The Impugnment Hearings

posted at 9:23 am on July 26, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

When the Republicans held the majority in the House, the Democrats held a mock-impeachment hearing against George Bush in which John Conyers presided as a pretend committee chair.  Dana Milbank famously skewered Conyers and the nuttiness that surrounded the June 2005 basement meeting, calling it “a trip to the land of make-believe”.  Almost two years after gaining the majority, Democrats continue to live in fantasy, but this time at least Conyers doesn’t have to pretend that he’s a committee chair, as the Los Angeles Times reports on the so-called “impugnment hearings” against Bush:

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Friday that it insisted was not about removing President Bush from office.

But critics of Bush’s policies couldn’t pass up the chance to accuse the president of a long list of impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Leading the way was Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), the former Democratic presidential candidate who has brought repeated impeachment resolutions to the House floor against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Kucinich got a rock-star welcome — whistles, hoots and clapping — from hundreds of antiwar, anti-Bush people crammed into the hearing room and lining the hallways outside.

Conyers was there, too, providing his special kind of leadership:

“To the regret of many, this is not an impeachment hearing,” said Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), pointing out the event’s less incendiary title, “executive power and its constitutional limitations.”

Still, Conyers, a vocal opponent of Bush, noted that his panel had pursued many allegations that Kucinich and others regard as grounds for impeachment: manipulating intelligence about Iraq; misusing authority with regard to torture, detention and rendition; politicizing the Justice Department; and retaliating against critics.

In 2005, Milbank chronicled the insanity that surrounded the pretend committee meeting Conyers chaired. The air of conspiracy paranoia led to several embarrassing sequences. 9/11 Truthers used it as a rally to hand out their materials, and at least one witness, Ray McGovern, explained to the committee how Bush was being run by the Jooooooooos. While the LAT/AP report doesn’t explicitly report these kinds of antics at the Impugnment Hearings yesterday, one witness was moved to try to bring Conyers and Kucinich back to Planet Earth:

One witness, law professor Jeremy Rabkin of George Mason University, said he was “astonished at the mood in this room.”

“The tone of these deliberations is slightly demented,” Rabkin said.

“You should all remind yourselves that the rest of the country is not necessarily in this same bubble in which people think it is reasonable to describe the president as if he were Caligula.”

Shh! Don’t wake them from their fantasy, Professor Rabkin. It’s dangerous to confront the “slightly demented” with reality ….


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Better these asshats are doing this than something that actually affects someone.

JonRoss on July 26, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Shh! Don’t wake them from their fantasy, Professor Rabkin. It’s dangerous to confront the “slightly demented” with reality ….

heh…yeah, “slightly” demented…like the Pope is “slightly” Catholic.

Even the majority of congressional Dem’s don’t support this nonsense. What a total waste of time and money.

The most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history!

JetBoy on July 26, 2008 at 9:32 AM

Speaking of wrongdoing, isn’t Conyers’s wife in a spot of trouble in Michigan as she strives for relevancy? Something about money?

a capella on July 26, 2008 at 9:32 AM

You won’t read much of this in the MSM, or at least not the complete story.
They don’t want to show how loony the Dems are this close to the election.

I don’t get it frankly. I spoke to Dennis Kucinich at the Dem convention in San Diego last year and one on one, he grasped my point immediately and then used it in his speech. It pointed to a civil rights violation by tribes in California and he told the Native American Caucus it was wrong. And then, he goes loony on stuff like this.

originalpechanga on July 26, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Is there any truth to the rumor that this intellectually dishonest midget is the love child of Madeline NotBright and the talking cadaver, Harry Reid?

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Alfalfa is up for reelection this year, Conyers next. Just keeping up their share of press coverage. The good folks in Cuyahoga and Wayne counties need to see their champions in action.

Limerick on July 26, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Is there any truth to the rumor that this intellectually dishonest midget is the love child of Madeline NotBright and the talking cadaver, Harry Reid?

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 9:46 AM

JonRoss on July 26, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Obama’s trip fails to impress Americans
Media losing affection for Obama
Reid goes mental
Dems in House blocking energy legislation
Dems in Senate stalled because they won’t allow drilling debate
Congressional approval hitting Sessionist levels
Zero Congressional promises fulfilled from 06
.
QUICK! Time to fire up the base and distract people! What do we do? Hmmm, let’s get some UFO/”I want to believe” nutjob to hold impeachment hearings or something.
.
The bell rings hollow

scottm on July 26, 2008 at 9:52 AM

Where’s Mulder when we really need him?

OldEnglish on July 26, 2008 at 9:53 AM

And they are Nero, fiddling while Rome burns. Not that we are burning but there are certainly more constructive ways to spend their time. I caught a bit of a Dan Abrams show the other night. He and another high profile Washington lawyer were talking about going after W for a truck load of crimes. It made me worry for him after he is out of office.

Cindy Munford on July 26, 2008 at 9:54 AM

Is there any truth to the rumor that this intellectually dishonest midget is the love child of Madeline NotBright and the talking cadaver, Harry Reid?

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 9:46 AM

My comment didn’t show the first time. I think this is a good theory. This is the type of guy decent people would have, in previous generations, locked in the attic for fear of shaming the family and frightening children.

JonRoss on July 26, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Kucinich got a rock-star welcome

What is it with liberals and Rock Star welcomes?

joeswampy on July 26, 2008 at 9:58 AM

I see a room where the majority could use some lithium…….or haloperidol.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on July 26, 2008 at 10:01 AM

hh! Don’t wake them from their fantasy, Professor Rabkin. It’s dangerous to confront the “slightly demented” with reality ….

Thus the reason for beginning with the term “slightly” and ending with the savory liberal term “Caligula”.

Speakup on July 26, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Kucinich got a rock-star welcome

What is it with liberals and Rock Star welcomes?

joeswampy on July 26, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Well, he did arrive by UFoe.

Speakup on July 26, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Ed: if you’re going to show a picture of Kucinich, please also include his wife so it won’t be a total waste of electrons.

Dingbat63 on July 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Kucinich got a rock-star welcome
What is it with liberals and Rock Star welcomes?

joeswampy on July 26, 2008 at 9:58 AM

It is the intimidation factor. If you can’t control a situation with common sense arguments you intimidate the opposition with large demonstrations and riots. Think of almost every loud, disorderly, and threatening demonstration that has happened in your lifetime and think of the group behind it. It is usually the left when they are not getting their way through the ballot box.

JonRoss on July 26, 2008 at 10:04 AM

And just how much of our money was wasted these mental midgets?

thekingtut on July 26, 2008 at 10:07 AM

Kucinich bach to Planet Earth

Bach Ed were you thinking this

joeswampy on July 26, 2008 at 10:07 AM

What is it with the MSM describing any collection of clapping freaks and freeloaders as a “rock star” welcome?

Bishop on July 26, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Makes you wonder why Michigan and Ohio’s economies are in the tank when you have enlightened fools like this in leadership roles. As long as the electorate keep electing morons like this pair, they should just grin and bear it. They will be used to what is coming if the dims gain power in November. Then we all will have to lower our standards of living because we have too much.

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM

One would like to make a parody video of this but there are two problems:

1. Some things are such parodies of themselves they are beyond exageration.

2. The left loonies would not see that it was parody and turn it into a viral video hit saying it was more proof of Bush’s guilt.

KW64 on July 26, 2008 at 10:17 AM

So then I guess the budget has been balanced, we have a good energy policy and the looming social security problem is solved. And after this playtime, it will be milk and cookies, then a nap.

rbj on July 26, 2008 at 10:19 AM

You people have to understand that while it’s Bush’s responsibility to prevent another 9/11, it’s the “new direction” congress’s chore to prevent Bush, (or any other President) from doing his job.

Rovin on July 26, 2008 at 10:21 AM

When something like this is the only way you can get anyone to know you are alive, it is obviously a ploy out of desperation that these two human peacocks have no other options but to undertake. I am wodering why they just don’t pull their pants down, bend over and show their asses and save alot of time and money.

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Check out the picture…these two are bigger boobs than Dolly Partons.

DoctorDentons on July 26, 2008 at 10:31 AM

If Kucinich wouldn’t exist, one would have to invent a robot like him.

I’m happy that he does exist.

Entelechy on July 26, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Madeline NotBright and the talking cadaver, Harry Reid?

volsense on July 26, 2008 at 9:46 AM

Ah that explains a lot, a little inbreeding. Wait, I thought only republicans were allowed to be called inbred!
/awaiting orders to reeducation camp.

Gwillie on July 26, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Doesn’t Kucinich remind you of the dummy Howdy Doody? I think the real one is smarter.

tarpon on July 26, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Hey nutroots, how’s that impeachment coming along for you?

In the immortal words of Abba in the pop song Waterloo:

So how could I ever refuse?
I feel like I win when I lose!

Is this victory? Or defeat?
It’s defeat, nutroots. It’s a humiliating defeat for you.

jeff_from_mpls on July 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Why not hold real impeachment hearings, you idiots? Why the show trial, why not bring the heat down on Bush? Clownshoes.

Bishop on July 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Why not hold real impeachment hearings, you idiots? Why the show trial, why not bring the heat down on Bush? Clownshoes.

Bishop on July 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM

Bishop, because there is no heat. The only thing resembling heat in that hearing room is the smoke from their bongs and their patchouli.

Democrat = big loser!

jeff_from_mpls on July 26, 2008 at 10:52 AM

More seriously (as if this is possible given the nature of the people in this clown show), it would be “nice” to have some sort of reasonable discussion over what type of power the Executive should be given and wields Constituionally during war (okay, authorized uses of force).

One doesn’t have to be Keith Olbermann to be, well, uneasy over some of the actions by the Administration. To be sure, I’ve seen no evidence that any of these actions were undertaken for anything other than legitimate national security reasons.

Still, the powers we give to President Bush today for legitimate reasons can be used tomorrow by President “X” for illegitimate ones.

As Madison pointed out, the difficulty of devising a government run by humans over humans is that you must first enable them to “control the governed; [but] in the next instance oblige them to control themselves.”

SteveMG on July 26, 2008 at 10:56 AM

This is just such a delight to see, I can’t refrain from taking one more shot.

I recommend the National Review do a cartoon on its front cover, reminiscent of the botched joke of the New Yorker.

Simply depict all the clowns in the impeachment hearing exactly as they are, no caricatures at all. Leave it as a visual rhetorical question: parody?

jeff_from_mpls on July 26, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Alfalfa is up for reelection this year, Conyers next. Just keeping up their share of press coverage. The good folks in Cuyahoga and Wayne counties need to see their champions in action.

Limerick on July 26, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Oh my gawd, Even a seven year old knows that the whole House of Representatives is up for re-election every two years.

meci on July 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

This is complete political theatre brought to you by Pelosi as her attempt to hold on to the far left loonies in her party while Obama steps towards the middle.

I really .. really wish this was televised across all the networks.

Texas Gal on July 26, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Did you hear that Cindy Sheehan was kicked out of the “hearings”?

Angry Cindy Sheehan exits Judiciary hearing

Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan had been sitting in the crowd, and she shouted, “Thank you Vince.”

Conyers seemed flustered, reminding Sheehan and others that some “members are urging me to take more action than merely reminding our audience,” before trying to move on to the next witness.

“I urge you to take action,” said Sheehan, who is among the most visible activists pushing for impeachment. After losing her son in the Iraq war, Sheehan became famous for her roadside vigil outside Bush’s Crawford ranch in the summer of 2005, and she has mounted a long-shot bid to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in this year’s election.

“OK then, Sheehan, you’re out,” Conyers said, but the northern California native was already on her way out the door.

“I’m going,” she said. “Good-bye.”

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Angry_Cindy_Sheehan_exits_Judiciary_hearing_0725.html

Enoxo on July 26, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Oh my gawd, Even a seven year old knows that the whole House of Representatives is up for re-election every two years.
meci on July 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

I just asked my eight year old about that, she had no clue what I was even talking about: “House of Representatives…what”?

Perhaps you should just insult a person directly about their spelling or something, make it easy on yourself.

Bishop on July 26, 2008 at 11:24 AM

meci on July 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Just helping out the Dhimmis here.

Limerick on July 26, 2008 at 11:26 AM

Oh my gawd, Even a seven year old knows that the whole House of Representatives is up for re-election every two years.

meci on July 26, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Link please?

Texas Gal on July 26, 2008 at 11:40 AM

As I said in another thread, if Obama wins and the Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate, you can expect these same loons to start calling for war crime trials for Bush and Cheney, since it will be too late for impeachment.

And until their true loopiness comes out (or pre-war pro-war Dems realize their reputations would be open for analysis in any trial), the big media outlets will actually take Conyers and Kucinich seriously, if for no other reason than to get in some final shots at the Bush Administration.

jon1979 on July 26, 2008 at 11:47 AM

you can expect these same loons to start calling for war crime trials for Bush and Cheney, since it will be too late for impeachment.

I think at the very least Bush needs to issue pardons for the CIA and other personnel who were engaged in the interrogation of AQ operatives as well as the rendition program.

It would be unconscionable if these brave men (and women?) were to suffer any type of punishment for their actions. The left will still use overseas courts to go after them, to be sure.

Unfortunately, I don’t think pardons prevent civil suits from being handed down. So, don’t be surprised if the radical left (Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU) don’t use those measures to harass these people.

SteveMG on July 26, 2008 at 12:03 PM

As I said in another thread, if Obama wins and the Democrats increase their majorities in the House and Senate, you can expect these same loons to start calling for war crime trials for Bush and Cheney, since it will be too late for impeachment.

I think that will only happen if they increase their congressional majorities and McCain wins the White House. If Obama wins they won’t waste time getting their agenda in place as quickly as possible. That’s their strategy for 8 years of Executive control and permanent majority.

Texas Gal on July 26, 2008 at 12:10 PM

Enoxo on July 26, 2008 at 11:17 AM

Thanks for the transcript of that. I was streaming @ my desk and heard only Comyers tell her she’s out of here. I wasn’t surprised since the conversation was about how Bush should be charged with the murder of 4000 soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis. It was really hard to watch at times due to the aura of BDS surrounding most of the panelists and gallery.

And as other commenters have mentioned, what else could be more important that this? It was a total waste of time.

JohnnyD on July 26, 2008 at 12:52 PM

We have the price of gasoline going into the stratosphere, we have families losing their homes to foreclosure, we have banks failing left and right, and these jackass Democrats are wasting time and money on THIS?!!!!

Hey Conyers and Kucinich, I have a broadcast message for you two assclowns! In less than 5 months, Bush and the rest of the administration you Democrats have all loved to hate will be gone! Why not give this impeachment garbage a rest and concentrate on the problems this country has right now!

You can start with the above named items!

pilamaye on July 26, 2008 at 1:33 PM

Saw part of this on C-span yesterday. It was a veritable who’s who of looney toons leftys. Minnesota’s own Keith Ellison was there to fill out the players card. (SO glad he’s accross the river) Everyone that had a Rep involved in this fiasco should call them to find out why they are wasting time there instead of finding a resolution to this energy crisiss.

oakpack on July 26, 2008 at 3:15 PM

Alfalfa is up for reelection this year, Conyers next. Just keeping up their share of press coverage. The good folks in Cuyahoga and Wayne counties need to see their champions in action.

Limerick on July 26, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Ohtay Panky,
Alfalfa for President of the He-Man Woman Haters Club heh heh

sonnyspats1 on July 26, 2008 at 4:06 PM

We have the price of gasoline going into the stratosphere, we have families losing their homes to foreclosure, we have banks failing left and right, and these jackass Democrats are wasting time and money on THIS?!!!!

Hey Conyers and Kucinich, I have a broadcast message for you two assclowns! In less than 5 months, Bush and the rest of the administration you Democrats have all loved to hate will be gone! Why not give this impeachment garbage a rest and concentrate on the problems this country has right now!

You can start with the above named items!

pilamaye on July 26, 2008 at 1:33 PM

While I’m in total agreement with your sentiment, do you really want these two idjits to attempt to solve any sort of a serious problem? You’d be better off having the Three Stooges do brain surgery on you. We’re all a lot safer if they amuse themselves pulling pointless stunts like this.

trigon on July 26, 2008 at 6:31 PM

You know, the German word “ruck” means “back,” like a rucksack is a backpack.

I say that so that when I say that the Congressional Troofer Caucus needs to “Ruck Off,” you know exactly what I mean.

Merovign on July 27, 2008 at 3:18 AM