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The Democratic Majority: Enabling a Rogue Presidency and Stonewalling the American People

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Whether a principled response to the administration’s lack of cooperation with Congress or a growing concern that a Democratic President might be equally uncooperative, Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), railed against the Bush administration last month. Rohrabacher whose aggressive support of rendition and lack of compassion for Iraqi refugees has upset many, has spoken out strongly against the administration for its "contemptuous disregard for Congress."

In a lengthy speech the Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, I have come to the sad conclusion that this administration has intentionally obstructed Congress' rightful and constitutional duties." Rohrabacher offers "When I hear my friends on the other side of the aisle accusing this administration of stonewalling, of coverups, or thwarting investigations, I sadly must concur with them." He concludes, "We should not be setting precedents that the President of the United States has the lion’s share of the power in this great democracy of ours." Are you listening, Nancy?

The Pelosi Factor

"I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table."

When all efforts to effect checks and balances are thwarted and there is no other recourse to restore order in an administration gone wild, taking impeachment "off the table" really boils down to a matter of obstruction of justice. This begs the question why would the House Speaker obstruct justice?

Rarely discussed in the corporate media since initial reports is the fact that two of the most abhorrent impeachable offenses in the eyes of the American people were disclosed to Nancy Pelosi several years before they went public.

As the
Washington Post reported late last year, in September 2002, along with three other members of Congress, Nancy Pelosi was briefed on "overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk. Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was water boarding." The Washington Post reported that Pelosi did not raise any objections at the time.

In a 2006 oped, Nancy Pelosi remarked that the president’s admission that he authorized the electronic surveillance on Americans is a "wake-up call for intensive congressional oversight of intelligence activities." With no expression of constitutional responsibility, she acknowledges that she, herself, had been informed of the president’s authorization. She went on to excuse herself by stating "But when the administration notifies Congress in this manner, it is not seeking approval."

Former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern, raises another unsettling question. According to the former head of Qwest Communications, the NSA sought assistance with surveillance in February 2001, challenging the repeated claim that 9/11 "changed everything." The question then, is "
What Did Pelosi Know about NSA, and When Did She Know It?"

An Impeachment Groundswell

Despite the lack of cooperation from the Congress, the movement to impeach continues to gain traction in communities throughout the country.

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According to
AfterDowningStreet.org, impeachment resolutions have passed in Vermont’s state legislature (introduced in 11 other states), 26 statewide and national political committees, 19 state legislative districts, 91 cities, towns and counties, 54 local political groups/parties/jurisdictions, and several unions, seven ACLU chapters, with dozens more pending or in the works. Organizations well versed in constitutional law like the National Lawyers Guild and the Center for Constitutional Rights have also called for impeachment.

In addition, indictment resolutions against the president and vice president have been introduced in three jurisdictions including Kennebunkport, Maine, summer home of the Bush family. In Brattleboro, Vermont, the votes were cast and the president and vice President may be wise not to tread on that town any time soon.

These actions stand in stark contrast with John Conyers’ assertion in his prepared speech at last year’s Take Back America conference that "Too many Americans, however, feel that Bush’s assault on civil liberties are not really their concern."

Congressional Rebuffs

Refusal by many members of Congress to support impeachment has little to do with whether or not they believe serious offenses have been committed as evidenced by letters to constituents.

Steve Rothman (D-NJ) is "outraged" over the president’s "overreaching intelligence gathering measures" and for "misleading the American people about the basis for going to war in Iraq." He’s just not sure there is enough evidence. Perhaps John Conyers can lend him a copy of the "Constitution in Crisis."

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Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) wrote "we have witnessed our government ignore the freedoms established in the Constitution on countless occasions and flaunted national security as justification." While Sestak lays out numerous "egregious" abuses that "strike at the heart of our democracy," he contends that congressional oversight will do the trick. One after another, members of Congress outline assaults on the Constitution by the president and vice president, but choose to ride out the next 10 months with little regard to the consequences.

Jerrold Nadler, chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution has, in essence, altered the Constitution by ruling out impeachment as a viable tool for this and future administrations. By doing so, he opens the door to certain abuse of power. Impeachment, he says, "Doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because essentially the framers of the Constitution did not foresee political parties." It’s a wonder George Mason, himself, hasn’t risen up to demand that Nadler step down from his chairmanship.

"No point," said Mason, "is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued."Upholding the Oath

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Cheryl Biren is a Philadelphia-based researcher, writer, editor and photographer with a focus on social justice. From 2007-2011, she served on the editorial board of Opednews.com.

Cheryl has also consulted for the Rob Kall Radio Show with (more...)
 

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For regular updates on Friday's hearing and to... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 2:31:18 PM
Conyers now has 39 pending "prvileged" A... by Lance Ciepiela on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 2:48:52 PM
poll... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:06:23 PM
Unions organize slaves.  Corporations organiz... by John Hanks on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 2:55:48 PM
I wrote about this too:Hey America! Pelosi Handed ... by Cheryl Abraham on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:01:45 PM
to keep impeachment "off the table"....t... by Susan Nelsen on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:25:09 PM
I was in a family for more than 26 years who joine... by Marty Didier on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:53:16 PM
Prevented by the specified "rules" from ... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 3:57:05 PM
This is all so ridiculous - I read that they can&#... by Cheryl Abraham on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:22:11 PM
Medieval laws apply in this "civilised&q... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:28:04 PM
 ITMFA was the cry. For years. Impeachment no... by Mark E. Smith on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:26:28 PM
All they have to do is get out of the way and ALLO... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:53:54 PM
....here's a little "fable" I wrote ... by Mark E. Smith on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 4:32:53 PM
From my limited experience I found a great deal of... by kwalsh on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 5:48:24 PM
Until Americans have the balls (ladies as well) to... by Michael Morris on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 6:09:21 PM
Well said, Michael.   But it's ... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 6:33:43 PM
Our Congress people are complicit.  They are ... by August Adams on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 6:33:45 PM
Panel One (Congressional Reps)Dennis Kucinich,&nbs... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 7:22:33 PM
After all the contempt citations (and false hopes)... by Nancy Davies on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 7:52:07 PM
A brick to fall on you? There are but a handful of... by Mr M on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 8:26:51 PM
But I have a deep dark feeling we are not. We... by Cheryl Abraham on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 8:37:45 PM
Did you read the article? Did you notice the title... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 8:51:00 PM
would I say don't try to do it peacefully, I c... by Mr M on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 9:17:49 PM
  You put words to feelings and thoughts... by richard on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 11:10:33 PM
I agree with you, for the most part. But I think I... by scott creighton on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 8:59:30 PM
However, this sentence should be explored in more ... by pft on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 9:41:10 PM
Not only is it nauseating that the Dems will not c... by Maxwell on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 9:41:13 PM
"they perceive it will jeapordize their victo... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 9:49:48 PM
Mr. M Dude,I think you're actually being under... by boomerang on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 9:52:38 PM
Not sure what you mean by Ms. B-Wright wants the p... by Cheryl Biren on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 10:11:04 PM
Forgive me for being so condescending and rude&nbs... by Mr M on Saturday, Jul 26, 2008 at 12:55:30 PM
this is the most comprehensive and eloquent piece ... by Michael Shaw on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 11:35:14 PM
"..or they are now so filled with right winge... by Aurora on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 12:07:43 AM
From closing lines of Cheryl's article:The 45-... by Aurora on Thursday, Jul 24, 2008 at 11:50:17 PM
actually he received a fax directly from me with h... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 12:16:04 AM
Here's a good question for C.B. Wright: what p... by Sam Adams on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 3:36:02 AM
Yes. ... by Cheryl Biren on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 5:48:01 AM
Because if there is no impeachment, if there are n... by Cheryl Abraham on Friday, Jul 25, 2008 at 8:44:37 AM

 

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