“The hope that fired up the election of Barack Obama has flickered out, leaving a national mood of despair and disappointment. Americans are dispirited over how wrong things are and uncertain they can be made right again. Hope may have been a quick breakfast, but it has proved a poor supper.” -- Mort Zuckerman, Editor-in-Chief, US News & World Report, July 2, 2010
This from a man who on Fox News recently said he voted for Obama, his newspaper, the New York Daily News, endorsed Obama, and that he even helped write one of his speeches!
The problem is an ancient one. How to remove from office a king or, in a republic, an elected leader who has broken the law and/or is perceived to be a threat to both the present and future of the nation? In earlier eras, the solution was usually bloody.
“Who will rid me of this meddling priest?” England’s King Henry II was reputed to have said of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1170, his complaint was obliged when Becket was murdered on a cold December evening.
I cite this famous quote only because the tide is rising among Americans who would be rid of Barack Obama. Not by the sword, but surely by the courts or Congress. The fear is that the will to try either route has been cowed by the torturous process.
Twice in our history, impeachment has been tried and failed, first with Andrew Johnson whose Reconstruction policies following the Civil War were in much disfavor and, in more recent times, with Bill Clinton whose perjuries and other problems were not deemed to rise to a level worthy of removing him from office. Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.
The Constitution stipulates that “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.”
The drawback of impeachment is the way it would inevitably cast Obama as the victim of predatory politicians. It is not a good choice.
Presumably, lying about one’s eligibility to hold the office of President and spending huge sums to ensure that one’s birth certificate and actual place of birth shall remain unknown would justify removal.
We all know by now that, constitutionally, only a “natural born” citizen may serve as President and we all know that considerable controversy exists as regards the birthplace and citizenship status of Obama. Is he a Kenyan? Was he an Indonesian citizen at one point?
The enduring question on the minds of many is why the court cases filed to get at the facts regarding his eligibility have encountered so much resistance? Surely this is a matter of major national concern. What nation would permit an imposter to serve in its highest office?
Alas, early cases were dismissed when those bringing them were deemed to have no “standing” before the court though one might think the lowliest citizen should have standing. My friend, former Ambassador Alan Keyes, has been pursuing a case that lingers in judicial limbo along with others. Why?
As wrenching as the process of removing Obama from office might be deemed, there is no legitimate reason not to proceed given what appears to be a considerable amount of evidence that he may well have been born in Kenya. What is certain is that his father was a Kenyan citizen and a subject of Great Britain.
There appears to be no evidence his birth was registered with the American embassy or consulate in Kenya. I have seen a photo of a document said to be his Kenyan birth certificate. Having no way to authenticate it, I am reluctant to pass judgment.
The birth certificate from Hawaii, offered during the 2008 campaign, is said to be one issued upon request as opposed to the “long form” issued for those actually born there. There was some question raised at the time as to its authenticity with allegations that it was photo-shopped. There is a question whether a long form certificate exists.
These are, of course, important questions that the U.S. judicial system should be addressing.
My personal view is that many in government fear the consequences of removing even an illegitimate President from office, given that it would require that all legislation signed into law and all executive orders issued by him would be rendered invalid. I suspect some fear that chaos more than waiting and hoping the electoral process will end his term in 2012.
My problem is that the nation must endure some 900 more days of the malevolence or sheer incompetence he will initiate, including a lame duck session of Congress following the midterm elections that would impose Cap-and-Trade, card check, and other legislative abominations. A large majority of the electorate presently wants Obamacare repealed and will likely feel the same about the financial “reforms.”
There are constitutional scholars who know far more about such things than me, but I confess to remaining baffled by the failure to attend to the critical questions regarding the right of Barack Hussein Obama to be called the President of the United States.