Upon learning that Rep. Giffords sent her Chief of Staff, Maura Policelli to meet with DFA/Tucson about impeachment, the Pima County GOP issued a press release which stated:
"Gabby Giffords' Chief of Staff Maura Policelli tonight will be the special guest at a meeting of the Tucson chapter of Democracy for America, a far left-wing activist group bent on seeing that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are impeached.
"'There are real problems facing southern Arizona like border security, healthcare and education,' Pima County Republican Party Chair Judi White said. 'It's hard to believe that Congresswoman Giffords would dispatch her top aide to such a frivolous event.'
"According to the agenda posted on the group's Web site, Policelli will participate in a discussion over topics relating to impeachment, including H. RES. 799, a resolution calling for the impeachment of the Vice President introduced by Congressman Dennis Kucinich."
Yet at the meeting with Policelli, the Congresswoman's Chief of Staff told the crowd that Giffords agreed with the view that this Administration is out of control, and further that Giffords would be in favor hearings in the House Judiciary Committee to determine if acts of Bush Administration officials might constitute impeachable offenses. Giffords did vote to refer articles of impeachment to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration. Policelli indicated that the Congresswoman takes her oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution quite seriously. Video of the conversation between Policelli and constituents favoring impeachment will be available online soon.
DFA/Tucson leaders were very pleased by the common ground they found with Giffords' Chief of Staff and the Congresswoman's views, and are excited to continue working with Rep. Giffords to hold the Administration to account according to Dr. Ray Graap and Dick Kaiser, two of the organizers of the impeachment movement in Tucson. They are looking forward to Gifford's response to their letter suggesting that she sign on to Rep. Wexler's petition to begin just such an inquiry.
As to criticism from the GOP of Giffords for sending her staff to meet with community leaders on the issue of impeachment, such rhetoric is certainly not unexpected from a party so badly out-of-touch with Pima County's voters. But Chairwoman Judy White's characterization of citizens who are insisting that impeachment be considered by the Congress as the sole means of countering this Administration's abuses of power as "far left-wing" and "frivolous" is deeply undercut by the caliber and ideological disposition of those who are leading advocates of impeachment inquiries nationally. Serious legal professionals such as the American Lawyers Defending the Constitution support enforcing the rule of law through impeachment inquiries. Prominent conservative legal experts, such as Reagan Administration Justice Department official Bruce Fein, strongly support impeachment from a principled, conservative constitutionalist viewpoint. Apparently, these upstanding citizens are all frivolous and far left-wing in White's estimation. No wonder the GOP keeps losing ground in Pima County.
The Pima County GOP's characterization of use of Founder's cure for an over-reaching Executive as a marginal, left-wing issue only illustrates how out-of-touch with even their own electorate they have become. A swiftly growing minority of their own party members are alarmed by the Bush Administration's abuses of our civil rights and the rule of law, and many are becoming reconciled to position that impeachment is the only way to restore the balance of power in the federal government before what looks likely to be a Democratic President takes power in 2009. Nationally, a strong and growing minority of self-identified Conservatives (33%) and Very Conservatives (28%), and self-identified Republicans (23%), would support impeachment for wiretapping of Americans' telecommunications without a warrant according to Zogby polling. Apparently, a quarter of her own party members are frivolous far left-wingers according to White.
Members of DFA/Tucson would surely welcome (considering that they tried to invite representatives of an anti-impeachment viewpoint to their recent forum, and found no takers) an opportunity to discuss the impeachment issue with leaders of the Republican Party rather than merely engaging the shallow rhetoric and divisive politics that has led the current Administration so badly astray and relegated their party to minority status nationally, and near irrelevance locally.