Election, not impeachment

Saturday was a perfect fall morning for a rally. The sky, a deep cobalt blue, provided the backdrop as a soft breeze stirred the trees, now a riot of yellows and reds. Close to 100 local residents gathered on the public library steps to demonstrate their profound dissatisfaction with the Bush administration.

This demonstration of discontent wasn't aimed at policy, but focused on using the ultimate tool provided by our Constitution: impeachment of a sitting President and Vice President, insisting, according to a flyer passed out, that "it is not too late."

The demonstrators, led by Priscilla High and John Fisher-Smith, walked down Main Street ending at the Plaza where they gathered, heard speeches and sang familiar songs from the Civil Rights Era.

The Bush administration's tenure will be done in just over a year, and then, finally, this long, disastrous ordeal will be, hopefully, concluded. In other words, 2008 will be a crossroads year for our country. The war in Iraq continues despite tremendous opposition and incalculable loss of life and money. A national campaign for president is already underway &

one that will become ever more contentious and important. We can only assume that warrantless wiretapping continues, as does extraordinary rendition, torture, and the insidious politicization of all aspects of government.

This all begs the question whether impeachment is not only unrealistic, but a distraction. Thus far, the Democratic Party seems reticent to confront the Republican leadership, though they possess a powerful mandate from the people &

one that is growing. President Bush's approval numbers are in the cellar.

Hence, to launch a national campaign of impeachment seems Quixotic at best, a distraction from the important task ahead. Can anyone conceive of a scenario in which a Republican (Giuliani?) edges out a Democrat (Hillary)? Some polls, as surreal as it seems, indicate that it could be close.

Paul Craft, holding a banner high for motorists to see, when asked about how realistic the prospects of impeaching the president really were, paused for a moment, then said, "Perhaps it's a Hail Mary. It's easy to feel dispirited and isolated. Truth is, there are more people than not who feel this way."

For all of the sentiments voiced at the demonstration, Soleil Litchman said, "If Iran goes up in flames we'll have World War III." Then, regarding impeachment with an obvious concern, she said, "We have to try." The sign she carried Saturday read, "Surrender to the Goodness of the Constitution," which is not a bad idea.

Inspiration filled the fall air on the Plaza on Saturday. The sincerity and love for country seemed apparent to onlookers watching these folks standing shoulder to shoulder singing, "We Shall Overcome." But, for some, impeachment at this point is charging at windmills. If there is to be a groundswell of national outrage, let it be over this administration's drum beat for a disastrous outbreak of war against Iran.

Meanwhile, there's an election to be won.

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