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Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Senator Hagel Goes Right Off The Deep End

Not that it should come as any surprise, especially from a man who has yet to fully decide whether he is running for president or not. But the New York Sun reports that he did indeed lay down the threat of impeaching President Bush yesterday:

Senator Hagel, a Republican of Nebraska who is predicting that President Bush will face calls for impeachment if he ignores Congress on the war, will introduce binding legislation this week to begin the withdrawal of soldiers from Iraq.

Speaking on ABC's "This Week," Mr. Hagel said he would introduce a binding resolution this week "focused on redeployment, training and equipment." Mr. Hagel's co-sponsor for the new Iraq resolution is Senator Webb, a Democrat of Virginia who has introduced legislation in the Senate to prevent the president from taking any military action against Iran and who won his election to his first term in the Senate last November by running on an anti-war platform. Mr. Webb, who served in the Reagan administration as the secretary of the Navy, has emerged as a favorite of the Democratic online group, MoveOn.org.

Mr. Hagel's pending resolution on Iraq puts him at odds with his party, which has won back many of the Republicans who in December began raising doubts about the war. On Friday, the House Democrats received only two Republican votes for a supplemental budget bill that would mandate a withdrawal of forces from Iraq by 2008. Eight days before, Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon was the only Republican who voted for the binding resolution sponsored by Senator Reid, the majority leader, mandating a timetable for withdrawal. Mr. Hagel voted with his party against that resolution.

However, Mr. Hagel yesterday indicated his days of voicing skepticism about the war but voting with the president had ended. "I will not accept the status quo, I will not continue to support with my vote the current policy," he said.
He went further in an interview with the April issue of Esquire magazine. "He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends on how this goes," he said in that interview.

First things first ... Impeachment may only be carried out against the president or vice president if the stipulations under Article II, Section 4 are met:

The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The president or vice president may not be impeached because there is a policy difference. Were that the case, a host of presidents could have been removed from office, going as far back as President Washington. That is not how the Constitution was set up. Differences between the legislative and executive branches were to be hammered out in a compromise. If none presented itself, the appropo checks and balances came into play. That being the passage of a bill through both Houses, and the president either signing it, or vetoing it. Should it be vetoed, it could go back to the Congress, and should they muster the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto, the bil becomes law automatically. As Senator Hagel clearly knows, neither party has a two-thirds majority in either House, which makes overriding a presidential veto indeed a steep hil to climb.

What Senator Hagel, and others like Senator Webb have as a fallback is a cesation of funding for the war effort. The reason they do not take that action is: A) As a spedning bil, in essence, it stil must go to the president, and B) No one wants to take responsibility for the disaster that would occur with a end to the mission in Iraq. The Congress would be responsible for all that would occur after such a move.And for those who believe that Senator Hagel is pushing for impeachment based on some sort of fabricated or supposed crime, think again. The New York Sun makes it explicitly clear that for Senator Hagel, this is about policy, rather than a true, impeachable offense:

When asked yesterday on ABC what he meant by his comments to the magazine about impeachment, the senator said, "Any president who says, ‘I don't care,' or ‘I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else,' or ‘I don't care what the Congress does, I am going to proceed' — if a president really believes that, then there are —what I was pointing out, there are ways to deal with that."

Yes, Senator Hagel, it is caled a compromise. It is not impeachment. Im,peachment occurs when a crime has been committed, as outlined in Article II, Section 4, not when the Congress feels the whim because they disagree with the president. Were that true, then Congress could impeach anyone on a whim for a disagreement, and that would literally make the legislative branch an "imperial" Congress. Senator Hagel's view concerns us both. It is a narrow view that the Congres has nowadays that their voice is higher than that of the Commander in Chief. Disagree with him if you wish, but do not levy idle threats that are unconstitutional simply because the two branches are not getting along.



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