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I’ve been thinking about the words “If you impeach Bush you get Cheney.” Hmmm…could be seen as evidence proving Bush isn’t all that stupid after all when it comes to strategic thinking.

On The Impeach for Peace website, we find a quote responding to this idea from Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN, “Personally I fear impeaching Cheney might make Bush President.” But he goes on to explain that nearly all the resolutions have included language for impeaching them both. I’m not convinced that’s the best use of our time and efforts.

Don’t get me wrong…I think they’ve done horrible things to our country and would love nothing better than a new President right this minute. While there’s only a year and a half left of this administration, that’s enough time to do lots more damage. And there are plenty of people on both sides of the aisle who join me in that concern.

But I’m a process analyst by trade and, at this point, the idea of how it would actually unfold presents a nightmarish scenario of months and months of drawn out hearings for each of them and the energy of our country being riveted on that as opposed to rolling up our sleeves and dealing with all the serious problems we face. And in the end, we would be more polarized and more angry and almost nothing good would have happened other than a sense of “aha!”

But impeachment is only the first part. After that, you actually need to get convictions. A very unlikely outcome. (Just look at today’s failed vote on the Iraq pullout, something more people support – whether they vote for it or not – than impeachment.)

Still…let’s say it succeeded and they were both convicted and Nancy Pelosi stepped in to take over at this point. What would she be taking over except a country torn apart worse than it is now? And what about the next election, just around the corner by that point? Might there actually be enough backlash against the Dems who “put us through all this” to result in the election of someone completely different – say a Republican like Giuliani who has the image of leading during tough times?

As tasty as the idea of impeachment sounds (we remember how much fun it was with Clinton), I think those people on the Impeach bandwagon aren’t thinking this through. Not thinking it through, by the way, is the same thing we say about the Bush administration’s failed Iraq policy. Would I trust our country to people who are equally as short-sighted?

The tide is turning and if Dems play it smart, they might be able to get to where they really need to go – where our country needs to go. People already dislike Bush and Cheney big time. Just look at their exceptionally low approval ratings. We don’t need impeachment hearings (that wouldn’t result in convictions anyway) to bring their ratings even lower. In fact, contrarians that we are in this nation, it might actually bolster their support!

So to me, at this point, a united Democratic front (wouldn’t that be refreshing) engaged in multi-level long-range strategic thinking seems a lot more useful than impeachment hearings. Not that there isn’t a huge sense of justice that needs to be served. I just don’t think this would get any of us what we need in the end.