Thursday, July 19, 2007

Congress' Constitutional Duty

I'm writing to ask readers of the The Vigil to educate themselves about Congress' Constitutional Duty to impeach Bush (and Cheney and Gonzales).

After listening to the conservative Constitutional Scholar, Bruce Fein (who drew up the first articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton) and to John Nichols, author of The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders Cure for Royalism, I am convinced that we must put impeachment front and center "on the table".

The two men appeared on Bill Moyer's Journal, a weekly television show carried by our local public television channel. Fein, who is anything but a "Lefty", said that it is essential that we impeach Bush (I think Cheney and Gonzales also need to be included in being impeached) because Bush is "seeking to cripple Congress and the Judiciary" and "to eliminate our constitutionally established system of checks and balances."

Fein went on to point out that if Congress fails to impeach Bush(-Cheney-Gonzales), they are allowing/endorsing Bush's claims of virtually unlimited presidential (read: monarchical) power that will stand as precedent for all subsequent presidents and irretrievably alter our cherished (and now our almost former) political system of self-governance.

Nichols pointed out that the Founders were well aware of possible power grabs that one or more of the three co-equal branches of government might attempt to accomplish. The constitutionally provided remedy (mentioned six, yes, six times) for such a power grab, regardless of which of the three co-equal branches of our government is: IMPEACHMENT.

Nichols stressed that to impeach Bush(-Cheney-Gonzales) is not to punish him/them, but rather to apply the medicine required by the patient. In this instance, the patient is our Beloved Country, which is currently suffering under a severe and escalating constitutional crisis.

The Constitution mandates that Congress take the action of impeachment to right the Ship of State, which in this case is about to sink because of the relentless storms of greed, lies, obstructions of justice, right-wing zealotry, and cronyism that have depleted our treasury, destroyed our military, shredded our cherished Constitution, rendered us the pariah of the international community and threatens to (for the first time since our founding) decimate our Democracy and turn it into a fascist theocracy.

What our country needs now is a statesman or stateswoman who has the integrity, courage, and constitutional understanding of Barry Goldwater who confronted Nixon when Nixon was attempting to put himself above the Constitution. Even Nixon, however vile and unprincipled he may have been, knew that, under our Constitution, NO ONE/NONE is above the law - not even the President of the United States. Goldwater was a man of Principle: he put the good of the Country ahead of the good of (his political) party.

Where is such a principled individual today? Sadly, there seems to be no one.

Lacking such an individual, we must step up to the plate. We have to bombard our congressional representatives, our local papers, our friends and family, and our talk shows with the fact of the CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE articulated in our Constitution to protect our country from political disintegration.

The Oath of Office, taken by all congress persons (and by the way, also taken by OUR PRESIDENT, VICE-PRESIDENT, and the ATTORNEY GENERAL) is a personal promise, made under oath, that the individual assuming that important office will, to the best of his/her ability "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.":

Sadly, the three (Bush-Cheney-Gonzales) lied when they were sworn into office. They have been, and they continue, doing everything in their respective powers to dismantle our Democracy, all the while proclaiming the opposite and attacking as "unpatriotic" any who dare say: "the Emperor is wearing no clothes".

Our Beloved Country is facing challenges hitherto unknown in ferocity and number. Will you help us speak truth to power?