The resolution is filled with specious arguments and unsubstantiated allegations. But mostly it is a declaration of Dixie Chick Syndrome. Unconvinced our purpose in Iraq is noble, signers claim to be ashamed of our president and their citizenship--as if America had never come to another country's defense at risk to our own, fed another country's starving, or rebuilt another country's devastated infrastructure after either natural or man-made disasters. The signers blame President Bush for their extreme sense of shame at being American rather than their sense of guilt for arrogantly believing Americans are uniquely deserving of liberty but Iraqis are not.
Mayor Porter reiterated multiple times (before voting in favor of the resolution) that it had nothing to do with the Iraq war but instead on alleged high crimes and misdemeanors. That's like saying Osama Bin Laden is wanted not for killing thousands of people on American soil and terrorism, but for inciting airplane passengers to unbuckle their seat belts while the light was on or smoking in the restroom.
There's many things wrong with the resolution and I haven't time now to get into them--especially without access to the resolution's text. But even without the document itself and knowing only that the resolution would be voted on last night, I delivered this short speech to council:
What is objectionable about this item isn't how each of you may cast your vote, but instead that you would consider voting at all.
Regardless how you vote this resolution is not an act of substance, it is an act of symbolism. In as high regard as you may hold yourselves as councilpersons the city council is unqualified to pass this resolution. You were elected and have been given power by the people of Ferndale to address the business of the people of Ferndale. Resolutions to impeach any elected federal, state, or even county officer is not yours. It belongs to us--the citizens. Your decision tonight has no affect. You have no standing. It is empty. It has no weight. It is hollow. Ferndale citizens deserve substance from their council, not symbolism.
Yours will not be an act of bravery, but of cowardice. With neither standing or affect, you have no responsibility for this action. No accountability. Without either responsibility or accountability you've no risk. Actions taken without risk are not the qualities of leaders. They are the attributes of followers. And who might you be following? The Detroit City Council who passed a similar resolution early this month? I think this council can find better role models than those whose dereliction of office is second in priority only to their self-enrichment at taxpayer expense. As elected representatives of this city you owe Ferndale citizens leadership, and ought not hide behind or follow bad examples.
Finally, considering this resolution will not be a measure of your character but one of your self indulgence. Without meaning, affect, or accountability this resolution serves only to stroke your sense of moral superiority over those you pretend to pass judgment on. There's a word that describes the act of pleasing yourself that shouldn't be used on family television, but nonetheless describes the sense self gratification entertaining this resolution may arouse. Council serves at the citizens' pleasure, not its own.
This council was elected to represent Ferndale citizens in Ferndale matters. We've elected senators and congressmen to represent us in federal matters. Pretending to wear their mantel mocks them, it mocks the office of city councilperson, and it mocks the citizens that thoughtfully elected each.
I encourage all of you to fulfill your responsibilities as Ferndale councilpersons, demonstrate your sense of propriety, and reject consideration of this resolution.