Washington State Senator—putting impeachment on the table!
Yesterday, State Senator Eric Oemig announced his intention to submit a joint memorial to the Washington State Legislature asking Congress to investigate the serious allegations of abuses of power by the President, Vice President and others in the Bush administration that have weakened the Congress and placed the Bill of Rights in peril.
Speaking at a packed house in Bellevue, Washington on Feburary 10th at an event sponsored by the Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation, Senator Oemig stated that restoring the Constitution and the balance of powers in the federal government is "a moral imperative." As he a new Senator, he has been advised not to take this on. However, he stated that he does not want to ever have to tell his son that he did nothing to stop democracy from being dismantled. It is not about partisan politics, he said. It is about stopping the abuses at the federal level. At it is most basic, it is simple a case of right and wrong.
Senator Oemig saw his role as giving the voice to the people. He was elected in the 2006 election, he stated, because people wanted a change from the status quo. There is no question that the people want an investigation and to hold the federal government accountable. The crowded room gave him a standing ovation. Yes, they were saying, we will not be ignored and are delighted to have a politician who understands that.
This is not something that he alone can do. Politicians count votes—and they do pay attention to letters, emails and phone calls. If we want to create an environment for them to do what they know is the right thing to do, people have to be very active and let them know they want an investigation into these serious allegations. If not, find out why not. Then come back to them next week with information to answer their concerns, he said.
Senator Oemig is still working on the language with others in the legislature but is modeled after the resolution submitted by Senators in the New Mexico legislature a few weeks ago. He will make a formal announcement on February 14th at the Washington Legislature.
Linda Boyd, President of the Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation, declared this is a great day for democracy. It is time, she said, for the people to tell Congress that we will not tolerate a president who not only called the Constitution a "god-damn piece of paper," but acts if there are no law he has to follow. For the state legislators, she said, it would not take a lot of their time to consider this memorial. They do not need to do the investigation—that is Congress's job. The only question they need to consider is whether they have sufficient concern about the seriousness of the allegations and its impact on our Constitution to warrant an investigation that could lead to removal if the President and Vice President are found guilty. If they are concerned about the seriousness of these allegations, then they need to vote yes on the joint memorial and tell Congress to do its job.
Linda went on to tell the audience that the impeachment movement here in Washington has gathered over 15,000 signatures calling for an impeachment investigation of Bush and Cheney. She asked people to write, email and call all their elected officials and ask them to support an investigation into these serious allegations and for Congress to do their job.
Senator Oemig will be speaking at Olympia's town hall meeting on February 20th at the Washington Senator for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington Street, in downtown Olympia. This FREE event will include Elizabeth de la Vega, author of United States v Bush et al, David Lindorff, co-author of The Case for Impeachment, and Ray McGovern, CIA analyst and author of NeoConned! And NeoConned! Again! The doors open at 6 p.m. and the speakers will begin at 7 p.m.
The meeting concluded with a showing of a video of John Nichols talking about the "Genius of Impeachment" his new book. This writer for The Nation set out to understand more about impeachment, noting that there were already 5,000 books out there documenting all the impeachable actions of the president.
He pointed out that the Founders were very concerned about presidential abuses of power, especially in times of war, and provided impeachment intentionally, to keep a president from becoming an "elected despot." Jefferson, Madison and Mason believed that war would be the tool used by a President to dramatically increase his power and impeachment during a time of war would be an essential tool for the Congress to maintain the balance of power. Their key fear was that once a president established these greater powers for the office, they would become the precedent and no president would give them up. It would take us down an ever darker path. He pointed out that even if the Democrats win the next presidential election, they would not give up the power that this President has located in the office.
Impeachment is used because you don't like Bush. If you don't like Bush, move somewhere else, he said, and wait until he leaves. Impeachment is about redeeming the Office of the Presidency, cleansing the Office of the Presidency, and restoring the Constitution as the bedrock of our Government and the Bill of Rights as our protection against an elected despot.
Yes, yesterday was a great day for democracy and the patriots who founded our country would be standing with us today in calling for removal of this president and vice president.
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