Vermont county initiates impeachment. Now it's our turn.

News yesterday from Vermont suggests the possibility of driving impeachment forward from the county and local level. Here's the Daily Kos diary covering the issue. The resolution below has the key paragraph bolded. Perhaps our local elected officials would like to take a similar action and push it to our dear representatives in Raleigh.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the "supreme law of the land",

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the Attorney General to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the Government, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered at least thirty times the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and designated certain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants", all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and

WHEREAS George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony,

NOW THEREFORE the Rutland County Democratic Committee submits that his actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 as grounds for George W. Bush's impeachment.

The County Committee further submits that Articles of Impeachment should charge that George W. Bush has violated his constitutional oath to execute faithfully the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In all of this George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the State of Vermont and of the United States.

WHEREFORE, George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

February 28, 2006

Adopted: February 28, 2006

I'm not an expert in North Carolina law, nor do I play one on television, but I sure hope those who are experts are taking this opportunity seriously. I've been pestering our local reps in Raleigh (Hackney, Insko, Kinnaird) to look into the possibility of state-initiated impeachment proceedings. The response so far has been . . . how should I say this . . . uninspiring. Maybe Orange County should take the lead.

Comments

Just to be clear . . .

I don't know if NC law allows for the same kind of action that Vermont does, but we sure as hell ought to find out. Would our state legislature vote to forward articles of impeachment to Congress? I doubt it . . . but it would be a debate worth having.

I just don't know

about all this impeachment stuff. I don't think it's likely to happen, and from a strategic point of view, I'm not sure how helpful it is to push for it. I'm open to persuasion.

Glad you're open to persuasion

I've thought about it long and hard and have changed my mind many times. But then I remembered a seminar I once attended about integrity . . . which pushed me over the edge.

I think it's abundantly clear that George Bush has lied again and again to the American people. Most significantly, he has broken a specific law (FISA) in pursuit of his imperial presidency.

If you don't agree with that assessment, then you have no reason to be in favor of impeachment. But if you do, then you have to ask yourself this: What is the appropriate response in our democracy to a criminal in the White House?

I totally see that the political calculus may argue in favor of dropping the issue -- for fear of a backlash by uninformed citizens who might view the call for impeachment as pure political posturing. Alternately, you could make the case that it's a waste of time and energy . . . or that it distracts us from other important matters.

From my view, though, it is a matter of integrity. If we are to be a nation of laws and we have a chief executive who might be breaking those laws, integrity demands that we take action to stop the transgressions. Otherwise, we are complicit.

As a practical matter, nothing whatsoever could happen around impeachment unless we win back a majority in the House. In that regard, I see the possibility of impeachment as a potential motivator for getting out Democrat voters in November.

I'm not trying to be moralistic or holier than thou about this, nor do I claim to be a perfectly law abiding citizen. In fact, I probably break the law every time I drive by speeding.

But what Bush is doing to this country and the world is nothing less than a daily tragedy of unthinkable proportions. He deserves to be held accountable . . . and we cannot vote him out of office.

Hm.

I think yours is probably the best response. Just to be clear: I go to the political calculus only after deciding that removal is unlikely. That is, if we can't get rid of him, do we help or hurt by trying? My analysis will change a lot if developments tend to make impeachment and removal more likely. As it stands, I'm still not convinced.

Here's something I'm afraid of: Bush Drangement Syndrome. It's genius. Here's a hypothetical: suppose you've got a president who screws everything up, and not in a small way. As criticism mounts, you seek to develop a rhetoric that will defend that President's "work" and the work of his party. Your best tactical move: lump all criticism -- the legitimate with the crazy -- under the heading of wacky luncay. You say: "look at the opposition; they flip out about every single thing the President does! They're craaaazy!" Nevermind that almost everything the President does is bad and dangerous. It's like the rapist's defense lawyer painting the tearful victim as hysterical.

That's a powerful rhetoric. I'm not ready to back away from battles we can win because of it, but I'm also going to be cautious about playing into it to no positive practical effect.

That's my pragmatic side, the side that usually drives, talking. There's a part of me that agrees wholeheartedly with your comment.

i could not agree more

anglico:

i could not agree with you more !

just a reminder--- i am running in the 4th district dem primary against david price. impeachment is top priority. i have stated that my first act as congressman will be to co-sponsor hr 635(the conyers res.) david price has refused requests by his constituents to sign hr. 635

towns..

Probably be more likely in NC to get towns/cities to do this than counties.
Carrboro....Chapel Hill.....Durham. Maybe a couple others.