John Frohnmayer is running for the United States Senate. He’s the brother of David, the president of the University of Oregon and a former Attorney Generalfor the state of Oregon. John, on the other hand, has never held a public office or run a political campaign. He hopes to set himself apart from the other candidates and from incumbant Gordon Smith by calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. In all the impeachment talk I’ve heard around the country, I’ve never heard anyone consider the second half of the grounds clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution: “high crimes and misdemeanors.” It only goes to show, there’s never an English major nearby when you need one. 230 years ago, misdemeanor did not mean jaywalking or shoplifting. It meant failing to do some good thing. Sins of omission, in another lexicon: “what we have left undone.”
In plain English, the Constitution requires impeachment if the person elected to the office fails or refuses to use the power of that office. Patents take four years to process. EPA has been stalling for two. A war we’ve been fighting for six years continues to be funded with “emergency” spending bills. We all have our own list of examples of how government isn’t governing. That’s the easier case to be made for impeachment.
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One of these four ideas will be developed into a column on Wednesday to be published in The Register-Guard on Friday. I’m asking you to help me choose between them. Between now and the end of Tuesday, leave comments here or send me an e-mail if you’d rather be more private. Or, at the very least, RATE the idea (and the others) so I know which one people like best. No promises, though. This ain’t American Idol. But I will post an entry on Wednesday to say which one I’m choosing (and probably why.) I plan to do this each week — often by Friday, but always by Monday, so visit often and tell me which idea intrigues you the most. Thanks!