By John Nichols, The Nation
When it comes to the question of impeachment, the difference between Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joe Biden and Department of Peace champion Dennis Kucinich is merely a matter of timing.
Biden says that if George Bush attacks Iran without a formal declaration of war by Congress, the president must be impeached.
Kucinich thinks it would be smarter to act before the bombs start flying.
The distinction was illustrated during Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas when Catherine Jackson, the mother of an Iraq War veteran – Marine Christopher Jackson, who told the audience, "Our troops need to come home now" -- expressed her fear that "members of the Bush administration and neoconservative members of Congress are beating the drums of war again."
Ms. Jackson asked what the candidates what they would do to prevent an attack on Iran.
Biden was especially pointed in his response, saying of the president: "If he takes the country to war in [Iran] without a vote of Congress, which will not exist, then he should be impeached."
Later, when Kucinich addressed the issue, he suggested that it was not enough to talk about holding members of the administration to account after the fighting starts. Noting the established high crimes and misdemeanors of Vice President Dick Cheney – the most outspoken champion of picking a fight with Iran –Kucinich told the crowd the president and vice president are already "out of control."
The Ohio congressman, who earlier this month sought to open a House debate on impeaching Cheney for attempting to provoke a war with Iran, among other transgressions, explained that there is an appropriate and immediate answer to the fears expressed by Ms. Jackson.
"It's called ‘impeachment.' You don't wait. You do it now. Impeach them now," Kucinich declared, over the cheers of the audience.
Among those on their feet and applauding was Catherine Jackson.