Friday, July 18, 2014

GOPers Threaten Obama's Impeachment... In Response, I Have A Threat For Them

Jonathan Capehart, member of the WaPoo's editorial board, discusses... OK, let's be honest, threatens... impeachment of President Obama. This he does under a banner titled "PostPartisan." Heh. What a card!

Sarah Palin, pea-brained, more immature even than the usual Republican, rejected soundly by Americans as Vice President, advocates impeachment of a president elected not once but twice by the American people.

Obama, pensive
I do not like President Obama. He has many shortcomings, some in the specific areas of American governance... civil liberties, privacy, compliance with the Bill of Rights including due process rights... that mean a great deal to me. But on the rare occasions that I wish him gone, I can't get past one simple fact:

The American people elected Obama their President, not once but twice. Just like George Dubya Bush.* Just like Bill Clinton. Obama was solidly elected by a substantial majority, twice; neither election was a squeaker. My feelings about him aside, he was (and if polls are to believed, still is) the duly elected choice of the American people.

Dog knows America has suffered under two-term Republican presidents... Ronald Reagan, for example... and no one seriously sought to throw them out of office before their terms expired. Like him or not, Ronald Reagan was my President. Like him or not, Poppy Bush was my President. Like him or laugh at him, Junior Bush was my President (however dubious the process by which he took office). As a committed American, I accepted the choices of the American people, foolish as I thought those choices were, and got on with business.

Today's Republican Party has another way of doing things. To them, no Democrat, no matter how large a majority s/he receives in a presidential election, can remain President for as long as a term, let alone two terms. When Mitch McConnell said back in 2008 (?) that his most important task was to see to it that Obama did not win a second term, that's exactly what he meant, and I have no doubt he began planning Obama's impeachment that very day.

Impeachment is a safety valve, a last-ditch method for dealing with a President who has gone crazy... and criminal. The main problem with impeachment is that it is undemocratic (with a small 'd') and indeed subverts the democratic process by which at least in theory we choose our nation's leaders. Impeachment is a political process... that's how everything is accomplished in a representative democracy... but it should not be thought of first and foremost as a political option, just another means of getting what one party wants. Impeachment ignores and overthrows the voice of the American people. It's like a fire extinguisher behind glass: you don't break the glass unless there's a genuine fire.

Yet if Obama is impeached, Republicans will have availed themselves of that emergency process twice in my adult lifetime. Maybe, after elections, they will have the Senate votes to convict Obama and remove him from office. But they certainly have no right to do so, not if they continue talking, as Dubya did repeatedly, about "freedom 'n' democracy" as if it were our form of government. Such talk comes from a party that sees its own reign, at all times, as trumping both freedom and democracy.

I have no great love for Obama, as regular readers know. And I have no stomach for rebellion, let alone outright revolution. But if the GOP wants to strengthen my stomach, all they need to do is impeach and remove Obama. In that case... "Go ahead... Make. My. Day!"

*Obligatory asterisk. As in, "vote carefully; you have only one asterisk..."

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