Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Representative Howard Berman: Don't Block Impeachment

Guest Blogger: Michael Jay

Letter to Representative Howard Berman:
If you won't oppose Bush, at least don't oppose those Democrats who will!

Dear Congressman Berman,

On Tuesday Congressman Dennis Kucinich will introduce a privileged resolution to impeach Vice President Cheney.

It is a virtual certainty that another member will move to table this resolution.

What will you do?

We have debated at length our differences on the occupation of Iraq, and the wisdom of impeachment. Actually, we have no differences of opinion on Iraq: you have publicly agreed with every one of my observations, including the conclusion that the war makes us less safe; you differ, inexplicably, in the action that you take.

For years now I have begged you to be part of an opposition Party, to aggressively address Bush's assault on our country's reputation and bedrock principles. In this regard I have also demanded that you obey your oath to protect and defend the Constitution, by holding the Bush administration responsible for its irrefutably illegal actions.

You have espoused the same excuses I've heard from so many: "Impeachment will take too long" (though the time remaining is still four times the time it took to impeach Clinton and Nixon). "We don't have the votes"- as if they had the votes before they began investigating Nixon, and uncovered the smoking guns that even the Republicans couldn't deny. "It will keep us from more important work" - as if the current Congress was some beehive of new initiatives and unprecedented bipartisan efficiency. In reality, because of the failure of you and others to oppose Bush, he vetoes everything, and we pass nothing. The only thing my Party has achieved is to have squandered the wishes of those Democrats who put you in the majority with a mandate to stop funding the war and stand up to Bush. Your self described "conservative" agenda and the Party leadership's brilliant strategy has achieved one other thing: it has plunged Congress' approval ratings to 11%- less than half that of Bush's. Remember that, the next time you think my progressive stance is bad for the Party.

Well, here's your chance. You don't have to go out on a limb and introduce a resolution. You don't have to join a caucus or co-sponsor anything, or stick your head up out of the foxhole. This one's simple: I'm asking you to do nothing. That is, when the motion is made to table Kucinich's resolution to impeach, please DO NOT vote to table.

Is that so much to ask? That you not side with the Republicans (again)? That you let this action take its course, and give us a chance to get America back on track? That you see which other Democrats might show a spine? Maybe we'll surprise ourselves.

With Senator Feinstein enabling yet another lying Bush appointee for Attorney General, I'm so deep in this upside down world that I'm now asking you to do nothing: Please don't cast another vote that makes us citizen Democrats sick to heart to be Democrats. Please don't generate another front page headline in the LA Daily News like the one that read, "Berman Sides with GOP." Please let this one vestige of Thomas Jefferson's process take root for. Bottom line: If you won't oppose Bush, at least don't oppose those Democrats who will. Please remember that you took an oath- one you have yet to respect. Here's your chance. I, and the several hundred people with whom I'll be sharing this message, will be watching.


Michael Jay

Delegate, California State Democratic Party, 42nd Assembly District
Steering Committee, Progressive Democrats of America, Los Angeles
Coordinating Committee, SoCal Grassroots

PS - To those citizens reading this message: CALL CONGRESS (202-225-3121) and tell your Democratic Representative NOT to vote to table Kucinich's resolution of impeachment.

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