Congressman Dennis Kucinich – 2007-11-10 08:11:05
It’s Time to Impeach Cheney
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
WASHINGTON (November 6, 2007) — As a member of Congress, I have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of our nation, and I have pledged to represent the views of my constituents and of all Americans.
That’s why I feel both duty and sorrow in pursuing the path of impeachment against Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
While the impeachment movement has generated intensely strong sentiment and activism, there have been only two polls published on the question of impeaching Vice President Cheney. In a national poll, 54 percent of Americans favored impeachment. In one state poll, 64 percent of Vermonters favored impeaching the Vice President.
Twenty-one of my colleagues have heeded the public demand and signed on as cosponsors of my resolution, H Res 333. Others in the Congress have claimed they have more important priorities, but have told their constituents they will keep their views in mind if the matter ever comes up for a vote.
Well, the issue is coming up for a vote this week on the floor of the US House of Representatives, and the “distraction” will require members to balance their priorities between Constitutionally proscribed justice and recourse and the alternative: Constitutional abuse and dictatorial power.
Only by taking up impeachment can we reinstitute a balance of powers and slow down the rush to launch a new war of aggression against Iran.
I am urging my colleagues to recognize that impeachment will not create a crisis by briefly disrupting their schedules on Capitol Hill. The crisis, as Americans outside the Beltway know, is upon us. Congress, the first branch of our government, to which the first half of the Constitution is devoted, has been reduced to almost a bystander as the policies of the wealthiest nation and the largest military ever known are set in secret by the Vice President’s office. Under Bush/Cheney, we have become a nation that illegally threatens and launches aggressive wars for political – not national security — reasons. For this crisis of confidence, this denial of our Constitutional beliefs and rights, impeachment is the only cure available.
I urge you, my fellow citizens, to share your sentiments with your Members of Congress and with your family, friends, and the news media in support regarding the rule of law and the imperative of impeaching a vice president who has misled both the public and the Congress about the gravest matters possible: war and peace. Please join with organizations like www.ImpeachCheney.org
On Tuesday, when I introduce my privileged resolution to force this issue to a vote, some other member of Congress will almost certainly move to table (kill) it. A Yes vote to table is a vote to delay the enforcement of the rule of law aside. A No vote to table is a vote to give impeachment a chance for a full and fair hearing. Please help me get this message out.
And, please help me sustain and expand YOUR platform on this and other issues by voting for me in Democracy for America’s presidential poll:
Right now, before the primaries and the caucuses and February’s Super Tuesday, your vote – TODAY — can change the tenor and direction of public debate by letting the other candidates, Congressional leaders, and political power-brokers know that some issues are too important to side-step, table, or ignore. You know what you believe and what you stand for. Now, today, your vote may mean more than ever again.
Thank you for everything you are doing. Now is the moment to step forward, whatever the challenge or struggle. Now is the moment in which we must preserve and defend our Republic by using the tools that its authors provided. Tell your Congressional Representative what you think. Tell the nation – through Democracy for America — what you believe. Let’s save our pessimism for better times.
Kucinich Not Stopping with Cheney,
Plans Bush Impeachment Resolution
WASHINGTON, DC (November 6, 2007) — Dark horse presidential hopeful Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who plans to bring an impeachment resolution against Vice President Dick Cheney to the House floor on Tuesday, says he is also planning a similar resolution to impeach President Bush.
The news came during a conference call Kucinich held with supporters Monday evening, although technical problems kept most on the call from being able to hear the congressman.
But activist David Swanson, who spoke directly with Kucinich during the call, summarized the contents of his conversation in an email:
“He is going to introduce a privileged resolution on the floor of the U.S. House Tuesday morning to force a vote on his resolution to impeach Cheney,” confirmed Swamson. “While that bill includes offenses related to Iraq and Iran, Kucinich plans to focus his remarks on Iran and the fact that the current Pentagon bill includes funding to retrofit bombers to carry 15-ton bombs.”
Concerning the possible resolution against Bush, Swanson said Kucinich “wanted to let everyone know that he will not only continue pushing for the impeachment of Cheney but will also take up the impeachment of Bush with a new resolution.”
It’s unclear as to when such a resolution would brought to the floor, or how dependent its introduction would be on the success of today’s move against Cheney. The former Cleveland mayor will hold a press conference today at 3:00 p.m.
Swanson added that Kucinich was prepared for a debate on the substance of the charges against Cheney, but also mentioned the measure could be tabled — a move that effectively kills a pending matter by ending debate — or sent to committee. If the latter option happens, the committee in question will be the House Judiciary.
The Kucinich campaign’s website states that the technical problems with the conference call were because “public interest in the issue exceeded technological capacity.” The call will be re-scheduled.
Kucinich’s “privileged resolution” on the Cheney matter is a maneuver which will require a vote from all House members — and allows him to act in spite of protestations from Democratic leaders, who don’t want a vote to come to the floor, according to Politico’s Ryan Grim.
According to The Hill newspaper, Kucinich’s idea — which would put legislators on the record about Cheney’s impeachment — is making some Democrats uneasy.
“If he pulls it off, it could make for an uncomfortable situation for Democratic leaders and centrist Democrats,” The Hill’s Mike Soraghan writes of Kucinich’s plan. “Liberal activists are pushing for impeachment, while leaders worry such a move could turn off independent voters. They have made it clear that impeachment of Cheney or President Bush is off the table.”
Democrats might be tempted to opt to send the resolution to committee, according to Soraghan, who says that such a move “avoids an immediate floor vote and might be the most appealing option to the Democratic leadership.”
Despite its apparent unpopularity among Democratic legislators, the Kucinich proposal is not necessarily out of line with American public opinion: a July poll from American Research Group found that 54% of those surveyed favored the “US House of Representatives beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney.”
“Congress must hold the Vice President accountable,” Kucinich said in a statement last week. “The American people need to let Members of Congress know how they feel about this. The Vice President continues to use his office to advocate for a continued occupation of Iraq and prod our nation into a belligerent stance against Iran. If the Vice President is successful, his actions will ensure decades of disastrous consequences.”