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Hey, Media! You Should Be Putting the Impeachment Story Front and Center

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Polls recently revealed that roughly half the American people favor the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. There have never been opinion polls like these: half the country, and this is without the impeachment process having even begun.

Even if there were nothing but unprecedented opinion polls like these, that would be a big story. So, mainstream media, why aren't you telling it?

But of course there's more --much more!-- than the opinion polls.

Never has there been such a lawless presidency. Nothing even close. Never one so dishonest. Never a presidency so contemptuous of the Constitution and so completely indifferent to its responsibilities to the country as a whole and to those profound values embedded in the oath of office.

It's clear, it's documented: this president and this vice president have assaulted the rule of law in a manner never seen before in American history.

How could impeachment NOT be a big story --the big story-- when the Constitution is under assault from an administration that claims unchecked powers, and when every member of Congress takes an oath, as a condition of taking office, to protect and defend the Constitution?

This assault on the rule of law has created one of the most profound crises in American history, and with the ways the Bush administration is blocking the other two branches of government from exercising their constitutional functions, impeachment is the only route left to expose and defeat this presidential power grab.

But you'd never know how huge a story this is from following the mainstream media. The television news people don't treat it as NEARLY as important as a stain on a blue dress.

What gives? You didn't take an oath to defend the Constitution, but let me ask you:


Do you think the Founders worked to protect a free press because they thought it essential that Americans be able to write and to read about the latest antics of some pretty starlet? Do you think it was because they feared that diet books might be quashed.

No, of course not. The essence of the idea of a "free press" was not that "anything goes." That was not the point. The point was that the press would be FREE in the sense that the government would not be allowed to control it, to muzzle it, to prevent it from telling the people what the wielders of power did not want them to know.

The Founders gave you, the press, freedom so that you could speak truth to power, so that you could aid a free people in protecting their freedom. They made the press free, that is, for the very same reason that they gave the Congress the power to impeach a president: as a bulwark against tyranny.

The Constitution is a legal structure, but it is also a kind of imprint from which one can read the main danger from which they were trying to protect us, their heirs. And this Bushite regime and its lawlessness is precisely what concerned them.

This moment, in other words, is the test for which the Founders tried to prepare us.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
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