PDHblog This is a place for members of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i to express their thoughts, hopes and exasperations about political happenings.

September 20, 2007

Frustrated Netroots vs. Congress on the War, et al.

Filed under: 1Stop War,HI Politics,Impeach,National Politics — BobSchacht @ 1:43 pm

Frosty’s lament today is hardly an isolated concern. There’s more here:

Primary Challenges Haunt Democrats, by BooMan (Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 11:07:06 AM EST). This blog includes a quote from Rep. Neil Abercrombie about the disconnect between what the anti-war group wants, and what the Democratic representatives feel able to deliver. This is also revealed in a recent national poll by Andy Kohut that aired on PBS September 19, 2007.

ANDREW KOHUT: Yes, I mean, I think, with respect to the Democrats, that’s the case, because what we saw also is the percentage of Democrats saying that their leaders are not doing enough to push Bush on Iraq. In July, that percentage was 54 percent, and in September, it was 61 percent.

It is also reflected in my op-ed piece today in the Star Bulletin, “Follow the Constitution: Initiate impeachment.” I am totally frustrated by Speaker Pelosi’s declaration that impeachment is off the table.

I think what has happened is that Pelosi and the new Democratic leadership team that came to power last November had a 2-year plan for how they were going to run the table on Bush. Their plan seems to have been investigate the beejesus out of the Bush administration, but NO IMPEACHMENT, with an eye towards gaining a veto-proof Congress AND the presidency in 2008. There is some redundancy in this plan, because if you have one, you don’t really need the other. They also seemed to have grand ideas about ending the war, but not much of a plan about how to do it. What seems to be happening is that they are sticking to their game plan, and the public doesn’t like their results.

Furthermore, the Democrats still have not figured out how to look strong. The Democratic Leadership Council (Clinton’s think tank) is convinced that Democrats need to be hawkish on national Defense in order to win. The Bush WH knows this, so that all they have to do is accuse the Democrats of being weenies, and the Democrats will cave in every time– just like they did over the bad FISA bill just before the August Recess. This makes them look weak, not strong. This is what worries me about the drum beat of war with Iran.

I think that the way for the Democrats to look strong is to go toe to toe with the Bush administration. You want money for your war? Fine– for a few months, but then you have to bring the troops home. You wanna veto that? Fine. Then you get no money. Its the John Edwards slogan: No timelines? No money, no excuses! Period!

Same thing with impeachment. The Democrat’s reluctance to impeach makes them look weak and indecisive. Heck, with conservative Republican Bruce Fein willing to lead the charge, impeachment should be the FIRST item of business!!!

The Democrats need to update last fall’s business plan. Its getting stale.

Bob Schacht

1 Comment »

  1. Bob,

    Read today (9-20-07), your Editorial in the Star-Bulletin about the Constitutional crisis and the Hawaii Democratic Party Resolutions about the Impeachment. Now that both the House and the US Senate are in the hands of the Democrats, whether an impeachment motion is successful, or not, the House for once should get off their backside and stop permitting the GOP in the House to distract the public’s attention by sicking the Mass Media on the Move On. If this is permitted to go on, Sen. Barbara Boxer will be the next target of people like the Swift Boats Veterans who did both Sen. Kerry and Sen. McCain in politically during the 2002 Presidential race.

    Recommend the Bloggers here at the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii site download the Editorial cited above from the 9/20/07 Star-Bulletin.

    It’s a must read to be shared with not just our Choir, but with the so-called Silent Majority, and the “converts” such as our new Democratic Party member State Sen. Mike Gabbard. I ask those that support his past agenda to work with us to put an end to the “War Without End”. You can still assist us by not supporting our politcal opponents during the 2007-2007 Presidential Election and local election cycle. Good luck to Bob and the PD-HI crew!

    Arvid Tadao Youngquist
    “1 of 14,664 voters”

    Gathering Place
    Robert M. Schacht

    ——————————————————————————–

    Follow the Constitution: Initiate impeachment
    Monday was Constitution Day, beginning a week of celebrations honoring the U.S. Constitution. But missing from the headlines is this truth: our Constitution is in crisis.

    » President Bush authorized warrantless wiretaps, in violation of the Fourth Amendment;
    » Vice President Cheney has committed multiple crimes against the Constitution, according to constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein, a conservative Republican;

    » Bush, Cheney, former Bush adviser Karl Rove and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have conspired to undermine the constitutional balance of powers by ignoring congressional subpoenas and circumventing judicial oversight mandated by law (e.g. FISA courts).

    Our representatives in Congress took an oath of office, which states:
    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

    So it is a responsibility of our representatives to defend our Constitution. As John Nichols, author of “The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism” has pointed out, the constitutional solution to this crisis is impeachment.

    The Democratic Party recognized this situation, and its platform contains a paragraph that says:

    “Hawaii Democrats believe that George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald H. Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales, as officers of the United States of America, have attempted to subvert the Constitution … Hawaii Democrats support the impeachment and trial of said officers, their removal from office and their disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States. … We call on our senators and representatives to do all they can to impeach President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney and remove them from office as soon as possible.” (See http://www.hawaiidemocrats.org)

    Unfortunately, the Republican attempt to use impeachment to remove President Clinton from office gave impeachment a bad reputation. Not so many remember the role of imminent impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon, in which the Constitution played a very public and celebrated role, and restored public confidence in our Constitution and its role in establishing our unique national experiment with Democracy.

    But last November, without even considering the seriousness of the charges raised against Bush and Cheney, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table before official congressional investigations could even begin. In doing so, she took off the table a critically important method of maintaining checks and balances among the branches of our government: The executive, legislative and judicial branches.

    Hawaii’s congressional representatives, Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, have said they are not considering impeachment. What should they be doing to fulfill their oath of office to defend the Constitution? Our Constitution only works if all three branches do their jobs. Please let them know what you think.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Robert M. Schacht is a member of the steering committee of the political action group Progressive Democrats of Hawaii. He lives in Makiki.

    Comment by Arvid Youngquist — September 20, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

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