During the 2006 mid-term election, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi proclaimed to the nation, and to the world, that the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was "off the table." At that time the statement seemed more a campaign ploy than an actual policy. Those who honored the Constitution as the law of the land clearly understood that the Constitution, in whole or in part, could not arbitrarily be suspended. Therefore, it was inconceivable that Mrs. Pelosi would interject political ideology for Constitutional law and indiscriminately suspend Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution. To do so would be a categorical abuse of power, and as impeachable an offense as the abuses of power committed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
In fact, according to attorney and former New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, co-author of "The Impeachment of George W. Bush," Bush and Cheney's impeachable offenses are defined as abuses of power. Holtzman says, "The Constitution just says that the president can be removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors. But if you look at the debates on the impeachment clause, you’ll see that the term high crimes and misdemeanors comes from British law and it generally means an abuse of power, not a violation of the criminal code." http://www.truthdig.com/interview/item/20060912_elizabeth_holtzman_impeachment_bush/
Nowhere in the Constitution is the Minority Leader of the House, or the eventual Speaker of the House, granted authority to indiscriminately suspend any portion of the Constitution. Any lawmaker who presumes the right to subvert the law is subject to removal from office. If fixing a traffic ticket for a friend, or bypassing building permits for a relative are subject to investigation and termination from office, consider the warranted punishment for intentionally subverting the Constitution.
Can there be any doubt that Mrs. Pelosi intentionally subverted Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution when she publicly pronounced that impeachment proceedings against George Bush and Dick Cheney were not permitted to go forward? Can there be any doubt that when she obstructed the Founders' Constitutional safeguard against presidential tyranny, Mrs. Pelosi blatantly and recklessly abused her authority? Can there be any doubt that by granting George Bush and Dick Cheney job permanence for the remainder of their term, Mrs. Pelosi thwarted the Constitutionally ordained balance of power and strengthened the unitary executive?
Can there be any question that because the most powerful person in Congress has chosen autocracy over democracy, the time has come for THE PEOPLE TO ASSERT THEIR OWN POWER?
According to Elizabeth Holtzman, "Impeachment can only happen when the American people demand it." Well, the American people demand it!!
Gratefully for our Constitution, and for our nation, the City of Los Angeles now has the democratic antidote to Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Los Angeles has the first in the nation National Impeachment Center (LANIC), a thriving, burgeoning hub of patriotism to fill the Founding Fathers with pride.
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Under the skillful guidance of Executive Director, and longtime social activist/attorney, Peter Thottam, LANIC has become the model for the organized nationwide movement to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. I've been to a wide variety of activist work sessions during the Bush/Cheney regime, but nothing I've seen captures the flavor of patriotism like the dedication at LANIC. Nothing I've seen comes close to the passion of these diverse volunteers who fervently seek to restore the balance of powers and quash this imperial presidency. In opposition to the death knell Speaker Pelosi has sounded for our Constitution, the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center and its democracy devotees are determined to revive it.
Seeing the depth of commitment of the patriots who volunteer at the Center every week, were they wearing ruffles, powdered wigs, and scribbling with feather plumes, LANIC could double as the Founders' own revolutionary work space. Dozens of workers rotate in and out of the Center, composing hand written letters to legislators, community leaders and media outlets, describing their heartfelt reasons to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney.
IT'S THE PEOPLE'S REVOLUTION!
All around LANIC, up and down the bustling West Hollywood streets, the city welcomes the resolute activists. Passersby nod their appreciation and smile at the standing "IMPEACHMENT" sign outside the building. Not everyone volunteers to help, yet they still seem happy the Center is there. And logically so, since they're in the heart of West Hollywood - which on July 23rd, by unanimous decree, became the 80th city in the nation to vote for the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney.
As eloquently stated by West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran, "Someday I know I'll look back and I'll be satisfied that when I thought the Constitution was in peril, I took some action rather than just sat passively by."
Way to go Mayor Duran!
Impeachment Centers modeled after LANIC are in the works across the nation. St. Louis, Missouri, Houston, Texas, Maine and more. And along with the Centers comes the PEOPLE'S ever growing recognition of just how necessary they are to salvage their democracy. Bush, Cheney and Pelosi have taught Americans well that they can't rely on their leaders. Little good happens when it starts at the top. Revolutions always begin at the bottom.