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"Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call!"

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A New York Times article by David M. Herszenhorn scolded Rep. Dennis Kucinich for running for President and for introducing articles of impeachment against VP Cheney:

It’s hard to know which effort has longer odds, the bid by Representative Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, to become president of the United States, or his bid to unseat Vice President Dick Cheney by trying to get him impeached.

As if justice and responsibility rest on the ease of successful prosecution, Mr. Herszenhorn refuses to discuss the merits of Rep. Kucinich’s efforts to examine Cheney’s actions in high office reciting: “Mr. Kucinich’s two campaigns are completely interconnected with his candidacy for president largely based on his opposition to the Iraq war and his contention that the Bush administration, led by Mr. Cheney, deceived the American people about Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction” as if these facts aren’t widely publicized. At least the article quotes from the Articles of Impeachment:

In his conduct while Vice President of the United States, Richard B. Cheney, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of Vice President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has purposely manipulated the intelligence process to deceive the citizens and Congress of the United States by fabricating a threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the use of the United States Armed Forces against the nation of Iraq in a manner damaging to our national security interests.

These are serious charges, but Kucinich clearly has grounds to make them. Cheney repeated several statements of fact claiming intelligence confirmed a nuclear and biological weapons threat from Iraq. Cheney knew or should have known these statements were false and grossly exaggerated, and he clearly intended to inflame passions and justify the attack against Iraq. None of this should shock or confuse even the most casual observer of events leading up the war.

Herszenhorn writes House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer “accuse[d] Congressional Republicans of playing politics with a serious issue. ‘I am surprised that Republicans would treat an issue as important as the potential impeachment of a Vice President of the United States as a petty political game,’ he said in a statement. ‘It is beneath the dignity of this institution.’”

That's true, but not in the way Hoyer seems to say. It is beneath the dignity of the House to sit back and watch as the executive branch, exemplified by Dick Cheney, heaps scorn on the Congress, misleads the public, eviscerates the Constitution, squanders untold 100s of $billions and destroys the lives of 1000s of American families and millions of Iraqis. Democrats’ silence signals consent, however. The voters–yearning for courage–grow ever more restless. Will they reward Kucinich for his leadership on this issue?

Herszenhorn parrots the Democratic Leadership’s talking-points: “After a motion to table Mr. Kucinich’s bill failed, the majority leader, Steny H. Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, stepped in with a motion to refer the bill back to the House Judiciary Committee. That motion succeeded, by a near party-line vote of 218-194, and spared the Democrats a potentially embarrassing distraction.” This without noting the chilling parallel between the House Leadership and the White House’s opposition to accountability: “The White House issued a statement accusing Congressional Democrats of wasting an afternoon: ‘The is why Americans shake their head in wonder about the priorities of this Congress.’”

Well again, that much is true, but not for the reasons implied by the White House’s arrogant dismissal of accountability and the House Leadership’s refusal to undertake their Constitutional duty to enforce accountability. The public is aware the Bush Cheney Administration has gone rogue. Only their staunchest supporters excuse the excesses and countenance the crimes. Many Americans “shake their head in wonder” at the Democratic House–empowered by voters in response to Republican wrong-doing and charged with ending the war in 2006–which has refused to show sufficient backbone, leaving Congress even less popular than Bush.

Tellingly, nine of the first ten comments on the NY Times Blog clearly favored Kucinich’s run for the White House, his drive to hold Cheney accountable or both. The other comment seemingly impugned the other comment-posters’ maturity:

1. November 6th, 2007 6:50 pm
Pelosi and her ilk should be impeached for not letting this go through. Kucinich’s call, like the preisdent, is a no-brainer. Cheney has committed multiple impeachable offenses and should be impeached.
— Posted by history is a weapon

2. November 6th, 2007 6:52 pm
I applaud Dennis Kucinich’s efforts to bring the criminality of the present administration to the attention of the electorate. The war in Iraq has been irresponsibly commenced and waged. The inactivity of Democrats on this issue is shameful.
— Posted by Jill Rose Quinn

3. November 6th, 2007 6:54 pm
Mr. Kucinich is a small man with a big sense of what’s right. I admire him for saying something that should have been said years ago before Cheney, Rumy, Bush and the rest of the neo-cons got us mired in the Iraq debacle. The fact that the impeachment resolution didn’t stand a chance doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
— Posted by Adam

4. November 6th, 2007 6:57 pm
“It’s hard to know which effort has longer odds, the bid by Representative Dennis Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, to become president of the United States, or his bid to unseat …”

Dennis Kucinich is polling #4 nationally. He polled #2 in an important California straw poll. He won two post-debate polls handily on ABC, but few saw it because ABC took both polls down from its website.

Kucinich has more support than the mainstream media wants America to know about. He cannot be bought. He is his own man. For that, they blacklist him.
— Posted by Karen S.

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Maryland State Coordinator, Progressive Democrats of America

Executive Director, Montgomery County Progressive Alliance

Cofounder, Health Care Maryland | Fundraising Chairperson Camp Democracy

Steering Committee Democracy for America / Montgomery (more...)

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