Widespread Outbreak of Impeachment Fever Plagues Red States
Well. It’s now almost a year since the GOP continued its losing streak of four out of the last six presidential elections, not including the Supreme Court intervention in 2000 that accounted for one of the two wins.
Despite the brief euphoria of the 2010 House invasion, the Republican party is bitterly staggering its way through the Five Stages of Grief only to arrive at the looming death star called Hillary. Having spent quite a lot of time in the Denial Stage and then basking in the energizing glow of the Anger Stage, punch-drunk Republicans arrived at the Bargaining Stage just in time for the long Dog Days Recess.
Unfortunately, this “stage” is not following the script, and feckless legislators are not even safe in their own Town Hall meetings which are being disrupted by hecklers from the Left and the Right. Several Republicans have been caught flat-footed by constituents who want to know “what’s so bad about Obamacare?” on one side alongside rabble-rousers who want their representatives to “shut down the government like a man!”
It’s a minefield out there . . . of their own making.
So it is that recently some creative party geniuses have revived that old crowd-pleasing favorite “Impeachment” from the GOP playbook. I guess because it’s always worked so well for them . . . ?
Since Obamacare has gotten to be pretty moldy “red meat,” impeachment serves as a tasty, home-cooked comfort food for the disgruntled base. Plus, it covers a multitude of grievances: hate Obama’s policies—foreign and domestic—impeach him! hate that Obama is an uppity foreign, socialist, gay-loving, culture war-instigating oligarch? impeach him! hate Obama for having the temerity to be a black man in the White House? impeach him! hate Obama’s wife, his kids, his vacation plans? impeach his ass!!1!!
See how that works? Don’t tamp down the anger and hate—redirect it.
At least three Republican legislators have signed on to this strategy during the recess and not one of them has been challenged by a sane person wondering what the grounds for impeachment might be.
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Loon Star State) got the ball rolling at a gathering in Luling, TX when a birther constituent questioned Congress’ resolve over beating the dead horse of Obama’s Kenyan birthright.
Here’s what Farenthold replied:
I think unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue. The original Congress when his eligibility came up should have looked into this and they didn’t. I’m not sure how we fix it.
[Would the “original Congress” be the one sitting 112 Congresses ago? Never mind.]
That exchange inspired Farenthold to proceed into “impeachment territory.” Notice, it was Farenthold who brought it up first:
You tie into a question I get a lot, if everybody’s so unhappy with what the President’s done, why don’t you impeach him. I’ll give you a real frank answer about that, if we were to impeach the President tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.
Isn’t that like saying “We can probably get enough votes in the senior class for a clothing-optional kegger instead of a prom, but then it’ll go to the PTA and get shot down”?
But here’s the cherry on top:
What message do we send to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he’s impeached for and is found innocent? What do we say then is okay? Aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be effective, I think there’s some potential damage to society that would be done with a failed attempt at impeachment.
Never once does it occur to Rep. Farenthold to inform his constituents that articles of impeachment need to include compelling evidence that the president has engaged in “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Now, as we know from recent history, the Republican definitions of those infractions might be rather loosely construed for a Democratic president. Something like high crimes and peccadilloes? On the other hand, even more recently, if Bush & Co.‘s doings didn’t rise to the standard, I dare them to come up with charges against Obama that would rise to that standard.
I hope that at least some of the good people of Luling are feeling just a little buyer’s remorse for picking such a clueless blockhead to represent them. He probably couldn’t pick the US Constitution out of a line-up.
But that was only the beginning. Next up was Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MoTown), congressman, military veteran and part-time Santa Claus, who confessed to a crowd of Wolverines that introducing articles of impeachment against President Barack Obama “would be a dream come true.”
Bentivolio despaired of the chances that such an impeachment would face, though, because:
Until we have evidence, you’re going to become a laughing stock if you’ve submitted a bill to impeach the president, because number one, you’ve got (sic) to convince the press.
And, as we all know:
The most corrupt thing in Washington is the press.
On Thursday, Bentivolio stood by his comments and expanded on the bit about media corruption with this zinger:
As you know, the truth isn’t as important to the mainstream media as it is to we the people.
Inferring that evidence wouldn’t be hard to come by but the lying SOBs of the lamestream media would kill it to protect the criminal.
Someone should remind this freshman that if the US House delivers articles of impeachment to the Senate and the Senate holds an impeachment hearing, the media doesn’t enter into the equation beyond observing. The last time Republicans tried this impeachment strategy, they made perfect asses of themselves, globally, and did their brand inestimable lasting damage.
Newsworthy? You bet! and if it smacks of corruption to expose silly politicians for doing something silly, well then, it’s not just the US media that’s corrupt, it’s global! Maybe someone from the media would be so kind as to remind the GOP that “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.”
Saving the best for last, we have the wise old man on the hill [and Barack Obama’s BFF], Sen. Tom Coburn who, I’m sure, hopes that his old buddy Barry will understand that it’s “just politics” when he feeds the base’s impeachment delusions.
Coburn himself can rest easy on his roost in the Senate knowing that Speaker Boehner can’t herd his wet cats home for dinner let alone produce articles of impeachment. Also, there is the reliable Democratic majority in the Senate to hide behind.
But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to get re-elected so Coburn, appearing at a gathering of Okies in Muskogee, brooded aloud about his friend’s “lawlessness” and “incompetence” and his “getting perilously close” to the Constitutional standard for impeachment.
Coburn spared his audience the technical details of evidence because, well, actually he’s not sure how that works. But he is sure that Obama is “perilously close” to that unknown standard . . .
My little wiggle out of that when I get that written to me is I believe that needs to be evaluated and determined but thank goodness it doesn’t have to happen in the Senate until they’ve brought charges in the House. Those are serious things but we’re in a serious time. I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdemeanor but I think they’re getting perilously close.
According to Coburn:
I think there’s some intended violation of the law in this administration, but I also think there’s a ton of incompetence of people who are making decisions.
Gee. If incompetence is a standard for impeachment . . . ? ah, well, missed opportunity . . .
Whatever. Despite the fact that Coburn is a little fuzzy on details he assured his constituents that he is “making a list and checking it twice”:
The Oklahoma Republican admitted he doesn’t know “where the level is” when it comes to violations that could amount to an impeachment but said he’s “documenting all this stuff as it goes along.”
Hmmm . . . would that be the “stuff” that he’s not sure is impeachable because he doesn’t have a legal background? Well, that sounds like as worthwhile a time-killer as any while Congress sits on its thumbs.
Oh, and any Okie who believes that evasive silliness? I have a lovely East-coast liberal bridge for sale that you can paint red and hang an upside-down American flag from, when you own it.
I guess even Republicans are realizing that you can only repeal Obamacare so many times, or drum up faux scandals for Darrell Issa to totally fumble before you start looking pathetic and/or paranoid. So, if impeachment gets you out of your district in one piece, go for it.
The other point this illustrates is that one need not be rational, intelligent or have even a casual acquaintance with the Constitution, that one has sworn to uphold, to be a crowd-pleaser with the Republican base.
Tick, tock boys and girls, there’s not much more Obama-nation to obsess over. Then what’s it going to be? when nobody in the caucus is qualified to or remembers how to legislate, negotiate or even get through a town hall meeting without becoming an embarrasment?
Hillary in a Nazi uniform?