Why Suing And/Or Impeaching the President is a Bad Idea

Posted: July 26, 2014 in Politics and Leadership, Reflections
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

There’s been a lot of talk on the right end of the political spectrum in the United States about suing or impeaching President Obama. Indeed, thanks to the efforts of House Speaker John Boehner (who I’m sad to say is from my state), the former is looking like it could be a definite possibility. And although I’m nowhere near powerful enough to have influence the workings of Congress, I would like to point out some of the flaws with either approach to dealing with the President.

Is it just me, or does he look like he wants to cry?

First, considering the option to sue the President, I’ve been skeptical of this whole lawsuit thing since Boehner announced his intentions to sue the President over his alleged abuse of executive orders and working around Congress. First off, Congress isn’t working at all Most of the time you guys are either flinging accusations at one another or sitting on your asses. And that’s when you’re actually working (which isn’t often enough, in my opinion): the rest of the time you’re courting super PACs or making sure the next election keeps you in office. Are you surprised the President is taking executive actions? Someone in Washington has to be doing their job. Second, President Obama has been actually rather conservative with his executive orders, with less of them than most Presidents who have been in office as long as he has. Only 183, compared to George W. Bush’s 291 and Ronald Reagan’s 381 executive orders. If you’re going to accuse a President of being abusive with executive orders, try Franklin Roosevelt, with a whopping 3,522.

And now that Boehner has specified which order he’s upset about, which delays certain provisions of Obamacare. Okay, this is a law he hates. Why does he want to sue to force the President to enforce those mandates? And even if the House agrees to sue the President, I doubt the Supreme Court will hear it. First off, Boehner would have to prove he’s been hurt by the delay in the mandates. Last I checked, he hasn’t. And the whole strange logic of this lawsuit would be enough to make Justice Scalia go “Say what??” It’s probably going to be thrown out of court.

And even if it does go through, I can’t see this case going in favor of Boehner. In any case, he’s likely to be humiliated even more over this case. And even if he does win the case, what’s the worst that could happen? The President’s reputation could be bruised, but he’d still be in office. And would it really make a difference? Obamacare’s delayed provisions would be put into action, and isn’t that the exact opposite of what you’d want?

My reaction as well.

And now for the whole impeachment issue. For years people have been calling for President Obama’s impeachment, most of them political pundits and citizens from red states or conservative neighborhoods. But the number of folks on the federal level calling for it, including Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Representative Randy Weber, whom Jon Stewart made some very good jokes about the other day. However, some of these same people calling for the President’s impeachment are also saying that they shouldn’t do it now. Why? As senior Republicans have actually admitted, pursuing impeachment might actually turn off independents leaning towards the GOP and excite the Democratic base. All before November’s midterm elections.

Look, we can quibble all we want about the definiton of a tyrant, but I don’t see the President as a tyrant, and clearly he’s not as big a tyrant as some in the GOP claim he is if you don’t want to depose him because you’re worried it might do more harm than good with GOP electoral prospects. And assuming that the House does actually get around to impeaching the President, the Senate has to try it, and in a Democrat-controlled Senate, that is far from likely to go the House’s way. And that’s assuming the House can actually find something that can be construed as “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors”, as the Constitution is written. And I’m pretty sure that would mean actual evidence, not just accusations or feelings of being persecuted. After all, an impeachment is basically the politician’s indictment, and indictments get thrown out when the judge determines there’s no evidence to support a case. Can the GOP support a case?

I’m not sure, but the last two impeachment hearings for a President (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton) went absolutely nowhere. I don’t see this one being any different.

You guys sure you want to unleash him on your party?

Besides, assuming the President could be impeached, that would make Joe Biden the President. You think Biden’s going to be more cooperative to a GOP that ousted his predecessor, with whom he’s worked with for almost six years in the White House? No, he and the Democrats are going to be just as obstinate about working with the Republicans as the Republicans are about working with the Democrats! So there will be more gridlock, which may actually do both parties a disservice. In fact, I can imagine that sort of situation leading to many third party groups rising in power and upsetting the current two-party system leading to a multi-party system at all levels of government. I’m pretty sure at this point there are plenty of people who would prefer that, especially if it got something done.

So is suing or impeaching the President a good idea? I don’t think so. In fact, it’ll be just another headache for the American people. We would much rather the Democrats and GOP go and pass bills together for the President to sign. In fact, we’d foot the bill for the various parties to see a therapist if we thought that might help end this gridlock. So please, do the smart thing, Mr. Boehner. End this crusade and go back to work. The American people would be so happy if you did.

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of politics, I’d like to throw out an endorsement for Ed Fitzgerald in the Ohio gubernatorial race this year. I feel he’s the best person to represent me and the rest of Ohio in the governor’s office, and I hope the rest of Ohio agrees with me in the coming months leading up to November. With 100 days to go, I’m hopeful.

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