President Obama is goading Republicans in Congress to impeach him. Every time he abuses executive actions to rule by fiat, flaunts immigration and other laws or frees dangerous terrorists, he seems to be begging for impeachment.
That’s the point. It seems like he wants to be impeached because he does.
Huh? Why? Isn’t impeachment that last thing that a self-centered narcissist like Obama would want?
While Obama is a terrible administrator and a horrible president, he is nevertheless a shrewd, skilled, accomplished political strategist. He wants to head off the likely change of control of the U. S. Senate this fall (or at least minimize senate losses so that the majority could be taken back in 2016). He justifiably fears that a Republican president and Congress succeeding him in 2016 could destroy his legacy by repealing everything he accomplished.
Obama is painfully aware of the failure of his signature health insurance legislation and of his tanking poll numbers. He also knows America’s political history, that the political party of every American president since the Civil War, except one, has suffered big congressional losses in the off-year election of his second term. That even happened to popular legendary presidents, like FDR, Eisenhower and Reagan. This year that would put Democrat control of the U.S.Senate in peril. And Obama also knows that the one exception to that trend – Bill Clinton – avoided that loss in 1998, following his impeachment by Newt Gingrich’s Republican House of Representatives. As deserving as Clinton was for impeachment and removal from office after his blatant perjury in a televised deposition, enough of the wishy-washy middle-of-the-road voters who regrettably decide our elections were sufficiently put off by the impeachment that they bucked tradition and voted for Democrat candidates for house and senate (where Clinton’s fate would be decided). The anti-Republican fervor continued two years later, propelling Vice-President Al Gore to a popular-vote win for president. Republicans took the White House only because of George W. Bush’s excellent – and decisive – strategy aimed at winning the Electoral College. (While the Florida recount gripped America’s attention for weeks, it was actually surprise Bush wins in theretofore reliably Democratic West Virginia and the home states of both Clinton (Arkansas) and Gore himself (Tennessee) that paved the way for Bush’s win.)
That’s why, after having seized control of Congress in 2006, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi snuffed out calls by some Democrat members to impeach unpopular President George W. Bush. She didn’t want to risk backlash that might have cost Democrats the White House in 2008.
And Obama also knows about something else that could save his senate this year. Minority voters, especially African Americans, remain fiercely loyal to their struggling president. Historically these voters don’t bother to vote in off-year elections. As recently as 2010, they stayed away in droves, allowing the tea party revolt among engaged white voters to win back the House of Representatives. Obama is betting, probably correctly, that the threat of Obama’s removal from office would gin up minority turnout to near-presidential levels and save Democrat senate seats in North Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan and Virginia, and maybe even put Democrat challengers over the top in Georgia and Kentucky. Even if Democrats lose other vulnerable senate seats, wins in those states would preserve Democrat control of the upper chamber. That would maintain Democrat control over judicial confirmations, block Republican legislation passed by the House, and could also set the stage for Democrat wins in 2016.
Democrat surrogates are already planting seeds for impeachment, without leaving Democrat fingerprints that could foil the plan. The top story in current (June 23, 2014) issue of the National Enquirer blasts Obama over releasing the Taliban Five in exchange for an “Army ‘deserter'”, while a button on the front page proclaims “IMPEACH HIM NOW!” Few realize that executives of American Media, Inc., the owner of the Enquirer, including CEO David J. Pecker, make political contributions exclusively to Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chicago Mayor (and former Obama chief of staff) Rahm Emmanuel, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL, co-sponsor of articles of impeachment against George W. Bush). The high-profile Enquirer article doesn’t represent a groundswell of public support for impeachment; it’s Democrat dialectic, an old communist strategy.
The strategy isn’t as risky for Obama as it sounds. Like Clinton, Obama would be almost certain to be acquitted by the Senate. Senate Democrats would vote for acquittal even if Obama planted a nuclear warhead inside a baby seal and detonated it at a camp for handicapped children on live television. Even if Republicans would succeed in taking over the senate this year and the impeachment trial were to take place after the change in control, the steadfastly pro-Obama lame stream media would shame enough blue-state Republicans to vote for acquittal to carry the day. Just like 1998. Obama would then play both the race card and the victim card and receive the same post-presidency approval that Clinton enjoys today.
Of course, those who propose impeachment are absolutely right on policy grounds. The simple fact is, our country is in danger every day that Obama is allowed to remain in charge, and he has clearly committed impeachable acts. But unless enough congressional Democrats make impeachment a bipartisan effort to save the country, Republicans should avoid taking the bait. While good policy usually makes for good politics, the impeachment of Barack Obama is an exception.