For the past year or so, every month the moon gets full, and I suddenly get a couple of hundred emails telling me that Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will allow impeachment hearings if she gets enough emails or phone calls or handwritten letters.
And a lot of the emails I get are along the lines of: “Is it true? Because if it’s true my group can send 5,000 letters.”
And I usually reply along the lines of: “Of course it’s not true, but since when do you need an invitation to act like a citizen of a democracy? Send her 10,000 letters immediately, and do so precisely because it’s not true!”
Well, hope is clearly not the only thing generating impeachment activism. Another major motivation is necessity or desperation. Many of us believed a year ago that if impeachment wasn’t underway by this past spring, the looming 2008 election would stifle the movement. Yet, in November we see the push for impeachment on the rise, in the polls, in the media, in Congress, and in activism. Why? I don’t think it’s because more people think Bush and Cheney should be impeached, so much as it is because more people have finally recognized that, given the President’s Constitutional veto power and unconstitutional signing statements, impeachment is the only thing Congress can do. So impeachment is a distraction from nothing!
There’s one other thing Congress can accomplish, but it involves refusing to do something. Congress can refuse to pass any more bills to fund the illegal occupation of Iraq. Of course, if he does so, Bush will misappropriate funds to keep the occupation going, just as he did to begin it, and we’ll be right up against impeachment. So why not cut to the chase, bypass for now the high hurdle of the Senate, and demand that the House Judiciary Committee begin hearings on impeaching Mr. 11% popularity before he shoots us all in the face with a catastrophic attack on the nation of Iran?
I recently heard what I hope you will tell me is another false rumor as untrue as Pelosi’s request for activism. I heard that next year the people of Colorado will have the opportunity to vote for the institution of constitutional rights for fertilized eggs. What bothers me about this is the discrimination against those of us who are no longer fertilized eggs. When do we get our constitutional rights? Unless we’re going to surgically install intrauterine free speech zones, I take it that unlike sentient humans, fertilized eggs will have complete freedom to speak, assemble, and print teeny newspapers. Perhaps women will be able to attend congressional hearings and hold up peace signs if they are from Colorado and carrying fertilized eggs. Presumably the Protect America Act will no longer apply to fertilized Coloradan eggs, and the Fourth Amendment will be restored in some small measure. But what I’m not clear on is how the police will obtain a warrant based on probable cause to spy on a fertilized egg without having first spied on the egg long enough to know it was fertilized. Is it just me, or does this all seem like a plot to permit spying on the act of fertilization?
Let’s look at the sane and courageous side of Colorado for a moment. It can be summed up in the word Telluride. In July, Telluride became the first city in Colorado to pass a resolution in support of impeachment. Some billionaires for Bush and other ski tourists threatened to boycott the town if it refused to boycott the Constitution. Others promised to come to Telluride if it voted for the rule of law. In the end, the city council members decided that they would break with Washington, DC, and not allow money to determine every action. Of approximately 100 cities that have done the same around the country, I think the two most interesting are San Francisco, where an impeachment initiative was passed by the voters – the same voters who next year get a chance to choose between Nancy Pelosi and Cindy Sheehan. And the other most interesting city is Detroit where the resolution passed in the city council unanimously after being introduced by the wife of Congressman John Conyers.
So here’s your assignment. Go online to a bookstore and put in the delivery address Monica Conyers, c/o Detroit City Council. Buy her two books: The Constitution in Crisis by John Conyers and an old Greek play called Lysistrata. Your other assignment is to not leave Telluride hanging out there on its own in Colorado, but make sure every town and city and church and labor union and veteran’s group and bridge club passes a resolution for impeachment.
After all, this is a democracy and we are a majority.
Last week, the American Research Group did another poll. This time, they changed the question from impeaching Cheney to impeaching him and removing him from office. That change has tended over the past two years of sporadic polling on Bush to lower the positive response by 10 percentage points. But American Research Group went further and offered people the choice of saying that Cheney had committed impeachable offenses but should not be impeached. That option would drain away those people who agreed with the various excuses that Pelosi and gang have used to keep impeachment off the table. And this poll went further still, offering the option of saying Cheney had abused his power without committing impeachable offenses. This option would catch those unwilling to say impeachable offenses shouldn’t be impeached as well as those unclear on what an impeachable offense is, including that such an offense can be committed with your pants on. Then there was a fourth option for Fox viewers: Cheney ain’t done nothing wrong.
Now to opt for impeachment people had to bypass three other choices and go for the fourth extreme. Those who would do so would be only the hardcore advocates concerned for the future of the Constitution and not scared off by the fear of a President Giuliani or the trauma of a lengthy investigation. Guess how many hardcore impeachment nuts we have in this country? 43% of us. Even among Republicans, 21% want Cheney removed from office. Among all Americans, 52% think he’s committed impeachable offenses and 70% think he’s abused power.