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Dennis Kucinich: Standing Tall in the House as Cheney Impeachment Bill Advances

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By Dave Lindorff


Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination that the mainstream media like to ignore or belittle, stands head and shoulders above the moral midgets and shriveled sophists in that contest, especially today, after he successfully forced the full House to vote to send his bill to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney to a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

    Kucinich, whose Cheney impeachment bill, despite having 22 co-sponsors, has been stalled for over six months thanks to the unconscionable machinations of the Democratic Congressional leadership and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, should now get at least a genuine debate in the House Judiciary Committee. With enough pressure from constituents, his bill might even go into hearings.

    At first, it appeared that the Democratic leadership in the House was going to simply slap down Kucinich’s attempt to move the bill—technically a member’s privilege motion for a full vote of the House. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), House majority leader and thus the number two member of the House leadership (and an insufferable hack), offered a motion to table H Res. 799, the impeachment bill. But Republicans, sensing an opportunity to embarrass the Democrats, began voting as a block against the tabling motion. In the end, caught completely off guard, even Democrats who had dutifully backed the shameless leadership in voting for the tabling motion, began switching their votes and opposing it. The final vote was 242 (164 Republicans and 78 Democrats) against tabling, and 170 (28 Republicans and 142 Democrats) for tabling.

    A subsequent vote to send the Kucinich Cheney impeachment bill to the Judiciary Committee passed 218-194, with three Republicans voting with 215 Democrats in favor of the measure.

    Republicans clearly don’t want impeachment hearings, but have recognized something that the Democratic leadership, lame and tactically deficient as it is, does not, namely that particularly among Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning voters, impeachment is enormously popular. According to polls, some three in four Democrats, and a majority of all Americans, favor impeaching the vice president (a majority of Americans also favor impeaching President Bush). As long as the Democratic Party leaders keep blocking impeachment, they lose support and anger voters among this group. Clearly Republicans saw a chance today to further alienate those voters by forcing the Congressional Democratic leadership, which has stalled Kucinich’s bill for over six months since it was filed last April 24, to more actively and visibly block it.


    But Democratic leaders have an alternative. They can recognize the growing disaster of Pelosi’s “impeachment is off the table” position—which has contributed significantly to Congress’ record-low poll ratings (now well below Bush’s)--and can turn around and get those impeachment hearings going.

    If they were to do this, with just a year to go until the presidential election, they would electrify progressive voters and independent-minded voters, who are frightened and disgusted by what this administration has been doing to the country and to the Constitution.

    I was just at a polling station today in my Republican-leaning area (Montgomery County, PA), and when a Republican activist standing outside the polling center saw my “Impeach Bush and Cheney” T-shirt, he said, “It would be great for Republicans too, if they could dump both those guys.”

    Clearly, the public, even including many Republicans, wants Congress to act.

    Rep. Kucinich, who has been a consistent and bold opponent of the Iraq War from the start, and who was quick to expose and condemn administration moves towards a new war with Iran, deserves enormous credit for his lonely drive in the House to impeach the vice president. Maybe this bold move in Congress to push past the obstacles that the Democratic leadership has thrown up in his path will wake up primary voters to the fact that you cannot judge a candidate by his height.
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    If voters in the Democratic primaries make their decisions based upon actions, principles and courage, instead of on what the corporate media tell them, and if the impeachment movement will rally to back him, Kucinich should win by a landslide.
________________
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
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Kucinich is like the Chinese kid standing up ... by Alan MacDonald on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 6:10:51 PM
Dennis Kucinich won the Democracy for America poll... by Betsy L. Angert on Tuesday, Nov 6, 2007 at 8:58:56 PM
I went to Dennis Kucinich's web site (www.denn... by Rob Magee on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 12:19:00 AM
See? The Democrats can develop a backbone and oppo... by Mark E. Smith on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 12:59:14 AM
Let's face it. The party has protected Bush &a... by Richard Mynick on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 1:04:05 AM
"The most significant part of today's ... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 2:29:44 AM
It may be true that the scumbags who run the Democ... by Dave Lindorff on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 6:23:45 AM
Quit being victim to a defeatist mentality. Quit d... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 7:45:57 AM
Quite on the contrary. Kucinich in my opinion did ... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:05:17 AM
Laudable as in creditable, praiseworthy etc.... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:14:43 AM
You remember Rosanna Rosanna Dana on SNL? This is ... by Richard Mynick on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 9:44:56 AM
It is up to people  now to ask for and demend... by aberamsay on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 3:44:35 AM
But you can contribute to Cindy Sheehan's camp... by Dave Lindorff on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:38:46 AM
DENNIS IS A HERO,AND NANCY AIPAC POLOSI IS UNDER C... by RICHARD SHADE on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 5:39:09 AM
Probably, Pelosi/Hoyer don't want to impeach b... by Jeanne Doyle on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 7:43:18 AM
I don’t want to be the one to toss cold wate... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:14:51 AM
I like this because I do not have an answer to it.... by Kevin Gosztola on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:22:19 AM
In fact, it IS wrong...  Horribly wrong! ... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:50:13 AM
Where is Conyers on impeachment now that he could ... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:34:28 AM
I GET the oath...  All I am saying is that no... by steve scheetz on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:58:56 AM
"We're going to help them out, to explain themselv... by Tom Murphy on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 8:54:15 AM
include a thorough psychological interview? It sho... by Mark Sashine on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 9:40:40 AM
Indeed Mr. Lindorff, indeed!I called Rep. Conyers ... by Munich on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 10:50:14 AM
You know, there’s actually an ironic truth t... by Alan MacDonald on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 10:57:23 AM
This leads new menaing to Marx's statement that "c... by Jay Lovestone on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:00:39 AM
Yup, so chummy with the "ZioNazis, " she suppor... by Jay Lovestone on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:04:55 AM
http://www.dailykos.com/comments/2007/11/7/114657/... by Jay Lovestone on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:08:10 AM
After reading many postings on this article and ot... by fou on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:30:37 AM
After reading many postings on this article and ot... by fou on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:31:11 AM
click here... by Jay Lovestone on Wednesday, Nov 7, 2007 at 11:35:41 AM