from war crimes to flagrant miscarriage of constitutional law were
levied against President Bush and Vice President Cheney during a
proposed resolution to impeach the pair at the 2006 Libertarian
Party National Convention in early July. When the resolution first
flicked onto the massive convention screens, delegates immediately
responded with a hearty round of applause. Many rushed to the microphones
to say that it was "about time."
Caught up in
the excitement, delegate after delegate lined up to offer improvements
to the resolution's language, piling on more misdeeds to an already
growing list. But as time wore on, many delegates began to ponder
the unintentional consequences of a successful resolution. One delegate
said that the resolution could burn Republican bridges — a charge
probably made by LP Reform Caucus members who were surprised by
such a radical resolution. Others wanted the bridge burned forthwith,
contending that Libertarians needed to "exercise their left
hand" more often. Others argued that a call for Bush's impeachment
was the best way to show the world that Libertarians were no closer
to the Republicans than to the Democrats.
the hallways, delegates were engrossed in heavy debate over whether
libertarians along with some type of coalition could muster the
resources to go after the President. One said that it was useless
to call for impeachment unless a coalition could mount a viable
campaign to accomplish it. With a Republican Congress and Senate
in power, many began to realize that the resolution might simply
become a futile exercise in political masturbation.
Some put the
resolution in a lighter frame of mind. With tongue in cheek, one
delegate remarked that the resolution might have grave consequences
in the future, dead panning that the next LP Presidential candidate
might not be invited to the 2008 Presidential debates.
When the delegates
were finally asked to vote on the revised Impeachment Resolution,
it failed the needed 2/3 vote. Few seemed to be questioning Bush's
illegal war in Iraq or other unconstitutional shenanigans. Rather,
it seemed that most people felt that the Libertarian Party should
not attempt it alone, since only a handful of outspoken Democrats
have entertained impeachment charges. Then again, when has a lack
of public or political support stopped Libertarians from rushing
headfirst where angels fear to tread?
Samuels [send him mail]
is editor and contributing author of Facets
of Liberty: A Libertarian Primer, and is the Northern California
Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party and Vice Chair of the Monterey
County LP. He was a delegate to the 2006 LP Portland convention.
Visit his Website.