Monday, February 03, 2014

Impeach, or Not Impeach?

I knew that President Barack Obama's State of the Union address would provoke a lot of comment and punditry. I didn't watch it this year. I just couldn't bring myself to sit through it, knowing fully what to expect, and in reading reviews of the speech, my predictions proved correct.

Right now, the pundits and politicians (mostly on the conservative side of the fence, but to their credit, SOME Democrats), have been mouthing the "I" word because of Obama's threat to use executive orders to bypass Congress when Congress won't give him his way. Let's look at the reality. A Bill Clinton redux.

Times have changed since 1974, when we had a Republican president threatened with impeachment, but Richard Nixon's actions while in office were so egregious that even Republicans felt it necessary to confront the president, telling him that he had lost their support, and if he didn't resign, he would be impeached and removed from office. Yes, the Democrats were enemies of Nixon, but there was enough love of the country left then that both parties recognized that something had to be done. Nixon was a Republican, but the Republicans did the right thing and for the good of the country, they pulled their support forcing Nixon's resignation.

Things have changed today. The country has become completely polarized, and all that matters these days is political expediency, power, and advantage. A Republican House of Representatives could very well pass articles of impeachment. But the Senate is in Democratic hands, and there is just no way that a conviction would ever happen in the Senate—not with the current makeup and number dynamics. Which is a crying shame, because you would think that Congressional Democrats would recognize the threat to their own Constitutional powers, and would yank the Executive Branch back into line. But no. All they see before them is political expediency. Obama is advancing goals that the Democrats have held for a long time, and they're hell bent on seeing them enacted, Constitutional procedure and rule of law be damned. (Note: this will eventually come back to bite them, as will Harry Reid's push-through of the "nuclear option," doing away with the 60-vote majority needed to move legislation past a filibuster.)

Yes, the House could impeach as they did Bill Clinton, and yes, it would be a mark on Obama's presidency. But this crop of political office-holders, especially Democrats, don't seem concerned at all about black marks. The end justifies the means. Impeachment would accomplish nothing unless removal from office would follow. That and that alone would rap the Executive Branch on the snout and rein them in. But it won't happen, so why bother?

I hope Republican majorities get elected in the 2014 mid terms. But I have a concern there also. The party establishment has taken to bashing the base—which they've really always held in contempt. They need our votes, but they don't want us really having any impact on their gentlemen's club in Washington. John McCain, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins are good examples of this mindset, and I am afraid, so is John Boehner. They will talk conservative, and vote conservative, until something really vital to the conservative cause comes to a vote and then they switch and vote with the Democrats. "Too extreme," you see. That is why so many of us thus far faithful, Republican voters are disenchanted, and are no longer considering ourselves Republicans, but conservative independents. We are TIRED of having our votes taken for granted, and then being kicked out of the table when the election's been won. We do not want to see the Bob Micheliszation of the party resurrected, when the GOP was a happy, content permanent minority that could cluck its tongue at the Democrats on occasion, but really pushing an issue to win? Oh, no. "That's unseemly and ungentlemanly. The Country Club would disapprove. These hillrod rubes need to follow our directions." And all the while, the liberal agenda follows the dialectic full force. Three steps forward, two steps back. Three steps forward, two steps back. But all the while, the liberal agenda advances steadily and ultimately unstoppably.

Can this change? Yes. But it will take a miracle. We'd better begin praying for one.

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