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A Case for Impeachment? Not Even Close

What is driving the right to emulate the worst tactics of the left?

Rick Moran


May 11, 2013 - 12:01 am

“May you be cursed to live in interesting times,” says the fake Chinese proverb. But this is getting ridiculous — and embarrassing, if you’re a conservative.

Liberals made idiots of themselves during the Bush years believing that every revelation that “proved” “Bush lied, people died” would rid the country of the smirking Texan by way of impeachment. The American people, in their righteous anger, would rise up and smite the illegitimate cowboy (and his sidekick, Darth Cheney), bringing down his regime — with the help of Democrats who only wanted what was best for the country. Of course, they never mentioned that with Bush and Cheney out of the way, Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would become president. Little details like that always got lost in the shuffle.

Recall the snark on conservative websites this idiocy elicited at the time. The right had a gay old time rattling liberals’ cages, making helpful suggestions as to which Marx brother might lead the effort to convict Bush and Cheney in the Senate, and other sound pieces of advice. A good time was had by all in portraying the left to be unhinged, out of touch, and out of their minds.

But now, the bottom rail is on top and it is the right embarrassing itself by pushing for the impeachment of President Obama. It’s hard to keep track of how many scandals have seen Republicans and conservatives calling for Obama’s head. The granddaddy of them all is, of course, the birther issue and all its attendant trappings of conspiracy and intrigue. Then there was the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal, in which people were actually murdered by guns sold to Mexican drug gangs by hapless ATF agents. This was overseen by incompetents in the Justice Department. Incompetence, stupidity, arrogance — but an impeachable offense?

There’s much, much more. In an effort to be helpful, here is a website that has listed 100 potential articles of impeachment against the president. Some might think that 100 articles of impeachment is a stretch. Others may believe it’s a pretty good start. But perusing this list is like getting in a wayback machine and reading what the left was saying about President Bush at the time. It’s the same sort of madness and hysteria that afflicted liberals who could never quite separate their partisan desires from doing what was good for the country.

Now comes the attacks by terrorists on our diplomats in Benghazi on September 11 of last year and the panicked, incompetent, and ultimately dishonest response by the State Department, the Department of Defense, the CIA, and the White House. Coming as it did in the midst of a close campaign for the presidency, the political overtones in that response resonate to this day. And several prominent Republicans and conservatives see in that response a reason to overturn the election of November 6, 2012 — to toss the votes of 63 million Americans into the gutter.

It isn’t just fringe players on the right who are serious about impeaching the president. Mike Huckabee said on his radio show recently:

“When a president lies to the American people and is part of a cover-up, he cannot continue to govern,” Huckabee said on his radio show Monday.

“As the facts come out, I think we’re going to see something startling. And before it’s over, I don’t think this president will finish his term unless somehow they can delay it in Congress past the next 3½ years.”

Washington Times columnist and Boston radio host Jeffrey Kuhner believes the president should be impeached for allowing the Boston Marathon bombing:

The Boston massacre was a defining moment. It exposed Mr. Obama’s narcissistic and reckless approach to combating terror. There can be no illusions any longer — we are in a clash of civilizations between radical Islam and the West. Mr. Obama has denied this painful reality long enough. By burying his head in the ideological sands, he has made Americans pay a terrible price. It’s time he is held responsible for his gross negligence. It’s time that he be impeached. Justice demands no less.

WorldNetDaily has been running a petition since February demanding the impeachment of the president. Twitter’s #impeachment tag appears very popular with about a tweet a minute. That doesn’t include references to impeachment in tweets using #Benghazi or #bigtimescandal, which top the trending topics.

Former CEO of PJ Media Roger Simon got on the impeachment bandwagon long ago:

While we are making Watergate analogies, it’s worth noting this is far worse than that noxious moment in American history or the other recent impeachment episode — Clinton. In the former, some dumb zealots broke into the campaign headquarters of the opposition party in an election that wasn’t remotely close. Nevertheless, the paranoid Nixon destroyed himself by trying to cover up the idiocy. Clinton wagged his finger at us and lied about sex under oath, while his wife — an important figure in Benghazi where she has already been caught dissimulating — similarly lied by publicly blaming her husband’s philandering on the “great right-wing conspiracy.” (What power!)

Creepy behavior all around and certainly nothing remotely presidential, but, compared to Benghazi, no one died or was even injured. As far as I know, no one even stubbed a toe.

Benghazi, on the contrary, was an important battle in the Global War on Terror, which has now reached our shores more than once. It will undoubtedly do so again. Those who take this casually in the slightest are conscious or unconscious traitors or fools — or so self-interested as to be beneath contempt.

John McCain also believes that Benghazi is worse than Watergate, so Mr. Simon doesn’t stray far from the mainstream by making that charge.

What puzzles many is that in all this passionate rhetoric, there seems to be some words missing. Huckabee never mentions them. Simon didn’t include them. And in all those 100 proposed articles of impeachment against the president, the words never appear.

How can you impeach a president without mentioning “high crimes and misdemeanors”?

That’s the constitutional standard, and for people who purport to love our founding document, there is precious little said about a serious case to be made that the lies, the incompetence, the political calculation, the whitewashing, and even the stonewalling and denial of documents add up to a reason to overturn the election and make Joe Biden president.

Michael Hirsh writes in National Journal:

All this will no doubt come back to haunt Hillary Clinton should she decide to run for president; in some cases, she appeared to have been too removed from the events in Benghazi. Hicks at one point testified that that he personally spoke to Clinton at 2 a.m. on the night of the attacks, which makes the administration’s vague description in subsequent days even more suspicious.

But that hardly adds up to a cover-up. In the end, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the committee, may find himself digging yet another dry well, as he has done so many times. Even before he took over the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, with zero evidence in hand, Issa called Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” In his relentless search for evidence (and headlines) since, he has found nothing to back up that statement, including his highly publicized and largely fruitless hearings last June into the the Justice Department’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking program.

Benghazi was a tragedy. It will, almost certainly, remain a political issue. What it is not – by a long shot — is a scandal yet.

That last point by Hirsh may be more wishful thinking than cogent analysis. What the administration’s actions and omissions regarding Benghazi isn’t, by a long shot, is criminal or impeachable — yet. A scandal it surely is, especially after the testimony this week from three highly credible witnesses seriously contradicted the story about the attack and its aftermath coming from the White House. Even the House GOP report on Benghazi issued last month contains the germ of scandal regarding the way that the unclassified talking points were altered.

But an impeachable offense never makes an appearance in the report, nor did any of the compelling testimony this week come close to attaching direct blame for any of the transgressions mentioned — none of them impeachable — to the president. You can’t impeach a president for being a naive fool or an incompetent boob. You can’t impeach a president because he chose aides, assistants, or cabinet secretaries who can’t, or won’t, do their jobs. You can’t impeach a president for looking into a camera and lying to the American people. You can’t impeach a president because he tries to hide an error that would cost him votes in an election. Nor can you impeach a president for playing politics with national security, failing to rescue Americans under attack, or going to sleep in the middle of a crisis.

It is embarrassing for so many on the right to talk about the “unraveling” of the Benghazi narrative being the “end of Obama’s presidency.” The fact is, even if the press went into a feeding frenzy over this story, fulfilling the dreams of Obama’s most strident opponents and spreading the details of the scandal far and wide, it is doubtful that the public would be outraged enough to demand the impeachment of the president. Obama’s approval rating is still in the low 40s and, given his base of support, it is unlikely to drop into the mid 20s — a number that eventually convinced Richard Nixon, with the help of GOP leaders who believed if  the president stuck it out through a Senate trial it would destroy the party, to resign.

The last two presidents have had to deal with the issue of impeachment from rabid partisans who care little about constitutional standards and less about the good of the country. Both left and right have made fools of themselves the last decade by treating the extraordinarily serious issue of impeachment as just another political tool, employing it as the ultimate attack — the WMD of political combat.

It is not edifying for the right to emulate the absolute worst tactics of their opponents. Yes, hold Obama and his administration accountable by getting to the truth of what happened in Benghazi. But unless real evidence surfaces that ties the president directly to an impeachable offense, it would behoove all of us to abandon the idea of creating a serious national crisis that would ultimately tear the country apart at a time when we have to deal with so many critical problems.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

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Top Rated Comments   
First, a key difference between the Democrats' "Bush lied and people died" narrative and Benghazi. There is not a shred of evidence that President Bush made any misrepresentation, much less that he did so knowingly. By contrast, it is plain as day to anyone watching that President Obama pushed the youtube video story knowing it not to be true.

Second, a question. If The attack in Benghazi is designated a crime to be investigated by the FBI, and that investigation was obstructed by the false statements made knowingly by the Administration, as Mr. Hicks' testimony suggests, is there really no crime committed?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What CAN you impeach a president for? What constitutes "high crimes and misdemeanors" to you, Rick? You sound like a Democratic apologist for Obama.
You're just as "bad" as the right wing extremists! You'll swallow a lie (and four deaths) as big as an elephant but choke on a gnat. If ever there was a reason for me to not read your column, you just handed it to me. You're beginning to sound more and more like a faux republican. In fact, you're beginning to sound like John McCain.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have no idea of what your point is, Rick. This piece is all over the map. I understand you are afraid of right-wing extremists - yes, they are everywhere and are clearly disturbing your dreams. Take it easy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (61)
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Rick, normally like your stuff but this dog won't hunt. Matter of fact this here's a lap dog ain't even a hunting dog. People round here ain't got much use for a lap dog. Might want to check the pedigree. Just saying, most of us common folk know right off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So Article One of the Impeachment would be the unconstitutional appointment of "czars" who were not subjected to confirmation by the Senate as explicitly required.

Article Two would be his failure to appoint a prosecutor to investigate and, potentially prosecute, Attorney General Eric Holder for "Contempt of Congress".

The list goes on and on. And all of they are all "high crimes and misdemeanors" for failure to abide by Obama's sacred oath of office.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"But this is getting ridiculous — and embarrassing, if you’re a conservative."

That should leave you alone. I'm unaware of anything you want to conserve unless it's relics of New Deal Policy, LBJ's successes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Is your view obstructed by your proximity (Chicago editor) to The Owe's power base?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, the President refuses to come to the aid of his State Department employees who were under attack by Al Qaida. He then issued orders to have federal employees to lie about the true nature of the attack; and he and his Sec of State lied to the face of the victims' families as to the true nature of the attack.

The President was derelict in his duties as President -criminally so. A military officer would be court martialed and sent to prison if he left his own men to die despite having resources available to rescue them. And deceiving the American people in order to win an election is certainly an impeachable offence.

As usual Mr. Moran takes the "safe position". Don't rock the boat; get along with the Progressive Masters who run things.

What President Obama and his minions did was certainly criminal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I honestly can't tell if Moran is being ironic or not. I'm hoping he's using absurdity to illustrate the absurd. Otherwise this article is a hopeless mess of fractured logic.

I note his recurring point: "You can’t impeach a president for being a naive fool or an incompetent boob." Carter was a naive fool. Clinton was an incompetent boob. They were ill-informed liberals who were nonetheless attempting to work for America's best interests within the framework of their deeply flawed theories.

A third option is carefully avoided by Moran: that Obama is not naive, nor incompetent, but is an evil, bitter, anti-colonial collectivist who does NOT have America's best interests at heart -- he hates America, and is doing everything he can to first punish it, and then re-form it into something that it was never intended to be, by giving it over to our enemies.

So, if not impeachable, then how about treason?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The author of this drivel is insane. For fast and furious alone ovomit is impeachable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How would Rick Moran know what is properly conservative? He isn't one.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Whether or not impeachment would be appropriate or advisable, is it not perfectly reasonable at this point to surmise--from the evidence gathered to date--that once all the facts of the Benghazi episode are understood, it will be possible to make a more than colorable argument for "high crimes and misdemeanors", no matter how "high crimes and misdemeanors" is defined?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not Moran's biggest fan, but he has a point here. So far, nothing we have seen rises to the level of impeaching the President. And we have no expectation that those around him will turn on him and say, "Obama ordered the stand down," even - and if someone does, some NSA or general will fall on their sword and say they advised him to do so.

IF you could impeach him in the House, Senate Democrats will be in lockstep to defend him just like with Clinton, and the whole thing will backfire on Republicans - again.

Best to cripple him, stop his radical agenda, take the Senate, and make sure Hillary is too damaged to stop us from winning back the White House and doing the hard work of fixing Obama's messes. Because that is much more important than vengeance, however sweet its taste.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Leaving 4 Americans to die in the face of violent attacks, refusing to come to their aid despite having the resource to rescue them, and then ordering federal employees to lie to the people is certainly impeachable. Please, forget the politics for a moment. Two Americans fought a desperate fight for their lives for almost 7 hours - all of which was relayed to the WH Situation Room and our President and his staff refused to lift a finger to help. The President and his Sec of State then lied bald face to the victims' families. If that isn't impeachable, then nothing is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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