The Madison City Council was scheduled to vote on a resolution early Wednesday morning that would call for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney — but as of press time, the vote did not occur.
To rally support for this resolution, a group of citizens assembled outside the City-County building, where the council meeting was held, prior to the vote.
Supporters marched up and down the block bearing signs, flags, and symbolic coffins labeled "Iraqi child" and "U.S. soldier." The theme for the rally, advertised on the leading banner, was "How many more must die?"
"This is the most important issue of our generation," said Ald. Tim Gruber, District 11, who is one of the co-sponsors of the resolution and spoke in favor of it at the rally.
Gruber said Bush and Cheney violated the U.S. Constitution in numerous ways, most significantly by lying to Congress and the American people in order to go to war with Iraq.
"Leading us into war based on false intelligence, which they knew to be false," Gruber said. "Not just lying, but lying and going to war, which is most important to me."
Regardless of the Common Council's vote, however, Dane County recently became the second county in the nation — following one in New York — to call for Bush and Cheney’s impeachments, according to a press release.
Nearly 90 other cities, villages and towns across the United States have passed similar impeachment resolutions and referendums.
Still, several Madison council members said they felt that regardless of their personal opinions on the issue, they would withhold their vote, as this was not an issue that concerned the Madison Common Council.
"I have always abstained on issues that don't deal with running the city of Madison," said Ald. Zach Brandon, District 7. "I will hold my vote because this is not an issue that is directly linked to the responsibility that we have in city government, which is to run the city."
Ald. Jed Sanborn, District 1, said he would also hold his vote.
"My opinion is that it's not the business of the city council, so I will not be voting 'yes' or 'no' on it," Sanborn said.
Those in favor of the resolution, however, maintain that this issue is not only of the utmost importance, but that it is a responsibility of the Madison Common Council to take action on it as well.
"It's something that a lot of people in Madison care deeply about," Gruber said. "I feel that we're both responding to our citizens and standing up for what's right."
Ald. Robbie Webber, District 5, spoke at the rally yesterday and addressed this particular point of criticism.
"Although we often get slammed for taking up things that are not city issues, this is a city issue," Webber said. "Their policies have affected everyone in this city in one way or another."
Webber also stressed the virtue of individuals speaking up for the issues that are important to them.
"Each voice added together makes a difference at the national level," Webber said. "That is democracy."