July 13th, 2007
05:50 PM ET
3 years ago

The “I” Word

Boxer said Wednesday impeachment should be on the table.

NEW YORK (CNN) - You might call it the "i" word, the one that just won't go away: impeachment.

On Wednesday, the I-word came up for California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in an interview with talk radio’s Ed Schultz. When Schultz brought up the subject of impeachment, Boxer said “Look, I have always said it should be on the table” and called the Bush administration “as close as we've ever come to a dictatorship.”

Is impeachment really on the table? Democratic leaders say no and no.

Last November, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters that even with Democrats winning control of Congress, “impeachment is off the table.” And her office reiterated that to CNN this week.

Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said, "It's not anything that Senator Reid could support, nor is it under consideration."

So if congressional leaders say impeachment proceedings will not happen under their watch, why bring it up?

CNN Political Editor Mark Preston says the rhetoric over impeachment is “red meat” meant to appease the Democratic base, which is frustrated with the war in Iraq. But talk is just talk, and political observers say that actually trying to impeach the president would be a bad move strategically. As Preston explains it, impeaching the president would actually hurt Democrats in their pursuit of the White House in 2008. “They would look partisan,” says Preston. “They would look petty.”

- CNN Producer Shirley Zilberstein


Filed under: Barbara Boxer
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Thank you Senator Boxer! As always you lead the way in being an aggressive voice for your liberal constituents.

    Damn straight...yes impeachment should definitely be on the table. Clinton impeachment proceedings for lies about sex, but no impeachment for lies about the war, lies about outing Plame, lies about spying on Americans...on and on.

    Worse is the fact Bush seems to hiding even more damaging evidence about the DOJ scandal, what corrupt corporations met with Cheney to form the new energy policy in 2001, etc.

    Enough is enough! People are fed-up with the lies and crooked leaders.

    July 13, 2007 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I imagine this is just a lot of hot air. Congress is deathly afraid of doing anything, because whenever they do, they get voted out of office for being idiots. A for real impeachment would be a wondrous event, it'd show that the government still obeys the will of the people and the Constitution. Ergo, it ain't gonna happen, sadly.

    July 13, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  3. Ann Brunswick ME

    FORCED RETIREMENT REQUIRED FOR CONGRESS MEMBERS.

    CONGRESS TOO OLD TO FULLY DISCERN COMPLEXITY OF GOVERNMENT MAJOR SITUATIONS.

    July 13, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  4. Ann Brunswick ME

    Menopause cited as justifiable reason to call for resignation of certain Congress members.

    July 13, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. V.H. Charleston

    Impeachment would not make the Democrats look weak!! That's just more of the same old Republican rhetoric designed to oppress the Dems! Impeachment (so unequivocally deserved) would make them look brave...Brave enough to stand up to the Republican attack dogs who want to hide behind lies and dismissive statements to conceal the disappointing job GWB is doing as well as the crimes committed by him and his dastardly administration. Dems (and Republicans) need to stand up out of righteousness and show courage to impeach and arrest the criminals in power. Be strong, Democrats and Republicans with good sense – Impeach the Bush/Cheney administration ASAP. It WAS cowardly and PETTY of the Reps to impeach Clinton for a personal affair. There is nothing cowardly whatsoever in ridding the country of this president and his accomplices who are damaging...the whole planet! Grow a pair...Move to impeach NOW!

    July 13, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  6. Howard, Joshua Tree

    Impeachment should not be on the table Clinton lied in federal court, Bush did not lie in court, and The closest are nation ever came to a dictatorship was under are nations Seventh President Andrew Jackson and incase you are wondering he was a democrat. Bush has never defend the Supreme Court sending minorities to there death on the trail of tears, Boxer needs a history lesson.

    July 13, 2007 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. JS

    BUSH IS A CRIMINAL!! IMPEACH HIM NOW!!!!!!! WE HAVE BEEN IN A DICTATORSHIP! CONGRESS NEEDS TO DO ITS DUTY AND FULFILL ITS OBLIGATION TO THE CONSTITUTION BY IMPEACHING THIS JERK!!

    July 13, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. David Leon, Georgia

    No matter who is President, it is important for them to understand that his/her power comes from the people whom he/she serves. Therefore it is proper to exercise impeachment on certain conditions. If we fail to act upon this, we defeat the purpose of our democracy and allow a leadership to gain power beyond it's given priviledges.

    July 13, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Joseph, Dallas, Texas

    Someone needs a grammar lesson.

    July 13, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Charlie bean, Eureka, CA

    A little late to Bring up the Impeachment idea, don't you think?

    Let's work on others issues, Bush is out of there in less than 18 months – quit grandstanding and work on the other issues we put you in office for!

    July 13, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. Glenn,B'ham,Al

    Impeachment needs a reason. Congress declared war. Bush did not do that. The fact is he is more popular than congress. What congress needs to do is there jobs. Make Law.

    July 13, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Ann Brunswick ME

    OLDER CONGRESS MEMBERS SUFFER IMPARIED THOUGHT PROCESS DUE TO MEDICATIONS.

    July 13, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Sandy, Washington D. C.

    Let's face it. There are certain consequences to impeachment that stand as huge road blocks to any such action.
    First, impeachment charges will stand as proof of Congress' incapacity to make such important decisions. And Second, no one (in their right mind at least) wants Mr. Cheney to become the commander in chief.

    July 13, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. John Toth Salem, Illinois

    Did Mark Preston consider the Republicans partisan and petty when they tried to impeach Bill clinton for something trivial compared to what this administration is guilty of?

    July 13, 2007 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. Ed Miller Washington, NC

    I am a republican, always have been and I am for the impeachment of this out of control administration!

    July 13, 2007 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. J

    Bush and Cheney – lied to congress to start a war! A war for oil profit and they continue a losing cause at the expense of American lives and $.5 Trillion of our money. The rich 1% continue to support Bush for his generous tax cut, and the 30% idealogical idiots support him for his generous pork barrel support. But, the rest of America wants these two criminals put in JAIL. Impeachment is a start, criminal proceedings should follow.

    July 13, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. SP, Chico, CA

    The Democrats would look petty? And the Republican majority was not petty in impeaching Bill Clinton? O boy. Is it 2008 yet?

    July 13, 2007 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  18. LC James, Canton, GA

    Sen Boxer is correct. We have had an abuse of Constitutional power by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. If impeached, however, I do not believe that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would be removed from power. However, it would be a strong message to future Presidents that the People's will is still supreme. That said, Mr. Clinton's impeachment was trivial and nonsensical compared to the Bush/Cheney catastrophe.

    July 13, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. Tom, Hartford, CT

    People, learn how your own government works. Even if an impeachment is possible with the razor-thin margin the Dems have in the house, (and that's an if) the trial then goes to the senate. In order to convict, two-thirds of the members must vote to do so. That's 66 members and the Dems don't have anywhere near that. And even if you succeed, all you've done is make Dick Cheney president. Does anyone seriously think that's an improvement? You'd have to go back and impeach him, too. All this takes time, so you'd probably have them both removed just about the time they have to leave office anyway. Impeachment in this case is a waste of time, we are at war, and Congress has better things to do than tilt at windmills.

    July 13, 2007 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. LOREN SPOTTS, WILDOMAR, CA.

    WE ARE READY AND APPROVE IMPEACHMENT,
    1 CHENEY
    2 GW BUSH
    3 GONZALES
    4 CHERNOFF.
    AND ALL THE REST OF POLITIONS IN OUR WHITE HOUSE.....

    July 13, 2007 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. Carlos, Los Angeles, CA

    I just wish that the Democrats would have the courage to *really* stand up to the Bush administration. They rail and rail about how horrible the President is, but refuse to do anything about it! Pelosi, Reid, and Boxer really need to display leadership on this issue.

    July 13, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  22. Sherry Tipton Winchester, Kentucky

    If we don't impeach him, what does it tell the rest of the world? It tells them that we approve and this is the kind of behavior we expect out of our leaders. We must set an example and let our leaders, our future leaders, and the rest of the world, know that that this kind of imperialistic behavior is not acceptable in a President of the United States! This is a Democracy, not a Monarchy!

    July 13, 2007 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. David, Everett, WA

    No, CNN, it's not the "I" word.
    The word is impeach. Impeach. Impeach! IMPEACH!!!
    We have got to git rid of this crooked administration and the crooked media that is acting, and I mean acting, like it's taboo. It is not taboo. It is prescribed and it is required by the Constitution. When Mr. Bush is lying on camera and we all see it, there is no more evidence to find or inquiries to be had. The truth and the lies here are very black and white, and delivering that is something the news media should be familiar, comfortable and forthright with.

    July 14, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  24. anonymous Californian

    Whatever... Barbara Boxer must be worried that some other anti-war dinosaur from the 60's is going to challenge her seat if she doesn't try to impeach Bush.

    July 14, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  25. David, Everett, WA

    ps. If any person in leadership actually tries to Impeach Bush and/or Cheney, they would have my vote for life.

    July 14, 2007 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
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