According to a new report in Esquire magazine, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) has suggested that Congress may consider the impeachment of President Bush before his term ends:
“The president says, ‘I don’t care.’ He’s not accountable anymore,” Hagel says, measuring his words by the syllable and his syllables almost by the letter. “He’s not accountable anymore, which isn’t totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don’t know. It depends how this goes.”
The conversation beaches itself for a moment on that word — impeachment — spoken by a conservative Republican from a safe Senate seat in a reddish state. It’s barely even whispered among the serious set in Washington, and it rings like a gong in the middle of the sentence, even though it flowed quite naturally out of the conversation he was having about how everybody had abandoned their responsibility to the country, and now there was a war going bad because of it.
Hagel isn’t the only one frustrated. The desire for more accountability over Bush has led to increasing calls for impeachment from the Washington State legislature, the mayor of Salt Lake City, and town hall meetings in Vermont.
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) said pushing for impeachment would be counterproductive because it would break off efforts to recruit conservative support for changing the course of the war in Iraq. “We’re trying to get [conservatives] to vote against the war. They’re coming around. You don’t hear them singing the virtues of George Bush like they used to. But nothing will turn this into a partisan lockdown faster than impeachment.” Inslee added, “Ending the war is what’s important now.”