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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let's talk about impeachment

I think it's wrong for Republicans to take the threat of impeachment off the table. Yes, it has served as a good talking point for Democratic fund raising but no president should ever feel that he has carte blanche to ignore the constitution and the rule of law. If Obama attempts to grant amnesty to 5 million illegals all bet are off. Polling puts disapproval of of his handling of the border crisis in the 70 percent range and while a majority of Americans think illegals presently living in the United States should be given a path to citizenship they also know how a bill becomes a law. Unilateral executive action is tolerated during time of war but seldom do president push the law to its limit in peacetime. Amnesty by executive action is unknown territory and there is not the slightest indication of how the public will react. Certainly public apathy will disappear. Those of us old enough to remember Richard Nixon and Watergate remember it was a gut wrenching experience for the body politic. It was not business as usual. Nixon was reelected with 60% of the popular vote, as compared to Obama's 51%, yet when the public became convinced he had crossed the line he had to go-no, if's buts, and's or maybe's. There was more than enough public support for his impeachment.
The latest indication is the amnesty order will come down by the end of the summer. It will certainly evoke an outrage that no legal opinion from from some obscure DOJ lawyer will be able to quell. And it will certainly be the political death of many if not all senators running for reelection in red states. If the Republicans will borrow a page from the Tea Party playbook and argue constitutional principles rather than the long term effect on the party's chance of pulling the Hispanic vote they can make Obama's impeachment a campaign issue.
"Senator Landrieu does not have the courage to stand up for the constitution she swore to protect and defend."
"Can Obama abolish Medicare?"
Tell Senator Hagan to stand and protect the constitution and impeach Obama."
"How many votes must Senator Pryor and his party import to turn America into a banana Republic? If he will not vote to impeach Obama now will he after the election? Tom Cotton has the courage to impeach."
I have no doubt the sale for impeachment could be made for in every red state.
The beauty of the GOP's opposition is that it can be custom tailored for each state. If impeachment sounds too strident for New Hampshire it can be rephrased into a blander message while Mitch McConnell and Tom Cotton can shout it from the roof tops. As stated, executive amnesty is unknown territory and it may cause more than expected outrage in deep blue states as urban blacks and blue collar municipal unions sense a threat to their well being.

There is certainly doubt that executive amnesty will work. Assuming the GOP wins the senate it could hold every Obama favored spending program hostage. Boehner may be allowed to amend his lawsuit to include amnesty thus making Obama argue his indefensible position in court. States that have incurred increased welfare and education expenses over the years could probably find sympathetic courts. Pity the Democrat candidate in 2016 having to defend Obamacare and amnesty. Will the party of big government also want to be called the party of lawlessness?
There is enough downside risk to make one wonder if amnesty just the prelude to coup d'etat. Usually dictators begin by asserting that they have powers beyond their offices. If unchecked they claim more power. Up to this point Obama has circumvented the law by inaction; by not enforcing immigration law, by not defending the Defense of Marriage Act, by not implementing the employer mandate. Granting work permits to illegals is active defiance and a long step down the road toward autocratic rule. Keep the threat of impeachment visible. It may be needed.

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