matters that were questionable. The Senate dismissed the case and the country went on about its business. Richard Nixon almost faced impeachment but he opted to resign because of the evidence that piled up. It was Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan who stated, "Impeachment is designed to bridle the executive if he engages in excesses...." Jordan cited the power the framers of the Constitution gave Congress to remove the president in order to strike a balance between them and a president swollen with power. She wrote, "A president is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution." I only write about this subject because I feel the country might have to face up to this dilemma to advert some serious consequences in the future. We see a continued parade of scandals of bribes and favors to corporate entities by our elected officials. "Duke" Cunningham, a San Diego congressman, was just sentenced to eight years for taking money from lobbyists in exchange for government contracts. Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to laundering money and engaging in suspect lobbying activities. What do these events have to with the "I" word? It reflects the tenor of the times and the reckless abandonment of the state of the union. The administration has supposedly wiretapped it citizens and led us into a war under false pretenses. It has acted outside the law, ignoring the FISA rule on warrants. If the great fourth estate won't mention the "I" word, if the talk show heads stay away from the "I" word, maybe it's time the word appears in a small town paper.