June 11 , 2008
Worse Than Any Impeachable Offense
By Mary Lyon
I would never have thought there'd be any greater crimes than those of George W. Bush, nor any villain greater. I'm wrong. And no, it's not Dick Cheney, either, or anything he's perpetrated. Nor any of their colleagues.
It's Nancy Pelosi, and her colleagues, and what they seem quite literally hell-bent on doing.
Why at this late date do we still revile onetime British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in public as loudly, if not moreso, than we even condemn Adolf Hitler? Why, by now, has Neville Chamberlain has been positioned as the ultimate "My Pet Goat" of the 20th Century? Certainly he did not instigate the Final Solution. Surely he did not whip up the murderous furor of The Third Reich. But his name is still spoken with great villification and scorn, nonetheless.
Because he enabled. He let it all happen, with his now-tragically gullible decision to cave to Hitler when he could have taken a stand. He could have stopped one of the biggest living nightmares in human history, or at least slowed it down. Instead, he thoughtfully and cautiously stepped out of the way and invited it to rage ahead, much to all of our sorrow. He had the power to impede it, he was in position to be able to hobble it - even if only a little. He could have made a difference, perhaps sparing millions of lives, and decades of grief. He chose not to. Oh, he knew better.
By his negligence, cowardice, short-sightedness, and lousy strategizing, Chamberlain helped Hitler along the way to Damnation, surely earning himself a place in the Fuhrer's boat across the River Styx. Never mind the so-called Saddam or al Qaeda "appeasers" now - whose names are belched out of Republican/arch-conservative hate-radio boombox mouths as "appeasers", as though the speakers had just been issued their orders for vigorous exercise of the new vocabulary word of the day. THAT move by Chamberlain was appeasement. That was the geniune article. That was then.
This is now.
Nancy Pelosi is the Neville Chamberlain of this day, in this country. She and her colleagues in the 110th Congress will likely be remembered by history in dramatically more disturbing ways than they had ever wanted or imagined. Some constitutional scholars have historians beat - they've already arrived at that conclusion. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has already warned that history will look very harshly on those Democrats who did nothing to hold the worst criminals ever to blight the Executive Branch accountable for anything they've perpetrated. Failing to follow through on the 35 Articles of Impeachment as presented by Representative Dennis Kucinich and cosponsored by colleague Robert Wexler has put a permanent mark on Pelosi's political soul, and on her record. And she's not just failing to follow through on even one of these impeachment resolutions, she's actively discouraging and suppressing them all. Even worse!
George W. Bush should be impeached. Absolutely and without question. It should already have been a done deal - long ago. NO individual ever occupying the office of President of the United States has deserved it more. What he has done to defy, ignore, and utterly trash the Separation of Powers, the Rule of Law, the parameters of the Constitution, bringing ruin to our good name as Americans and reestablishing us as a rogue nation not to be trusted but rather reviled across the globe is the stuff of near legend by now. That it's been permitted to fester like an oozing bubonic boil, unchecked and unchallenged, is a crime in and of itself. The Presidential Oath of Office declares the following "...to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." There's a reason why the verb "preserve" is listed first. Because the President is supposed to ensure that the Constitution is kept, not tinkered with, followed, not flouted, and absolutely not viewed as a mere nuisance to be gotten around.
Madame Speaker, you were not hired, or promoted, to be a collaborator. But, evidently, that is something you seem grimly determined to become.
Democrats are supposed to be different. In the quagmire of lies, deceit, cheating, bullying, spin, and calculated manipulation that are hallmarks by now of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party was supposed to offer an alternative, to be the antithesis of the opposing mob. Ours was supposed to be the better, more noble, more lawful, certainly more truthful way. The way that didn't involve trampling on the Constitution with muddy track shoes and then using whatever's left for toilet paper. There is more flagrant and widespread obstruction of justice here than there are dirty tricks in Karl Rove's little black book.
But no. We have to pull our punches one more time, and let the worst and most glaring perpetrators of un-Constitutional criminality get away with it all. Our valiant Dems seem to feel compelled to allow Bush and company dance off into the sunset without so much as a slap on the wrist.
...But, but, but... we're at war. Yes. A war that's a lie. Well established and documented by now from Senate committee reports (rockefeller.senate.gov) to inside eye-witness testimony (Scott McClellan only the most recent).
...But, but, but... we don't have the votes. Maybe. Does this REALLY matter? Isn't it more important to Take A Stand? Isn't it important to stand up before all of America and all of history and put yourself on record against this epic display of abuse of power and the public's trust by saying "NO!"? You really think, after enough of a stink is made in Congress about each of the THIRTY-FIVE Articles of Impeachment and all that they mean, enough to force extended media coverage and some long overdue enlightenment of the constituents, that you actually would not have the votes of a majority of their representatives?
...But, but, but... we might lose the election. How? By showing backbone for a change? By taking a stand? By speaking the ultimate truth to the ultimate powermongers? By doing what public opinion polls show the voters support in increasingly large majorities? See the paragraph above.
...But, but, but... it might take too long. For a vote in the House of Reps? You can do that in a day. See that same paragraph two up. It doesn't even matter if it only goes so far as passing the House but becoming stalled in the Senate. It would pass the House and go onto the books forever. If any of this got a full hearing, out in the open, in the sunshine and fresh air that so famously disinfects, you don't think it could be decided in a heartbeat? And aren't crimes this heinous and this nauseatingly extensive worth taking the time to examine?
It's no wonder, by now, that too many Americans scoff at the Democrats as the "do-nothing party" no different than the opposition. And it's a damned shame that the first woman ever to break this high a glass ceiling, to rise to the level that Pelosi has achieved - as Speaker of the House - may be remembered most prominently in history for this, instead.
By kicking the Kucinich resolutions on impeachment to the corner again, the Democrats will earn their place in history as the party that stood by, ever so cautiously and with all their carefully-considered rationales, and let mad men run amok. In effect, the Dems will go down in history as party to those crimes. We will share the blame because we did nothing to stop it. It's THE perfect opportunity for Democrats to step away from the muck and show the whole world how we do NOT stand with it, we do NOT think it's okay, we do NOT condone it, we are NOT in ANY WAY its partners, and we will NOT sit back and just let it run its course - for whatever reason or excuse, especially as we seek to show voters how far apart we stand from the horrors that Republican rule has wrought. It's still a crime, and it's a sin. At least 35 sins, for starters. And we Democrats should absolutely not have a single fingerprint left on it. Unfortunately, Pelosi and pals seem hell-bent on making sure we do. And we are therefore self-rendered just as culpable, just as historically damned.
We as Democrats don't need that for our party, and we as Americans absolutely do not need it for our country.