Swanson explains: "Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can announce tomorrow and could have announced nine months, several hundred troops, and tens of thousands of Iraqis ago, that they will not bring up any more bills to fund the occupation. A Republican proposal to fund the occupation could be blocked by 41, not 67, Senators. The Democrats could also pass bills ending the occupation or funding only the withdrawal and have them vetoed and pass them again and again. This is no secret and there is no dispute that Congress has this power. Senator Feingold held hearings at the start of the year at which experts overwhelmingly agreed that Congress can simply stop providing funding. Bush has plenty of money to bring the troops home, and Congress can provide new money for that purpose."
I could kick myself-as should many of my fellow Americans-for failing to do this simple math required for measuring the support in the House and Senate for non-funding the war. In short, 80% of Americans want troops home now or soon. If more than 40% of Congressmen and Senators can't support the WILL OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, they should be impeached, too.Lie #2: Congress hasn't got time, opportunity, or reason to impeach (first) Vice-President Dick Cheney and (second) President George W. Bush. There are nearly two dozen cogent arguments which Swanson successfully makes concerning how and why Congress can and really must impeach the vice-president and then the president. Some of these arguments are political. Others are based on the constitution. Others are based on doing what is simply right and supporting the dignity of the American people's-i.e. Allowing Americans to becoming more fully proud of their country than has been the result of any act carried out by congress in Washington over the past many years. Finally, there are arguments that are both humorous and true.
One of the early arguments in this article/speech comes from a historical perspective as Swanson reminds his audience, "You won't hear much about it on the news, but a bill had been introduced in July to impeach Gonzales, and it was gaining support during the August recess. In fact a bunch of Congress Members added their names to the list of cosponsors this month even though Gonzales had already announced his resignation. This was not the first time that an effort to impeach helped force out an unjust attorney general. An effort to impeach Richard Nixon forced him out as well. An effort to impeach Harry Truman led to the Supreme Court checking his abuses of power. In fact the threat of impeachment is usually enough to restore a level of justice and democracy in Washington, D.C. A promise not to impeach, on the other hand, tends to encourage abuses of power and is itself an unconstitutional abuse of power."
This is a basic fact.
The American response to the impeachment of Bill Clinton was the exception to the rule in terms of the public's response to a congress threatening impeachment in over 200-years of American history. To a great degree, American's certainly have supported their leaders when they are calling a spade a spade-or calling a criminal a criminal or calling a felon a felon (or a war-crime a war crime).DON'T SEPARATE IMPEACHMENT FROM WITHDRAWAL!A key point of Swanson's article, "Is Peace or Impeachment Possible?", is that: Lie #3: Impeachment can be handled separately from ending the U.S.'s participation in the war in Iraq.
Swanson makes it clear that without impeachment (The Big Hammer) and willingness by Congress to stand up to a Republican minority's attempt to keep this horrible war funded indefinitely, war will not end-moreover, nothing much else will get accomplished in 2007-2008 by congress in many other areas.
Worse still--especially for the Democratic Party--without impeachment and a drastic pullout of American participation in Iraq in 2008, Democrats will not do as well as they need to be doing in November 2008 elections. Moreover, the American movement to redeploy our own Bills of Rights in the Territory of the USA will be stalled.
Swanson states, "The purpose of impeachment is not just to take back control of our government, not just to end an occupation, not just to prevent an attack on Iran. The purpose of impeachment is to inform future presidents that they must obey laws. But this is not something that concerns many Congress members. Their chief concern tends to be whether the next president will belong to their party."
Swanson, who used to work with Kucinich, adds, "Twenty Congress members have signed onto H Res 333, Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Cheney. Many more signed onto the Gonzales bill or signed on during the last Congress to the Conyers bill for a preliminary impeachment investigation. And others have said publicly or privately that they favor impeachment. But these members have not signed onto Kucinich's bill on Cheney and have not introduced their own on Cheney or Bush. I've spoken to a lot of them and their staff and to constituents who've spoken to them. They have about 15 excuses, most of which are very easily rejected, a few of which it is going to be very hard but not impossible for us to get around."
Swanson currently works with a website which has a good pulse on what American's wants and needs from Congress. Look at it at: http://www.democrats.com/The site at Democrats.com shows today the following results. Only 2% of Americans feel that Bush should get $200 billion more dollars to continue to fund the war-without conditions.
Meanwhile 83%, of those participating in the poll, feel that Bush should be required to use existing funds to bring U.S. Troops home within 6 months. An additional 13% said that perhaps Congress should give Bush $50 Billion to bring troops home within six months.
Swanson also emphasizes the fact that "[s]eventy-nine Congress members, including only two Floridians, Corrine Brown and Alcee Hastings, have signed a letter saying they won't vote for more money unless it "redeploys" the troops by January 2009. This effort is led by Progressive Caucus chairs Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey. Woolsey is getting a lot of heat in DC right now because someone published the transcript of a private conference call on which she advocated pushing primary challenges to pro-war Democrats. But Lynn is not only right morally. Hers is a pro-Democratic Party position. Primaries are good for a party as well as a country."HOW IMPEACHMENT PROPONENTS SHOULD RESPOND!
Swanson ends his article by indicating how Americans, who are really serious about taking back our nation's great traditions in human-, constitutional-, and civil rights, needing to be responding to the status-quo in Washington and in the USA media forums.
Swanson lists 15 excuses by adversaries give for not supporting IMPEACHMENT NOW. Supporters of just politics in America should learn to respond as quickly and refreshingly as Swanson does in this article:Excuse #1: You can't judge articles of impeachment prior to a committee investigation. That gets the process out of order:
A bill calling for impeachment, explains Swanson, "would not have to be wholly devoid of content. It could suggest the area or areas of inquiry."Excuse #2: We don't have all the facts we need in order to impeach.
Swanson: "Well, of course that's what an impeachment investigation is for. But in fact we do have the facts. The Judiciary Committee passed an article of impeachment against Nixon for refusing to comply with subpoenas. Bush and Cheney and Rice have indisputably refused to comply with subpoenas." Swanson adds, "He [Bush] and Cheney are on videotape lying about the reasons for war, and the evidence that they knew they were lying is overwhelming. That is the impeachable offense our founding fathers most worried about. James Madison and George Mason both argued as well at the Constitutional Convention that impeachment would be needed if a president ever pardoned a crime that he himself was involved in."
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