The Democrats have successfully conned the Republican majority in the House – or at least the leadership – into believing they welcome it.
This is an example of counter intuitive Saul Alinsky-style disinformation at its best.
They say it will help them in the midterm election.
They say talk of impeaching the first black president smacks of racism.
And the Republican leadership, the Republican elite, the Rockefeller country-club Republicans believe them.
That’s the incredible story of what is happening right now in Washington.
House Speaker John Boehner has taken it off the table. Karl Rove says it’s only Democrats talking about impeachment. Yet polls show at least 57 percent of grassroots Republicans support impeachment.
Why do they support impeachment?
Because Barack Obama is making a mockery of the Constitution and the rule of law.
Let’s just take one of dozens of potential articles of impeachment – the use of the Internal Revenue Service to target political enemies of Obama. Here are some of the salient facts:
Lois Lerner pleaded the Fifth Amendment when subpoenaed to testify before Congress on her role in this scandal. It may be the first time this despicable woman found a part of the Constitution she could get behind. When her emails were subpoenaed, the IRS claimed her hard drive crashed and all of them were destroyed in a remarkable coincidence. Then we were told there were a whole series of computer crashes within the IRS and the hard drives were all shredded, apparently to keep this computer virus from spreading like Ebola throughout the federal government. Then a few random emails were discovered. And what did they show? They showed Lois Lerner, who will be paid by taxpayers she targeted for the rest of her life, had a palpable contempt for conservatives and tea-party people whom she maligned in barnyard terminology, explaining that these citizens represented a bigger threat to society than foreign terrorists.
Yet, Obama says there’s not a smidgeon of a scandal here.
Do I exaggerate? No, I am deliberately understating the facts.
I could add Justice Department stonewalling to the list. I could add excuse-making by IRS officials that rivals in absurdity to the old “my dog ate my homework” childhood story.
Could Richard Nixon have survived such a scandal when the House and Senate were under the control of Democrats?
We know the answer. The Democrats drafted articles of impeachment against Nixon that included the charge of using the IRS to target his political enemies with far less evidence. Nixon took the honorable way out and resigned in disgrace. (By the way, it’s worth noting that Nixon did not actually use the IRS to target political enemies. He only mused about it. But that was enough for people like Hillary Clinton, who helped draft the articles of impeachment.)
Now, let me stipulate that there are dozens and dozens of other impeachable offenses for which Obama should be charged by the House. In the interests of brevity, I will refer you to the book by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott called “Impeachable Offenses” for the details, though the potential indictments are growing almost daily.
Let me also point out that when Democrats began probing Nixon’s Watergate scandals, Nixon was at the height of his popularity. Democrats never considered they were dooming their own political fortunes by attempting to impeach a popular president. Nor did they concern themselves with the horror of being left with Gerald Ford as a successor. In fact, Watergate led directly to the election of an unknown Democratic peanut farmer from Georgia in 1976 – something that was unthinkable in 1973.
What Republicans really fear is a repeat of the successful impeachment of Bill Clinton, only the second president in American history to be tried for high crimes and misdemeanors. Well, maybe I should say, almost tried. What happened? Few seem to remember this relatively recent event clearly, while others were too young to recall.
Republicans actually controlled the Senate when Clinton was impeached by the House. The Republican leadership of the Senate determined before any hearings were held that it would be inadvisable politically to remove Clinton from office. Everyone knew Clinton was guilty – Democrats included. But that was beside the point.
You can read all about it in the best book ever written on the subject, “Catching Our Flag,” by James Rogan, one of the House impeachment managers. (You will also be shocked by some of the famous-name Republicans who caved in that historic fight.)
So what are we to take away from this modern history of impeachment fights?
Democrats play hard and play for keeps.
Republicans are afraid of their shadows, even when they are in the political driver’s seat.
I don’t know whether impeachment could be successful if the House Republicans chose that course.
That’s not really the point. The point should be: What is the right thing to do?
If Obama is not impeached for his high crimes and misdemeanors before he leaves office of his own accord, then it is hard to imagine any future president ever being impeached, again. The crimes he has committed against the Constitution are breathtaking and legion, unsurpassed in American history and, hopefully, in America’s future.
In other words, if Obama is not impeached, we should write off this constitutional provision forever.