(Salt Lake Tribune) This capital gave Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson a platform he never would be afforded on his home turf: excoriating the U.S. president before state lawmakers. On Thursday, at a rally and before a Washington state Senate panel, Anderson called on Congress to restore the country’s moral standing and commitment to democracy by ousting President Bush. “Never before has there been such a compelling case for impeachment and removal from office of the President of the United States,” Anderson told Democratic members of a Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee, while ticking off a list of alleged Bush offenses, from violating human rights to undercutting the Constitution to committing “war crimes.”
Mystech: Same guy who schooled Fox Friends a few months ago. Cafe Arcane acquired a transcript between Mayor Rocky Anderson and a representative from the Bush Regime:
Bush Agent: Mr. Anderson… you disappoint me.
Mayor Anderson: You can’t scare me with this Gestapo crap. I know my rights. I want my phone call.
Bush Agent: Tell me, Mr. Anderson… what good is a phone call… if you’re unable to speak?
Republicans boycotted, and no one spoke against impeachment during the hearing. In a statement, GOP state Sen. Mike Hewitt spoke for the Republican caucus by calling the hearing “misguided, partisan and political.”
“It’s important to remember which Washington we’re in,” Hewitt said. “These are issues that should be handled at a federal level.”
Anderson was one of four people invited to testify for an impeachment resolution sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Eric Oemig. The measure calls for Congress to investigate whether Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be removed from office.
Oemig said the move is about “getting answers. It’s a petition to Congress asking them to do a legitimate, real, serious investigation.”
Another speaker, Ann Wright, a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, saluted the committee for taking up the matter.
“We have a president of the United States that sent the U.S. military into what I believe is a criminal action, the invasion and occupation [of a country] that has done nothing to the United States.”
Salt Lake City’s mayor also submitted written testimony – a 22-page, footnoted brief that said it would not be an overstatement to label Bush a “war criminal.”
Anderson argued the president does not represent the nation’s true values. The United States, he said, has “prided itself in fighting against the sort of tyranny, cruel immorality and disdain for the rule of law exemplified by George W. Bush.”
After the hearing, a woman asked Anderson to run for president. He told The Salt Lake Tribune it is a request he hears a lot as he travels the country.
“I’m not really inclined to do it right now,” he said of a presidential bid. Instead of being flattered, he said it is “disturbing to me [that] there’s so little leadership.”
Back home, City Councilman Eric Jergensen said Anderson’s time would be better spent in Salt Lake City.
“There are lots of things with which we’re struggling here that certainly aren’t helped by his rushing off to Washington to call for the impeachment of the president,” Jergensen said. “I suppose it’s all interesting drama in the press, but I don’t think it will amount to much in the long term.”
But Anderson vowed to speak in support of other states’ impeachment resolutions if he can. He said it is his duty to fight against what he deems “true insanity.”
“It’s a very, very frightening time in this country,” he told The Tribune. “I am happy to be able to leverage my position and whatever energies I have to convey the seriousness of this issue.”
Still, the Washington resolution is seen as a long shot. Even if state lawmakers approved it, Democrats in Congress have said they are not interested in pursuing impeachment.
Top Democrats in Washington state, including the governor and two members of Congress, have urged state lawmakers to curb impeachment discussions, reported The Associated Press. The movement to dump Bush is viewed as a distraction and unwise.
“I have two words for anyone who wants to impeach the president: Dick Cheney,” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, reportedly told Washington Democrats, according to the AP.
Even with other states or cities considering similar resolutions, the White House remains unfazed. When asked in early January about possible investigations and impeachment from a Democratic Congress, White House press secretary Tony Snow said: “The president is going to be doing his job.”