KNOXVILLE, Tenn., May 22, 2013 — Several days ago some fringe “conservatives” mentioned the idea of impeaching President Obama.
For reasons as obvious as they are numerous, that is a terrible idea.
Saying that is like throwing chum out to the worst conservatives, the ones who act like liberals, the ones who are all angry instinct, who rather than strategize their way to victory would rather sweep the pieces off the table and throw a tantrum on the floor.
Serious and effective conservatism demands putting facts and reason above emotion and hysteria. Some comments concerning potential impeachment are so mind-bogglingly stupid that they could be made by leftist astroturfers pretending to be conservatives. Conservatives who truly believe that leftist, scorched-earth politics of rage are the way to go need to return to sanity and sweet reason.
“You are just an Obama shill.”
If Obama were any more corrupt, he would be Mayor of Chicago. His presidency is a disaster. He is wrong on every important issue. His policies are destructive and must be defeated. A meat cleaver should be taken to the budget. This is done by firing liberals and electing real conservatives. Any conservative who proposes strategies that will elect liberals and hurt conservatives is an Obama shill. Think aback to the Clinton impeachment. How did that work out for conservatism?
“Obama committed treason and should be executed.”
People who write things like that must be on drugs. Perhaps being high on meth causes such incendiary nonsense. The Secret Service may wish to visit people expressing these views.
Obama is a failed leader. He should have been fired in 2012. Perhaps senior administration officials should be arrested and indicted. None should be killed. Bolsheviks and French revolutionaries lined people up for slaughter. The American Revolution was very different. Blood was shed, but it wasn’t an orgy of retribution against the old regime. The blood thirst among some conservatives isn’t conservative; it’s French.
“He is obviously guilty.”
“Obvious guilt” isn’t a legal standard; it’s a subjective gut feeling. Where is the proof? Obama’s deliberate obfuscation of the truth is smoke, which demands investigation, but not fire. In a society of laws, evidence is king and speculation is for court jesters. Those convinced Obama is a criminal need to spend their time and resources cutting through layers of fog and get the necessary evidence to the appropriate prosecutors.
Let’s look at one cold, hard fact that makes impeachment a non-starter: the U.S. Senate.
Everything in politics comes down to one numerical question. How many votes do you have?Whether the issue is winning elections, advancing legislation, or conducting an impeachment trial, the only thing that matters is the number of votes.
Impeachment requires a simple majority of the House of Representatives. That is the easy part. Impeachment is merely the indictment. What matters is the conviction.
No rational prosecutor brings a case knowing that the chances of conviction are zero. Convicting an impeached American president requires 67 Senate votes. One is more likely to see unicorns riding unicycles at unity rallies than get 67 Senators to vote to convict Obama.
Remember 1998. Bill Clinton lied under oath in a deposition. Impeachment was justified. Republicans held 55 Senate seats and a majority in the House. By the time some House Republicans buckled under liberal media pressure, four articles of impeachment were reduced to two.
Desperate to be seen as bipartisan, Republican Senate leaders allowed only three witnesses. They even appointed a Democrat as lead prosecutor. Although prosecutor David Schippers conducted himself honorably, the fix was in. The facts never mattered. 45 Democrats knew before the hearings even began that they were voting for acquittal.
Republicans could not even muster 55 votes, much less 67. Only fifty Senators voted guilty, not even a majority.
Now look at 2013. Obama, unlike Clinton, is a true leftist. Obama achieved healthcare reform and gay marriage. He is pro-choice on abortion and desperate to enact destructive environmental regulations. For those who forgot, he is also partially black. Conviction would require liberals judge him by the content of his character and not his skin color. It would require them putting country over party.
That will never happen.
The media, temporarily acting like the watchdogs of democracy, would immediately revert to form as the lapdogs of liberalism if Obama were really under threat. The pressure on Democrats to rally around their man would make Democrats in 1998 look censorious and prosecutorial by comparison. This time Republicans have 48 Senate seats. Even if they win big in 2014 (possible, if they keep their wits about them and don’t say anything stupid), they will not have sixty seats, much less 67. The votes for conviction will never be there.
Hostile, irrational conservatives will say that the alternative to impeachment is to do nothing, and we can’t just do nothing.
We can’t, but that’s not the alternative. Conservative Republicans are poised to achieve some real gains in 2014. Republican victories in 2014 effectively end the Obama presidency, even if not all those Republicans are conservative; party politics will block him as effectively as ideology. Victory in 2016 means beginning the reversal of Obama’s policies.
Focusing on an Obama impeachment now will almost certainly ensure that the 2014 victors will be Democrats. Conservatives should forget about one ideologue and focus on the bigger ideological struggle of conservatism against liberalism.
Winning elections is not enough. What matters is advancing ideas and policies. Clinton won two presidential elections, but neither his supporters nor his detractors can remember anything he actually did aside from signing two conservative initiatives: welfare reform and NAFTA. He was peripheral.
Ronald Reagan was transformational. He changed the world. In some ways, George W. Bush was as well. Obama could have been, but he could not lower himself to work even with Democrats in Congress, he over-reached, and in 2010, voters rejected his big government vision. His 2012 reelection was a blow to conservative hopes, but it did not set the stage for Obama to accomplish his agenda.
Obama, contrary to his own beliefs, is only one man. The damage he inflicted is reversible.
There are plenty of ways for conservatives to defeat Obama and every other liberal standing in the way of a better, more conservative nation. Impeachment isn’t one of them, and in fact is a good way to get us 1998 all over again. Forget impeachment. Conservatives need to be raising money, winning elections, and churning out position papers at think tanks.
They need ideas and a strategy, not a tantrum.
The biggest kick in the gut to Obama would be to reduce him to the Clinton level of irrelevance. Obsessing over him only elevates him to an undeserved level. Conservatives should stop trying to fight unwinnable small battles and focus on the biggest battles where winning is highly possible. Conservatives must not spend one minute of their lives wasting their energies on lost causes.
Maybe one day Obama will be taken away in handcuffs, and placed in solitary confinement. The dream is lovely, but the more likely reality is that he will make millions on the speaking circuit saying absolutely nothing to people idiotic enough to pay him millions to say nothing.
Three years will go by quickly. Obama will be out of our lives soon enough. He will go talking, talking, talking to the very end, then keep on talking and shoving his way into the lights at every chance he gets. But he will go. He will not go early, but he will go, never allowed to return. The day after the 2014 elections, he will be completely irrelevant and on his way out.
For conservatives, that can and must be enough.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
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