Wednesday, July 4, 2007
About 120 or so people have come together on Independence Day to assert their rights, and advocate the castration of a government executive that no longer represents them. In light of the commuted sentence of Scooter Libby, impeachment took center stage. Along with the blow-up doll of President Bushocchio, flopping in his flight suit.
"This is not a partisan issue, this is an empire issue," says Madison city council member, Marsha Rummel to the crowd gathered at the State Street corner of the Capital Square. "My job is to honor the constitution."
Loud applause accompanies both her and Dane County Supervisor Ashok Kumar's reminder that the city and county would soon vote on referendums on impeachment. Along with the emcee of the demonstration, Veteran's for Peace member Buzz Davis, they decry a laundry list of misdeeds committed by the Bush Administration.
"Torture, illegal wars, and illegal wire-taps," says Davis, "It's a mafia enterprise."
(Don't forget being less than straightforward about the outing of a CIA agent, obstructing justice in that trial and VP Dick Cheney's claim to be outside the executive)
The presentation centers around impeachment being a constitutional issue, rather than being driven by a Bush-bashing agenda. Presenters argue that the Executive had overstepped its power, denied the will of the people, and had ultimately out-stayed its welcome.
"As a soldier, I took an oath to fight all enemies foreign and domestic and uphold the constitution," says Davis, who served in the Vietnam era.
Though some protesters are a bit more ignited. Random shouting from a gentleman near the Veteran's Museum erupts about hating Bush, hitting back, something else incomprehensible. Groans drown out the stated fact that the Wisconsin State Journal, some local politicians think it's not Madison's place to ask for the impeachment of Bush.
"People ask, 'don't you have more important things to do?'" says Kumar. "I say there is nothing more important." All that money going to war could be used for education, health care, public housing.
Kumar called on people to pressure their representatives.
"People will not stand for tyranny," Kumar says. "We need to reclaim our republic."
John Nichols, associate editor of the Capital Times, says the impeachment rally this July 4 is part of a "movement of the future."
To politicians, Nichols says, "If you are a patriot, whether in Congress, on the county board, or on city council, vote for impeachment."
Otherwise, he suggests they are "subjects of King George."
Will impeachment clean the U.S.'s tainted government? That's unsure given the fact that government, by nature, is never as pure as the people want.
But impeachment is a way to hold leaders accountable, assuming that the jury itself isn't made up of crooks.
Of my favorite protest sign slogans:
"It's the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."
- Benjamin Franklin
"Impeachment: not just for blow jobs."
- Random protester dude