Tag Archives: David Swanson

An Inconvenient Impeachment

There he goes again, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, reading into the Congressional record just 35 of the reasons why this Congress should be impeaching this sitting president and his VP. With diminutive stature but steely resolve, Kucinich forcefully takes his place alongside the earlier patriots who stood up to executive abuse, the “high crimes and misdemeanors,” and spoke out for accountability.

And who was listening? Certainly not the US media, and by extension, no one else. The C-Span viewer was one of the few in the country who could witness this historic event. Or, check youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=JLf… Gore Vidal  rightfully points out that anyone truly interested in knowing what’s going on in our country must be reading foreign coverage–all still available online–since other countries ARE interested in what happens in the U.S. http://www.truthdig.com/report…

The impeachment resolution, HR 1258, was introduced June 9th as a “privileged motion” to get around Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who personally opposes impeachment and has reportedly said she “likes” President Bush.  

Two days later, the House voted that this motion be referred to John Conyers’ Judiciary Committee. Kucinich, as well as co-sponsors, Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), voted FOR this referral. For rollcall see: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/200…  Most pundits are saying that the motion will die in Judiciary. If so, then why would these three have voted for it to go there? Is there hope that Conyers will actually step forward and support impeachment hearings as he did BEFORE he took over as chair after the 2006 election?

Yes, let’s roll back to that time when those who vote came out and said ENOUGH!!! Give control back to the Democrats so that they will stop this war and put brakes on this renegade band in the White House! Yet, immediately after this 2006 election when DEMOCRATS were handed the majority in both houses (well, sort of, if anyone really still considers Lieberman one), Nancy Pelosi, as the new Speaker, took it upon herself to dismiss the constitutional requirements to hold the executive branch in check through the mandated procedures of impeachment.

“Impeachment is off the table,” said she. And one by one, the little sheep in the Democratic flock, have gone along with her pronouncement. They seem to think that they will somehow be rewarded and handed the presidency in ’08 as a result of their cowardice. It may not be convenient that we are in a presidential election year, but should this be used as a reason to NOT INVESTIGATE these serious charges? I think not. A far greater threat is to allow them to pass onto the dung heap of dead motions and, thus, take a stand that ALLOWS the destruction of our constitution. Is that really what Democrats stand for in this presidential election year?

My own Congressman, Henry Waxman, went to great pains to explain to a group of activists from his district last year that there “wasn’t enough time.” He was not ready to support impeachment regardless of those within his district who wanted his many hearings into the corruption of the Bush administration to END with a SERIOUS RESULT — IMPEACHMENT. West Hollywood, a city within his CD, had voted to support impeachment. The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club, one of the oldest and largest in his CD, declined to endorse this incumbent’s candidacy (in spite of no one running against him). David Swanson just posted his take on Waxman’s inaction: http://afterdowningstreet.org/…  (what his constituents have said for a long while).

Are our incumbent Democrats so entrenched and bought out by corporate lobbyists that they will not respond to their electorate? And the dwindling electorate increasingly opts out and won’t vote because “it makes no difference.” And fewer and fewer people make it to the polls, especially for those so-called “little elections” where state officials are selected and gain entree onto the political runway. And incumbents with no opposition funnel their lobbyist funds to their anointed choices who win elections with a tiny fraction of those eligible to vote. And the cycle perpetuates itself.

And the democracy that we’ve been taught we had, is no more, taken over by the corporate and religious interests who dictate both domestic and foreign policy and continue to loot the treasury and spin this nation into the unending pit of trillions of dollars of debt…and the country’s mainstream media fiddles on, themselves complicit.

So, WHY ARE the members of Congress so afraid of this president and his henchmen? Have there been blackmail threats? Are there internal dossiers of their own many transgressions? Do they have sexual proclivities that will be revealed if they dare show any backbone? Have their families been threatened? And, what about Blackwater? Is it being used for private enforcement and surveillance?

I recall the days when Senator Wayne Morse stood up to oppose another war and another administration. He was a true patriot.  And earlier in this current war, when our most elder statesman, Senator Robert Byrd, stood up and tried to stop his colleagues’ “rush to war.” Thank you Dennis Kucinich, for standing up once again in the midst of your fellows who are busy doctoring and reframing the meaning of patriotism.

Democratic leadership may think this is an inconvenient time to remind them of their constitutional responsibilities. If you disagree, start calling your electeds and jam the lines. 202-224-3121 is the main number for the House. Or, better yet, go to www.house.gov, tap in your zip code, and get the direct line to your congressional representative. And, call often. Even daily. Remember, there’s a local AND a Washington DC number. Call both.


Two new endorsements for Mary Pallant in CA-24!

Those of you who follow House races closely know that CA-24 is one of the under-the-radar races to watch this year.  Though it’s not getting a lot of attention in the national media, this district is one that could end up surprising a lot of people who aren’t watching the trends on the ground.

The race features Mary Pallant, the progressive Democrat, going up against Elton Gallegly, a do-nothing rubberstamp Republican, in an already purple district that is turning increasingly blue and is filled with abnormally large numbers of independent voters.  Pallant is also being challenged in the primary by Jill Martinez; however, given that Martinez is still over $93,000 in debt from her previous campaign, it is unclear how vigorous a challenge she will be able to mount to either Pallant or Gallegly.  

Full disclosure: I serve as the volunteer Netroots Coordinator for the Mary Pallant campaign

I have explained before how competitive this district may be in the fall due to changes in the electorate that bode well for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot here.  With enough money and momentum, there is no good reason for this district to remain in Republican hands.

On the money side, Mary’s campaign is in the black and raising money at a steady clip.

And on the momentum side, Mary Pallant has received two more another boosts to her campaign–this time from well-respected progressive activists.

The first endorsement comes from David Swanson, co-founder of the pro-impeachment blog After Downing Street.  From the as-yet unpublished press release:

David Swanson, co-founder of AfterDowningStreet.org and Washington Director of Democrats.com, endorses Mary Pallant for the United States House of Representatives.

David said, “We should support the campaign of Mary Pallant in California’s 24th district, a pro-impeachment Democrat challenging Elton Gallegly.”

Mary supports the rule of law and our constitution above partisan politics. She believes we should hold hearings concerning the actions of this administration and let the evidence speak for itself.

The other media endorsement this week came from Norman Solomon, nationally syndicated columnist and author of Made Love, Got War, War Made Easy (later turned into a documentary narrated by Sean Penn), and Target Iraq.

Mr. Solomon will be traveling to the 24th District to support Mary’s campaign with a fundraiser on May 4th in Simi Valley (feel free to email me for more info if you are interested in attending).

If you don’t know yet why you should be interested in this race, here’s a snippet from my previous post on the campaign for the 24th:

Why should you help Mary?  Because she can win.  Seriously.  California’s 24th district has long been in the hands of the Republican party, largely because of its suburban and exurban demographics, as well as because of the presence of strongly conservative Simi Valley.  But the district has been changing for a long time now–and it’s poised to flip Blue this year.  As David Dayen noted in his House Races Roundup over at Calitics, the 24th district is now on the map for Democrats as it should be.  This beautiful district that lies between Henry Waxman’s solidly Democratic district in Los Angeles’ westside and Lois Kapp’s solidly Democratic district in Santa Barbara should by all rights be in Democratic hands this year–and with your help we can make that happen.

Turnout numbers in this district are off the charts as voters get increasingly sick of Republican rule.  This R+5 district saw Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by almost 4,000 votes earlier this year, partly due to the historic primary race.  Nor is there any indication that the Democratic turnout will do anything but increase in November as we approach this historic general election.  I was quoted extensively in the local paper the Ventura County Reporter in its story on Ventura County’s flip from red to blue in overall voter registration–one of the major reasons for Tom McClintock’s departure to the supposedly friendlier climes of CA-04 to take on Charlie Brown.

Republican Elton Gallegly, meanwhile, is a do-nothing, nearly invisible Rubberstamp Republican who has essentially ignored the needs of the district for years while supporting the unpopular Occupation of Iraq, Bush’s unpopular tax cuts for the wealthy.

This is a race we can win, and Mary has the sort of progressive credentials we can all get excited about.  If you can, please help Mary with a donation so that we can finally flip this district from rubberstamp Red to progressive Blue!