A story line in Doonesbury last week about a grassroots movement in Vermont to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney poses a question: Is there a similar campaign in Oregon?
The answer is yes. But a better question might be whether it's a fool's errand, given that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has ruled out impeachment despite Democratic control of Congress.
No, answers 55-year-old Portland lawyer John F. Bradach, who's driving Oregon's impeachment train.
Bradach points to an obscure guide to the Constitution called Jefferson's Manual, a legislative procedure rulebook written by the third president. Anti-Bush groups hope the 206-year-old manual could bring about their Holy Grail under Section 603, where authority of impeachment can start with any state legislature.
Bradach says Bush and Cheney should be impeached for manipulating intelligence and lying like the Nixon Administration. His stake is also personal—his nephew, Marine Cpl. Travis Bradach-Nall, was killed in Iraq on July 2, 2003—the same day Bush said, "Bring it on!"
"I can't abide these guys having a free pass without accountability," Bradach says.
Bradach wrote an impeachment resolution passed by the Democratic Party of Oregon's State Central Committee last month. But the Oregon Legislature won't take it up. So Bradach went to the Portland City Council last week seeking support for an impeachment resolution.
With a council that hasn't hesitated to opine on the Iraq war, Bradach assumed the impeachment question would find fertile ground. It didn't, but Bradach is undaunted.
"Some say it's a huge waste of time, but there is still the opportunity to impeach," Bradach says. "The cause is gaining traction.... Whether it's a few people in front of computers or a lot, we're moving forward."