Thursday, March 08, 2007

and finally!


why is it always up to fabulous vermont to do the corageous thing!
sanity at last!!!!

27 comments:

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Come on. That isn't courageous or sane. It's a pointless waste of time and resources.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Why is it pointless? Why isn't it sane? Isn't Bush the President of Vermont, too? Don't his policies (tax cuts, the war, torture, other things that get us attacked and hated around the world) affect the people of Vermont, too?

This is a way of organizing that is more effective that signing petitions or holding a sign, in fact. Perhaps the people doing it understand the limits they're up against, but they're still bringing to light what much of America won't recognize.

Nancy D., what would you rather citizens who recognize their president to be a law-shunning, imperialistic cowboy who is making them and their children less safe from both attacks, wars, misinformation and climate change do?

Betty & Bimbo said...

Maine has a similar movement underway: http://www.timesrecord.com/website/main.nsf/news.nsf/0/81F741F283ED616C05257295005D022D?Opendocument

venus infers said...

impeachment procedures can actually start in state legislatures, who have the right to introduce measures to the federal congress.

besides the mechanics, you must remember that impeachment unto itself should be seen first as a measure of protest. it's been precisely the left's idea of protest as pointless what has driven this country to its current situation. sadly, by abandoning protest the left only has complied with the desire of the state.

Koko the Clown said...

I guess I'd rather end the war and have bush still in office than impeach him and still have Iraqis and Americans dying.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Well, this article doesn't say what they consider the grounds of impeachment, but bear in mind that once impeachment proceedings go through, the president is tried on the floor of the Senate for "high crimes and misdemeanors." Tax cuts, the war, and poor foreign policy don't cut it. Torture might, and in a perfect world I might say that Bush should be impeached for his use of torture. But I also think that it's a dangerous thing in a democracy to leap to impeachment as a form of protest. It's destabilizing to yank elected officials out of office every time you don't like what they're doing, and there are definitely more effective forms of protest. Look what happened with the California recall.

I also think these state-level movements are just silly as there is NO chance they are going to go anywhere. This is different from people who allege no form of protest is worthwhile because you're not going to change anything. Bush only has two years left in office, and this Congress is not going to impeach him, plain and simple. Even if they did impeach him, they would never get the two-thirds majority to throw him out of office. We had a resolution in San Francisco to make it city policy to endorse the impeachment of Bush, and I voted against it because it's scurrilous. It did pass, however.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Nancy D.,

Your argument doesn't make sense to me. I understand that you think impeaching the president is not a good idea, but since you ALSO think it won't ever happen, why not vote for it?

I think that it is a good, effective, tangible form of symbolic protest, because the more of these resolutions that pass, the more Bush, the media, and future generations will be able to take an accurate reading of public sentiment against the war and this administration.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Betty & Bimbo: when you say:

"Nancy D., what would you rather citizens who recognize their president to be a law-shunning, imperialistic cowboy who is making them and their children less safe from both attacks, wars, misinformation and climate change do?"

I really don't understand where you're going with that. We may not like Bush, but he was elected (in the last election at least) by a majority of voters. Plenty of our elected presidents of all political stripes have faced periods in their presidencies when they were highly unpopular. Is the default position to yank them out of office? I suggest people who don't like the policies make it very clear to their Congressmen and Senators what they do want. And what do you know, they did, in the 2006 midterm elections. Bush is being forced to justify a lot of things now that he pushed through with impunity before, and it is having an effect. I think congressional hearings on the fired federal prosecutors will have a much larger effect on curbing the Bush administration than impeachment proceedings, which would only distract from addressing the real issues. Congress grinds to halt during an impeachment. I'd rather it get real work done.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty & Bimbo said...

Nancy D.,

I, like you, do not agree that impeachment will ever happen, but I fail to see why you would not vote for impeachment or support people who do.

As I said above: "This is a way of organizing that is more effective that signing petitions or holding a sign, in fact. Perhaps the people doing it understand the limits they're up against, but they're still bringing to light what much of America won't recognize."

I simply see these sorts of things as yet another way to register displeasure with the administration. And I will register that displeasure at every chance, and in every public forum, that presents itself to me. In other words, when I am asked for my opinion by a ballot question in the place where I live, I will give it.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

I see where you're coming from. But the ballot question didn't ask, are you against the war, do you oppose Bush administration policy, or anything else. It asked if the city of San Francisco should call for impeachment, and I don't think it should.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Nancy D., I think you're taking this far too literally.

This is an opportunity to make a public declaration, with thousands of others against Bush's many offenses, some of which, like torture, that you agree to be impeachable offenses. I think this is the kind of situation where you have to be able to hold a contradiction in your head to make the best choice, you know? I think this is a case where your desire for private integrity and unwillingness to make a compromise overpowered the small difference you may have been able to make in the numbers that history will remember.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

But if we agree that calls for impeachment are not going to result in impeachment and that they are combative and confrontational (giving that you're calling for the president to be fired), doesn't this just contribute to the polarization we are all so worried about in this country? If you don't want impeachment to happen and don't think it will happen, why alienate people who may be your allies by calling for the ouster of the president? What's cool right now is that the center of balance has shifted and most people think the Bush administration is taking us in the wrong direction. But most of those people would also vehemently oppose calls for impeachment. Let's be constructive, not destructive.

Betty & Bimbo said...

No, I don't think it contributes to polarization, if as you say more and more people are fed up with the Bush administration. I think most people see these movements as the symbolic statements of collective disapproval that they are.

And you could certainly refrain from the debate by not voting on that particular issue. But unfortunately, the vote you cast (against calling for impeachment) is going to be taken as a sign of approval of Bush and his policies. There's just no other way to read that vote when the media, politicians, and history look at the numbers.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

The measure passed by 70 percent; I don't think it could be taken a sign of approval for Bush.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

And I strongly object to the statement that "there's no other way to read that vote when the media, politicians, and history look at the numbers" other than support for Bush and his policies. I think you are taking too narrow a view for this. People can distinguish between support for policies and support for impeachment.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Plus, I didn't want to "refrain from the debate." My whole point is that I don't support these measures and I WANTED to vote against it.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Right, but your vote, which contributed to the other 30%, will be seen that way. In other words, your vote will be counted when analysts look at how was Bush seen? 100 years from now.

I just don't see why the people who voted for it are deserving of criticism, scorn, or votes that will inevitably be read as pro-Bush (even if that's not your intention) when you agree that these things are symbolic and will not lead to actual impeachment proceedings.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

What about all the other evidence that will be available to historians (though I don't know why you are so concerned about historians) such as opinion polls highly critical of Bush and the midterm elections? I don't think these silly impeachment votes have the significance you think they do.

betty said...

Maybe we're going around in circles. I wonder what others think.

I don't think these things are so significant or important, but I certainly wouldn't pass up the opportunity to make a symbolic statement against Bush, is all I'm saying. And when I hear that 70% of SFers voted in favor of impeaching Bush, I'm glad, and I assume the other 30% - who cared enough to go out and vote against it - are Bush supporters. I think your mind may be too subtle to make the most of these votes, Nancy D.! : )

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Yes, let's have others weigh in. I have a hard time believing people interpret these votes the way you do, assuming 30 percent are Bush supporters. Especially if you look at the demographics of San Francisco, where I doubt there are 30 percent registered Republicans.

venus infers said...

finally some real heat! as opposed to the oscars, whose gold left me cold.
let me see if i can get people to bark at me again.

the rhetoric of the right is based on fear. fear of the foreign "other," of course, but also fear of the much scarier other within--fear this is, of acknowledging the other as an other, and consensus as a fiction. hence the rightful rhetoric's power.

the right's rhetoric makes everyone afraid of the breakdown of "consensus," as if nature dictated a state of paralysis in political dialogue. a static consensus perhaps--stasis being greek for civil war, the political state that originates from hubris, the excess of pride.

so what about daring to say "fuck consensus"? true democracy necessitates dissent, violent dissent at times-- and certainly not the perpetual convergence invoked as a rhetorical device by the right.


koko says something lovely. but even after iraq there will still be war, regardless. nietzsche talks about the eternal return of the same-- and how many u.s. "interventions" in latin america for the past fifty years, again? many of those didn't even need republicans to happen.

--v.

Anonymous said...

they tried to impeach clinton for way lesser offenses than crimes and misdemeanors
i think taking the country to war on false pretenses qualifies

M. Nicolas said...

I'm totally late on this one but think that anonymous sums it up fairly well,

NO PREZ HAVE THE MANDATE (democratic or moral) TO LIE.

Bush & Cheney (and their advisers) lied. And it's costing the US and -by default- the world, many pennies and lives.

Soooooo, is he swindling the world?

Of course. And he knows it. Because he did it.

If "the people" don't have the right to hold their elected leaders accountable, then we're talking of a whole different kind of government.

One can choose not to get involved. That's fine. But if the guy is using EVERYBODYS money (and lives) then, oh yes, the people have the right to denounce it. In any way they deem necessary.

Now, if we take Chavez (elected, making changes to the constitution, etc) we can see that also there some "people" might think that he's overreaching his mandate. And once again, they have the right to denounce it...

Both prez's signed the Inter American Democratic Charter...

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

No one ever claimed people don't have a right to denounce the government, that's totally off topic. I just don't think calls for impeachment from local governments is an effective use of resources And Clinton WAS impeached (they didn't try, they did it), and we see how that went...total waste of time, whether you were for or against it.

If there were a legitimate nationwide movement to impeach Bush over issues of torture, I would support it. But impeachment isn't some overarching issue that you can gradually build a movement for on a grassroots level. It's a political calculation that can only be effected by the Congress we have in place in the next two years, and they would never do it, and even if they somehow did, they don't have the two-thirds to get Bush out of office. I don't see how acknowledging this reality threatens our democracy, as M. Nicolas implies.

Betty & Bimbo said...

Nancy D., it's not totally off topic to talk about denouncing the government since I think what you're failing to see is that this vote is an opportunity to do just that - and that going out to vote against it, or criticizing the people in Vermont, is like saying it's silly to denounce the government in such an official way. I'm sure the people behind these movements are not stupid and understand the strategic value of these votes for the attention they garner - no reporter is going to cover ANOTHER anti-Bush rally...I think if you are so against the ballot initiative you should not participate in it, and thus thwart their effort to get big numbers. But since you don't think these things have any effect, I'm still not sure why voted in it, since you're not voting about ballot initiatives, but in a coded language denouncing or supporting the Bush administration.

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

If it were a stand-alone measure, I probably would not have gone out to vote on it. But as it was on the ballot in November along with our midterm elections, I had no desire to duck the question. I think you're ignoring the personal nature of these kinds of initiatives: they're not just about protesting Bush, they're about determining the voice of the place where you live. As a resident, this was not the way I wanted my city to deal with these issues, and this was not how I wanted my city to be perceived.