April 24, 2006 by lonbud
Trouble Comin’ Every Day
One wouldn’t know it by reading any of America’s major dailies or by watching the people soon-to-be-replaced by Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, but impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush have begun.
Utilizing a little-known provision of the House Rules Manual of the 109th Congress, Representative Karen A. Yarbrough of Illinois’ 7th District introduced a resolution on April 20 in the Illinois General Assembly calling for the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Mr. Bush for willfully violating his Oath of Office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Students of American government might pause and wonder how it is that a State representative can initiate such a prospect, but — and isn’t this republic of ours a wondrous thing — there it is in the precedents and procedures crafted long ago by Thomas Jeferson himself:
Sec. 603. Inception of impeachment proceedings in the House.
In the House there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate (II, 1303; III, 2342, 2400, 2469; VI, 525, 526, 528, 535, 536); by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination (III, 2364, 2491, 2494, 2496, 2499, 2515; VI, 543); by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee (Apr. 15, 1970, p. 11941; Oct. 23, 1973, p. 34873); by a message from the President (III, 2294, 2319; VI, 498); by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State (III, 2469) or territory (III, 2487) or from a grand jury (III, 2488); or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House (III, 2399, 2444).
The upshot of it all is that any state legislature may, by joint resolution, present the House of Representatives with Articles of Impeachment, which must — under House Rules — take precedence over all other business on the floor at the time of presentation.
You can read the full text of the Illinois joint resolution here.
Following closely on the heels of the good representatives from the Land of Lincoln, California Assemblyman Paul Koretz of Los Angeles today offered an amendment to a joint resolution on disposal of depleted uranium he introduced in January, calling for the California General Assembly to demand the impeachment of both Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
“At both the state and national levels,” Koretz said, “we will be paying for the Bush Administration’s illegal actions and terrible lack of judgment and competence for decadesâ€šÃ„Ã®not only in the billions of dollars wasted on the war and welfare for the rich, but in the worldwide loss of respect for America and Americans. Bush and Cheney must be impeached and removed from office before they undertake even deadlier misdeeds, such as the use of nuclear weapons. There are no bounds to their willingness to ignore the Constitution and world opinionâ€šÃ„Ã®we can’t afford to wait for the next disaster and hope that we can survive it.”
Of course, it is possible, even likely, that neither the Illinois legislature nor California’s will pass either of these resolutions, but other states and localities throughout the land are officially wakening to the disaster wrought by BushCo and it seems increasingly clear that the Connecticut Cowboy will spend the balance of his term in office fighting off calls for his impeachment or resignation.
Additional information concerning the breadth of dissatisfaction with Mr. Bush’s job performance can be found here.
One may rightly wonder why it has taken so long for this groundswell to build, for w’s approval ratings to sink so low, and even for members of his own party to begin distancing themselves from him and his politics of fear and ineptitude. I’ve written before in this space of the media’s complicity in the public’s lack of interest, and I maintain still that the Fourth Estate bears much of the blame for the waste of time, and money, and lives by which the ruling junta have diminished the nation’s strength and stature.
In the end, it remains the province of the people to retain this democracy, for which we must again and forever give gratitude to men such as Thomas Jefferson, who provided the structure and the guidance for doing so. Thanks, too, however, are due to people like Rep. Yarborough and Assemblyman Koretz for having the courage and the intelligence to use them.