Tuesday, September 18, 2007

gamesmanship over duty

This email from my representative makes it quite clear that political posturing and gamesmanship is more important to congress than actually holding up their duty to the constitution. I had asked Mr. Ruppersberger where he stood on the issue of impeachment. Here's what he had to say back to me:

I share many Americans’ frustration and concern regarding the President’s actions with regard to the war in Iraq, the failed leadership in response to Hurricane Katrina, the CIA leak case, and other issues. According to the United States Constitution, the President can only be removed from office after being impeached and convicted of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Before the elections in 2006, I supported Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s pledge that, should Democrats win control of the House, we would provide vigorous oversight of the Bush Administration through Congressional hearings. Congress has already held hundreds of oversight hearings examining Bush Administration policy, and we will continue to do so. Americans will elect a new president next year, and I hope that the actions of the current administration will lead voters to choose a president and vice president who will listen to the American people.

Historically, the impeachment process has only been exercised against a President or Vice-President twice since the ratification of the Constitution over 200 years ago. In both cases, these were long, protracted, and divisive fights which diverted the attention of the Congress from the pressing problems facing the country. With less than a year and a half left in the President’s term in office, it is doubtful whether the House and Senate could complete action in the months remaining. Were the President to be impeached and removed from office, then Vice President Cheney would become President under our Constitution. I doubt seriously that a President Cheney would bring about the change in direction for our country that you and I both support. I personally believe that Congress is better served devoting our attention to the important and vital work of bringing our troops home from Iraq, tackling the long neglected domestic priorities here at home, and doing all we can to force this Administration to respond to the will of the American people.

I appreciate hearing your views on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me again in the future if you have any questions or comments. To receive additional information about issues that are facing Congress, Maryland and the Nation that may affect you and your community, please visit my website at http://www.dutch.house.gov and sign up for my periodic e-mail newsletter


C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger
Member of Congress

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