Wednesday :: Jul 12, 2006

We Can All Talk, And Talk Is Cheap

by pessimist

Paul Waldman over at says:

Conservatives are cowards, and they hope you are, too.

We’re afraid, they shout.

* We’re so afraid of terrorists, we have to become more like the things we hate.
* We’re so afraid, we have to let our government sanction torture.
* We’re so afraid, we have to let the government spy on us.
* We’re so afraid, we have to give the president dictatorial powers.
* We’re so afraid, we just want to rush to the arms of politicians who say they’ll protect us
Conservatives supported slavery, conservatives opposed women’s suffrage, conservatives supported Jim Crow, conservatives opposed the 40-hour work week and the abolishment of child labor, and conservatives supported McCarthyism.

Conservatives had their chance: a Republican president, a Republican Congress, Republican-appointed courts—in short, the perfect environment for enacting their vision with little to stand in their way—and they failed. Should we be surprised at the level of corruption? Of course not; they don’t think government is there to serve the people, so why shouldn’t they raid it for whatever they can grab?

If the best defense is a good offense, one would think that Bu$hCo would have by now been decapitated through impeachment. The number of people who have openly called for such an action has just increased by one - Rep. Ron Paul - the Libertarian-leaning Republican Congressman from Texas - has called for King George to be removed from office.

Rep. Paul has taken some strongly-principled stands in the past, opposing the Patriot Act, telling the American people about the coming economic crash, against abusing prisoners of the war on terror, called for bringing US troops home from Iraq - even co-sponsoring a bill to do so.

So why won't he introduce a motion to impeach King George?

David Swanson of wanted to find out - so he asked:

A radio show reported yesterday that Republican Texas Congressman Ron Paul said the following:
"I would have trouble arguing that he's been a Constitutional President, and once you violate the Constitution and be proven to do that I think these people should be removed from office."

And this: "Congress has generously ignored the Constitution while the President flaunts it, the courts have ignored it and they get in the business of legislating so there's no respect for the rule of law."

And this: "When the President signs all these bills and then adds statements after saying I have no intention of following it - he's in a way signing it and vetoing - so in his mind he's vetoing a lot of bills, in our mind under the rule of law he hasn't vetoed a thing."

And Paul said the United States had entered a period of "soft fascism."
The report of these statements might surprise some people, especially people who rely on the corporate media for their news, but it fits with previous remarks by Congressman Paul, including these wonderful speeches recently made on the floor of the House of Representatives by Rep. Paul and Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina.

So where is the article of impeachment?

I phoned up Congressman Paul's communications director in Washington this morning. [2006-07-12] I wanted to ask Rep. Paul why he would declare that the President should be removed from office, yet fail to introduce an article of impeachment or even sign onto Congressman John Conyers' (D., Mich.) bill, H. Res. 635, to create a preliminary investigation.
Paul did give something of an answer in the interview to why he would not act on his conviction that impeachment was merited. [H]e asserted, without any evidence, that the Democrats, if they won a majority, would probably try to impeach Bush for the wrong reasons: politics and revenge.
There are a couple of problems with this excuse of Paul's for his inaction:
1. Out here beyond the Beltway, it's progressives who couldn't stand Clinton and have no use for defending him (and spend their time these days attacking his wife) who are pushing impeachment.

2. The Democrats, even if they have a majority, will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to attempt impeachment, having – as they do – significantly less in the way of spine than Congressman Paul, who is probably failing to realize entirely how timid and useless they are.

3. If a president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors – as we all know this one has – then whether some Members of Congress might support impeachment for impure reasons can in no way justify a failure to impeach.
In persuading nonprofit groups to work for impeachment, it is often necessary to explain to them that supporting such action by Congress is not partisan just because the President belongs to a party. Is it really necessary to explain to Congressman Paul that impeachment is not partisan just because Congress Members belong to parties?
This is about defending the Constitution,
and either you obey your oath to do so
or you violate it.
Rep. Paul can be asked this: Why have you not introduced articles of impeachment, or at least signed onto Conyers' bill for a simple bipartisan investigation?
How does Congressman Paul think history will look on one of the 435 people in a position to act who declared action needed and then sat down and did nothing, who actually summoned the courage to admit publicly that he recognized the slide to fascism, but stood aside and wished the country well as it slid down the slope? Will history smile on such behavior?
Were Paul to put his signature where his mouth is, he would become an instant hero. [T]he chances of impeachment would dramatically increase, and the chances of impeachment being dominated entirely by partisanship would be eliminated. And Paul would catch a ton of flack from partisans, but they'd be partisan Republicans, and I think he could handle it.

But I digress. [Hey! That's my line!]

So, anyway, I phoned Paul's communications guy, whom I'd never spoken to before, Jeff Deist. But Deist turned out to be, like most Hill staffers, more cautious than his boss. Deist did not deny what Paul had said on the radio, but changed the topic to telling me what Deist believed.

For those who care, Deist believes that the issue that matters is Congress's failure to insist on its power to declare war. "Bush is not really the culprit, the blame is with Congress," Deist said, complaining of "Congress's cowardice."

I asked Deist if I could check with the Congressman on whether he agreed, and Deist said I could do so by sending a detailed request, explanation of the article I was writing, etc., to

While Deist made it very clear through his defensiveness and hostility that I'd never get an interview on this topic, I'm not sure it wouldn't have an impact if, say, 10,000 people sent an Email to that address thanking Paul for his statements and asking him to do more than talk.

Can you do that please?

I did:


I have followed your comments offered in opposition to the activities of the Bush Administration for many years. I and my co-bloggers applauded you in articles posted at every time you stood up to defend America from the predations of these radicals: when you rose to oppose invading Iraq, when you co-sponsored a bill to bring home America's soldiers, when you opposed violating the Geneva Conventions regarding prisoner treatment, and especially when you tried to alert the American people of the coming crash of our economy due to the extraordinary deficits that are being generated in the name of extending our so-called prosperity.

By such actions, you have demonstrated that you are a brave man whose principles mean more than political expediency.

Your nation calls upon you to stand again in it's defense, and you wouldn't be alone. For example, former White House Counsel John Dean is once again calling for the impeachment of Bush Administration officials for many of the same reasons you cited in your radio interview. So why won't you do your duty to your nation and call for the removal of those corrupt officials who would destroy our nation for the financial gain of a select few?

As a Texan, you know of the history of the Alamo far better than I. I hardly need to remind you of the odds those brave men faced. Yet they stood, trading their lives to buy time to allow for a more organized defense to be created.

It is no different for you at this time, although it isn't your literal life that is at stake. There are few who would precede you into the impeachment arena, but there could be many who would follow.

In that sense, you would be like Edward James Olmos, who ventured out into the ravaged streets of riot-torn LA to initiate the clean up after the 1992 riots. No one was going to precede him, so he took up the responsibility.

If you truly love your nation - and I believe you do - then the time to act is now, before there is nothing left of the American Republic to save.


As David Swanson put it:

We thank you, Congressman, but we can all talk, and talk is cheap.

Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.


This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.
pessimist :: 8:15 PM :: Comments (24) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!