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Is it Time to Start Using the 'I' Word?

September 13, 2010

I have little doubt that critics (and perhaps even fans) of these columns are tiring of my weekly harangue over the sorry performance of Barack Obama. And just when I think I can spend a week actually thinking about something else on which to comment, he renders such fancy impossible by proposing yet another inane scheme for spending our great, great, great grandchildren's hard earned tax dollars. This week is no exception.

His latest election-year, let's-throw-this-against-the-wall-and-hope-it-sticks proposal is a $50 billion boondoggle he wants to earmark for "infrastructure." Now that all those census-worker positions have gone away, thereby throwing cold water all over his celebrated "Recovery Summer," this is his latest lame proposal to create jobs.

No one anywhere in this administration seems willing or able to explain what happened to all those "shovel-ready jobs" that were supposed to be financed by the nearly one trillion dollars in so-called stimulus funds last year. They also don't seem inclined to tell us just what industries are being stimulated, although increasingly we see signs along the road that read, "your stimulus $ at work" or whatever absurd sentiment Obama's bureaucrats think we are stupid enough to accept. (Note: he may have stimulated the sign market, but we have no real economic evidence of that, so that statement is still speculative. Rumor has it even they are laying people off.)

Like his hero, FDR, Obama seems destined to expand the current recession into a new Great Depression. Honest historians now agree the New Deal lengthened and deepened a nasty fiscal downturn into a fifteen-year economic catastrophe that did not truly end until after World War II, but none of them have jobs in Obama's regime.

Thankfully, presidential term limits preclude this man from being elected four times, as was Roosevelt. But then, given Obama's radical leftist ideology, combined with his complete dearth of experience (FDR at least had a few years experience as governor of a major state), BHO would likely not need twelve-plus years to destroy the Republic. Two full terms, especially with liberals running amuck in Congress, would be plenty of time, thank you very much.

So, the question arises, is it time to start using the "I" word? I pose this question without recommendation, with all due deference to the U.S. Constitution, which defines the criteria for such action vaguely as "high crimes and misdemeanors." Looking at the two presidential impeachments in U.S. history (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), neither of which resulted in expulsion from office, it is easy to dismiss both as political vendettas.

In Johnson's case, he was Republican Abraham Lincoln's Democrat vice president at the time of Lincoln's assassination. Distrusted by the postwar Congress when he implemented his Presidential Reconstruction, Johnson pushed policies favored by his Southern Democrat cronies, allowing them to implement racist policies toward newly freed blacks throughout the South.

Congress subsequently passed several laws restricting Johnson's power, most notably the Tenure of Office Act, enacted over Johnson's veto. This law denied the president the power to remove from office any official appointed by a past president without the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate. When Johnson attempted to replace Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who had been appointed by Lincoln, the U.S. House impeached him. The Senate failed by one vote to remove him from office.

Clinton's circumstance, of course, was much different. His initial offenses were personally embarrassing and politically damaging, but his legal woes came after he perjured himself by lying under oath to an independent counsel. He, too, was impeached by the House of Representatives, but a two-thirds majority of the Senate (thanks to Democrats) remained unwilling to convict him of his obvious crimes and misdemeanors.

In Obama's case, virtually everything he proposes is at odds with the Constitution. Is that an impeachable offense? You make the call. In any case, right after the first of the year the GOP should be calling the shots in Congress.

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Copyright ©2010 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.