Oil we are saying is give IMPEACHMENT a chance

impeaching Trump should be a step toward
Truth and Reconciliation for the National Insecurity State

The Democratic leadership wants regime rotation, not regime change

 

regime change begins at homeHouse of Representatives impeaches,
Senate convicts

US Constitution

Article I.
Section 2

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Article I
Section 3

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Article II
Section 4

The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

 

Two US Presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton) but none have been removed from office. President Nixon was facing impeachment but chose to resign. Now, in late 2019, Trump is also facing impeachment (at last!).

Trump's presidency probably would not have happened if there had been Constitutional accountability for previous abuses, including

So yes, Trump deserves impeachment but this is the tip of the iceberg.

If the Democrats really want to clean house, they could also impeach Trump for election fraud in 2016 via suppressing African American voters in swing states and Republican owned faith based voting machines. However, that might focus attention on how the Democrats in Congress largely acquiesced to fraudulent Electors from some of the many States, as they did with Bush Cheney in 2001 and 2005.

 

 

Flunking out from the Electoral College

Many Democrats think the Electoral College put Trump (and George W. Bush) into the White House despite losing the popular vote. This is partly true but false. Both campaigns -- Bush (the Lesser) and Trump -- engaged in felonious election fraud that flipped the outcomes. The "Electorial college" was a secondary factor.

Nearly all complaints about both Presidents from activist Democrats focus on the difference between Bush and Trump getting fewer votes than their rivals but winning the Presidency due to the way the Electoral College allocates the votes, by state. However, voters do not actually vote for their choice of President. Voters select the Electors for their individual State, who then cast their votes for the choice of their State's voters. These Electors then have their selection ratified by the Congress on their first day in session in the New Year, usually about two weeks before Inauguration Day. Most of the time, this ratification is perfunctory, not news worthy. However, with George W. Bush's two inaugurations and Trump's there were a few brave members in the House who challenged the legitimacy of some of the Electors.

In 2001, some Representatives, mostly with the Congressional Black Caucus, challenged the Florida Electors as illegitmate due to the suppression of African American voters in that State. Under the rules, a Senator is required to join them in order to have any debate about this and not a single Senator dared join them. This was during a Joint Session of Congress (House and Senate) and that day, the President of the Senate, presiding over the meeting, was then Vice President Al Gore, who had supposedly just lost the Presidential Election. Gore told the dissident Representatives to shut up, politely, since they did not have any Senatorial support.

The Supreme Cour decision in Bush v. Gore was atrocious, but did not actually make Bush the President. The installation was performed by Congress, with Gore presiding.

Michael Moore's movie Fahrenheit 9/11 starts with excerpts from this Congressional debate.

In 2005, the same scenario had a repeat, with the difference that Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) joined in support for questioning the legitimacy of the Electors from Ohio. Ohio wasn't the only State with a tampered result, but it got the most attention compared with other swing states. There was a two hour debate and then Congress voted to rubber stamp Bush's alleged re-election.

In 2017, there was a higher level of dissent in the House about Trump's alleged win, but without support from a Senator - and most important - without support from the rest of the Democratic Party, these complaints were merely symbolic and did not prevent Trump's inauguration.

These observations are not intended as partisan bickering. I am not a supporter of Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, or Joe Biden. Gore, Kerry and Hillary Clinton won their elections only to be denied the job by Republican obstinence, Democratic cowardice and complicity by the media. The pending possible impeachment of President Trump, while needed and overdue, only touches the surface of what is wrong with the Imperial Presidency at this late date of the Empire.

 

www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2016/certificates-of-ascertainment.html

Certificates of Ascertainment

Each Certificate of Ascertainment lists the: 

  • names of the Electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received
  • names of all other candidates for Elector and the number of votes received

The Governor of each State prepares seven original Certificates of Ascertainment listing the persons appointed as Electors as soon as possible after the November election. Each Certificate must be signed by the Governor and carry the seal of the State. But, Federal law does not govern the general appearance of the Certificate of Ascertainment. Click on the links below to view each state's Certificate of Ascertainment from the 2016 Presidential Election. 

 

Impeach Trump, or the Twenty Fifth Amendment?

The 25th amendment, ratified after John Kennedy was removed from office, enables removal of a President who is incapacitated. This is not precisely specified, so a President suffering from illness from natural causes or an assassination attempt could be removed with minimal disruption. Evicting a President who is crazy is a more difficult determination. Accusations of mental illness are widespread as smears against political opponents, whether valid or not. (The Soviet Union was notorious for incarcerating dissidents in psychiatric hospitals, because, they said, anyone against their wonderful system must be crazy.)

Toward the end of Reagan's term there was some public discussion about invoking the 25th amendment due to his increasing senility, which made his role as President (best of his acting career!) mostly symbolic. Former CIA director George H. W. Bush was the de facto President, especially as Reagan's mental abilities declined. (Bush was the only President to get three terms in office.)

There was no serious effort to examine why the political system and the media tolerated the illusion that Reagan was fully coherent when he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. This oversight is one of the reasons we now suffer with an incoherent Trump in the White House.

Trump's mental instability has been widely noticed, before and after inauguration. Now that he has appointed two new reactionaires for the Supreme Court and many others for the Federal Courts, perhaps his mission for the Republicans, the corporatocracy, and the military industrial intelligence complex has been completed. Until September 2019, the Democratic Party leadership had resisted calls from many of their Representatives to start impeachment procedings. Detailing the specifics of the Ukrainian scandal that is the ostensible reason House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flipped from opposing to supporting impeachment is beyond this essay's focus. It is curious that this has taken almost three years despite constant illegalities, corruption, and mental instability that are blatant justifications for impeachment and removal from office.

George Conway, whose wife works directly for Trump, wrote an astonishing article about reasons that Trump should be impeached. This section explains why impeachment would be more feasible than the 25th amendment:

www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/george-conway-trump-unfit-office/599128/

Unfit for Office:
Donald Trump's narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the president in the way the Constitution requires

George T. Conway, III

October 3, 2019

... What constitutional mechanisms exist for dealing with a president who cannot or does not comply with his duties, and how should they take the president's mental and behavioral characteristics into account? One mechanism discussed with great frequency during the past three years, including within the Trump administration, is Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. That provision allows the vice president to become "Acting President" when the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." But it doesn't define what such an inability entails; essentially, it lets the vice president and the Cabinet, the president himself, and ultimately two-thirds of both houses of Congress decide.

Certainly it would cover a coma. Had the amendment been in effect in 1919 through 1921, it presumably could have been used to deal with President Woodrow Wilson. A severe stroke had rendered Wilson paralyzed on the left side, but he could still speak, and he could still sign documents with his right hand. Nevertheless, although Wilson had "relatively well preserved intellectual function," the stroke rendered him "subject to 'disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, and defective judgment.'"

Sound judgment, of course, is what a president's job is all about. And as Jeffrey Rosen has explained, "nothing in the text or original understanding of the amendment" would prevent the vice president, the Cabinet, or Congress from deciding that Trump has disorders of emotion, impaired impulse control, defective judgment, or other behavioral or psychological issues that keep him from carrying out his constitutional duties the way they were meant to be carried out.

The problem is one of mechanics. Section 4, quite understandably, was designed to be extremely difficult to implement. The vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can determine that the president isn't able to carry out his duties; if so, the vice president immediately becomes acting president. But if the president doesn't agree—and you know what Trump's view will be, no matter what—then a constitutional game of ping-pong starts: The president can certify that he is capable, and he can reassume his authority after a four-day waiting period, unless the vice president and the Cabinet, within that period, recertify that the president can't function. (As a new book on Section 4 explains, this waiting period exists in part because "a deranged President could do a lot of damage if he could retake power immediately," and, in particular, he "would also be able to fire the Cabinet, which would prevent it from contesting his declaration of ability.") If that happens, the vice president continues as acting president, and the whole matter gets kicked to Congress, which must assemble within 48 hours and decide within 21 days: If two-thirds of both houses agree that the president can't function, then the vice president continues as acting president; if not, the president gets his authority back.

No matter how psychologically incapable of meeting his constitutional obligations Trump may be, that route is virtually certain not to work in this case. Would a vice president and department heads who have shamelessly slaked Trump's narcissistic thirst at Cabinet meetings by praising his supposed greatness, and who of course owe their jobs to Trump, dare incur his wrath by sparking a constitutional crisis on the basis of what they must surely know about his unprecedented faults? Doubtful, to say the least. They would know full well that, if their decision weren't sustained by Congress, the first thing that Trump would do after reassuming power would be to fire every department head who sought to have him sidelined. (He can't fire Vice President Mike Pence, of course.) Which brings up the ultimate question upon which successful invocation of Section 4 would turn: whether two-thirds of both houses of Congress would vote to remove Trump. That's harder than impeachment, which requires only a simple majority of the House in order to bring charges of impeachment to a trial in the Senate (which in turn can convict on a two-thirds vote).

And so it turns out that impeachment is a more practical mechanism for addressing the fact that Trump's narcissism and sociopathy render him unable to comply with the obligations of his office. It's also an appropriate mechanism, because the constitutional magic words (other than Treason and Bribery) that form the basis of an impeachment charge—high Crimes and Misdemeanors, found in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution—mean something other than, and more than, offenses in the criminal-statute books. High Crimes and Misdemeanors is a legal term of art, one that historically referred to breaches of duties—fiduciary duties—by public officeholders. In other words, the question of what constitutes an impeachable offense for a president coincides precisely with whether the president can execute his office in the faithful manner that the Constitution requires.

 

1974: Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment

In 1974, Nixon was slated to be impeached for lying, burglary and obstruction in the Watergate scandal, but an impeachment resolution for his illegal bombing of Cambodia was not voted on favorably by the House Judiciary Committee. In other words, Nixon, if he hadn't resigned to avoid impeachment, would have been impeached for covering up a burglary but not for genocidal levels of mass murder.

At the end of his Presidency, there were alarming signs that Nixon's mental health had declined. There were many stories of unusual behavior but perhaps the worst was his flippant comment to visiting Congresspeople that he could pick up the phone, issue an order to launch nuclear weapons and 25 minutes later 70 million people would be dead. Defense Secretary James Schlesinger issued a statement to the military commands that they should double check with him if there were unusual orders from the White House. In other words, if Nixon, in a state of rage, ordered a nuclear attack, the generals were to mutiny against the Commander-in-Chief. Fortunately, as the end of his term became unavoidable, he accepted the inevitable and left office relatively peacefully.

 

1987: Reagan impeachment resolution for Iran-Contra conspiracy got no co-sponsors

In 1987, Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Texas) introduced an impeachment resolution against Ronald Reagan for the Iran-Contra conspiracy. No other Representative co-sponsored the resolution.

That year, the Iran-Contra committee investigation refused to investigate "Contra" cocaine drug running and Oliver North's work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to suspend the US Constitution.

 

1991: George Herbert Walker Bush impeachment resolution for setting up war on Iraq without Congressional authorization got no co-sponsors

In 1991, Gonzalez introduced an impeachment resolution against President George H.W. Bush for deploying troops to Saudi Arabia without prior Congressional approval. No other Representative co-sponsored the resolution. The resolution is archived at

www.rise4news.net/Gonzalez.html
Congressional Record, Jan. 16, 1991, at H520-21.
RESOLUTION OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH

Gonzalez, who died in 2000, was called "the last Democrat" in Congress by www.hermes-press.com/gonzalez.htm

A side note: in the days before the Bush administration unleashed "Desert Storm" to force Iraq out of Kuwait there were numerous peace protests in downtown Washington, perhaps the first time in history that a national capital had large scale dissent before a war was started. I attended many of them, and at one in front of the US Capitol I heard Jesse Jackson. I yelled out to him, "Jesse, we need impeachment!" He replied, "you're right," but there was no concerted effort by the Democrats to impeach Bush the First (or his son, for similar crimes against peace).

The veteran Democratic Representatives now calling for impeaching Trump for corruption who did not support impeachment Bush I or II deserve scrutiny for this double standard.

 

1998: Bill Clinton impeached for perjury about extramarital affair but Senate did not convict him

In 1998, the Republican Party impeached President Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair. Clinton was not convicted by the Senate, so he was allowed to serve out his second term.

Clinton's crimes included more substantive issues than lying under oath regarding his extra marital affair, but not about worse abuses. Republicans who supported impeachment did not dare bring up the Mena, Arkansas drugs for guns scandal, part of the Iran-Contra conspiracy, since that also impacted George H. W. Bush and other senior Republicans who funded the Contra war in Nicaragua partly with cocaine profits.

The journalist Michael Ruppert noted that Clinton's CIA released a report about official complicity in drug running while the Senate was considering convicting President Clinton, and it was probably not a coincidence the Senate backed down.

 

2007: two impeachment resolutions filed against Bush the Lesser and Vice President Dick Cheney got no co-sponsors

During the Bush-Cheney administration, there were two impeachment resolutions introduced separately by Representative Dennis Kucinich and Representative Cynthia McKinney. Neither effort received a single co-sponsor from any other Representative. Both Representatives then endured successful efforts by the national Democratic party to be expelled from Congress: Kucinich had his district redistricted away from him and McKinney had moderate Democrats run against her (with national support) until she was defeated.

Each resolution had assistance from John Judge, who worked with Kucinich and also McKinney (he was a legislative assistant to her and a long time ally).

In 2007, I wrote:

"If Congress does not impeach Bush, Cheney, Rice and the others for their flagrant violations of their solemn pledges to uphold the Constitution, then the Congress should amend the Constitution to remove the sections about impeachment."

 

"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."
-- George W. Bush
, December 18, 2000 (first trip to Washington, D.C. after the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore)
www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0012/18/nd.01.html

"A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it."
-- George W. Bush, July 26, 2001
www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jul2001/nf20010730_347.htm

"Who cares what you think?"
-- George W. Bush, July 4, 2001
www.santacruzgreenparty.org/news/the.gift.fr.gwbush.htm

www.makethemaccountable.com/articles/Critic_Says_W_Was_Snippy.htm


"Beach Impeach" - January 6, 2007 - San Francisco, California

 

"The degree to which this President continues to take steps to go to war against Iran without consulting with the full Congress is the degree to which he is increasingly putting himself in jeopardy of an impeachment proceeding."
-- Dennis Kucinich, January 26, 2007
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=56365

 

Cynthia McKinney resolution to impeach Bush, Cheney and Condolezza Rice, December 8, 2006

http://mattpascarella.blogspot.com/2006/12/congresswoman-mckinney-files-articles.html
12.08.2006
Congresswoman McKinney Files Articles of Impeachment
By Matt Pascarella

www.truthout.org/pdf/5.120806.HR1106_impeachment.pdf
copy of McKinney's resolution to impeach Bush, Cheney and Rice

www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=279&Itemid=44

If the People Want Impeachment, Why Can't it Happen?
A Black Agenda Report radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

"The corporate media are facilitators of crime."

The latest polls show 54 percent of Americans want Vice President Dick Cheney impeached, and 46 percent would like to see the same thing happen to George Bush. There was never such a groundswell of opinion in favor of impeaching Bill Clinton, when he was president, but the proceedings went forward, nonetheless. Bill Clinton was, in effect, indicted by the U.S. House of Representatives, and then cleared by the U.S. Senate - all because of a dalliance with an intern, that killed nobody. George Bush and his Rasputin, Dick Cheney, have killed half a million Iraqis and wrecked the U.S. reputation in the world. They have funneled billions of dollars to their cronies under the guise of Iraqi "reconstruction," and billions more in the phony "reconstruction" of New Orleans. They have treated the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper, and committed more high crimes and misdemeanors than could be listed in a phone book. And yet, there is no real prospect of Bush and Cheney being impeached before their terms end in January, 2009. A free pass for world class criminals.

How did this happen? Why does Democratic leadership - and remember, these people are supposed to be lawmakers - refuse to enforce the law? Because they are not in power. And it would not make any difference if the Democrats had 60 votes in the Senate and a 75-member majority in the House. They would still not impeach the criminals, Bush and Cheney, because Democrats answer to a higher power, and that power says there will be no impeachment.

It makes no difference that huge blocks of American public opinion want George Bush and Dick Cheney out. Corporate America, the real rulers of the nation, do not want the instability that impeachment would bring. Once the process is started, once the investigations are televised, live, like the Nixon impeachment proceedings, then the dirt would fall like rain. And it is all corporate dirt, because this is the quintessential corporate administration. It exists to serve corporate America. The war in Iraq is a corporate war. The Katrina boondoggle in the Gulf region of the U.S. is an ongoing corporate theft. Every crime of the Bush administration is directly linked to their service of corporate interests, including the draconian "national security" measures that are simply devices to keep crimes, secret. Therefore, no daylight must shine on this presidency.

The point people in the conspiracy to make this administration immune to the rule of law, are the corporate news media. It is a conspiracy of silence. They pretend every day that no crimes are being committed, leaving the field wide open for the Bush men and women to concoct felonies previously unknown to American society. It is imperative that the people understand that the corporate media are not journalists; they are facilitators of crime. [emphasis added]

 


"Constitution in Crisis: The Case for Impeachment"
Town Hall Meeting, Olympia, Washington, February 20, 2007
Olympia's Citizen's Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney

audio files

The audio quality is not great (I used a mp3 recorder), but the information is important

www.counterpunch.org/lindorff02242007.html
Weekend Edition
February 24 / 25, 2007
Impeachment is on the Loose
Breaking the Dam in Olympia
By DAVE LINDORFF

 


 

If George Bush [Jr] decided he was going to turn the troops loose on Syria and Iran after that he would last in office for about 15 minutes. In fact if President Bush were to try that now even I would think that he ought to be impeached. You can't get away with that sort of thing in this democracy.
-- Lawrence Eagleburger, US Secretary of State under George Bush Sr
www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0414-01.htm

Whenever factions fight like this, we get a peek behind the curtain. To have Madeline Albright today speaking about an "irrational exuberance for war" on the part of "some members of the Administration" is almost surreal, but it tells us something. Some want an openly aggressive empire, full of the arrogance of its power, and immune to any international or domestic limitations on its excesses. Others still want to retain a semblance of international cooperation (even if silently coerced), and an illusion of democracy in the decisions made, while still getting the same results.
If the world is our oyster, some want to put on a bib and say "Let's eat" and others would rather not mention the fact at the dinner table while they sup. Kissinger and others in his circle prefer quiet "diplomacy" and behind the scenes manipulation. He writes that "History to be successful must be negotiated in absolute secrecy." The neo-cons want to declare Pax Americana instead. Bush, now clearly little more than a figurehead and PR front man, is out of the loop and expendable it seems. They let him know that clearly on 9/11.
-- John Judge, "Bush on 60 Minutes - 9/11 events," 26 September 2002
www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/BushOutOfLoop.html

"...there are increasing signs that the U.S. political and economic elites are laying the groundwork to make the Bush administration, specifically Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Perle and Wolfowitz, sacrificial scapegoats for a failed policy in time to consolidate post 9-11 gains, regroup and move forward."
THE PERFECT STORM - Part II (Michael Ruppert, FTW. 24 Mar 2003) www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/032503_perfect_storm_2.html

 

"that [surveillance] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such [is] the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology ...
"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [NSA] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
-- Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho), 1975, quoted in James Bamford "The Puzzle Palace"

"It may well be that if Saddam's regime falls there will be dancing on the streets of Basra. But then, if the Bush regime were to fall, there would be dancing on the streets the world over.
-- Arundhati Roy, "Mesopotamia. Babylon. The Tigris and Euphrates," April 2, 2003
The Guardian www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,927849,00.html


statue of George Walker Bush being toppled in London, England,
on the occasion of the visit of the Emperor of the World, November 2003

 

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that."
-- Britney Spears

 

Impeachment in Iran, too!

www.adnki.com/index_2Level_English.php?cat=Politics&loid=8.0.374527125&par=0

IRAN: MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT TRY TO IMPEACH AHMADINEJAD

Tehran, 9 (2007) Jan. (AKI) - Iranian reformist lawmakers have started collecting signatures in Parliament to demand the impeachment of the country's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So far, 38 signatures have been collected out of the 72 required to formally summon Ahmadinejad and request his impeachment. Noureddin Pirmouzen, a deputy with the reformist minority, says it is nonetheless "positive to question" the head of the executive branch.
"Many actions of the current government and of president Ahmadinejad have led the country to an extremely worrying political and economic situation," Pirmouzen told the Iranian news website Aftab.
Referring to a resolution of the UN Security Council unanimously approved on 23 December which imposes sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear programme, the MP said "it is the last straw which has made Iranians loose their patience." The international community fears Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons and has repeatedly asked the government to halt sensitive nuclear work - a demand ignored by Tehran which claims its programme is solely for civilian use.
"Parliament cannot sit still in front of the current situation and watch as the economy worsens because of the government's inability," he added.
Issa Saharkhiz, editor and political analyst, told Adnkronos International (AKI) that "Ahmadinejad's golden era is over."
"I don't think Ahmadinejad will leave the presidency before his mandate expires but I am also convinced he will not succeed in winning a second term," added Saharkhiz. "Many factions and personalities who supported Ahmadinejad's candidature at the 2005 presidential elections have already abandoned him and don't spare criticism, even harsh and direct, of the president and his government."
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president after an overwhelming victory in June 2005 but his then contender, Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and moderate conservative rivals of the president did far better than Ahmadinejad's allies in December polls to elect local councils and the powerful watchdog, the Assembly of Experts.

 

Impeachment and Peak Oil

http://energybulletin.net/14102.html
Published on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 by Museletter / EB

George W. Bush and Peak Oil: Beyond Incompetence
By Richard Heinberg

(Note to readers: This month’s MuseLetter was written as a chapter to be published in a forthcoming book by Project Censored titled The Case for Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, Seven Stories Press, Summer 2006.

 


Betraying Their Oath of Office: Impeachment, Cowardice and the Democrats

By RALPH NADER

The meeting at the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 5, 2007 was anything but routine. Seated before Cong. John Olver (D-MA) were twenty seasoned citizens from over a dozen municipalities in this First Congressional District which embraces the lovely Berkshire Hills.

The subject-impeachment of George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney.

The request-that Cong. Olver join the impeachment drive in Congress.

More than just opinion was being conveyed to Cong. Olver, a then 70 year old Massachusetts liberal with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These Americans voted overwhelmingly during formal annual town meetings in 14 towns and two cities in the First District endorsing resolutions to impeach the President and Vice President.

Presented in the form of petitions to be sent to the Congress, the approving citizenry cited at least four "high crimes and misdemeanors."

They included the initiation of the Iraq war based on defrauding the public and intentionally misleading the Congress, spying on Americans without judicial authorization, committing the torture of prisoners in violation of both federal law and the U.N. Torture Convention and the Geneva Convention, and stripping American citizens of their Constitutional rights by jailing them indefinitely without charges and without access to legal counsel or even an opportunity to challenge their imprisonment in a court of law.

Forty towns in Vermont and the State Senate had already presented their Congressional delegation with similar petitions.

Impeachment advocates reported the results to Cong. Olver from each town meeting. Leverett's vote was 339-1; Great Barrington was 100-3. No vote in any of the towns or cities was less than a two-third majority "yes" in favor of impeachment, according to long-time activist, Atty. Robert Feuer of Stockbridge, Mass.

With three fourths of reports completed Cong. Olver, who voted against the war, raised his hand and said, "Spare me, I know full well the overwhelming majority of my constituency is in favor of impeachment." He then told them he would not sign on to any impeachment resolution whether against Bush or against Cheney (H.Res. 333 introduced by Cong. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)). He was quite adamant.

In taking this unrepresentative position, Rep. Olver's position was identical to that of the House Democratic leadership and many of his Democratic colleagues.

The Democratic Party line on impeachment is that Bush and Cheney are the most impeachable White House duo in American history (they believe this privately). The Democrats do not want to distract attention from their legislative agenda, and need Republican votes for passage. Moreover, they do not have the votes to obtain the requisite two-thirds of the members present for conviction in the Senate.

Strangely, none of these excuses bothered Republicans when they impeached Bill Clinton in the House for lying under oath about sex and proceeded to a full trial in the Senate where they failed to get the required votes. Can Clinton's "high crimes and misdemeanors" begin to compare with this White House crime wave?

The last question to Cong. Olver was from a young veteran back from Iraq and Afghanistan. "What could we possibly do to bring you around to our way of thinking," he asked?

Cong. Olver's response, after several seconds of silence, was "You have to prove to me that impeachment will not be counterproductive."

Members of Congress should apply the same standard to themselves that they like to apply to members of the Executive and Judicial branches-namely to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. That Oath is supposed to transcend political calculations.

Maybe the Democrats think that Bush and Cheney are such wild and crazy guys that a serious impeachment drive in Congress would provoke the two draft-dodgers to launch a military emergency, strike Iran or otherwise generate a crisis, based on their continual fulminations about the "war on terror," that would engulf the Democrats and throw them on the defensive for 2008.

In short, the Democrats may be viewing Bush and Cheney as being so defiantly, aggressively impeachable on so many counts as to be unimpeachable. That is, with the White House harboring so much political nitroglycerine, don't even try to remove it.

Such a cowardly position would make quite a precedent for future Presidents who want to illegally elbow out the other two branches of government and our Constitution.

Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

 

a few worthy efforts for Impeachment - links from 2007

www.democrats.com/impeach Democrats.com's impeachment campaign (unfortunately, not part of the official Democratic Party)

www.impeach07.org

www.impeachbush.tv

www.impeachpac.org
ImpeachPAC
Electing a Congress to Impeach Bush and Cheney

impeachforpeace.org Impeach for Peace!

www.impeachthem.org

mpeach.com

www.projectcensored.org/impeach.htm

www.pdamerica.org/impeach-wg.php Progressive Democrats of America - Impeachment Working Group

www.rise4news.net/impeach.html

Beating the drums for justice:
Calls for Bush's impeachment for 9–11

by Joyce Lynn, Political Diary
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/01/42228.shtml

Truthdig - Reports - A Case for Impeachment
2007/01/30 - Revelations in the perjury trial of Lewis “Scooter” Libby re-emphasize the need for an impeachment trial to establish the true story behind ...
www.truthdig.com/report/item/
20070130_robert_scheer_a_case_for_impeachment/

Resolution of Impeachment of President George Bush
www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RfIoPGB.html

www.impeach-bush-now.org

Politics behind possible impeachment
www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/031903_perfect_storm_1.html

Impeachment Resolution Action Coalition of Portland (Oregon)
www.iracpdx.org (no longer on line?)

 

from the Drudge Report

Meeting Assembled By Conyers Mulls Seeking Bush's Impeachment Over Iraq
Thu Mar 13 2003 10:30:03 ET
House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) assembled more than two-dozen prominent liberal attorneys and legal scholars on Tuesday to mull over articles of impeachment drafted against President Bush by activists seeking to block military action against Saddam Hussein. ROLL CALL is reporting on Thursday.
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The two-hour session, which featured former attorney general-turned-activist Ramsey Clark, took place in the downtown office of a prominent Washington tort lawyer. Participants said Conyers, who hosted the meeting, was the only Member of Congress to attend. 'We had a pretty frank discussion about putting in a bill of impeachment against President Bush,' said Francis Boyle, an Illinois law professor who has been working on the impeachment language with Clark.

 

Bush, You Are Disgracing America: Resign or Be Impeached, By Bernard Weiner
25 March 2003
www.newsinsider.org/commentary/bush_you_are_disgracing_america.html