By Ray McGovern
You would not know it for the news blackout, but New Yorkers of Congressman Jerrold Nadler's district held a Town Hall/Impeachment
Forum on Sunday to encourage Nadler, chair of the House Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution, to begin impeachment proceedings
against Vice President Dick Cheney.
Panelists included former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, former
Reagan Justice Department attorney Bruce Fein, human rights attorney
and Harpers commentator Scott Horton, and John Nirenberg, the activist
who at the turn of the year walked from Boston to Washington, DC, in a
futile attempt to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on impeachment.
The organizers had asked me to be on the panel, but I had to send
regrets and submitted a statement instead (see below). A video of the
proceedings will be posted on afterdowningstreet.org.
In a post mortem yesterday evening, the organizers reflected on what
seemed to be a mixed picture of good and bad news.
On the positive side, Judson Memorial Church was crammed to overflowing
with 300 folks. And this, despite the fact that most were already
aware that Nadler had announced (late Friday afternoon) that he would
be a no-show. He did not even send a representative.
The panelists' remarks were compelling. Blame for inaction on
impeachment was laid squarely on our invertebrate Congress. (But ouch,
that familiar whining can get a bit tiresome.)
The audience was described as well educated, non-fringe, and polite.
On the negative side, despite Herculean efforts to interest the
"mainstream media," no one showed. And the enthusiasm of those hardy
souls trying to spur action on impeachment was dampened by continuing
frustration at the obstacles, as politicians like Nadler continue to
put political expedience above their sworn duty to protect and defend
Tories Back in Charge
It took some 230 years, but the Tories are back in charge—I mean the
Nadlers, the Conyers, the Pelosis, so bereft of the courage of our
forebears to defy a new King George, preferring to let him dis us the
people and trash the Constitution. Remember those stirring final words
of the Declaration of Independence? "We mutually pledge to each other
our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." We have come a long
way. Surely, the Founders are rolling over in their graves.
Many of our forebears were also well educated and non-fringe;
fortunately, they were NOT polite.
Is it not clear, finally, that the time for politeness is over?
It is up to us, now, whether we shall have Constitutional separation of
powers or shall have kings. It is up to us whether an unrestrained
executive will be able to march our children and grandchildren off to
an endless series of resource wars likely to dominate this century.
The time for talking is over. Impeachment proceedings must begin. And
no one is going to get that done but we.