For those who feel impeachment is either unimportant or a distraction, to those who contend that impeachment is too late or too costly, irrelevant or merely vindictive, but especially to those in our Congress entrusted with making and preserving our laws, I write this letter. I believe you are missing some very important principles that just might save America’s legacy and soul.To my dear, disenchanted fellow citizens,
1- America IS its Constitution. Without it, we have nothing special to offer this planet. It is what set this "land of the free" apart historically, why we call ourselves the "great experiment in democracy (laws made by the people)". It is what spelled out the basis for a democratic society, a principle which George Bush claims to be sending people to kill and die for on the other side of the world.
2- Built into that Constitution is a self-defense mechanism — the process of impeachment (basically a congressional accusation, which could lead to a trial in the Senate). It was written there in order to prevent and deal with possible abuses of power or breaches of the Constitution. It is an indictment which, only if proven, could lead to removal from office.
3- The President, the Congress, and the Armed Forces ALL make an Oath to that Constitution, not to the president, not to a political party, not to a flag, but to the Constitution, to defend it against "all enemies, foreign and domestic."
5- The frivolous use of impeachment for political and vindictive reasons during the Bill Clinton presidency, caused much of the public to come to regard the impeachment process itself as a mere political, partisan tool. Sullied repeatedly and on television, impeachment effectively became neutralized as a serious means to investigate or to stop any possible excesses or crimes of the Executive.
We live with those consequences every day now. In the last few years, our Constitution has repeatedly and successfully been attacked and eroded because of the very reluctance to use impeachment as the safeguard it was meant to be. Today we can see this as a first step towards the imperial executive, and in dissolving the separation of powers.
a. our Constitution becomes "defenseless", and loses its means of protection from abuse.
b. our Congress, by not invoking impeachment, violates its Oath of Office to defend that Constitution, and becomes complicit in possible wrong-doing.
c. The Constitution might never be protected again, and thus, effectively America, as we know it, will have DIED, never to be resurrected again as it was...and all our officials will have breached their Oaths by not defending it. The backbone of America will be broken.
So, those who say impeachment is wrong, or that there is not enough time, are effectively allowing America to commit suicide, never to have that Dream again. They will have done more damage to the US (and to the world) than any Al Queda or other foreign-based enemy ever could do. It wouldn't matter any more what happens with America's wars abroad. Our security (the constitutional basis for our society) will have been severely breached, and the war at home will be LOST, along with our freedoms.
Now THAT would be the destruction of America.
Spying, torture, removal of habeus corpus, preemptive wars, illegal unlimited detention, infiltration of civic groups, censorship, accusing political opposition of being "terrorists," etc....does this sound like the USA you and I know? Sounds kinda like the ol' Soviet Union, doesn't it? I don't know about you, but I don't want a dictatorship implanted here. I want an ever-more-perfected democracy.
George Bush was quoted at a November 2005 White House meeting about the Patriot Act as having angrily referred to the United States Constitution "that goddamned piece of paper." THAT UTTERANCE, alone, is a violation of the inaugural Oath of Office he took, and the document he swore to defend; it makes him unfit to continue in that office, and should land him in the street.
Our solemn duty.
There simply is no higher political or moral duty at this time for real patriots, than to impeach this president as it is required by law, by our Constitution. There simply ARE NO higher priorities than to save America's Laws and Life.
To pretend that there are more important things to do in Congress during Bush's last six months, is to willingly stick one's head in the sand while America dies an ignoble death. Do you want that on your conscience? Is THAT the legacy you wish to give your children? Or might you rather have them be proud to be part of a nation that knew how to REALLY defend itself from abuse--and not just with bombs and bullets--but rather, with the Supreme Law of the Land, the US Constitution.
Yours, with due respect, with and hope for the future of our nation,
Alan Kobrin is an activist, web consultant, educator, and writer, who seeks a re-dedication to democracy through participation; he co-founded FloridaImpeach.org and is a spokesperson for the Green Party of Florida.