The Failure of Accountability
– by David Matthews 2
It was a show trial in ways that were never considered before.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee convened on July 25 to hear charges levied against the President of the United States of America, the Vice-President, and their employees. Charges of criminal acts, charges of abuse of power, and charges of subverting the Constitution itself.
Under normal conditions, such charges would be followed by articles of impeachment to be present before the full body of the House and voted upon. But this was not a normal meeting. These were not normal proceedings.
There will never be articles of impeachment brought up at the conclusion of these hearings. The accusations being levied and weighed against President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney and their surrogates and subordinates will go no further than those hearings. The outrage being exhibited by the members of the Judiciary Committee and those who showed up to testify, as well as those sitting in the audience, would go unsatisfied.
They cannot even refer to the proceedings as an IMPEACHMENT hearing, nor could they even accuse the White House of actually committing any kind of offense, criminal or otherwise!
It was, in effect, a show trial in the absolutely LITERAL sense. A trial just for show. There would be no resolution at the end of the hearings. No convictions or acquittals. No judgments of ANY kind, save of the ones we would have for the orchestrators of this farce.
And that is what it is, people. It is a FARCE! It is a FRAUD! It is a HOAX! It is nothing less than a slap in the face of every American that has ever lived, fought, suffered, and died for this country.
It’s not that the charges are made-up. The accusations made against the Bush White House have been out there for years now, replayed and rehashed through newsgroups and liberal talk radio programs. There has been a continual demand for something to be done about these charges.
And it’s not like there has been an absence of those inside Congress pushing for articles of impeachment. Congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment not once but twice.
No, the fault lies squarely on the heads of the hierarchy of the Democrats who control the Congress.
It falls squarely on the heads of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and on Judiciary Committee chairman, Michigan Congressman John Conyers. THEY are the ones that have deliberately, intentionally, and systematically stymied all calls for impeachment and are the ones responsible for fabricating a HOAX on America, paying meticulous attention to the fact that the words “impeachment” are NEVER used in the proceedings and that all members pay attention to the rules that prohibit saying anything that “demeans” the Bush Imperium.
It all boils down to one word: accountability.
Who does the President of the United States answer to?
For that matter, who do the members of Congress answer to?
We’d like to say “they answer to the American people”, but I seriously doubt that they really do. Not anymore. Certainly not today. Maybe even not ever.
Yes, the voters can vote for someone different at the next election, but they can’t really VOTE OUT anyone. The last actual RECALL of an elected official was in California in 2003. Voters are prohibited by the US Constitution from recalling a member of Congress.
So short of an actual act of insurrection, there really is NOTHING that can be done to a member of Congress until the next election. And then, of course, that member of Congress can engage in a nasty dirty campaign that sucks the life out of any voter initiative, leaving their own special interest groups as the only people who vote.
So really… Conyers and Pelosi, and for that matter Kucinich, answer to… NOBODY! Nobody outside of their own hierarchy in the Congress anyway.
So if members of Congress, who are supposed to represent the American people, are answerable to NOBODY outside of their own hierarchy, who does President George W. Bush answer to?
Outside of his wife… NOBODY!
Yes, the President COULD be impeached by Congress, starting with articles of impeachment from the House and moving on to a full trial and ouster vote by the Senate. But we’ve been down the road to impeachment only TWICE in American history against a sitting resident of the White House. In both instances, the US Senate FAILED to oust the sitting president for their crimes.
And in the case of then-President Bill Clinton, the subject over which he was impeached was so trivial it was the source for many late-night TV jokes. It had nothing to do with his actual job AS president and more to do with the things he did AS president. He was NEVER impeached over the actual substantive crimes done AS president. He was never impeached over the White House Travel Office, or over the handling of the Rose Law Firm billing records pertaining to the Whitewater investigation. The ONLY thing that he was impeached over was lying under oath about an affair.
You would think that after the Republicans were willing to put their own careers on the line over something that was ultimately SO trivial, that the Democrats would be eager to leap at the opportunity to go after ACTUAL and SUBSTANTIVE abuses of power! The very abuses of power that their icon, Thomas Jefferson, rallied against over two centuries ago!
And yet the hierarchy of the Congress under Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made it absolutely clear that they WILL NOT hold the President of the United States, or the Vice-President of the United States, or ANY of their subordinates or surrogates, accountable for ANY acts they may be accused of doing.
Let’s get brutally honest here… this blatant and unashamed refusal of the Congress to hold the Executive Branch to ANY measure of accountability isn’t just the making of a tyranny, the sustainment of a monster that America’s own founding fathers warned and feared would eventually rear its ugly head, but it is the final piece of proof that this country is now, and perhaps has been for a while now, a FIEFDOM!
We have replaced lords and ministers with Congressmen and Senators. We have replaced barons and dukes with Democrat and Republican party leaders. And they have carefully and meticulously set themselves up so that they are answerable only to themselves and to their peers, NOT to the very people they CLAIM to represent!
It is no wonder, then, why they act with wanton disregard when it comes to governing this nation. Why they spend this country’s budget recklessly to the point where it WILL go into bankruptcy within a decade. Why they write and enact energy policies and banking laws that enslave Americans and then spend more time bailing out the perpetrators than in helping the enslaved. Why they carry themselves with full and complete impunity.
They do so because they know that they cannot be held accountable for it. They have crafted a system that ensures that they could commit outright murder on primetime television and they would never have to answer for it. Not to a judge, not to a court of law, and certainly not to the people that they claim to represent.
Unfortunately we also share some of that blame. WE don’t insist on accountability! We don’t want to hold our so-called “representatives” to any kind of accountability. We don’t march. We don’t protest. We actually scoff at protesters! We condemn them as they are sent to little concentration camps that our politicians hypocritically call “free speech zones”. At the very best we send emails and faxes, and then we think that they actually care when we get an automated response from them. In truth an automated response says that they DO NOT care, and that your message will NEVER reach their eyes or ears. Ever.
We get caught up in the pre-manufactured cult-like frenzies designed to keep us in place and to keep us from thinking that SOMETHING needs to be done. We are brainwashed into thinking that any kind of action our political leaders do is automatically legitimate, reasonable, justified, and should be carried out without question. We say “better them than us” when we used to say “there but for the fates go I”.
And when the time comes for us to vote… the one time that we have some modicum of control in government… most of us will abstain! We will be derelict in our duties, negligent in our responsibilities, and utter FAILURES as citizens. Most of us will claim that we won’t have the time, or we don’t really know the candidates, or that we don’t even know where the polling places are. We’ll shoot down the candidates that we really want to support, claiming that our vote for that kind of candidate “won’t count” and that the candidate “can’t win”. We’ll rationalize voting for the next-to-worst candidate, saying only that they would be not AS BAD as the other guy.
All the while we will be playing right into the hands of the keepers of this fiefdom that we call America. After all, a con can only work if the victim plays into it.
The people who showed up at the House hearing this past Friday, the ones holding up signs saying “Impeach Bush” and cheering or booing politicians based on their stances on the subject… THOSE people are far more worthy of living in a free nation than the rest of the great unwashed. They at least are not afraid to take part in the process, even thought they know that it will pretty much be just for show.