Impeachment Is Not off the Table

by Peter Phillips
Published: Last Updated on

By Peter Phillips

Nancy Pelosi declared on national television “impeachment is off the table.” Impeachment, it seems, is too divisive for a 2008-oriented Democratic Party leadership and will interfere with the business of Congress over the next two years.

The Democrats seem to be giving a pardon to Bush and Cheney without even having a trial. Impeachment is the people’s option to end a corrupt government. According to the Lancet Medical Journal, 650,000 civilians have died in Iraq since the start of the US invasion. US aerial bombings in civilian neighborhoods have caused over a third of these deaths including whole families—children, grandparents, moms, and dads.

We now know that Bush and Cheney lied about the weapons of mass destruction. According to the Downing Street Memos from July 2002, “Military action was [to justify the invasion of Iraq] seen as inevitable…justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD…the intelligence facts were…fixed around the policy.” Bush and Cheney misled the American people, frauded Congress, and violated their constitutional oaths of office. Impeachment has never been more warranted. Yet the Democrats say it is off the table, and can only muster a mild non-binding rebuke in the House as the surge goes on. How many more thousands of people must die before Americans say “enough”?

We have seen the gross profit engorgement of oil companies and private military contractors as a result of the 9/11 wars. Pro-war interests exert significant influence on members of Congress with money and lobbying, while the public relations machines of private industry and government work full-time through the corporate media to keep us fearful of terrorists.

Yet, the American people’s values and moral core are based on love, hard work, family, and justice. With all our faults, we are basically good people being led astray by a neo-conservative cabal seeking nothing less than total military domination of the world. We recognize the awfulness of war and decry torture, and understand the connection between military spending and infrastructure depletion including housing, education, health care, and employment.

The American people voted against the war in November. Opinion polls show two-thirds oppose the war and over half support impeachment. We have the individual choice of being “Good Germans” and hiding our heads in the sand, or taking united action to dethrone the imperial powers through the people’s option of impeachment.

New avenues of resistance are emerging to challenge the illegal occupants in the White House. On February 17-18, some twenty-five organizations met in New York for an emergency impeachment conference. The weekend planning resulted in the formation of a new coalition of activists to pursue the impeachment of Bush and Cheney through increased public pressure, lobbying, media activism, advertising, creative actions, and civil disobedience over the next few months. (

Plans to push impeachment include massive marches in major cities on March 17-18 and a national Hip-Hop Not War Tour.

To allow this administration to ride out the next two years without impeachment is to sanction a lying treasonous presidency and set precedence for future presidents to ignore Congress and the will of the people. A democracy cannot tolerate an imperial power centered in the Whitehouse. If we choose to defend our Constitution we must pressure Congress to go beyond political partisanship and serve the best interests of America.

Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University and co-editor with Dennis Loo of Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney.