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Pelosi Tells The Nation Magazine Why She Won't Impeach

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From The Nation:

Katrina vanden Heuvel: "On balancing politics and staying true to values... If the book's subtitle is A Message to America's Daughters, what is your message to those daughters who will ask what our representatives did to hold this President and Administration accountable for grave abuses of power? By not allowing impeachment 'on the table,' aren't you failing to protect democracy and the rule of law for future generations of our children and grandchildren?"

Good question.

Nancy Pelosi: "Let me say it to you this way, because most people are very emotionally involved in this issue and this President, as I said, is a total failure."

Now upholding the rule of law is dismissed as emotional? And a man who set out to seize unprecedented power, enrich his cronies, expand the military, enlarge the empire, and shut down what was left of a social net AND SUCCEEDED is a "total failure"?

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"He's not a leader. He has no judgment, he has no knowledge, he has no plan. I've been saying that for a year."

Well, who the hell hasn't been saying that - and better - for longer? Did we elect you to say stuff? He had a plan and has seen it through. Can you say the same?

"Here's the thing. This is how I see it as Nancy Pelosi, not in my role as Speaker... why I ran for leadership and the rest. I was not setting out to win for two years. I did not want there to be any doubt in anybody's mind that this is going to be a long standing, get used to it, strong Democratic majority."

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So the point of winning in 06 was to win in 08 and the point of winning in 08 was, etc...., but how does that answer the question you were asked above about shirking your duty to govern in between elections?

"So, in my head '06 was first, and then in '08 we strengthen and increase, In 2010, there's a little ebbing--assuming we have a Democratic President--and that's not traditionally been a big year. So we hold our own. So, 2006, we win. 2008 we grow and strengthen, and in 2010 we sustain and in 2012 with a new map: it's a whole new world. This map, we can only go so far with this map...redistricting...we need a whole new map. What we're talking about is only the next presidential election."

So now you tell us that not only can you not govern during an election year, or during an election pair of years, or during an election period of 4 years, but you can't govern during a redistricting decade. The purpose of our people as a nation is now reduced to redistricting? Gerrymandering is the ultimate end of our existence? This is the depth of sleeze and emptiness we have sunk to? And you're on a book tour to promote this as a model for girls and young women?

"So my view in politics is deeply rooted in how I was raised in politics: It's all about economics. One of the reasons I decided to run for leadership is I thought it was absolutely urgent that we win. We see a situation where we have an economy where they are sucking the money out of the middle class. One percent of the people in this country control almost a quarter of the wealth...and it's at the expense of the middle class. We want to reward success and achievement, entrepreneurial spirit and the rest of that. But this is not what a democracy is about. So my whole thing was always about the middle class being this backbone of a democracy and I saw what was happening here was with the President and the Republican Congress a complete disregard--worse than that--for working families in our country."

So you won't impeach because of the damage that Bush and Cheney are doing to the country? And by not impeaching you'll allow the war to continue that is sucking the lifeblood out of the economy and the actual blood out of thousands of people? And you'll beat and threaten and bribe your colleagues to fund that war well into the next Congress because you're a forward-thinking long-term visionary?

"So I come into this picture with, they have to know we're here to stay, plus we have to have a predictable future. And I said before the election that impeachment was off the table. Now that means, in the set of facts that we know now the fact of the matter is that in order to impeach the President, you must have the information."

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Here's a list of crimes (PDF) drawn up by Conyers 2.5 years ago. And here's a list of crimes (PDF) from Kucinich's articles of impeachment drawn up by Elizabeth de la Vega.

Could a few thousand people fax these to Speaker Pelosi please? Fax: 202-225-8259, Phone: 202-225-0100, Email: or

Bush has repeatedly instructed current and former staffers to refuse to comply with subpoenas and contempt citations.

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at and and works for the online (more...)
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