By The Progressive on December 28, 2005
Impeachment Buzz
By Ruth Conniff

December 27, 2005

What sense does it make that some of the same Washington media and political leaders who countenanced the Clinton impeachment over a semen-stained dress, somberly intoning about the "rule of law," consider impeaching Bush beyond the pale?

No sense at all.

The question about impeaching Bush has nothing to do with legal grounds, and everything to do with politics.

But in the last few weeks, the political climate has been changing, so that more people are seriously considering whether Bush has committed one or more impeachable offenses. The revelations about Bush's spying on Americans through the NSA helped change things a bit.

Representatives Johns Conyers and John Lewis and Senator Barbara Boxer are talking, in public, about impeachment now.

Way at the left end of the dial, there's been chatter about impeachment for a long time--at least since the grounds for war in Iraq began to fall apart. Last May, a group called After Downing Street began working on an impeachment drive.

While no member of Congress took up the call to draft articles of impeachment, the group's efforts launched Cindy Sheehan's crusade against Bush's war.

Now these same activists are organizing a grassroots campaign to support Representative John Conyers's bills to investigate Bush's conduct, with an eye toward impeachment (HR635) and censure Bush and Cheney for blocking Congress's access to information on intelligence manipulation, torture, and other misdeeds (HR636 and HR637).

On January 7, there will be town hall meetings around the country to drum up public awareness and support for Conyers's effort, and to publicize a report by the Democratic staff on the Judiciary Committee entitled "The Constitution in Crisis: Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Cover-Ups in the war in Iraq." You can download the whole thing from the web site CensureBush.org.

As more constitutional scholars, members of Congress, pundits, and American citizens talk about the grounds for impeachment, and examine the record, the drumbeat can only get louder.

The only barrier is a sense of despair.

True, since the Republicans control both houses of Congress, it is unlikely that impeachment articles could garner the votes to pass. But some members of Bush's own party were turning against him as Congress adjourned for the holidays, on issues like McCain's anti-torture bill, the Patriot Act, tax breaks. and budget cuts.

And, of course, groups like Progressive Democrats of America, who are pushing impeachment, hope the Dems can pick up enough seats in 2006 to take back the House.

There is even a PAC, called ImpeachPAC, which has raised $40,000 to support any member of Congress willing to support impeachment. The group points to a Zogby poll that shows 53 percent of Americans support impeachment if it can be proved that Bush lied about Iraq.

At the very least, this Administration's abuse of power--the violations of civil liberties, torture of prisoners, and an arrogant insistence that the executive should be above the law when it comes to spying on Americans or launching a war--is subject to serious and open questioning. And that's a good thing.

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A plea to United States citizens to work for peace

An Indian journalist globally renowned as an advocate for the poor, Palagummi Sainath detailed the detrimental...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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