When Congress reconvened for the New Year, Rep. Robert Wexler made an impassioned speech on the floor of the House, saying we could no longer ignore the unconstitutional actions of Vice President Cheney. He also has asked fellow members to sign on to a letter that he is sending to Judiciary chairman John Conyers, asking that hearings begin. I contacted Congressman Peter Welch's office to find out if he had signed onto the letter. No one in his office knew if he had, but they agreed to call me back. The next day, it was the same story, except no more call back promises. In over a week of repeated calls, I have not found anyone in the Congressman's office either able or willing to find out whether Welch has signed on or not. (Although they promised that they would send me a written answer as soon as they could get to it.) In the meantime, a quick call to Wexler's office informed me that Welch had not yet signed the letter. Rather than use a second hand source, I wanted to give Welch's office a chance to say whether he was at least considering signing. After all, Peter voted against tabling a debate on these very same impeachable charges on the floor of the House when introduced by Dennis Kucinich, saying that Dennis had the right to have the charges heard. He then joined the majority in voting the impeachment resolution to the Judiciary for consideration, so you would think that he would want the committee to investigate the charges. But unless he stole into Wexler's office and signed with invisible ink, it looks like Vermont's sole Representative has decided to keep his position with the Bush/Cheney protection racket. And what's Bush doing with all the breathing room? Well in just the last few days he managed to issue a signing statement promising to break several parts of a law he had just signed, which, among other things, will protect Halliburton and others from investigations into fraud committed against our military. Not to mention the long-term treaty that he is finalizing with Iraq, assuring a permanent U.S. military presence there. It used to be that treaties had to be ratified by the U.S. Senate, but under the new Democratic doctrine of acquiescence, Bush has seen clear to drop the Senate's role altogether, calling it a declaration of principle rather than a treaty, and claiming his right to put it into effect. But the Democrats have made it clear that no crime or lie is great enough to sidetrack them from their holy grail of regaining the Presidency. The Constitution, the rule of law, our nation's honor, the next twelve months worth of military and civilian casualties; all these are willingly sacrificed for the sake of electing more Democrats. Only after repeated confrontations with hundreds of angry Vermonters, did Rep. Welch finally end his pattern of voting for war funding, voting against the last war appropriations bill. It will take at least as loud of an outcry to get him to care enough about the Constitution to take action to defend it. Do we care enough to put on the pressure?