Thursday, July 31, 2014

Obama in Kansas City and the Myth of Impeachment

"Stop hatin' on me."

President Obama this week did what he does best. While the world is burning, he hopped on a plane and flew to Kansas City, where he dined on ribs with four pre-selected letter writers and made a snarky speech complaining that the Republicans are "hatin on him". It was classic Obama whining and fiddling while Rome burns.

This is the theme that Obama, the Democrats in Congress, and the mad hatters at MSNBC are playing: That is the myth that the Republicans are drawing up plans to impeach the president.

That is, of course, exactly what the Democrats want to gin up their base for the November elections. Take a page from the Clinton history book and have the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot as they did when they tried to impeach Bill Clinton.

As to the idea of impeachment itself, this is a trap the Republicans don't want to fall into-something akin to throwing Obama into the proverbial briar patch. Not that Obama doesn't deserve it, but it is an impossible task unless a smoking gun tape arises with his voice on it directing Eric Holder to lie to the public about Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, or telling Hillary Clinton to lie about Benghazi and the scapegoat video (which has been alleged by an anonymous Clinton associate). I personally believe Obama's hand is behind all of those scandals, but the proof isn't there as yet. As things stand now there is no way an impeachment vote would succeed in a Senate trial because they would need 67 votes to convict.

It is also important to point out that impeachment is a political process, and even though Bill Clinton clearly committed perjury in his testimony regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in the Paula Jones lawsuit, Senator Robert Byrd stated that while Clinton was guilty in his view, he would not vote to convict. In other words, a sort of jury nullification would almost certainly come into play once again.

The fact is that unless something arises that would convince even Democrats in the Senate and in the public that Obama has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, it is all a pipe dream, You can't impeach a president for bad policies or simply harming the country with his decisions. There would have to be a bi-partisan consensus.

Besides, who among prominent Republicans other than Sarah Palin is pushing this idea? Nobody. In fact, Palin, while a nice voice to have out there pushing conservative principles, is once again showing she had no business being vice president and cannot be considered a serious candidate for president.

This silly talk of impeachment should be ignored except to point out what a desperate ploy it is by the Democrats to stir up their voter base for November. That a major news organization like MSNBC would play along with it shows how low journalism has sunk in the country.


Squid said...

As Andrew McCarthy sees it, impeachment is a political act, not a legal act. Unless a great majority of Americans demand impeachment, that would carry in both the House and Senate, impeachment is suicide. This should be the narrative of the GOP. Tell the people if they want impeachment, then stand up and demand it. If a large majority favors impeachment, it becomes possible and the Democrats will not be able to stop it.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Considering where Gary is coming from, that's a reasonably rational analysis.

Its an interesting question what "high crimes and misdemeanors" means in a presidential impeachment context. Arguably, committing perjury in a sordid civil case about womanizing before and during his term in office is not adequate grounds to remove a president from office, even if true. Most people probably assume anyone else who took up the office would have similar skeletons in their closet, and that might be true, although Barack Obama seems to be a devoted father and husband, as far as we know to date.

Yeah, its a political act.

But to say the Democrats would not be able to stop it... a majority of voters supporting Democrats for congress didn't stop Republicans from winning a majority in the House. Any political party could stop a popular outcry, simply be refusing to respond to it.

elwood p suggins said...

How about additional repeated, calculated, and intentional perjury before a Federal grand jury doing a criminal investigation?? How about subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice, and tampering with both evidence and witnesses to boot?? Is that not enough to constitute impeachable behavior??

As I have previously noted, perhaps being essentially compelled to settle the Jones case out of court, being held in essential criminal contempt by a Federal judge and paying a fine, and losing both his Arkansas law license and the right to practice before SCOTUS may in fact have been sufficient punishment for Clinton.

However, particularly given the unanimous (I believe) SCOTUS decision in the Jones case that a sitting president must stand still for at least certain civil suit(s), the proposition that perjurious and other "personal" criminal behavior relative to a "sordid civil case" is not impeachable is simply ludicrous on its face.

In the 1980's alone, three (3) Federal judges, who are covered, I believe, by the same language in the Constitition as is the president (Article I, Sections 3/4), were impeached and removed. Another one went by the wayside in 2010. While two of them fell for perjury/bribery and perjury at least tangentially relative to "official" misconduct, the other two went for tax evasion and making false financial disclosures, which were purely "personal" in nature, with absolutely NO connection to their official duties. Seems to me that perjury is perjury.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

What calculated perjury before a federal grand jury? Be specific elwood, if you have any facts, and are not merely repeating the usual blogosphere hyperbole. Perjury by the president? Perjury at the specific direction of the president? Perjury the president "should have known about" if he didn't? And what perjury? You haven't specified any.

If you're talking about the Jones case, as the minister who broke with Cotton Mather and denounced the Salem Witchcraft trials said, a lie over knowledge of fornication "is a natural lie to tell," and hardly a matter of state.

I do wish our presidents could generally keep their zippers shut during the work day, but it appears many have not, probably more than half in the course of our history. For the record, I have no reason to think George W. Bush was unfaithful to his wife.