A GRIM Report

Guest Post by Alan McSurely

Since the press reported the massive unconstitutional domestic spying program of President Bush and Vice President Cheney 2 months ago, a spontaneous grass roots impeachment movement has taken off. One poll showed over 53% of the American people favored an impeachment investigation, over 90% of African Americans were for such an investigation, and over 24% Republicans. This belief that our two leaders have committed crimes is well grounded. The men lied to Congress to give them authority to invade a sovereign nation. Their intentional lies, mixed with their massive ignorance of the Iraqi nation and stumblebum incompetence in handling basic governmental functions has led to the murderous mayhem in Iraq that has destroyed the Nation's leaders, its culture, and tens of thousands of its children. This is a high crime.

The carefully constructed plausible deniability of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfield about U.S. intelligence forces torture program has been blown. They knew about, permitted, and ratified the most cruel and unusual punishments of prisoners including tying prisoners to waterboards for faked drownings, mocking prisoner's sexual mores and religious beliefs, and other cruelties that have been photographed and shown to the world. They have ordered prisoners held for years without hearings or charges. These acts have been outlawed by every civilized society, including the U.S. for centuries. Bush knew the poor Black neighborhoods of New Orleans would be wiped out when the dams broke. Bush fiddled on his Texas farm while Black people drowned. Intentional failure to provide equal protection to all citizens is a constitutional violation. These are high crimes.

Bush/Cheney set up a massive spying program that was specifically prohibited by the 4th Amendment and the Foreign Intelligence Security Act (FISA) after the unconstitutional abuses of the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the Defense Intelligence Agencies were exposed in the 1970´s Watergate inquiries. It is such a blatant violation that Republican Senators are trying to blunt the impeachment movement by talking about retroactively making the violations legal. This far-fetched fig-leaf will draw more attention to the impeachable crimes they have already committed.

If such convincing evidence were presented to a competent law enforcement official, prosecuting attorney, grand jury, or probable cause Judge, they would quickly file charges and set the trial date. Taken together the lies, spies, torture and ethnic cleansing in New Orleans is overwhelming. This is the basis for the grass roots impeachment movement.

BUSH AND CHENEY HAVE BEEN CAUGHT BLUFFING

Like poker players who have been caught cheating and who have nothing in the hole, Bush and Cheney's initial reaction is to bluff some more. Bush's handlers send him out to his vetted daily photo opportunities where he tries to impersonate his hero, Ronald Reagan, acting like his hero, the Marlboro Man. But as people jump his right wing ship daily, Bush's personal insecurities are beginning to take over. Compare his facial expressions when he lies now with how he acted say, six months ago. His frat boy cockiness covers a very short fuse.

As Scooter Libby can begin to hear the jail doors clanging, he and his lawyers are implying that Cheney directed Libby to out a CIA agent Cheney didn't like. This stressful news was on the Sunday morning talk shows two weeks ago, but Cheney got as far away from D.C. as possible, to a beer party at a Texas ranch with old friends. He was so relaxed he shot a friend in a bright orange coat about 30 yards away on Saturday about 5 p.m. Instead of reporting this shooting immediately, so he could be given a breathalyzer and the forensic and other material evidence could be preserved, law enforcement and the public were not given any facts until after the Sunday morning talk shows and the alcohol were past/passed. Cheney's psychological state was revealed by his hostess. She said her first thought, when she saw Cheney's secret service detail rushing toward him, was that Cheney had suffered a heart attack. Bush and Cheney´s psychological state is not our concern. Their corporate sponsors will pay for empathetic handlers to approach them with golden parachutes, as they did with Nixon when his lies and crimes became evident to everyone but himself.

The task of the Grass Roots Impeachment Movement (GRIM) is to make it clear to every politician, Republican and Democratic, that the criminal acts of Bush/Cheney must be tried quickly in the U.S. Senate. For this trial to take place, 218 members of the House of Representatives must file charges against them. We are working on the one member we have some control over, Cong. David Price.

AN INTERIM REPORT

The Carrboro Forum: Starting from scratch in mid-January, we held an overwhelmingly successful forum, ¨The Case for Impeachment¨ in Carrboro in late January. At the close of the presentations, Carrboro Alderman to be, Dan Coleman, asked the crowd of over 140 how many supported asking Cong. Price to be a sponsor of House Bill 635, that calls for a Congressional investigation leading toward impeachment. Practically everyone raised their hands, except for the two members of Cong. Price´s staff who were there. Coleman then asked how many people would support a candidate to run against him, if Price refused to sponsor the impeachment bill. Practically everyone raised their hand again.

1st Price Meeting: The following week, a dozen people who had attended the Carrboro forum met with Cong. Price and the two staffers who had briefed him on our agenda. He implied the impeachment demand was not “middle America” and said he was interested in requesting a special prosecutor, like Clinton had agreed to Kenneth Starr, to investigate Bush´s acts. Price said he got the idea from Al Gore´s recent speech. We asked him pointblank whether he would become the first white Southerner to sponsor Cong. John Conyers´ bill that had about 10 sponsors then. Price asked whether Cong. Mel Watt had signed it. (No.) Shortly after our meeting, Price and Watt had a meeting with a predominantly Black group at the N.C. Mutual Building in Durham. Watt said he thought talk about impeachment was premature. Professor emeritus Chuck Stone polled the crowd as to whether they favored impeachment and about half raised their hands. Stone chided the rest for being timid.

2nd Price Meeting: We met with Price again last week. He showed us a letter that he and another member had written Bush, asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate himself. We asked, incredulously, did he think Bush would respond? He said no. We again asked him to sponsor the Impeachment Investigation Bill, which now has over 25 sponsors. The only southern sponsors are two Black members from Georgia, John Lewis (the “conscience of the House”) and Cynthia McKinney. We also suggested he and like-minded Members hold hearings throughout the South to educate the people about the crimes and the need for impeachment. He implied he believed coming out openly for impeachment hearings now would marginalize us. We left agreeing that there are many approaches to this constitutional crisis.

Other Developments

Mr. Kent Kanoy, from Carrboro, who works at Duke, filed in the Democratic Primary and is carrying the Impeachment Banner proudly. The Primary is May 2nd. According to experts, about 20,000 votes will carry the Democratic primary.

The first counterattack from Rove to the national Impeachment Movement is that the more we ¨extremists¨ talk Impeachment, the more it will mobilize the Republican right wing base for the off-year election. If every time Rove trots out one of his dirty tricks we play into it, we should hang it up.

We present the Case for Impeachment on Tuesday, February 28th at 7 p.m. at Chapel Hill Town Hall. Michelle Cotton Laws and Rev. Robert Seymour will participate, along with Prof. Dan Pollitt and myself. We will be announcing the formation of GRIM, and asking for your help to build the Movement.

Issues: 

Total votes: 252

Comments

What can we do to support your efforts?

Having lived through the first incarnation of George W (Tricky Dick Nixon) I can tell you that it is possible to effect change: but you have to want it. We can make a difference. We can either sit idly by for three years and wait for this moron to disappear or we can rise up and do our best to make him disappear now, rather than later. Sure the odds are stacked against us. But what do we have to lose? It can't get much worse than it already is. Let's throw the bastard out!!

Would it be appropriate to publicize this on some relevant student listservs at UNC? Meaning: does turnout matter?

Impeachment Road to Nowhere

I wonder whether those pushing for an Impeachment of W have truly thought about the consequences of an impeachment on the leadership of the country. A quick lesson on the law. Presidential Succession... If W is impeached, Dick Cheney, becomes president. If Cheney is impeached, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, as president pro tempore of the Senate, (who has been pushing for the liberation of ANWR's oil reserves for over 20 years) sits in the chair. If Sen. Stevens was somehow removed, albeit unlikely since he is not currently in the administration, then Condi Rice becomes President. Notice a pattern, your efforts would do little to effect change. Is this really what the subscribers to GRIM really want? I seriously doubt it. Think it through. Spend your efforts and time elsewhere.
-Regards,
your favority orange co. conservative.

Not exactly correct:

The order is Vice President Cheney, the Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, then President Pro Tempore of the Senate Ted Stevens.

The Cabinet follows in order of creation:
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Secretary of Homeland Security

If impeachment investigations begin in the House, they will not move to the Senate until after the 2006 elections. (Assuming they could even be started in the House while the Republican Party contols that chamber.)

If the Dems win the House, Nancy Pelosi will be the Speaker. I don't see how, given what is already publicly known, Bush could be impeached without Cheney.

Most likely, if an impeachment trial begins in the Senate, Cheney will resign for "health" reasons and Bush will pick a "clean" VP.

Christopher,

Impeachment is the right thing to do because Bush has committeed high crimes. Surely you understand that if impeachment wrere successful that the political landscape will have been dramatically changed and then it's not as simple as viewing the successor to the presidency throuigh the lens of the present.

Will tomorrow night's forum be televised?

I have not gone to the county dem convention in years-for lots of reasons-but plan to this year to talk about the moral need for impeachment and how I will only support a canidate for congress who will support impeachment hearings.I hope others will be going with the same purpose in mind
Jacquie

Alan McSurely mentiones that at the second meeting with Rep. Price they talked about a special prosecutor. The H-S article on Feb. 17th is worth reading for more info on this. Price indicated in the article that he's joining the call by some Democratic lawmakers for a special counsel to investigate the government's warrantless electronic surveillance of its citizens.

Any human endeavor has its faults, and the elected and appointed folks in our government (not to mention civil servants) are no exception. The reason we have made such progress over the past two hundred plus years (and why we remain the envy of so many oppressed people across the world despite our troubles) is that we have a functioning legal system. It isn't perfect, but it has brought Presidents, Congressmen, and a host of others to heel when they have failed their obligations to the law. I cannot help but regard all this energy directed at impeachment as fundamentally misdirected. If you feel moral outrage, why don't you direct it at activities with a 100% probability of success? There are hungry people right here in town. If you don't like that, you could spend your efforts to put up Habitat Houses right here in town. I think that your efforts to clean and fold clothing for the PTA Thrift shop will be most welcome. Food, clothing, shelter.....when we have those needs handled here, we could take on those problems in Durham, or maybe Hillsborough, or even in Mebane. The cost of all this frothing about impeachment is that effort isn't directed at very substantial, pressing needs for people who need the help now (and don't have a phone that could be tapped if someone from overseas called them to talk about attacking some location in the U.S.). I just think this is a total waste of time and effort that could be put to much better uses. It took a while for Clinton's sexual predation of female interns (and others) to become a legal matter. If George has crossed the line, the same will happen to him. If you think it will take too long, pass the time by doing something right here for someone who really needs the help......

I think our mutual distaste for George W's unlawful actions are evident, but our ideas about strategy may sink us all. I like the idea of backing a special prosecutor concerning wiretaps because of its narrow focus, which makes it much more winnable. Additionally, what comes from that investigation could get a snowball going that could eventually take down the entire administration.

Where we need to be careful is if we start trying to take down established lawmakers who not only oppose Bush, but have a bit of clout on the Hill - like Rep. Price. An impeachment movement would fair much better in a democratic house, and the way to win it back is not by attacking allies in primaries. The money that Rep. Price will have to spend in a primary is money that could be funnelled to Dunn or Shueler to take down a pair of serious Republican slimebags.

Right on the money, RobertC!

How did it go last night?

ALERT!

I've been pestering our local reps in Raleigh (Hackney, Insko, Kinnaird) to look into the possibility of state-initiated impeachment proceedings. The response so far has been . . . how should I say this . . . uninspiring.

But news yesterday from Vermont suggests the possibility of driving this forward from the county and local level. Here's the Daily Kos diary covering the issue.

Here's the resolution with the key paragraph bolded. Perhaps our local elected officials would like to take a similar action and push it to our dear representatives in Raleigh.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the "supreme law of the land",

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the Attorney General to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the Government, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered at least thirty times the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and designated certain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants", all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and

WHEREAS George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony,

NOW THEREFORE the Rutland County Democratic Committee submits that his actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 as grounds for George W. Bush's impeachment.

The County Committee further submits that Articles of Impeachment should charge that George W. Bush has violated his constitutional oath to execute faithfully the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In all of this George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the State of Vermont and of the United States.

WHEREFORE, George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

February 28, 2006

Adopted: February 28, 2006

I'm not an expert in North Carolina law, nor do I play one on television, but I sure hope those who are experts are taking this opportunity seriously.

Crossposted at www.bluenc.com

Carrboro could give it a try.
Jacquie

Good old Carrboro. God I love this sweet little town.

Not to raise the stakes too high, but what if the future of our democracy rested on your actions? You never know.

it may be more effective and get more press if a group brought us a request on tuesday night? Anyone intersested?
Jacquie

Well, while you are at it dealing in the land of make believe, let's try something that actually falls in the jurisdiction of the Board of Alderman: reverse the incredibly undemocratic annexation of the northern neighborhoods. I may not recall the exact language, but the town charter requires nonpartisan elections. The reason is obvious: the town's real business is quite divorced from partisan politics. This solicitation is another example of the self-indulgent foolishness that characterizes too much of Carrboro 'government.' Instead of wasting time on this kind of crap (only the delusional think this impeachment business is anything other than a partisan rant), do something positive for the town or some of its residents. Get the tax rate down by finding better ways to run the town. Or, as I suggested before, spend the time addressing real needs of people who have serious problems: they are hungry, they need clothing, they need housing. Honestly, if you want to spend your time on this sort of thing, go for it. Just don't waste time in Carrboro Board of Alderman meetings with such partisan business. (Don't ask Carrboro taxpayers to pay the utilities at Town Hall in support of such partisan business.) For many of us, this sort of foolishness is why many of us want nothing to do with being in Carrboro.

"RobertC" please try to understand that - at least to some of us - you are the one who sounds delusional. And more than a little angry.

No-one is implying that it is more important to address national issues than to take care of those in need here at home. But if you don't consider the (national) policies that lead to local poverty then you are not really helping people but just putting band-aids on their problems.

I guess it is time to close up the homeless shelter, shut down housing assistance programs (Empowerment comes to mind), and stop feeding people at the IFC since those are merely band aids.......imagine all the time that this would free up for tilting at national political windmills. Wow....I stand corrected!!

Robert C.

I take great issue with your assertion that demanding integrity and adherence to the rule of law is partisan ranting.

It seems clear that George Bush has lied again and again to the American people. Most significantly, he has broken a specific law (FISA) in pursuit of his imperial presidency. If you don't agree with that assessment, fine. But if, like me, you believe laws have been broken, then you have to ask yourself this: What is the appropriate response in our democracy to a criminal in the White House?

From my view, it is a matter of integrity. If we are to be a nation of laws and we have a chief executive who might be breaking those laws, integrity demands that we take action to stop the transgressions. Otherwise, we are complicit.

I'm not trying to be moralistic or holier than thou about this, nor do I claim to be a perfectly law abiding citizen. In fact, I probably break the law every time I drive by speeding. But what Bush is doing to this country and the world is a tragedy of unthinkable proportions. He deserves to be held accountable.

And by the fricking way, the $1 billion dollars we're spending each week on an unnecessary war in Iraq would go a long way to paying for the food and clothing and housing for the poor you're so worried about. Or maybe you like watching your tax dollars getting flushed down the black hole of neverending war.

Redress of grievances is completely appropriate. There are a set of procedures for doing this. Understand my two basic points: 1) I think this is a waste of time, made all the more tragic by the fact that time lost to this does nothing for folks who are more worried about their stomachs than wiretaps and 2) local governments who spend their time on this sort of thing are not meeting their responsibilities to their constituents. The Board of Alderman and the Town Council in Chapel Hill have no substantial or important jurisdiction in this area. They are elected to handle town business. Others are elected to address these national political matters, so meetings with David Price (while I think they are a waste of time) are completely appropriate. When I hear an alderman asking people to show up and take up BoA time with a matter that is clearly partisan (Nixon was impeached by votes from both parties, more recent experience was/is highly partisan) and clearly not the town's fundamental business, I have the same reaction as you clearly stated with respect to spending on the war in Iraq. Both towns have more pressing matters which only they can handle. First things first. Finally, please accept a friendly reminder that even George Bush is innocent until proven guilty, and there is a range of legal opinion on this matter.

Did it ever occur to you that they are worried about their stomachs because of who is at the helm?

We all have a stake in this, regardless if you realize that fact or not.

I,along with every other elected offical in this country took an oath to protect and uphold the constitution of the United States.When I placed my hand on my family Bible and took this oath before God and my community(I have taken it five times so I must be doing something right) I made a commitment that goes way beyond politics.That oath requires elected officals to do all they can to protect the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens.As a patriotic American I am obligated to do all that I can to call for the impeachment of a president who violates the consitution-I swore that I would.So the question is not why am I doing this the question is why is not every elected offical who swore to uphold and protect the Constitution doing the same thing. If we do not protect our freedoms who will?
Support the Truth-Impeachment Now
Jacquie

"(Nixon was impeached by votes from both parties, more recent experience was/is highly partisan) "

Nixon was not impeached.

Great comment, Gerry. And perfectly said.
Nothing like a little reality check to set things straight.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that impeachment happens when the proceedings are initiated. They vote to impeach and then the fun starts.

I erred. Nixon resigned before the inevitable. From Peter Rodino's entry in Wikipedia:

"Rodino became chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 1972 after previous chair Emanuel Celler was defeated for re-election. During the Nixon impeachment hearings from May to July of 1974, he was generally considered to be a fair moderator of what at times were very partisan hearings. Key difficulties included ensuring that enough Republican committee members would vote for impeachment to defend against Nixon administration charges of Democratic partisanship. In the end, as further evidence emerged and Nixon admitted wrongdoing, several initially reluctant Republican members switched, making the committee vote for impeachment unanimous."

my 2 cents:

1) on monday bush rejected the call for an appointment of a special counsel. shocking !

2) articles of impeachment were drafted out of the house judiciary, but nixon resigned before a vote on the house floor.

3) you ask what you can do ? how about at least threatening to vote for the only congressional candidate in NC willing to run on an impeach bush/cheney ticket ? just a thought...

Are we going to let Vermont carry the whole burden?

NEWFANE, Vt. -- In a white-clapboard town hall, built circa 1832, voters gathered Tuesday to conduct their community's business and to call for the impeachment of President Bush.

"In the U.S. presently there are only a few places where citizens can act in this fashion and have a say in our nation," said select board member Dan DeWalt, who drafted the impeachment article that was placed on the warning -- or official agenda -- for the annual town meeting, a proud Yankee tradition in New England.

"It absolutely affects us locally," Dewalt said. "It's our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, who are dying" in the war in Iraq.

The article, approved 121-29 in balloting by paper, calls on Vermont's lone member of the House, independent Rep. Bernie Sanders, to file articles of impeachment against the president, alleging that Bush misled the nation into the Iraq war and engaged in illegal domestic spying.

Other cities nationwide have taken up resolutions calling for Bush's impeachment, notably San Francisco. But the sentiment has rarely spread to rural America -- unless you're talking about Vermont, known for bucking politics as usual.

At least three other southern Vermont towns, spurred by publicity about Newfane's resolution, endorsed similar resolutions during Tuesday's meetings: Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney.
...

On a related, David Price note, did anyone see that Rep. Price voted today to ease labeling restrictions? In what I like to think of as "The WalMartization of Organic Food", the House passed the National Uniformity of Food Act. The poster known as Chapel Hill Guy at DailyKos has the whole story.

My patience with Rep. Price just got a lot shorter.

Sally Greene reports that the Council passed a resolution calling for impeachment.

I'm happy to note I was signature #21 on the Elders for Peace of Carol Wood petition calling for local action.

it is good to see the chapel hill town council step up and join the carrboro town board in demanding that our national reps.do their duty and protect the constitution !

I thought folks might be interested in this op-ed piece from today's Wash Post by Rep. Conyers:

No Rush to Impeachment

By John Conyers Jr.
Thursday, May 18, 2006; A23

As Republicans have become increasingly nervous about whether they will be able to maintain control of the House in the midterm elections, they have resorted to the straw-man strategy of identifying a parade of horrors to come if Democrats gain the majority. Among these is the assertion that I, as the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, would immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

I will not do that. I readily admit that I have been quite vigorous, if not relentless, in questioning the administration. The allegations I have raised are grave, serious, well known, and based on reliable media reports and the accounts of former administration officials.

But none of these allegations can be proved or disproved until the administration answers questions. For example, to know whether intelligence was mistaken or manipulated in the run-up to the Iraq war, we need to know what information was made available to -- and actually read by -- decision makers and how views contradicting the case for war were treated.

We need to know the extent to which high-ranking officials approved of the use of torture and other cruel and inhumane treatment inflicted upon detainees. We need to know whether the leaking of the name of a covert CIA operative was deliberate or accidental, as well as the identity of those responsible.

The administration's stonewalling, and the lack of oversight by Congress, have left us to guess whether we are dealing with isolated wrongdoing, or mistakes, or something worse. In my view, the American people deserve answers, not guesses. I have proposed that we obtain these answers in a responsible and bipartisan manner.

It was House Republicans who took power in 1995 with immediate plans to undermine President Bill Clinton by any means necessary, and they did so in the most autocratic, partisan and destructive ways imaginable. If there is any lesson from those "revolutionaries," it is that partisan vendettas ultimately provoke a public backlash and are never viewed as legitimate.

So, rather than seeking impeachment, I have chosen to propose comprehensive oversight of these alleged abuses. The oversight I have suggested would be performed by a select committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans and chosen by the House speaker and the minority leader.

The committee's job would be to obtain answers -- finally. At the end of the process, if -- and only if -- the select committee, acting on a bipartisan basis, finds evidence of potentially impeachable offenses, it would forward that information to the Judiciary Committee. This threshold of bipartisanship is appropriate, I believe, when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

One-party rule has dug our nation into a deep hole over the past six years. The Judiciary Committee needs to fully implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, strengthen laws against wartime fraud, ban trade with state sponsors of terrorism, increase funding for community policing and protect government whistle-blowers. Most important, before we have another presidential election, I believe we need to pass laws protecting the integrity of our electoral system -- the very foundation of our democracy.

The writer is a Democratic representative from Michigan.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

That's disappointing - sounds like the DNC is cracking the whip in its constant call for "moderation".

Didn't figure it would take you long to comment Mark. Of course it's always possible that Rep. Conyers is just being honest of his own accord dontcha think? Even w/o DNC pressure I sort of agree that impeachment should be bi-partisan.

Partisan vendetta?

Sad day when he Dems forego prosecuting the President for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" becase they're afraid of a public backlash. The Dems should be awful familiar with "public backlash" - they suffering one now their weak-kneed response to our country's many crises.

Conyer's must've been slipped some Kerry-koolaid to step back from his principled stand in order to deflect the Republican chattering classes. It's a reprise of the "play it safe" political strategy that cost Gore and Kerry their elections.

I guess David posted this to give Price some kind of political cover for his continuing vacilation.

Until Price, and his fellow wavering Dems, start a real effort to prosecute this administration for the many continuing and escalating number of crimes it's responsible for, they, themselves, will be sullied by the stench of "high crimes and misdemeanors."

So, Conyer's stepping back from his duty to impeach is not a win for him, for Price, for the Democratic party - instead it's further confirmation of the incredibly sad state our democracy is in.

Mark and WillR, I have met Conyers and followed his career for years. He is NOT likely to be cowtowing to the DNC or anyone else. Conyers get reelected practically automatically every year and has no reason to bow to anyone's wishes.

I think that he, along with Price (and me too) feel this talk is premature.

It also risks a backlash by Independents who were angered by GOP impeachment of Clinton and would see this only as "payback" even if it is not.

While this in and of itself is not reason to oppose impeachment, it is a consideration.

First we need to win back the House. Then we need hearings. Then we MAY move to impeach.

Will, I'll speak for my own motives, but thanks for trying to read my mind. I posted b/c 1. I figured this thread would be interested in what Conyers was writing in the Wash Post and 2. to see how quickly Will and Mark would lash out at Conyers and then Price for having different views. And I haven't been disappointed! :). It's just amazing how fast y'all turn against people who disagree with you (i.e. Will's assertion that Conyers must be on some weird cool-aid for "stepping back from his duty to impeach").

And sorry to keep having to point this out Will, but judging by the primary, I think most in our democracy is happy with the job David Price is doing. Clearly David Price doesn't need my "cover". And if "covering" for David Price was my interest I would've posted the excellent op-ed by Richard Reeves that ran in the N&O this week. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to mention it though. Reeves talked with Price about what a change in House control would mean. Price's 2 word response was: "subpeona power".

I doubt anything could ever mollify y'all. Even Howard Dean has sold out now that he's at the DNC. But it is fun to throw the bait out and see how quick y'all bite! :).

Also consider that Mel Watt, arguably the most progressive member of our delegation, also opposes impeachment, as do all our other reps. It's not just Price.

It's disheartening to see how much of this is a game for you David.

The 6 year slide into the quagmire must've been absolutely entertaining.

Sorry Will, but you dish it out pretty regularly in an extremely harsh vein. If that's the only way to be serious then I'll pass. I think posting the Conyers article was serious. Regardless, not everything has to be so serious. We will have a new president at least by 2009. Life will go on, regardless of whether David Price and John Conyers support impeachment of Bush.

There can be good healthy banter and disagreement w/o trashing people's motives all the time and calling them all sellouts. I prefer facts and humor to going down into that ditch. And I think injecting humor is healthy and positive and creates an environment that facilitates good discussion. I sure know that I don't know everything. But I am sure that Mel Watt, David Price and John Conyers are not sellouts.

In the humor vein, if folks missed Al Gore on SNL, here's a link: http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/05/14.html#a8280 .

Lastly, in the immortal words of AC/DC, to anyone and everyone who I've offended with my lack of seriousness, Have a drink on me! :)

Sometimes OP is simply the best entertainment in the whole world. :)

well put marshall. :).

I don't mind being your reality monkey. Bush committed crimes and therefore should be impeached. All the rest is just political posturing and playing the angles. I can understand why Conyers is doing what he is doing, but I'm not in that rarefied air where bullshit can have an unbelievable shelf life and the arcane games go on and on and on. So I just note that Bush committed crimes and therefore should be impeached. Funny things is, you "progressives" probably agree with that but have a subtle tangle of pseudo-strategic double-think that concludes that actual impeachment would not be a good idea even if it is warranted. My brain slides over into the corner of my skull when I try to follow all the logic.

Mark, speaking as a "progressive" (and an active Democrat), I agree with you: impeachment MAY be warranted, but it is a bad idea now.

So someone introduces a bill of impeachment. So what? It won't even get a committee hearing, much less a vote.

Yes, that silly old process of democracy will get in the way. Committee hearings, votes and all that tommyrot, for which you appear to have no patience.

Obviously, you have tried and convicted Bush already in your mind, and you may in fact be correct, but please indulge we lesser crass political beings who would actually like to get some other things accomplished rather than bogging us down in a hopeless fight.

Tilt at your windmills if you must, but give the rest of us who are fighting to help Democrats take over the House again a break.

Sorry, my first sentance above should read:

Mark, speaking as a “progressive” (and an active Democrat), I agree with you: *many of us feel* impeachment MAY be warranted, but it is a bad idea now.

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