American Samizdat

Wednesday, July 09, 2008. *

Raw Story -- Nick Juliano

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is sticking to his drive to impeach President Bush.

Few in the House of Representatives have any intention of doing anything with the last 35 articles of impeachment Kucinich set before them last month, so the former presidential candidate appears to be lightening the load. Kucinich sent a letter to colleagues Tuesday asking them to support a single article of impeachment, to be introduced Thursday, which accuses President Bush of leading the country to war based on lies.

"There can be no greater offense of a Commander in Chief than to misrepresent a cause of war and to send our brave men and women into harm's way based on those misrepresentations," Kucinich wrote in the "Dear Colleague" letter.

"There has been a breach of faith between the Commander in Chief and the troops. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or with Al Qaeda's role in 9/11. Iraq had neither the intention nor the capability of attacking the United States," he continued. "Iraq did not have weapons of Mass of Destruction. Yet George W. Bush took our troops to war under all of these false assumptions. Given the profound and irreversible consequences to our troops, if his decision was the result of a mistake, he must be impeached. Since his decision was based on lies, impeachment as a remedy falls short, but represents at least some effort on our part to demonstrate our concern about the sacrifices our troops have made."

Last month, Kucinich presented 35 articles of impeachment. Those have since been referred to the Judiciary Committee, where they are expected to die. Kucinich threatened to double the number of impeachment articles if the Judiciary Committee did not act...

Full article and Kucinich's letter to his colleagues at the link.

Much food for thought follows...

via: Larval subjects In a breath breath takeningly honest and refreshing post entitled: Love of Truth

All too often, I think, I’ve conflated philosophy with rhetoric. That is, I’ve conflated the necessity of speaking efficaciously with the question of truth. I was horrified, for example, to find that it was Kucinich who brought articles of impeachment against Bush not because his claims were false but because he couldn’t possibly be an effective rhetor due to who he is and the lack of credibility he possesses.

In this reaction, I was willing to sacrifice truth for the sake of effective rhetoric. Someone like Kucinich couldn’t be an effective rhetor because he lacks credibility and would therefore make it more difficult to propagate the truth in the public sphere (his lack of credibility would infect, in viral fashion, the nature of his claims, imbuing these claims themselves with a lack of credibility). What was needed was another rhetor who had the credibility to speak the same claims. In short, my problem wasn’t with what Kucinich was charging, but with who was making these charges. If, as I reasoned, the speaker hadn’t achieved the status of a “Statesman” whose words therefore had power, the speaker couldn’t but undermine the credibility of the charges themselves. Kucinich, in my view, has done much to undermine his credibility as a speaker through his actions and therefore could only do a disservice to the credibility of these charges. Having Kucinich speak these charges couldn’t but be a strategic blunder, regardless of whether he thereby “got them on the record” (a rationalization and convenient consolation no matter how you cut it). I could not see how this particular speaker could use words in a way that was powerful enough to create congressional consensus or public consensus to accomplish anything through the truth of his speech, and felt that his speech could even work to the detriment of the truth of that speech (Incidentally, I think this is a common failing of the left: it trusts in truth and ignores the necessity of creating consensus. This tendency to ignore the rhetorical dimension except in its capacity as critique is logically entailed by the love of truth insofar as the rhetorical dimension often involves a great deal of untruth, irrationalism, and injustice). Those who defended Kucinich ignored how the claims were spoken and who spoke, treating these things as irrelevant and secondary, instead focusing entirely on what was spoken. This denigration of the “how” and the “who” seems to be a constant misstep in leftist politics, as if it believes that these dimensions have no material efficacy. But if truth if what is loved, the speaker and the manner of speech should be irrelevant to the claim. I’m ashamed of this gut reaction on my part.

It seems that it’s no mistake that the Greeks simultaneously discovered political theory, rhetorical theory, and philosophy. The divide between rhetoric and philosophy seems to speak to an originary split at the heart of language between language as reference and language as persuasion or addressed to the other. The rhetor recognizes that dimension of language that must speak to local customs, the credibility of the speaker, the poetic power of language, etc., in order to produce persuasion. The effective rhetor cannot ignore these dimensions of language if they are to be successful in their rhetorical act. The philosopher, by contrast, attends only to relations of entailment, inference, and reference within language, without regard for an addressee.[/quote]

I need not add anything, as much of this --in particular the bolded parts-- says it better than I ever could have. Don't get me wrong, I like the little guy, but that is the problem then isn't it... that and the fact he doesn't go all the way. in other words, does Dennis *once again* move to send his own so-called 'privileged resolution' to the black hole of the Judiciary Committee or will he realize this time "hey, I got this thing on the floor right now! And I can force a vote on it! I can actually demonstrate that 'valor' I wrote about!"

Dennis: "Are we at least willing to defend the Constitution from the comfort and security of our Washington, DC offices?"

The cynic in me: "Only if a half-hearted watered-down single resolution on it's way to Conyers committee qualifies as 'defend the Constitution'.

And of course there is the next question - when this one bites the dust, does Dennis promise/threaten another one in 30 days? I'd love to hear your thoughts...
posted by Uncle $cam at 1:18 AM
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