Politicians get nervous when you mention the “I” word

This is the last post about Vermont’s impeachment movement, I promise. This week.

During the hangover-like, post-town meeting Wednesday this week, I began looking for possible angles for an impeachment vote follow-up. I finally settled on seeing if the wealth of communities supporting the measure would shake out the cobwebs on the impeachment bill, which has been sitting on a committee shelf since its introduction.

And then I read the fine print on the bottom of the resolution: The measure was directly a message to several top national Democrats who control the impeachment leavers in the U.S. House, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

So, I called her Washington, D.C. office and left a message. A few hours later, a nice guy named Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s spokesman, called me back. I explained the situation here in Vermont to him and he quickly jumped in with a response.

"The Speaker has said that impeachment is off the table," Hammill said.

"Hmm," I responded. "Why?"

Silence. And then an, "Uh …," followed by more silence, more stammering and a lack of anything that sounds like a complete sentence or even a phrase.

"Why are you asking?" Hammill inquired.

"Well, clearly there are people in Vermont that want to know why …," I started to say, before Hammill cut me off and the Democratic talking points – oversight is needed of the president’s administration, but not impeachment – began rolling out of his mouth.

I didn’t follow-up, partly because I was exhausted from a long town meeting day and partly because I was a bit shocked at the poor, sputtering start to his answer.

I mean, had no one ever asked that question before?

A simple why? One of those famous "W" questions that every journalist working today had drilled into his or her head in college.

The issue reared its uncomfortable head again Thursday at Gov. James Douglas’ weekly press conference. One member of the press there raised the pointed question,If the governor is so in touch with Vermonters like he says he is, then why hasn’t he talked about impeachment?

Douglas quickly changed gears, responding that even Vermont’s liberal delegation to Washington isn’t interested in impeachment. What could I do about it, he said.

That member of the press responded that the governor could use his powerful position in the state as a Republican governor to push the issue forward, if that is what Vermonters truly want.

"I really don’t think Vermonters want me to spend my time on this," Douglas responded.

Thankfully, someone quickly changed the subject to a more comfortable issue like education or property taxes or medical marijuana.

-Dan Barlow

One Response to Politicians get nervous when you mention the “I” word

  1. one_vermonter

    Dan,
    The question “why” should be posed to the pro-Impeach crowd.
    Remember, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Same with impeachment as it is in a court of law.
    Interesting post, though.
    -One