Unimpeachable

The blogger MyKeyStrokes writes an excellent piece trying to dissect the American right wing’s newfound, fruitless obsession with the idea of impeaching President Obama.

Yeah, that's not going to happen.
Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Essentially, those elected GOP officials and conservative pundits who peddle this impeachment talk know that there is zero chance of making this outcome a reality – but of course, that was never their aim:

Sometimes politics is like high-stakes poker. If you look around the table after a few hands and you can’t tell who’s the pigeon, citizen, chances are it’s you: the guy who plunked down $26.95 for a book called Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office.

Yeah, you with the “Impeach Obama” bumpersticker on your car. The guy standing on a freeway overpass waving a “Honk for Impeachment” sign. You may as well go around in a little bird’s nest hat, like Donald Duck’s eccentric friend Gyro Gearloose.

Because it not only ain’t going to happen, but the people peddling this nonsense don’t even want it to happen. Not really. They’re just making a buck off people who can’t count and running a classic misdirection play.

Yes. Making a quick buck by whipping scared people into a furious rage, and then either selling them products that help to reinforce their End Times beliefs (Obama wants to destroy America! We are now a socialist country!) or leveraging their support to achieve higher political office.

As MyKeyStrokes sees it, however, this is potentially good news for any centrist or Democratic-leaning voter, because the more preoccupied the GOP becomes with the alluring mirage of seeing President Obama impeached, the more they inadvertently reveal that they have given up hope of passing any of their agenda (see the 40 pointless votes to repeal ObamaCare in the House of Representatives as just one shining example):

Like it or not, the possibility of repealing “Obamacare” ended when the Supreme Court found it Constitutional and the president won re-election. You’d think after 40 — count ’em, 40 — fruitless votes to abort the law, that message might start to sink in. We still have majority rule in this country.

But no, it hasn’t sunk in at all. Like a baseball team demanding to play the eighth game of the World Series, GOP hardliners have come up with yet another plan to force the president’s hand. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has called for something he infelicitously called a “grassroots tsunami” to make Obama relent.

Whether the GOP’s current malaise is a good or bad thing largely depends on one’s own political leanings, or the importance that one attaches to having a functioning two-party system where neither party is beholden to an intractable, crazy political base. Personally, as someone who advocates for smaller government and empowering the citizen over the state (and consequently very much against the recent assaults on the First and Fourth Amendments by the Bush and Obama administrations), I find it disheartening to find myself frequently having to side with Democrats because the other side are, more often than not, acting in a totally nihilistic, immature manner.

It was bad enough when this childish behaviour (“I didn’t get my way, so now I’m taking my toys and leaving, and refusing to cooperate or compromise in the business of government”) was limited to the House of Representatives, but now we see this reality-denial infecting the Senate as well. Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are rising stars in the GOP, and both have some degree of promise. Certainly neither of them are stupid. And yet they both seek to burnish their conservative credentials by playing chicken with the US debt ceiling again, and failing to call out the crazies from among their supporters who have persuaded themselves to believe that a twice-elected president pursuing his political agenda is somehow akin to “high crimes and misdemeanors” worthy of impeachment:

At a recent town hall meeting in Muskogee, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, ostensibly a personal friend of the president’s, answered a constituent’s question about impeachment by allowing as how “those are serious things, but we’re in serious times. And I don’t have the legal background to know if that rises to ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ but I think you’re getting perilously close.”

Campaigning in Texas, Senator Cruz responded to a constituent who asked, “Why don’t we impeach him?” by saying, “It’s a good question.”

No. It isn’t a good question. It’s a dumb question. Ted Cruz graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and assuming he wasn’t high during his constitutional law lectures, understands perfectly well that Obama has not committed any impeachable offense any more than have the previous eight or so presidents.

cruzpalin

But impeachment is not the goal. The business of governing through compromise is not the goal. Even the full enactment of their declared conservative agenda is not the goal (Republicans will rail against dependence on government but would never risk the wrath of the AARP by voting to abolish the socialised medicine that is MediCare). So what is the goal?

Money and/or Political Power.

And all of those saps “honking to impeach” Obama are playing right into their hands.

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