Monday, February 19, 2007

The Fierce Urgency of Impeachment...

While many smart and experienced defense analysts, former spooks and scholars, along with a few bold and leading Republicans, are concerned that unless Bush is impeached more or less immediately, we will find ourselves unrecoverably in permanent, total war with Iran, Syria, and a larger group of justifiable (in their system of reasoning and responsibility) jihadists, many centrist Democratic strategists are less concerned about the fate of our constitutional democracy than whether or not impeachment will negatively impact the party in the 2008 Presidential election.

We need to push these most fearful and self-serving Dems aside, and push for this now, before their contagion of self-doubt becomes more entrenched and more widely communicated. Impeachment is a very popular idea, a very desperate requirement for most of the people who voted in November to stop the war, and now have confronted the reality that the war can not be stopped, and the next one will not be averted, if Bush and Cheney remain in office. Cutting the funding won't work, as Bush and his Iran-Contra veterans know how to get funding from the House of Saud, and are consummate rule breakers and lawyered-up anarchists* banking on triggering the final battle in Bush's "lame duck" years. Conventional political thinking can't apply to this situation... we can't simply wait out these people who are fundamentally at war with the cosmos itself, as our "reality-based community" knows it... e.g dependent of living flesh and blood, drinkable water, breathable air, with the hope of having a future worth living.

It doesn't need to be a media-approved process. It won't be, except for in those cases that the media is popularly controlled. Be that media in face-to-face communications, in circulating the petitions, in lobbying members ofthe U.S. House of Representatives and also state legislators that can start impeachment process in the remaining 47 states that have not yet initiated it.

Right now, Congress is in recess, and you can find your member of Congress at home in your district...


I got up at 2 a.m. this morning in Charlottesville, Va., my town and the town of Thomas Jefferson, the man whose greatest fear for our republic was of elected despotism. Jefferson and Madison and Mason and the others who drafted the most influential Constitution the world has seen, created a system of elections, but devoted much more attention and many more words to creating a system for maintaining our democracy in between elections. They gave this essential power to the House of Representatives, as the branch most subject to popular control, and they called this power impeachment.

The founders knew that democracy could only be maintained through eternal vigilance. But we – or perhaps more G.E. and Disney than we – have substituted for eternal vigilance an eternal election season. I don't know if the founders could have imagined the way in which elections are killing our democracy, but they certainly imagined that the loss of the power of impeachment would mean a return to tyranny.

No one can say exactly how long our window of opportunity is to get impeachment up and running before it's effectively blocked by the November 2008 election. Is it too late already? Do we have two months? Three months? Four months? Wiser minds than mine seem inclined to think we may have until roughly the end of April to get the impeachment process up and running. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep pushing until January 2009 if need be. But it does mean that if you or your organization are on the edge of accepting the need for impeachment you should bear in mind that it will be much more helpful for you to make that decision right now than later this year or next year.

Seventeen Republicans took a tiny step forward against the war on Friday. They did that because Republican voters are turning against Bush and Cheney. Republicans should think very hard about something. Do you, as a Republican, want future Democratic presidents to have the ability to rewrite laws with signing statements? Do you want them to have the ability to spy on you with no legal oversight? I know Libertarians don't want that. Congressman Ron Paul says Bush should be impeached, but Congressman Paul has not found the nerve to do anything about it – yet.

[David Swanson, AfterDowningStreet.org]


*lawyered-up anarchists are obviously the worst kind of dangerous hypocrite, especially when they have a track record, as Bush and Cheney do, of discounting the value of human life, starting wars and murdering for sheer profit, and writing and enforcing laws they expect only people outside their peer group need to heed.

I've been an anarchist with a lawyer, at one or two moments in my life, but that was driven by the realization that anarchism, or the practise of doing whatever you want and trying not to get caught was the practise of most of this country's elite, and revelations the Federal Government was the most constant criminal element in our society (e.g Iran-Contra, CIA drugs-for-guns deals, Operation Tipped Kettle, etc. during the hangover from Reagan period of Bush the Father). I've also been comitted to the principles of non-violence, and been pretty good at sticking to them, despite some tricky moments...

Anyway, we are society governed by laws that apply to Bush and Cheney, too, or we can all just run amok and start burning tires in the street. Having a lawful, peaceful process is the better way to go about it. Impeach, and recommit to a society governed by the rule of law, or admit that we all equally entitled to the privelege of criminality members of this Administration (and its predecessors) have enjoyed.

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