In November 2006, nobody was more excited than I when the Democrats took back control of the House (and the Senate). The election amounted to the equivalent of a ‘no confidence’ vote for the Bush administration. Equally as exciting was the prospect of having the first-ever female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. As an avowed political junkie, I followed many candidates, not just those in Massachusetts. I had always considered Pelosi a solid liberal. Those of us who knew for certain that the Bush-Cheney administration had committed plenty of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ honestly believed that articles of impeachment would finally be filed. The euphoria came to an abrupt end on November 8, when Pelosi said during a news conference, “I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table.” Impeachment, or the lack thereof, was just the first of a string of disappointments that would be served up by this particular crop of Democrats led by Harry Reid in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House.
The disappointment over impeachment was made even more intense by the Democrats’ failure to end the war in Iraq. This was undoubtedly the most important issue of the mid-term elections. Not only couldn’t the Democrats end the war, but they also signed the check each and every time George Bush delivered it to them. On April 24, 2007 Dennis Kucinich filed articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney that still languish in the House Judiciary Committee waiting for John Conyers (D-MI) to take action. Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL), also a member of the committee, undertook an online petition to force some kind of action months ago, and he is still pushing today to no avail. I do not remember exactly when I heard of Shirley Golub, but I remember being impressed that an ordinary citizen was willing to take on the powerful Nancy Pelosi. I began to follow Shirley’s campaign more closely.
Last week, when I received an email with her rubber chicken ad, I decided I had to get in touch with Shirley Golub to get her take on Pelosi, impeachment, Iraq and other issues. We made contact via email and set up an appointment for a phone interview. We spoke just this past Saturday morning on a variety of topics.
Shirley’s campaign prioritizes a number of issues including ending our occupation of Iraq, providing health care for all, and passing the Matthew Shepard Act. However, her primary reason for running in San Francisco’s 8th district is that she believes that Nancy Pelosi is the roadblock to impeachment.
Deb: What have you heard about the articles of impeachment that have been hanging around Congress?
Shirley: I haven’t heard anything about them going ahead. It’s been in the Judiciary Committee and that’s where it’s stalled. It’s up to John Conyers to move it ahead. Of course, Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida is also on that committee and he’s been demanding that they move forward. He has an online petition going. I’m not sure where the count stands right now, but the last I heard is that he had over 200,000 signatures. Regardless, impeachment is not moving ahead.
Deb: It’s discouraging…
Shirley: It’s reprehensible. Impeachment is the only avenue we have right now to keep Bush and Cheney from moving ahead with whatever plans they have. I’m not privy to exactly what those plans are, but they can’t be good given their past track record.
Deb: I’ve written to my local Congressman, John Tierney, and he repeated what I’ve heard so often from the Democratic side. It’s either that there isn’t enough time to advance articles of impeachment or that pursuing impeachment will get in the way of the Congress working on more meaningful legislation. What meaningful legislation? Nothing meaningful has come out of the Congress. What about the American people? Where is the outrage?
Shirley: Well, both Congress and the mainstream media have seriously misled the American people. Have you seen Body of War by Phil Donohue?
Deb: Yes, I have.
Shirley: Well, it was the same thing back then. You know the mainstream media repeats what the administration and the generals are saying when they say the surge is going well, the war is going well. That’s what the American people hear over and over, and those who do not seek alternative media outlets simply believe it. It’s the same principle with impeachment. They constantly hear that there’s not enough time or that there are more important issues to deal with, and that’s what they believe. They think the Congress knows better than they do. They need to be educated. You know, the web site afterdowningstreet.org refutes all of the reasons to not proceed with impeachment.
Shirley: As for more important legislation, Congress will point to the stimulus package. You know what they can do with their stimulus package! Look, this idea that there isn’t enough time to pursue articles of impeachment is not valid. Two weeks ago we saw the President admit on national television that approved the use of torture. That’s an impeachable offense! It would take no time to file articles of impeachment against Bush and Cheney.
Deb: What’s your take on why Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table? I’ve had people tell me that she’s taking the politically expedient route. She doesn’t want to be accused of ‘paying back’ the administration because it might hurt her politically down the road. Do you think that’s valid?
Shirley: Well, first of all, let me say that if she moved to impeach Bush and Cheney, shed be president, so it isn’t about political expediency. I’ve heard a number of rumors. First of all, there has been wiretapping going on for years, so who knows what the administration may have found out about her. Is she or her family being threatened? There have been rumors about that. Is it corruption? She’s very well off financially, so how much money does she need?