I'm writing this blog for the 24th District congressional race in New York State, but it could equally apply to every one of the hundreds of congressional districts across the USA. It is time for Democrats to stand up and be Democrats.
Did you hear the news today, about how George W. Bush betrayed America?
Lewis Libby, the top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, has informed prosecutors that President Bush himself authorized the selective leaking of classified information about the mythical Iraqi weapons of mass destruction - and to do so for partisan political benefit. That authorization was passed on through Dick Cheney, so the Vice President knew about it too.
The information that was leaked to the media, with Bush's permission, included the identity of Valeria Plame as a CIA agent. Valerie Plame was an agent who spent some time working in the USA, but was also going as an undercover CIA agent to Iran, to get information on the possibility of a WMD program there.
Bush blew her cover. Not just Bob Novak. Not just Karl Rove. Not just Lewis Libby. Not just Dick Cheney. President George W. Bush.
This was illegal, but more than that, it was just plain morally WRONG. So let's talk moral values, shall we? Here's why it was morally wrong:
1. President Bush lied to us. Oh, not just about the weapons of mass destruction program, but about the leak of Valerie Plame's identity. George W. Bush lied when he promised the American people that he would personally fire anyone "involved" in the leak of the CIA agent's identity. Bush didn't fire Karl Rove. Bush didn't fire Dick Cheney. Bush didn't fire Lewis Libby (Libby resigned voluntarily, only when he was indicted for breaking the law). Most importantly, Bush didn't fire himself. If George W. Bush had any honesty and integrity, he would fire all of the top White House aides who were involved, and then resign himself.
2. President Bush put Valerie Plame's life in danger. Valerie Plame had been working as an undercover CIA agent in Iran, for goodness sakes. What if she had been in Iran when the leak came out? She could have been thrown in an Iranian prison, and their prisons are as bad as Abu Ghraib. Valerie Plame could have been killed by Bush's political maneuvers. That's serious, and that's why it's against the law to reveal the identity of any undercover CIA agent.
3. President Bush ordered the leaks in order to score political points and help push America into an unnecessary war. Valerie Plame is the wife of Ambassador Joe Wilson, who had the nerve to tell the American people that, before the Iraq War started, George W. Bush almost certainly knew that much of the supposed "evidence" used to justify the war was garbage. George W. Bush wanted to punish Joe Wilson, so he put Wilson's wife in mortal danger. Is that what they mean when they talk about Republican moral values?
4. President Bush is threatening harsh criminal prosecution for anyone involved in the leak of the information that Bush himself asked ordered at least one illegal program to spy against law abiding Americans without a search warrant. Yet, Bush himself ordered leaks of classified information, in order to go after his American political enemies. I'll put this in Biblical language, so as to satisfy the "moral values" crowd: That makes George W. Bush a hypocrite.
So, now is the time for Democrats to be Democrats. Once again, George W. Bush has been caught involved in a serious crime. Once again, Republicans are saying that it's no big deal.
It is the job of the Democratic Party to, when powerful Republicans in elected office are caught breaking the law, make sure held those Republicans accountable. That's what we elect them for. We do not elect Democrats in order to look the other way.
So now, I am calling upon the Democrats of the 24th congressional district, and especially the Democratic congressional candidates of the 24th District, to stand up and be Democrats.
Call upon George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to resign, and if they won't resign, to be impeached. Some say that making such demands is politically inconvenient to the Democrats' electoral strategy for the 2006 elections. I say I don't care. I say that we need to uphold the law, and drag the White House out of the moral gutter into which it has descended.
Neither Les Roberts nor Michael Arcuri has made any comment so far about the news of Bush's personal involvement in the illegal leaks that led to the destruction of Valerie Plame's CIA cover. I understand that congressional campaigns can move slowly, and it's only been a few hours since the revelation. However, this is no time to be slow and uncertain. This is a time to be firm. Both Roberts and Arcuri should to put out statements tomorrow, condemning Bush's actions in the strongest manner possible.
I'd also like to see both candidates reconsider their distance from the impeachment issue. Arcuri hasn't supported censure, much less impeachment. Les Roberts takes a different stance, saying that we shouldn't consider anything like impeachment until American soldiers are home from Iraq. Roberts is concerned that moving toward impeachment now would send the wrong message about what the Democratic Party stands for. To be honest, I'm disappointed in that position. What we all ought to be more concerned about right now, as Americans, is the message it sends when our own President regards himself as above the law.
What in the world will it take to get some Democrats to finally get some backbone and stand up for impeachment? If George W. Bush was be caught, on camera, sucking the blood out of the neck of a girl scout, would they still say that impeachment is politically inconvenient?
Voters will never stand up for the Democratic Party until our Democratic candidates have the bravery to stand up for what's right, even if it's inconvenient.
Democrats, be Democrats!
Post script: If I don't write this, Leon Koziol's supporters will surely whine:
No, Leon Koziol hasn't lifted a finger to condemn George W. Bush's criminal betrayal of his Oath of Office, either. But then, no one really expects Koziol to do so. Koziol's supporters, after all, still think that the land claim disputes are the top issue in this race.
I say that the next planet they find in the outer reaches of the Solar System ought to be named Planet Koziol.