As you probably already know, Representative Dennis Kucinich entered articles of impeachment against VP Dick Cheney yesterday. A lot of people have unkind things to say about this. A lot of liberal people. What I've heard so far has centered on any one of the following three things, or any combo thereof:
1. This is a waste of the Congress' time; they should be doing something more worthwhile.
2. Kucinich is a kook who should work with his party, and Speaker Pelosi already said impeachment was off the table.
3. He's just doing this for attention because he's running for president.
I reject all three of these premises, and I'll tell you why:
First, I have a big issue with the idea that working to impeach Cheney isn't worth Congress' time. Dick Cheney has committed multiple impeachable offenses, not the least of which are the pre-war actions for which Kucinich is taking him to task. It is way past time for someone representing the American people to stand up in the most public possible forum and make it clear that we do not accept these actions from our government. It's not OK to lie in order to get your war on. If you do it, there should be consequences.
Which isn't to say that I think Cheney will actually be impeached--obviously there isn't political will among the Democrats for that (which I think is too bad, frankly). But whether or not he's actually impeachable isn't, to my mind, the point. The point is that I support someone standing up and voicing their dissent, both on behalf of themselves and behalf of the people they represent. Kucinich is hardly the first person who had said that someone in the current administration should be impeached. Resolutions supporting impeachment have been put forth by city councils nationwide, as well as by members of state legislatures in Vermont, Illinois, California, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Washington. There are also grassroots impeachment organizations such as Impeach For Peace and Impeach Bush. A March 2006 poll by the American Research Group showed 42% in favor of a Bush impeachment. Just because Nancy Pelosi doesn't want to do it doesn't make impeachment a radical or ridiculous idea.
The notion that this is some sort of kooky power play by presidential candidate Kucinich, however, is ridiculous. As a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination, Kucinich polls at somewhere around 2%. He's not doing this because he thinks it is going to pull him in front of Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. He has no history of that type of behavior, and no realistic reason for it. Kucinich has been pissed off about Cheney's lies and war on false premises for years. He didn't just hit upon the idea. Besides, with so-called liberals taking him to task for wasting everybody's time with this silly impeachment thing, he's probably not making any friends anyway.
So, basically, I completely support and applaud this effort by Kucinich, and I'll be writing a nice letter to my Representative, Michael McCaul, telling him I'd like him to support Kucinich. He won't, of course, but as he's the one who is supposed to be speaking for me in Washington, I'm going to ask him to anyway. Because folks, that's how our government is supposed to work. We are not powerless to sit back and watch these shits we elected commit atrocities in our names. We have not only a right, but also a responsibility to speak up against them, loudly and clearly. To my mind, that's exactly what Kucinich is doing.