EDITORIAL Mainstream media reporters and pundits, as well as our cynical colleagues at the SF Weekly and the rest of their corporate alt-weekly chain, love to bash the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the city councils of other Bay Area cities for passing resolutions on big questions like war, human rights, or impeachment.
We don't share that view. Resolutions take almost no time or effort to pass, yet they are important barometers of popular political sentiment, tools that are particularly important given how both major political parties have shown more willingness to listen to their corporate backers than their lowly constituents. People need avenues to make their voices heard without the filters imposed by the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties.
That's why we're happy that citizens in both San Francisco and Berkeley will get a chance to vote this November on the question of whether Congress should initiate impeachment proceedings against President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their many high crimes: fraudulently leading the United States into war, illegally spying on Americans, torturing enemies, claiming unconstitutional executive power, vioutf8g binding treaties, and engaging in war crimes and profiteering, among others.
Berkeley and San Francisco will be the first major American cities to allow a popular vote on this question. The Guardian in January was one of the first publications in the country to lay out in detail the impeachable crimes of the Bush administration ("The Case for Impeachment," 1/25/06), joining a chorus of activists, scholars, and legal experts who say this is the only way to slow the country's slide into empire and penetrate the Bush administration's veil of secrecy.
Our congressional representatives have been terrible on this issue, showing more concern with seeking partisan advantage than upholding the Constitution. Rep. Nancy Pelosi has said the Democrats won't pursue impeachment even if the party retakes Congress this fall. But maybe they'll listen to the people directly telling them that we want Congress to finally launch a serious investigation into the many crimes perpetrated by the Bush administration.
This is a vote that the world wants to see us take. We commend the Berkeley City Council and SF supervisors Chris Daly, Ross Mirkarimi, Tom Ammiano, and Jake McGoldrick for giving the people this opportunity to be heard on the most important issue of our time. SFBG