The current issue of The Nation explores impeachment: Elizabeth Holtzman offers “The Case in Favor,” and Sanford Levinson offers “The Case Against.” (For a view from one year ago, check out Holtzman’s “The Impeachment of George W. Bush.”)
In my estimation, Holtzman’s case is the stronger one. She notes the public’s sentiment, largely unreported in the corporate media: “A Newsweek poll, conducted just before election day, showed 51 percent of Americans believed that impeachment of President Bush should be either a high or lower priority; 44 percent opposed it entirely. (Compare these results with the 63 percent of the public who in the fall of 1998 opposed President Clinton's impeachment.).” She concludes:
Failure to impeach Bush would condone his actions. It would allow him to assume he can simply continue to violate the laws on wiretapping and torture and violate other laws as well without fear of punishment. […] Worse still, if Congress fails to act, Bush might be emboldened to believe he may start another war, perhaps against Iran, again on the basis of lies, deceptions and exaggerations.
There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President, whose ability to cause damage in the next two years is enormous.
Levinson calls Bush’s potential impeachment and removal from office “wonderful,” as he is “quite possibly the worst president in our entire history.” He objects to impeachment proceedings as “a strategy doomed not only to fail but also to be perceived by most of the country as a dangerous distraction from the pressing problems facing the country.” Whether progressives’ impeachment efforts will be “entirely fruitless” remains to be seen.
update (1/26 @ 9:04am):
Despite Pelosi’s timidity, John Conyers has plans to begin Judiciary Committee hearings into Bush’s abuses of power (h/t: Dave Lindorff at Smirking Chimp).