Rep. Kucinich Forces Impeachment Vote
But spineless colleagues miss historic opportunity to rid nation of Bush, Cheney
REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-Ohio) used a parliamentary maneuver to force a floor vote on his 35 articles of impeachment against the administration. But, led by his own party’s leadership, the issue was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it will probably die. (Look for listing of voters next week.)
Kucinich introduced his articles as a “privileged resolution,” which requires the House to act on it within two legislative days. Any member can offer a privileged resolution, but it is usually done only by party leaders.
On introducing his resolution on the evening of June 9, Kucinich insisted on reading all 35 articles into the Congressional Record, a process that took nearly five hours.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) suggested that engaging in a lengthy debate over impeaching Bush in the waning days of his presidency is not a productive use of House time.
The resolution was sent to committee on a 251-166 vote. Reaction to the Democrats’ caving in was harsh and swift:
“Democrats exposed themselves as sniveling cowards by running away from this issue,” said Vince Ryan, a columnist for American Free Press and head of its READERSHIP COUNCIL.
“The moment called for statesmanship, regardless of the political impact. But Democrats put their own selfish, political interests ahead of the nation whose Constitution they are sworn to protect,” Ryan said.
“They ducked an impeachment fight to keep it off their records,” Ryan said. “Let’s force the wimps to pursue impeachment by each of us calling our own congressman to ask whether or not he supports impeachment. Let him know that this will be on your mind when you vote in November.”
“We all know the Democrats who control the Congress do not have the courage to pursue articles of impeachment against Bush,” Joseph Palermo wrote
in The Huffington Post.
“They long ago made a cynical political calculation that to do so would only bring the opprobrium of the right and its allies and make the pivotal elections in 2008 more difficult for Democrats. But it is the wrong call because the republic cannot bear for long a succession of imperial presidents who build on the Bush record to upset the balance of constitutional powers permanently. We may be looking back at the congressional acquiescence in Bush’s crimes as a step toward fascism in this country,” he said.
“Kucinich has done the country an enormous service with this attempt to keep the record straight about this horrible ‘Decider,’” he said. “I can appreciate the Democrats’ political hesitation, but I don’t agree with it. The key question is this: If George W. Bush does not deserve to be impeached, then what does a president have to do to be impeached?”
Critics say that unless there is impeachment by the House and a conviction by the Senate, the Bush “crimes” will establish a precedent for future presidents.
“In his conduct while president, Bush, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office and, to the best of his ability, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution . . . has, both personally and acting through his agents and subordinates, together with the vice president, illegally spent public dollars on a secret propaganda program to manufacture a false cause for a war against Iraq,” Kucinich read from his articles.
Rep. Kucinich deserves our thanks for trying to do the right thing, even though is was not politically expedient. If there had been a few more spines in the House, perhaps America could have finally been rid of the “Dangerous Duo” before they plunge America into another disastrous foreign bloodbath.
(Issue # 25, June 23, 2008)