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.
But 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!