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Brookline Town Meeting: Live the Controversy!

Well, this should prove interesting.

As many of you know, I'm an elected member of Brookline Town Meeting. I've represented precinct 9 since 2001. I'm up for re-election this year, but since there are five incumbents running for five slots with no challengers, I'm pretty sure I'll be in Town Meeting again when we meet in May.

Brookline Town Meeting has a tradition of passing resolutions on national issues. While serving in Town Meeting, I have voted on issues such as the invasion of Iraq and the Patriot Act. There are some in town who feel that Town Meeting has no business voting on such resolutions, but there are many others who feel we have a right to do so. In fact, Brookline is not unique in passing such resolutions. During the build up to the Iraq war over three years ago, many towns all over the country passed resolutions against the invasion. And it got to the point where even the Chicago and New York City Councils passed similar resolutions. (In the end, of course, the federal government did not listen to those resolutions, and we have recently passed the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.)

But getting back to Town Meeting. The warrant for the Annual Town Meeting that starts on May 23 has just been posted, so naturally I went to take a look. I was curious to know what we'd be voting on this time around.

So I'm scrolling down the page, past the usual stuff about funds, special appropriations, the budget, off-leash areas for dogs...when I reach the penultimate article and stop short:


ARTICLE 31
To see if the Town will adopt the following resolution:

A Resolution in Support of the Impeachment of President George W. Bush

Whereas, President George W. Bush has repeatedly violated his oath of office by failing to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, in particular by directing and countenancing numerous violations of the Constitution and Laws of the United States, and by purposely misleading the citizens of the nation so as to cause the United States to commence war in Iraq; therefore be it

Resolved, that this Town Meeting urges our Representative in Congress to introduce and/or support a resolution impeaching President George W. Bush; and be it further

Resolved, that the Town Clerk send notice of the adoption of this resolution to all members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation within two weeks of its adoption.

or act on anything relative thereto.


As I said above, this is going to be interesting. Five towns in Vermont -- Newfane, Marlboro, Putney, Dummerston, and Brookfield -- have already passed resolutions calling for Bush's impeachment, and Brattleboro, Vermont is planning to vote on impeachment this Saturday. I can't help but wonder how far this is going to go.

Final note: I am NOT inviting debate on this article here in my blog. But feel free to discuss the meta-issue if you so wish.

Comments

Actually, these resolutions do sometimes make a point of asking people to contact their appropriate reps.

As it is, now I wait to hear from my constituents. I usually get two or three phone calls from people when issues like this come up. Given that I'm one of fifteen representing approximately 2000, I'm not sure if that's a lot of people or too few.

On the issue itself, I contacted Rep. Barney Frank to ask him about the resolutions that John Conyers was putting forward. Frank presented some good arguments against calling for impeachment. Perhaps I'll bring those up in a separate post.
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