Friday, June 30, 2006

Impeachment Movement

The Supreme Court ruling yesterday that declared the Bush administration actions in Guantanamo a violation of both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions has now set the stage for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. At a meeting in Raleigh last night, I co-appeared with Al McSurley -- a veteran civil rights attorney, who reads these tea leaves as well as anyone I know. The ruling class is recongizing that the Bush administration has become an albatross, and this is a clear signal from the judiciary that appointed them in the first place that they have become a political liability. The repeated criticisms from Republican Arlen Specter are also an indication. The fear among Republicans that the Democrats might win the House and award the House Judiciary Committee to Representative John Conyers, who is openly calling for impeachment, is palpable. Many Republicans are already eyeing the lifeboats. There will likely be a move to draft John McCain into the presidential contender slot as a way of disavowing the blackshirted edge given the Party's image by the neocons. In the interim, this is a window of opportunity that may open wider as more scandals come to the surface over the next four months. Berkely, California is actualy hosting a referendum on impeachment, and other small cities have already passed resolutions. What this means, in short-range tactical terms, is that there is now an opportunity to build a movement to turn the 2006 elections into a referendum on the entire Bush presidency... and this necessarily includes the war. Those who know me, know that I am the last person out there to encourage tailing Democrats as a principle. But I am also opposed to the kind of ultra-leftism that cannot see tactical opportunities out of some presumed purity. There is a real possibility to build a very broad movement between now and November 8th that targets state capitol newspaper editorial boards (which local television and radio news inevitably follow) and uses its movement visibility to educate the public on the kinds of crimes that have been committed by the Bush adminstration. There will be the usual carping about bad Democrats, like we don't know that, which is a perennial excuse for sitting on our asses and doing nothing. Politicians go the way the wind blows. It takes a movement to make the wind. And anyone who doesn't think there is a fissure here needs to help us understand why a Republican stacked Supreme Court just went on record saying the Bush administration violated the law. There are always plenty of laptop bombardiers who grouse and carp and have a million excuses to continue doing nothing but grouse and carp. Tell them to call 1-800-WAA-WAA, and then just keep moving. They are anchors ties to our behinds. Cut them free. The combination of anti-war forces generally and progressive Democrats, as well as women's groups, African-American groups, and Hispano-Latina groups, have immense potential to break through this fissure and exploit it. Success in this would create the kind of oxygen bolus that was created for the period during and immediately after the Watergate hearings in 1973. If we can make this happen, there is no doubt that the Democratic Leadership Council and others will try to conceal the systemic roots of our issues, but that is the next phase of this struggle... overcoming that. First, we need an impeachment movement. Be assured that the ruling class will not let this get to the point of an actual impeachment and conviction. Newspaper editorial boards to cover actual crimes of the Bush administration. Municipal referenda or resolutions for impeachment. Massive public education. The wall is weak here... PUSH!