The Spectacle Blog

Powerline Gets it Wrong; Levin, Riehl Right on Castle

By on 9.14.10 | 5:35PM

I have to say I'm amused at the scurrying by Castle supporters on the discovery that Castle voted to support sending the Dennis Kucinich-sponsored Bush impeachment resolution to the House Judiciary Committee.

The folks at Powerline are somewhere other than reading their own posts. Here's what they say: 

Was a vote for this referral resolution tantamount to a vote to impeach President Bush, as Dan Riehl and, reportedly, Mark Levin claim? That certainly isn't what left-wingers thought. Here is how the web site Impeach Bush covered the vote:

Q: Is it a good thing that it (the Kucinich Resolution) was referred to the Judiciary Committee?

A: Yes. The mainstream media is saying the resolution was "scuttled". But referral to Judiciary Committee is the normal process for moving forward with an impeachment resolution. Now HRes 1258 can be fine tuned while we build support in Congress and with the public. But there is a danger. If we cannot convince John Conyers to schedule time for HRes 1258 then it could die.

Which, of course, is what happened. So Congressman Castle voted, as the media reported at the time, to "scuttle" Kucinich's impeachment resolution.

Stop.

Hello? The post clearly and correctly says "referral to the Judiciary Committee is the normal process for moving forward with an impeachment resolution." It goes on to say that now that the Resolution is referred to Judiciary it can be "fine tuned while we build support for moving forward with an impeachment resolution" -- unless Chairman John Conyers chooses not to schedule it.

Triumphantly, Powerline then says, "which, of course, is what happened."

But what if it hadn't happened? By voting to send this Resolution to Judiciary all those who voted "Aye" were taking the chance that Conyers, who has been introducing impeachment resolutions on Republicans since Nixon (and in that case long before Watergate) would not act. This, presumably, is exactly why 166 Republicans voted against sending the Resolution to Judiciary. They didn't want to give Conyers the chance to "fine tune" it.

The tell-tale fact here is that 166 -- that's 166 Republican House members -- voted no.

Riehl and Levin have this right. Powerline has it wrong. Castle was doing what he could, when he could, to help this impeachment move trundle along. Or, plain and simple, he would have voted no with the 166 Republicans.

My friend Quin Hillyer says I should have checked the other names of the 24. I did so at the time. I saw David Dreier's name, and of course said in my post that this vote could have been executed this way for parliamentary reasons. I wish people would actually read what was written! I allowed for the possibility. Having worked in the House, as has Quin, I checked the other names.

But Quin makes exactly my point, so let me quote his latest post:

With Dreier on board, it is CLEAR, circumstantially but with overwhelmingly obvious logic, that those who voted to send it to committee were doing so in the knowledge that this move would likely scuttle the bill.

Say again: Quin says " circumstantially…likely." Not real comforting words when dealing with a far left-winger like Conyers who has a taste for impeaching Republican presidents.

Which is to say, Dreier and company were, unless evidence surfaces to the contrary, guessing -- gambling -- that the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, who, again, has a taste for impeachment resolutions, would do nothing. They could have easily been wrong.

More to the point, when someone like Castle is on board it lends absolutely to the idea that he was hoping Conyers would actually do what Conyers likes to do -- not that he wouldn't do it. If you wanted a reliable Republican to venture out with you on something this risky -- would you pick Mike Castle?

I don't think so.

It just isn't that complicated.

Sorry.

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