Republican Leadership Not Up To or For Impeachment

Current Constitutional Remedies to Obama Continue to Sit on the Shelf

Three weeks ago we asked our readers about the prudence of impeaching Obama and  alternatives to stopping his usurpation of the Constitution. There is no doubt in our mind that Obama deserves to be impeached both for acts and for negligence, but we accept that impeachment is a political act, not simply and objectively a legal finding of cause. Politics, the “prosecutorial” team, the jury and the jury’s concern about the audience need to be considered.

The “friends and (veritaspac) family” input has been consistent with our own instincts  —  the current Republican leadership is not only not interested but are incompetent at mounting an effective grassroots campaign in support of any challenge to Obama, much less impeachment.   To be sure there are individual Republicans in Congress who could do the necessarily dramatic job of pursuing an impeachment inquiry.  But the powers that be are not going to let it happen based on what they  presume to be the political dangers of doing so (however arguable and static an approach to politics). Essentially they see an impeachment inquiry as making Obama a martyr and an inducement to bring out the Democrat vote this November.

We also accept that it is profoundly unlikely that the Senate under Harry Reid would ever convict after a House impeachment vote. Obama would therefore not be removed from office.  Unfortunately the long-term political, constitutional and cultural  dangers of the House not impeaching anyway, are not adequately debated because of the short-term political givens.

The Senate requires a two-thirds vote in order to remove a president from office, and that was never going to happen in the Clinton impeachment either. But the focus and exposure of the impeachment (indictment) debate  and the trial in the Senate appropriately sullied Democrats. However the Republican ability and willingness to sufficiently shame Democrats and the media for their coverups and explain the issues at stake was wanting.

Regrettably, the implications of the political rationale of the current Republican leadership is that the power of impeachment can never be exercised. Impeachment talk is to be dismissed prior to mid-term elections because, “it will turn out the Democrat vote.”  And such talk any time after the mid-terms is met with  “we have a Presidential election soon, lets just vote him out of office and not risk bringing out the prideful Democrat vote.”  

So sue him?

The Republican leadership instead has proposed “suing Obama” – running to the courts (the DC circuit perhaps) and eventually the Supreme Court in order to have them tell Obama “no,” “bad president,” and “stop it.”  It is potentially a longer process than impeachment,  uncertain, and in the mean time a willful president does his damnedest.  The validity, effectiveness, and implications  of suing Obama are still being debated by conservative legal scholars. But how pathetic it seems as a response given that the Constitution provides so much power to the House, including the power of the purse.

No let’s facilitate him!

Much worse than the  “to impeach is fruitless” argument, as it will always be under such weak Republican leadership,  is failing to deny a willful president his lawless activities  using the clearly constitutional power of the purse out of fear of being accused of “shutting down the government.” That, to Republican leadership’s jaundiced way of thinking, is too politically risky as well. And the cynical public concludes that the Republican leadership just wants those unencumbered excesses available for their President and their Party.  Regardless of any cynical purpose, the current Republican leadership hazards the Constitution in their own way.

So in our view the current Republican leadership’s “don’t impeach” view is “valid” less from immutable politics rather than their inability to alter the politics for the good of the country or any inevitable downside to trying. The Obama assaults on the Constitution, congressional prerogatives, public trust  are more thoroughly sinister, more corrupting than Bill Clinton’s impeachable offenses. But given the Republican cast of characters, well they are just not up to using even their unarguable congressional powers as effectively as they should. So the best hope for the Constitution is making sure that effective conservatives are elected and agitating for Republican leadership changes.    R Mall

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