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After Bitter Defeat, Will the GOP’s Next Move Be Impeachment?

congress-republicans-54d81f2888083721One thing you can say about the most diehard Republicans, they are not gracious losers.

Within hours after Republicans ended their budget fight with President Obama and allowed a measure ending the federal government shutdown to go through, a Republican congressman from Texas arranged for the distribution of a book to House members, which makes an argument for possible articles of impeachment against the president.

WND, a conservative website, reported that each of the 435 members of Congress received a copy of Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office, by Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott, courtesy of Rep. Steve Stockman.

The book contends that Obama has violated the Constitution several times, including the introduction of his health care legislation, which the authors called taxation without representation, gun control and his handling of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

Approximately 15 Republicans have discussed a possible move in the House several times previously, according to WND, but it appears the reluctance to move is pragmatically driven. Some GOP lawmakers said they believed they could get enough votes for articles of impeachment through the House, but couldn’t win a conviction in the Senate, which requires 67 votes. There are 46 Republicans in the Senate, but impeachment advocates are not convinced they would vote in one block and win enough votes from any disgruntled Democrats.

It’s interesting to see there is a discussion of impeachment less than a full day after Republicans conceded defeat in the showdown against the administration over the funding of the Affordable Care Act and the debt limit.

The Senate voted 81 to 18 Wednesday for a measure negotiated by GOP and Democratic leaders. The House then voted 285 to 144 – including 87 Republicans – for the Senate version.

“If you look back in time and evaluate the last couple of weeks, it should be titled ‘The Time of Great Lost Opportunity,’” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told The New York Times in describing the failed exercise by Republicans.

Instead of defunding the health care law, derisively referred to as Obamacare, the GOP instead exposed its own deep divisions, put the nation on the brink of financial ruin—diminishing the party’s stature among voters in the process—and failed to win major concessions from Democrats.

Republicans squandered their advantage when the president was facing heavy questioning, if not criticism, over long-term debt and whether he was smart or just lucky in the showdown with Syria, which ended with President Assad agreeing to let his cache of chemical weapons be destroyed. The GOP even blew the opportunity to make political hay about the website snafus hundreds of thousands of Americans encountered when they tried to get information about or sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

And yet, in the midst of figuring out how it all went so wrong and whether there is anything to salvage from this episode, there are Republicans who want to take the fight right back to the administration, suggesting that articles of impeachment might be a logical next step.

If nothing else, the Republicans bought themselves some time: The deal finances the government only through Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.

Jackie Jones, a journalist and journalism educator, is director of the career transformation firm Jones Coaching LLC and author of “Taking Care of the Business of You: 7 Days to Getting Your Career on Track.”


What people are saying

8 thoughts on “After Bitter Defeat, Will the GOP’s Next Move Be Impeachment?

  1. Chas Holman says:

    I'd say right now the Republicans are more concerned with impeaching the Tea Party in their group, than they are the Democrats.

  2. Walt Clayton says:

    Republicans in general, and the Tea Party fanatics in particular, are driven by deep-rooted racism more than anything. These public parasites are not true Americans, but sociopathic traitors who pose a genuine threat to our nation. In the last few weeks they've done more harm than Al Qaeda could ever dream of achieving.

  3. Bob Fletcher says:

    What is scarey is these people actually have a following that voted them into office and still support them.

  4. Richard Robles says:

    If they attempt an impeachment they really are dead and will never come back and even risk the turmoil of violence that would further split this country and perhaps instigate the second civil war that would most likely see an end to those like Palin, Bachmann and Cruz.

  5. Terri Geer says:

    This is nonsense. Do these people really believe they have any kind of case against the President?

  6. Rick Surratt says:

    Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution provides: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” There seems to be widely varying opinions on the precise meaning of “other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” However, the words and the context of the provision, along with historical meaning, afford some basis for interpretation.

    When stated in conjunction with treason and bribery, the term “or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” would suggest crimes and misdemeanors that are similar in degree of seriousness to treason and bribery and could have perhaps been stated as “other such high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    Of course, the meaning of the word “crime” is fairly clear. It must be some act that is in violation of penal law. Historically, “high crimes” has referred more to the status of the persons committing them than the innate seriousness of the criminal acts themselves. These are crimes committed by people in high places and against the public trust placed in them by virtue of their offices. The phrase signifies acts by those who have special duties acquired by taking an oath of office. A high crime is one done to circumvent justice by someone in a unique position of authority.

    Strictly speaking, “crimes” and “misdemeanors” are synonymous terms, though in common usage “crime” connotes offenses of a more serious nature (in classification felonies vs. misdemeanors). Given that both are crimes, nonetheless, a president cannot properly be impeached because there is a segment of the citizenry that disagrees with him or her, because some people just dislike him or her, or because he or she has become unpopular with some in America. If that were enough cause for impeachment, many of the President’s opponents in Congress could also be impeached. The Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of Affordable Care Act, and the other self-serving arguments that the President has violated the Constitution are based on emotion rather than substance.

    Under Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution, the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” The Senate conducts the trial if the House does vote to impeach, in which case a conviction requires a vote of two thirds of the senators voting, a highly unlikely scenario under the current makeup of the Senate.

    So, in addition to the absence of legal grounds, there are practical reasons why there will unlikely be any impeachment of President Obama. These Republicans, like Michele Bachmann regularly does, are merely making fools of themselves.

  7. Christine Potthast says:

    … and are trying to impress those who do not understand but are 'educated' by FOX News and radio hosts. They cater to the rich and recruit the stupid as followers with their bold moves, lies and hate talk. – They stand a much better chance to impress them than the President ever will because the President is asking for more – he is asking people to think and act responsibly. – A lot of followers of the extreme right don't want that. – These people scare the hell out of me. Germans know where fanaticism can end and how quickly this can happen. – Let's work hard. A good post. Thanks.

  8. Christine Potthast says:

    That is not their main goal. They want to impress their uneducated, non thinking followers. In their eyes, they need to appear as the victims who desperately try to fight the bad guys, the system that has wronged them. The President is the symbol of it all. – It is all about manipulation – strategy – mass hysteria – catering to followers who follow blindly. -Dangerous! – Take it from a German.

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