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Who Knew Impeachment was so Popular?

By Nick Mottern, Director, ConsumersforPeace.org

Posted May 2, 2007

(Note: This article says that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is blocking impeachment.   To ensure accuracy, I called her press office today, May 2, 2007, and asked for the Speaker's most recent public statement on impeachment.    I was told by a press spokesperson that Ms. Pelosi has said impeachment is "off the table" but that the office could not refer me to any public statement on impeachment by Ms. Pelosi.   One can reach the Speaker's office at (202) 225-0100.)

Last Saturday, April 28, I went to the pro-impeachment protest organized along Route 117 in Mt. Kisco, New York, the town's busiest business artery.   I went expecting that we would stand with our signs that said "Honk for Impeachment" and receive little or no response.

Was I surprised.

I have protested the Iraq War in this same spot, and drivers have responded more and more positively since the election last fall.   But the horn blowing prompted by the impeachment signs was truly overwhelming; there were brief silences but very few and very brief.   Enthusiasm was not limited to horn blowing, with the warmer weather, windows were down and people shouted encouragement, waved their arms and gave thumbs up.    We all were very surprised at what we were witnessing.

Mt. Kisco is a town of   about 10,000 in the upper half of Westchester County, attracting New York City commuters, with a political orientation that is center to conservative.   According to the 2000 Census, nearly 80 percent of the population is white.   About 95 percent of the labor force is employed, with about 40 percent in management.    Thirty eight percent of residents 25 years of age and older have   a bachelors' degree or above, according to the census, and average household income is $80,598.  

Mt. Kisco is a retail center for upper Westchester, and on this Saturday afternoon we were almost surely seeing and hearing from people from the nearby communities of Katonah, Bedford and Chappaqua, high-income communities that are inclined toward political conservatism.

From the sidewalk on Route 117,   House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in blocking impeachment, is looking more and more out of touch.

A much larger issue obviously is that Ms. Pelosi is saying that Congress will not hold Bush/Cheney accountable for any of the crimes that they have committed, are committing and will commit.   She is pulling the Constitution's most basic teeth of law enforcement and doing so in a very public way.   This may be first time in U.S. history that a Speaker of the House has done such a thing.    By saying there will be no law enforcement at the highest level in government, she abandons her fundamental sworn responsibilities to the Constution and the people.

This is, of course, a contradiction for the Democrats, who are charging that politics seems to have trumped law enforcement in the matter of the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by the Bush Administration.   Moreover, it undercuts any efforts toward accountability on any level of government.

Keeping Bush and Cheney around may or may not enhance the chance of electing a Democratic President in 2008, particularly if the Democrats are unwilling to impeach a president and vice president for behavior that is so dramatically illegal and profoundly unpopular.

Democrats and Republicans running for reelection to Congress in 2008 may find they will be measured by whether they were strong for impeachment, overriding the politics of impeachment avoidance.

Indeed, it would seem to be in the particular interest of Republicans seeking to return to the Congress to join, if not lead, in impeachment in order to staunch the Bush/Cheney wound that is bleeding them daily.  
Sen. Chuck Hagel R-NE appears to recognize this and has started to talk about impeachment.

So far, the major news media are almost totally, and apparently consciously, avoiding any examination of the impeachment currents flowing within the population and the Congress.