Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hard Rain Journal 7-2-07: Are You Listening to Speaker Pelosi? She Gets It. Unfortunately, Sen. Obama Doesn't.

Image: Salvador Dali, Premonition of Civil War

Hard Rain Journal 7-2-07: Are You Listening to Speaker Pelosi? She Gets It. Unfortunately, Sen. Obama Doesn't.

By Richard Power

It was Speaker Pelosi who said that impeachment was off the table.

I feel, as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. does, that the impeachment of Bush and Cheney should be pursued as a civics lesson for the American people, if for no other reason. But I also understand where Speaker Pelosi was coming from when she made that remark. She didn't say it because impeachment wasn't warranted. She said it because she is a realist. She said it because she has a profound responsibility. After over a decade under the control of the Cult formerly known as the Republican Party, the House of Representatives itself was sick, she had to tend to it first. She has her role, we have ours.

Have you listened to her recently?

"The American people really don’t even know the half of it," said Pelosi in discussing what further oversight efforts might ultimately uncover. "In every aspect of the rule of law, and respect for the Constitution and checks and balances and how they conduct themselves, it's impossible to exaggerate how bad they have been." Bob Geiger, 6-29-07

"On some of these issues, the courts are not friendly to us because they're all in the family, especially in the District of Columbia," Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Thursday conference call. "If we wanted to challenge them in court, the decisions would not be in our favor, we know that. You can see what the Supreme Court did today, if you want any evidence of the immodesty of the courts." Raw Story, 6-29-07

These are candid and damning remarks worthy of a national leader in a time of crisis.

Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) deserves respect and encouragement from the progressive quadrants of the Blogosphere. She is the first woman to ever wield the gavel as Speaker. She is carrying out her constitutional office with dignity and decency. She delivered on her promise to push through a positive, people's agenda in her first 100 hours. Unfortunately, almost all of it, including full implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, has gotten waylaid in the US Senate. She bravely traveled to Syria to talk peace. She has personally sworn to get the men and women of the US military out of the Mega-Mogadishu that the folly of the Neo-cons have created in Iraq. She wanted Jack Murtha (D-CA) as her whip, not Stenny Hoyer (D-MD). And she is not living in denial about the Bush-Cheney regime.

Sen. Barack Obama, on the other hand, deserves admonishment for some of his recent remarks about impeachment. Smarmy is not a good look for him.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid out list of political shortcomings he sees in the Bush administration but said he opposes impeachment for either President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney. ... "I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president's authority," he said.
"I believe if we began impeachment proceedings we will be engulfed in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction," he added. "We would once again, rather than attending to the people's business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, nonstop circus."
Associated Press, 6-28-07

Tit for tat? Lying the USA into the invasion and occupation of Iraq; and then commencing the same process in regard to Iran. Violating the Geneva Accords, authorizing torture and rendition, suspending Habeas Corpus, violating FISA, violating the FOIA, firing US Attorneys who will not press bogus prosecutions against your political enemies, using the DoJ to suppress the vote of African Americans ... Lying about global warming, prostituting the FDA, the EPA and other vital agencies, vetoing stem cell research on the basis of some bizarre distortion of religious dogma ... Torture, refusing International Red Cross requests to interview prisoners, facilitating war profiteering, trampling on the Bill of Rights, betraying the identity of a US secret agent -- if these are not "grave, grave breeches" what would constitute them, Senator Obama? How is opposing such wanton anti-constitutional thuggery not "attending to the people's business"?

Because of the shamelessness of most in the minority, and the size of that minority, there are not enough votes in the US Senate to carry through on a conviction. That is the only reason impeachment is not (yet) being pursued; and indeed, the next national election may arrive before the resistence to it is worn down. That is why Speaker Pelosi said it was off the table, not because it was unwarranted.

Meanwhile, both Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton -- who has also blundered badly in recent weeks, by saying that the USA was safer today than it was before 9/11 -- are getting big money, tens of millions of dollars, showered on them.

Should we be happy? Or should we be concerned?

Is this money pouring in because Sens. Clinton and Obama will do what has to be done on global warming, health care, economic fairness and national security? Or because they will insure that initiatives in these and other vital areas have less bite to them than circumstances demand?

Why is the punditocracy trying to give John Edwards the bum's rush, with almost a year to go before the first primary or caucus? Because he is speaking truth to power?

You and I are not living in La-La Land. Our presidential candidates shouldn't either.

And do yourself and your country a favor, don't attack Speaker Pelosi.

2008 is a long way away, and unless the House and the Senate continue to recover from what has been done to them over the last few years, we may not get there in position to win back the White House.

Listen to her, and help her.

For a directory of posts on the 2008 presidential race, click here.

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