We’re hearing the “I” word more often now. Sarah Palin came out publicly to call on Congress to take its impeachment powers seriously with respect to President Obama. I know of at least one organization, for which I have tremendous respect, also working diligently to make that happen. The case that is presented is compelling on its face. We have a president who has practically ripped the Constitution to shreds in so many ways I have lost count. All his talk about there not being even a smidgen of corruption in his administration is laughable, and hopefully more Americans are having the blinders removed from their eyes:
If ever anyone should be removed from office for malfeasance, Barack Obama is a prime candidate.
Yet I cannot support the move toward impeachment at this time.
Why not? It isn’t remotely possible and will only come back to damage the good that can be done potentially in the upcoming elections. Let me explain both concerns.
First, impeachment might pass the House because Republicans are the majority, but then the articles of impeachment must go to the Senate for the purpose of removal from office. The Constitution’s impeachment provision says that two-thirds of the senators must vote for removal. The Democrats control the Senate. Harry Reid will never even allow a vote to take place, and even if he does, can anyone really honestly argue that two-thirds of that body is going to vote to remove him from his position? Twenty-two Democrat senators would have to “betray” their president for that to happen, and no matter how perturbed some of them might be with him, they would never allow Republicans to achieve such a victory. There are also some Republican senators who would never vote to remove him; they are too compromised and/or “civilized” to ever line up with colleagues they would consider to be extremists. Any impeachment battle is a foregone defeat.
Second, it will possible lead to defeat in another way. The battle for control of the Senate is upon us. The odds are looking good—actually, even probable—that come January 2015, Harry Reid will no longer have his way in that chamber. Most prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the Senate this November. An impeachment move, at this time, would be the perfect distraction that all Democrats would welcome. The segment of the population that is ignorant of what’s really happening in D.C. would not be ignorant of the impeachment attempt. It would be painted as a mean-spirited move against the first African American president. The racial angle would be played to the hilt, anger would grow on the Left, and they would come out to vote in numbers higher than expected, thereby possibly giving key Senate races to Democrats who wouldn’t have won under normal circumstances.
The focus this year must be on the Senate. If Republicans control both houses of Congress, added pressure will be put upon this administration to back down from its more ambitious plans. Further, it’s the Senate that confirms federal judges, all the way to the Supreme Court. Only a Republican-controlled Senate has any hope of curtailing Obama’s onslaught of appointed judges who share his political ideology. Those federal judges are appointed for life; they do more damage long-term than any president is capable of doing.
Lest anyone think I’ve gone soft, let me remind you that I was a firm supporter of the impeachment of President Clinton. At the time, Republicans controlled the Senate and only had to bring over twelve Democrats to their side to effectively remove him from office. Although that attempt failed, I was inspired enough by the congressmen who laid it all on the line to argue for his removal that I interviewed each one of the thirteen House managers and wrote a book that allowed them to give their reasons for making the attempt. It all came down to principle: no man is above the law. That book is now out of print, but you can still get good used copies via Amazon.
Emotionally, I agree with those who favor impeachment. Obama deserves to be impeached and removed from office. So by not supporting this move, am I unprincipled? No, I’m simply trying to advance constitutional principles by another route: take back the Senate and throw up as many roadblocks as possible against all of this president’s unconstitutional actions. That’s the best way—and the only practical way—to rein him in.
We must be wise.