The Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama

impeachIt has been nearly impossible to miss all the talk of impeaching President Obama.  Many conservatives, including Sarah Palin, are strongly advocating for impeachment, while Speaker of the House John Boehner and others have come out against it.  A CNN poll released last week shows that a third of the American public believes Obama should be impeached.  To my mind, the desire to see Obama impeached has grown out of the anger people have for his abuse of power, his disastrous policies and his refusal to enforce immigration laws.  At one time I was on the impeachment bandwagon myself, but have come to realize that impeaching Obama would be the wrong thing to do, for several reasons.

Just in the last few days, the Democrats seem to be hoping for impeachment.  Dan Pfeiffer, senior advisor to the president, told the press last Friday that impeachment should not be considered a long shot. He said that Boehner’s lawsuit has “opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some point in the future.  I think that if the President enacted immigration reform that would certainly up the likelihood that they would contemplate impeachment.”  There is no doubt the Democrats are stoking this for all it is worth, which is a lot of campaign contributions.  Obama seems to be daring Republicans to impeach him, hoping to frame it as the one important issue in the mid-term elections, He and his advisors know it would fire up the Democrats to go vote.  At the moment, impeaching Obama seems to be the only thing that could possibly save the Democrats from disaster in November.  So of course they want the Republicans to take the bait and impeach him, or at the very least, publicly express the possibility that it could happen.  Sarah Palin is playing right into their hands.

House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) had an opportunity to rule out impeachment on Fox News Sunday but declined to do so.  Chris Wallace, the host, asked him twice if impeachment is off the table and both times he did not answer the question, but chose instead to point out that the White House wants to talk about impeachment.  Rep. Scalise also played right into their hands.

The best explanation I have read for why Obama should not be impeached comes from Robert Tracinski, who writes for The Federalist. 

The Federalist – Yet talk of impeachment is premature and misplaced. The fact is that Obama’s worst failures have been in the areas—foreign policy and diplomacy—where the president has the most unilateral authority, where he is supposed to be able to act without really having to answer to Congress.

Which is to say that the proper constitutional remedy is for the American people to not vote for the SOB. But they did vote for him, so unfortunately the public is just going to have to suffer the consequences.

It’s not like they didn’t have lots of evidence already about his outlook and intentions. And it’s not like they weren’t warned about everything that could go wrong, from Iraq to Russia. I never thought I would find myself pining for the lost Mitt Romney presidency, but I have to admit that on a whole slew of issues, Romney was right.

The American people heard these arguments, and they went with the other guy. So we have to remember H.L. Mencken’s dictum: the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. They voted for Obama, they got him, and now they have to lump it. If they don’t like the results, they can choose better next time.

That’s the crux of the issue. Instead of wasting our efforts on impeachment, we should be focused on helping the American people learn from their mistakes. They need to learn about the perils of believing in a great leader who will solve all their problems. They need to learn about the stupidity of voting for a candidate in order to symbolically repudiate the legacy of racism (or, in 2016, sexism), rather than voting for an actual leader. And they need to learn the specific lessons about Obama’s peculiar combination of domestic statism and blame-America-first foreign policy, an ideology in which our government can do no wrong at home and do no right overseas.

There is only one issue I can see right now that might conceivably justify impeachment: the IRS scandal. It’s pretty clear by now that a cabal of political appointees at the IRS was deliberately harassing political organizations opposed to their agenda. It’s also becoming clear that they conspired to cover it up after the fact. What would make this a presidential scandal is if investigators find evidence that this was coordinated from the White House and that the president was involved, either directly ordering the abuses or (as with Nixon) protecting the people who did. That would indeed count as “high crimes and misdemeanors.” So we need to keep asking: what did the president know and when did he know it?

By all means let’s keep following the trail of the IRS investigation and see how far it leads us. But until it ensnares the president, it is not grounds for impeachment.

Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Sarah Palin makes the point that the term “high crimes and misdemeanors” was a term used by the Framers of the Constitution “to signify a dereliction of duty, and the first duty of the president is to enforce the laws and preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution.”  Indeed, James Madison expressed the view that Sarah Palin echoes, that a provision had to be made in the Constitution for “defending the community against the incapacity, negligence or perfidy of the chief magistrate,” as Madison argued at the 1787 Constitutional Convention.  Alexander Hamilton explained in Federalist Paper No. 65 that impeachment of a president should take place for “offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.” 

Have we reached that point with Obama?  Certainly, the argument could be made that he has violated the public trust and has damaged the community with his negligence.  But there would be many in the country who disagree with that and believe Obama is doing a fine job.  Do we really want impeachment to become a political tool to be used against a political rival when disagreement with his policies, however vehemently, is the sole reason for said impeachment?  To be sure, I despise Obama and all that he has done to our country.   But as Tracinski pointed out, he is the one we elected and impeachment should not be used as a tool to correct a mistake. 

Lastly, no matter how good the argument in favor of impeaching Obama, no honest person would ever believe that the Democrat-controlled Senate would convict Obama and remove him from office.  Even if impeachment proceeds after the election and the Republicans win a majority control of the Senate, there will still be enough Democrats to thwart the two-thirds vote necessary for conviction.  And I firmly believe that even if a video was presented showing Obama murdering a baby, the Democrats in the Senate would still support him one hundred percent.

Impeachment is a non-starter.  It’s not going to happen and, even if it did, it would be doomed to failure from the start.  The only possible gain that could come from impeachment is to give the Democrats an issue on which to raise funds, which they are doing.  Sarah Palin needs to come back to reality and just drop the impeachment talk.  All she and others who advocate for impeachment are doing is helping the Democrats raise money for their campaigns.  The more she and others talk about impeachment, the happier the Democrats will be.  Hush, Sarah!

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2 comments to The Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama

  • LD Jackson

    I have to agree with your assessment. No matter how much I would like to see Obama out of office on his petard, there is virtually no chance of that happening before his term has expired. To push impeachment would be a nearly certain way of handing the election to the Democrats, just when we seem to have a chance of gaining ground in November. It would be a very foolish thing to do.

    • Although I can understand the argument that impeaching Obama is the right thing to do, no matter if you know from the start that it will fail, but doing the ‘right thing’ when it will destroy your own party? That’s just nonsense and I don’t understand people like Sarah Palin who don’t seem to realize that.