Dennis Kookcinich and the Nutroots: the Impeachment Tour!

Today was Kookcinich and the Nutroots’ attempt to impeach Vice President Cheney, much to Steny Hoyer’s embarrassment. He’s trying to table it right now.

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich basked in the spotlight Tuesday as afternoon debate in the House was sidetracked by his resolution to bring impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney.

Rep. Kucinich of Ohio made a procedural maneuver to bring up his resolution, despite opposition from Democratic leaders. But a Republican-led effort to force the vote left Democratic scrambline to redirect the resolution in a way that could stall it indefinitely.

The House voted 218-194, along party lines, to send the resolution to the House Judiciary Committee, the panel of jurisdiction for the matter.

Prospects for Kucinich’s efforts initially were not bright, with top Democrats saying they didn’t support their colleague.

“Impeachment is not on our agenda. We have some major priorities. We need to focus on those,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said before Tuesday’s action.

But when Hoyer tried to kill the resolution, Republicans made a last-minute maneuver to gum up Hoyer’s plans, which had the backing of other top House Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The tally in the House initially favored Hoyer, but Republicans — who at first also favored killing the bill — began switching their votes to oppose killing the bill. Hoyer’s motion lost on a 162-251 vote.

Immediately after that vote, Hoyer made a motion to send the resolution to committee. He eventually got his way. The House vote to send the resolution to committee could effectively bury legislation that leaders would prefer not to act upon.

Heh. It would have been great fun to watch the Democrats sweat as they were forced to vote on impeaching Cheney.

Michelle Malkin has live blogged the entire fiasco.

Brian Faughnan writing at The Weekly Standard’s blog Worldwide Standard explains the effect of sending the resolution to committee:

To be precise, it is as much alive as any other bill or resolution in any other committee. The committee can hold hearings, vote on it, discuss it — or ignore it. In this case, it won’t get any more attention than Mr. Kucinich’s previous resolution on impeachment. So Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership have been as good as their word — impeachment is ‘off the table.’

Update: Drudge has this comment from Alcee Hastings at the top of his page:

Alcee Hastings (D-FLA) tells FOX NEWS: ‘Dennis Kucinich is on a quest of his own. He sees flying saucers and he acts like one, too’… Developing…

Ouch.

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