July 23, 2008
On Friday, Dennis Kucinich will take his impeachment resolution against Bush to the House Judiciary Committee. Kucinich argues that Bush has violated his oath of office, violated U.S. and international law, has trashed the Constitution, and poses a serious threat to the nation. “I want to thank you for the support which you have given to my efforts to hold this administration accountable for taking us into a war based on lies, and for the destruction of the rule of law and the destruction of cherished Constitutional principles,” Kucinich says in the YouTube video posted here.
On July 10, Kucinich pared down his 35 articles of impeachment to one and the House voted 238 to 180 to send this single article to the Judiciary Committee, which buried Kucinich’s previous 35-article effort in June. Democrat leaders of the House have promised not to discuss impeachment during the proceedings, thus attempting to derail the constitutional process required to initiate impeachment. Instead of beginning the impeachment process, Democrats have decided to conduct what the Los Angeles Times calls “an election-year review” of Bush’s abuse of power. “The hearing is a modest gesture by House Democratic leaders to members like Kucinich who insist that Bush’s reasons for going to war meet the standard for impeachment,” the LA Times reported on July 16.
Recall House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring after the Democrats swept the elections in 2006 that “impeachment is off the table.” On July 10, Pelosi said Kucinich’s article is “a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee.” On Friday we shall see if she really means it or if she is simply attempting to placate those of us who believe impeachment is long over due.
Mr. Kucinich should be commended for his persistent effort to bring Bush and his coterie of neocons to justice for their crimes. After a House committee buried his impeachment resolution, he turned around an introduced another one and has promised to continue to do so until action is taken. “Citizens can either sit back and hope for more blips to appear on the radar, or we can make them appear by asking Rep. Heath Shuler to cosponsor Kucinich’s bill, to encourage Judiciary Committee Chair Conyers to hold hearings and to ask Speaker Pelosi to move this business forward,” writes Kim Carlyle of Veterans for Peace.
Chairman John Conyers has said he wants public discussion of the issues being raised by Kucinich, but does not plan to take any action. “We’re not doing impeachment, but he can talk about it,” Conyers told CQ Politics. Kucinich’s earlier resolutions were referred to Conyers’ committee, which took no action on them. After the 2006 election, when the Democrats gained control of Congress, Conyers said impeachment would be politically untenable. Prior to this, he appeared to be an impeachment advocate. Last August, however, Conyers said “Nancy Pelosi has impeachment ‘off the table,’ but that’s off her table, it is not off John Conyers’ table.” On Friday, we will likely get more clarification.