To Nancy With All Due Respect

By David Swanson

Dear Nancy. Cindy asked me to write you a letter and promised she would deliver it. So I picture the two of you in your home over tea as you peruse this and a four-foot stack of similar missives, and I hope mine catches your eye, and I hope there are no more of those annoying poor people out front, or that you’re able to have them arrested quickly and quietly.

I know that there is good in you, Nancy, and I know that you are extremely smart. I can tell by the skill with which you’ve hidden from us that aforementioned good. But I’m concerned about how you will be remembered in history. Specifically, I’m concerned that you may not be remembered at all. If you were the leader who ended the wars, made peace, and impeached criminals, you would be remembered and quite possibly elected president some day. Attempting to impeach a president for an illegal war seemed to work pretty well for Congressman Lincoln.

If you plan to continue, instead, down the present course, then I feel obliged to let you in on a little secret: It won’t be remembered as your war. If the planet survives and the occupation of Iraq is glorified with statues, none of them will be of you. And, as for your historic act of removing impeachment from the Constitution, the republic won’t survive it, and neither will any memory of the Constitution. So there will be no history of your having ended it. Even if the rest of us are spared nuclear holocaust and global warming, your memory will, I’m afraid, be pretty well lost.

I’m sorry that you feel you have no good choices. I’m sorry that the media scares you so much. I’m sorry that your kids had to grow up with the name Hairy. But I think there is a pretty good option still open to you. Pretending you have other things to do won’t work. After a year, the public now understands that any good bills on any issues will be vetoed, and that the way to end the occupation of Iraq is not to pretend to try to pass bills, but to refuse to pass any more bills.

Remember when you said that we should elect Democrats in 2006 so that you would have the power of subpoena? Well, you don’t. Bush, Cheney, and gang have simply refused to comply. Remember when you said that your top priority was ending the occupation of Iraq? I’d hate to be any lower down on that list. Nancy, I’ve gone to rallies around this country and other countries and asked crowds if they can name the woman responsible for continuing to fund the occupation and for refusing to impeach. Each time, the shouts come: PE-LO-SEE

That’s what you’ll be remembered as, if you’re lucky.

In contrast, the woman delivering this letter to you has withstood two years of full frontal corporate media assault and walked away smiling. If you grow a spine, I’m sure she’ll be glad to give you tips on how to handle the corporate media. She is loved by many, hated by a few, and universally understood to say what she thinks. Cindy lost her son in the war you keep funding, the war that killed more Iraqis and Americans during your first year in power than in any previous year, the war that killed 9 Americans in the past two days. Your arms are dripping in blood up to the shoulders, Nancy.

You think Cindy is no threat to your seat in Congress. But you’ve only had one year so far to give Congress a record disapproval rating. You’ve got a whole year ahead of you. You can be smart, Nancy, and let the Cheney impeachment hearings begin. Or you can make the same move that your Party made during Iran Contra: avoid impeachment, avoid responsibility, allow further transfer of power to the White House, and lose the next elections. And. Be. Forgotten.

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