Federalism

The Green Mountain Boys Ride Again

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The Vermont Senate has voted 16-9 to urge the impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney. (The AP reports that it's a "nonbinding resolution"—well, yes, what else could it be?)

Next step: secession!

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  1. What, the guy has ~20 months left in office?

  2. They’re putting the cart before the wagon

    first someone has to actually have the balls to formally accuse the Bush leaguers of criminal activity

    then we’re supposed to talk about impeaching ’em

  3. You know what’d be fun? A couple years from now, Bush and the gang holed up in the compound in Paraguay, surrounded, with the authorities playing “Naughty Girls Need Love Too” at 200db in an attempt to drive them out. Jorge stumbling around with a bottle of rum yelling “come and git me bitches!”

  4. bhh- Nice scenario, but you forgot the piles and piles of coke.

  5. Ah, Vermont…

    I’m too lazy to go looking for names or cites, and I may be confusing things here, but something strikes me as a bit odd about the Georgia/ditch story. First off, Vermont is landlocked. Second, I heard a different version of the story growing up…

    Vermont has a long history of tilting at windmills, and in that tradition declared war on Germany a bit earlier than did the US as a whole (during WWII). Apparently a legislator from New Hampshire ridiculed the Vermont legislature for this, and it was an irate Vermont legislator that suggested digging a ditch around New Hampshire and floating it out to sea. That, at least, is how I heard the story, and I suspect that that might be the case for a number of Vermonters.

    I’m not making any claims as to which is the correct version (and both might be true, the latter an intentional echo of the former), but you have to admit that, New Hampshire being substantially closer to the Atlantic than Vermont, and Vermont to New Hampshire than Georgia to Vermont, my version makes more sense. Of course this might just reflect a greater pragmatism on Vermont’s part.

    The secession meme is not new in Vermont. I can remember the idea being bandied about as long ago as the late 70s. Again, I’m too lazy to look anything up, but the idea seems to be that Vermont only agreed to join the Union on the condition that it could leave again (I didn’t see this in the article, but it is an important part of the reasoning), so there is a legal basis for secession.

    I do think that these two might not be that pleased with the results of secession though. Vermont is actually a very deeply divided state (though remarkably civil given that). A lot of the support for secession comes from the “Take Back Vermont” crowd, and the truth is that while they are a minority, by a head count, they own the majority of the state’s firearms.

    At the moment, contra the article, Vermont’s laws are both socially and economically liberal, and there is a lot of stored up resentment about that, once you get outside of Burlington.

    [btw, I hope this doesn’t appear twice- your squirrels seem be on a break].

  6. Impeachment would be a good first step.
    Conviction would be a good second step.

    Criminal trials after removal would be even better.

    Surely there must be some sort of law against lying your ass off to start a war. Especially in collaboration with a foreign intelligence agent (i.e. Ahmed Chalabi).

    And yes, they did lie. Unless they really believed their bullshit, in which case we charge them with criminal stupidity.

    OK, enough ranting. Seriously, I’m all in favor of impeachment. It’s not just about giving these thugs the comeuppance that they so richly deserve. It’s also about setting a precedent, so that if some future president contemplates lying his ass off to start a war he’ll look back on history and realize that there is indeed a credible threat of impeachment.

  7. Impeachment would be a good first step.

    Yes, but it’s pretty unlikely. The Dems barely have the cojones to limit funding, let alone step up to something like impeachment. Besides, they may want to start a pointless war someday, too, and they’d hate to have precedent against them in just such a case.

  8. “I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

  9. Absolutely, edna. Doing it double secret isn’t enough. It needs to be on the record so that future administrations remember what happened.

    It should be a big event, one that gets attention, not the sort of thing that only NERDS would remember.

  10. Given the sort of acrimony, etc. that an impeachment and senate trial would create I have no desire to see one.

  11. Democrats aren’t going to impeach without strong popular opinion advocating the same. I think many people who believe in impeachment are afraid to say it, or at least don’t want to be the first – there is some stigma attached when calling for extreme measures. But as people hear calls for impeachment/resignation on a more regular basis we’re likely to see a snowball effect. Whether or not it can build enough momentum is to be seen, but the more calling for Bush/Cheney to resign or be impeached, the better.

    Also, I think that calling for resignation in lieu of impeachment produces greater shame, and is something that can be supported by pro-war folks as well.

    Grotius, I was once in the same camp as you on this, but this motherfucker needs to go.

  12. The Vermont legislature is making the same error that GWB made in his grandiose scheme to democratize Iraq: a failure to accept and understand their scope of work.

    The LA City council made the same mistake a couple of years ago with a resolution condemning the Iraq war.
    Shut up and fix a pothole.

  13. Uggh-

    Given a choice between legislators spending time on ceremonial condemnations of abuses of power, or legislators awarding pothole repair contracts to politically connected firms (and then mandating oversight that doesn’t actually prevent waste but does keep some civil servants in a job), I’ll choose the ceremonial condemnation of abuses of power.

  14. I was trying to make the point that GWB went beyond his scope of work in invading Iraq, just as a city council does in involving itself in national and international politics. I think that US politicians, in general, should turn it down a few notches.

  15. Is it just me, or is anyone else getting tired of all of these “nonbinding resolutions”?

    I want to see something with jaws and teeth. HR 413, for example. The congress and the legislatures can pass substantial measures if they really want to. We need to hold them accountable if the best they ever do is shoot blanks via “nonbinding resolutions.” People’s lives — their real, physical lives and the dollar-denominated product of their entire working lives — are on the line.

  16. It just goes to show no good deed ever goes unpunished. If the impeachment of Clinton had been successful, for perjury over Monica fergawdsakes!, imagine how careful his successors would be. But no, not only wasn’t he tossed from office, now as well as being the first black president he’s going to end up the first male first lady. Meanwhile Bush can start grooming the twins for simultaneous mayorships of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

  17. ah Vermont…where Massachusetts sends it’s too liberal assholes…swear to God if VT dropped off the edge of the planet it would take 6 months before anyone noticed.

  18. Before we get too negative about Vermont, let’s recall that Vermont has the nation’s best concealed carry handgun law.

    By which I mean no law whatsoever.

  19. I just nominated Dennis and Hillary to the Democrat 2008 ticket in a non-binding blog post. WOW

  20. Actually Thoreau I did point it out. You missed it, apparently. I suppose I should be explicit- it has always been legal to own whatever ordnance you want in Vermont, as long as you use it responsibly (generally, this means don’t shoot inoffensive people, unless they are stealing your pot, and when you blow shit up, for practice, do it in a field or something- at all costs don’t hurt the sugar grove).

    I had blown some fields up pretty badly by the time I was 14- in any other state it would have been called terrorism- in Vermont it was an independent science experiment involving excess nitrogen fertilizer. A loud independent science experiment. We had to reproduce our results of course ;). This was a long time before Oklahoma.

    Anyway, I can’t see secession now. Too many people are too dependent on doctor dinosaur.

    But if secession happened in Vermont.. they’d ride thoreau’s ass out on a rail at the first chance- unless he had tourist dollars… a lot is forgiven if you have tourist dollars.

  21. From the article:

    Senate resolution urging Vermont’s Representative in the United States House of Representatives to introduce, and Vermont’s United States Senators to support, a resolution requiring the United States House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President and the Vice President of the United States.

    This looks like a great time for me to once again pimp the effort to Repeal the 17th amendment Statehouses unhappy with the way the federal government is acting should be able to pass resolutions instructing (or at the least, advising) their state’s U.S. Senators on how to conduct business. With the current direct election of senators, it’s a bs get-the-most-votes and don’t-piss-off-the-“patriots” free-for-all.

  22. thoreau,

    Pretty soon you will be blaming the Bush crew for the Imus flap and the VT shootings.

    Oh, sorry, frequent Imus guest Joe Biden already has.

  23. No, Guy. I only blame them for the war that they lied their asses of to start.

  24. Oh, come on Thoreau, you’re smarter than this. The Democrats can’t impeach someone for carrying on a lie that they started. An hour or two of Clinton video should suffice as a defense in your dream trial. Fucking Vermont idiots.

  25. Yes, because if they have video of Clinton saying it then it can’t possibly be a lie!

  26. Even if it was a lie, which I doubt, considering the number of informed Democrats thet believed it, trying to secure a stable oil supply was in our best interests. I guess Bush should have come right out and told his Dad’s Saudi friends that we’re going to Iraq so that we don’t have to rely on their terrorist funding spicket anymore.

  27. Different opinions and interpretations of intelligence are not lies.

    Different decisions based on differing strategic calculations are not lies.

    Lies are factual misrepresentations.

    The decision to invade Iraq and finish our 10 year war with Saddam was strategically very defensible. Little that was said to lay out the case for doing so was factually insupportable. The people who think there were lies are disagreeing with interpretations and conclusions, and defining “lying” down.

    Sorry, thoreau, usually you’re more reasonable than not, but on this one, I think you’ve got teh BDS.

  28. One of the worst long-term effects about the war in Iraq is how it will define domestic politics for the next 30-40 years.

  29. “Lies are factual misrepresentations.”

    “There can be no doubt that Iraq is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction” is, therefore, a lie, since every intelligence report coming out of the CIA included disclaimers saying that there was doubt about the information.

    Being accused of BDS has proven over the last six years to be an extremely effective predictor of being right.

  30. The White House Criminal Conspiracy
    By Elizabeth de la Vega

    Legally, there are no significant differences between the investor fraud perpetrated by Enron CEO Ken Lay and the prewar intelligence fraud perpetrated by George W. Bush. Both involved persons in authority who used half-truths and recklessly false statements to manipulate people who trusted them. There is, however, a practical difference: The presidential fraud is wider in scope and far graver in its consequences than the Enron fraud. Yet thus far the public seems paralyzed.

    In response to the outcry raised by Enron and other scandals, Congress passed the Corporate Corruption Bill, which President Bush signed on July 30, 2002, amid great fanfare. Bush declared that he was signing the bill because of his strong belief that corporate officers must be straightforward and honest. If they were not, he said, they would be held accountable.

    Ironically, the day Bush signed the Corporate Corruption Bill, he and his aides were enmeshed in an orchestrated campaign to trick the country into taking the biggest risk imaginable — a war. Indeed, plans to attack Iraq were already in motion. In June, Bush announced his “new” pre-emptive strike strategy. On July 23, 2002, the head of British intelligence advised Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the then-secret Downing Street Memo, that “military action was now seen as inevitable” and that “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.” Bush had also authorized the transfer of $700 million from Afghanistan war funds to prepare for an invasion of Iraq. Yet all the while, with the sincerity of Marc Antony protesting that “Brutus is an honorable man,” Bush insisted he wanted peace.

    Americans may have been unaware of this deceit then, but they have since learned the truth. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in June, 52% of Americans now believe the President deliberately distorted intelligence to make a case for war. In an Ipsos Public Affairs poll, commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org and completed October 9, 50% said that if Bush lied about his reasons for going to war Congress should consider impeaching him. The President’s deceit is not only an abuse of power; it is a federal crime. Specifically, it is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, which prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States.

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=32550

  31. ‘”It has been confirmed” that Mohammed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent.’

    A lie.

    L.
    I.
    E.

    A LIE.

    “The tubes are only useful for enriching uranium.” A lie; the reports about these tubest states that they were other uses for them.

  32. Reminds of the Berkeley city council when I was going to school there. Spending way too much time on national and international policy and way too little running the city. The state of the sidewalks and roads were virtually third world.

  33. One of the worst long-term effects about the war in Iraq is how it will define domestic politics for the next 30-40 years.

    Yep. America needs a second party, yet one of our two major parties has so thoroughly discredited itself in this debacle that for many years to come its “A team” will be unqualified for federal office.

    And that’s a pity.

  34. Surely there must be some sort of law against lying your ass off to start a war.

    But if the charge against the president is lying, who in Congress besides Ron Paul can present the case?

    Pot–>Kettle = Black

  35. Yeah, we’re going to be hearing about how we could have won Iraq if it wasn’t for (whatever) 30 years from now when I’m in my 60s. I guess there’s the outside chance we could learn and chuck this whole empire bit? Always have to sooner or later – too expensive.

  36. thoreau,

    Yep?

    Do you really think that the “Republican party” is thoroughly discredited? Goodness, you sound like you’re part of “Team Blue” or something.

    Anyway, the condition of either political party wasn’t my concern. My concern is how this war will frame future political contests that have very little to do with the war itself.

  37. If I was part of “team blue” I’d be delighted with the ruin of the Republican party. Instead, I’m sad that the Republican party has been so discredited that they will be unable to offer much of a credible and experienced foreign policy team for the executive branch (or even the Senate) for a long time to come. Oh, there are a few decent ones left, but the rest of them “stayed the course” WAY too long.

  38. thoreau,

    If I was part of “team blue” I’d be delighted with the ruin of the Republican party.

    Your rhetoric sounds just like the stuff I heard out of Team Red folks during the last six years of Republican dominance of the Congress and the Presidency. They would patiently explain to me how the Democrats were “thoroughly discredited,” etc. To me it is fairly humorous hyperbolic language.

    Instead, I’m sad that the Republican party has been so discredited that they will be unable to offer much of a credible and experienced foreign policy team for the executive branch (or even the Senate) for a long time to come.

    In 2008 a Republican might win the WH and in 2010 the Republicans might regain the Senate. What happens in politics is a fickle business. I myself wouldn’t make any predictions about either party’s electoral fortunes (except they’ll remain the main political parties in the U.S. for some time to come).

  39. If I was part of “team blue” I’d be delighted with the ruin of the Republican party

    Your rhetoric sounds just like the stuff I heard out of Team Red folks

    It’s best not to belong to any “team”, red or blue or paisley. This includes lavender, for Libertarian. Think for yourselves, spuds.

  40. This includes lavender, for Libertarian.

    The Libertarian color is gold or yellow, depending on what you think of them.

  41. The Libertarian color is gold or yellow, depending on what you think of them.

    Actually, man, the libertarian color is this totally trippy color that you can’t even see unless you open your mind, man. You need to have an experience that sends your mind to a whole new level, and then you’ll see that there are, like, FOUR primary colors man, and that last one is so mind-blowingly awesome that you can’t even find it on this planet with your conventional mind and way of seeing things.

    There’s this dude who hangs out at this one coffee shop, and if you tell him I sent you he’ll be totally cool and hook you up, man.

  42. thoreau,

    You mean like this one?

    They had uncovered what seemed to be the side of a large coloured globule embedded in the substance. The colour, which resembled some of the bands in the meteor’s strange spectrum, was almost impossible to describe; and it was only by analogy that they called it colour at all. Its texture was glossy, and upon tapping it appeared to promise both brittle ness and hollowness. One of the professors gave it a smart blow with a hammer, and it burst with a nervous little pop. Nothing was emitted, and all trace of the thing vanished with the puncturing. It left behind a hollow spherical space about three inches across, and all thought it probable that others would be discovered as the enclosing substance wasted away.

  43. thoreau,

    “America needs a second party, yet one of our two major parties has so thoroughly discredited itself in this debacle that for many years to come its “A team” will be unqualified for federal office.”

    The Republican Party has shown a remarkable capacity to reinvent itself over the last few decades. They went from the America First Committee to Dwight Eisenhower in about a decade. They went from the Class of 1994 to the Delay/Rumsfeld party in less than that. They’ll be back in an election cycle or three.

  44. Grotius,

    When the Democrats are beating the Republicans in polls about national security and foreign policy, something real is happening.

  45. Ditch the corporate types and neocons, add the fundy social con stuff to Lou Dobbs populism and you’ve got a republican party that’ll be viable again. Probably not in 2008 but a cycle or two later.

  46. Bhh,

    Don’t forget to ditch the libertarian stuff. Or did they already do that?

  47. joe,

    I distinctly remember the 1994 election being “the realignment” that would make the Democrats the minority party for generations.

  48. ‘add the fundy social con stuff to Lou Dobbs populism and you’ve got a republican party that’ll be viable again’

    horrible, but viable

  49. RC,

    I saw Rumsfeld on “Meet the Press” say that not only did we *know* Saddam had WsMD, we *knew* where they were. That was a lie. You might call it a “strategic bluff” or some such euphemism, but it was a lie that helped lead us to war.

  50. Groutius,

    1994 was the end of the Reagan/sunbelt realignment that did, in fact, make the Democrats a minority for a generation.

  51. The AP reports that it’s a “nonbinding resolution” — well, yes, what else could it be?)
    Well, if they hadn’t passed the Seventeenth Amendment, they could have made it binding on their senators.

  52. joe,

    I of course wrote “generations.” The point is that political fortunes are transistory.

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