Recently I wrote to my Congressman, John Hall (NY-19), former member and co-founder of the rock group Orleans, whose hits "Dance With Me" and "Still The One" can still be heard on the radio; and a lifelong anti-nuclear activist, to ask him to support H. Res 333, a resolution introduced by Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. Here, re-printed without permission, is the form letter e-mail response I received from his office. (He's a public official, answering public correspondence. This letter belongs to you, too.)
October 18, 2007
Dear Mr. Schneider,
Thank you for contacting me regarding your desire to see impeachment charges brought against Vice President Cheney. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this important issue.
I believe that the Bush Administration has led our country in the wrong direction and that Vice President Cheney has played a major role in shaping the Administration's policies. The Bush-Cheney Administration took us into a devastating war in Iraq based on false information and misleading statements, has undermined the criminal justice system, and created enormous federal deficits with its misplaced priorities and reckless spending.
I strongly condemn the Vice President's policies and conduct, but I do not support impeachment proceedings against him at this time. I believe that the effort to move forward with impeachment would impair Congress's ability to put America back on the right path. Instead, I want to work in this Congress to reverse the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration and to restore America's reputation in the world, rather than removing a Vice President whose term expires in January 2009.
I am a cosponsor of a resolution censuring President Bush for his commutation of the prison sentence for the Vice President's former Chief of Staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. I also support continuing investigations by Congressional committees into the activities of the Bush Administration. As these investigations proceed, Congress must take strong action to address inappropriate or illegal conduct including bringing articles of impeachment should the Committees determine that is warranted.
Please fell free to contact me again whenever I might be of assistance.
Member of Congress
I can't tell you how disappointed I was to be given that bullshit "moving forward by working to change Bush's disastrous policies"-line. Don't they get it? Bush will never let them do that. Never in a million years, let alone the next 15 months (and about 12 hours, but who's counting?). The only way to stop or reverse Bush's disastrous policies is to remove Bush and Cheney from the picture. Through impeachment! (What were you thinking? I wasn't, because that could be a crime, so don't even suggest it.)
Dick Cheney is on a mission from the God inside his own head to elevate the Office of President of the United States to one equivalent, for all practical purposes, to an Imperial Presidency. It's been his objective for more than thirty years, and he has made no secret of that goal. What he has made a HUGE secret of is his methods for achieving that Imperial Presidency. Part of his belief is that the president does not have to obey the constitution if he doesn't want to. This is another documented fact about Cheney. That is a direct violation of his oath of office. He should be impeached, tried, likely-convicted, then thrown out of his Texan-Wyomingian-Marylandish ass. (Wherever the hell he calls home. Maybe I should have said Hades.)
Once he's gone, the Democrats should take a page out of "The West Wing" and hand President Bush a list of potential Vice Presidents whom they would approve. (The Congress must confirm the Vice Presidential nominee.) The list should not include Nancy Pelosi, or any Democrats deemed "too liberal", although they could suggest some "conservative-leaning" Democrats, but all Republican choices should be moderates whom the country would accept as president should the need arise within the next fifteen months. Confirm that nominee to be Vice President, and the day after the oath of office is taken (by him or her), they should immediately move to impeach President Bush for (well, you pick the charge, there have been so many.) Try him, convict him (you'd have to be insane not to think he has violated his own oath of office just through his signing statements stating that he would refuse to obey the law he just signed if he wanted to), remove him from office, and welcome a president the country could stand behind.
That way, Speaker Nancy Pelosi avoids looking like she favored impeachment of them both to gain the presidency through succession. I know. It's crazy.
But Congressman Hall, with all due respect, I am sorry, but I cannot support a candidate for Congress who does not believe in the oath of office every public servant in Washington is required to take, including you, sir. By not supporting the impeachment of either President Bush or Vice President Cheney, two men who have frequently subverted the constitution in an effort to have their own way despite the will of Congress, one of whom has accelerated a thirty-year personal vendetta to restore power to the White House, and one of whom once told an aide to "stop throwing the Constitution in [his] face." (You remember, that document he swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend?) He then continued, "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!" Are you are going to tell me, Mr. Hall, that these two men should not be removed from office through impeachment immediately, if not sooner? Do you honestly believe that if they remain in office, that on January 20, 2009, we won't already be in a hot war with Iran (and possibly Russia)? Do you think any president should be trusted with the kind of power these two men have amassed? I believe that most of your constituents would say, "No." It's up to you, Congressman John Hall. Remember your own oath of office and preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.