On Tuesday, Jan. 23, just hours before President George W. Bush tried to bolster national support for a troop surge in Iraq with his State of the Union address, two New Mexico state legislators introduced a resolution calling for Bush’s and Vice President Dick Cheney’s impeachment.
A Missoula-based organization called Montana Partners for Impeachment spent the last year working on a similar resolution, and hopes that rising impeachment sentiment nationwide might give their measure a boost in the Montana statehouse.
“We’ve begun to put together a contingent that would be able to talk to the leadership in the House and Senate in Montana,” says Bruce Russell, a former teacher and principle organizer of the effort.
Last April a CNN poll found that only 30 percent of Americans thought the Commander-in-Chief should be impeached. But the war in Iraq appears to continue its downward spiral and nearly two out of three people oppose Bush’s plan to send another 21,500 troops there.
There have been no reliable polls on the impeachment question in recent months, but the impeach-Bush movement seems to be gaining grassroots steam. On Jan. 6 more than 1,000 people formed a human “IMPEACH!” sign on a California beach, and impeachment resolutions have popped up in Democratic caucus meetings across the country.
“We are very upset by the fact that the highest offices are filled with people who are systematically violating their oath of office, committing high crimes and misdemeanors, and nobody is holding them accountable,” Russell says.
Copies of the impeachment resolution—which calls on Montana’s Congressional delegation to institute “proceedings for the investigation of the activities of President George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, to the end that they may be impeached and removed from such office”—have been forwarded to members of the state Legislature. Russell acknowledges that there’s scant popular support for the cause among politicians, yet he’s hoping that recent events might change that.
“We are trusting in the judgment of our local House and Senate leaders to represent our concerns as citizens,” Russell says.