Local DFLers want to impeach Bush
Should President George W. Bush be impeached?
Becker County DFLers overwhelmingly supported a resolution calling on U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson to join an effort in the U.S. House that may lead to impeachment proceedings against President Bush.
Eight U.S. House members co-sponsored Resolution 635 late last year to create a select committee to investigate the grounds for impeaching President Bush.
David Stowman of Detroit Lakes, who introduced the resolution at the DFL county convention Tuesday, said that all but one or two people there voted for it. He said two Democratic Minnesota congressmen -- Martin Sabo and James Oberstar -- have joined more than 20 U.S. representatives who have signed on to the impeachment resolution.
HR 635 reads as its official title: "Creating a select committee to investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment."
In addition to the reasons outlined above, Stowman said, those at the convention supported the resolution for other reasons, from concerns about illegal domestic wiretapping to the president's support for allowing a Middle Eastern company to run six U.S. seaports.
Stowman, a decorated Marine captain who served in Vietnam, said he made the resolution in order to support U.S. troops overseas.
"I think we should support our troops by impeaching our president," he said. "Our troops are engaged in a moral endeavor -- cleaning up the mess left by this incompetent administration. I believe George W. Bush should be impeached because our troops deserve a competent commander in chief."
Stowman, an attorney, says the Bush administration has trampled on civil and human rights.
And he is upset with an ad campaign by administration allies tying al-Qaida to Iraq.
"Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaida until we invaded -- they only came there to fight American troops. Saddam Hussein was the enemy of al-Qaida -- he didn't want a theocracy for Iraq. The polls amaze me on the number of people who believe Saddam Hussein was linked to al-Qaida. It simply isn't true."
Of course, if President Bush were to be impeached by the House and removed from office after a trial in the Senate, that would leave Vice President Dick Cheney in charge.
"It feels like Cheney is president now," Stowman said. "Maybe he should be part of it (the impeachment proceedings), or maybe we'll have to start the procedure all over again (to remove Cheney as president)."
On the national level, DFL leaders are reported to be cool to the idea of impeachment, fearing it will backfire with voters and hurt the Democrats in November -- as it did when the Republicans impeached, but failed to remove, President Bill Clinton.
"It may backfire for the election," Stowman said, "That's a very good possibility... My purpose in doing it is to clean up the mess left by this administration and give our troops a competent commander in chief."