Friday, April 13
There will be a time when future generations will look at us and wonder why President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not removed from office.
They will look at us and question why, when confronted by the most corrupt and incompetent administration ever witnessed in the United States, nothing was done to stop Bush and Cheney.
They will look at the craven behavior of the Democrats, too afraid to take on the president when it mattered. They will look at the Republicans, so intoxicated with power that they backed their president to the hilt, even as he ran this country off a cliff. They will look at the press, and how too many journalists were cowed into parroting the words of the administration. They will look at the voters, and shake their heads in disbelief that a number of Americans voted for all this -- the electoral equivalent of the chickens voting Colonel Sanders president.
And they will look at Vermont, and how a bottom-up impeachment effort with broad support ran into a brick wall of indifference in Montpelier as well as Washington.
History will not look kindly on House Speaker Gaye Symington for her insistence that her chamber must focus on "important matters" and that the House "does not have the time" to deal with impeachment.
History will not look kindly on Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, who has talked loudly about impeaching Bush and Cheney, but won't pursue the issue as long Symington says no.
Even though an impeachment resolution, like any other Vermont law, can start in either chamber, Shumlin is using decorum and the "we don't have time" argument as an excuse to duck this important issue.
History will not look kindly on Sen. Bernard Sanders, and his successor in the House, Peter Welch, as well as Sen. Patrick Leahy, for treating impeachment as if it were a barrel of toxic waste. Short-term political considerations apparently are more important than the Constitution, which they took an oath to uphold and defend.
Nearly 40 towns voted for impeachment at their town meetings this year. There is little support for Bush, Cheney and the war in Iraq that they lied us into. The list of the administration's failures at home and abroad is long and embarrassing. Yet Symington, Shumlin, Welch, Sanders and Leahy feel no sense of urgency to hold Bush and Cheney accountable.
We believe this is unacceptable and that both the Vermont Legislature and Congress are shirking their responsibilities. There is time to deal with impeachment and we believe nothing is more important.
When the story of our time is written by future historians, there will be but one question asked: When confronted with the malevolence and mendacity of the Bush administration, how did the people in positions to do something about it react?
Does Vermont want to go down in the history books as standing up to the worst president ever? We, the people of Vermont, have the chance to affect the outcome of this story. We must seize this opportunity.