In an article at National Review Online that is both entertaining and informative, Andrew McCarthy undertakes the heady question of whether it is absurd to declare, as former Obama BFF and U.S. Senator Tom Coburn did recently, that the president is “getting perilously close” to “high crimes and misdemeanors.” David Axelrod, a man who helped inflict Obama on the nation, dismissed Coburn’s views as his “considered legal opinion as an obstetrician.”
Axelrod went on to accuse the senator of spreading “a kind of virus that has infected our politics,” which, McCarthy’s writes, “is Axelrod’s considered medical opinion as a windbag.”
Soon after this observation, McCarthy switches out of comic mode and into tragic. “President Obama,” “has sworn to uphold the Constitution and is bound to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” (Art. II, Sec. 3).”
In stark contrast, he has usurped the lawmaking power of Congress by unilaterally amending some statutes and expressly refusing to enforce others — not because they are arguably unconstitutional but because he disagrees with them on policy grounds. For years, he has ignored the law requiring the executive branch to propose Medicare reforms when the program’s trustees issue a warning about inadequate funding. He has made recess appointments when Congress was not in recess. He has flouted judicial rulings, including those invalidating the work of illegally appointed officials. His Justice Department openly and notoriously flouts the Constitution by enforcing the civil-rights laws in a racially discriminatory manner. His administration has knowingly transferred firearms to murderous Mexican criminal enterprises, predictably resulting in the killing of at least one federal Border Patrol officer. He has sued sovereign states in order to extort them into acceptance of his gutting of immigration and voter-identification laws.
After willfully empowering jihadists in Libya by instigating an unprovoked, unauthorized war against a regime the United States regarded as an ally and was funding, the president and his State Department were shockingly derelict in failing to protect American personnel they recklessly kept stationed in Benghazi despite repeated attacks. When American installations there were predictably besieged yet again by jihadists on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the commander-in-chief compounded his default by abandoning Americans who were under lethal attack, failing to take action to attempt to save them. As a result of this serial malfeasance, four American officials, including the United States ambassador to Libya, were killed — a scandal the administration has exacerbated by stonewalling congressional investigations; attempting to defraud the public into believing an obscure anti-Muslim video provoked the siege; and shamefully jailing the video producer in a transparent effort to prop up the fraud and in violation of the producer’s constitutional rights.
The president, moreover, oversees an administration that has turned the IRS loose to harass his political opponents, frustrating their capacity to organize prior to the 2012 election. And Obama has stood behind his attorney general despite the latter’s citation for contempt of Congress and multiple episodes of false congressional testimony — most recently in connection with the investigation of journalists covering the administration.
With a record like this, George W. Bush would long ago have been impeached and removed.
It’s a lengthy list to which other crimes and misdemeanors could likely be added. So the bottom line question, McCarthy asks, is why not proceed to articles of impeachment? The answer, he posits, citing the opinion of Sen. Ted Cruz, is that the votes simply aren’t there in Congress. “The Framers, McCarthy concludes, “intended impeachment as the ultimate accountability. Without at least the credible threat of it, there is no realistic checking of a president who seems increasingly disposed to abuse his awesome powers, in fulfillment of a promise to ‘fundamentally transform’ the United States of America.