Impeachment: in the Technorati top ten
The other day as I was driving around my blue-as-blue-can-be town of nearly-disappeared anti-Bush bumper stickers, I glimpsed one of the last holdouts: a Volvo proudly emblazoned with a whole bunch of them. The one that particularly saddened me was a slogan I'd seen many times before, "Bush is not my President."
It's one thing to hate Bush, but it's quite another to declare a personal secession from the Union. As even the Washington Post said today, in an editorial about Reid's announcement to vote against Roberts' confirmation: This country has only one President at a time. But just try telling that to the bumper sticker lady.
In a related phenomenon, whenever I've ambled over to Technorati lately to check on some topic buzzing around the blogosphere, I've noticed that one of the top ten most searched-for subjects there is consistently "impeach Bush." It moves around in the ranks, sometimes higher and sometimes lower, but it is virtually always somewhere in that top-ten list.
It makes me wonder when impeachment became the preferred remedy for dealing with a Presidency one doesn't like. Perhaps Watergate, which seems to have been the beginning of so many negative trends in American life. I remember the first Presidential impeachment bumper stickers (Earl Warren doesn't count) appearing during that era.
Then, by the time Clinton was elected, impeachment had become almost a standard remedy. Clinton's many enemies seemed to be salivating for it almost from the start of his Presidency. Of course, with his execrable behavior during the Lewinsky affair, he kindly cooperated by giving them nearly enough rope not only to impeach him but to hang him (they thought he actually had given them enough to hang him, but history proved them wrong).
This is certainly not the first era, however, in which impeachment is a political tool. Perhaps it always has been: see this. Despite the early establishment that political differences are not proper grounds for impeachment (the Justice Chase case in 1805; see previous link), it's been tried before, and probably will be tried again.
But even during the darkest days of the Vietnam War, when LBJ and later Nixon were considered by the left to be war criminals, I don't recall seeing bumper stickers that took the impeachment line. They were Presidents of us all (hate them though many of us did), right up till the moment the first one bowed out of the 1968 race and the second one was forced to resign in ignominy. Ever since then, so many on both sides have been desperately hoping for a repeat.