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New England Towns Mobilize for Impeachment

By       Message Dan DeWalt     Permalink
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The earth is shifting under Washington D.C. Our political leaders haven't yet noticed; the cushy mattresses that they have allotted themselves will ensure that they will be the last to feel this seismic shift.
The American people know why they voted in the Democrats: to get out of Iraq starting now, to change Congressional leadership as punishment for ethics violations and corruption at perhaps unparalleled levels, and to hold the executive branch accountable for illegal and unconstitutional acts.
While the Democrats dither and back away from their interest in constitutional obligations, we the people are taking things into our own hands.
As John Nichols points out in The Genius of Impeachment, the founding fathers were so concerned about kingly behavior by the executive branch, that they mention impeachment six times in the Constitution.
Thomas Jefferson specifically laid out the mechanism by which towns and states can lay charges calling for impeachment at the feet of the Congress, and he also described the obligation of the Congress to respect and give due process to these charges de populi.
Today, from every region of the nation, citizens are beginning to realize that we are going to have to lead the charge to end the war and hold the Bush administration accountable. Impeachment activists regionally and nationally are organizing their towns to meet with their Congressional representatives repeatedly, urging them torestore our constitutionally mandated balance of powers between the branches of government.
Today, in New England alone, over a dozen towns have officially voted overwhelmingly for resolutions calling for impeachment. Organizers are working in almost 50 Vermont, NH and Maine towns to get impeachment and "Bring the Troops Home Now" resolutions on the warnings (agendas) for Town Meetings in early March.
A Jefferson inspired impeachment bill will be brought to the Vermont legislature when the new session begins next month. Maine groups have already started to contact their congressional delegation.
Impeachment is a recurring story on the front pages of newspapers in Vermont and Massachusetts. Impeachment has also featured prominently in the conversations and guest appearances on Vermont local AM talk radio stations covering large sections of the state.
An informed populace is not easily cowed. As New Englanders learn the facts about impeachment, as they understand that it is not a constitutional crisis, but a proscribed and necessary remedy to a crisis, they endorse it readily. And now that the Republicans have lost control of Congress, the good citizens of our region are beginning to see that this may not have been such a Quixotic adventure as they thought it nine months ago.
One year ago, there was not even an impeachment murmur running through the Green Mountains of Vermont. Today, impeachment is a flash flood pouring out of the mountains and raising the level of the waters of discontent roiling around those who profess to lead us. What got us from there to here in twelve months? What was the prime mover that opened the floodgates? The separate acts of two random Vermonters, giving voice to their conscience in calling for impeachment, and asking their neighbors to add their voices in support. That was it. Two individual voices with word processors and a sense of constitutional duty. Their neighbors said thanks and what's next?, and the Vermont impeachment call had taken on a life of its own.
Of course New England is just one branch of this movement. Sparked by similar individual efforts in other cities and towns, demands for accountability and constitutional redress through impeachment resound from sectors all across the country.
So many think that one person can't make a difference on their own. Vermont's experience has shown that this is not true. Timing is critical. If the impeachment effort of March 2006 had been attempted in '04 or even '05, it would not have had the resonance that it did last March.
Today more than ever, seeing how they have been lied to, and the unfathomable cost of lives, honor and treasure that those lies have engendered, Americans are ready to roll up their sleeves and do what they can to reverse the direction that the Bush administration has taken, and to restore the delicate balance of powers outlined by our founders. If there ever was a time ripe for individual acts of conscience and leadership, it is today. George W. Bush is confused, stumbling, and stubborn, but he is still the most powerful single man on earth. Americans of all political stripes recognize the danger and disaster that the Bush administration has become. The most unlikely neighborhoods and towns are now ready to hear the call for impeachment. Don't be intimidated by the conventional political wisdom about where you live. Once again, the times they are a changing.
The entire world is alarmed by Bush and Cheney's rash, illegal and cavalier policies. But no country can invade the U.S. to "save us" from our President. No the only ones who can restore this country are we: and the only means by which we can do it are constitutional. We should not lament this duty. We must take heart that we have not yet lost our ability to exercise our rights to redress our government. Actively moving the Congress to impeach an errant executive is one of the finest actions that a citizen can take. Our founding fathers expected no less of us.
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Dan Dewalt is a musician/woodworker/teacher who authored the Newfane impeachment resolution passed at March 2006 town meetings.

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