Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Do It Yourself Impeachment - A Guide

[Crossposted on DailyKos and My Left Wing]

There was a thread lat night on yesterday's Conyers hearing re: Impeachment over on that Orange site. It had lots and lots of people saying hopeless things like "We need action NOW" and "People just don't know the truth" and "How do we get around the fact that the media won't cover [x]?" and "We'll never get public support if..."

Well there is a way. It IS possible for You to do something, right now. You can be the change, all it will take is a little work...

If you really, really want it, read on.

Many people have put in a ton of work on this. There are blog entries being written, emails being sent, phone calls being made, conversations being had and votes being taken all over the country. I can't even begin to take credit, but I can describe in really simple terms how it works:

  1. Get yourself a resolution (see below).

  2. Find a group of concerned citizens. This usually involves calling and/or emailing your family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances, or others you occasionally talk politics with.

  3. Get them to vote on the resolution.

  4. Find another group.

  5. Repeat #3 and #4 until you have a groundswell of support.

  6. In parallel, have someone feel out legislators in the state house and senate to find the one(s) who will be willing to bring the resolution to the legislature.

  7. Get all those supporters to INSIST that their STATE legislators (both the house and senate) sponsor the resolution, bring the resolution to the floor, and vote yes on it.

  8. Each state legislature that passes it, transmits it to one or more US House member(s).

  9. One of those US House members can call for impeachment proceedings on the US House floor as a Point of Privilege, based on the transmitted resolution. The House cannot interrupt it or prevent it from being brought to the floor.

Sure, the hostile house will promptly send it to that graveyard called "committee," telling the committee to sit on it - the first time. But what about when the NEXT state does it, and the next?

How many times can the House leadership push it underground before the pressure builds beyond their capacity to contain it? Two? Three? Four? Which state will be the proverbial last straw? The only way to find out is to just DO IT.

All it takes is WORK

So, roll up your sleeves, grab a copy of the resolution, amend it to fit your location, get a group (in Vermont, it started with one man presenting one page to a Democratic County Committee). It has now been discussed at the State Democratic Committee meeting, and is working its way through the other counties, to be taken up for a vote by the State Committee after the County Committees have had their chance to vote on it. It was brought to Bennington Town Meeting yesterday, by Barbara McIntyre and Judy Murphy (they said it was OK to use their real names) as a non-binding resolution. It will be brought to others today and tomorrow. It will eventually go to the legislature. It may or may not pass, but the word will get out. Others, in other states will see that they can do this too. Somewhere it will succeed. Probably more than one somewhere.

It's Your Turn

Bring it to your state.

  • Find a group (heck, it could even be a knitting club).

  • Get it voted on.

  • Get another group.

  • Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • And don't forget to have someone doing parallel work digging up a receptive legislator in each house.

THIS is how we do it

THIS IS how it works.

If you could see the excitement among the people involved in Vermont, you would know. Despite it's reputation as a "blue" state, most of Vermont is red, it just happens to have a huge blue population center in Burlington that tilts the whole state (thank goodness for college students). The rest of the state ain't so blue. But it's happening anyway.

In Vermont, we have scared politicians, worried about their election and re-election chances if this goes anywhere. They saw what doing the right thing did when it came to civil unions. They don't relish a repeat. It took years to regain the legislature and they are afraid. But it's happening anyway.

Even in the places where the resolution has no hope of passing, it will get the discussion started. In those places, this effort is essentially doing advertising for the truth. Bringing the message to market. Bypassing the media blockade. It's still valuable for that reason alone. By taking on this task, you become a part of the rolling thunder, no matter where you are and what ultimately happens with the Rutland Resolution in your state.

This is a tool of hope. We the People DO have the power to make a difference. You can make it happen. It just takes WORK.

Here's Why it Can Work

The Manual of Rules of the US House [PDF]. See sections 603 and 604.

Here's the Rutland Resolution


WHEREAS, Section 603 of the Manual of the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives provides for impeachments to be initiated on a motion based on charges transmitted from a state legislature, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has committed high crimes and misdemeanors as he has repeatedly and intentionally violated the United States Constitution and other laws of the United States, particularly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Torture Convention, which under Article VI of the Constitution is a treaty as part of the "supreme law of the land",

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U.S. citizen as an "enemy combatant", all in subversion of law, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered and authorized the Attorney General to override judicial orders for the release of detainees under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) jurisdiction, even though the judicial officer after full hearing has determined that a detainee is held wrongfully by the Government, and

WHEREAS, George W. Bush has ordered at least thirty times the National Security Agency to intercept and otherwise record international telephone and other signals and communications by American citizens without warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, duly constituted by Congress in 1978, and designated certain U.S. citizens as "enemy combatants", all in violation of constitutional guarantees of due process, and

WHEREAS George W. Bush has admitted that he willfully and repeatedly violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and boasted that he would continue to do so, each violation constituting a felony,

NOW THEREFORE the Rutland County Democratic Committee submits that his actions and admissions constitute ample grounds for his impeachment, and that the General Assembly of the State of Vermont has good cause for submitting charges to the U.S. House of Representatives under Section 603 as grounds for George W. Bush's impeachment.

The County Committee further submits that Articles of Impeachment should charge that George W. Bush has violated his constitutional oath to execute faithfully the office of President and to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

In all of this George W. Bush has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President, subversive of constitutional government to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the State of Vermont and of the United States.

WHEREFORE, George W. Bush, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any offices of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

February 28, 2006
Adopted: February 28, 2006

Who can make the Rutland Resolution move furthest, fastest in their state?

Grand Prize:
A beautifully restored democracy for decades to come!

Contest rules:
Contestant must be able to copy the Rutland Resolution and give said copies to others. Contestant must be willing to work hard and follow the steps outlined above. Odds of winning depend on total number of contestants. Chances improve with additional contestants. Contest expires upon victory. Contestants may enter as many times as they wish. Not valid for those who cynically refuse try. Winners will be apparent on or about the next several election cycles. No purchase necessary. Your mileage may vary. Do not fold, bend, spindle, or mutilate.

For more information email: impeach@dfvt.com

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