House Speaker-presumptive Nancy Pelosi has surrendered the one weapon that literally could keep President Bush in line and force him to abandon the arrogant assault on the U.S. Constitution and good government.
Three times since May, she's promised that Democrats won't impeach Bush.
Despite Bush's warm and fuzzy nice-guy promise of cooperation with Democrats, he can't be trusted to keep his word. Remember the same promises in 2000—about being the Great Unifier with a yen for bipartisanship? Only, he has spent the last five and half years as The Great Divider, haughtily stiffing Democrats as unworthy political sloths.
Without fear of impeachment from the new Democrat majority, Bush conceivably has a clear road to resume his old ways.
And this is the president who used fear of terrorists to trample civil liberties, drain the treasury of hundreds of billions of dollars, rape the environment while he distracted Americans, reject Geneva Conventions on humane treatment of prisoners, use kidnapping and foreign prisons to torture "suspects," and stand by while an over-the-hill martinet masterminded the disaster in Iraq that conservative columnist George Will last week called "the worst foreign policy disaster in U.S. history."
Pelosi's well-intentioned impeachment waiver was to win over frightened GOP voters. But rather than summarily immunize Bush, she could've nuanced, as they say, her pre-election views on impeachment.
Democrats won't waste fruitful months on impeachment of the president for past performance, she could've said. But neither would Democrats stand by and allow further mismanagement and abuses of Americans' rights in Bush's two remaining years in office, she could've added.
When Americans awake from their long inattention to their country, they will realize with a cold sweat that the president, Vice President Cheney, Defense secretary Rumsfeld and the Machiavellian White House master of dirty tricks, Karl Rove, were driving the United States toward an unmistakable benevolent tyranny governed by a single party.
Servile Republicans abandoned oversight and criticism. Bush announced he wouldn't obey 750 laws. White House business was conducted with corrupt congressmen and lobbyist-crook Jack Abramoff. Industry cronies were awarded no-bid contracts totaling tens of billions of dollars with scant attention to their profiteering and overcharges.
Washington had become a cesspool of lies, dishonesty, smokescreens and fraud.
Democrats were not elected on Nov. 7 to appease and cower to this failed presidency.
If President Bush sees weakness and deference in Democrats, the old Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rove terror machine will crank up again to spew out slurs and slanders that the new majority in Washington is un-American, cut-and-run cowards and foppish liberals without family values.
Then the Democratic triumph of 2006 will have mocked the hopes of voters who expected more.