Archive for category Impeachment
Remember when the Tea-GOP and right-wingers everywhere complained bitterly that the Obama administration wasn’t doing enough to bring home America’s lone POW Bowe Bergdahl back from captivity? That was so last month!
For example, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and John McCain (R-AZ) have been making an issue of Bergdahl’s captivity for years. A May 22 press release from Ayotte’s office urged the Department of Defense to do all it can to find Bergdahl. Senator McCain suggested a prisoner exchange last February.
Rep. Rich Nugent (R-FL), introduced a resolution in the House calling on the United States to do everything possible not to leave any members of the armed forces behind.
In April, Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA), along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), introduced a resolution “to express the sense of the Senate that no member of the armed forces who is missing in action or captured should be left behind.”
Last year, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) said of Bergdahl, “The mission to bring our missing soldiers home is one that will never end. It’s important that we make every effort to bring this captured soldier home to his family.”
Are all these politicians now thanking President Obama for doing precisely what they demanded? Well, not really. Some in the Tea-GOP are talking about impeachment.
When President Bush and VP Cheney publicly confessed to criminal acts, the Democrats let it pass. Probably they thought nobody would take impeachment seriously anymore after Republicans made a mockery of it during the Clinton administration. Then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously said impeachment was “off the table.”
Ah, but Republicans view impeachment differently. President Obama wasn’t even inaugurated before Republican politicians were calling for his impeachment. The right spawned a cottage industry of inventing Obama conspiracy theories. Some right-wingers are pretty sure Obama is the Anti-Christ described in the Book of Revelation.
So let’s not be surprised when Utah’s very own Rep. Jason Chaffetz joins in (emphasis added):
Rep. Jason Chaffetz says President Barack Obama’s handling of the government’s response to the Benghazi terrorist attack could be an impeachable offense and vows to continue digging at the “lies of highest magnitude” from the White House.
“It’s certainly a possibility,” the Utah Republican said Monday when asked about impeachment. “That’s not the goal but given the continued lies perpetrated by this administration, I don’t know where it’s going to go. … I’m not taking it off the table.
Never mind that terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomats happened 13 times during the Bush administration, and killed 98 people. Congressman Chaffetz is on a mission to destroy the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton too, if he can. He recently participated in the NINTH congressional hearing on the Benghazi assault, which has also been investigated by the FBI and a State Department Accountability Review Board chaired by Ambassador Thomas Pickering and Admiral Mike Mullen.
The irony here is that President Obama is actually guilty of impeachable offenses, which the Republicans can’t talk about because it all comes back to Bush and Cheney.
Yes Victoria, you are idiotic– and you’re not alone.
Last night, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz asked a question that needs an answer.
Four years ago, in the midst of an avalanche of criticism of the Bush administration, Nancy Pelosi took impeachment off the table. I want to ask Mr. Boehner tonight: are you going to take impeachment off the table. or are we going to go down this road of divide, are we going to go down this road of investigations?
A month ago, Jonathan Chait of The New Republic made this prediction:
Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.
An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at any given moment in history.
From a Harris Poll of Republicans last March:
- 67% believe President Obama is a socialist
- 45% believe Obama “was not born in the United States”
- 57% think Obama is a Muslim
- 24% say “He may be the Antichrist”
- 38% say that Obama is “doing many of the things that Hitler did”
Next year, Republicans will have their largest majority in the House of Representatives since 1928.
UPDATE: The Republican Party intends to hold major hearings probing the supposed “scientific fraud” behind global climate change.
UPDATE: The next chairmen of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX), already have four investigations planned: (1) New Black Panther Party, (2) Joe Sestak’s Job Offer, (3) ACORN, and (4) the administration’s response to the BP Oil Spill.
Nate Silver’s model predicts the GOP will pick up more than 50 additional House seats on November 2.
A few months ago, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) offered another preview of the coming Republican-controlled House of Representatives: “I think all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another…”
In a recent interview, Senator Mitch McConnell candidly laid out the Republican vision: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” The 2012 Presidential campaign starts next week!
One thing you can say about Republicans. When they talk about shutting down the federal government and going for all-politics-all-the-time in Washington, they really mean it.
Rep. Bishop also revealed his plan for Social Security. “If you really want to be patriotic – once you’re retired, die.”
Glenn Beck did not disappoint tonight. He even brought his chalk board. He was not afraid to criticize Republicans by name, and named one: Teddy Roosevelt! Via HuffPo:
“I have not heard people in the Republican Party admit yet that they have a problem,” he said. “I haven’t seen the Come-To-Jesus moment from Republicans yet.”
All we’ve heard, the Fox News host complained, is “we need a big tent. We need a big tent. Can we get a bigger tent? How can we get a big tent? What is this the circus? America is not a clown show. America is not a circus.
…Said the guy who describes himself as a “rodeo clown.”
The pro-torture crowd has taken over modern conservatism. People at the CPAC convention are firing themselves up with cries of “waterboard them” and cheering wildly as speakers advocated locking political prisoners away forever at Gitmo. Republicans are embracing a movement that trafficks in secessionism, birtherism, and making threats about armed revolt.
Of course, the first calls for Obama’s impeachment came from the right even before Inauguration Day. Then followed birtherism, which got attention in the media and support from a number of Republican elected officials, but was quickly dismissed as total insanity. Even Rep. Michele Bachmann now admits that President Obama is legally a citizen.
Now that birtherism is dead, WorldNutDaily has gone back to pushing impeachment, claiming “the groundswell of calls for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama is growing”:
But has Barack Obama committed an impeachable offense? What exactly constitutes an impeachable offense? Former President Gerald Ford, while serving in the House of Representatives, said an impeachable offense was “whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution reads: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The key phrase here is “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a concept in English common law well-known to our Founding Fathers, but grossly misunderstood in this day and age. “High crimes and misdemeanors” essentially means bad behavior.
So far, so good. It’s true that a public official does not have to literally commit serious criminal offenses, as Bush and Cheney freely admitted doing, to deserve impeachment. But the WorldNut editorial writers can’t cite even one instance of “bad behavior” by President Obama.
As a practical matter, if impeachment was “off the table” for Bush and Cheney, then no subsequent administration has anything to worry about.
UPDATE: Floyd Brown, a prominent player in Republican circles, says “Obamaism” is an impeachable offense. Because he can’t come up with anything that fits the constitutional definition. You have to give him points for originality.
On MSNBC the other day, Chris Hayes of The Nation said that human sacrifice doesn’t work as a defense against right-wing witch hunts. President Bill Clinton tried it, as I recall, ditching “friends of Bill” one by one. The result: Democrats looked weak, and the Republicans set their sights on impeaching the President.
Last Saturday’s forced resignation of Anthony “Van” Jones from the Council on Environmental Quality was apparently only the beginning. Glenn Beck went after Van Jones at least partly for revenge, after the grassroots group Color of Change (that Jones co-founded four years ago) started a successful campaign against Beck’s on-air race-baiting.
Beck’s next victim is another progressive: Yosi Sergant, Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts. Sergant is best known for his work with Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the iconic Obama “Hope” poster. Now he has been asked to resign because Glenn Beck said he was a Nazi.
It’s time for someone in the Obama administration to realize that Beck gets paid $18 million a year to run baseless smear campaigns against Democrats. That’s the business he is in. As long as he’s successful, he’s not going to stop. And Beck’s hit list is a long one.
UPDATE: Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s pick to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, was confirmed by the Senate today by a vote of 57-40. Sunstein’s nomination was filibustered by Republicans for eight months, and he’s rumored to be Beck’s next target.
David Weigel of The Washington Independent has been keeping track of the progress of the “birther” conspiracy theory as the insanity spreads.
In case you haven’t heard, the “birthers” are a fascinating fringe movement in the Republican Party that claims President Obama is not a U.S. citizen, and therefore his election was illegitimate.
Some media personalities and politicians, including at least ten members of Congress, have been lining up to pander to the “birthers.” Lately, CNN’s Lou Dobbs has been encouraging them too, and recently implied that President Obama might even be in this country illegally.
Last night on “Hardball,” Chris Matthews spent most of a long interview unsuccessfully trying to get Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), a co-sponsor of Rep. Bill Posey’s “birther” bill, to admit that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen.
Here’s a quick reference to some prominent “birthers” and “birther” supporters
- Phil Berg, a former Pennsylvania deputy state attorney general and serial litigant
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Rep. John Carter (R-TX), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Liz Cheney, former State Department official and daughter of Dick Cheney
- Major Stefan Cook, an Army officer who volunteered for Afghanistan but reneged on his commitment, demanding proof of President Obama’s citizenship
- Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Lou Dobbs, CNN anchor
- Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Sean Hannity, Fox News Channel personality, who has aired claims that “the president is not, in fact, a legitimate citizen by birth” and asked a caller on his radio show if he had “ever seen” Obama’s birth certificate.
- J.D. Hayworth, a former Arizona Republican congressman
- Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), who recently told Politico that he thinks the birthers “have a point.”
- Alan Keyes, former ambassador and frequent presidential candidate, who filed a law suit in California to force Obama to prove his citizenship
- G. Gordon Liddy, radio talk show host and former Nixon Watergate operative convicted of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping
- Rush Limbaugh, right-wing radio personality, who quipped: “[W]hat do Obama and God have in common? Neither has a birth certificate.”
- Rev. James David Manning, a New York preacher
- Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Andy Martin, Chicago “Internet powerhouse” (his own words!) who started the unfounded rumor that Barack Obama was a secret Muslim and later pushed the unfounded rumor that he wasn’t born in America (Martin is running for Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat in 2010)
- Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Chuck Norris, actor and right-wing activist who also claims that President Obama has not revealed his birth certificate
- Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), co-sponsor of Posey’s birther bill
- Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), sponsor of a bill that would change campaign law to demand proof of citizenship from presidential candidates
- Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), who questioned President Obama’s citizenship at a town hall meeting
- Carl Swensson, an activist from Georgia who was hustling to get people from all 50 states to form “citizen grand juries” to finally expose the conspiracy behind President Obama’s birth certificate
- “Queen of the birthers” Orly Taitz, Obama conspiracy theorist and a dentist with a degree from an online law school
UPDATE: Perhaps I ought to point out that this crazy conspiracy theory, like all other crazy conspiracy theories, has been thoroughly debunked a long time ago.
UPDATE: Lou Dobbs: “[L]imp-minded, lily-livered lefties” attacked me because I had the “temerity to inquire as to where the birth certificate was.”
UPDATE: From “Hardball” Thursday night: Absurd Obama citizenship debate fills airwaves (11:19 video). Chris Matthews vs. an elderly and sometimes befuddled G. Gordon Liddy (I forgot that guy is really old now). Liddy tries lamely to keep to the “birther” talking points as Matthews heaps scorn.
UPDATE: CNN President Jon Klein to Lou Dobbs: “It seems this story is dead,” Klein wrote, “because anyone who still is not convinced doesn’t really have a legitimate beef.”
UPDATE: Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) is going to introduce a resolution on the House floor today (July 27) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. And of course, the resolution declares Hawaii to be the birthplace of our 44th President.
UPDATE: Mike Stark gets them on the record:
Check out this video: several Republican Congressman tell me they don’t believe Barack Obama is an American. Several dodge the question. Others offer weak-tea justifications for kinda-sorta believing Obama is a natural born citizen, Constitutionally fit to hold the office of President of the United States of America…
UPDATE: “Birther” self-proclaimed leader Orly Taitz is boasting on her blog that she’s made some high-profile “friends” on Facebook: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor and GOP Reps. Mary Bono Mack and Cynthia Lummis.
UPDATE: One Utah celebrates glenn hoefer as our first in-house “birther.” At least until he states that President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961.
Via his roommate at BYU, this morning’s Washington Post reports that Torture Memo author Judge Jay Bybee is tortured by self-pity.
“Jay would be the sort of lawyer who would say, ‘Look, I’ll give you the legal advice, but it’s up to someone else to make the policy decision whether you implement it,’ ” said Randall Guynn, who roomed with Bybee at Brigham Young University and remains close.
In other words, “Its not my fault those evil men used my advice to justify torture.” Is Bybee then standing by his legal opinion?
Neither Guynn nor his brother, Steve, who also roomed with Bybee, recalled the judge distancing himself from the memos. But in the years since the first memo became public, Bybee left that sense with some.
Where is the personal responsibility? Where is the moral compass?
Since moving to Utah years ago, I am frequently reminded that without religion there is no morality.
If morality – the sense of right vs wrong — is derived exclusivily from religion, and Bybee’s religious training is straight from the bosum of The LDS Church… Is it possible the training at BYU Law School is at odds with religious doctrine? Or is Bybee a weak-kneed, ambitious, self-serving schmuck with a pretty face?
Bybee’s friends said he never sought the job at the Office of Legal Counsel. The reason he went back to Washington, Guynn said, was to interview with then-White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales for a slot that would be opening on the 9th Circuit when a judge retired. The opening was not yet there, however, so Gonzales asked, “Would you be willing to take a position at the OLC first?” Guynn said.
I can only imagine what must be going on in Bybee’s head. “Dang. I got caught.”
Bybee should take this opportunity to become a ‘man.’ Otherwise, he’s going to face the fasted impeachment in history. Three Senators have already called for his resignation.
What is he waiting for?