- The Washington Times - Monday, March 13, 2006

Impeachment fever has seized the small town of Newfane, Vt., a hotbed of resistance.

The tiny town of 1,650 residents passed a resolution last week calling for President Bush’s removal from office. The Vermonters charged him with misleading the country about the war in Iraq, as well as lying about torturing prisoners and engaging in domestic spying.

The author of the resolution is ponytailed 49-year-old Dan DeWalt, a town selectman who also makes cabinets and grows organic vegetables in his spare time. Mostly, he goes barefoot, but he does own a pair of Birkenstocks. Yes, he loves tofu, and he voted for Ralph Nader in the last presidential election. He also plays the steel pan for his musical group, Sundog Revolution Orchestra.

Mr. DeWalt has been the subject of media attention — he did 18 interviews Wednesday — after Newfane passed the resolution 121-29 by paper ballot.

Some residents thought they ought to put in a traffic light at an intersection on Main Street. But Newfane, a tranquil enclave in a state where Volvos go to die, decided to rise up in revolution to lead the charge for impeaching Mr. Bush.

“I don’t know if he’s a bum,” Mr. DeWalt said, “but he’s a liar.”

Three other Vermont towns — Dummerston, Marlboro and Putney — also voted for impeachment resolutions on March 7.

Those who suspect that Mr. DeWalt and his kind are nothing more than left-wing radical aging hippie losers will be pleased with the news.

The woodworker, who earns about $20,000 a year, lives with his girlfriend. “Yes, we’re living in sin. I cannot tell a lie.”

His girlfriend is a gardener, and they grow their own organic produce. “It’s true. A lot of people here are like that,” Mr. DeWalt said. “Vermont has always been this way.”

He has attended anti-war demonstrations featuring “alert-the-media” protester Cindy Sheehan, but considers himself a progressive. After the vote, Mr. DeWalt’s name showed up on several blog sites. Some called him patriotic. Others were less flattering.

“Locally, I’ve gotten nothing but thanks. But I also got some very nasty e-mails,” he said. “You know, people telling me what I could do and where.”

Mr. DeWalt has been warning for years, as he put it in a 2002 speech to anti-war protesters, of the “grave danger” posed by Mr. Bush.

Vermont’s lone House member, leftist independent Rep. Bernard Sanders, says he “can very well understand” the impeachment sentiment, and calls the Bush administration “a disaster for our country.”

Mr. Sanders — who’s running for the Senate seat being vacated bySen. James M. Jeffords, also an independent — used the impeachment votes to bolster a “throw the bums out” argument: “For those people who are outraged by the conduct of the Bush administration — it’s my view that all of our energy must go into the November elections with the goal of ending Republican control of the House and Senate.”

Impeachment sentiment also gained ground on the Left Coast recently, after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors asked the city’s solidly Democratic congressional delegation to take up the cause, voting 7-3 in favor of an impeachment resolution. Mayor Gavin Newsom told the San Francisco Chronicle he had not decided whether to sign the legislation, saying it wasn’t a priority.

The White House press office has made no statement on the Vermont uprising.

“President Bush is probably not losing sleep over this resolution,” Mr. DeWalt said. “But I don’t think he loses much sleep about anything.”

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