Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A "Game" No Longer

It seems no one quite knows what to make of today's Insight Magazine report, sourced by the usual anonymous administration insiders, that impeachment proceedings are about to be brought forth in Congress. The confusion stems from the fact that Insight is an expressly right-wing publication (it's published by the Washington Times Corporation) and as such bears little resemblance to the other news outlets in which impeachment has heretofore been seriously discussed. The White House's poorly-advised warrantless wiretapping program is what's driving the impeachment coalition, which is said to include some Republicans who disapprove of Bush's end run around FISA. But Arlen Specter, the only major Congressional player who has dared flirt with the I-word publicly, did so in the most noncommittal of fashions last week when he told George Stephanopolous that "impeachment is a remedy" to presidential malfeasance. So the reader is asked to take the word of the article's secret source at face value, a leap made somewhat easier by the magazine's conservative orientation.

But why Insight would want to break this particular scoop is a genuine headscratcher. Any media mention of impeachment, especially in a news context that couldn't possibly be interpreted as anti-Bush, contributes to its validation in the eyes of the public. Unless someone has made a major mistake or there's some other outlandish explanation, this report should be taken as particularly strong evidence that impeachment is indeed a strong possibility. All we can do is wait and see at this point, but this new development makes the "game" look a great deal more serious than it did yesterday.