I don’t often predict upcoming political events, but I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a startling and almost unbelievable act: the Republicans are going to impeach President Obama.
I’d been running this thought through my mind since the day Obama was first elected to the presidency and Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell announced unashamedly that the goal of the Republican Party would be to make Obama a one-term President.
His announcement was followed shortly by news reports outlining a decision by Republican leaders that the party would withhold its cooperation from any and all Obama initiatives, even if a failure to cooperate meant a complete halt in government operations.
Despite their decision and the strategy that followed, Obama’s popularity skyrocketed and when the election of 2012 was concluded and Obama had won an overwhelming victory, the Republican Party was thrown into a state of confusion.
Still, the party continued its losing strategy of personal attacks on Obama as well as its avowed noncooperation. It seemed that the party had learned nothing from the debacle of Mitt Romney’s defeat.
Then, along came an attack on what turned out to be a diplomatic mission and a CIA facility in Benghazi during which four Americans were killed, including the American Ambassador to Libya. The Republicans immediately seized on this action to accuse the Obama Administration, particularly Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of a cover-up.
When their mud didn’t stick, they dug up three so-called whistleblowers who appeared before a House panel headed by a well-known Obama critic, Darrel Issa, testifying about alleged cover-ups. The information supposedly covered-up hasn’t been revealed.
Even before these events, some Republicans began to talk about impeachment without using that term. One voice, Mike Huckabee, Fox analyst and one-time governor of Arkansas, predicted that Obama would be forced to leave office when all of the “facts” of Benghazi were known. He referred to Obama’s actions or lack thereof as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” words in the Constitution describing the bases for impeachment. Others referred to Benghazi as worse than Watergate by a factor of ten or more.
The drumbeat continues and is intensifying. At this moment, it seems clear that the tea baggers in the House of Representatives are just dumb enough to initiate impeachment proceedings. Clear thinking Republicans, if there are any left, haven’t yet stepped forward to condemn the lunatic fringe.
Note: Since I wrote this, two additional so-called scandals have been reported by the media. The IRS revealed that it had been targeting right-wing organizations for special scrutiny when those organizations had applied for tax-free status. Almost concurrently, a major news media reported that the Justice Department had secretly subpoenaed the phone records of some of its employees, including their home phone numbers.
At this moment, an impeachment is right on track when we compare the sequence of events in the Clinton case to the events occurring in Congress and in the Executive Branch. An impeachment of the first Black President in our country’s history, a highly popular President, would, in my judgment, destroy the United States as surely as another Civil War. Unfortunately, we are in the grip of an amazing stupidity.