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Call to impeach Obama, but on what grounds?

Herb Boyd | 8/29/2013, 9:26 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 9:26 a.m.
Herb Boyd

Probably the only thing more unlikely than the impeachment of President Barack Obama is my hitting the Power Ball lottery. Currently, there is talk among a bevy of bewildered Republicans about putting in a motion a process to impeach the president, but they seem flummoxed on what grounds to use.

One possible resort for these muddle-headed politicos interested in removing Obama from office is to take a gander at the official site of the tea party. They claim to have gathered 282,178 letters and emails calling for Obama’s impeachment.

Some of the reasons are as weightless as their thinking. Obama lied about the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, and went to bed during the atrocity; he has intimidated whistleblowers; treated our foreign friends like enemies; and has generally abused the power of his office, the tea party claims.

To their way of non-thinking, the president is the most corrupt commander-in-chief in American history. Thus, they are completely ignoring Andrew Johnson’s attempts to fire his Cabinet members and abrogate federally guaranteed rights of African-Americans; Nixon’s Watergate debacle; Reagan’s Iran-Contra arms swap for hostages; and George W. Bush’s outright lie about weapons of mass destruction that triggered the unnecessary war in Iraq.

Many may remember when Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., tried to marshal the forces to impeach Bush seven years ago. He introduced legislation to form a select committee to investigate Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq without congressional approval, as well as the presumed manipulation of pre-war intelligence and the encouraging of torture, most graphically revealed at Abu Ghraib.

But you can’t expect logic or common sense to prevail when evaluating tea party advocates. And if it’s possible to isolate the epitome of lunacy on their part, check this out: “He [President Obama] has promoted voter fraud at every possible occasion and failed to convict proven voters’ intimidation based upon the skin color of lawbreakers.”

Whoa, Nellie!

If there are parties guilty of voter fraud and suppression, they are factions of the GOP and their cronies. Their claims of voter fraud were done to justify reprehensible policies, including the demand for photo ID, which would in no way curtail the so-called fraud; instead, it could disenfranchise legitimate voters.

Among the key ringleaders in the Republican ranks seeking to oust the president are Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who has often stated that the president is his friend. But the president doesn’t need friends like this and, moreover, Coburn ought to know that for the impeachment to succeed, it has to get the Senate vote, and that’s impossible with the Democrats in control.

David Axelrod, Obama’s former chief of staff, dismissed the action and saw it as counterproductive to GOP aspirations. “I think there are a lot of challenges ahead,” Axelrod told the press. “But impeachment is not one of them. The bottom line is that it would be enormously self-destructive for the Republicans to waste time on what is a plainly empty expression of primal, partisan rage.”

In many respects, such actions from the right-wing contingent are no more than another sign of desperation and politics without principle. Like the madcap insinuations from the birthers, tea party members have some crazy notions about how to get rid of Obama, but most of them are half-baked and absurd.

Rather than spending a lot of time on a worthless pursuit, they should be concerned about 2014 and the midterm elections, with special attention to the shifting demographics that left the GOP on the margins in 2012.