During previous American presidencies, less calamitous than that of George W. Bush, the most consistent visitors to local and national legislators were paid corporate lobbyists seeking favors that rarely, if ever, served the common good. Greedy K-Street 'Abramoffs' exploited American capitalism and sacrificed the many to benefit the few.
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Before the reign of George W. Bush, self-indulgent corporate lobbyists far outnumbered unpaid patriots who called-on elected officials. Average Americans didn't phone, fax, email and visit their national, state and local legislators to plead for their country's salvation. They felt no need to. Their democracy, though flawed, was at no risk of failing. Their electeds, though flawed, weren't tearing it apart.
But today, with America in a Constitutional crisis, savvy constituents across the nation are rushing to intervene. The number of patriot lobbyists visiting electeds has grown substantially. Citizen interventions abound.
It's an awakening! An awakening of patriotism, populism and progressivism. Americans aren't afraid to act-up as the Bush regime had planned with the Patriot Act and the dismantling of habeus corpus. Quite the contrary. Americans are valiant. They're lobbying selflessly for their nation's survival. Not to deplete it, as corporatists, but to rebuild it, as patriots.
Over the past seven years, due to the Constitutional crisis of the 2000 Presidential election, the passage of Iraq War Resolution 114, the preemptive strike on Iraq, the ongoing Iraq occupation, the torture at Abu Ghraib, citizen incarceration without representation, illegal electronic surveillance, and much much more, Americans have become increasingly involved in lobbying electeds to defend and protect the Constitution. For progressive citizen lobbyists that means pulling out of the illegal war in Iraq and impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Across the nation, patriot lobbyists forge ongoing delegations to electeds to educate them on their duties. In each meeting, electeds are provided updated research, information, and necessary tools to competently do their jobs. Invariably, citizen lobbyists are more knowledgeable than the electeds.
Three weeks ago, a delegation of patriot lobbyists went to Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman's office (CA 30th CD) to discuss impeachment and the war in Iraq. During that meeting, the group informed Mr. Waxman, who is Chairman of the critically important House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, that he had the option to use "Inherent Contempt" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_of_Congress) to force Bush's cronies to testify in Congress or face arrest and imprisonment until they do.
Shockingly Waxman, whose Bush Administration subpoenas are squelched by Bush Executive Order, was unaware of his option of "Inherent Contempt."
HOW COULD THIS BE?!
Why doesn't Henry Waxman know EVERY Constitutional option on hand to maximize the effectiveness of his Committee? In any other business that level of ignorance after decades in office is legitimate grounds for dismissal. The same standard should apply to Congressman Waxman.
The citizen delegation also provided Waxman with evidence legitimizing the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. They further recommended to Waxman that he view the John Nichols/Bruce Fein program on impeachment that aired on Bill Moyers' Journal on PBS. It was a widely seen, highly acclaimed and informative program detailing Congress's obligation to invoke articles of impeachment when there is evidence of abuse of power - which Nichols and Fein provide ample proof of in their case against Bush and Cheney.
The fact is, as Chair of a powerful investigative committee, it is incumbent upon Waxman to use every tool available to self-educate on the job. If the un-elected citizen lobbyists can take the time to view this video, then the paid elected official should be obliged to do the same. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07132007/profile.html
Last week a citizen delegation I organized on behalf of CODEPINK visited Democratic Congressman Howard Berman (CA 28th CD) to discuss the War in Iraq and impeachment. Once again the citizens were better informed than the Congressman.
Mr. Berman appeared surprised at my suggestion that Speaker Pelosi had no authority to 'take impeachment off the table' since impeachment was prescribed by the Constitution. I explained that Americans don't pick and choose what parts of the Constitution to honor. It's the supreme law of the land in whole - not in part. I explained that Speaker Pelosi had committed a potentially impeachable offense by purposely and publicly disavowing the Constitution she is mandated by oath to protect.
Our group, comprised of respected community leaders, also informed Mr. Berman about the Bill Moyers' program on impeachment. Since the Congressman had obviously not read the many books on impeaching George Bush and Dick Cheney that the rest of us had - even though HE serves on the House Judiciary Committee and WE don't - the least he could do is view an informative hour long program.
He agreed that he would.
Later that afternoon, Mr. Berman was provided the link to the Bill Moyers program. We'll follow up to make certain he views it. After all, he's the paid elected official. We're just patriot lobbyists protecting our nation for free.
One final and critically important question for the progressive community:
Where are our progressive candidates for 2008 to run against these slacker incumbents? With the rise of the progressive movement and the desire to reclaim our democracy, will progressive candidates please step up to challenge these clowns??
If you run as a Dem and act like a Green we'll work our butts off to get you elected.