It is curious to observe the frantic efforts to instigate the
impeachment of President Obama coming from members
of the president’s own party, the Democrats.
Of course, these Democrats would not vote for impeachment
in the U.S. house, nor would they vote to convict the president
in the U.S. senate. What these Democrats are doing is trying
to goad Republicans to begin impeachment proceedings.
Their motive is simple: they can raise large amounts of
campaign funds from Democratic supporters by telling them
that impeachment is imminent and serious. They also know
that if they are successful in provoking GOP house members
to vote for impeachment, they will reap an enormous wave
of public reaction against the Republicans (as happened in
1998 when the GOP-controlled U.S. house voted for a bill of
impeachment against President Bill Clinton.
The problem is that, aside from perennial publicity-seeking
Sarah Palin and a few careless radicals on the right, no
serious conservative politician is considering impeachment
of President Obama now or in any foreseeable future.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has dismissed such
a move out of hand.
The truth of the matter is that President Obama has already
become a lame duck, and he is getting lamer by the month.
The Democratic “brand” is also fading fast as the 2014
national mid-term elections approach less than four months
away. As matters stand now (they could change), the GOP will
likely pick up a few seats in the U.S. house (where they already
have a solid majority) and seem to be heading to take back
control of the U.S. senate (where they need to pick-up six seats
now held by Democrats).
So the efforts by Democratic fundraisers, consultants and
strategists is simply a cynical and desperate move to exploit
their own voters’ fears and emotions. (To be fair, Republican
operatives in the past have done the same.)
President Obama, some have observed, is even seemingly
daring the Republicans to impeach him, hoping presumably that
if they do, his chronically low poll numbers (now around 40%,
and falling) will be improved as independent voters sympathize
with him. He has often claimed executive privileges which are
almost certainly unconstitutional (the U.S. supreme court just
ruled 9-0 against one of them), and now hints he will will
declare amnesty for millions of “illegal” immigrants, a move
he knows will infuriate many on the right.
The fact is, however, that many in the Republican leadership
have been working toward a conservative reform of our
immigration laws, and that a majority of Americans of all
parties would oppose any drastic federal actions such as mass
deportation. Should the president act unilaterally, the bottom
line would be that he would only make himself more
controversial and increase his negatives with more and more
voters --- that is, unless the Republicans act to impeach him.
It is perhaps a statement of how desperate some Democrats
have become in 2014 that they are trying so hard to have their
own president impeached. Perhaps Mr. Obama’s truest
political “crime and misdemeanor” is that he has so politicized,
along with his senate majority leader, Harry Reid, the
immigration reform issue, that it has become impossible for
the necessary discussion and compromise that would have
produced legislation he could sign.
President Obama himself has killed immigration reform in
the Congress, but his punishment will not come from some
useless impeachment action. Instead, it will, as matters
are moving now, from the nation’s most effective court ---
the voters in November.
Copyright (c) 2014 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.