I am not unsympathetic to the idea that local government, such as the Madison City Council, should deal with the many thorny issues that confront our city before venturing into rhetorical waters over issues pertaining to national politics. It is not that I disagree with the tone of the debates, or the votes that come as a result of council resolutions that might deal with the Iraq War or some social policy. I just understand the city council has limited powers, and therefore I want them to spend their time on matters that they can impact the most.
So readers might find it perplexing that I should applaud the idea of passing a city council resolution Tuesday urging Congress to begin impeachment investigations against President Bush and Vice President Cheney. In this case I will forgive the council the time it takes to debate and vote on this measure. And before anyone surmises that my position is political, I adamantly deny it. The reason that this resolution needs to be debated and press attention drawn to it goes to the very foundation of our democracy. This matter is far more important than mere politics.
The constitutional crack that has developed as the result of the last seven years of President Bush being in the White House is of such supreme importance, and has such huge implications to our nation, that it is incumbent for all citizens to make a statement, and take a stand.
When the Bush Administration manipulated for political purposes the intelligence to make Congress authorize, and the public to support, the war efforts in Iraq the seeds for impeachment of President Bush were sown. The bastardization of national security data does constitute the definition of an impeachable offense.
For our nation to turn our heads and pretend that such a massive, corrosive, and monstrous policy was not thrust on the public by the Bush White House would be worse than the deed itself. It is our duty as Americans to stand up in whatever forum it might be and reject this way of conducting our nation’s business. Not only do we owe it to ourselves and future generations to hold President Bush accountable, but we also owe it to the dead soldiers who went to Iraq and died for a lie. I am certain that those American soldiers who died for a lie as a result of the Bush Administration would want us to speak for them at this time.
Most Americans are not aware of the power grab through the expansion of Executive Powers that has been at the heart of the Bush White House from the very beginning. Most citizens that abide by the laws and pay their taxes are not aware that President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office. He asserts that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution. Those assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. Add into the mix that Bush ignored a law requiring warrants to tap the phones of Americans, and a host of other dishonorable and illegal acts, and you have many articles of impeachment
Critics of the Madison City Council’s resolution will argue that even if impeachment proceedings were to start they would not be completed before Bush left office. That may be true. But to do nothing and leave the actions of this President without a legal response will provide an opening for further abuses. Justice demands that our nation respond. It may be only a small voice in the nation, but when history books are written it will be said that Madison, Wisconsin did not look the other way. We stood up for the ideals that we cherish, and wished to preserve for future generations.