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Dave Lindorff: Suddenly, Impeachment Hearings are Starting to Look Likely [View All]

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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-08-07 08:45 PM
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Dave Lindorff: Suddenly, Impeachment Hearings are Starting to Look Likely
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http://www.buzzflash.com/articles/lindorff/036


You wouldn't know it if you just watch TV news or read the corporate press, but this past Tuesday, something remarkable happened. Despite the pig-headed opposition of the Democratic Party's top congressional leadership, a majority of the House, including three Republicans, voted to send Dennis Kucinich's long sidelined Cheney impeachment bill (H Res 333) to the Judiciary Committee for hearings.

The vote was 218 to 194.

Now the behind-the-scenes partisan maneuvering that preceded that vote was arcane indeed, with Kucinich first exercising a member's privilege motion to present his stymied impeachment bill to the full House, only to have Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrange for a colleague (Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-MD) to offer a motion to table it. The Republicans, anxious to embarrass the Speaker, threw a wrench into that plan, though, by voting as a bloc to oppose tabling. Since Kucinich already has 22 co-sponsors for his bill, it was clear that the tabling gambit would fail. As soon as that became apparent, rank-and-file Democrats, unwilling to be seen by their constituents as defending Cheney, rushed to change their votes to opposing the tabling motion. In the end, tabling failed by 242 to 170 with 77 Democrats supporting a pleasantly surprised Kucinich.

To avoid a floor debate on the merits of impeaching the eminently impeachable Vice President Cheney, Pelosi and her allies then moved to send Kucinich's bill directly to the Judiciary Committee. They were joined by three Republicans, including maverick Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX). Now the hope of the Democratic leadership is that this means Kucinich's impeachment bill will continue to be safely bottled up in a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee. But it may not work out that way for them. Whatever the explanation, this impeachment bill has been endorsed by a floor vote of the full House, with bipartisan support. For the Judiciary Committee to sit on it now and not schedule a hearing would be a gross travesty of parliamentary procedure and custom.

The corporate media enjoy making fun of Rep. Kucinich, a height-challenged but dedicated progressive who has made a career of standing tall for his views. If his bill ends up leading to impeachment hearings against Cheney, Kucinich will end up having the last laugh.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based investigative journalist and columnist. His latest book, co-authored by Barbara Olshansky, is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net .
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