The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders' Cure for Royalism

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The New Press, May 10, 2011 - Political Science - 230 pages
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This surprising and irreverent book by one of America’s leading political reporters makes the case that impeachment is much more than a legal and congressional process—it is an essential instrument of America’s democratic system. Articles of impeachment have been brought sixty-two times in American history. Thomas Jefferson himself forwarded the evidence for impeachment of the first federal official to be removed under the process—John Pickering in 1803. Impeachment is as American as apple pie.

The founders designed impeachment as one of the checks against executive power. As John Nichols reveals in this fascinating look at impeachment’s hidden history, impeachment movements—in addition to congressional proceedings themselves—have played an important role in countering an out-of-control executive branch. The threat of impeachment has worked to temper presidential excesses and to reassert democratic values in times of national drift.

The Genius of Impeachment also makes clear that we sorely need such a movement today, and that both the president and vice president deserve impeachment. In the spirit of maverick congressmember Henry B. Gonzalez, who introduced articles of impeachment against both George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan for making war without a declaration, this book is a fearless call to Americans to hold our leaders accountable to democracy.
 

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User Review  - manque - LibraryThing

Informative, Balanced, and Timely Informative and reasonably balanced discussion of impeachment that combines an historical review of impeachment in the American and British contexts with coverage of ... Read full review

Contents

1 The Genius of Impeachment
1
2 A Live Instrument of the Constitution
19
3 Despots Democrats and the Necessity of a Dissenting Opposition
51
4 RuleOfLaw Republicanism
79
5 When Once a Republic Is Corrupted
115
What Then From Newfane?
161
A Note on Sources
177
Acknowledgments
195
The Impeachment Process in a Nutshell
199
Impeachment By the Book An Executive Excess Reading List
201
Impeachment in the Here and Now A Resource Guide
207
Index
213
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