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November 28, 2007

Rep. Hall Stands up for Impeachment in NH

Filed under: Impeachment Progress News,New Hampshire,Related to Impeachment — Jodin Morey @ 5:27 pm

By Betty Hall, Democracy for New Hampshire

Until Congressman Kucinich courageously made the privileged motion forcing a vote on his Resolution 333 to impeach Vice President Cheney in November on the floor of the US. House of Representatives, I still did not know who I would support for President in the primary. But when I listened to the debate on his privileged motion, I knew I had to not only support him but I HAD to endorse him. As a long time State Representative I intended and still intend to pursue impeachment by introducing a “Petition To Commence Impeachment Proceedings in the United States Congress for the Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney” into the New Hampshire General Court.

For the first time in my many years voting none of the candidates in the N.H. Primary in either party seemed to have the leadership qualities matching the long string of candidates I was proud to have supported in the past. None seemed ready to step up and fulfill the Constitutional duties they had sworn to uphold and protect. None seemed ready to reverse the powers that Bush and Cheney have usurped. None seemed ready to get our troops out of harms way, stop the killing of innocent civilians. None seemed ready to stop preemptive war. Some said they were ready, but past performance has shown them lacking. Then Kucinich dramatically used the Constitutional Imperative to Impeach, and the long-standing rules on privileged motions to force a vote. I was inspired by his boldness and persistence.

I have voted in every election. I learned the honor of working at the polls, working for my candidates and running for office in my town and in our great state and country. I was privileged to work for a number of Presidential candidates since the NH Primary became the first primary in the nation. Many of them were successful in their bids. I remember that we helped encourage over ninety percent of the eligible voters in my town to actually cast their ballots in person. We carefully checked and called our voters and provided transportation. We marked and cast our ballots without benefit of voting machines. We count our ballots in public. Many of our towns still hand count our ballots, quickly, accurately and transparently. I believe the exemplary system of voting and counting in New Hampshire is an important reason why New Hampshire deserves to have the first primary.

Grassroots democracy grows easily out of the New England Town Meeting. Running for the School Board or the Board of Selectmen just naturally follows. The next step is serving in our citizens legislature with 400 citizen patriots. There is one legislator for approximately every 4000 people in out state. Serving in the New Hampshire House is like having Town Meeting every day. I know because I have served 14 terms. What a great honor it has been for me. And, Dennis, it is a great honor to stand here with you, my candidate for the Primary–whenever it happens!!!

Imagine if you will, how our nation would be different if our leaders in Washington were all this close to We The People. The Florida 2000 election would have been recounted, Ohio 2004 would have been recounted. The powers that Bush and Cheney have usurped with the help of a compliant Congress would still belong to us. We would still have our friends around the world. I was born in occupied Germany after Wold War I. My Mother joined my Father for several wonderful years working to reverse the ravages of war I was born in an American Military Hospital in Koblentz. My parents made many wonderful German friends and returned to visit many times in the ensuing years. They witnessed Hitler’s rise to power and the loss of freedom and democracy before our friends woke up and realized how they failed to speak up and preserve their liberty. They were there when Hitler seized power. My Mother did not speak a word of German but she knew that this was an evil man and said so. Her friends were afraid to speak up.

That is why Dennis and I must speak about IMPEACHMENT. It isn’t popular to speak up. I know. When I spoke in the legislature some people were angry. But we must talk about it. We must learn about it. Impeachment is a tool our constitution gives us. It is like a scalpel to remove a disease in our system. But, like surgeons, we the people must use it to save the patient. And like the surgeon, we cannot wait.
That’s why we must raise the level of consciousness about the disease and why we must learn from our founding fathers and mothers to care for our most precious patient. THE CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVE is a duty –not an option.

The Bill of Right in Our wonderful New Hampshire Constitution has a provision, Article 10 that says it all for me.

GOVERNMENT BEING INSTITUTED FOR THE COMMON BENEFIT, PROTECTION, AND SECURITY OF THE WHOLE COMMUNITY, AND NOT FOR THE PRIVATE INTEREST OR EMOLUMENT OF ANY ONE MAN, FAMILY, OR CLASS OF MEN: THEREFORE, WHENEVER THE ENDS OF GOVERNMENT ARE PERVERTED, AND PUBLIC LIBERTY MANIFESTLY ENDANGERED, AND ALL OTHER MEANS OF REDRESS ARE INEFFECTUAL, THE PEOPLE MAY, AND OF RIGHT OUGHT TO REFORM THE OLD, OR ESTABLISH A NEW GOVERNMENT. THE DOCTRINE OF NONRESISTANCE AGAINST ARBITRARY POWER, AND REPRESSION, IS ABSURD, SLAVISH, AND DESTRUCTIVE OF THE GOOD OF ALL MANKIND.

(Art.) 10. (Right of Revolution.)
effective June 2, 1784 (never modified)

– REP. HALL’S RESOLUTION FOR IMPEACHMENT PRESENTED TO THE NH HOUSE ——————

Whereas, the right to vote, being the right that protects all other rights, and the right which ratified the Constitution’s of our state and country, is a right that is, collectively, inalienable, in that elections may not be generally suspended or terminated, and

Whereas, under paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence, our government’s “instituted to secure these rights,” including the right of elections, which are necessary to Liberty, and

Whereas, the Executive branch is responsible for enforcing the law and guaranteeing these rights, and

Whereas, instead of ensuring that the people of New Hampshire have guaranteed to them mechanisms for reliably altering or abolishing their representatives, pursuant to pararaph 2, the Bush administration has instead engaged in a pattern and practice of threatening litigation against states and the people who refuse to institute mechanisms of voting that require votes to be counted in trade secrecy and outside the observation and control of citizens, and

Whereas, this invisibility and secret vote counting means that citizens no longer control their elections, and that Executive branch insiders and the Election Assistance Commission do control elections, together with any criminal who may seek to alter the trade secret software, and

Whereas, As John Adams stated, “trust no man with the power to endanger the public liberty”, and whereas the Founders of this country teach that those who seek to change or impact public liberty should be properly treated with suspicion, the proper attitude of a defender of Liberty, and

Whereas, the ready ability to alter an election using software means, at the very least, that citizens have their rights not guaranteed and not secured by the Executive Branch, and instead their right to be rid of a criminal politician is directly terminated by the forced choice of electronic voting, and that only the consent of the local people who vote on said systems can suffice to authorize them, not the threats or force of the Executive Branch under the supervision and control of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, SO, BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED:

That, for directly harming the rights and manner of suffrage, for suffering to make them secret and unknowable, for instituting debates and doubts about the true nature of elections, all against the will and consent of local voters affected, and forced through threats of litigation, the actions of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney to do the opposite of securing and guaranteeing the right of the people to alter or abolish their government, being a violation of an inalienable right, and an immediate threat to Liberty, is good cause for impeachment to be immediately granted.
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"I just want you to know that,
when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
-Bush, June 18, 2002

"War is Peace"
-Big Brother in George Orwell's 1984

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Arguments Against Bush Impeachment...

• If we impeach Bush, we’ll get President Cheney!
The first impeachment resolution introduced by McKinney included Bush, Cheney, and Rice. Although, even if we only initially pursue Bush, initiating the impeachment process will lead to an investigation that will implicate lots of people in the Bush administration who are guilty of committing crimes, including Cheney.

No matter who we get to replace Bush, we’ll be showing those in power that anyone who breaks the law will be held accountable.

• Promoting impeachment will seem too “extreme.”
Demanding that crimes be investigated is NOT extreme. Some previous impeachment attempts were considered extreme because they were pursued for actions that didn't rise to the level of a Constitutional crisis, which is what the impeachment tool is meant to be used for. Nixon's impeachment, however, was bipartisan.

  • We should wait to impeach...
Wait to impeach? We've waited 3 or more years too long already. We had enough evidence to impeach years ago. Remember, an impeachment only means you have enough evidence to warrant a trial, just like an indictment. Our congress people didn't take an oath to bipartisanship. They took an oath to the Constitution. Besides which, our troops, Iraqi civilians, and our own civil liberties are all waiting for this.
 
• Before we impeach, we should get some legislation passed...
And with unconstitutional Presidential Signing Statements, veto power, and the power of "Commander in Chief" at his disposal, how do you think Congress is going to get anything accomplished without first impeaching Bush?

If your tire blows while you're driving, do you stop to fix it? Or do you continue driving on your rim because to stop would take too much time?

• It hurts the democracy to go through a presidential impeachment. And Bush is a lame duck anyway.
Holding government officials accountable for their actions strengthens our democracy. Letting lawlessness stand weakens it.

Sometimes reprimanding a child (president) doesn't make the family (Washington) a happy place. But you still have to do it so the child and his siblings (future presidents) learn about accountability. Impeachment is horribly UNDERUSED, which is part of why there's so much corruption at the top. Politicians must learn to fear it. People think things are better because we improved the make-up of our law-making body, Congress. But Bush is BREAKING LAWS. So, it doesn't matter how many laws Congress passes if they don't serve their OVERSIGHT duties as well by impeaching. They swore to defend the Constitution. What are laws without enforcement?

Besides, considering Bush's track-record of breaking laws, he can still do a lot of damage. Our troops, Iran, and our Supreme Court are all endangered so long as he remains in office. Waiting until Bush is out of office will leave us complicit in any further crimes he commits. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated that the death toll from a "tactical" nuclear weapon of the kind Bush is contemplating using in Iran would be at minimum 3 million men, women, and children. The path of death would stretch across country boundaries into India.

Perhaps worst of all, we set a terrible precedent by allowing Bush to stay in office after he's broken so many laws. Impeachment will stop future presidents from using Bush's actions as justification for even more lawbreaking and erosion of civil liberties.

• I'm a Democrat/
Republican. If we support impeachment it will lower the chances of my party winning in 2008.

So, your party would rather win elections than do what's right for the country? I hope you're wrong. I also hope the public is willing to throw additional support to any party that holds our elected officials accountable for their actions. This has been historically true with every single impeachment effort launched. And this impeachment effort would begin with majority support (unlike most past impeachments including Nixon).

• Impeachment will never happen. Congress members will block it.
Well, all we need is a majority of support in the House. And 2/3rds vote in the Senate to remove Bush from office will happen once the evidence gets aired on the floor of the House, and subsequently the national media outlets. The political pressure will become too great.

Today's impossibility is tomorrow's reality. Congress members will realize that tying their political future to Bush reduces their chances of getting elected. Remember, one way or another, Bush is gone by 2009— but members of Congress may retain their offices beyond that date. Bush's poll numbers are extremely low, and most Americans support impeachment. This is a bipartisan movement. This means that if we make the pressure unbearable for Members of Congress, they'll turn on him to keep their own seats (like they did with Nixon). It's already starting to happen. While many Members of Congress have behaved unethically in the last few years, it's important to understand that this is related to their warped view of what's in their self-interest. Let's wake them up to their true self-interest (impeaching the president), by showing them our support for impeachment.

And even if we only impeach, and the Senate fails to do their duty and remove him from office, it will only implicate the Senators who fail to do their sworn Constitutional duty.

• But Speaker of the House Pelosi said that Impeachment was "off the table."

Pelosi most likely said this to remove any appearance of conflict-of-interest that would arise if she were thrust into the presidency as a result of the coming impeachment. What we need to do is to pressure Pelosi not to interfere with impeachment maneuverings within her party. Sending her Do-It-Yourself impeachments legitimizes her when she joins the impeachment movement in the future.

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