“Such misconduct need not be an indictable wrong. It could involve dereliction of duty, lies to Congress or the public about serious matters, the failure to honor an oath.”
I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way… [The Republicans’ differences with the White House do] not rise to the high crime and misdemeanor level.
Wrong. To repeat, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a British term of art borrowed by the Framers, does not refer to penal offenses. It refers to what Hamilton called “the misconduct of public men, or in other words . . . the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Such misconduct need not be an indictable wrong. It could involve dereliction of duty, lies to Congress or the public about serious matters, the failure to honor an oath (such as the oath to execute the laws faithfully), and any conduct that intentionally undermines the governing framework that safeguards our liberties and security (the president, of course, takes an oath to preserve the Constitution).
- The border is being overrun and the president, far from taking action to stop it, is encouraging it.
- Illegal aliens are being smuggled throughout the country by the federal government without notice to the states.
- The president refuses to enforce the immigration laws. The president is usurping the power of Congress to confer federal benefits on aliens.
- The president is unilaterally rewriting Obamacare, the drug laws, and other congressional statutes that are inconvenient to him.
- The president willfully lied to the country to get Obamacare enacted and to get reelected.
- The commander-in-chief took no meaningful action to protect Americans before and during the terrorist siege of Benghazi, and then he and his administration willfully lied to the country about the cause of the massacre in order to get reelected.
- The president has used the federal bureaucracy to harass and punish his political opponents. Evidence of the IRS’s wrongdoing has been destroyed.
- Evidence about the Justice Department’s Fast & Furious scandal, which resulted in the murder of a Border Patrol agent, has been withheld from Congress — with the attorney general held in contempt.
- The VA cooked its books to conceal the mistreatment of our veterans, some of whom died.
It is perfectly understandable — indeed, it is wise — for Republicans to explain that there is no prospect of removing President Obama from power because you’d need lots of Democratic votes in the Senate and the Democrats will protect President Obama no matter how lawlessly he conducts himself. Read the rest of this entry »
“The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.”
— David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report
For The Daily Caller, Alex Pappas reports: The campaign of a conservative woman running for Congress in Louisiana is firing back after an analyst of the non-partisan Cook Political Report called her “frightening.”
“They’re supposed to analyze the race. They’re supposed to talk about demographics. They’re supposed to talk about geography. They’re supposed to talk about our opposition. But he just jumped her from the beginning.”
– Chris Comeaux, communications director for Rep. Lenar Whitney
“It’s just liberal elites hating conservative women,” charged Chris Comeaux, the communications director for Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney.
Earlier Wednesday, the Washington Post published an article by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report calling Whitney, “The most frightening candidate I’ve met in seven years interviewing congressional hopefuls.”
“We were just like, this isn’t productive. You’re just trying to get her to say something stupid.”
Wasserman, who is the House editor for The Cook Political Report, described in his story how Whitney and her aides abruptly left during an in-person interview in Washington. Wasserman said he had been questioning Whitney on the scientific source of her claims about climate change, and whether she believes President Obama was born in the United States.
“They are lumping all the conservative women together. It’s just oh, you’re conservative and you’re a woman, we must destroy you.”
– Chris Comeaux
“It was the first time in hundreds of Cook Political Report meetings that a candidate has fled the room,” wrote Wasserman, who estimates interviewing 300 congressional candidates throughout his career. Read the rest of this entry »
Frustrated by GOP’s Unwillingness to Take the Bait, Obama Signs First-Ever Self-Impeachment Order
‘If the Republicans aren’t willing to work with me on this, I’ll do it myself.’
Critics Blast Obama’s Action as “Irresponsible”, “Reckless”, Dems Fear Constitutional Crisis.
Congress Accuses Obama of “Presidential Reach-Around.”
Report: Nancy Pelosi Seen in Senate Bathroom, Weeping and Throwing Up.
Senior White House Officials Not warned in Advance, Stunned by President’s Decision.
“I’m ready to retire anyway. Who needs this? They don’t appreciate what I’ve done for the middle class, what I’ve done for the children…”
“They don’t appreciate what I’ve done for the bureacrats, what I’ve done for the banks, and for Wall Street, what I’ve sacrificed for the future of the Democratic Party. Screw ‘em. I’m done.”
– Obama, after signing historic Self-Impeachment order.
For Breitbart.com, John Nolte reports: There has not been a majority party in Israel for decades. Israelis are as politically divided as Americans in many ways. There is no national consensus on anything. But the Israeli people have unified behind Prime Minister Netanyahu. A recent poll shows he is twice as popular in Israel as Barack Obama is in America.
The Jerusalem Post‘s Herb Keinon reports that a whopping 82% of Israelis “are satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance during [the Gaza] crisis.” According to the latest Gallup poll, Obama’s current American job approval rating, in the midst of numerous crises, is 40%, with 54% disapproving.
Israel firmly behind Netanyahu. Channel 2 poll: 82% are satisfied with Netanyahu’s performance during crisis, 10% not. (Last week 57%-35%)
— Herb Keinon (@HerbKeinon) July 24, 2014
Also of interest is where Israelis stand on the military action currently taking place in Gaza. Israelis might be split on when the action should end, but the split is way outside of the universe where Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are operating. Read the rest of this entry »
Breathtaking Arrogance: Obama tramples the separation of powers
“Barack Obama’s disdain for the slow, grinding mechanisms of government has become unmistakable of late….The White House is reportedly weighing two options for executive action similar in kind to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was implemented — also by executive fiat, via memorandum — in 2012. One option would grant temporary legal status to illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, authorizing them to remain in the country and to work here. The second option would do the same for illegal-immigrant parents of DACA recipients. These actions could affect anywhere from 3 to 6 million people.
Although the specifics are unknown, any unilateral action of this magnitude and type would be unprecedented…”
The Hammer: Amnesty via Executive Order an Impeachable Offense, But Impeachment Would Still Be Political SuicidePosted: July 29, 2014
If Obama were to carry out his threat to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegals, Charles Krauthammer expressed this duality:
“Clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory…an impeachable offense.”
And later added,
“I would be 100 percent against impeachment because it’s political suicide.”
See how that works? The political paradox for opponents of executive overreach: If a president has the majority of the media working to protect him, and his opponents are defenseless because of this historically unique opportunity — virtually immune to impeachment — why wouldn’t he abuse his authority?
From today’s National Review Online: Talk of impeachment is a “concoction of Democrats,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grander strategy by the White House and its congressional allies, Charles Krauthammer warned.
On Tuesday’s Special Report, he speculated that the Obama administration may be trying to exhaust the idea of impeachment and “softening people up for” when the president uses executive action to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of immigrants in the country illegally…(read more)
GLOBAL PANIC FAILURE OVERLOAD Washington Post: ‘President Obama’s Competence Problem is Worse Than It Looks’Posted: July 29, 2014
“Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question…”
Obama was elected in 2008 on a stated promise that he would restore competence to government. He pitched himself as the antidote to “Heck of a job, Brownie” and the Bush years, the person who would always put the most qualified candidate in every job in his Administration. That the basic functioning of government would never be in question.
“…and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall.”
Almost six years on from that election, however, Obama is faltering badly on the competence question and, in so doing, badly imperiling not only his ability to enact any sort of second term agenda but also Democrats’ chances this fall. A series of events — from the VA scandal to the ongoing border crisis to the situation in Ukraine to the NSA spying program — have badly undermined the idea that Obama can effectively manage the government. Read the rest of this entry »
“It’s not the job of the U.S. military to do nation building or produce democratic utopias.”
For The Daily Beast, Eli Lake writes: One way to understand Ted Cruz’s foreign policy, particularly if you are a Democrat, is through the prism of the social media phenomenon known as trolling. The best trolls are provocateurs. Their language is meant to expose a fallacy or weakness in the opponent’s position as opposed to offering a constructive alternative.
“The American president has a peculiar leadership responsibility to speak out for freedom.”
In a wide-ranging interview with the junior senator from Texas, there was a lot of trolling. Of Obama’s recent attempt to stop the fighting in Gaza, Cruz said, “We should be helping Israel, not Hamas, which is what John Kerry’s proposal would have done.” But Cruz found a silver lining. “It’s remarkable that the failures of the Obama, Clinton, Kerry foreign policy are not only uniting the left and right in Israel but might even be creating some common ground between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”
Cruz’s foreign policy approach hews much closer to that of one of Reagan’s top advisers, Jeane Kirkpatrick. She wrote a landmark essay for Commentary in 1979 called “Dictatorships And Double Standards” where she chastised President Jimmy Carter for pursuing human rights at the expense of U.S. national interests.
When speaking about the conditions that led up to the Egyptian military coup last year, Cruz observed: “One of the saddest things to see were posters among the people that said: ‘Obama supports the Muslim Brotherhood,’ ‘America supports terrorists.’”
Cruz described Secretary of State John Kerry’s surprise deal with Vladimir Putin to disarm Syria’s chemical weapons in these words: “The incompetence of the Obama foreign policy was so manifest that it presented an opportunity for Putin to cast himself as a hero and save the day.” The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision last week to suspend all air travel to Israel after a Hamas rocket fell near Ben Gurion Airport amounted to an “economic boycott of Israel.”
But to think of Cruz as just a troll is to miss an important development in the Grand Old Party’s post-Bush foreign policy. Read the rest of this entry »
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
For the Washington Times, Stephen Dinan reports: Talk of impeachment was cooked up by a White House desperate for something to rally Democrats ahead of November’s elections, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Tuesday, flatly ruling out any action on the controversial suggestion.
Matt Drudge doesn’t approve, apparently. Two things to note: One, Drudge is on record saying he thinks Republicans are colossally stupid. And two, Drudge benefits directly from controversy and conflict, whether its legitimate or not. But on the other hand: What kind of unbridled lawlessness, recklessness, and corruption is invited when a chief executive becomes impeachment-proof? And participates in fueling impeachment talk, to benefit from it?
“We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans.” Boehner said. “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
“Even with the Democrats’ strategy this transparent and obvious, the press is still covering it uncritically.”
[See Noah Rothman's "Washington is desperate for Republicans to impeach Obama"]
Democrats have acknowledged impeachment talk has been good for their fundraising, but also say there’s some fire behind all the smoke. On Tuesday, congressional Democrats circulated a list of GOP candidates and sitting lawmakers who have said they want to see President Obama be impeached…(read more)
“That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive.”
Yuval Levin‘s post at The Corner is bracing, and revealing, noteworthy not only because of the insights expressed here, but as an example of what team NRO does best: the most lucid writing on these matters you’ll find anywhere.
From Legalization by Edict:
“…the notion that the president can respond to a failure to get Congress to adopt his preferred course on a prominent and divisive public issue by just acting on his own as if a law he desires had been enacted has basically nothing to do with our system of government.
In one sense, the approach the president is said to be contemplating does fit into a pattern of his use of executive power. That pattern involves taking provocative executive actions on sensitive, divisive issues to isolate people he detests, knowing it will invite a sharp response, and then using the response to scare his own base voters into thinking they are under assault when in fact they are on the offensive. That’s how moving to compel nuns to buy contraception and abortive drugs for their employees became “they’re trying to take away your birth control.” This strategy needlessly divides the country and brings out the worst instincts of people on all sides, but it has obvious benefits for the administration and its allies. Liberals get both the substantive action and the political benefit of calling their opponents radicals and getting their supporters worked up. Obama’s legalization of millions would surely draw a response that could then be depicted as evidence of Republican hostility to immigrants, rather than of Republican hostility to illegal executive overreach that tries to make highly significant policy changes outside the bounds of our constitutional order.
But while the legalization now being talked about fits into that pattern in a sense, the sheer scope of its overreach would put it in a different category as a practical matter…(read more)
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) July 29, 2014
“… Policy and rhetoric are effective when deployed together in pursuit of a goal. Yet, for the Obama administration, from the Middle East to Ukraine, American policy exists, rudderless, as pure rhetoric…”
“Whether it’s domestic or foreign policy, Obama has failed to build a bridge between words and action. Without such a bridge, the administration will sink in a morass of increasingly pointless speeches…” (read more)
Disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive imagination.
Kevin D. Williamson — no slouch when it comes to precise language himself — has a must-read in this weekend’s National Review, reminding us that the “ancients understood something that has been neglected in recent centuries: Grammar is the foundation of logic.”
There will always be occasions for discretion and interpretation on legal questions, but it is not the case that such discretion should presumptively empower the IRS to do things that the IRS is not legally entitled to do simply because Barack Obama wishes it to be so. If history teaches us anything, it is that a system of law that presumptively sides with political power soon ceases to be any sort of system of law at all. Rather, it becomes a post facto justification for the will to power, an intellectual window dressing on might-makes-right rule.
The matter addressed in Halbig is hardly the Obama administration’s first attempt to circumvent the law as written — see Hobby Lobby, etc. — nor is it the progressives’ only attempt to impose what they imagine to be enlightened ad-hocracy on the American people. The disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive managerial imagination: The law, in their view, is not something that limits the ambitions of princes, but something that empowers them to do what they see fit… (read more)
From Halbig and Hammurabi
[Kevin Williamson's book "The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure" is available at Amazon]
[VIDEO] Comedy Gold: Liberal Media Panel Blames Ted Cruz, American People for Harry Reid’s Do-Nothing LeadershipPosted: July 27, 2014
At The Corner, Tim Cavanaugh writes: Why has the Senate been unable to pass anything? According to an extraordinary panel of mainstream media personalities, it’s the fault of Republicans, or of the American people.
On a Sunday discussion on NBC’s Meet the Press, host David Gregory railed against the “Do-Nothing Congress” and played a brief clip of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz pointing out Read the rest of this entry »
[Check out Jason Riley's book "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed" at Amazon.com]