Associated Press photo
The impeachment of Barack Obama: Bring it, bitches!
I sincerely hope that the Repugnican Tea Partiers take advantage of their new majority in the U.S. Senate and impeach President Barack Obama.
Because it will backfire.
A civics lesson is required (for many if not even most American readers) first: the U.S. House of Representatives can vote to impeach a sitting president by a simple majority vote. It’s not that hard a feat, especially in a highly poisonously partisan atmosphere, such as we have had for some time now (at least since 1998, the last time that a sitting U.S. president was impeached…).
Presidential impeachment, of course, is not the equivalent of the removal of the president. (Yes, many if not most Americans are fuzzy on the definition of the word “impeachment.”) If the House of Representatives votes to impeach, which is much like a grand jury handing down an indictment, the U.S. Senate then acts much like a courtroom (with the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presiding) and the senators vote on whether or not to remove the president. (They’re supposed to act like independent, non-partisan jurors, but of course there is no avoiding politics and partisanship in such a matter as the removal of the sitting U.S. president.)
However, the U.S. Senate may remove an impeached president only on a two-thirds vote. (This constitutionally required higher threshold apparently was intended to prevent petty politics and ensure that a president is removed from office only for very good cause.) Thus, while the Repugnican-traitor-controlled House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in December 1998 — as Clinton was wrapping up his sixth year in the White House, just as Barack Obama is doing now — in February 1999 the Senate acquitted Clinton, as only 50 senators, all of them Repugnicans, voted that Clinton was guilty of one or two misdeeds, either one of which could have removed Clinton from office had 67 of the senators voted that Clinton was guilty of having committed it. (To be fair, not a single Democratic senator voted Clinton to be guilty of either misdeed, and five Repugnican senators [John Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — all moderate, mostly Northeastern, Repugnicans, of course] also voted Clinton as not guilty of either misdeed.)
A solid majority of Americans thought that the 1998-1999 Repugnican-led impeachment debacle was bad for the nation – because it was – and in apparent political blowback, the Democrats gained seats in both houses of Congress in the following election, in 2000.
So: The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, still bitter that a black man sits in the White House, never could get the two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate that would be required to remove Obama from office.
An impeachment effort against Obama would be perceived by the majority of Americans as exactly what it would be: At best, the commission of a waste of time by the Repugnican-led Congress with a self-indulgent, petty political stunt instead of the addressing of the nation’s problems (an act of partisan grandstanding because Obama of course never will be removed from office) and at worst, yet another brazen attempt by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to subvert the will of the majority of American voters, such as they did when they tried but failed to remove Bill Clinton in 1998 and when they had no problem with George W. Bush being seated in the Oval Office in early 2001 even though he’d lost the popular vote to Al Gore by more than a half-million votes (and no doubt Gore had won the pivotal state of Florida as well, but, of course, then-Florida-Gov. Jeb Bush and then-Florida-Secretary-of-State Katherine Harris made damned sure that Gee Dubya “won” Florida).
Pundits unanimously agree that the Democrats are poised to retake the U.S. Senate in 2016, when the electoral map will favor them as it favored the Repugnicans on Tuesday. (In 2016, 23 Senate seats now held by Repugnicans will be up for a vote, compared to only 10 Senate seats now held by Democrats.)
While I don’t like Billary Clinton (to put it mildly), polls have shown her around 10 points ahead of any Repugnican candidate in hypothetical 2016 presidential match-ups, and while I’m not happy about it, at this moment I don’t see an actual Democrat – that is, an actually progressive Democrat – emerging as the 2016 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.
So 2016 looks like a bloodbath for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors already; the White House most likely will stay in Democratic hands and the Senate most likely will flip back to the Democratic Party.
If, drunk on their short-lived power, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. act like they have the “permanent [Repugnican] majority” that they talked about during the illegitimate reign of George W. Bush (we saw how “permanent” that was), they’ll only further antagonize centrist and left-of-center voters, and November 2016 will be even worse for them than it would have been had they showed some humility and vision that extends past only two years.
Luckily, they’re not capable of showing such humility or vision.
Because of that, I should thank the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in advance for most likely inspiring me to blog much more regularly over the next two years than I have over the past year or two. (Obama’s second term thus far has been quite a snoozer.) I anticipate that they’ll give me lots of inspiration. They’ll be my muses – on crack.
True, I am ensconced here in California, which is like an isle unto itself, where, on the state level, anyway, we are not much troubled by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors. This week Democrats took every statewide office here once again, as they did in 2010, and the state Legislature remains in firm Democratic control. Both of our U.S. senators are Democrats, as are the majority of our members of the U.S. House of Representatives. As California Democratic Party head John Burton wrote in an e-mail today (with the subject line of “We’ll always have California”), “California remains a deep-blue beacon.”*
But, having lived the first 30 years of my life in the God-awful red state of Arizona, I know what it is like for the millions of Americans who languish in the red (and purple) states, and not everyone can move to California or to another blue state (and nor should they have to). It’s up to all of us progressives to do what we can to assuage the damage that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wreaked upon our nation. We have a duty to do our best to protect those who cannot protect themselves against the legions of right-wing traitors among us.
And I have the feeling that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. over the next two years are going to fire us up to fight them like President Hopey-Changey hasn’t been able to fire us up for quite some time now.
*Interestingly, though, the for-profit media widely are making an “issue” of the fact that the Democrats haven’t retained a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of California’s Legislature. Wow. The bar always is set much lower for the wingnuts than it is for those of us who are left of center, isn’t it? Just as was the case with the 2000 presidential election, an actual win is always a “loss” for the left and an actual loss is always a “win” for the wingnuts. I mean, George W. Bush not only should have been impeached and removed from office, but he (and his cohorts) should have been executed for their war crimes (Vietraq War) and their crimes against humanity (Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina), Nuremberg style, yet here the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are talking about Obama’s impeachment.