House Defeats Iraq War Funding 149-141-132; Pelosi Votes No

Dear Marc;
It is never too late to impeach Bush and Cheney. It is not a lost cause to have them indicted for crimes against humanity for mass murder and mass torture and include Rumsfield and Rice and Gates.

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica

Ron

Thanks for your response. While I support impeachment and have
actually attended impeachment events, I believe it has been an
unfortunate diversion for the anti-war movement.

Since a conviction requires a 2/3rds vote in the Senate, and since
there are at least 40 Republicans that support the war, torture,
wireless wiretapping, etc. it's hard to see how Bush and/or Cheney
could actually be removed from office.

The bigger benefit of impeachment would be the hearings, which would
probably expose a number of embarrassing facts about the runup to the
war. On the other hand, Congressional hearings about the war -
albeit with less publicity - could be called independent of an
impeachment process.

Calls for impeachment at this point are vulnerable to the argument
that Bush and Cheney just have a few more months anyway, so why waste
time when they will be removed in the normal course of events.
Although they could be impeached and convicted after leaving office,
I just don't see this happening since it would be unprecedented and
since Congress really is complicit in many of the illegal policies
the Administration has pursued.

In its current weak state, the anti-war movement would be better off
focusing on a limited number of issues and tactics. Ending the Iraq
War by pressuring on individual Representatives to vote against
funding seems like Job #1 to me.

Marc

--- In lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com, Ron Getty <tradergroupe@...>
wrote:

Dear Marc;
It is never too late to impeach Bush and Cheney. It is not a lost

cause to have them indicted for crimes against humanity for mass
murder and mass torture and include Rumsfield and Rice and Gates.

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
Hostis res Publica

From: Marc Joffe <joffemd@...>
To: stopfundingthewar@yahoogroups.com; iraqmoratorium-

sfbayarea@...; oct27steercom@yahoogroups.com; lpsf-
discuss@yahoogroups.com

Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 9:48:54 AM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] House Defeats Iraq War Funding 149-141-132;

Pelosi Votes No

Ultimately, the Congress will pass legislation funding the war

through the middle of next year, but Thursday's vote set an important
precedent.

The House leadership put forward three amendments to HR 2642

(Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies
Appropriations Act of 2008). The first was a slightly modified
version of the President's supplemental war funding request. The
second was a withdrawal timetable. The third was a new GI bill of
rights, funding college education for veterans, adding other
spending, and imposing a 0.5% income tax surcharge on individuals
with income above $500,000 and families making over $1,000,000.

The first of these three amendments – the war funding bill – failed

because 132 Republicans voted "Present". 147 Democrats and 2
Republicans (Ron Paul and John Duncan) voted No. 84 Democrats and 57
Republicans voted Yes. The other two amendments passed.

The Republicans voted "Present" as a protest against the way the

amendments were brought to the floor. The House leadership bypassed
the normal committee process, which is unprecedented for legislation
of this type, according to House Republicans.

Among the 147 Democrats voting No was speaker Speaker Pelosi, who

normally votes for troop funding. The total number of "No" votes
substantially exceeded previous opposition to Iraq war funding
legislation.

While this vote could easily be dismissed as a piece of political

theatre, I think it does show that public opposition to the Iraq War
and antiwar activism is having some effect. I could imagine a
scenario in 2010 where the House actually defeats or radically
reduces war funding under a McCain administration. This is based on
the assumption that the Democrats will increase their majority next
year and that public opposition to the war grows.

I'm surprised and disappointed to see the lack of focus on this

legislative debate. Within progressive circles, the focus is mostly
on impeachment – which seems like a lost cause at this late date. As
for local media, the Chronicle didn't run anything on Thursday's
vote. I suspect this will change tomorrow because they will have to
cover Pelosi's trip to Baghdad today.

For the roll call vote, see:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-328&sort=district.

For Democratic and Republican press conferences following the vote,

see: rtsp://video1.c-span.org/project/iraq/iraq051508_hoyer.rm and
rtsp://video1.c-span.org/project/iraq/iraq051508_reps.rm,
respectively.

For AP coverage of the vote, see

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080516/ap_on_go_co/congress_iraq_funding_
22;_ylt=As1Y.mIc3Z.m5oxLtLQ.WpxX6GMA.