Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Meeting with Trustee Rordan Hart

Margo Alexander and I met with Rordan Hart on Tuesday 8/14 to convince him to support our resolution which would encourage our State Legislators, and Congressional Representatives to inquire into the impeachment of President Bush, and Vice President Cheney. Rordan is our new Village Trustee, and the only Republican on the Board. I was hoping that he would be more reasonable than I found him to be. I did get one Republican to sign our petition, as I went door to door. We discussed, with Rordan, many reasons that we feel it is our responsibility as citizens of this country, and parents, and believers in the Constitution, to urge Congress to investigate the crimes of Bush and Cheney. I won't list all of our reasons here (just read the posts below) Rordan's arguments in defense of Bush were very weak. When I complained of the huge cost of the war, Rordan said that we had the lowest budget deficit in several years, implying that the war was not hurting us financially. For the record, the largest budget deficit ever recorded was in 2004, the year after invading Iraq. Since then it has come down, but to get the big picture you have to look at the national debt, not just the budget deficit. The national debt is now almost 9 trillion dollars, far higher than it has ever been, and the rate of growth is higher than it has been since WWII. Clinton actually had a budget surplus during the last years of his presidency.

As you can see, except for a rise at the end of World War II, the Debt remained remarkably constant for nearly forty years when inflationary forces are taken into account. The steep climb began with Reagan, continued with Bush I, then Clinton brought it under control, and then under the leadership of Bush II we see the steepest climb recorded post WWII.

Personally, I'm not sure that I would want to preemptively invade a country, kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, and increase the incidences of terrorism worldwide, even if I felt that we could afford it, which we clearly can not.

When I complained that Bush and Cheney lied us into the war, Rordan tried the old dodge about how all of the Democratic Senators and Congressional Representatives had access to the same intelligence as Bush and Cheney, so how can I blame Bush and Cheney? Trouble is, a report done by the Congressional Research Service at the request of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), 12/15/05, said just the opposite. Feinstein, who is on the Senate intelligence committee, said "The report demonstrates that Congress routinely is denied access to intelligence sources, intelligence collection and analysis,"

Rordan had to struggle to defend his position, because it is, well, indefensible. He kept returning to his fallback position - Impeachment is not within the purview of Village government. After hearing this over and over I asked, "why not?" Rordan said that he doesn't want to set a precedent that would encourage others to bring similar resolutions in front of the board for a myriad of federal issues that are also not within the purview of village government. He's missing the point. These are extraordinary circumstances and they require extraordinary measures. When I first spoke to a trustee about bringing this resolution to the board, he suggested that he would want to see a substantial number of signatures on a petition before agreeing to consider it. We have collected 150 signatures so far, and believe me, this takes a lot of time. It is absurd to think that the board will ever be overwhelmed with so many resolutions dealing with federal issues, that they will not have time for local governance. Does Rordan really think that it is so wrong for our village government to weigh in on this issue which is of monumental importance, or is this just a handy dodge which allows him to avoid his responsibility to represent the will of the majority of the residents of the village?

Rordan said that it is not his responsibility to consider impeachment. He said it is our representatives in the House, that must shoulder that responsibility. Millions of Americans have contacted their representatives and asked them to do just that, but they are failing in their Constitutional duty to impeach the President and his Vice President. We implore our Mayor and Trustees to pass this Resolution in-order to increase pressure on Congress to act.


Anonymous said...

Part of the impeachment process is to bring an impartiality; irrespective of partisan politics to the true exercise of impeachment. When Clinton was impeached during his last term; there was bi-partisan agreement even in a Republican controlled legislature. While I admire your zealotry, Mr. Hart is correct in the statement about this is a federal government issue and should be dealt with accordingly; through YOUR elected Representatives and Senators. The Village would be well within its rights to focus on local matters moreso than trying to grab 15 minutes of fame in the national spotlight. In addition, this administration has also done more for the American people than Clinton could have hoped for, nearly doubling the DJIA during his term, weeding out the corporate corruption left behind by Clinton-omics (less we forget Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, and the general crash), and taking an aggressive stance (albeit it overly in some instances) against terrorism. I myself can see past the reasons we went to war with Iraq initially, as most people know there were few WMDs. I leave with a last comment about Speaker Pelosi. How can someone who viewed themselves as nearly a pariah to the Democratic party recant one of her staples in her campaign of combatting the White House on the war issues? I have seen bill after bill passed increasing the defense budget during her tenure. Just curious.

Allen Carstensen said...

Mr. Anonymous, I set up this blog to allow for anonymous posting, to allow those who are too scared to say who they are to post, but I would prefer that you reveal your identity.

Your first big mistake above, is stating that the impeachment of Clinton was bipartisan. No Democratic Senators voted to convict, and only 3 Democratic Representatives voted to impeach. It was extremely partisan. I'm guessing that you are a Republican, and that you were in favor of impeaching Clinton for lying about an affair with a consenting adult, but you are opposed to impeaching Bush for lying about the reasons to take us into a war that is wasting hundreds of thousands of lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars. You don't see the irony though.

Next, you fall back on the same tired argument that Rordan used over and over about impeachment not being an appropriate item of business for the Village Board. Please explain, why the hell not! It's in the spirit of the House Rules written by Thomas Jefferson, and I believe the vote was unanimous to hold the special meeting on 9/24. Why have the meeting if it's not appropriate?

Next, you say that the Bush administration has done more for the American people than Clinton. I'm not going to fall into the trap of defending Clinton, who I'm not a big fan of, but I can't think of a single piece of legislation initiated by the Bush administration, that has had, as it's primary beneficiary, the average American citizen. I could list many that benefit transnational corporations, the military industrial complex, the pharmaceutical industry, the wealthiest 1% of the country, but for the life of me, none that benefit the average Joe. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

Did you study the graph on my latest blog? Is it OK with you that Bush is increasing the National Debt by trillions of dollars? Clinton had a surplus. Bush is spending like a drunken sailor, and you think that's better for the American people?

The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) is way up. Yay! the rich are getting richer while 7 million Americans have fallen below the poverty line. The DJIA is no way to measure the well being of the average American.

Lastly, we can agree that Nancy Pelosi has been a disappointment. If you read some of my older blog entries you will find one devoted to her.

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Trumansburg, NY, United States