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“Put Up Or Shut Up”: An Open Letter To The GOP Regarding Its Dearest Enemy

Dear Republican Party:

Impeach President Obama.

Go ahead, you know you want to do it. The very thought makes you warm and gooey inside.

Yes, your leadership has disavowed any intention of initiating impeachment, but that sure hasn’t stopped your rank and file from speculating on the possibility with undisguised glee. The prospect has long had them salivating.

Soon-to-be former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann once said nary a weekend goes by without someone asking her what Congress is waiting for. Once-and-perhaps-future presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee once said the president has done many things “worthy of impeachment.” Texas Rep. Randy Weber once said the president “absolutely” deserves that fate. Earlier this year, a CNN poll found 57 percent of your party in agreement.

And surely this year’s midterms, wherein you tightened your hold on the House and took over the Senate only makes the idea more tantalizing. Indeed, just this week, Texas Rep. Joe Barton said impeachment was a definite possibility.

Impeach President Obama.

You have already floated many rationales for doing so. You’ve wanted to impeach him both for things he’s done and for things you only think he’s done: failing to protect the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi; trading Taliban fighters for a captured American soldier; passing legislation — the Affordable Care Act — you dislike; making unconstitutional appointments to executive branch offices. You’ve also wanted to impeach him for things he’s only been reported to be thinking about: sending troops to Syria or using executive orders to change the immigration system.

Pick one of those. Or just impeach him for being from Kenya. At this point, does the rationale even matter? Impeach President Obama.

Do it for America.

The U.S. electorate, after all, has a short memory and shorter attention span. It periodically needs what you have periodically provided and what impeachment proceedings would provide yet again: a reminder that something has gone awry in the Grand Old Party. It is no longer the party of Eisenhower or Reagan, nor the party of Bush the elder nor even the party of Bob Dole, your 1996 standard bearer who said in April, “I thought I was a conservative, but we’ve got some in Congress now who are so far right they’re about to fall out of the Capitol.”

The ever-blunt Dole was only saying what other GOP elders and other concerned observers have been saying for years: You have become an outlier, a haven of cranks and extremists. And you are driven by hatred — the word is not too strong — of the 44th president.

You don’t like his politics, nor should you. But this is not solely about politics and never has been. This is personal. You don’t like him. Your reasons for that antipathy have never been definitively defined — at least, not by you — but its existence can no longer be denied, not after all you’ve done to make it plain.

You’ve refused to accept the legitimacy of his presidency, though he was twice elected without Supreme Court help. You’ve supported false theories of foreign birth. You’ve damaged the nation’s credit rating rather than pass a routine authorization. You’ve killed your own legislation when you learned that he supported it. You’ve made compromise a curse word. You’ve raised obstruction to high art and made getting nothing done a badge of perverse honor.

Yet, you haven’t managed to get rid of him. What’s left except the ultimate sanction? So for yourself and for the rest of us, please put up or shut up:

Impeach President Obama.

Show America what you’re made of. Yet again.

 

By: Leonard Pitts, Columnist, The Miami Herald; The National Memo, November 12, 2014

November 12, 2014 Posted by | GOP, Impeachment, Republicans | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“What’s Wrong With The GOP’s ‘Hell No’ Faction”: They’re Draining The Vitality From America’s Democracy

Ah, August — that time of year when the going gets tough … and Congress gets going.

On vacation, that is. And, to be fair, maybe Congress needs a vacation. All the stress of not passing laws and constantly thwarting any attempt by President Obama to fix America’s problems seems to be straining their sanity.

For starters, if you thought that, surely, partisan posturing by far-right congresscritters couldn’t get any nuttier, you’d be wrong. Last month, the GOP claimed that all the talk about impeaching President Barack Obama is being led by — guess who? — Barack Obama!

If you’ll recall, the top Republican leader, John Boehner (having discovered that the larger public is appalled that his party would even consider wasting time on such extremist nonsense) tried to do a political backflip. Impeachment talk, he fumed, is “a scam started by Democrats at the White House.” No Republican lawmakers, he barked to the media, are even discussing it.

Boehner, Boehner, Boehner! Apparently he didn’t hear Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who’s No. 2 on his own GOP leadership team, tell Fox News that he refuses to rule out impeachment. Or Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan exult that “it would be a dream come true” to impeach Obama, and that he has pursued advice from experts on how to proceed. Or Iowa’s Rep. Steve King, saying flatly, “We need to bring impeachment hearings immediately.” How about Randy Weber of Texas, who put it unequivocally: “The president deserves to be impeached, plain and simple.” And Georgia’s Jack Kingston confirmed that: “Not a day goes by when people don’t talk to us about impeachment.”

Still, Boehner did receive some backing on his claim that no one in the GOP has given a moment’s thought to impeachment. The always insightful Tea Party radio ranter Glenn Beck, for example, waded in with this question to his audience on a recent broadcast: “Have you spoken to one person (pushing such an idea)?” he demanded. “No one” has used the “I” word, he snapped. But, in fact, Beck does know one person who has: Himself! Also, Sarah Palin! And at least a dozen other likeminded sparklies on the way-out far-right horizon.

Right up to the time they departed Capitol Hill to enjoy vacations that will stretch through all of this month, much of September, and a good part of October, GOP howlers in Congress were pointing to several emergency issues that needed to be addressed — such as the humanitarian crisis of immigrant children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the growing crisis of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. But … nothing. They simply adjourned and bolted off the job.

OK. They did do one thing. Incapable of legislating, they litigated. Boehner filed a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama, charging that he’s been governing unilaterally by issuing executive orders. But there are big problems with their suit.

One: Obama has issued far fewer executive orders than did his GOP predecessor, George W. Bush. Two: Their suit claims the president defied Congress by inadequately implementing the Obamacare health reform — but, hello? Republicans fought that reform tooth and nail and are still trying to stop it from being implemented, meaning they’re suing him for not doing something they don’t want done (another indicator that Congress does need to take an extended leave for mental health reasons). And three: As they vacated the Capitol, howling House leaders said that, in their absence, Obama should immediately deport the terrorized and traumatized migrant children who fled to the U.S. this summer from the gang violence and implacable poverty they faced in their Central America homes.

Again … Hello? The GOP’s call for deportations was a demand that — get this — the president should act unilaterally, by issuing an executive order.

These ideological zealots are nutty, but they’re clogging the roadway, preventing any of the progress that America desperately needs. As a result, not only is the public fed up with them but voter turnout is plummeting this year as people see that the “hell no” faction has turned democratic participation into a farce — so why bother?

Put away all hope for honesty or seriousness, ye who enter the nuthouse presently known as Boehner’s U.S. House of Representatives. Their antics could be laughed off — except that they’re draining the vitality from America’s democracy.

 

By: Jim Hightower, The National Memo, August 13, 2014

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Democracy, House Republicans, John Boehner | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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