The Impeachment Campaign, Part 2: Impractical Impeachment Politics:
Karl Rove is one of the great bluffers in the history of Machiavellian manipulation. He's the type of man who'll try to convince you how much you don't want the last slice of pizza on the tray, how it'll make you fat, how you'll be tired for the rest of the night, how you might stain your nice white shirt. You'll get to the point where you not only don't want the slice of pizza, you start to tell others how much you never really wanted that slice in the first place, while, in the background, Karl Rove is scarfin' that cheesy bad boy down. Right now, Rove is on a mission to make sure that no one wants to touch the pepperoni-studded piece of impeachment.

After avoiding the "I" word for the better part of the presidency of George W. Bush, suddenly, politicians and the media are talking about "impeachment" with startling frequency. Except, of course, it's Republicans who are talking about it, as in, "If Democrats win the House, they're gonna impeach the President" before blathering on about how the public doesn't want that. And the conservative media can't get enough of trying to get Democrats to say that, if they win, they'll immediately impeach Bush.

On This Week With George Stephanopoulos's Hair, Howard Dean, responding to an accusation by Ken "Howard Dean's Kinda Cute" Mehlman, said that the Democrats had no plans to impeach Bush. Nancy Pelosi, on Meet Tim Russert's Head, promised investigations, but not necessarily impeachment, which conservatives immediately took to mean "impeachment." And even putatively leftish John Dickerson, in Slate, wrote that Pelosi's promise of investigations was a "gift" to Republicans.

The problem isn't that Republicans are trying to turn the "threat" of impeachment into the big bugaboo of the midterm elections. That's just more politics of fear - this year's Zarqawi - and it won't work. Because a good third to a half of the people who voted for Bush in 2004 think it was a mistake, wish they could take it back, cut off their screen-pushin' fingers, take a mulligan, a do-over, fuck, something to make it not real anymore. Despite the desperate, annoying squawking of the right to the contrary, the mainstream media is not responsible for the plunging poll numbers of the President, since, by and large, the MSM still lovingly gets on its knees to get the high hard one from the White House. And then there's the half the population who think Bush shouldn't be there in the first place. To think that there's some kind of mass belief in the American people that the nation needs to be led by George W. Bush for the next two and a half years is to seriously mis-read the mood of the country.

So here's the Rude Pundit's reckless, unresearched, completely biased, crazy-ass, but, holy shit, strangely logical proposition: Democrats need to embrace the politics of impeachment and make it a centerpiece of their national Congressional campaign. It's so simple: "If you don't want George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to be our leaders anymore, vote for Democrats."

Goddamn, isn't that breathtakingly direct? It makes Republicans have to either run scared or respond with something along the lines of "I don't want them impeached because I believe in the jobs that Bush and Cheney are doing," which, you know, almost two-thirds of the nation doesn't believe. Hell, at this point, more people disapprove of Bush and his administration than oppose gay marriage.

The Republican National Committee is scared shitless of this tactic, as indicated by Karl Rove's attention to it, as well as by the RNC's "hominah, hominah" responses to Pelosi and Dean. So what the right is trying to do is make "impeachment" into a bad word, as if somehow bad things might happen to the nation if Bush is impeached, like, say, we'd be dragged into a war of choice based on lies or dead black people would float through the streets of our major cities.

Yes, so far, polls have not reached the 50% tipping point on support of impeachment, although those polls were focused on the more narrow question of illegal wiretapping as a reason for impeachment. But the public hasn't been fully introduced to the idea of a Bush-less future, even sooner than the beginning of 2009. The Rude Pundit guarantees that if put in those terms, "An America Without George W. Bush or Dick Cheney Leading," to average Americans, the thought will make clouds part, sunshine warm faces, and a great weight lifted off chests. You wanna see people react with dancing in the streets and flowers and candies tossed out of windows? Let Americans know that the occupation of their own nation can end.

Note: The Rude Pundit would like to see, say, Dick Gephardt run for his House seat again, followed by his election to Speaker of the House, which would make him next in line for the Presidency after Bush and Cheney are forced into exile. The Pelosi-factor would be a stumbling block. But, really, at this point, a reasonably well-trained monkey or a deviled ham sandwich could do a better job in the Oval Office.

Tomorrow: Let's take that pie out of the sky and talk about Practical Impeachment Politics.

Yesterday: Part 1 - A fine analogy about swarthy Europeans and hot sex.