I just received an email/press release from Boxer, mostly about the Defense Authorization bill, now before Congress:
In the opening of an unprecedented, two-week debate on the Iraq war, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today spoke out on the Senate floor and challenged those who have made statements against the war to follow it up by voting for real, binding measures to bring our troops home.
(And here I must gloat a bit, I’m not only a Boxer constituent, but I also live in Henry Waxman’s district. I’ve lived in other parts of the country where I mostly cursed or rolled my eyes at the people who represented me, and so I’m extremely aware of how fortunate I am to have people like Boxer and Waxman working for me. I took the advice of the great conservative hero, President Ronald Reagan, who advocated, "vote with your feet" and I have never regretted it).
Highlights of Boxer’s speech are here. No mention of impeachment.
Another powerful woman, Cindy Sheehan is on her Summer of Love ’07: Journey for Humanity, marching from Crawford TX to New York City, by way of John Conyer’s office in the House of Representatives. She’s scheduled to reach Conyer’s office on July 23, to encourage him to take the lead on impeachment.
I have no idea whether Sheehan will be able to channel and focus the groundswell of anger in this country for impeachment, or whether this will be yet another ineffective replay of 1960s demonstration tactics. A majority of the public supports impeachment of Cheney (at least), and so the energy is there, it’s just a matter of whether Sheehan (and others) can acquire and demonstrate the skill to focus it. If you’ll forgive the very crude analogy, it’s a bit like watching neanderthals about to figure out how to use fire, for the first time, wondering if this will be the time that they get it, if they ever do.
As maha wrote in Protesting 102, the question is whether they’re "still caught up in the romance of being Outcasts and Rebels, and Speaking Truth to Power, and are not serious about taking and using power to effect change". A further question for Sheehan is whether she can move beyond her own personal loss, and identify more broadly with the international (and intentional) tragedy that is the Bush Administration.
I happened to catch Fox "News" report on Cindy Sheehan’s challenge to Nancy Pelosi, where Sheehan promised to run against Speaker Pelosi if Pelosi did not get behind impeachment, and pronto. Setting aside whether this is a good idea or not, what was striking about the report was how Fox portrayed the two women. They showed a still photo of Sheehan that looked as if she hadn’t slept in days – she looked terrible, every bit the fringe wacko strawman that the right relishes standing up and knocking down. By contrast, Pelosi looked radiant, while the "newscaster" helpfully explained that Pelosi enjoys 80 % approval in her district – well, she probably did before her refusal to consider impeachment.
This parallels the relentless focus by the conservative media on John Edwards’ hair earlier this summer. They spent weeks distracting us with this trivia instead of reporting on the substance of Edwards’ proposals. To my knowledge, no other Democratic candidate got this kind of treatment from the right. And let’s not forget the other sideshows of Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith. One gets the sense that they must actually hold auditions for these distractions, deliberately seeking them out.
The powers behind the right wing media know they’re likely to lose this time around, and so they are doing everything they can to deep-six anyone on the left who has the potential to rock the boat. Winnowing the field. Our field.