Besides he’s a nice guy. In his article at The American Prospect ridiculing what he call the “impeachniks,” liberal hack Paul Waldman doesn’t come out and say what a great guy Barack Obama is. But he’s expressed his admiration for the president before, so let’s start with that bit of mythology.
Granted, affability is in the eye of the beholder. But it takes a very jaundiced eye at this point not to see Obama for the jerk he is. His fondness for sarcasm alone would earn him that label, but when you add in his thin skin, his massive ego, his manic insecurity, and his capacity for frequently scowling when things don’t go his way — as happens tediously often — you don’t exactly end up with the sort of guy you’re eager to have a beer (summit) with.
But on to Waldman’s thesis. “There have been only two presidential impeachments in the 224 years since George Washington became America’s first president,” he writes, adding that Richard Nixon would almost certainly have been convicted and removed from office had he not removed himself first.
Then he goes on to this remarkable statement:
But a presidency without too much actual criminality shouldn’t produce too many such armchair prosecutors. Or so you’d think.” [Emphasis added]
Too much criminality? You have to wonder where Waldman draws the line on quantity. How much is too much?
Waldman never gets around to the quality of Obama’s lawless acts, though there have been a number of blog posts and articles recently that furnish a laundry list of those that constitute impeachable offenses. A few from the list compiled by NRO’s Andrew McCarthy will suffice to illustrate the point. Obama 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.
- ignored the law requiring the executive branch to propose Medicare reforms when the program’s trustees issue a warning about inadequate funding.
- made recess appointments when Congress was not in recess.
- flouted judicial rulings, including those invalidating the work of illegally appointed officials.
- sued sovereign states in order to extort them into acceptance of his gutting of immigration and voter-identification laws.
His administration, moreover, has knowingly transferred firearms to murderous Mexican criminal enterprises, predictably resulting in the killing of at least one federal Border Patrol officer.
Even as we speak, Obama appears on his way to ordering military action against Syria without first obtaining congressional approval or laying out his case to the American people. The second is not a constitutional imperative, but a good president (not to mention a nice guy) would show that amount of consideration to the poor shlubs who elected him.
But Paul Waldman can’t be bothered with facts. Instead, he aims his heavy artillery at Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, whom he quotes as saying that a resolution to impeach Obama would be “a dream come true.” According to Waldman, Bentivolio has little more than dreams, having reportedly sought the opinion of lawyers and “PhD.s in history,” all of whom have asked him what evidence he has.
Waldman is dealing from the bottom of the deck here. Bentivolio is a popular target among the MSM and left blogosphere, but that’s mainly because he is one of only a handful of members of Congress to speak publicly to the issue of impeachment. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas has said the House GOP probably has the votes to do it, and then there is Sen. Coburn, who famously said last week that the president is “getting perilously close” to “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But beyond that, the party is playing the matter close to the vest.
In any case it’s not just the GOP that earns Waldman’s scorn. He also lashes out at the “rabble” “out in the ideological hinterlands” who “are getting roused.” “Impeach Obama” signs are appearing on highway overpasses, he intones emphatically, adding that there is a Facebook page behind the effort.
I will concede that talk of impeachment at this point is idle prattle, but this is because of the current balance of power in Congress. If Republicans are able to win back the Senate and retain control of the House in 2014, I would not be surprised to see articles of impeachment drawn up. It’s not as though the American people lack the stomach for it. A Fox News poll released on Aug. 8 found that a majority of Republican and Democratic voters alike strongly disagree with the Obama administration’s dismissal of the scandals plaguing Washington as ‘phony,’ with 78 percent of respondents answering that the administration’s handling of the deadly attack is a serious matter.” And although the breakdown of responses hewed to party lines, 88% of Republicans and 68% if white respondents said they suspect the government is involved in a cover-up.
Multiply that scandal by the number of total “phony scandals” in which the administration is embroiled, and you begin to sense the full import of the trouble this president is in. You also get the strong inkling that Waldman and his ilk are whistling past the graveyard.
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