What happened on this day that was so important that it deserves a place in history? Don't expect to find a clue in your newspaper. It wasn't mentioned. Don't look at the archived news reports for that day, or any day following it. No one said anything about it. No one even whispered the fact that Dennis Kucinich, the courageous Congressman from Ohio, introduced thirty-five articles of impeachment. Or, that over the course of almost five hours, he spelled out one blistering accusation after another against the President of the United States. Thirty five times he concluded:"President George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as president and subversive of constitutional government to the prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office."
I watched all but the first 10 minutes, when my friend, Barbara, called to tell me to turn on CSPAN. Dinner never got cooked that night. Emails and phone calls went unanswered. The world seemed to be held in suspended animation as I sat, frozen except for occasionally shaking my head, or muttering, "Still more? How much more do we need to hear before the American people rise up in rage and drag this criminal out of our White House?"
But no one was listening. There were no mobs gathering in the streets calling out in outrage. There wasn't even one demonstration that I know of. Kucinich finally resolved that age-old puzzle about a tree falling in the forest when no one is there. I now know, it doesn't make a sound.
I didn't sleep Monday night. Instead of counting sheep, I kept counting those thirty-five articles. I knew about most of them, but I'd never heard them all listed in one long damning accusation. I never realized how clearly George W. Bush was connected to all of the disasters that have befallen us in the past seven years. One could have attributed some of them to incompetence or bad luck before hearing Kucinich spell out how deliberate and complicit the Bush Administration was in all of it, from the Iraq war, to Katrina, to failure to address global warming, to approving torture, spying on American citizens, rendition.
In that endless marathon of moments that fill a sleepless night, I made a connection. The last time I'd endured the agony of insomnia was after getting the phone call from my doctor telling me that my biopsy results showed that I had invasive breast cancer. This night I felt the same as I did then. Congressman Kucinich had just diagnosed our country with a deadly, invasive cancer. We can no longer wonder if it's really not as bad as it seems. It is. In fact it's worse than most of us imagined. And the thing about getting that cancer diagnosis is that you HAVE TO DO SOMETHING once you know it's there.
Anyone who has been told they have cancer will tell you that the hardest part is deciding what to do. Like many, my first thought was to ignore it and hope it went away by itself. But the more I learned about my specific cancer, the more I realized that I had this one chance to get rid of it - completely. If I failed, it might seem like everything is OK for a while, but soon it would spread throughout my body and there would be no second chance to be cured. There would only be efforts to prolong life and ease suffering until I died.
So what do we do when our nation is diagnosed with cancer? We can ignore it and hope it goes away by itself - but that's not going to happen. Bush and company stole the 2000 and 2004 elections. What makes anyone think they will let a Democrat win in 2008? It could well be that the only way we'll get a fair election is to remove the tumor in the White House before November.
That cancer is already spreading - it's taking over our Supreme Court. It's eating away at our Constitution. It's using the same strategy they used to invade Iraq, to build a case to invade Iran. Dennis Kucinich has said that that the only way we can prevent a U.S. attack on Iran is to start impeachment proceedings.
Forgive me for taking this analogy a step further. I'm finished with my treatment: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. It was awful and I never want to have to go through that again. I'm not the same person I was when I started. I don't have the same energy, I'm not as healthy, I even look different. I'm alive and I'm feeling very hopeful that I've beat the cancer, but my work is not done, and never will be. I'm going to have to be vigilant for the rest of my life about staying healthy and checking for cancer.
So now, we, as Americans, have to decide how we're going to respond to this terrible diagnosis. Kucinich spelled it out for us plain and clear. You can read all thirty-five articles on his website, www.kucinich. us. We have a window of opportunity where we can beat this deadly disease. But it's going to be the most difficult thing we ever did. It's going to take courage, cooperation and endurance. It's going to be painful and seem like it will never end. But the alternative is far worse. Untreated, our Democratic way of life will die. Perhaps civilization itself will die. Perhaps even our planet will die. This is serious. There's no time to waste. From my own experience, I can tell you the steps we all must all take:
Get the facts, take responsibility to educate and inform yourself and others, weed out the truth from the myths.
Remove the tumor - Tell John Conyers the people of this country demand that he begin the impeachment of Bush & Cheney now.
Systemic treatment - Get Democrats with integrity and courage into the White House and Congress.
Local treatment - Get involved in your local government, stop greed and corruption wherever you see it. Be the government you want.
Make a life-long commitment to stay vigilant and keep our nation and our planet healthy.
Here's to a long and healthy life America and the day when our great-grandchildren read about June 9, 2008 - when one incredible Congressman changed the course of history.