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Know Your Place?
By Cindy Sheehan
My opponent for Congress, Nancy Pelosi is using her month long summer recess from doing nothing positive in Congress to promote her new book: Know Your Power. This book is supposedly a (xenophobic?) screed for "America's daughters." Admittedly, Ms. Pelosi broke some kind of invisible "glass ceiling" when she became the first female Speaker of the House, but many of us are wondering if she really knows her "Power?"
I did not know my Power before my son was tragically, prematurely and unnecessarily killed in Iraq in April of 2004. I unfortunately believed that one person could not make a difference, and even though I dutifully never missed an election to go out and vote for progressive causes and against regressive measures, (and, yes, for Democrats), I really did not think my vote counted. My suspicions about electoral politics were reinforced in 2000 when the "Supreme" Beings crowned George Bush as leader of the free world. I was incensed, but like many I thought: "Oh well, how much damage can this idiot do in four years?" I was convinced he would not see a second term and I had no idea how much damage he would do to our nation, our world and personally to my family.
I believe that in the summer of 2005, our encampment outside of George Bush's "Flying Photo-Op Ranch" changed the perception that one person cannot make a difference, and even though Bush/Cheney remain and the occupations remain, tens of thousands of people were em-Powered to work in grass roots movements that peaked with the election of a majority of Democrats in both Houses of Congress. It is not the movement's fault that things have not improved because most of the wind has been taken out of the sails of that movement due to the betrayal of the House leadership...including Ms. Pelosi.
In this piece, I would like to remind Ms. Pelosi of her "Power."
The tripartite formulation of our government was supposed to guarantee that not one of the three branches (Executive, Legislative or Judiciary) was to gain more "Power" over the other. The Constitution clearly "enumerates" the responsibilities of the Legislative Branch (the one Ms. Pelosi belongs to, not the Executive Branch, which she has made Congress subservient to) in Article I, Section 8. This is Civics 101, people.
Ms. Pelosi has the "Power" to "raise and support Armies" (but not for longer than two years) or to withdraw that support when the mission is clearly psychotic and does not promote national security.
Ms. Pelosi has the "Power" to make "Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;" when she has allowed the inhumane and immoral practice of rendition and torture to continue (after having been briefed on these practices in 2002).
Ms. Pelosi has the "Power" to "Declare war," and since the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan were un-Constitutionally (never mind the legal or moral questions) waged, she has the "Power" to withdraw the consent of Congress to allow Bush to continue his doctrine of "preventive" warfare before it is to late for Iran or Pakistan or (?).
As the price of a gallon of gas, and every other consumer good is skyrocketing, and as our delicate ecology is degrading at a faster pace every day, did you know Ms. Pelosi has the "Power" "To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States" by imposing large taxes on the record profits of the oil companies (and other pigs of war) to enhance research and development of alternatives to halt our over-usage and disordered dependence on fossil fuels (foreign and domestic)?
And, finally, does Ms. Pelosi know that Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to impeach the President and Vice President for "bribery, treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors?" Since she has taken this valuable clause off the table and recently mis-informed viewers of The View that she is not aware of any crimes that Bush has committed that would warrant Impeachment and she recently told another interviewer that she hasn't exercised her Constitutionally mandated authority to hold the Executive Branch accountable, because George Bush would not "cooperate" with such an investigation. All I can say to that one is: LOL! That's a new one and I would dare anyone to use that one in a criminal investigation.
For all of you "pragmatists" out there who think that Ms. Pelosi does not have "the votes" to accomplish anything healthy, just think of the things that she has used her "Power" for: funding the occupations to the cha-ching (music to the ears of the war profiteers) of billions of dollars and granting the Bush regime and their accomplices, the telecoms, immunity from being prosecuted under the now deceased 4th Amendment and FISA laws. To the people of this nation who are suffering under a global recession she tossed us a few crumbs off her infamous "table" while she bailed out the corrupt mortgage bankers to the cha-ching of billions more of OUR tax dollars. That's not a "stimulus" package that is socializing the losses of capital while piling more burden on the people and our descendants.
Ms. Pelosi also likes to use her "Power" to whine about a laundry list of things that are out of her control that thwart her "Power:" The Senate, The Iraqis, The Blue Dog Democrats (the new enemy du jour), and even incredibly: The Executive Branch which should be under her thumb and under her control and subject to Congressional oversight and accountability.
A true leader knows his/her "Power" and would vigorously use it to improve the conditions of working class and other oppressed people and not to rigorously defend the establishment status quo.
There's a thankfully now anachronistic adage that says: A woman's place is in the home. Well, I would like to believe that as a nation and people we are now enlightened enough to know that a woman's place is anywhere she wants to be but how we long for female leadership that is not compliant to the patriarchal constraints that have been forced on us like psychological rape. A female's "Power" lies in a matriarchal resistance to a paradigm of mostly male domination by violence and greed not to be subsumed by it.
If Ms. Pelosi knew her "Power" this nation would not be on the fast track to ruin but on its way to recovery.
We just got an official report from the Department of Election here in San Francisco.
They "randomly" sampled 531 of the 10, 856 signatures that we turned in.
They are "challenging" 231 and "allowing" 300. That means, after posting a 22% failure rate when we turned in our signatures in "lieu" of a filing fee (which Independents have to get anyway, there is no "filing fee" allowed, in lieu of anything), we have posted an INCREDIBLY hard to believe 43.5 percent failure rate and we need 2116 more valid signatures by Friday at 5pm.
We can do it but we need help.
Please forward this around so people can help us, or donate so we can pay professionals (signature gatherers/lawyers) to help get the voice of the people on the ballot.