Saturday, July 12, 2014
Let's Deep Six Any Attempt to Impeach President Obama
The idea of impeaching President Obama is a grotesque bad idea Governor Sarah Palin is fueling the flames of impeaching President Obama. An internet impeachment petition seeks signatures. Impeachment is not going anywhere even if the Republicans regain control of the Senate in November. House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican establishment oppose impeachment for good reasons. Even talk of impeachment is a distraction. Let’s look at the arguments for impeachment of the President: The President lies. President Clinton lied under oath. We call that perjury. He survived impeachment. President Obama only lies to the public. That’s not indictable or impeachable. The IRS targeted conservatives. One of the articles in the proposed impeachment of President Nixon was that he attempted to use the IRS against his enemies. The Commissioner of the IRS refused to cooperate. President Nixon resigned before the Articles were filed. President Obama’s IRS deliberately targeted conservatives, but no link to the President has yet been discovered. He is divisive. Chicago Rules are not unconstitutional. Fast and Furious is a movie as far as the public cares. Arrogance, narcissism, petulance, diffidence? The media ignores them. Benghazi – the video did it. Excessive golfing, fundraising and traveling? His executive orders and administrative agencies change, modify, violate, and conflict with the Constitution and statutes enacted by Congress. The Supreme Court has consistently held actions by the President and his Executive Agencies to be unconstitutional The President is fulfilling his goal of fundamentally transforming America. He won twice. His goal was never a secret. The Constitution provides impeachment in cases of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The President to the best of our knowledge has not committed treason or bribery. “High crimes and misdemeanors” are not defined by the Constitution, but they probably do not include incompetence, gross incompetence or falling polls. Then House Minority Leader Gerald Ford once said “high crimes and misdemeanors” are whatever Congress says they are. That’s too dangerous a definition. Impeachment is a bad idea for several reasons. First, the word itself is misunderstood. Impeachment does not remove the President from office. Presidents Andrew Johnson and William Clinton were impeached by the House, but remained in office. President Nixon resigned before impeachment. Impeachment is in essence an indictment voted by the House of Representatives by a simple majority. Conviction, and hence removal from office, shall be by a 2/3 vote of the Senate. The Senate, the current Senate and next year’s Senate, even if a Republican Senate, will not vote to convict President Obama. Any House impeachment would be a futile act that voices contempt for the President, but the time and effort involved would detract from finding meaningful ways for Congress to reassert its Constitutional authority, such as through the power of the purse and Congressional hearings. Even an attempt in the House, whether successful or not, would reignite class divisiveness in America, perhaps even a repeat of the riots of the 1960”s. The media will be even more opposed to an impeachment of President Obama as it was of President Clinton. The public will not support impeachment of President Obama on what is presently known. They may vote again a Republican landslide in November, but that’s different from impeachment. Impeaching a President over political differences is a dangerous precedence for our democracy. The solution for political differences is the ballot box. Elections have consequences. President Obama is the first Democratic President since President Johnson to win either election or reelection by a majority vote. If President Obama were removed from office, then Vice President Biden would immediately become President. President Biden – what reaction comes from hearing those two words? President Gaffe a minute? President Nixon viewed his Vice President Spiro Agnew as impeachment insurance. He did not expect the Vice President to be removed first from office. No grounds exist for the impeachment of Vice President Biden. President Biden is as good an argument as any against impeachment.