Maura Policelli, Rep. Giffords Chief of Staff speaks to DFA and Congressional District 8 constituents

This evening’s public meeting with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Chief of Staff organized by DFA TUCSON which took place at the City of Tucson Ward 6 Office focused on the topic of impeachment. At times a couple of outbursts that were a bit beyond the bounds of civil discourse. But given the intense emotion and passion that was palpable amongst all of the attendees the overall meeting went fairly well.

DFA had sent a list of 11 questions all focused on some aspect of the possibility of and reasons for the need to Impeach Bush, Cheney et al which Ms. Policelli attempted to address. Truth be told the questions were lost in the overall repeated attempts of most of the attendees to impress upon Policelli that Giffords constituency is extremely concerned about the successful Bush regime attacks on the U.S. Constitution and the slow but steady erosion of our liberty and democratic principles.

At first Policelli stuck to the script and responded in rather predictable Capitol Hill procedure-ese. “The Freshman Congressperson (as a generic entity) has little to no influence… Giffords has let it be known that the abuses to our system of government by the Executive Branch in this administration is unconscionable… No call for an investigation is before the House, the only thing before the House is the actual call for Impeachment which has no more than 50 votes… It would be worse to attempt to impeach and not reach the number as that in some ways would vindicate the Bush administration…There isn’t time before the administration leaves office… our country is still the best…at least we don’t kill each other…”

And then she said, “It isn’t going to happen. Impeachment just isn’t going to happen.”

Question after question from the attendees focused on simple variations of a theme, “what can we do to get Giffords to understand that the restoration of the rule of law and upholding her oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution are the most important tasks for every elected official in Congress.”

There were variations voiced, “All the other problems faced by our country are connected to the criminal actions of this regime.” “We don’t want to hear defeatist rhetoric.” “We need those Freshmen Congresspersons to live up to the mandate the people gave them when they were elected and brought the Democrats back into power on The Hill. How can we get our country back to governance by elected officials representing the people and away from governance bought and paid for by Global Corporations? The duty to restore balance among the three branches of government. The likelihood that people will leave the Democratic Party if this Congress doesn’t do something, anything to check the Bush Gang.” There were a few side issues brought up but for the most part the focus was on impeachment.

I don’t know how many of those present had spoken with Ms. Policelli prior to this evening, but from my perspective from meeting her in January 2007 in the newly established and not yet unpacked Giffords office, I think she has come a long way. I can’t speak to whether Giffords has changed but the candor Policelli showed during the last half of the meeting tonight was distinctly different from the far more closed attitude I encountered when I spent a month in D.C. a year ago as a member of CODEPINK Women for Peace as we were first trying to establish a long-term nationally drawn Pink Presence on The Hill. Tonight she used words like horrific, abuse, blatant, and the like to describe the consequences of the Bush II administration’s disregard for the laws of our country. She did hear us.

She will be getting back to the local DFA about having Giffords petition her colleagues to have an investigation. She definitely heard the message that if impeachment isn’t accomplished before the election Bush will pardon everyone and his or her brother and sister before he leaves office. She also knows that we want Giffords to speak to this topic in a larger town meeting type gathering.

Maybe I will post more on the topic. But for now… that is it. It is a minute until midnight and I still have other work to get done before I sleep.

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