Thursday, May 18, 2006

Conyers to GOP: We Aren't Like You

I voted in a republican primary here in Virginny a couple years back (voting for the less crazy of the 2 loathesome options), and ever since I've been getting love from the RNC. This month I got a survey from Ken Melman in which he really wants to know stuff like: Do you agree with the president that terrorists are bad? Do you think taxes are too high? Don't you hate Ted Kennedy?

This month included a blurb about those rascally demicrats and their evil plan to win elections this fall, followed by an orgy of investigations the likes of which Sherlock Holmes would be proud. The buzzword seems to be "impeachment." Of course, anyone whose brain was fully functioning in the 90s remembers who patented the politics of personal destruction; as Digby says, "They behaved like a slavering lynch mob for six solid years and now evoke that image against the party they lynched."

So I was happy to see John Conyers' op-ed in the Post today. At first I was worried he'd start blubbering about how he didn't want to hurt W's feelings and of course he would never investigate the prez for real (like when that guy apologized for putting his face in front of Cheneys' birdshot), but he says all the right things: oversight is the goal, not punishment (although that could happen, depending on what is learned), and it will be done in the traditional bipartisan way, not the GOP 1990s unilateral way:
It was House Republicans who took power in 1995 with immediate plans to undermine President Bill Clinton by any means necessary, and they did so in the most autocratic, partisan and destructive ways imaginable. If there is any lesson from those "revolutionaries," it is that partisan vendettas ultimately provoke a public backlash and are never viewed as legitimate.

So, rather than seeking impeachment, I have chosen to propose comprehensive oversight of these alleged abuses. The oversight I have suggested would be performed by a select committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans and chosen by the House speaker and the minority leader.

The committee's job would be to obtain answers -- finally. At the end of the process, if -- and only if -- the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee. This threshold of bipartisanship is appropriate, I believe, when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

The whole op-ed is great. (And dare I say it? George Will is pretty good today too.)


Otto Man said...

That's well played. Tones down the rhetoric, but doesn't take impeachment off the table completely like some of the other nutless wonders.

I love Conyers. And I want him to get a committee chair just so Joe Klein's fucking head explodes.

Noah said...

Being from Michigan, I am always worried with what is about to come out of Conyers' mouth. You never quite know (a la Dude, Where's My Country).

But this is a happy exception. He really has thought about this, and it sounds reasonable. You're right: it doesn't take impeachment off the table and instead of setting Democrats up to try to impeach the Prez on trumped-up charges that don't really exist, this owuld actually provide the real evidence needed to actually convict or impeach the Prez. Now it'll be up to the Republicans to say "No! This equally-represented bipartisan panel to ask the right questions is destructive!"