Thursday, July 29, 2010
Talk of Impeachment
By Alan Caruba
The last time I recall the nation being this concerned over the state of the presidency was during the Lewinsky scandal and ensuing impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Before that it was during the slow revelation of the Watergate scandal that finally forced Richard Nixon’s resignation.
On Thursday, July 22, an editorial opinion by Tom Tancredo in The Washington Times called for the impeachment of President Obama. A column by Jeffrey Kuhner was titled “President’s socialist takeover must be stopped.”
Tancredo, a former five-term member of Congress, is now the chairman of the Rocky Mountain Foundation. Kuhner, a Times columnist, is president of the Edmund Burke Institute.
Burke, an Irish orator, philosopher and politician (1729-1797) is best known for his warning that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing", but he also said, “Men have no right to put the well-being of the present generation wholly out of the question. Perhaps the only moral trust with any certainty in our hands is the care of our own time.”
It is the conceit of every generation that those that preceded it were less sophisticated, but it is clear from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper number 65, published in the New York Packet on March 7, 1788, that the question of impeachment as defined in the Constitution was being debated, the subtleties of the issue were not only understood by the author, but by Americans of his era as well.
Hamilton wrote: “A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.
They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.”
The removal of Barack Hussein Obama from the office of the presidency is increasingly spoken of among concerned Americans and now has risen to the level of discussion in print. The two Times articles enumerated the reasons why.
Tancredo began by reminding us that “every citizen elected to serve in Congress or any person appointed to any federal position” must swear an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.”
“For the first time in American history,” said Tancredo, “we have a man in the White House who consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.” Going straight to the heart of the issue confronting all Americans, Tancredo said, “Our president is an enemy of the Constitution and, as such, he is a danger to our safety, our security, and our personal freedoms.”
Kuhner wrote that Obama is “slowly, piece by piece, erecting a socialist dictatorship. We are not there yet, but he is putting America on that dangerous path. He is undermining our constitutional system of checks and balances, subverting democratic procedures and the rule of law…”
Tancredo listed what he regards as impeachable offenses which the Constitution describes as “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Impeachment has twice been attempted in the nation’s past and neither succeeded. Among those cited by Tancredo are:
# Disenfranchising General Motors and Chrysler bondholders in order to transfer billions of investor dollars to his supporters in the United Auto Workers;
# Implementing a third ban on off-shore drilling despite the rejection by two federal courts.
# The appointment of judges who want to create law rather than interpret it.
# The failure to defend the nation’s southern border against an invasion of illegal aliens.
Tancredo could have added the questionable demand that BP create a $20 billion fund to cover the cost of the oil cleanup and the losses incurred by those affected by it. That was entirely without any previous historic or legal precedent.
The creation, too, of an entire level of presidential advisors (czars) within the White House who appear to have been granted greater powers than Secretaries of various federal departments in determining policy is highly questionable. Few underwent any examination by the Senate.
Kuhner warned about Obamacare’s funding of abortion, along with the creation of “a command-and-control health care system, “a frontal assault on property rights”, the new financial reform act that he deemed “essentially nationalize the big banks” while noting the same effect on the financial sector, and the student loan industry. He too noted the takeover of the automakers.
Kuhner warned that Obama’s “comprehensive immigration reform” would grant amnesty to 12 to 20 million illegal aliens “would sound the death knell for our national sovereignty.” The Obama Justice Department’s decision to sue Arizona for its immigration law was deemed as “siding with criminals against his fellow Americans” and desecrated his constitutional oath. Kuhner deemed it “treasonous.”
Kuhner urged that, should the Republicans win back Congress in November “formal investigations into this criminal, scandal-ridden administration” should be launched.
I doubt that even Republican control of Congress in both houses would undertake impeachment proceedings against Obama. That did not go well when it was tried against Clinton.
At best a Congress in which they controlled either or both houses would become a bulwark against further predations by the first Marxist president ever elected in America and, hopefully, the last.
© Alan Caruba, 2010