By David Swanson
The New York Sun today printed this quote:
“A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, Tracey Schmitt, dismissed the effort as ‘fringe, to say the least.’
“‘If Democrats choose to align themselves with such a laughable campaign, it will be at their own peril,’ Ms. Schmitt said.”
What campaign was the RNC spokeswoman referring to? Whatever it was, we can be sure it is something the RNC really really does not want to see succeed. The most feared actions are typically dismissed as fringe, while those less worrisome are accorded partial respect and argued against.
What campaign was she referring to?
Here’s the full article:
Activist Group Calls for Bush, Cheney Impeachment
BY RUSSELL BERMAN, New York Sun
Working out of a cramped office in his Jackson Heights apartment, Robert Fertik has one clear goal for 2006: impeaching President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
A longtime Democratic activist and Web logger, Mr. Fertik is the man behind ImpeachPAC, a political action committee aimed at backing congressional candidates who would support the introduction of impeachment articles against Messrs. Bush and Cheney. Pointing to the president’s sagging poll numbers, Mr. Fertik said a majority of Americans agree with him.
“The problem is not a lack of support for impeachment,” Mr. Fertik, 48, said in an interview. “The problem is a lack of leadership.”
In that spirit, ImpeachPAC is targeting prominent anti-war activists to join its Citizens Impeachment Commission in the hopes of elevating what is now a far-fetched possibility into the mainstream of political discourse. Among those who have signed up thus far is the “anti-war mom,” Cindy Sheehan, as well as a liberal challenger to Senator Clinton, Jonathan Tasini.
ImpeachPAC’s chief allegations are that the president and other top administration officials committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” by misleading and deceiving the public in leading the nation into war in Iraq. Mr. Fertik also points to the recent disclosure that Mr. Bush authorized domestic wiretapping without a court order. Mr. Bush has repeatedly defended the program as crucial to the war on terror, leading Mr. Fertik to say he is “the first president in history to confess to impeachable offenses.”
Mr. Fertik has spent the past five years jump-starting political causes with little more than a keyboard, a monitor, and an Internet connection. He co-founded Democrats.com in 2000 and has maintained the popular Web site ever since. The site’s headquarters is Mr. Fertik’s cluttered home office in Queens. Boxes of anti-Bush bumper stickers lie on the floor, and “Bushochio,” an inflatable caricature of the president with a long nose, peers down on Mr. Fertik from a mantel atop his desk.
Mr. Fertik maintains that support for impeachment is an extreme position only “inside the Beltway.” He mentioned a November poll conducted by Zogby International that showed that 53% of Americans think Congress should consider impeachment if “President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going into Iraq.”
ImpeachPAC has raised nearly $50,000 from more than 1,200 contributors since November, Mr. Fertik said. The group also has endorsed its first congressional candidate, throwing its support behind Tony Trupiano, a former talk show host who is challenging Thaddeus McCotter, a two-term Republican congressman representing Michigan’s 11th District.
Mr. Trupiano said he is running on a platform of fighting Republican dishonesty and a “culture of corruption” in Washington, but he does not support outright impeachment. “I am open to any avenue, including our constitutional right to impose impeachment, if that’s what it takes to get to the truth,” Mr. Trupiano said in an interview. He added, however, that he didn’t think most Americans would want to go through that process.
Though Mr. Fertik is confident he can generate a groundswell of support for impeaching the president, the GOP shows little sign of fretting. A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, Tracey Schmitt, dismissed the effort as “fringe, to say the least.”
“If Democrats choose to align themselves with such a laughable campaign, it will be at their own peril,” Ms. Schmitt said.
To the Editor:
In “Activist Group Calls for Bush, Cheney Impeachment” (January 4, 2006) you misrepresent my position on my endorsement by ImpeachPAC. While Americans do not eagerly desire the ordeal of Impeachment, the most recent Zogby poll shows most Americans (53%-42%) feel Impeachment is necessary if the President and the Vice President lied to the American people.
The Republican-controlled Congress has oversight responsibility that they are ignoring. Did the President and Vice President lie to start the war in Iraq? We deserve answers and accountability, and the Constitution specifies Impeachment as the means of obtaining both. You write that I do “not support outright impeachment,” but that is incorrect. I want the truth and accountability, and I am willing to explore ANY avenue to get both. What’s more bipartisan that that?
Democratic Candidate for Congress
11th District, Michigan