Yesterday I saw a tweet in my Twitter timeline posted by one of my followers that had to do with whether or not President Obama should be impeached. I re-tweeted the tweet because I thought it pithy. Re-tweets do not necessarily equate to endorsement on Twitter, as anyone who uses that Social Media platform should understand. I was immediately set upon by @Vickie627, whose bio reads “Independent minded, going forward, San Diego & New Orleans.”
Vickie challenged the original post and the slammed the originator and myself for thinking that there were any grounds for impeachment of our President. I replied that there was at least some “expert opinion” that there were grounds for possible impeachment, and sent her these two links…
… and followed up by saying that I myself have not supported impeachment adding that “the reason impeachment hasn’t been moved on is because Obama is our first black President.” I meant by this that the main stream media (MSM) is decidedly Leftist and has been willing to overlook President Obama’s missteps and potential violations of law specifically because they want to see our first black President succeed.
That last remark seemed to touch a Liberal nerve with Vickie because she shot back “…now you pull the race card for support. Pathetic. The People [I can only assume she is referring to Americans] aren’t fooled by RW [Right Wing] fantasies.”
I directed Vickie to my blog and told her that I would soon generate a blog post where I had more room to express myself rather than trading snarky snippets in 140 characters, and I left for the gym. When I got back home I note that @Vickie627 seems to have blocked me from replying to her tweets. I’ve been ‘scolded’ by Twitter in the past for “sending unsolicited tweets” so I’ll not reply to her on Twitter – don’t want to be locked out again. Maybe if one of my Twitter followers sees this post they can let @Vickie627 know that I’ve kept my promise, explaining myself in full and providing the references she requested.
Sorry for the long intro, but I felt it was necessary to set the stage here.
Should President Obama be impeached?
My short answer is “yes”; that is to say that I believe he has committed impeachable offenses and that the American people deserve justice in the form of impeachment. However if the question were rephrased “should the GOP in Congress attempt to impeach President Obama at this time?” I would answer “no.” I say this because I feel that it would do much more damage to the Conservative cause than good. I’ll qualify my “no” by saying that I am as mad at our President as any of my readers, but one must weigh the pros and cons of any action and especially one as controversial as impeachment. After all if we win no elections we hand leadership of America over to the Democrats… and you see what that’s gotten us this past 5 years!
The MSM and at least 40% of the American people would never support impeachment proceedings against President Obama, and the GOP would be raked over the coals for even attempting such an attack on America’s first black President… and no Vickie that’s not a racist statement, it’s just observation of fact. Racism is “the belief that all members of a given race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” I am simply recognizing that President Obama is black, and that the MSM has an established and long-held belief that black Americans should be provided special exception to help them succeed in order to compensate for the past actions of Americans who were racists.
Incidentally I challenge any of my readers to find a single blog or Twitter post that indicates I am a racist. Having said that in the minds of most Liberals simply disagreeing with President Obama is sufficient to rate the epithet “racist” as demonstrated by Vickie’s response.
Now to Vickie’s question which was (paraphrasing here a bit for clarity):
1. “Specifically which Constitutional experts believe that there are legal grounds to impeach President Obama”, and I can assume she would also like to know
2. “Specifically which charges would constitute allegations which would support an actual filing of impeachment proceedings?”
In response to the first question about which Constitutional experts I was referring to I will provide only one name because I have other more important things to do than research the Internet on Vickie’s behalf. The name I will provide is Herbert Titus, and I have provided his rather substantial qualifications and credentials below.
In response to the second question I will first provide Mr. Titus opinion on the matter of impeachment which goes something like this; “Article 2 of the Constitution grants Congress the power to impeach “the president, the vice president and all civil officers of the United States,” which includes Cabinet members such as Attorney General Eric Holder [another lawless official I think should be impeached, although, again, I don’t think the GOP should attempt it.] These officials can be impeached for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is left to Congress.” Please see Mr. Titus’ article in the Washington Times which is the basis for this portion of this post. It’s really quite interesting.
Mr. Titus provides this key point; ““High crimes and misdemeanors – both of which are criminal terms – don’t necessarily have to be confined to any particular statute or fit into a traditional definition of a crime, so there’s a bit of discretion here in terms of the House filing the charge because of the political nature of the process.” Here he acknowledges that the process is “political.” Impeachment is always “political.”
In other words impeachment can be opened against a President, for example, for something the clearly political body of Congress decides is an appropriate charge, with evidence a court of law might not necessarily find incriminating. In the past impeachment has been filed for things like drunkenness, abuse of power and supporting the Confederacy.
The US House of Representatives has initiated impeachment proceedings 62 times since 1789. Actual impeachments of 19 federal officers have taken place. Of these, 15 were federal judges, two were Presidents (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), one was a Cabinet secretary, and one was a U.S. Senator. Of the 19 impeached officials, eight were convicted. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States)
In each and every case party politics was in play, with the party of the accused in Congress opposing the process. Impeachments are not strict trials “by law”, and they are always “political.”
Congress most certainly can impeach President Obama. Whether there is any clear “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” on which they might base an attempt to impeach is another issue, but it is clear that grounds for impeachment need not be clear violations of law in the manner most of us would initially think of that sort of thing… for example perjury, or obstruction of justice. Further it is unwise to bring impeachment charges unless and until it can be ascertained that a majority of the voting body – Congress – will support the motion.
Therefore impeachment is not so much a trial as it is an expression of the will of the People and of the States, which is why both Houses of Congress must vote and why there is no appeal of successful impeachment to a “higher court.”
Now directly to the question of specifically which charge or charges might rise to an acceptable threshold for impeachment, and engender broad support in Congress. Here I will refer you to what I believe is the most realistic summary of possible impeachable charges to date – the article quickly dismissed by @Vickie627 – the article posted to WesternJournalism.com last August, “Obama’s 13 Impeachable Offenses” (http://www.westernjournalism.com/obamas-13-impeachable-offenses/) written by Jerry McGlothlin a respected editorialist for USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Times. I will not recount those 13 charges here but I do recommend that you read this article. Suffice to say that there are more than a few offenses listed here that could form grounds for impeachment.
President Obama – and indeed his Attorney General Eric Holder – in the minds of many Conservative Americans and many GOP members of Congress are operating outside of many laws and have already committed more than one impeachable offense.
The idea that President Obama might soon face impeachment is not a Conservative pipe dream with no chance of success. In fact in April of this year Representative Tom Rice (R-SC) actually filed a motion to impeach President Obama officially stating the need to “bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch.” So far more than two dozen GOP Congressmen have signed on to this initiative, and I am quite certain that they are all “politically” motivated. After the elections this coming November I suspect that number will grow dramatically, especially if the GOP wins big.
While Congress most certainly can file impeachment against President Obama I don’t think the GOP will for the reasons noted above, at least not at the moment. However if the Senate shifts to the GOP in November that may change. Similarly if President Obama’s public opinion should drop even further (it’s already at an abysmal 40% +/- 2 points) and the MSM should turn away from President Obama – for example, if the IRS situation should suddenly point the smoking gun directly at the White House (which I think is unlikely) that may also change the GOPs calculus.
Finally I will repost here the observations of the blogger YidWithLid (aka The Lid) (http://yidwithlid.blogspot.com/2013/05/sorry-gop-but-impeachment-is-not-option.html), reprinted here without his approval because I couldn’t find a way to submit a request, so I hope he doesn’t mind…
“The last two Presidents who approached impeachment level were Nixon and Clinton, both of whom went way over the line to break the law. Clinton committed perjury, something to which he eventually admitted after DNA testing. Nixon may have survived Watergate if there wasn’t an audio record of his crimes (the tapes). This is an administration that is careful to protect its senior leaders by putting very little in writing. Heck the Attorney General didn’t even put it writing that he recused himself from the IRS case even though he is required to by law.”
Of course Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment and Clinton was acquitted despite his proven perjury. In 1868 President Andrew Johnson was also acquitted. So there it is; no American President has ever been successfully impeached. Is it possible? Yes. Is it wise? Probably not.
Now Vickie, you can respond to this article by saying “It’ll never work”, or “that would destroy the Republican Party” (and I would agree that serious damage would likely result), or even “LOL” (I think you already used that one), or you can call me a racist – again. However you cannot factually state that Congress cannot impeach President Obama nor can you factually state that there is no expert opinion that sufficient impeachable offenses exist.
Just because a criminal is never brought to trial doesn’t mean he’s not a criminal.
The bottom line is that while I personally do think that President Obama has committed impeachable offenses I doubt that the GOP will risk such an undertaking.
I welcome your comments here on my blog.
Herbert W. Titus is an American attorney, writer, and politician. He was a candidate for Vice-President of the United States in the 1996 U.S. presidential election on the Constitution Party ticket.
Titus holds a law degree (cum laude) from Harvard University and a B.S. degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Titus is an active member of the Bar of Virginia and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Court of Federal Claims, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Tenth, District of Columbia and Federal Circuits.
Jerry McGlothlin is President of Special Guests, Inc., a publicity agency specializing in providing expert guests to talk show hosts that also has Internet TV division CleanTV. As a talk show agent for 27 years, he has provided expert guests to a wide variety of programs shows including Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Jay Leno, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Bill O’Reilly. Jerry has worked with numerous celebrities including Barbara Walters and one of his personal favorite clients, the late great Ed McMahon, who Jerry personally placed on many dozen talk shows as a guest. His articles and editorials have been published in newspapers including USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Times, He has also been featured as the topic of articles in the newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times. Contact him: 630-848-0750 or firstname.lastname@example.org