News Release

Congressional Abdication: * Impeachment * War Funding


Lowi is professor of American Institutions at Cornell University and author of several books including The End of Liberalism. He said today: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Chair John Conyers and the vast majority of Democrats in Congress are making a grave Constitutional error by keeping impeachment off the table. Impeachment does not mean removal. It means putting the accused before the bar of judgment. Clinton was impeached but not removed.

“Impeachment can be a method of achieving a modicum of balance between the branches of government. The Bush administration has totally thrown that balance off. Some of the same individuals who helped impeach Clinton, reducing the power of the executive then, are now backing the notion of a ‘unitary executive.’ We are moving beyond the ‘imperial president’ to what Clinton Rossiter warned us of in 1948: ‘Constitutional dictatorship.’

“The Congressional ‘power of the purse’ has effectively been destroyed. Bush dominates because he has set the terms of discourse. The Democratic leadership has lost control of the budget in the face of the discourse of ‘supporting our troops.'”
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Co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Leys wrote the piece “Slip Sliding Away: House Votes on Iraq War Funding Today, November 14,” which notes: “The Democratic Party leadership in the House shifts its position on redeployment from a MANDATORY completion date of the end of August 2008 to a GOAL completion date of December 15, 2008. The only thing mandatory about the goal date is that it be by December 15, 2008. But, as any labor union negotiator will tell you, a GOAL is permissive and unenforceable absent any language to make it enforceable. And, guess what, there is no enforcement mechanism in HR 4156 if President Bush does not meet the goal of completing redeployment by December 15, 2008.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.