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Saturday morning, July 19. Sitting here at the Netroots Nation conference in Austin, Texas with several thousand other online activists. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Party Speaker of the House, the third most powerful politician in the United States, is up on the podium, doing her best to damp down the mounting criticism of the Democratic Party's shameful collaboration in funding the war and aiding and abetting the Bush administration's shredding of the Constitution.
Before Pelosi speaks, an announcement is made from the podium that disruptions will not be tolerated--if any of us express our frustrations too passionately with Pelosi and the sell-out Democratic Party leadership we will be arrested. The first question the Netroots moderator poses to Pelosi is about impeachment. This generates considerable applause and cheers from the crowd. Pelosi, notorious for proclaiming that "impeachment is off the table," artfully dodges the question and evasively talks about censuring the Bush administration and getting tough on Karl Rove. This generates polite clapping from the front of the room, where all the tables have apparently been "reserved" for Pelosi fans.