I've been putting together a follow-up to my Star Trib piece (in which I propose a national rally to call for impeachment hearings against Dick Cheney) that would provide links to impeachment sites, impeachment videos and various calls to action.
Most of them have links to Robert Greenwald's new three minute video calling for Cheney's impeachment as well. Read on, because I'm not going where you think.
With Greenwald of Brave New Films (Iraq for Sale -The War Profiteers, Wal-mart-The High Cost of Low Price, etc.) putting his Hollywood connections and know-how behind the impeachment drive, I figured we were gearing up to something big, the biggest rally ever seen in DC, maybe a target date of mid-September to complement all the good news that's scheduled to be revealed about the surge.
And then a familiar name stopped me in my tracks. (Caution, heresy ahead.) Cindy Sheehan has ended her short retirement, and along with "threatening" to run against Nancy Pelosi, she's also leading a march from Crawford, Texas to Arlington Cemetery, to Capitol Hill and on to Central Park where, "On July 29th, we will be re-creating the Summer of Love and hold a "Gather-in of Hearts" in Central Park with leading activists and musical entertainment. Proceeds will go to Iraqi Refugees and for medical supplies for Iraqi hospitals."
Now, good for Cindy for getting out there and doing something while people like me dither and say "why doesn't someone do something?". And her rally in Central Park, the old summer of love thing, doesn't sound that far off from what I was proposing we do at the nation's capitol. Kumbayah and all that.
So why did my heart sink to hear of her plans? Because sadly, I don't think Cindy is the one to lead this national effort. She was brilliant in the ditch at Crawford, the first to stand up and face the beast. And who can argue with her anguish over her son's loss in a criminal war? (Well, not even Shrub, obviously, who was too ashamed or chicken shit to come out and talk to her.)
But alas, she lacked the leadership to rally a nation, no easy feat I grant you. She came close, and she coalesced our anger that summer in Crawford, but then she seemed to get sidetracked. (The lovefest with Hugo Chavez ie.) To me, she often appeared to be propelled to the front by those shoving from behind, instead of leading those behind with her own clear voice and vision.
And then came her retirement, which seemed right. She'd done all she could, and there was more dignity in her departure than there was in much of her leadership.
So this comeback, only weeks after her very public retirement, plays into the accusations that she's a media glutton, that it's all about Cindy, that she lacks a clear head, and that she's easily used by those around her. And her "threat" to run against Nancy Pelosi, whatever you think of Pelosi, makes her appear delusional about her own powers and popularity.
Maybe I'm way off on this. Maybe her march will catch the imagination of our awakening populace. Maybe her grassroots organizing in small towns along the route will be the flint that finally ignites the flames of outrage. Maybe middle Americans will identify with her loss and find her their cup o' tea this time around. But I don't think so.
Thinking of Cindy headlining an event calling for Cheney's impeachment made me feel like we were going in reverse. And that got me to wondering if the impeachment frenzy, which had totally caught me up, isn't a huge distraction, especially with the Dem's slim majority in Congress, meaning the outcome isn't likely to go our way. It's satisfying as hell to see Representatives like my own Keith Ellison and others lining up behind the impeachment bill, and it would be even more satisfying to see Cheney tossed out and ultimately behind bars.
But maybe – and it pains me to say this -- we need to let that go. The impeachment part, that is, which seems more about vengeance than undoing the damage he's caused. (Criminal prosecution is another story. Let 'er rip. Behind every lying Scooter is a felonious boss.)
The impeachment of Cheney, while justified and appropriate, would prove that we don't tolerate lies and lawlessness from our leaders (har-dee-har) but it won't get us out of Iraq one day sooner, it won't address fanaticism and terrorism -- real threats exacerbated by Bushco, which our side cannot downplay -- it won't touch the hot coal of immigration, nor the gutting of America’s middle class, and it won't stop the desecration of our planet. For starters.
The circus of impeachment would sure be fun, but maybe we need to skip the circus and get to work. On what? Storming the Bastille, of course, or if that seems grandiose, I guess just the elections of 2008. Ho-hum.
I'm sure people will write to me insisting that the Dems are as bad as the Repubs, and I hear you -- and disagree. But short of storming the fortress I don't see any alternative.
Imagine January, 2009, and listening to a president who speaks of science, not faith, and who promotes diplomacy, not war. Heck, imagine listening to a president who speaks -- at all. That's the starting point in unraveling this Bushian knot. It's the tiniest speck of light, but it's where I'm headed.
And if a constellation of stars, planetary or otherwise, lines up in front of the White House to stand witness for peace and mother Earth, and to decry all things Cheney and Bush, I'm there. And if they happen to call for Cheney's impeachment while they're at it, well, I won't argue.