By Dave Lindorff,
The vaunted hearings that incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised when they took control of Congress after the November election have come to nothing, as the president and his cabinet officers stonewall and ignore subpoenas.
Such a tactic—attaching Democratic bills to offensive bills that Congressional Republicans will support and that can avoid a presidential veto or signing statement--is too high a price to pay for such small “victories.”
Congressional Democrats need to forget about passing symbolic bills that can never become law, and need to stop talking compromise and comity. The public made it clear anyhow in the 2006 election that they don’t want comity; they want a genuine opposition party in Congress.
So far, what they’ve gotten instead is a cardboard cutout of an opposition in the Capitol.
We are dealing with a criminal administration, and the only way to get to the bottom of that administration’s criminality and abuse of authority is via impeachment hearings.
And the only way to get those hearings going is massive pressure from the public—a public that polls have demonstrated wants impeachment to begin.
For starters, every Democrat, and every patriotic American who cares about the survival of democratic government and the Bill of Rights, not to mention the safe return of all the men and women in uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan, needs to contact their elected representatives and say that supporting impeachment is a bottom-line issue. Do it or lose our support!
Second, every one of us needs to contact our newspaper and television editors to demand that they start reporting on the grassroots impeachment movement, and on the crimes of this administration.
We know the situation: Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Democratic Party leadership have concluded that the Bush administration, wildly unpopular and clearly inept and tangled in a losing and hugely unpopular war, is going to lose badly in 2008, and that if they don’t do anything controversial, they stand to reap gains a the polls in November, 2008. That’s why they are down there in Washington pretending to be legislators and pretending to be an opposition, but are avoiding doing anything seriously confrontational.
We, the American public, need to let these cynical Democratic leaders know that their scheme for 2008 is going to fail. We need to let them know that this time we aren’t buying their minimalist politics. If they can’t take a stand for the Constitution when it’s in crisis, and if they can’t take a stand to end a war that has been an unmitigated disaster for the nation and the world, we’re going to let them go down.
The Democratic Party has one last chance to rescue itself from an oblivion it richly deserves. If Congressional Democrats would start the impeachment process rolling, as the public wants, they would find themselves going into the 2008 presidential election on a wave of support not seen since the 1936 New Deal campaign of FDR.
If they don’t do it, they may find themselves actually losing the presidential race, and perhaps the Senate too.
And it will be time to say good riddance.