By David Swanson
I’ve done no survey. There are probably a heck of a lot more candidates out there who haven’t contacted me or I haven’t happened to run across. But I have put together a list, thus far, of 111 candidates for Congress, the Senate, or the White House who support impeaching Bush and Cheney. Here’s the list, organized by office and by state / district:
Most of the candidates on the list are Democrats, either incumbents or challengers. Others are Green, Libertarian, Independent, and even Republican.
The list includes three candidates for the White House who are generally considered hopeless but whose campaigns are pushing positions supported by most of the people who obediently deem them hopeless.
In Senate races, there are a dozen pro-impeachment challengers on the list. Barbara Boxer could be added as an incumbent, since she’s said she supports impeachment. But she’s not actually pushing for it, so it would seem a stretch to include her. In fact, senators and presidential candidates have very little to do with impeachment. One of the most interesting senatorial races is just north of Boxer’s California in Oregon, where two Democrats and an Independent all back impeachment.
Most of the candidates on the list are House candidates, and even including them may seem a stretch given the common misconception that the possibility of impeaching Bush and Cheney ends this November. Some of these candidates, Democrats and others, are running because the incumbent has failed to back impeachment and are actively pushing them to back it. In some races, candidates have dropped out already after successfully persuading the incumbent to sign onto an impeachment resolution. In addition, the new Congress will have the better part of the month of January 2009 with Bush and Cheney still in office, an impeachment need take no more than a day (some past ones have been that fast), and there is no bar on impeaching someone after they are out of office (one outcome of which can be a ban on the guilty party ever holding public office again).
Some of the House candidates on the list are incumbents. But I’m being generous to most of them, in that all they’ve done is sign onto a resolution or a letter. (If they’ve done less and just SAID something favorable, I haven’t included them. And if they backed impeachment in 2005/2006 but not 2007/2008 they’re not on the list.) In fact, I’ve listed in some districts both an incumbent and one or more challengers. Some of these challengers are running because they would like to see the representative from their district be the sort of person who would do more, who would speak out publicly, whip colleagues, and introduce original articles of impeachment.
Of course, I’m being generous to some of the challengers, too, by taking them at their word. Donna Edwards was in favor of impeachment until she won a Maryland primary (and the incumbent whom she unseated had been moved to back impeachment as well), but Edwards now opposes it and is not on the list.
Some of the candidates on the list have the Democratic nomination and are expected to win. That includes, for example, Steve Harrison, who is challenging scandal-plagued Republican Vito Fossella in New York’s 13th District. Others are third-party or write-in candidates predicted to lose. Many of them are in California, which is fielding at least 35 pro-impeachment House candidates.
But, if impeachment becomes a live issue in the House in the coming 8 months, or if scandals over torture and other high crimes make the absence of impeachment hearings into a scandal, a key lever with which citizens will pressure incumbents and win media attention will be the presence of electoral challengers, no matter how poorly funded and spur of the moment. So, taking a few easy steps to make yourself a write-in candidate is certainly something you would never be ashamed of. And I would be honored to add you to the list.
Something else you would never regret would be signing your tax rebate check over to some of these candidates. If you do so, be sure to write “FOR IMPEACHMENT” on it, be sure to photocopy it, and be sure to send the photocopies of the check to Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, recalcitrant incumbents, and the media.
Let’s put the list over 200 by next month. How hard can that be? Most people can find 200 impeachment supporters within shouting distance of their front door.