On Monday, January 14, I attended U.S. Congressman Adam Smith’s Advisory Council meeting. I have been invited to attend these periodic meetings for over two years. Smith invites individuals from various
communities in his district and from my observation gets a good cross-representation. Usually there are less than 24 attending. This day the room held between 40 and 50 people.
I noted badges being worn for Obama, Edwards and also to impeach Bush and Cheney. Smith began the meeting by telling us that very little progress had been made in 2007, but he was not discouraged.
Yes, the Democrats hold a slim majority and at the beginning of 2007 the Republicans were filled with rhetoric. Even though the Congress passed bills, the President vetoed them and when the bills were sent back to the Senate for a two-thirds majority vote to override, the Republicans voted with the President. So much for rhetoric.
There were a variety of questions asked and addressed and of course the main topic was the war in Iraq. Smith voted for cutting off funding, however the President vetoed the bill. Smith prefers to have a bill that will not just cut off funding, but also bring the troops home. He is against a permanent base in Iraq.
One man stood up and asked those attending if we were in favor of impeachment. I would say that approximately 95 percent of those attending raised their hands approving. This sent a big message to
Smith who has said before that he is against impeachment because he feels it would divide the country and that it would do more harm than good.
My assessment is that Smith is doing the best that he can under the circumstances. If more Democrats were elected in both the Senate and the House, then there would be more muscle-power to override the President’s vetoes. Smith said that he always likes to receive emails from his constituents and they do count. He is pro-environment and he is for using alternative fuels.
Smith is voting for the return of the paper ballot and he spoke extensively about the monies raised for national election candidates and the primary loop-hole is the open-ended donations party caucuses are allowed to receive. I suggest people become interested in their local party caucuses. This is where
the real power is.