David Limbaugh

RINO (Republican in Name Only) Sen. Chuck Hagel boldly suggests (without being bold enough directly to identify with the sentiment) that some congressmen are considering impeachment proceedings against President Bush because he is flouting Congress and the public on Iraq. Hagel needs to be pressed on this.

Hagel has been dogging Bush for months, if not years, over Iraq, and now he is actually doing the antiwar Democrats' bidding on it.

"Any president who says, 'I don't care' or 'I will not respond to what the people of this country are saying about Iraq or anything else' or 'I don't care what Congress does, I am going to proceed' -- if a president really believes that, then there are … ways to deal with that," said Hagel on ABC's "This Week."

You would think that a person who has made it to the United States Senate would have a least a rudimentary understanding of our constitutional government. You would assume he would have grasped that impeachment is a remedy to remove a president (or other officer) for the commission of high crimes and misdemeanors.

While "high crimes and misdemeanors" is a term of art, it most certainly does not encompass presidential action, which, though legal and constitutional, is not popular with the American people or a majority of Congress.

So isn't it enormously ironic that Hagel is hinting that Congress might impeach the president essentially for abusing his constitutional authority when by taking that action Congress would be grossly abusing its constitutional authority?

If a plebiscitary democracy is what the framers of our Constitution intended, they could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and paper, not to mention the extensive studies they undertook leading them to the conclusion that a constitutional republic -- not a pure democracy -- offered the best chance for securing the blessings of liberty and prosperity for America.

Indeed one of the main reasons our nation has flourished and survived is precisely that it never purported to be a pure democracy or anything remotely resembling it. If the democratic ideals of the French philosophes had prevailed with America's constitutional architects, our experiment in constitutional governance would have long since terminated.

For Sen. Hagel to imply that the president serves at the pleasure of Congress and the people (a la the British system) betrays a startling misapprehension of our unique form of government. And this man is actually considering a run for the presidency -- on the Republican ticket, no less?

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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