By David Swanson
Nominal leader of the Democrats in Congress Nancy Pelosi, following talking points produced by the Republican National Committee, recently told her fellow Dems to keep impeachment off the table. This past weekend, the Democratic Parties in Maine, New Hampshire, and Hawaii passed resolutions demanding impeachment. This, of course, raises the question: Whose table is it, Nancy?
Whose table? Our table!
These states joined the Democratic parties of Nevada, New Mexico, California, Wisconsin, and Vermont, and the executive committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party (their convention is later this month). If Texas does it, that’ll make 10. Activists in other states have tried to pass impeachment resolutions but been blocked by their state party’s leadership. Most of the states that have succeeded have done so despite opposition from the leadership. This grassroots energy, along with every poll I’ve seen, suggests that making the coming elections about impeachment would mobilize lots and lots and lots of Democrats. Not a shred of evidence supports the RNC-Pelosi claim that it would benefit Republicans.
The Green Party supports impeachment at the national level. And 19 city governments have passed impeachment resolutions. The next one will make 20. Where’s Nancy? Is she waiting until after the primaries to acquire a spine and a little political sense? The level of public energy among Democrats, Independents, and a significant minority of Republicans suggests that people will make the elections about impeachment whether Pelosi likes it or not. She has a choice of fighting this and looking inevitably like a “flip-flopper” or riding it to victory and looking like what she would be: an international hero and the probable next President of the United States. Tough choice, I know.
There are primaries in several states on Tuesday. There are pro-impeachment Democrats in races across the country. Those in contested primaries in Pelosi’s home state of California include Marcy Winograd, Kevin Hearle, Charles Coleman, Bob McCloskey, and Karen Marie Otter. Winograd has already given incumbent pro-war, pro-rogue-executive Jane Harman a scare. On Tuesday she may give her the boot and the Democratic Party a wake-up call. Over in Connecticut Ned Lamont just might do the same to Senator Joe Lieberman.
Back in California, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey is fighting off a challenge, and the peace movement is defending her, although – as an obedient Democrat – she has not found the decency to introduce articles of impeachment. Woolsey IS one of only 37 Democrats who have signed onto Congressman John Conyers’ bill to create an investigation into grounds for impeachment. But not a single Democrat has signed on since Pelosi announced that impeachment was off the table.
Democracy When? Democracy Now!
Check out Tuesday’s show at www.democracynow.org – It features Jonathan Tasini, who is challenging warmonger Hillary Clinton, as well as Lamont, Winograd, and Cindy Sheehan, plus John Bonifaz who just qualified for the ballot in his run to become Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Here are Democratic candidates and activists speaking for unelected citizen Democrats. Nancy, are you listening?
At Maine and New Hampshire’s Democratic conventions this past weekend something else happened. The crowds went nuts for Senator Russ Feingold, especially when he criticized the leadership of his own party.
Why would that be? Well, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose the war and favor censure and impeachment. Speaking for myself, at least this Democrat will actively oppose any pro-war Democratic candidate for president – and that includes the ones who were against it before they were for it, the ones who want to end it in a careful and lengthy process, the ones who want to escalate it and kill more efficiently, and the ones who pretend it’s not the top issue on everyone’s mind.
New Hampshire, of course, helped give the Democrats a pro-war candidate for president last time around. Many good citizens of New Hampshire CEASED to be citizens, became amateur pundits and political strategists, obeyed their televisions, and voted NOT for their first choice, but for who the media told them (absurdly and falsely) had the best chance to win. New Hampshire, can we expect better of you this time?
Will Tuesday’s results help give you courage and self-confidence? I certainly hope so.
But this is troubling. As reported at http://www.bradblog.com , the voting in California is subject to Diebold’s counting. The long-term solution to this is to give Debra Bowen a sufficiently huge victory in Tuesday’s primary to make her the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State. If we elect her in California and Bonifaz in Massachusetts, there will be hope for honest elections. If we have honest elections, we’ll elect a party that will elect a leader that will know whose table it is.