Thursday, July 24, 2014

Impeaching Obama? A waste of time

So Sarah Palin and John Boehner are now calling for the impeachment of President Obama.

I hope people understand that they’re just making noise, because he’ll never be impeached. And even if he is, he’ll never be removed.

For openers, to convict him of “high crimes and misdemeanors” requires a super-majority — that is, two-thirds — of the U.S. Senate to remove him from office. The Democrats will never agree to that, not primarily over party solidarity but also out of respect for the political process. (Besides, they know full well that any Democrat will get the same treatment.)

How do they know this? The last president to be impeached: Bill Clinton.

Now, if you seriously believe that he was impeached simply because he lied under oath — truth be told, that was a set-up that turned out to be illegal anyway — you really need to reconsider.

During the summer of 1992, in the heat of the election campaign, conservative activists filed suit in Federal court in Little Rock, Ark., to have Clinton removed from the presidential ballot. See, they understood full that if he were successful they would be toast. (The suit was thrown out almost immediately.)

Then right-wing media went to work, alleging “corruption” but never proving anything of substance; when Clinton outfoxed Newt Gingrich on the Federal budget in 1995 Clinton’s reelection was virtually assured. On Election Night 1996 Grover Norquist vowed to have Clinton taken out.

And you know the rest of the story.

So what’s the point about Obama? Well, it seems that folks have this nutty idea that, if they merely remove an irritant, things will improve. But they got their wish in 2000 with George W. Bush and, eventually, a GOP-dominated Congress, and things went into the tank, costing it the Senate in 2006. True to form, when Obama became president two years later, they did what they do best — start sniping.

Hate may make people feel better at first but leads nowhere; you have to offer a positive alternative and none is forthcoming. That’s why talk of impeaching the president is just that.

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