"Impeach him? Lady, we can't even afford to get you an extra microphone! Baby Steps."
I don't know if you guys caught last night's Daily Show, but the above quote was taken from the end of a segment they did on Congressman Conyer's hearings this past week on the Downing Street Memo. It mostly poked fun at them and was largely critical.
If The Daily Show is making fun of you, it is time to rethink things.
As I've mentioned before, I'm a member of the Big Brass Alliance, a coalition of bloggers which is attempting to bring greater awareness to the Downing Street Memo, and the implications it makes about the build-up to the war in Iraq. I'm a member of this alliance because I believe the memo, which has been largely ignored by the media until recently (and even at that, it is woefully under-reported for my taste), is the best chance that we have had, to date, to really investigate, in an official manner, just how this Administration got us into Iraq.
And that's it.
There seems to be many who are the opinion that this investigation is for the sole purpose of starting the wheels in motion to bring impeachment proceedings against the President. I'm not one of those people. It isn't that I, if it is proved that the President fixed intelligence and lied to us about information that he knew to be false so that he could go to war in Iraq, don't believe that those are impeachable offenses, it's just that it seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse. If our motivation is purposed solely so that we can impeach the President, then we are simply wrong.
I, for one, believe that we are setting a dangerous precedent if no President can get through two terms without the threat of impeachment hanging over his (or her) head, and if we, as the Democratic Party are moving forward to try to "get one back" for what the Republicans did in the 90's, then are doing so at our own folly.
The importance of the Downing Street Memo isn't in if it proves anything beyond a shadow of a doubt --even I admit that it isn't a smoking gun, in of itself -- but that it is official enough, and suggestive enough to raise troubling questions, which allow us an opportunity to find out the truth about Iraq.
Which should be our end goal. We should be using this opportunity, for the sake of the soldiers who are fighting and dying in Iraq, for the sake of the people who died on 9/11, and for the sake of future generations, to seek out the truth, so that history is recorded accurately, right now, and not glossed over because of the Republican noise machine and the general apathy of the media and the public. It is important that we find out if the intelligence presented to the President really was actionable and, to the best of their knowledge, accurate. It is important that we find out if Tony Blair really had to talk the President into going into Afghanistan first, because the international community wouldn't stomach going into Iraq before the home of the Taliban, who was harboring Bin Ladin.
And, if in the course of investigation, we find reasonable evidence to pursue impeachment, then all the better, but that shouldn't be our goal. But, the fact is, most people don't believe that is our goal, and, for most of us, it probably isn't.