The Democratic Activist
This could the moment we've been waiting for.
According to an email sent out today by democrats.com, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers may finally be seeing the light:
"On Thursday, Chairman John Conyers' House Judiciary Committee held a hearing at which Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that he would not investigate torture or warrantless spying, he would not enforce contempt citations, and he would treat Justice Department opinions as providing immunity for crimes.
None of this was new, but perhaps it touched something in Conyers that had not been touched before. Following the hearing, he and two staffers met for over an hour with two members of Code Pink and discussed activism and impeachment, including Congressman Robert Wexler's proposal to begin impeachment hearings on Cheney.
Conyers expressed his concerns about what might happen following an impeachment, the danger of installing a Bush replacement or losing an election. But he said he's listening to several advocates for impeachment, including Liz Holtzman and David Swanson of Democrats.com. He hinted he could be swayed by a convincing argument, leaning out of his chair for dramatic effect."
In what may have been the last straw for Conyers, Attorney General Michael Mukasy came right out and said flatly last week that he simply will NOT enforce contempt of Congress citations against White House staff members Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, et al. Together with the startling recent admission by the Bush administration that, despite constant denials of the use of torture in interrogations, the U.S. has indeed used waterboarding on prisoners (recently reconfirmed by the U.N. as torture, a war crime), their monarchistic arrogance may finally have become to much for Conyers to stand.
Now will Mr. Conyers move impeachment forward?
Or will he instead go down in history as the man who traded away the essential principle of checks and balances in our American system of government to prevent what he for some reason feared could be negative political ramifications for his party in an election year?
Within the context of impeachment proceedings Bush and Cheney's claims of "executive privilege" would be unquestionably moot and without legal standing. With Mukasey's recent refusal to enforce congressional contempt citations against Bush administration officials, impeachment is now literally the only way left for Congress to exercise it's constitutionally mandated oversight responsibilities.
There's no any longer excuse not to impeach. None. Without impeachment over the refusal of the executive branch to acknowledge and permit congress to exercise its oversight duties, no future president will have any reason to honor congressional subpoenas. The precedent will have been established: "executive privilege" means no one the White House doesn't want to have under oath will ever have to give sworn testimony. The executive branch will no longer be accountable before congress or the people. Congress will have no ability to compel testimony of individuals within the executive branch, and without any meaningful oversight capability or function, no checks or balances will remain within our system of government. No more democracy in America. Monarchy in the U.S.A.
Is the shamelessness of Conyers, Pelosi, and the Democratic Party leadership so extreme as to allow this to happen ... to let the crucial separation of powers doctrine just die, and American democracy with it, without any fight or opposition, on their watch, for the sake of their own pathetic timidity and inexcusable, terminal cautiousness and obsessive concern about possible political inexpediency?
Is this the legacy John Conyers intends to leave to his posterity? Are the Dems really this shallow? This gutless? This embarrassingly, criminally spineless and negligent? Do they actually value democracy in America so very little as to allow this to happen? Are they really such utter sellouts and quislings?
Here's what you can do:
1. Contact HJC Chairman John Conyers, and demand that he finally allow the Cheney impeachment resolution to move forward and impeachment hearings to begin. Remind Mr. Conyers of the terrible damage and dishonorable legacy that he and other Democratic leaders will leave behind them if they continue to ignore the constitutional requirement to impeach brazen criminals occupying highest elected offices in our land, and in so doing fail in their sworn duty to "support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic ..."
Any and all forms of contact with Chairman Conyers are important and encouraged at this critical time: phone calls, emails, faxes, letters. Can you generate one of each? Can you do it more than once? Every day this week? A phone call only takes a minute (if the lines are busy, try sending a quick email message or fax).
Here is John Conyers's full contact info:
Chairman John Conyers, Jr.
House Judiciary Committee
2426 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
2. Spread the word! Send along a link to this post to as many people as you can, with your request that they join the impeachment effort at this critical time.
If Conyers refuses to allow impeachment to go forward in light of Attorney General Mukasey's flat refusal uphold the law and honor congressional authority, Conyers will be known as the man with all the power who nevertheless did nothing while the match was put to the torch that destroyed American democracy.
Mr. Conyers is now, more than ever, the pivot point. He is exactly where all pressure needs to be applied at this moment. Everything is already in place. A bill of impeachment sits waiting for his committee to act on it. The power to begin impeachment hearings is his, and his alone. All that needs to happen is for Mr. Conyers to give the word.
Nearly 80 years old, I bet Congressman Conyers is thinking about how he wants to be remembered. My guess is he does not want to do down in history as the man who could have saved American democracy, but instead chose not to. Right now, finally, he's movable. With our added pressure at this crucial moment to convince him to do what's right for our country and for his own personal legacy, impeachment may actually materialize ... and with it, the hope that our children and grandchildren will live in a democratic United States of America.
Now, more than ever, your efforts and mine are essential. We may finally have the chance to roll the impeachment ball over the top of the hill and down the other side.
Please – now and for the next several days – it's time to deluge John Conyers with communications demanding immediate impeachment of Dick Cheney!
Pass it on.
The Democratic Activist