Friday, January 06, 2006The IMPEACH project is now up! As Kagro X of Daily Kos describes it:
"It's not an answer. It's a question.....
"I didn't make up the idea of impeachment. I wasn't the one who first suggested it might be appropriate for any particular person, guilty of any particular offense. And apparently, I wasn't even the first one to say that the word ought to be disseminated on stickers.
"What that says to me is that I was right about how I approach this thing. That I'm not giving anyone any new ideas. I'm just one of probably hundreds of people across the country who said, "Hey, I think we should talk to people about the idea of impeachment, and I'm going to do it by literally putting the word in front of their faces."
"Now, how is it that we've come to this juncture? Where hundreds of people across the country are simultaneously saying, "That's it! I can't take it anymore and I'm going to say so!"
"Now ask yourself how that could be possible without it also being highly likely that millions of Americans fee the same thing, but don't know exactly what they want to do about it. How many just have a vague feeling that they wish someone would do something, or that some stranger would just ask them on the street what they think?
"This is my way of extending my hand to those people, and inviting them back into the public square. Even if they never put up a single sticker or hang a single sign, if they turn to someone at home, at work, at random on the street, whatever, and say, "Hey, how about this NSA stuff? What are we going to do?" that will be enough.
"The idea here is this: The public square has been more or less obliterated in our modern society. We have become individual and solitary consumers of the news. At the time of the founding and for many years beyond, the idea that a looming governmental and constitutional crisis of the sort we potentially face could be reported in the newspapers and not discussed exhaustively, citizen-to-citizen, in taverns, coffee houses, on the porches of post offices and general stores, in town hall meetings -- everywhere and all across the country would have been considered absurd! Beyond belief!
"But in today's information age, while we all consider ourselves better (or at least more quickly) informed than ever before, there is no such discussion. In fact, the very opposite is true. Today, the idea that citizen-to-citizen discussion of the major issues of the day (let alone a constitutional crisis, if that's what we face) would arise spontaneously at public gathering places is what's absurd.
"No, we are today all individual and solitary consumers of news. We have the Internet at our disposal, of course. And we use it gather "virtually," to discuss what we read. But to what effect? The vast majority of the public is not here with us, and we have no way of reaching them through conventional channels. The public square has been obliterated. Paved over and replaced with a strip mall or a Wal*Mart. Today, we "gather" only in traffic jams, on line at the movie theater, or in unruly mobs demanding entry into the Best Buy for the first shot at a new video game.
"What the IMPEACH project is all about is reaching out and, to the extent possible, reestablishing the public square. If we "gather" only in traffic jams, we will address you in traffic jams. If we gather in the shopping malls, we will address you in the shopping malls. Wherever you gather, we will be there to address you. Not with a manifesto, but with a question -- albeit a rather insistent one. It has to be implied in a single word because that's all the time you'll give us. And the word is IMPEACH because it cuts immediately to the chase.
"It makes you ask, "Who?" It makes you ask, "Why?" It makes you ask, "Is it even possible?" But if it genuinely makes you ask, whether just yourself or, with luck, someone else, it does more than any blog-based manifesto has yet been able to.
"And incidentally, if it has this effect on 50,000 people an hour, for less than a dollar's worth of materials, in major cities all across the country, every day, that ain't a bad deal."