When: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - 7pm
Where: Chapel Hill Town Hall
Who: Bruce Fein versus Michael Tomasky; moderated by Hodding Carter III
Sponsored by the Coalition for the Constitution and the Grassroots Impeachment Movement. Co-Sponsorships available
For more information visit http://impeachbushcheney.net/feintomaskydebate
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
—Edward R. Murrow
Dear Mr. [ ]:
Thank you for contacting me in support of impeaching Vice President Cheney.
On November 6, 2007, Rep. Dennis Kucinich offered a privileged resolution on the House floor to impeach Vice President Cheney, H. Res. 799. I voted against a motion to table the resolution, which would have prevented any further activity related to it. After the tabling motion failed by a vote of 162-251, the House approved a motion to refer the resolution to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration, which I supported.
No one is more frustrated with Bush Administration abuses of power than I, and Vice President Cheney has played a significant role in nearly all of them. I continue to adamantly work to shine a bright light on such abuses, and I believe the Democratic Congress has begun to turn the tide on several issues. For instance, the resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was a direct result of congressional investigations into the politically-motivated firings of U.S. Attorneys.
While I understand the reasoning of impeachment advocates, I do not view impeachment as the right course to pursue at present. The machinations of the impeachment process take a significant amount of time, and it is uncertain if they could even be completed before a new administration is inaugurated in January 2009. In addition, impeachment proceedings should only be initiated after the accumulation of significant evidence of impeachable offenses. While I believe the Vice President likely engaged in behavior that could be considered impeachable, such evidence will only be brought to light through the investigations and oversight activities in which House and Senate committees are currently engaged.
Even if articles of impeachment were passed by the House - a questionable assumption - there is currently no chance that the Senate could reach the two-thirds threshold needed to convict and remove. The tradeoffs are therefore enormous. This all-consuming process would prevent nearly all other legislative initiatives from proceeding. It would consume media attention, which we are already struggling to get for our battles on Iraq, children's health coverage, and a progressive energy policy. And it would also have serious political and social consequences, needlessly creating greater national division just as large majorities of the population are forming in support of a new direction abroad and at home.
I will continue to fight against the abuses of the Bush Administration, and to closely monitor the progress of congressional investigations regarding the actions of Administration officials, keeping your concerns in mind. Again, thank you for contacting me, and please continue to keep in touch.
Member of Congress
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