Breitbart: “Impeachment Goes Mainstream”—Yes!

It’s official: Charlie Krauthammer, the ringmaster of reactionary columnists, has blessed impeachment. Alas, my strategy is working!

After last week’s election, I published a piece (“Get Out Your Matches, Mr. President, And Start A Circus”) in which I urged President Obama to go ahead and incite incitable Republicans with his promised executive action, including de-prioritizing deportation of certain classes of undocumented immigrants (“deferred action”), such as those who have been here for some time and those who have families here. His action would not be unprecedented (even Republican presidents have done it), nor would it be outside of his authority as chief executive of the country, which, after all, does give him discretion on how to use the limited resources available for prosecution of any crimes (the Feds, for instance, aren’t prosecuting marijuana munchers in Colorado).

After Fox “News” and The New York Times reported that Obama may in fact throw his executive authority on the side of immigration reform next week, the circus clowns began putting on their creepy makeup and the sideshow artists began honing their acts—rumor has it that a sword-swallowing Sean Hannity will attempt to deep-throat Rush Limbaugh’s sweaty sword. Anything for the team!

It was one thing when Sarah Palin, who knows more than a little about not completing terms in office, called for impeachment this past summer:

…we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.

The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is. 

Or when right-wing legisnutters like Joe Barton of Texas floated the idea last week:

…impeachment would be a consideration, yes sir.

breitbart on impeachmentBut when Ringmaster Krauthammer says that action by Obama on immigration reform “is an impeachable offense,” then, God bless P.T. Barnum, it’s time to set up the big tents!

Just yesterday I heard a smug John Boehner say, “All of the options are on the table,” when it comes to depriving the President of his executive powers. He also claimed that he wanted to stop Obama “from violating his own oath of office and violating the Constitution.” Now, if he really means that, it’s impeachment, baby!

But then, dammit, The Washington Post came out last night with a report that suggested the House would only consider a lawsuit as a response:

The idea to use the courts as an initial means of dissent, should the president move forward in the coming weeks to protect millions from deportation, moved to the front of the House GOP’s playbook after the leadership reviewed it. Boehner reportedly wants to respond forcefully and quickly should the president act and believes a lawsuit would do that, as well as signal to conservatives in his conference that he shares their frustrations about the president’s use of executive power.

Darn, darn, darn! Maybe the clowns and Sean The Sword-Swallower will have to wait on the lawyers. But the sue-Obama-for-doing-his-job lawyers are sort of hard to find:

Boehner first announced plans to initiate a federal suit against Obama in late June, when he called the president’s executive orders an unconstitutional power grab by one branch of government.

But the suit has wallowed ever since as GOP lawmakers have struggled to find a D.C. area law firm willing to take up their legal fight.

The good news is that if the House is serious about finally bringing a lawsuit against the President, as opposed to bringing up articles of impeachment, that means Obama can go even further on immigration reform than he might now be contemplating. And that would be good not only for the immigrants involved, but good for the country.

And going even further would, Allah willing, bring us Ringmaster Krauthammer and The Greatest Show On Earth. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, get ready!

18 Comments

  1. Troy

     /  November 14, 2014

    Peanuts, popcorn, hotdogs, Sour “Kraut” anyone…….lol…..what a joke! These republicans need to go back and re-read this countries real history, not the Fox News made up history.

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  2. For the past six years the GOP has capitalized (pun intended) on political negativity, and the current impeachment talk is a continuation of the same. This has been successful because people are unhappy. Even though the economy has rebounded nicely under president Obama’s leadership, the gains have gone to the upper class and corporate coffers. Even though the job market has rebounded, the new jobs are largely low-paying and real income for the middle class is much less than before the Great Recession.

    In addition, ObamaCare is a disappointment, not because it doesn’t help but because it’s an imperfect, long-term patchwork plan to shore up a bad system, the primary goal of which is income rather than public health. (We should have had the Public Option like the rest of the developed world, and we all know why that didn’t happen.) People sense things are not fair and healthcare is breaking the bank for millions. Rural hospitals are closing, and even generic drugs are skyrocketing in price, just because they can. People want someone to blame, so Republican negativity has a welcome ring to it.

    In two years, the way it looks to me now, the Republican dog will finally catch the car. What will they do with it then? The historical solution is to start a war. There’s nothing like it to promote political cooperation and distract the public from domestic problems. The hawks are already beating the drums.

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    • Damn. I’m depressed now, my friend. I can only say that I hope you are wrong about that GOP dog catching the American car in 2016. Pity us all if it does.

      Like

    • King Beauregard

       /  November 18, 2014

      “We should have had the Public Option like the rest of the developed world, and we all know why that didn’t happen.”

      Do we? Because I know more people who think that Obama killed it, rather than it failing to clear the 60-vote threshold in the Senate thanks to Lieberman and the 40 Republicans.

      Which, to me, is a the definitive demonstration of so many things: the fact that Democrats do the best they can for us with the numbers we elect, the fact that Republicans are committed to sticking it to the American public, and the fact that the Left is so in love with hating Democrats that they’ll believe any cock-and-bull story other than the simple truth, if the simple truth is that Democrats simply came up short on numbers.

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      • @King Beauregard,

        I was surprised at your assertion that Barack might have killed the Public Option, but of course that happened before I became a blog-head and got actually interested in politics. (My bad.) I did find one reporter who thinks the claim is bogus. It also occurs to me that the ever-so-rational Obama realized that the Public Option was both culturally unacceptable to the body politic and probably unconstitutional. Doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have liked it though. 🙂

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        • King Beauregard

           /  November 19, 2014

          My proof that Obama didn’t kill the public option is the same proof I would use that Squeaky Fromme didn’t kill Kurt Cobain in 1975: the public option was alive and well long after the time Obama allegedly killed it. I consider that a pretty substantial proof. (Much of the Left refuses to hear it, which in my mind makes them as bad as the Birthers.)

          Obama is said to have secretly killed the public option in, what, February 2009? And yet, months after that, the House Democrats passed a version of the ACA with a public option. (Damn murder victims that don’t even know they’re dead, all walking around alive and well.) The Senate Democrats tried to do the same but couldn’t get past Joe Lieberman. Here’s an article from November 2009 about the efforts to get a public option to pass the Senate — again, it’s very odd how the public option seems to still be alive long after its supposed murder, albeit jeopardized by a guy who was very much not in Obama’s pocket:

          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB125900412679261049

          If that is somehow not enough proof — and for many it is not — consider as well that Obama did not dictate the content of the ACA. We know that HillaryCare went down to quick defeat, in large measure because the White House drafted a bill and instructed Congress to pass it. But it wasn’t what Congress was willing to pass, so it never even got out of committee. Obama learned from this and went the other direction: he provided coverage objectives and let Congress figure out how to achieve those objectives. We even see evidence of this in the ACA that is the law of the land now, where individual states can create their own individual plans provided they meet or exceed the parameters of the ACA (and single payer fans, that explains how Vermont is on track to its Green Mountain single payer system; it is consistent with the ACA, as Vermont’s own replacement). Again, note that there were two versions of the ACA: one that the House Democrats were able to agree to, and one that the Senate Democrats were able to agree to. They couldn’t have diverged — particularly on the point of a public option — if Obama were telling them what to include, and in particular were suppressing a public option.

          Let’s talk about Max Baucus for a minute, shall we? He’s another bete noir of the Left because he is ALSO the guy who killed the public option: he was head of the Senate Committee that ultimately didn’t include a public option in their ACA. Why didn’t he? He’s pretty clear on the point: “My job is to put together a bill that gets 60 votes. Now I can count and no one has been able to show me how we can count up to 60 votes with a public option in the bill.” He said that in October 2009 (again long after Obama allegedly etc), but how truthful was he being? I’ll link again to the same article as before, from November 2009:

          http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB125900412679261049

          The only thing a person can reasonably accuse Baucus of is being the first guy to count the votes and realize that at most 59 votes were possible, and acting accordingly. And for that, the Left hates him.

          So yeah, the facts are overwhelming clear that Obama didn’t kill the public option, and yet the Left loves nothing more than to believe the opposite. I hope they’re never on the jury on a murder trial, because the defense could produce the alleged victim alive and well, and still they’d be saying, “except for that one thing, the prosecution’s case is airtight”.

          Imagine if the Left would get their heads out of their asses and, instead of trying to punish the Democrats for not having enough numbers by making sure they have ever-fewer numbers, they instead made a point of knocking Republicans out of office. Imagine what it would be like to live in a country with a Left that was just that clever.

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          • Thanks for that insight, KB, and I agree about feckless Democrats. We just aren’t organized. Actually, I don’t think the GOP voters are much better, but their leadership is more clever and disingenuous. They emphasize the big, emotional issues like abortion, gun control and immigration while playing the fiscal issues like a piano.

            Lieberman underscores my previous point by this quote:

            But none of that trumps his opposition to a public option, Mr. Lieberman says. And he insists his objection isn’t based on the oft-expressed conservative fear that a public option would lead to a government takeover of health care. He says he doubts this or any subsequent Congress would allow that.

            Exactly. It’s the old boogeyman, Socialism!

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          • KB,

            Although I think we disagree slightly (I think the White House decided early on that a public option wasn’t politically feasible and thus jettisoned the idea a little bit prematurely), I do appreciate the passion and reason you bring to the issue. You moved me from my original position and that is a testament to your tenacity and thoughtfulness. And that’s why I pay attention to your posts.

            Duane

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            • King Beauregard

               /  November 21, 2014

              Thanks! My point really is that the White House was neutral on the position of a public option, and let Congress pass it, or not. If Congress had decided on a system that involved a team of doctors perpetually circling the country on hang gliders, swooping in when people were ill, that probably would have come as a surprise to Obama, but he would have let Congress run with it. Executive micro-management of Congress’s bill-crafting was what killed HillaryCare, after all.

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              • King Beauregard

                 /  November 21, 2014

                Oh, and this is neither here nor there, but. Occasionally I hear that the ACA is just a giveaway to the insurance companies, and Baucus and friends were in their pocket. But if that were the case, there’s something else they could have done that would have worked even better: they could have pushed for everything the Left wanted. They could have drafted a single payer bill, tried to ram it down Congress’s throat, and then shrugged their shoulders when it failed to score even a simple majority. What a coup that would have been, if Baucus and the Democrats were half as corrupt as the Left accuses them of! They would have surely assured the Left of their good intentions while making for damn certain that there would be no health insurance reform of any kind.

                But instead, they passed what could be passed, and even then it passed on the narrowest of margins: 0 votes to spare in the Senate, 7 votes in the House.

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  3. Republicans are just so bad at chess.

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  4. Charles Krauthammer is the worst — arrogant, condescending, smug and sometimes over the top. Here for example is what I wrote about him and George Will in the Op-Ed on the recent IPCC report on global warming that I submitted to the Glob. (It will likely not be published because, well, because I’m not very nice to the conservatives as this excerpt illustrates):

    “Then there are the conservative pundits like Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and others, who spin the anti-global warming trope to the glee of their followers. These fine writers try to extrapolate meanings from the IPCC reports that simply aren’t there. They divine problems that don’t exist and, in the doing, they divert attention from the science so they can mock the left.

    “Krauthammer, for example, launched a rant last February on Obama for his use of the term “settled science” in connection with global warming, apparently not realizing Obama was not a scientist. His then continued on Fox News in April, where he declared, “climate change is a mere superstition, just like the “rain dance of Native Americans.” Too bad Krauthammer can’t distinguish superstition from science; especially since he’s an M.D. in Psychiatry!

    “George Will’s take on global warming/climate change is more political. He believes that any action taken would be a victory for the left. You know, bigger government, more regulations, yada, yada, yada. Will calls this “Backdoor Socialism.” Following that logic, our growing military complex and new weapons development would surely be “Backdoor Fascism.”

    Herb

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    • Wow, Herb. That is good stuff. I wish I had written that. I hope the Globe does print it because there has to be one or two people who read its editorial page who doesn’t have his or her mind made up in favor of the anti-science right. And those who do have their minds made up need to know that the problem won’t go away by assuming, against the evidence, that it’s not a problem.

      Krauthammer and Will are mostly insufferable, especially now that they are in competition on the same network for the most outrageously reactionary intellectual.

      Duane

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  November 17, 2014

    Duane,

    Sticking to the point of the blog, should impeachment be used to prevent the President from taking his chosen path on immigration via Executive Orders, I oppose impeachment, strongly. Impeachment was put into the Constitution to remove a President, peacefully, for criminal actions, not a political tool.

    If an Executive Order is considered illegal then such should be settled, legal or illegal, in a court of law. Obamacare is a good example. The right felt it was both politically wrong to enact ACA and the law enacted was illegal, unconstitutional. Two things resulted. The law was struck down in the House but never in the Senate. ACA still stands as the law of the land. Win one for Democrates. At least one attempt to declare the law unconstitutional was thwarted by SCOTUS. Win another by Democrats. No mention of impeachment throughout that now five year argument.

    After several years of waiting for Congress to put an immigration bill on his desk for approval, the President is now poised to take Executive action to get his way. Will his Order(s) be legal or not? I have no idea the law associated with such executive authority and I doubt commenters herein know either. So if the President acts, let the courts decide if the action(s) is/are legal or illegal.

    Legality aside, impeachment of Obama would be political terrorism pure and simple and the GOP will lose any credibilty it has come the 2016 election. No wonder Duane encourages such actions by the GOP, for political purposes.

    Only after actions are determined to be illegal in courts, should impeachment be considered. Then pure politics will prevail as one side will say the “crime”, the illegal act “rose to the level of impeachment” and the other side will say “no way”.

    Did Clinton willfully lie under oath, perjury, certainly a “crime”? Yes he did but it did not “rise to the level of impeachment” so end of that sad debacle. We don’t need to go through that drill again for the country.

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      Sure, the controversy over executive orders and immigration, to the extent it is controversial, should be settled by the courts, if the GOP wants to pursue it that way instead of the way I hope they do. But, contrary to what you suggest, that doesn’t remove the issue from politics. The current Supreme Court, where the issue will be settled, is about as political a body as one can imagine these days. So, ultimately the issue will be decided by politics, whether it is via the Court or through other means.

      And by the way, it appears that the Republicans will forego impeachment in favor of screwing the economy by shutting down the government again! Yippee!

      Duane

      Like

  6. ansonburlingame

     /  November 19, 2014

    The GOP has done some really dumb things over the last 4 years. So has Obama. But that is politics.

    But shutting down the government and/or impeachment are extremes of the most egregious sort, a last ditch effort in what some might consider a real constitutional crisis. We aren’t close to that, yet, in my view.

    An Executive Order (to be announced tomorrow it seems) will for sure be a red flag in front of the GOP bull. Did you ever wonder why bulls were so dumb to charge the flag and that the man waving it??? But that is just an aside. I am not calling for goring Obama, either.

    You complain of SCOTUS, the court that upheld ACA, constituionally, so far. Hmmmm? If a court challenge to Executive Order(s) comes to pass, which it probably will now, SCOTUS will deliberate just as they did with ACA, looking at the law of the matter, not the politics. Your four will vote politically and my three or four will do the same. One or two men (none of the women) will make the ultimate decision based on law, I hope. And no way do I try to predict that outcome, even BEFORE seeing what the President orders, executively!!

    There are about 11 million people illegally living in America right now. The president can grant amnesty for anyone in violation of law. He could literally open up the entire federal prison system and let them all go free, totally exonerated. I suppose he could do the same for State prisoners as well.

    After the EO is released tomorrow, there will still be 11 million people in America but with now unknown legal status. Is that the intent of the constitutional system of amnesty, to be applied to millions of people that were acting illegally before an EO? I doubt it. I am sure every Founder would say the way to resolve such issues is to create new laws, constitutionally.

    But legal minds far superior to yours and mine will be all over that issue, tomorrow. I’m just going to read, sit and watch, for now.

    Anson

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