Impeachment Marcher Reaches Washington – “Hello Madame Speaker”
John Nurenberg, who has spent the last forty days and nights walking south on Route 1 from Boston to Washington D.C., has reached the outskirts of his goal, Nancy Pelosi’s office. And rather than the last stumbling steps of exhaustion, or steps glad to be finishing up and moving on, the final leg of John’s journey is rather more a river of energy that has been fed by the response that he has received along his route.
During his trek, John has been invited (and thrown out of) high schools and bolstered by vigils and events in Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York City, Jersey City, Philadelphia, and now Washington. His web site www.marchinmyname.org tells the tales of many a spirit touched, moved and even changed by learning about John and his dedication to actively protecting the Constitution.
And John hasn’t been the only one active on this topic in the last weeks. Congressman Henry Wexler, along with a growing number of his colleagues has been increasing pressure on Chairman John Conyers of the House Judiciary committee to open hearings on the impeachable charges that have been introduced by Dennis Kucinich. A couple of weeks ago, Wexler and two other members of the committee wrote a compelling op-ed detailing why they want to start hearings. After it was refused publication by several major newspapers, Wexler was forced to publish it on the web, along with an online petition for people to sign on to his demand. The number of signers is approaching a quarter million and the op-ed has now been published in at least two major newspapers.
Former Senator George McGovern just published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for impeachment, the first such call to appear on those pages. (This is the same Washington Post that wouldn’t publish the Wexler op-ed a week earlier.)
During the Presidential debates, before the power structure shut out Dennis Kucinich, and so the topic of impeachment, his calls for impeachment often received notable outbursts of audience approval. In spite of time almost certainly running out, in spite of an election upon which so many are pinning so much hope, in spite of a rising level of hysteria among liberal Democrats who are frantic that something may upset their apple cart and are begging when not shrilling that the I word not be mentioned, in spite of all this, more and more Americans are deciding that the cost to our nation is too great if we fail to uphold the Constitution and the principles that it embodies. American citizens are united in the belief that the President is not above the law. But a majority in Congress has decided to acquiesce to Mr. Bush’s lawbreaking.
Although the establishment media and power elite refuse to acknowledge it, we are in a Constitutional turmoil, and much of the mess we are now in at home and overseas has happened because Congress has allowed the Executive branch to unconstitutionally expand its power to a dangerous degree. We are engaging daily in a deadly, brutal, illegal, counterproductive and expensive occupation in Iraq, but we are dished out a fluff news diet of celebrity misadventures, fears about $4.oo gas, the horserace to be the next Corporate Representative in Chief, the success of the “surge” or Bush’s legacy. Many Americans are wondering if they are the only ones feeling distress and outrage. Many feel the utter hopelessness of being a single small voice against the monolith of power and money that seems to decide how things get done.
John Nirenberg’s walk turned one man’s outrage into a vehicle for thousands to help him take his message to Speaker Pelosi. His time in Washington will make a difference, but it must be followed up by other actions from other quarters. Citizen actions are already starting to have an impact on congress members. Democrats feeling the heat from constituents have started to break ranks from the leadership with recent votes against further war funding and for supporting Kucinich’s call for his impeachment bill to be brought to the floor of the House. South Florida activists have been shining a merciless spotlight on anti-progressive actions by their “representatives”. Now is the time to turn up the pressure. Let’s follow Mr. Nirenberg’s lead as he goes into Washington. Let’s all take the first steps to reclaiming our Republic, to demand accountability, and to finally end the foul occupation of Iraq that, along with torture, has cast us all in such a shamed and grim light.