The Impeachment Campaign - Part 1: The Analogy:
Let us say, and why not, that you are a young American woman who is traveling in Europe by yourself for the summer. It's a magical time, and along with the usual Spanish sightseeing, German mountain climbing, Romanian orphan feeding, and Amsterdam hookah smoking, you indulge in flirtations and affairs. You're single, strong, smart, self-assured, and so you feel free to tempt the extra-swarthy Portugese fisherman at a pub, you let that Czech goth guy go down on you with his pierced tongue, you fleetingly, furtively fuck the French film student in your apartment overlooking a curved, brick street (oh, how Godard would approve, you think), and you find yourself falling in love with Giorgio, the manly Italian man who you met staring at pietas big and small in Florence.

Giorgio shows you places in Sienna and Perugia that only seasoned tourists and locals see. At nights, after dancing and downing bottles of Sangiovese Grosso, you and Giorgio disappear into your room in the small villas or farmhouses you favor and Giorgio not only knows exactly where your g-spot is, but he's damn good at discovering the rest of the alphabet - he is the Columbus of your body and he has colonized it. Giorgio gives and gives, and so it's only with the mildest trepidation that you say, "Yes" when he asks if he can visit you in the United States at your place in, let's say, Washington, D.C.

Giorgio is planning to stay for a full month. And when Giorgio first arrives, it is everything you could have hoped for. That first week, you show him the cathedrals of American democracy, you hold each other and cry at the Holocaust Museum, and you people watch in the Adams-Morgan. You give him maps and directions because, indeed, you have to return to work, holidays can't last forever. And at some point that week, you realize that Giorgio isn't all that. He's kind of lazy. He eats too much (although, goddamn his metabolism, he doesn't gain an ounce). He doesn't take you out for thank you dinners. And he expects you to blow him more than he wants to fuck you. He's making a mess of your Georgetown apartment. He wants to use your car, explore places further and further away, gets bitchy if you refuse him, won't wipe his piss spatters from the toilet, alienates your friends because he simply sits, sullen at restaurants because he can't smoke while he's drinking, thinks everyone is a phony or a jerk. When you confront Giorgio, he denies he's any different, that you're just uptight 'cause you're not on vacation anymore, accuses you of abandoning him. It hits you: Giorgio's kind of an asshole. He should have been treated like all that pot you bought in Amsterdam but left when you were heading to the next country because it wasn't worth the trouble.

And you're left with a choice: you can let Giorgio stay for the next couple of weeks, tough it out, be miserable, distance yourself from him, and hope it's just over with before he does any real damage. Or you can throw that wad of fuck out with directions to the Italian consulate and tell him that he's such a piece of shit that his own people won't even want him. The former choice seems the easiest - time passes quickly and, really, it couldn't get any worse. But it's also soul-sapping and degrading, and it'll leave you feeling like a doormat, significantly less strong, smart, and self-assured than you were before. Some of your friends and co-workers tell you to go that route because the other choice might end up creating more chaos. The latter choice requires an enormous amount of will, with the potential blow-ups, threats, calls to the police, and bizarre hand gestures of condemnation. But if you go that route, it's over. That miserable bastard is out and you can straighten your shit out and get on with your life. It's what you really want, no matter how incautious it may seem, because the other choice is a pathway to a slow inner death.

When Democrats scramble around, pledging that they'll investigate President Bush but not impeach him, should they be in the majority in one or both houses of Congress, they are promising weakness masked as strength. Instead, Democrats should make impeachment the center of the Congressional campaign because that's what the American people want.

Tomorrow: What the fuck are you talking about, Rude Pundit?