{Empty title} | The Nation

Congress will do nothing to stop the Bush regime from completing the transformation of America into a fascist dictatorship, not without serious, direct pressure on key members.

Here are the websites for Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha and other Congressional Democrats in positions to end the war in Iraq and hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their multitude of crimes.






Pelosi, obviously, tops the list because she is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. She gets to decide what legislation comes up for debate by the full chamber, and what languishes on the legislative table gathering dust.

John Conyers is Chair of the Judiciary Committee (where the process of impeachment must begin). David Obey of Wisconsin heads up the Appropriations Committee, and Jack Murtha leads the subcommittee on appropriations for the Iraq war. Finally, Ike Skelton of Missouri heads the House Armed Services Committee. These five are the ones to keep on your list, who are in the House of Representatives.




Robert Byrd of Virginia runs the Senate Appropriations Committee, Ted Kennedy is chairman of the Armed Services committee, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont heads Judiciary. Byrd and Kennedy especially are in positions to block legislation from coming up that does not bring an end to the war in Iraq and which does not prevent a war with Iran. Leahy is in a position to block Bush's judicial nominees.

So there you have it, just eight members of Congress to hold accountable. This is what you can do to make sure they do their jobs: threaten to get a recall election if they refuse to end the war in Iraq, and refuse to allow Bush and Cheney to be impeached. Organize people who live in their states and districts who are pissed off at their failure to do their jobs. Obtain petitions for the task, and then write a POLITE letter and follow-up e-mail urging them to use their power to start the ball rolling. Here are eight talking points from which to choose.

1. Democrats have control of the committees, and can use their power to prevent funding for the Iraq war and operations against Iran from getting through.

2. Republicans had no problem abusing their power to shut Democrats out of the legislative process, and Democrats are under no obligation to play nice now that they are in charge.

3. Democrats can take the high road by engaging in true compromise; if Republicans will lend their support to Democratic legislation and resolutions, then their legislation will at the very least get a debate. There is no need to promise that GOP legislation will pass, that would just be stupid. But if Democrats are smart, they will learn--quickly--to flex their newly strengthened muscles.

4. If Democrats are serious about ending the war in Iraq and preventing war with Iran, they must pass binding resolutions, or else block legislation continuing Bush's military appropriations. People are dying, and time is running out.

5. Impeachment must be put back on the table, and the Articles of Impeachment introduced against both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

6. Gerald Ford failed to hold Richard Nixon accountable for his crimes, and as a result lost his bid for election in his own right. Similarly, if Democrats fail to remove Bush and Cheney voters will remove them from power in 2008.

7. When Republicans impeached Bill Clinton, not only did they retain control of Congress in the next election cycle they went on to successfully steal the presidency.

8. Recall petitions are being prepared in the event Democrats in a position to end the war and hold Bush and Cheney accountable refuse to do so within ninety days.

You don't have to use all of the above talking points; use two or three to make your case, and put them in your own words. Make sure you get voters who live in these Democrats' states and districts to organize. (The reason it's important to get the people who live in the states and districts of the above-mentioned Democrats to do this, obviously, is that it is their states and districts whose representatives and senators require public pressure.) Send written letters and e-mails, and make telephone calls. Do this, and do not let up.

Above all, be firm but polite; nothing causes someone to hold to his position out of pure, stubborn pride than having someone talk trash to him. Start drives to obtain these petitions and gather signatures, and then have them ready to file. You may have to raise money to pay a filing fee, and obviously candidates willing to impeach and tie the purse strings shut must be available.

Finally, be realistic in your thinking. Any effort to recall the representatives and senators mentioned above is probably not going to succeed. If such efforts do succeed, great--but do not expect that they will. What is important, at this stage, is not success but the media attention derived from large, organized efforts to recall politicians who refuse to carry out their Constitutional duties. If we can pull this off, we may be able to light the fire under Congressional Democrats.

Lives are at stake, and so is the future of our country. For what good is having a representative form of government, if that government does not obey the wishes of the public it is supposed to represent? And what good are the Democrats, if after being elected to power they fail to do what the public wants them to do?