Impeachment lite

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As long as we're talking national politics with a strong local angle, let us turn our attention to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, the venerable Detroit Democrat who heads the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

Writing in the Washington Post, Dana Milbank described a proceeding held Friday by Conyers' committee as a "non-impeachment impeachment hearing."

Held at the urging of Ohio Democrat and erstwhile presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the hearing was officially titled "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations." Milbank described the event as a way to allow the Democratic Party's left wing to "vent its collective spleen."

And it's true that this hearing wouldn't lead anywhere. House leaders have long said impeachment is off the table, and Conyers has fallen in line.

"How is impeachment going to help us win in November?" he told News Hits earlier this year.

That may be the practical stance in a realpolitik sort of way, but News Hits agrees with Kucinich and others who maintain that the issue here isn't about winning or losing elections; it is about defending the Constitution and making sure those who violate it pay for the crimes they've committed.

Which is why Kucinich stood on the floor of Congress in June for hours as he read off a list of what he believes are 35 impeachable offenses committed by Bush and his crew.

But for these hearings, Conyers repeatedly issued the admonishment that the word impeachment not be uttered. Talk about tap-dancing around the elephant in the room.

"The executive branch has vandalized the Constitution every bit as much as the barbarians sacked Rome in 410 A.D.," said Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar and former associate U.S. Attorney General. "The executive branch has destroyed the Constitution's time-honored checks and balances [and] taken the nation perilously close to executive despotism."

Spleen venting?

Maybe. But it's better than swallowing the bile and choking on the injustices this administration continues to jam down America's throat.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or [email protected]

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