In this post I wrote, “I have felt bad about Romney’s chances to win since mid-Summer. In April my instincts or gut told me that Romney would win, but by July that feeling had dissipated.” What I didn’t mention was that in its place my gut told me that Obama would win but that he would also be impeached in his second term.
Now I am no Nostradamus. I am the first to admit the accuracy of my predictions over the past 11 years has been pretty poor, and as a rational human being I know that the future is unknowable. But the feeling in my gut remains. My instincts, completely irrational they may be, are telling me that Obama’s failure in office will lead to his impeachment.
Let me be clear: I am no fan of impeachment. I was vehemently opposed to the Republican effort to impeach then President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair. Yes he lied. Yes he was philandering weasel, but he didn’t marry the country he was elected to lead it. His marital transgressions were between him and his wife, and while he deserved scorn, I do not believe that his crime of lying under oath about his illicit affair rose to the level requiring impeachment. I understand while some will disagree with me, saying that lying under oath is a serious crime which I agree it is. But to me there is a difference between Clinton’s lying about his affairs and lying about a political matter. The former doesn’t warrant impeachment while the latter does.
The articles of impeachment are the “nuclear option” in the Constitution. As such they should be used only rarely and as judiciously as circumstances warrant. The last president to deserve impeachment, in fact the only one in our country’s history that deserved it in my humble opinion, was a Republican: President Richard Nixon. I may be a member of his party today, but if I could go back in time and impeach him myself I would. Nixon’s crimes were treasonous to the point where it’s conceivable he should have faced a firing squad. Instead his vice president spared him the ignominy of the impeachment process, and he lived out his days long enough for his enemies to warm to him and for people to forget the gravity of his crime that undermined democracy for his personal gain. Ford believed sparing Nixon from impeachment allowed the nation to heal after a decade of riots, Civil Rights marches and anti-war protests. Sorry, I don’t accept that. Nixon should have been nailed to the wall of the House of Representatives to serve as an example to all leaders current and future that the People run this country NOT one man.
It is a chance that was lost, so the danger remains. At the same time impeachment has lost its gravity. The first “impeach Obama” bumper stickers appeared soon after his inauguration in 2009. Impeachment has become an inevitable lament for losers, but remains a misguided, dangerous and all too tempting opportunity to thwart the will of the People.
In his first term Obama presided over the looting of the American treasury for the benefit of his well connected friends. Is that an impeachable offense? By itself, no. His Justice Department has investigated his enemies, ignored racism against whites, and armed the Mexican drug cartels, an action that lead to hundreds of dead Mexicans and the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Are these impeachable offenses? With proper investigation, perhaps yet we live in a system of presumed innocence so as of today, no. On 9/11/2012 four Americans plus the Libyan ambassador were gunned down by Islamists in an attack that for two weeks was blamed on a YouTube video (whose producer now sits in jail. ) Impeachable offense? On its own, no.
Yesterday Gen. David Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA. He had been under investigation by the FBI for over a year about his affair with a journalist writing a book about him, a female journalist, a rather hot one I might add. Ronald Kessler writes today,
Still, the White House, with concurrence by the FBI and Justice Department, held off on asking for Petraeus’ resignation until after the election. His resignation occurred three days after the election, avoiding the possibility that Obama’s ill-fated appointment of Petraeus could become an issue in the election.
Gen. Petraus is arguably the greatest American general since MacArthur. He took charge of a situation in Iraq that promised war without end for both Iraqis and Americans, and turned it around in two years. He tried to do the same thing with Afghanistan but achieved lesser success there. Still his success in Iraq will be studied by students of counter-insurgency for decades to come. He was a great man.
I use the past tense of the verb “to be” intentionally for he compromised himself and the office he held as director of the CIA by conducting an affair. He allowed his own personal folly to threaten the lives of countless CIA operatives and the Americans citizens they serve to protect. I understand the temptations men of power must have, but I have no sympathy. If he’s horny he can chase all the tail he wants in retirement. A truly great man would have avoided temptation and insisted on a male biographer who looked more like Charles Krauthammer instead of a woman of striking appearance, or would have resigned the moment before he succumbed to temptation. A less great man would have admitted his affair publicly and insisted on the acceptance of his resignation the moment he became aware that he was under investigation and the lies had caught up with him. Instead he stayed silent as good men died in Libya and his boss pulled out all stops to win the election.
What did Obama know about Petraeus’ extramarital affairs and when did he know it? There had been talk after 2009 that Petraeus would make a solid GOP candidate for his office in 2012, so did Obama keep this knowledge in his hand to use as a trump card in case Petraeus expressed interest in supporting the GOP field in 2012?
There is a pattern here, one that I believe my instincts are zeroing in on. President Obama feels there is nothing he cannot get away with, that he is not held accountable for his actions the way his predecessors are, and that the ends justify the means. He has never failed in his career. People who groomed him and those who supported him sacrificed themselves in order to promote him upward to bigger challenges. Everything has come easy to him, and with that must come a sense of entitlement, that he is destined to make his mark in History, and nothing will stand in his way to achieve that. He became president on the thinnest of credentials, and now he has been re-elected to the office.
He knows in his heart what the people need, and his re-election has provided him the mandate that justifies it. All his opponents and the shouting and sloganeering on the streets do not represent the majority that elected him not once, but twice. His opponents both times were laughable, the first a tired elderly throw back to a time that the American people are eager to put his political party’s history behind them, the second a zealot who inspired a few of the faithful but no one else, both sent to exile along with their parties by the unstoppable force of Destiny. The voices of dissent have been silenced by his win, relegated to the fringe and ignored by the media who trumpet his brilliance and support him without question. He had become invincible.
That’s what President Richard Nixon thought, and what President Obama may believe today. Americans were just as tired of the Democrat’s folly in Vietnam in 1968 as they were of Bush’s war in Iraq in 2008. In 1972 Nixon faced McGovern, an intellectual who inspired a few in the Democratic Party just as Romney excited pro-business types but few beyond that in the GOP 40 years later. The press weren’t as pliant under Nixon as they are under Obama, but they did see him as a man capable of ending the war in Vietnam, just as 40 years later they latched on to Obama as the candidate best capable of ending the war in Iraq.
Obama doesn’t see that the Press supports him, just as Nixon hated the press for curbing his excesses. Thankfully two reporters working at the Washington Post became intrigued by a story about a break-in at the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate Hotel. Within two years the president had to resign in disgrace or face impeachment. He chose the former path.
Where is today’s Woodward and Bernstein? Definitely not at the Washington Post given that paper’s unquestioned support of the Obama administration. Andrew Breitbart was their most obvious heir, but he’s dead. Today there is no one to keep the president in check, to keep him from ruling as he sees fit. And it’s not just the right that is worried. The press that once reported every word from Cindy Sheehan has silenced her, and every Code Pink protest against “Bush’s Wars” are ignored now that those wars are owned by Obama. Sure some on the Left worry about Obama’s kill list, but better that power resides with him rather than Romney, ignoring the fact that anything that Obama gets away with in Office will remain in the Office, setting precedent for any future GOP president to wield the same power.
He remains invincible because his supporters in the Press and the Democratic establishment want him to be so. As long as he has them, he will indeed be invincible. But are there limits to his power? Are there lines he will cross that will expose him as being vulnerable after all? Perhaps. Perhaps not, but one thing is certain: we are about to find out.