Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Contempt isn’t just an eight-letter word

For all of you out there holding your breath, waiting for the Democratically-led Congress to hold the Bush administration accountable for something, this week just might be the week you get to exhale. Still, why do I have the nagging feeling this will be another exercise in gulping down more air and turning ever bluer as a result? Take this line from this morning’s New York Times:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, would not confirm the pending vote on Tuesday night. “One of these days,” Ms. Pelosi said.
Makes you all warm and fuzzy, right? The story explains that Democratic leaders may finally follow through on their pledge to bring a contempt resolution against White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers to the House floor for a vote. The vote could come as early as tomorrow. One group, the American Freedom Campaign, has had supporters send nearly 19,000 emails to U.S. representatives, urging them to use their power to hold Bolten and Meiers in contempt for defying congressional subpoenas surrounding the investigation into whether U.S. Attorneys were fired for political reasons. They are hopeful. The American Freedom Campaign (AFC) was founded in July 2007 by MoveOn.org co-founder Wes Boyd, scientist and social entrepreneur William Haseltine, Fenton Communications CEO David Fenton, and Naomi Wolf, author of The End of America with the goal to create grassroots support to restore checks and balances and reverse abuses of power by the executive branch. It has long pushed Congress to find Bush officials in contempt. The House Judiciary Committee approved the contempt citations, on a party-line vote, more than six months ago, but the resolution has stagnated since—despite efforts by activists to spur Democrats to challenge the Bush administration flouting of the Constitution. The AFC was certainly hopeful that Congress will follow through—this time. “After months of frustration, we are cautiously optimistic that the House will finally have the opportunity to vote on this extremely important resolution,” said Steve Fox, AFC’s campaign director. “In order for our system of checks and balances to be effective, Congress must have oversight over the executive branch. When Bolten and Miers refused to comply with the congressional subpoenas last summer, they were tacitly saying that this oversight power no longer existed. If they are not held in contempt – and prosecuted in the courts – our Constitution will have been defiled.” In November, the AFC launched the “American Lawyers Defending the Constitution” campaign. As part of this effort, more than 2,000 lawyers and law students – including former New York governor Mario Cuomo, former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein, and more than 100 law professors – have signed a statement calling for investigations into Bush administration actions. For more information, visit the American Freedom Campaign’s website. If they do vote these folks in contempt, can impeachment be far behind?


Author Petra Kuenkel: The Art of Leading Collectively

More than ever before, there is a focus on new, collective forms of leadership—and an urgency to get collective change processes underway, all over the world. What’s behind the recent push to move collective leadership to the fore? Whether we find ourselves in societal or organizational change, it requires collective energy and drive to bring […] Read More

10 Books to Curl Up With This Winter

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading […] Read More

Top 8 Chelsea Green Books the Self-Styled Oregon Militia Should Read

The ongoing armed militia occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is showing no signs of ending — so, rather than send them snacks, or sex toys, we had an idea: Send them a book! Better yet, send them several Chelsea Green books. Don’t worry, we’ve picked five key titles that we think […] Read More

Author David Stroh: First Steps to Becoming a Systems Thinker

Systems thinking is often seen as something relegated to scientific and business analysis – economics, resource depletion, and climate. However, Systems Thinking for Social Change focuses on how to use systems thinking to make breakthrough progress on intransigent social problems. We asked author David Stroh how this approach can make an impact, and how readers […] Read More

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com