Tuesday, February 27, 2007

State Dems: "Don't Waste Your Time on Impeachment"

Seattle P-I:
"Stop impeach talk, legislators urged." Anti-war Democrats in Congress have this message for Washington state legislators pushing for President Bush's impeachment and reducing U.S. military involvement in Iraq: Don't waste your time.
Washington Democrats Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Jay Inslee requested last week that legislators drop bills calling for impeachment investigations of Bush and against the troop surge in Iraq.

They say such measures will increase political fighting at home while slowing the progress to get U.S. troops out of the fighting in Iraq.

Inslee and Murray are trying to tell state legislators that the efforts are a waste of time, said Inslee's spokeswoman, Christine Hanson.

"At the federal level, impeachment talks are more distracting than productive," added Murray spokesman Alex Glass.

State Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland, introduced the impeachment bill. Another bill that calls for the U.S. to refrain from increasing troop presence in Iraq is sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle.

It seems unlikely either bill will come to a floor vote.

But the hearings won't be until Thursday. That's one day after the deadline to get bills out of committee, so the hearings will mostly serve as opportunities for Washington citizens to speak out, said Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, who heads the Government Operations and Elections Committee that will hear the bills.
Bothell Times (Postman):
"Bush bill puts Democrats at odds." OLYMPIA — Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown says she disagrees with Democratic colleagues who are pushing a resolution that calls on Congress to investigate and possibly impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Brown, D-Spokane, weighed in on the bill Monday after U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and other congressional Democrats said the impeachment resolution would distract from congressional oversight of the Iraq war.

"Personally, I feel that they're doing a pretty good job in ... Congress of investigating the Bush administration and really focusing on the problems in the Bush case for the war," Brown said. "I think they're on task in Congress right now on those issues."

Freshman Sen. Eric Oemig, D-Kirkland, introduced Senate Joint Memorial 8016, which calls on Congress to investigate a series of allegations against Bush and Cheney to determine if there is sufficient evidence to charge them and "follow the Constitutional process of impeachment."

In Olympia, a hearing on the bill is scheduled Thursday before the state Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles' Senate Joint Memorial 8003 opposing Bush's Iraq troop increase also will be discussed.

The hearing, and particularly Oemig's measure, has become a focus of anti-war activists in Washington state and around the country. Oemig said that among the people he has invited to testify Thursday is Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, who has become a high-profile figure against the war.

Kohl-Welles said she has invited both actor Sean Penn and retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. John Shalikashvili.

Bush resolutions in the state Legislature

Hearings on two resolutions — one calling on Congress to investigate and possibly impeach President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and another opposing Bush's troop increase in Iraq — are scheduled at 3:30 p.m. Thursday before the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee.

A rally in favor of the resolutions is planned earlier in the day, at 1 p.m., on the Capitol steps in Olympia.

Brown said she hopes that locals get their say.

"I would prefer that the focus be on hearing from people from Washington state, on both sides of the issue," she said.

It's unclear whether the Oemig's bill will get a vote on the Senate floor even if the committee approves it. Brown said there has not been a loud call for the resolution, either from Democrats in the Legislature or from her constituents.

Murray and Inslee have told Democratic lawmakers they think Oemig's measure is a bad idea.

"Jay called and he said, 'Darlene, don't do this,' " said Sen. Darlene Fairley, D-Lake Forest Park, chairwoman of the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee.

Fairley said she told Inslee that hundreds of people are expected Thursday and that anti-war activists are encouraging people to attend via blogs and Web videos.

"I can't un-ring that bell," she said.

Inslee was busy with a family matter Monday and unavailable for comment. But he had told The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper, that impeachment is a diversion and that, in any case, there aren't the votes in Congress to impeach the president.

Murray spokeswoman Alex Glass confirmed that Murray told Brown last week that impeaching Bush was a bad idea:

"Senator Murray's message was, 'I have two words for anyone who wants to impeach the President: Dick Cheney.' "

Oemig said he's heard that some members of Congress would rather the Legislature not push impeachment.

"I'm on their side," Oemig said. "They should help me help them. As soon as Congress starts issuing subpoenas or indictments, 8016 will go away."
Howie Understatement: This is disappointing.


Tyrone Ferrara said...

Revelation 13:5 - Are we in this 42 month period?

ummmmbeer said...

ve there is absolutely a point in pushing for hearings. Increase awareness, keep the conversations alive. Oemig has a duty to perform for his constituents; if he believes the president has committed an infraction that warrants impeachment the he has an obligation to pursue it. If his constituency he represents demands this action to be taken, then as a servant of these people, he should take such a course. No matter what Pelosi says is “off the table”.

I don’t believe we should just give up. I do think it is important to say “hey you broke our laws and our trust and we will not let it slide”. The precedents this administration has set are huge. The amount of power usurped was enormous. Even if the impeachment is not successful it needs to be attempted. We need to send a clear message to the next guy/gal that we are watching and we will act. What more important business could there possibly be in our government than protecting our Constitution? What freedoms will be left to protect from terrorists abroad if we let the terrorists at home turn us into a nation of prison bitches who don’t think it is worth standing up for ourselves?