Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Krauthammer's Flawed Logic

On the delightfully-named blog, Preemptive Karma, Carla wrote a post about the impeachment question, and predictably got a snide comment.  I then wrote a response, which turned out to be rather lengthy.  When I do that, I usually promote the comment to a full post, since otherwise few people would read it.

There are three instances on record, in which Bush states that a warrant is needed before the government can spy on US citizens. Those were all lies. Furthermore, the fact that he would lie repeatedly to cover up his behavior indicates that he knew his behavior was wrong.

Regarding Krauthammer's editorial: he published the same article on the editorial page of the Washington Post. There, the title is "."

Krauthammer's argument is ridiculously flawed. He states:

Some even suggest that Bush has thereby so trampled the Constitution that impeachment should now be considered. (Barbara Boxer, Jonathan Alter, John Dean and various luminaries of the left have already begun floating the idea.) The braying herds have already concluded, Tenet-like, that the president's actions were slam-dunk illegal. It takes a superior mix of partisanship, animus and ignorance to say that.

Indeed there may be people who think it is a slam dunk, but in point of fact, -- one of the luminaries he does not mention -- has introduced a resolution asking for an investigation. Conyers states explicitly that he is not ready to say that Bush is guilty of an impeachable offense. Rather, he thinks the matter should be investigated.

Krauthammer also includes the following quote in his article:

George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr (one critic calls him the man who ``literally wrote the book on government seizure of electronic evidence'') finds ``pretty decent arguments'' on both sides but his own conclusion is that Bush's actions were ``probably constitutional.''

If it is true that one could make a reasonable ("pretty decent") argument that what Bush did is unconstitutional, then it would be reasonable to launch an investigation. That being the case, it is illogical for Krauthammer to talk of "impeachment nonsense." If there is a reasonable argument to be made, then it is not nonsense.