The Rev. Jesse Jackson is prodding the incoming Democratic Congress to take more seriously its duty to hold President Bush and members of his administration to account for engaging in abuses of power that overtly and aggressively affront the strict controls on executive power detailed in the Constitution.
"How do we hold presidents accountable when they trample these limits?" asks Jackson. "Presidents cannot be indicted. They are immune from civil lawsuits on the basis of their official actions. The only recourse in the Constitution is impeachment."
While the veteran civil rights leader acknowledges that Representative John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who will take change of the House Judiciary Committee "may well put off any consideration of impeachment" for the time being, he asserts that Conyers "has a duty to convene serious hearings on the scope of the president's claims, the abuses to the Constitution and to citizens resulting from those claims, and the remedies to them."
Jackson does not suggest that the establishment of a case for impeachment must be the initial goal of these inquiries, nor that they should necessarily lead to an effort to remove the president from office before the end of his current term. But Jackson argues well and wisely that appropriate inquiries must be undertaken, that appropriate questions must be asked, and that "Congress must act to defend the Constitution before America turns completely into an elected dictatorship."
Thursday, December 07, 2006
"Jesse Jackson: Dems Must Hold Bush to Account"