The push to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney is once again gathering momentum, and this time it’s coupled with a resolution to bring troops home from Iraq.
Five percent of the voters in 40 towns across Vermont have signed a petition that would place both questions on ballots as nonbinding resolutions at town meeting in March.
It goes hand in hand with a separate resolution to bring troops home from Iraq.
The state is also gearing up for a Washington D.C. rally against the war through United for Peace and Justice, an international organization. Vermont has a number of local chapters.
So far organizers around the state have contracted five buses, and are scrambling to get more, to transport Vermonters to D.C. on Jan. 27 for the rally.
The effort for both the rally and the resolutions is being led, in part, by Newfane Selectman Dan DeWalt. At last year’s town meeting, DeWalt drafted the article to impeach Bush for misleading the American people about the Iraq war. Newfane residents were the first in the country to pass such a resolution, which put the small village on the national radar and encouraged the towns of Brattleboro, Marlboro, Dummerston, Putney and Rockingham to follow suit.
Now, with support from 40 towns in addition to last year’s six, DeWalt hopes the new energy will spill over into the Legislature. In Windham County, DeWalt said, there are petitions from the towns of Jamaica, Windham, Brookline, Westminster and Guilford.
People should make it a point to talk to their representatives, said state Rep. Daryl Pillsbury. He said he is in full support of the resolution, but “the problem is going to be getting the leadership to do something with it,” he said.
State representatives are preparing for the next legislative session, and have a full plate.
Mike Mrowicki, D-Putney, said he doesn’t support what the president has done, but passing the resolution is not a top priority.
“There are too many other things that have to do with the lives of everyday Vermonters,” he said.
DeWalt said he is still working out the language to present the resolution to the 40 towns. They include Jamaica, Windham, Brookline, Westminster, Guilford, West Pawlet, Marshfield, Calais, Montpelier, Johnson, Jericho, Underhill, Fayston, Wilmington, Craftsbury, Springfield, Londonderry, Moretown, Warren, Townshend, Underhill, Clarendon, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Ludlow, Ripton, Cornwall, Weybridge, Shoreham, Salisbury, Plymouth, Newbury, Bradford, Manchester Center, Manchester Village, Dorset, Rupert, Shrewsbury, Wallingford and Middlebury.
“This is very real and very serious,” DeWalt said Tuesday. “The idea of a Democratic takeover of Congress was also a pipe dream last June.”
Once people understand impeaching the president doesn’t mean kicking him out of office, but instead calls for an investigation to see if he broke any laws, and then seeing if there’s enough evidence to go to trial, they tend to support it. It makes sense, DeWalt said.
“People are not shy about holding our leaders accountable,” he said.
And Vermont is setting an example. The state is like a little ping on the nation’s conscience, and the discussion of the resolutions during town meeting will drive that point home, he said.
“That’s a day when the state is involved civically in talking about what matters to the heart of this nation,” he said.