Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

State legislators call for an investigation of the Bush administration

Senator Eric Oemig, who represents NPI's home legislative district (the 45th) officially introduced a resolution today which mentions some of the atrocities committed under the orders of Dubya & Co. and concludes by asking the state's congressional delegation and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to "determine whether there is sufficient evidence to charge President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard B. Cheney with the above offenses".

Senate Joint Memorial 8016, which has a number of co-sponsors, has been misconstrued by both right wing bloggers and some left wing activists as an outright call for impeachment...which it is not.

The resolution is basically a symbolic request for an investigation. Note the use of the words "determine whether there is sufficient evidence" as quoted in the first paragraph of this post. The resolution does not claim that the proof already exists.

Senator Oemig has unfortunately not communicated his position very clearly since his plans for introducing this resolution were leaked - allowing others to frame his intent as a demand for impeachment now.

As far as impeachment itself is concerned....[U.S.] House Democrats, including Representatives Jim McDermott and Jay Inslee, have clearly signaled they're not interested in pursuing impeachment at the expense of ending the war in Iraq and improving the lives of working families through desperately needed legislation.

The Democratic Party is not and should not portray itself as an anti-Bush party. Were we to make removal of Bush and Cheney our foremost goal (impeachment/conviction) we would lose the ability to do something about ending the war in Iraq, our legislative agenda would effectively disappear, and we would give the Republican Noise Machine a slew of fodder to use through the 2008 elections against us.

Impeachment of Bush and Cheney may seem righteous, but it is not a practical or even wise course of action. Activists in favor have come up with powerful and emotional arguments for doing so, but their focus is too narrow. By all means, let's investigate...but not get got up in the politics of vengeance or retribution. That is not what progressivism and liberalism are about.

From the very beginning, this administration has been the antithesis of true American values. (Remember how Bush and Cheney got into office in the first place?) Unfairness is one word that could be used to summarize the last six years of government under these two men and their right wing agenda. Repression, suffering, and affliction are others.

Getting rid of the corrupt right wing liars who currently control the executive branch will not magically reverse all the harm that has been done.

That's our true goal, what we want and what the American people want: to end the war in Iraq, stop the free ride for corporate America, tackle the challenge of global warming before it is too late, rescue working families who are struggling under unfair conditions, ensure that every child has access to quality health care....and so on.

Democrats and progressives won decisively last November in landslide after landslide because America is tired of the regress and ready for progress.

History is not going to judge Bush and Cheney uncritically if they leave office without having been impeached (and convicted). This administration is already poised to leave the worst legacy of any in American history behind when it dissolves in early 2009 to make way for a new President.

We appreciate that Senator Oemig and his colleagues want to see more action from Congress, and we agree investigations are warranted. We caution fellow activists, however, against getting blindly caught up with a fervent desire to see Bush and Cheney punished. True justice is repairing as much of the damage they've caused as we possibly can - and addressing the causes, rather than the symptoms, of the problems that have troubled our nation.

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