John Nichols, writing at The Nation, on the Cindy Sheehan/Nancy Pelosi Impeachment Showdown:
The Bush Administration is no barrier to the burgeoning movement for impeachment. In fact, George Bush and Dick Cheney should probably be made honorary members of the various coalitions seeking to remove them from office. Not a day goes by when the President and Vice President do not take actions that strengthen the case for impeachment -- actions that, on Cheney's part, have already inspired ten US House members to endorse articles detailing his high crimes and misdemeanors.
Many more House Democrats would sign on for impeachment if the leadership of their caucus was not pressuring them to back off.
Thus, the greatest barrier to the movement to hold the president and vice president to account is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.
Before last year's election, Pelosi announced that impeachment was "off the table." It is probably good that she did not try to nullify another section of the Constitution -- say, the part about freedom of speech. But Pelosi did serious damage to the system of checks and balances when she declared that her House would not use the tool created by the founders to assure that the legislative branch could keep errant executives in line.
No one really expected Pelosi to lead the charge for impeachment.
As the office holder who follows Cheney in the line of succession to the presidency, the Speaker ought not be the primary proponent of the removal of those ahead of her in the Oval Office queue.
But the solemn oath she swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States should have precluded her from cherry picking the sections to which she chose to "bear true faith and allegiance."
More importantly, it should have precluded the Speaker from muscling members of her caucus to eschew talk of impeachment.
Unfortunately, Pelosi has misread her moment in history.
Even more unfortunately, she refuses to acknowledge her error.
Enter Cindy Sheehan, the "Peace Mom" who two summers ago gained the attention and sympathy of the world when she demanded that Bush explain why he sent her son to die in an unwise and unnecessary war.[...]
Earlier this year, Sheehan's frustration with Pelosi's failure to take the steps necessary to restrict funding for continuation of the war caused the tireless activist to step back from the forefront of the peace movement. But Sheehan's back as of July 10, leading a caravan and march from Texas to Washington to to demand the ouster of Bush and Cheney.
And when she arrives in Washington July 23, Sheehan she will issue the ultimate challenge to Pelosi.
If the Speaker has not put impeachment back on the table, Sheehan promises to announce that she will mount an independent campaign against Pelosi in November, 2008.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership," says Sheehan, who is furious with Pelosi and her caucus for not doing more to end the war and hold Bush to account.
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