Elizabeth de la Vega, David Lindorff and Ray McGovern made compelling arguments about the need to impeach Bush/Cheney. Each stressed that impeachment is necessary to restore the Constitution. While the list of impeachable offenses is long, de la Vega pointed out that incompetence was not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind. They also poked holes in the various "arguments" given by Democrats. Unlike the Clinton impeachment, de la Vega stated, the violations of law by Bush/Cheney are serious abuses of power and impeachment was intended to remedy those abuses. All agreed that the evidence was overwhelming and that the impeachment process would be swift. They rejected the belief that impeachment would harm the Democrats. Lindorff noted that the Democrats would be harmed by not taking action, especially if the Republicans decide to take the lead on impeaching Bush/Cheney. McGovern asked that if lying to get us into war, illegal wiretaps, dismissing the basic protections granted in the Bill of Rights and creating a unitary executive through signing statements are not impeachable, than what is?
State Senator Eric Oemig also spoke briefly about the bill he submitted and encouraged the crowd to write their legislators and to attend the Committee Hearing on March 1, 3:30 p.m. at the Cherberg Building, Hearing Room 2. He thanked his co-sponsors, Senators Darlene Fairley, Karen Fraser (who represents Olympia—they gave her huge applause), Claudia Kauffman, Adam Kline, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Margarita Prentice, Debbie Regala, and Harriet Spanel.
The Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation announced they were planning a rally at the Capitol for March 1st at 1 p.m. to bring a crowd to support the bill. Numbers matter in persuading elected officials to vote for this bill (SJM 8016)
Not everyone who attended the event supported of impeachment (despite the view of the Olympian reporter who thought the audience were already "converted") but many that I spoke with felt they understood the issues more clearly. Some left believing that impeachment was possible and necessary.
Impeachment postcards, using the Impeach at the Beach image, were given out for people to send to their U.S. Representaives. The postcards can be downloaded at www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/18606 Rep. Baird and Rep. Smith did not attend but sent staff in their place.
Deb Vinsel, Director of TCTV, the local public access TV station, moderated the event, including the panel discussion and the Q&A session. The tape will be aired on TCTV and hopefully will be posted on indymedia as well as other internet sites.
The event was sponsored by the Citizens' Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney and co-sponsored by Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation, Veterans for Peach, Chapter 109, Rachel Corrie chapter, and the Eastside Fellowship of Reconciliation in Bellevue.
I did not take any pictures but will post some from Robert Whitlock's blog on http://Olyblog.net
Thank You Indymedia for publicizing the event!