Friday, December 08, 2006

Keith Ellison is cool.

From the American Prospect:

Ellison ran and was elected on a staunchly liberal platform emphasizing the war in Iraq, health care, and the economy. Once elected, he put his opposition to the president in stark relief in mid-November when he chose to attend an AFL-CIO labor union reception rather than a White House gathering with other members of Congress' freshman class.

Ellison said there was little question in his mind as to which event to attend. "President Bush supports the war; he's the author of it. I'm opposed to it. President Bush is not in favor of increasing minimum wage. I'm in favor of it. President Bush doesn't support the Employer Free Choice Act … I think it's essential to improve the situation for American people.

"It was not a close choice; it was easy to make," Ellison said, adding quickly that he would have attended the reception had there not been a conflict. "The intent was not to disrespect the presidency," Ellison said. "Would it have been better for me to say 'screw you' to the AFL-CIO? To tell the organization that represents people who work so hard in this country every day on low wages with either no insurance, or expensive insurance that they can barely afford, who are sending their kids to die in a war that we don't know why we're fighting? I'm suppose to tell them no, I've got to go hobnob with Mr. Bush? No."

And then there's this:

In May, while he was still a state representative, Ellison introduced a resolution in the Minnesota House to impeach President Bush. "I absolutely know and can show that [the president] deserves it; he deserves to be impeached," Ellison said, citing as grounds the administration's program of illegal spying on American citizens, use of extraordinary rendition, pre-Iraq war intelligence, and condoning of torture. "I don't disrespect Mr. Bush . . . I'd like to see him live very comfortably on his ranch, ride some horses, cut some brush. If he got impeached it would allow him more leisure time, which he appears to like quite a bit."

I'd never looked at it from that perspective before. Governing does seem to get in the way of Bush's passion for clearing brush; maybe the Democrats would be doing him a favor by impeaching him.