For the survival of our constitutional republic impeachment of Bush and Cheney is absolutely essential, but the Democratic leadership in Congress has made the judgement that: "impeachment is off the table." The calculation seems to be based on two points:
1) After the Republicans’ shameful Clinton impeachment fiasco the American people don’t have the stomach to go through the process again, and
2) Bad as the President and Vice President are, we can tolerate them because they’ll be gone in 18 months.
With regard to the first point: Clinton’s impeachment was a fraudulent Republican political act designed to embarrass him (and by extension, all Democrats) about a purely personal matter having no bearing on the functioning or survival of our constitutional republic (i.e. not a "high crime or misdemeanor").
By contrast, impeachments of Bush and Cheney will be based on many GENUINE high crimes and misdemeanors that threaten our survival as a free people with inalienable rights:
1) lying to the American people, Congress and the UN to gain support for their misbegotten war against Iraq,
2) violating international laws by waging a war of aggression against Iraq,
3) illegally spying on American citizens without legitimate court warrants,
4) authorizing and encouraging "rendition" and torture of those he and he alone decides are enemies or "terrorists",
5) holding prisoners indefinitely without charge and denying them the right of habeas corpus guaranteed in Article 1 of the Constitution and recognized in Common Law since the Magna Carta,
6) issuing over 700 signing statements to avoid the constitutional requirement for him to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress,
7) using these signing statements to claim unitary executive authority - that he is not bound by the laws that apply to everyone else,
8) encouraging subordinates (e.g. Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzales) to violate the Hatch Act which forbids using government facilities for purely political purposes.
Until now the corporate news media has been loath to expose Bush and Cheney as the despots we know them to be from investigative reporters like Seymour Hersh and Greg Palast, scholars like Chalmers Johnson and countless others. Even Bush’s media sycophants, Fox News, will not be able to avoid at least some coverage of public impeachment hearings where this administration’s crimes will be exposed for all to see. When the people come to understand the full extent to which the Bush/Cheney criminal enterprise has deceived them there will be a groundswell for their removal from office.
Now with respect to the second point it is imperative that Bush and Cheney not be allowed to "run out the clock", but that they be removed immediately because: a) they are preparing for an attack on Iran, probably using nuclear weapons , and b) they have arrogated such extraordinary powers to themselves that it is entirely conceivable (indeed in the opinion of many, highly likely) that they will trump-up an excuse to "justify" a declaration of martial law, render Congress and the Courts powerless, and postpone future elections for the duration of the "emergency" thereby effectively anointing themselves as absolute rulers for life answerable to no one. Under these conditions the people would have no recourse, but to resort to violent revolution to reclaim the country from the despots.
For the above reasons and others too numerous to go into in this short note Bush and Cheney must be removed from office now. Since assassination is the only thing that is truly off the table, the only action available to rescue our democracy is the use of the impeachment process.