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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rove Strategy Isn't Unimpeachable - by Jesse Jackson

There they go again. The Republican National Committee, the right-wing noise machine and their spear carriers in the mainstream media, have been in attack mode over the last few weeks. This time their target is Rep. John Conyers, the distinguished senior Democrat who will become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee if Democrats win the House back this fall.
With the president and the DeLay Congress about as popular as big oil CEOs, the RNC is desperate to demonize Democrats. So they cooked up a campaign claiming that if Democrats win the House, Conyers is geared up to impeach the president. This threat, they suggest, will rouse the disaffected Republican base and bring them out to vote in large numbers.
The mainstream media fell for the bait. The ever-cooperative Tim Russert grilled Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi, suggesting that Conyers should take down the Web site explaining his resolution providing for a bipartisan committee to investigate the administration and to recommend whether or not impeachment hearings should begin. (Pelosi, to her credit, didn't fold. She said the Democrats would investigate the handling of intelligence leading up to the war, the corruption in the war and other administration misdeeds. She reminded Russert that checks and balances were the essence of the Constitution.)
But Democrats were spooked. Their excitable inside-the-Beltway strategists began worrying that the Democratic left would blow the election by alienating voters in swing districts. Pelosi then had her spokesperson announce that ''impeachment wasn't in the cards'' if Democrats took back the House.
It is hard to sort out which is more pathetic: the RNC for hyping this gambit, the press for falling for it or Democratic leaders for cowering at the first sign of a dustup.


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