Yesterday’s important article by David Swanson on Representative John Conyers' hesitance to bring charges of impeachment before the House highlights a critical problem for progressives. Republicans spent the better part of 3 decades building a power structure that spanned local and state legislatures, TV, radio, newspapers, K Street lobbying firms, think tanks, corporations, and even the companies that manufacture our voting machines.
Progressives think they should be able to beat that in a few months of disorganized protest.
John Conyers, when confronted by impeachment supporters, explained that he could not proceed because he would be destroyed by Fox News if he brought impeachment charges before the House. Unfortunately, this shows just how successful the right wing power grab has been over the last several decades.
Fox News isn’t a news organization, it is the propaganda spear point for the Republican/corporate party. But it is only a tip of the iceberg, beneath which is hidden a vast and inexorable spin machine that attempts to control the political agenda of the United States of America. Perusal of any front page of the NY Times, or a quick tune in to CNN in recent years will demonstrate that Fox News has shifted the political debate far to the right. The internet is providing a grass-roots method for fighting back, but at the moment, progressive blogging is akin to chipping at the top of the ice berg with an ice pick.
Nonetheless, all major political movements in the United States, from the women’s vote to the civil rights movement, were grass-roots movements. But their histories show that grass-roots movements meet many obstacles, and have rocky, uneven courses.
Here are suggestions to help ensure that Fox News does not control the political agenda in the United States of America anymore.
1) Boycott Fox News advertisers:
2) Urge your Congressperson to co-sign Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment resolution HR 333.
3) Contact John Conyers office, and politely urge them to reconsider moving HR 333 forward.
One word of advice. Be very civil when you contact Congress, even if you are really mad. Yelling and screaming will not help nearly as much as a continuously growing groundswell of respectful, unbending discontent. Also keep in mind that John Conyers is moving forward with contempt charges against Harriet Miers, Josh Bolton and possibly Alberto Gonzales. So he is probably a bit nervous and overworked at the moment.
But the pressure is building, and Congress can’t ignore it forever. Keep it up, and don’t get discouraged.