Read John Dean's FindLaw article comparing the Nixon and Bush wiretapping offenses. Some key grafs:
No one questions the ends here. No one doubts another terror attack is coming; it is only a question of when. No one questions the preeminent importance of detecting and preventing such an attack.
What is at issue here, instead, is Bush's means of achieving his ends: his decision not only to bypass Congress, but to violate the law it had already established in this area.
Congress is Republican-controlled. Polling shows that a large majority of Americans are willing to give up their civil liberties to prevent another terror attack. The USA Patriot Act passed with overwhelming support. So why didn't the President simply ask Congress for the authority he thought he needed?
The answer seems to be, quite simply, that Vice President Dick Cheney has never recovered from being President Ford's chief of staff when Congress placed checks on the presidency. And Cheney wanted to make the point that he thought it was within a president's power to ignore Congress' laws relating to the exercise of executive power. Bush has gone along with all such Cheney plans.
No president before Bush has taken as aggressive a posture -- the position that his powers as commander-in-chief, under Article II of the Constitution, license any action he may take in the name of national security - although Richard Nixon, my former boss, took a similar position.
"Security" cannot be allowed to become the issue that trumps all others. The security state is a police state. If we become a police state, then the terrorists have indeed won.
It's not a question whether there are grounds for impeachment. If there were serious grounds for impeaching Nixon and if the trivial reasons for impeaching Clinton were grounds enough, there are more than sufficient grounds to impeach Bush. The question is whether there is the political will to do so, and there is not in the current composition of the Congress. So it is up to the American people to demand it, and the first step is the House elections next November.
The time for polite discussion is over. What does it say about us as a people that we can get into such a lather about Clintons' escapades with Monica, and then just shrug our shoulders when it comes to this kind of abuse of power? 2006 should be the year in which we should express our outrage because our outrage is the only thing that will save us. In my post yesterday I lay out how I think this should be the central issue presented by the Democrats in the runup to the House elections. I've also updated it to include some other elements that should compose a Second Contract with America.