December 13, 2007
[Editor's Note: This article makes characterizations - that Impeach for Peace is a 'Primarily Democratic Organization' - which are inaccurate since Impeach for Peace is a non-partisan organization and no poll has been taken of it's member's political affiliations if any.]
"Now the gloves are off."
Let me explain that statement.
First, on the issue of Impeachment, either you get it or you don't. Sadly, the Democratic Parties leadership are of the latter, they don't and apparently won't get it. Former Federal Prosecutor, Elizabeth de la Vega has done a supreme job on making of the case for Impeachment. Far more eloquently and concisely than I ever could.
My name is Michael Cavlan, Registered Nurse, active in the group Impeach For Peace impeachforpeace.org and the Green Party candidate for US Senate in Minnesota 2006. I was also the second politician in the country to publicly call for Impeachment, two days after the now infamous Downing Street Memo became public. Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers was the first. He later arrested Cindy Sheehan in his office for staging a sit down protest in his office due to his effectively taking it "off the table." I can now safely say that I was the first to say it and actually mean it. More on Representative Conyers later.
Fellow progressives, we need to be honest with ourselves and understand something. The Democratic Party and it's corporate corrupted leadership have not simply been inactive on this issue of Impeachment. Democratic "leadership" have actually been fighting and blocking Impeachment all over the country. I base this statement of fact on my four years of experience in the Impeachment movement. I have worked with Impeach For Peace and have made the statement that on this issue, I have been deliberately non-partisan because it is so important. Now, with what happened to the Dennis Kucinich Bill HR 799 that has changed my entire perspective. At this time I told my local Minnesota Democratic friends in Impeach For Peace that my ceasefire was over and that the "gloves were indeed off." There has been no argument from them on this. As I told them, it was time to look seriously at "Plan B" for Impeachment. More on "Plan B" and what it entails in a minute.
Let me explain what the corporate media and the corporatized leadership of the Democratic Party will not tell you. We need to understand that their actions and lack of actions are actually protecting the Bush Administration and their illegal activity from the wrath of "We The People." All over the country, while rank and file Democrats and indeed the majority of the American people want to have Bush and Cheney Impeached, the Democratic party leadership have done everything in their power to stop Impeachment. While at the same time, hyping us all up on how evil those in the Bush Administration are. Of course this mirrors the blatant lie on the Iraq war, where the Democrats tell us about needing 60 votes in the Senate to stop the Iraq war. That is a lie as the truth is, they only need 41 votes to block funding for this illegal and immoral war. Just don't expect a Democrat politician or their apologists to tell us that. So it is with Impeachment. The lie being perpetrated on a lack of Impeachment and accountability is that "it will make the Democrats look bad, small and spiteful." Just as the lie on not having enough votes to stop the war, so this lie must be exposed.
The truth is that having the Congress call for Impeachment will do two very important things at the same time. It will begin the public investigation into the crimes of the Bush Administration and then the corporate media will be unable to ignore the issue further. They will be forced into investigating and reporting it in a serious and meaningful way. The second part is, in my book even more important than the first. With the American people awakened to the crimes being perpetrated in our names, the groundswell of support for Impeachment will take off immediately.
Instead, we have seen the movement for Impeachment squashed all over the country. From Vermont, to New Mexico and elsewhere all over our country it has been stifled and marginalized. Not by the "greater evil" Republican Party but instead by the "lesser evil" Democratic Party. So very often, going against the wishes of the rank and file Democrats. As I stated earlier I have been working with a primarily Democratic organization Impeach For Peace and have witnessed this phenomena going on all over the nation, as well as locally. Our federal government has failed us, all of us. Instead of standing up and protecting us, they have blocked and stalled the Impeachment Movement all over our nation.
By their actions and equally important, lack of action our elected officials have abandoned their oath to "defend and protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic." Even more damning, they have, as stated earlier actually protected the Bush Administration from being held accountable by us for their criminal and immoral actions. In Minnesota recently Congressman John Conyers was recently challenged on this very point. He told us that it was more important to be re-elected and have a Democrat in the White House than this critical issue of accountability for those criminals in the White House. These are his words here, not mine. I told him that we have reached a point in our nation that we need to hold those people accountable who refuse to hold this criminal Administration itself accountable. Remember this term for later.
Then we have the earlier mentioned HR 799, entered into the political record by Dennis Kucinich. What happened to that Bill irrefutably makes my case. When presidential candidate Kucinich used his position and privilege as a Congressman to introduce this bill, calling for the Impeachment of Dick Cheney look at what happened. It was the Democratic Party which attempted to table it, to effectively kill the Bill and all that it stood for, accountability. Yet in a stunning turn around, it was the Republicans who actually kept it alive, in an obvious attempt to make the Democrats look bad. In fact the story goes that an unnamed Republican "accidently" dropped his pen where he could not reach it. Then the Republicans quickly had a meeting and decided to keep it alive, obviously for what they perceived as short term political gain. At the obvious behest of House leader Nancy Pelosi, the Bill was then sent to the Judiciary Committee, where it currently sits. We must note that it now sits with it's virtual mirror HR 333 which also calls for the Impeachment of Cheney. HR 333 has been languishing with no movement for over six months now and it appears that HR 799 will suffer the same fate, as was intended. For all intended purposes "Mission Accomplished" or so it would appear.
It was at this point that I told my friends in Impeach For Peace that "the gloves are off." Now we need to analyze why the Democratic Party leadership would make such a horrific political blunder. Some have put it down to yet another example of "the Dems spinelessness and cowardice again." I disagree. I hold, firmly that the reason that Nancy Pelosi, Barck Obama, Hillary Clinton, yes even John Edwards and John Conyers have been guilty of these unbelievable acts of craven cowardice is not just simple lack of political will and spine. I put it to you all, very directly that the real reason that they are not moving and in fact are attempting to kill Impeachment is much deeper and troubling.
The plain and simple reason that the Democratic Party are willing to go against the will of the majority, not just in their Party but indeed the general public is this simple and chilling. Their owners won't let them. Their owners are, of course the wealthy, monied corporate interests who own the entire political system, media and just about everything else in our country. Those people and interests who fund campaigns, the ones responsible for the slick, glitzy TV adds, the fancy glossy brochures and parades that we often attend. The very groups and people that the Democratic party claims to fighting against. They own them, they are not our representatives, they are theirs. Years of watching good, honest people "petitioning" them has made that clear to me. The sooner we all come to that realization and fight for a true representative, grassroots government, the sooner we can actually achieve it. Of course that means we have to look honestly and realistically on where we are and just how bad and deep the mess we find ourselves is. "They" are not the solution, they are a manifestation of the problem we face. I base this on the dual understanding, the undeniable truth that corporate interests own both political parties. Corporations do not like instability and Impeachment would indeed create some short term instability in the market. So they are probably threatening to withhold their campaign constibutions if Impeachment is not "taken off the table."
Short-term instability in the markets? We've had nothing but instability in the markets for the last 5 years and it's only getting worse by the day. I don't disagree that the corporations own our politicians (for the most part) and our political system, but I don't believe that it's concern for corporate profits and a stable market that is responsible for impeachment being off the table. If so, the role that plays is small. Something else is going on. Something far bigger.
This leads us to Plan B and all that entails, given the realities just described. Here in Minnesota we are starting to organize a plan, a call to action. Since the federal government have indeed failed us all so dramatically, we need to go local. The good people in Impeach For Peace have found a way to make that happen. According to the Thomas Jefferson Manuel On Impeachment, there is another way to institute the will of We The People in regards to Impeachment. Apparently Jefferson foresaw the situation we find ourselves in today. he gave us the blueprint for Plan B.
It is this simple. We need to have just One State House and Senate pass, together a Resolution for Impeachment. That happens and the Congress which has failed us by refusing to even bring it to the House is forced to put all other business aside and deal with Impeachment. Here in Minnesota we are, even now planning for a Call To Impeachment Rally on the steps of the St Paul Minnesota Capitol. It is planned for February 15th, the first day of business for the Minnesota House and Senate. At the end of the rally, we in essence Storm the Bastille. The message will be clear, crystal clear. We are not "lobbying" or begging for Impeachment, we are demanding it. We will also be crystal clear in this message. If the politicians we talk to, do not actively do everything in their power to promote Impeachment, we will hold them accountable. They will face opposition in the next election and their oppositions message will be simple. He or she will face another candidate running against him with this message, "this person violated his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic." We will ask them, in very plan language [if] they want to face the accusation that "they actually protected the Bush Administration?" The simple beauty of this plan is that we will be afforded the opportunity of talking to people and potentially affecting them, on the local level where they are much less beholden to the corporate interests which has made our democracy "the best that money can buy" on the Federal level, as investigative journalist Greg Palast has pointed out.
Of course it would be beautiful if Minnesota did this, which we will but can we imagine the impact of California, Hawaii, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Arizona, New Mexico and a host of other states did the same thing?
This is your call to action. Make it happen. As is often the case, if you face a career politician who will use the structure of his political party and it's apparatus, then this is your opportunity to use us, the Green Party. That way you can't be crushed or marginalized in a primary race by those who are better funded than you. Get involved in your local Green Party and seek the Green endorsement in your run for office. If you don't know how, contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or (612)327-6902. We can actually make this thing happen. We can and should put Impeachment and accountability back on the table. It is our table to set after all, although those in Washington Dc seem to have forgotten that.
Like I said at the start of this piece, I had very deliberately been non-partisan on the issue of Impeachment because it was so critical. I am now strictly partisan for the same reason. Now is the time to get active on Impeachment. Let us hold the Bush Administration accountable for their crimes. Not just because it is the right thing to do but to ensure that their are no further abuses of power in the future. Let us all do this now, acting as though the very future of our democratic Republic depends on it. It just may.
Michael Cavlan RN
I understand your deeply felt need for accountability, Michael, but impeachment s not going to happen, period. Accountability will not be achieved through that route. Bush and Cheney will serve out their terms.
The Dems would have us believe that after the long investigations of Bill Clinton, leading to one of the most embarrassing acts of government I have ever witnessed, they don't want to play that game an start the awful habit of government of investigation. Of course, I don't buy that for one minute. Clinton was impeached for something very minor for a president. What Cheney and Bush have done brings to mind Nuremberg. Clinton had approval ratings of over 70% during the height of the impeachment debacle and the majority of American want Bush and Cheney held accountable. There really is no comparison.Maybe they, the Dems, just don't realize it yet, but accountability for our own war criminals is the only first step on the long journey back from the Bush/Cheney abyss, hopefully to some credibility and respect, down the road.
Maybe there is something that can be done, legally, after Bush and Cheney leave office (and the ability to pardon.)
Maybe the Dems and and a large number of Rethugs are scared witless of the two madmen in the White House. There may well be good reason. I know quite a few question of us question their mental health. The folks in Washington are getting a much closer look and hear a lot more than we do.. Could be things are even worse than we think.
The Bush administration has been spying on a lot of people for a very long time. Wonder what they have on some of the Dems., or GOPers for that matter. These people are politicians. Very few, if any, are pure and innocent, or haven't done something that could be spun to look horrible.
Maybe, and this is the worse, maybe we don't really have even a semblance of a two party system. With Blue Dog Democrats, Holy Joe Lieberman and a few others, clearly beholden to the sociopathic corporations, do we really have two parties?
Not that it matters all that much. Even if we do, the two parties are so damned entrenched they have long sense lost touch with the people.
(The only top tier candidate that doesn't fit the mold of corporate puppet is John Edwards. He is our only chance of avoiding a very ugly mess.)
The answer to our problems is not impeachment, Michael, though that would be the great first step we need. I'm afraid that the only answer to our problem is a new revolution. According to Thomas Jefferson we are already well over a hundred years over due.
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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.