Wexler calls July 10th “…a perfect impeachment storm…”

For those of you holding your breath, you can exhale now.  For all of us, I think we can take some cheer.  At 5:30 PDT, I got an e-message from Congressman Wexler:

Capitol Hill is buzzing today with major developments regarding our campaign for impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice Presideent Dick Cheney.  Just today, in what could be described as a perfect impeachment storm:

  • Karl Rove once again thumbed his nose at Congress and the American people by brazenly ignoring a lawful congressional subpoena to testify before the House of Representatives;

• Judiciary Chairman John Conyers indicated his willingness to use the power of inherent contempt against Rove if necessary;

• Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced another article of impeachment on Bush’s lies regarding the Iraq war; and

• Speaker Nancy Pelosi was quoted today saying that the House Judiciary Committee should address the issues that Kucinich raises in the House Judiciary Committee.

After years of work by so many of you, the time appears ripe to finally hold Bush and Cheney accountable.

Reflecting on Wexler’s letter brought many thoughts — about blogs, the netroots, activism, but mainly about OTB’s ants and the Weapons of Blog Destruction.

We the blogging worker ants turned our powerful WBDs outward on the timid complacencies of the status quo.  It wasn’t just the blog, and it wasn’t just DD, but the collective forces of these and many others converged, through e-space and resultant phone calls to members of congress to form the perfect storm.  I say this with the humility of just one of the many, many worker ants.

Perhaps tahoebasha3 said it best in a comment on my original essay, after a couple of calls to Pelosi and much web search, tahoe found that a Pelosi spokesperson said Pelosi had never urged the Judiciary “not to pursue contempt charges against Rove”, that such a statement had just been a rumor floating around the blog.  So tahoe commented:

It’s possible she did say it, but the uproar has caused a total retraction — who the hell knows—tahoebasha3

Wexler continues:

Conyers Opens Door to Inherent Contempt for Rove

Karl Rove has simply refused to appear, as he is legally required to do. His actions, endorsed by the Bush/Cheney Administration, are a challenge to our system of checks and balances and Congress must respond to this type of outrageous behavior with appropriate severity.

Today, Judiciary Chairman John Conyers courageously stated today that inherent contempt will remain an option for the House of Representatives so long as Rove and this Administration refuses to abide by the law.

We must now bring Mr. Rove (and other renegade Bush officials) in compliance with the law.

This is a defining moment for Congress: Will we continue to allow legislative power to be eroded by an out of control executive branch that ignores the rule of law – or will we finally put an end to this congressional capitulation and properly force Administration officials to testify in full view of the American people?

It is time for Congress to hold Karl Rove in inherent contempt. I congratulate Chairman Conyers’ positive move in this direction, and we must work to move other Members of Congress in support of the use of inherent contempt. Inherent contempt properly enables the House Sergeant of Arms to physically take custody of Mr. Rove and bring him to the House of Representatives to testify.

How do you think a state or federal judge would react to a witness refusing to comply with a legal subpoena? The wayward witness would be arrested.

Should the Congress of the United States be shown any less respect than any courtroom in the nation?

Should the Congress react any differently than how any American judge would react? Absolutely not.

And Wexler concludes:

Speaker Pelosi’s Shift on Hearings and Rep. Kucinich’s New Article of Impeachment

After stating unequivocally that impeachment “is off the table,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated to CBS News today that the House Judiciary Committee should address the issues that Rep. Kucinich’s has raised in his impeachment resolution.

Pelosi’s words provide genuine hope for our cause of accountability for this Administration. We must use Speaker Pelosi’s openness to new hearings in the Judiciary Committee to pursue aggressively the serious allegations against Bush and Cheney relating to lies about the Iraq War, the illegal use of torture, the improper disclosure of the identity of a covert agent, the political firing of US attorneys, and on and on.

I again congratulate Congressman Kucinich on his continued leadership and work on behalf of this vital cause.

This issue now reaches far beyond the substance of the Judiciary Committee’s original inquiry regarding the firing of US Attorneys for political purposes. The crisis at hand relates to our most fundamental laws and of our Constitution. It is, in many ways, more serious than the Constitutional crisis surrounding Watergate – yet the national media ignores the facts and ramifications of this renegade Executive.

Congress has a duty to protect the balance of powers. Mr. Rove, Mr. Bolten, and Ms. Miers have taken actions that severely undermine these powers, and we should not rely on a federal court alone.

The political tide begins to be turning and that is why I feel so strongly that we should aggressively push for inherent contempt for Karl Rove and impeachment hearings for President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

Thanks you for your work and your commitment to our constitution.

– Congressman Robert Wexler

Please, dear blogging worker ants, once again, contact your Congresspersons…

This may be an important moment in the evolutionary leap of consciousness needed for continuance. …You know what to say.

19 comments

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  1. for this slight but significant change of tiller heading in the craft that bears us!

  2. are cosponsors of the articles of impeachment. Where is the rest of the House? As you say, this would be a good time for people to contact their representatives and ask them to cosponsor.

  3. It pains me to say it, but I don’t believe they’ll go through with it.

    I used to be a true believer that the Democrats would pursue the Bush administration when they thumbed their noses at the Constitution. I had discussions with Conyers, Levin and others about how the Congress has both the right and the RESPONSIBILITY to oversee the actions of the Executive Branch when there are possible (ha!) violations of federal laws.

    For my unwavering support of Conyers and my frequent “just keep writing your Congress members, they will do the right thing!” attitude on the Unnamed Orange blog I No Longer Visit, I often would get my ass handed to me for my unwavering positive attitude. I really had a “puppydogs and sunshine” outlook until a couple of weeks ago.

    But, the more I’ve seen and heard from Conyers in particular about the apathy in Congress to take action, the more I believe they’ve decided to just sometimes throw their liberal supporters a bone so we’ll STFU… and then they’ll blame unnamed colleagues for a lack of will to actually take action further than an occasional resolution or Strongly Worded Statement to supporters.  

    The FISA debacle has convinced me that they are so afraid of doing anything that can be construed as divisive or “not patriotic”, they will fold like origami.

    Conyers himself has said the Dems in Congress are afraid of weakening the Democratic party’s chances this fall by creating a distraction that the GOP can exploit. They’re cowering because, as Conyers explained it to me, “we need to make sure the Democrats stay in power for a long, long time”.

    Think about it: what incentive do they actually have to really take action? Sure, there’s those quaint notions of “protect the government by ensuring co-equal branches fulfill their duties” and “fulfilling your oath of office” … but they seem to be focused on “let’s stay in office first, and then we can clean the shit up later once elections have passed.” The problem is that while this might look like a “safe” way for short-term self preservation, it sets a dangerous precedent for future government.

    After the FISA cave-in, I just can’t see the Democrats as a party being willing to go after Bush and his cronies. They have done a lot of terrific investigations that have unearthed astonishing levels of unethical and likely illegal activities. But, they just don’t have the confidence that following their oaths of office and protecting the constitution from a lawless Executive branch is worth the political risk.

    I am so sad to conclude this. I just can’t see any hope anymore that they will do anything but a few more Strongly Worded Letters and an occasional resolution they know will flop.

    • feline on July 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Karl Rove, The White House And The Rule Of Law

    The last paragraph is (possibly) interesting:

    “The question that now confronts the Judiciary Committee and, ultimately, the full House of Representatives, is what action to take in the face of such blatant defiance of the rule of law. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I am considering all options. Regardless of the path we take, the end result must be the same: the full restoration of our Constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no one — not Karl Rove and not the president — is above the law.”

    It’s also cross-posted at Huffington Post

    • geomoo on July 11, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    I had given heavily in the 2004 travesty.  I almost exploded.  As soon as she announced who they were, I said with great feeling, “You guys . . . ” (One of these days, Alice . . .)  I felt like they had a lot of nerve calling the day after FISA.  “I am very upset with you.  You spit on the constitution, then …”  Then I got hold of myself–just talking to a volunteer.  I said, “I don’t want to be rude to you,” and she hung up very quickly.  I wondered how much of that they got yesterday.

    Thanks for the info, syd.  I’ll be watching, but I don’t expect a damn thing.  Maybe they would find the guts to make Rove some kind of scapegoat because the whole country hates him, but they have made it exceedingly clear by many, many actions, that they are not serious about protecting the Constitution.

  4. I trust Wexler’s intent explicity, as I do Kucinich’s — just about none of the rest, though!

  5. This discussion is great, serious and thought provoking.  And, I agree with both sides of this argument.

    TPTB are quite possibly setting us up for another disappointment…

    OTOH, Tovah, maybe just something will split this open and, and, and….maybe…

    OTOH…..

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