What’s the big July 25th Nancy Pelosi Booby Prize event? The Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing at 10am in the Rayburn Bldg in DC tentatively named, “The Imperial Presidency of George W. Bush”. While this hearing is a disappointing second, (hence a “Booby Prize”), to an official impeachment hearing it is nonetheless one more tiny step in the impeachment direction. During his portion of the hearing, (he’s rumored to be only allowed 7.5 minutes to speak), Congressman Dennis Kucinich will present a petition bearing the names of thousands of people who have signed onto his impeachment petition. (And if you are taking the time to read this article take the 15 extra seconds to sign the petition yourself here.) There is a 9am rally outside the Rayburn Bldg to get things off to a good start.
How did this sad second to having meaningful impeachment hearings start? In a shocking shift in modus operandi Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a very limited way, put impeachment back on the table by her statement that the impeachment issue is a, “…Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee,” she said. “Not necessarily taking up the articles of impeachment because that would have to be approved on the floor, but to have some hearings on the subject.” So Pelosi said there should be “..some hearings on the subject.”
At www.afterdowningstreet.org, David Swanson’s article , “How They'll Try to Bury Impeachment and Fail” states, “In response to public demand for impeachment hearings and pressure from Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Congressman Robert Wexler, and others, as well as electoral challenges by pro-impeachment candidates, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally caved and proposed to allow Kucinich to present impeachment in a Judiciary Committee hearing….Rather than being about impeachment, the hearing will be about impeachment and other supposed remedies to a lawless presidency, with the bulk of the time devoted to those other remedies. Most of those other remedies will involve, believe it or not, legislative proposals. Thus, the deterrence to future presidents who follow the Bush-Cheney tradition of violating all laws and checks on power will be the knowledge that during the administration following Bush-Cheney some bills were passed criminalizing what had always been criminal activity.”
Most interesting about Swanson’s take on these proceedings is his statement, “The hope of those planning this affair will be to bury impeachment.”
This statement by Swanson is the most interesting statement because it points to what the real intention may be behind the scenes in the Judiciary Committee. Congressman John Conyers, who, despite writing a lengthy report entitled, “The Constitution in Crisis” which outlined impeachable offenses of the Bush regime, has repeatedly ignored the will of the people who have continually been inundating him with phone calls, faxes, and emails asking that impeachment hearings begin now, not to mention the sit-ins and arrests that have taken place inside and outside his office by people imploring Conyers to start impeachment hearings. Conyers has been one of the hardest walls impeachment folks have had to bang their head against time after time. In light of his own report Conyers’ reluctance to push forward impeachment hearings fails to make any sense at all. What is most disturbing about this booby prize hearing for the impeachment movement is that it may be a serious attempt by the Judiciary Committee to temporarily appease and quiet down the impeachment movement
In the not too distant past the Judiciary Committee was a respected and lawful tool of the U.S. government, now it has become almost a joke. After many hearings and investigations into the criminal activities of the Bush administration, very few of these have lead to anything of substance. The fact that subpoenas have been blatantly ignored has further sullied the reputation and efficacy of the judiciary system of the US.
This latest stunt by the Judiciary Committee, ignoring the mountain of evidence showing that the Bush regime has not only committed impeachable offenses but actual WAR CRIMES, and instead going ahead with these “hearings” about the “Imperial Presidency” shows that the Judiciary Committee has priorities other than protecting the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law. From its actions one can only assume that the priorities of the Judiciary Committee are focused solely on keeping the agenda of the Bush regime from being seriously challenged on any front.
This “hearing” is an insult to all those who have worked so hard all these years to push for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, however, these hearings can serve as an opportunity to turn this insult into an empowering event for the movement – but more is required than signing a petition and just showing up to the Rayburn Building on July 25th.
If Americans are to take full advantage of this tiny window of opportunity then thousands must be willing to swarm the Judiciary Committee with faxes, phone calls, emails, and most importantly, those that can go to DC on July 25th need to show their dissent with their own bodies. For those that can go, rather than timidly standing around behaving, it might be better to lay down on the floor, gum up the halls with people’s bodies, lock arms, cause a ruckus, resist, refuse to leave until impeachment hearings begin. Demand that real and meaningful investigations into the crimes of the Bush regime begin now. Refuse to settle for some Nancy Pelosi Booby Prize.
If you are reading this do what you can to support this window of opportunity by throwing this stingy attempt by Pelosi and the Judiciary Committee to appease the impeachment movement right back in their faces by a strong show of passionate activism!
Don’t sleep through another opportunity to hold the Bush regime accountable!
The Impeach for Peace people have a handy list of actions to take leading up to this Friday’s event so click here and get BUSY!