Friday, August 04, 2006

Congressman Frank Pallone and Impeachment

Last night, I attended a Town Meeting with Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, in Plainfield New Jersey. I plan to write further on what happened, but I had two initial impressions after he said he cannot support John Conyers impeachment resolution, H.R. 635 because he believes the standards for impeachment are very high, and that Bush and Cheney have not yet met those standards because no one knows their "intent" in breaking the laws they have broken:

1) Many or most of the Democrats in Congress have given up. Pallone spoke slowly and moved slowly, and appeared to have no sense of urgency about any of the many difficult crises, Constitutional and otherwise, facing America. My sense was that he is living in a bubble, and does not have any real understanding of how serious these problems are. His view appears to be that: "Oh well. These things happen. Democrats have no power. We'll just wait until November and hopefully then we'll control at least the House, and then maybe we can do something..."

I shouldn't be shocked by this, but I was. If the people who actually have a Congressional vote don't recognize that President Bush is systematically chipping away at their power, so that even a Democratic Congress will be unable to hold him accountable, then that makes it that much harder for us citizens.

We don't just have to mobilize other citizens to pressure Congress, we actually have to educate Congress as to the scope of the threat of irrelevance they face. And we may also need to educate them about the obstruction tactics they can use and/or create to make clear both to Bush and the electorate that Congress is a co-equal branch and will not be a doormat anymore, even if only the minority party takes part in such resistance.

(A parody in the latest Nation by Stephen Gillers, about Bush cancelling the 2008 Presidential election, should be sent to Pallone; I'll try to next week.)

2) On the question of how to confront Pallone's stance about a high standard for impeachment, and intent, another woman brought up an excellent point by stating that when regular criminals are caught committing crimes, their intent is never at all relevant to their arrest, detention, trial and punishment.

Beyond that, I believe that courts have told Bush to stop, and he has said he intends to continue his lawbreaking, because he denies the authority of Congress or the courts to check his power under his unitary executive theory of power during war/threats to national security. I would like to research that point by point and send Pallone a summary of lawful efforts to restrain Bush and Bush's complete lack of adherence to same.


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