The following email was sent to impeachment supporters in the Takoma Park area; we’ve added a video link to the campaign video mentioned in the second paragraph.
Dear Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney supporter,
We — Thomas Nephew, Lisa Moscatiello, and Michelle Bailey — are writing to endorse Gordon Clark (Green Party) for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives. We’re confident that as the kind of independent thinker who has supported impeachment, you’ll be very impressed with Mr. Clark, who is opposing incumbent Chris Van Hollen (Democratic Party). For our part, all three of us will be voting for him on November 4th.
To learn more about Gordon Clark, visit his web site at www.clarkforcongress.net. While you’re there, be sure to check out his latest campaign video — a great two minute summary of why Gordon Clark is running for Congress.* There’s also a video of his recent debate with Republican Steve Hudson and Van Hollen legislative aide Bill Parsons (Van Hollen couldn’t attend because of the bailout bill vote).
The centerpiece of Clark’s campaign is a Green New Deal — an Apollo program, Manhattan Project, and Marshall Plan all rolled into one — to put America on the path to renewable energy independence. He also supports universal health care, opposes threatening war with Iran, and wants a complete withdrawal from Iraq; as you’ll see from an issues chart comparison, Chris Van Hollen falls short on these and other counts. There’s more, everything is well documented — and you’ll probably find yourself agreeing with Gordon Clark much more often than not.
There will be a Clark volunteer meeting today (Sunday, October 26th) from 4-6PM at 822 Gist Avenue, Silver Spring; to get in touch with the campaign, contact Sara Gilbertie at 860-233-4097 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the campaign web site at www.clarkforcongress.net.
What about Clark’s views on impeachment? Here’s what he told Internet radio host Chip Gibbons earlier this year:
CLARK: …it’s very clear to me that this administration is more corrupt and more deserving of impeachment than any administration in US history that I’m aware of. They have signalled their open contempt for Congress’s role in running our country and in legislation as recently as last February, when Congress passed … the Defense Authorization Bill, it had more money for the war in Iraq, of course, but as part of that they tried to pass a provision saying there would be no permanent bases in Iraq. And President Bush said publicly, “Well… thank you for the advice, we’ll do with that what we want to.” So on many occasions he has just signalled his willingness — the whole issue about presidential signing statements, you know the fact that President Bush has issued — geez, I’ve lost count but it’s over seven *hundred* of them, which again are specifically statements that used to be about small interpretations in pieces of legislation, they’ve now become a way of President Bush saying ‘I will ignore this law if I want to.’ So I think it’s very clear historically there has never been an administration more deserving of impeachment than this one and I’m delighted and proud that there are people like Representative Kucinich that are willing to do that. [...]
GIBBONS: If you were in Congress right now instead of Representative Van Hollen, would you be pursuing impeachment of George Bush?
CLARK: As I said, I think it’s a tough call in some ways. I’ll start off by saying: yes, I would. Given the record, I don’t think you can look at that and say, this shouldn’t be pursued. [...] If I were in the legislature right now, there’s no question that this administration has committed crimes that deserve impeachment and I would be forced to vote for it.
(The Takoma Park Impeach Bush & Cheney web site has a more complete transcript of Clark’s remarks.)
This is not an easy step for us. And we don’t think Chris Van Hollen is wrong on everything — he opposes torture, supports labor, and voted against the FISA Amendment Act, for example.
But that’s not enough. Van Hollen has preferred being the centrist chairman of the powerful Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to being a full-throated representative of a progressive congressional district like ours. But even more seriously, Van Hollen has not lived up to his oath of office, which requires him to “protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Those enemies were Bush, Cheney, and administration figures like Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Addington and Yoo. Their crimes, again, were not petty failures to reveal a tawdry affair, but included lying to get us into a war; breaking solemn human rights treaties; unconstitutional and illegal warrantless electronic surveillance, using the Department of Justice as a political tool, using the pardon power to shield the administration from charges of wrongdoing, and issuing signing statements subverting duly passed legislation — just to skim the “highlights.”
No matter who is elected President on November 4th, the arguments the Bush/Cheney administration used to justify these crimes and subversions of the Constitution — and the tactics they used to get away with them — will be a recipe book for future unscrupulous presidents to wage disastrous wars, scoff at the rule of law, diminish civil liberties at home, and trample human rights abroad.
By joining the Democratic leadership in opposing impeachment, Van Hollen has helped strike a grave blow at the principles of accountability, checks and balances that are at the heart of our Constitution. Like other Democratic Party politicians, he was too concerned with short term thinking, and not concerned enough with joining fights that had to be fought. And like them, the same kind of misguided short term thinking led him to join in one capitulation after the other on other critical issues, most notably Iraq. Fundraising and the next election were apparently more important than checking a rogue executive branch.
Van Hollen has claimed that Congress engaged in “aggressive” oversight of the Bush administration. But the final results speak louder than words: at home, stonewalled investigations and ignored subpoenas are the pitiful, constitutionally disastrous legacy of the 110th Congress. Abroad, we’re still mired in a disastrous war — one so many of us believed the last election would bring to an end. Being a party leader isn’t just about collecting big checks or amassing millions of dollars, it’s about taking responsibility. Chris Van Hollen had a hand in these Democratic failures, and he, too, should be held accountable for them.
Therefore, we will vote against Chris Van Hollen — that’s what you do when you disagree with where your democracy is headed.
But we will also proudly vote for Gordon Clark as a strong progressive voice for a green energy future, for universal health care, and against military adventurism whether in Iraq, Iran, or elsewhere.
And we hope our fellow citizens in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District will, too. Clark for Congress on November 4th!
* NOTE: I linked to an older video in the e-mail; the one shown is the latest and lasts about four minutes, not two.