Impeachment pie

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While a dozen or so demonstrators were outside his Detroit office calling for the impeachment of President Bush, Detroit congressman John Conyers told his staff to start making arrangements for his first two town hall meetings on the topic.

"The dates haven't been finalized," says Karen Morgan, Conyers' spokeswoman, adding the hearings in Detroit and Washington, D.C., will likely be in mid-August.

Conyers' directive to his staff to set up the forum came while a dozen or so demonstrators milled around the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse on Monday. Some stood outside with signs, others staged a sit-in at Conyers' sixth-floor office there.

Antonio Perez was among the group. "I'm being patriotic," says the member of World Can't Wait, a group seeking to "drive out the Bush regime."

Conyers' staff was not surprised to see the group. Hundreds of telephone calls and e-mail messages have poured into his office in recent weeks, Morgan says. "We get people who want to hold you on the phone for 20, 30 minutes and tell you about it," she says.

Has Conyers gone from flip to flop to flip again on this issue? Not necessarily. After all, it seems like only a year or so ago — before Conyers and his fellow Democrats regained control of the House and Senate — that JC was making all sorts of impeachment noise. Then came the November elections and presto change-o, our man John takes over the House Judiciary Committee — through which any impeachment attempt would have to pass — and suddenly to hold Lil' George and Big Dick accountable for their imperial behavior is off the table because it's not politically feasible.

Not that we've ever actually been inside the Beltway or anything, but the chatter we hear on the teevee tells us the Dems don't want to seem vindictive. Of course, no one thinks it's vindictive when some mugger hopped up on crack gets thrown in the slam. So why is it that getting to the bottom of the warrantless eavesdropping scandal or the torture scandal or the vote-caging scandal or the scandal of outing a covert CIA agent in a nasty game of political payback (how, we'd like to know, is that not treason?) or the lying us into a war scandal — and holding our fearful leaders accountable for any of that somehow unseemly?

Here's what we say: If part of the reason we punish criminals is to deter others from doing the same out of fear that they too will spend time in a cage, then we need to send the message to future administrations that lawlessness in the executive branch — or whatever super-duper double-secret branch of government the Dickster claims to be perched on these days — will not be tolerated. No matter what the politics are. Period.

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