In 2000, I voted for Ralph Nader.
I was agog at the ineptitude of Al Gore. And I harbored a deep, profound distrust of George W. Bush.
Since California's 54 electoral votes were not in play—they would certainly go to Gore—my Nader vote was a protest against the two mainstream candidates.
As things turned out, my evaluation of Gore and Bush was on the money. Gore couldn't even carry his home state of Tennessee or the traditionally Democratic stronghold of West Virginia.
As for Bush—well, look at the mess he's gotten us into.
Come November, if he qualifies for the California ballot, I may vote for Nader again. I like to support rebel candidates.
Mostly, I admire Nader's call to open an impeachment inquiry on President Bush—an action that is appropriate and overdue.
In April, Nader issued a press release stating that Bush and Cheney should be impeached for two reasons. One, they led the U.S. into an illegal, unconstitutional war in Iraq. And two, they misled the Congress and the American people with five falsehoods to justify the war.
According to Nader, Bush's five lies are:
1) Weapons of mass destruction
2) Iraq ties to Al-Queda
3) Saddam Hussein as a threat to the U.S.
4) Saddam Hussein as a threat to his neighbors
5) Liberation of the Iraqi people
"When you plunge our country into war on a platform of fabrications and deceptions, and you bring back thousands of American soldiers who are sick, injured or dead, and that war is unconstitutionally authorized to begin with, Mr. Bush's behavior qualifies for the high crimes and misdemeanor impeachment clause of the Constitution."
You can quibble with Nader on some of his points. But you can't deny that Bush grossly misled America and left the country to deal with the staggering consequences of his deceit and duplicity.
Even though Bush should be able to see the quicksand Iraq represents, he still does not have a plan—at least one that he has shared with us— to end the Iraq nightmare.
Today, more than a year after the war began and with no exit strategy in sight, few sense that a victory over terrorism is at hand.
Should Bush's deceptions lead to his impeachment? According to John Dean, who learned about impeachment's harsh realities as Richard Nixon's White House counsel during Watergate, the answer is yes.
On the Internet webzine www.findlaw.com in June 2003, Dean wrote:
"The war in Iraq is all Bush's doing, and it is appropriate that he be held accountable.
"To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be 'a high crime' under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony 'to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.'
"It's important to recall that when Richard Nixon resigned, he was about to be impeached by the House of Representatives for misusing the CIA and FBI. After Watergate, all presidents are on notice that manipulating or misusing any agency of the executive branch improperly is a serious abuse of presidential power."
Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense? By John Dean June 6, 2003
Dean cites six Bush speeches made between September 12 2002 and October and March 17 2003 wherein the president stated definitively that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
We now know that there are no such weapons and that Bush—perhaps purposely—misled the nation,
"Presidential statements, particularly on matters of national security, are held to an expectation of the highest standard of truthfulness. A president cannot stretch, twist or distort facts and get away with it. President Lyndon Johnson's distortions of the truth about Vietnam forced him to stand down from reelection. President Richard Nixon's false statements about Watergate forced his resignation."
But will Bush's half-truths bring about impeachment? Not likely, said Dean, since the Republican controlled Congress will never go after one of its own.
To learn more about Dean's views on Bush, I direct you to his new book, "Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush."
Bush has said repeatedly that the U.S. will not be intimidated—a reference to the three recent beheadings and other cowardly acts committed by terrorists. And Bush has stated many times that the U.S. will "stay the course."
I do not believe that will be possible…although Bush will keep our soldiers in Iraq for a long time to save face.
And while Bush postpones our inevitable withdrawal, the death toll and financial costs of Iraq become greater with each passing day.
JOENOTE TO VDARE.COM READERS:
Nader, unlike either Bush or John Kerry has quite a bit about immigration on his website.
We would not agree with all of it. But I am, for example, impressed with this:
"As long as our foreign policy supports dictators and oligarchs south of our borders, there are going to be desperate, oppressed people moving north over our border where employers like Tyson's Foods illegally employ them at very low wages but even these low wage jobs are many times what would be made in Mexico."
Nader encourages a more open debate on immigration. Naturally, I concur. And I wish Nader well in his efforts to bring that debate into the forefront.