Wednesday, February 06, 2008
SIXTH ADDRESS TO THE CITY COUNCIL (Regarding A Resolution To Impeach), February 5th.
There were more people in the room this time, and the whole place felt chilly as I made my little speech. The Mayor didn't say anything to me, but for some reason, the surreal atmosphere combined with the sense of derision bubbling under the surface, got to me a little, I guess.
Ben was there. Man, I was glad to see him after it was over--one friendly face in the crowd! As we stood outside, I saw Hicks walking out of the chambers, chatting with her buddies. I almost said something to her. I wanted to ask her why she behaves so childishly when I get up to speak, but I held back. Maybe I'll speak to her next time if she pulls that stunt.
If there is a next time. Yeah, I thought about not going back. Had a sleepless night thinking about it, wondering what the point of the whole thing is. But I knew a time would come when I would surely get demoralized. Well, that time is already here! After just six times! Christ, what a wimp! I knew when I started this so-called project, it was not going to be easy. I guess I held out some hope that more people would eventually join the effort. I mean, it would just be so much easier to do this if there was a crowd of people involved! Well, that's a fantasy. Nobody's got the stomach for this sort of thing. Not in cowtown. It's so much easier and jazzier to stand in a crowd, holding a sign, singing Pete Seeger songs.
But it doesn't seem right to quit after just six times. If I quit now, it's out of fear. I can't give them the satisfaction of running me off. No, I can only quit when it's really time to quit.
So, here's the 6th speech:
Mayor, Councilmembers, I come before you for the sixth time to ask you to consider a resolution to impeach the President and Vice President of the United States.
I guess the question is whether we wish to live in a country as good as its promise. And what is that promise? The promise of our country is inscribed in the Constitution, which our leaders, our lawmakers, not just the ones in Washington, but in every city and town, have taken an oath to defend.
Yes, even mayors and city councilmembers take this oath, the first thing they do when they assume office. They don't take an oath to repair roads or drill gas wells or even build schools. No, the first thing they do is take an oath to defend the law.
So what does it mean, this oath? Is it merely symbolic, devoid of any real meaning? Like the phrase, "Support Our Troops" that so many throw around, then look the other way when our young people are forced to return again and again to the killing ground, and even when army suicides are at an all-time high?
My dictionary says an oath is "a solemn promise." And it lists the word "covenant" as "a solemn agreement."
So it seems this oath that you took, to protect and defend the Constitution, is equal to a covenant. That seems pretty serious, does it not?
I understand your hesitancy to act in this matter. When all around us are in agreement that it's okay to drill gas wells all over our city, though it threatens our water and the safety of our citizens, then pretty soon, gas drilling becomes normal.
And when all around us appear to agree that it's okay to invade other countries or create gulags like Guantanamo, or torture people, then pretty soon, that, too, becomes normal.
And after awhile, the voice of conscience is a fragile echo.
Listening to Attorney General Mukasey dodge and equivocate and then literally shrug at the question of whether waterboarding amounts to torture, I had to wonder what on earth any oath or covenant was worth to this man. Let along the Constitution.
And looking at all the offenses of Bush and Cheney, it seems the oath they took is equally worthless.
And if that's true, then where does that leave the promise of our country? It seems that it leaves it in our hands.
The failure to speak up is the worst crime of all, isn't it?