Blurt | Solid State | Omnivore | Mistress Maeve | Freyne Land

Seven Days Blogs: Freyne Land

« Gonzales in Leahy Land | Main | What a Day! »

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Surprises

Vt_senate 7:00 A.M.

Good morning.

A second bright dawn in a row in Beautiful Burlap.

And word from pro-impeachment sources that a new Bush Impeachment Resolution, not J.R.H. 15, the one that's stalled in both chambers, but a new one, will surface in the Vermont State Senate this morning.

With Republican Lite-Gov Brian Dubie out-of-state, Democrat Peter Shumlin will be the presiding officer.

That means the new impeachment resolution will be voted on by the full body (Democrats hold 23 of 30 seats) and not shipped off to the Judiciary Committee.

Interesting, eh?

"Vermont Senate Calls for Bush Impeachment" goes on the "A" wire.

Then the spotlight falls on the Vermont House....where today is anti-impeachment resolution Speaker Gaye Symington's birthday. Happy birthday, Madame Speaker!

Nice present, eh?

***9 A.M. UPDATE***

At 8:41 A.M. the Vermont State Senate, in its first order of business, passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. (Thank you, VPR, for the live, online coverage.)

Senate Resolution 16, sponsored by Windham County Democratic Senators Peter Shumlin (who was presiding officer with Lt. Gov. Dubie away), and Jeanette White, was adopted on a 16-9 roll call vote.

Liza Earle, the Richmond, Vermont nanny/activist who was one of the organizers of the grassroots Vermont impeachment effort, was ecstatic.

"It's really an incredible day for democracy!" she told "Freyne Land" minutes ago.

Tuesday's turnout of 130-plus impeachment supporters at the Statehouse obviously had an impact, eh?

"I think Tuesday was a really powerful day in the House of Democracy," said Ms. Earle. "We got a lot of smiles from legislators," she said, even though the leadership of Sen. Shumlin and House Speaker Gaye Symington told them impeachment was "dead."

""It's amazing," said Earle, "how the leaders will follow when the people lead."


Here's the text of S.R. 16:

Vermont’s state senators do support a resolution requiring the United States House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president and the vice president of the United States.

WHEREAS, President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney have exercised the duties of their respective offices with respect to both domestic and foreign affairs in ways that raise serious questions of constitutionality, statutory legality and abuse of the public trust;

WHEREAS, the president’s conduct in his role as commander-in-chief  leading our nation into the military conflict in Iraq and the vice president’s continual advocacy for American troops remaining in Iraq have cost the United States much of the good will that was extended in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States;

WHEREAS, the president and the vice president’s domestic leadership on issues relating to individual privacy and personal liberty under law has raised constitutional issues of the greatest concern to the nation’s citizenry;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE, that the Senate of the State of Vermont urges Vermont’s representatives in the United States House of Representatives to introduce, and Vermont’s United States senators to support, a resolution requiring the United States House Judiciary Committee to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President and the Vice President of the United States, and be it further resolved that the secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution  to United States Represenative Peter Welch, United States Senator Patrick J. Leahy, and United States Senator Bernard Sanders.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Friday Surprises:


2nd VT

I guess it was worth losing a days pay to go to Montpelier Tuesday. Good for Peter for finally seeing the light or at least feeling the heat. Maybe Good German Gaye will give us a birthday gift on her birthday. Hooray for Liza and Jimmy. I could not be happier for them and for the country. Once again Vermont leads the way.



Thank you!

Now if the Senate can handle that in 5 minutes...



I know I'm a day late but I wanted to see if it got a mention anywhere - I didn't see one - April 19 1993 74 United State citizens, men women & children were murdered in Waco Texas.


Congratulations to Vermont for once again leading the way. Below is the text of an email I sent to my former reps in the House.

Hi Gaye and Bill,

I recently moved from Underhill to northwest Georgia, the only state in the country in which the Republican party actually pretty much swept everything last November.

My move has made me realize just how fortunate the U.S. is to have a state like Vermont, where real people still matter. Over the years, Vermont has shown great leadership in so many politically and socially difficult issues. Each time, opponents have said Vermont would be a laughingstock, or that the issue was too divisive. Each time, the rest of the country eventually began to realize that Vermont had it right from the beginning.

Yes, this issue is symbolic. Yes, it probably won't end up changing the world. But it's a first step, and it would show the rest of the country, the rest of the world, and, indeed, history, that there are at least a few Americans who finally said - "Enough's enough."

I'm going to be traveling in central America soon; I'd love to be able to tell them about little Vermont's willingness to demand that President Bush and Vice President Cheney be called to account for their actions.

Gaye and Bill, if you both are really there in Montpelier to do the right thing for the people, no matter the politics, please take up the impeachment resolution, and pass it quickly, just as the Senate did. Please don't let us all down on this most important issue. Failure to move this issue forward would, to me and I bet to a huge number of current Vermonters, mean that the Democratic Party has lost all credibility as a meaningful alternative to Republican hegemony.

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going.

Thanks for listening (irony intentional!),

Ron Miller

formerly of Underhill, Vermont
now of Mount Berry, Georgia.


To the poster "2ndVT": Hey, jerk. Who the hell do you think you are referring to Speaker Symington as "Good German Gaye?" Throwing around Nazi references just because someone doesn't do what you want is stupid, irresponsible, and outrageous. Shame on you. Now go back to your secessionist campaign.

Liza Earle

Thanks to both Peters! Freyne: for constant enthusiasm and helping to shine the light on our movement when others had given us up as a lost cause. Shumlin: for deciding to let his conscience triumph. The Founding Fathers would be proud of you both!

What's next--call your town reps Vermonters! Ask them to support having the resolution coming to the floor. Find their contact info at:

RALLY: Celebrate the VT Senate's Vote, Urge the VT House and Peter Welch to Listen to the People!

Sat. April 21--Noon--Burlington City Hall

Music, speakers, face-painting, balloons!

Enjoy the sweet taste of Democracy with ImPEACHment Cobbler and Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Learn how you can help the movement!


"Listen to the people?" What people? You mean, all 150 or so of you impeachment fanatics? You mean, our Congressional delegation should drop everything because of a couple hundred loud people? You represent a tiny, tiny fraction of the Vermont public. Where's the statewide poll shoiwng that a majority of Vermonters support impeachment? You don't speak for me or for the majority of Vermonters. Stop claiming to represent "the people." Stop telling the rest of us what to do.


What is the significance of a vote on a resolution of high substance where there is no debate, and where the text of the resolution is not available to be reviewed prior to the vote?


Wow, "Vermonter," where's that anger coming from? These were not just "loud people," buddy, but those among us committed enough to come to the statehouse as representatives for countless Vermonters who still believe in honoring and protecting the Constitution. Remember the Constitution? Chill out and give it a read. I'm proud of those folks, grateful for their effort, and proud to live in a state where we haven't forgotten our rights and responsibilities as citizens.


First, your posting assumes that the President violated the Constitution. Questionable assumption. This foolish President got us into a terrible war, but there's no clear proof that he broke the law, only suspicion. By the way, Clinton did break the law against lying under oath. He admitted it. So, I guess you'd agree that his impeachment was justified? Second, your posting assumes that impeachment is necessary to protect the Constitution. Questionable assumption. I've read the Constitution many times, but I still don't consider myself a constitutional expert and I don't know what constitutes an impeachable offense and what doesn't. Are you a constitutional scholar? I do know that if we impeached every President whom we believe broke the law, or whose policies we passionately disagreed with, every President could be impeached. Should Kennedy have been impeached for supporting the Bay of Pigs invasion? That was almost certainly illegal. Should he have been impeached for playing a game of brinksmanship in the Cuban missile crisis that could have resulted in the instantaneous deaths of millions of Americans? Should Johnson have been impeached for intentionally downplaying to the American public the U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War and intentionally overstating our progress? Should Reagan have been impeached for the illegal Contra war? Third, you didn't address the question I posed, which is: why does a loud but tiny group of activists get to demand that they dicate state policy? Where's your evidence that you represent anything but a small fraction of Vermont opinion? I'd be willing to go out on a limb and guess that the percentage of Vermonters who, say, favor banning abortions is similar to the percentage who favor impeachment proceedings. So, if 150 anti-abortionists went to Montpelier, would it be appropriate for the Vermont Legislature to pass a resolution directing Congress to ban abortions? While I despise this President, the impeachment fanatics do not represent anywhere near the majority of Vermont opinion, so they should stop self-righteously "demanding" that the Legislature needs to do this or that.


Honoring and protecting the Constitution refers to the First Amendment here, but I hope your lecture made you feel better. You say you despise this President and his policies and, I presume, the occupation of Iraq, so what are YOU doing about it? Sipping coffee and bitching about it on the Internet? That's not enough.


Again, leaving aside the fact that the constitutional device of impeachment is not the proper way to deal with a President whose policies you strongly disagree with, no one has come forward with any evidence that those people insisting that the Vt. Legislature ask for impeachment represent anything but a very small fraction of Vermont opinion, and no one has explained why our legislators need to be called all kinds of despicable names because they don't immediately drop everything else and conform to the wishes of a very small group of loudmouths. If you don't like Symington, vote out the Dems at the next election and you'll get a different Speaker.

The comments to this entry are closed.

All Rights Reserved © SEVEN DAYS 1995-2008 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802.864.5684