I Quit


It’s time to quit being a Democrat, and start being a democrat!

I’ve always been a registered Democrat. I think it has something to do with my having reached voting age in 1967, when there were actually some serious anti-war candidates challenging the party leadership, and being able to vote in the primaries really mattered, and because in 1972, there was a genuine choice between an honest peace candidate and a truly wretched war-monger, who was working to destroy the Constitution.

My party, the Democrats, eventually took a stand against President Richard Nixon, and together with some Republicans who also valued the Constitution above blind party loyalty, they brought him down, and ushered in a rare, albeit brief, roll-back in the national security state.

Now we have another wretched war-monger, George W. Bush, who like Nixon before him is also doing his best to undermine the Constitution, but the party I have always been registered as a member of is letting him get away with it.

Oh sure, they’re having hearings to embarrass him, and they’re playing games to make it look like they’re opposed to his war-mongering, but they are clearly not doing anything concrete to stop him, the way Democrats did in 1974 with Nixon.

In fact, the leadership of my party is doing worse than nothing. They are actively blocking efforts to bring President Bush to ground. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has is known to have threatened key members of Congress, notably Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, and other early backers of impeachment hearings, with punishment-the loss of key committee and subcommittee chairs or postings, problems with any bills they might submit, and the like–in order to keep them from submitting bills of impeachment.

She and other leading Democrats in Washington have also unconscionably interfered with efforts in state legislatures to pass resolutions which would demand that the House of Representatives take up impeachment.

The cynical motive behind these actions is to try and win bigger majorities in Congress in 2008 by doing nothing-the idea being that Bush and his cronies and their Republican backers in Congress have made such a hash of running the country, and of their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that Americans will abandon them and turn to the Democrats.

The problem with this strategy-even if it were to work, which is highly dubious–is that by 2008 there won’t be much left of the Constitution, or of tri-partite government, thanks to Democratic inaction and cowardice.

Only the impeachment of Bush and the other criminals in the current administration offers any hope or restoring the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the tradition of separation of powers that has provided the underpinning of American democracy for over two centuries.

So after watching this pathetic post-November Kobuki show by the Democrats in Congress, I’ve finally had it!

The Democrats need to know that they can no longer act in such an irresponsible, cynical manner. They need to know that they can no longer take my vote for granted, counting on me to stick with the party because the Republicans are so much worse.

If Democrats will not impeach this president, if they in fact actively undermine attempts to express the popular will of the party’s grassroots membership, I quit.

I’m giving my party notice. Effective immediately, I’m going to my local voter registrar’s office and changing my registration to Green Party, and I won’t be back to vote for Democrats until they take a stand of principle and begin impeachment hearings to remove President George W. Bush from Office. I will be sending word of my resignation to the Democratic National Committee, and to Speaker Pelosi.

I urge every Democrat who cares about the future of the country and the survival of the Constitution to join me. It doesn’t matter whether you join the Greens, the Socialists, the Populists, or just go unaffiliated. What matters is that you quit the Democratic Party.

Elections in the U.S. of late are being won and lost by narrow margins. If the Democratic leadership sees that hundreds of thousands, or maybe millions of us, are not going to play their game anymore, maybe they’ll finally start acting like real Democrats again, if only to win back the progressive voters, like me, who I’m suggesting here should abandon them.

If you do decide to quit, and to notify party leaders of your decision, please also send me an email with just “I quit” in the subject line (no messages please!) at: I_Quit_This_Party@yahoo.com

I’ll be publishing the results at my site, www.thiscantbehappening.net, on a weekly basis, and if the numbers get large enough, I’ll be going to the mainstream press and the DNC with them.

And please: spread the word.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com


CounterPunch contributor DAVE LINDORFF is a producer along with MARK MITTEN on a forthcoming feature-length documentary film on the life of Ted Hall and his wife of 51 years, Joan Hall. A Participant Film, “A Compassionate Spy” is directed by STEVE JAMES and will be released in theaters this coming summer. Lindorff has finished a book on Ted Hall titled “A Spy for No Country,” to be published this Fall by Prometheus Press.