CNN's Jack Cafferty Deplores Chris Dodd for Arguing Against Impeaching Bush

In the 7pm EDT hour of Tuesday's The Situation Room on CNN, Jack Cafferty expressed disappointment in Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd for rejecting efforts to impeach President Bush because of how it would hurt Democratic chances in 2008. “So, Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors of a kind which would mandate his removal from office,” Cafferty lamented. He noted that “Congress's job is oversight of the executive branch” and then, he sniffed, with a disapproving shake of his head: “Unless, of course, that oversight interferes with getting elected.” Cafferty soon reiterated his displeasure with the liberal Connecticut Senator: “It's a pretty amazing statement to come out of Senator Dodd's mouth.”

All but one of the e-mails he read about 40 minutes later either denounced Bush or Dick Cheney or called for Bush's impeachment. The first one declared that “a majority of Democrats and Independents would support impeachment of the entire administration,” the next castigated Congress's “cowardice” in not being more aggressive toward the administration, another ridiculed Dodd as a “moron,” and the next to last e-mail Cafferty read aloud contended “there will be plenty of time to send George Bush to jail after he leaves Washington, and after more incontrovertible evidence of his malfeasance comes out.” Finally, Cafferty chuckled at this missive: “As much as I'd love to see Bush impeached, you have to ask yourself this: Who would take over? A man who shot an old man in the face while trying to shoot birds that can't fly.”

Just before the 2006 election, Cafferty made clear his desire for Bush's impeachment and that of his viewers. My November 2, 2006 NB item, “Cafferty Indicates Bush Deserves Impeachment, Showcases 'Amazing 98%' Who Agree,” recounted:
CNN's Jack Cafferty listed a litany of supposed Bush misdeeds and how Bill Clinton “was impeached for telling a lie” before posing his “Cafferty File” question in the 7pm EST hour of Thursday's The Situation Room: “If the Republicans lose the election Tuesday, what should happen to President Bush?” Naturally, Cafferty's strong suggestion that President George W. Bush deserves the same generated matching e-mails, yet Cafferty expressed astonishment: “It's amazing. 98 percent of the ones that I read -- and I looked at several hundred of them -- said impeach him....There's a lot of anger out there over what this man's done."

Cafferty had charged: “This President has pulled off a power grab in the name of the war on terror the likes of which this country hasn't seen in a very long time. And in the process, people who are a lot smarter than I am suggest that he has broken this nation's laws over and over and over again. From invading a sovereign nation without provocation to torturing prisoners to the NSA spy program, to holding people without a right to a court hearing or a lawyer, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.” Amongst the e-mails Cafferty read, one declared: “Of course George Bush deserves to be impeached, and he should also be thrown in jail.” Another writer recommended: “He should be 'legally' water-boarded until he can recite the Bill of Rights and define habeas corpus.”
Cafferty set up and posed his “Cafferty File” question about ten minutes into the 7pm EDT hour of the August 21 The Situation Room:
Here's an interesting statement, Wolf: “Impeachment proceedings suck all the oxygen out of the room.” So says Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd. The Des Moines Register reports the Connecticut Senator told a political group in Iowa yesterday that it would be a mistake for Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and could jeopardize their control of Congress. He thinks Americans would object to Congress focusing on impeachment for 14 months instead of other problems facing the country. I wonder if he's right about that? Dodd also said this: “If we become preoccupied with an impeachment process, I think we could turn off an awful lot of people who might otherwise be willing to support Democrats and be willing to change the direction of the country in the fall of 2008,” unquote.

So, Senator Dodd is putting the election prospects of the Democratic Party next year ahead of whether or not President Bush might be guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors of a kind which would mandate his removal from office. Congress's job is oversight of the executive branch -- unless, of course, that oversight interferes with getting elected. Here's the question, then: “Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd says it would be a mistake for Democrats to impeach President Bush. Is he right?” E-mail caffertyfile@cnn.com, or go to cnn.com/cafferty file. It's a pretty amazing statement to come out of Senator Dodd's mouth, Wolf.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center