Charges ranging from war crimes to flagrant miscarriage of constitutional law were levied against President Bush and Vice President Cheney during a proposed resolution to impeach the pair at the 2006 Libertarian Party National Convention in early July. When the resolution first flicked onto the massive convention screens, delegates immediately responded with a hearty round of applause. Many rushed to the microphones to say that it was "about time."
Caught up in the excitement, delegate after delegate lined up to offer improvements to the resolution's language, piling on more misdeeds to an already growing list. But as time wore on, many delegates began to ponder the unintentional consequences of a successful resolution. One delegate said that the resolution could burn Republican bridges — a charge probably made by LP Reform Caucus members who were surprised by such a radical resolution. Others wanted the bridge burned forthwith, contending that Libertarians needed to "exercise their left hand" more often. Others argued that a call for Bush's impeachment was the best way to show the world that Libertarians were no closer to the Republicans than to the Democrats.
Meanwhile in the hallways, delegates were engrossed in heavy debate over whether libertarians along with some type of coalition could muster the resources to go after the President. One said that it was useless to call for impeachment unless a coalition could mount a viable campaign to accomplish it. With a Republican Congress and Senate in power, many began to realize that the resolution might simply become a futile exercise in political masturbation.
Some put the resolution in a lighter frame of mind. With tongue in cheek, one delegate remarked that the resolution might have grave consequences in the future, dead panning that the next LP Presidential candidate might not be invited to the 2008 Presidential debates.
When the delegates were finally asked to vote on the revised Impeachment Resolution, it failed the needed 2/3 vote. Few seemed to be questioning Bush's illegal war in Iraq or other unconstitutional shenanigans. Rather, it seemed that most people felt that the Libertarian Party should not attempt it alone, since only a handful of outspoken Democrats have entertained impeachment charges. Then again, when has a lack of public or political support stopped Libertarians from rushing headfirst where angels fear to tread?
July 17, 2006