Obama’s Impeachment Would Probably Benefit Obama

Obama might get impeached by the House Republicans if he rescues the country from default.. So what?

In a normal political environment, it would be crazy and irresponsible to speculate about the possibility of Presidential impeachment. But in the current environment, it would be insouciant not to.

Potential debt default now looms as an even larger threat to the nation than the federal government shutdown. The Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives seem willing to force the country over this financial cliff. If they succeed, President Obama will have to choose between an international financial meltdown and a stretching of the bounds of historically permissible executive action.

Kevin Drum’s prediction is that Obama will opt for the latter:

But if the debt ceiling showdown lasts more than a couple of weeks, it’s likely that President Obama will simply order the Treasury to start auctioning bonds regardless. Maybe under the authority of the 14th Amendment, maybe under his authority as commander-in-chief. Maybe he’ll declare a state of emergency of some kind. Who knows? But eventually this is how things will work out, with Obama acting because he has to, and because he knows that courts will be loathe to intervene in a political dispute between the executive and legislative branches.

If Drum is correct and Obama takes this step, the counter move that seems most likely for the Tea Party Republicans is to impeach the President on the charge of violating the Constitution. Whether that charge holds any water legally or not, an impeachment by the House would be good for grassroots fundraising and for validating the Tea Party’s conviction that Obama is not a legitimate leader of the nation.

So, what would happen if our political system continued to unravel in this fashion? I think President Obama would be unharmed and might even come out ahead.

One of the important lessons of social psychology research concerns how observers make attributions about allegations of unfair treatment. If the lone woman on the corporate board complains of sexism, the men on the board as well as most observers (e.g., jurors in a harassment lawsuit) will be prone to explain it in terms of her personal characteristics, e.g., “That’s Linda, always complaining about something!”. The same attributional process often occurs when a single person of color complains that an organization is racially discriminatory.

However, when there are multiple people in the persecuted group, individual-level attributions become harder for observers to sustain: It can’t just be Linda’s personality because there’s more than one woman making the same complaint. Studies of jury decision making show that even the addition of one person to the persecuted group can shift jurors’ attention to the persecutors. When Linda’s complaint is echoed by Estelle, it becomes more believable that the men on the board really are out to harm women as a group.

As virtually no one remembers Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton stood alone in the dock in the public’s mind when he was impeached. That would have made it easy for his accusers to make his impeachment about him even if he hadn’t engaged in sketchy behavior.

But if the Tea Partiers impeach President Obama, it will be hard to persuade anyone not suffering from epistemic closure that two Democratic Presidents in a row just happened to deserve impeachment. The public’s attention and attributions would shift to the radicals in the Republican ranks: Why have these people impeached every Democratic President elected in the last 20 years?

Even if they didn’t have that psychological phenomenon in their favor, the Democrats would have two huge advantages in convincing the public that an Obama impeachment case was really about the Tea Party rather than the President: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. That’s as politically talented a pair as exists in the U.S. today, and it’s hard to think of anyone in the House of Representatives who could take them on and successfully frame an impeachment debate in the Tea Party’s preferred fashion.

Presidential impeachment would thus, like everything else the Tea Party is currently doing, be popular in their echo chamber but help convince the rest of the country that they are a dangerous and irresponsible force in U.S. politics. It’s not therefore something that Obama should fear. Indeed, he might even welcome it.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans and drugs. He is the author or co-author of numerous books and scholarly articles, and has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Guardian (UK), the San Francisco Chronicle and other media outlets. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area, he is usually in London, where he is an ad hoc policy adviser to the national and city government, an honorary professor of psychiatry at Kings College, a senior editorial adviser to the journal Addiction, and a member of The Athenaeum. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area or London, he is usually in Washington D.C., where he serves as a frequent science and policy advisor to federal agencies, and where he has served previously as an appointee to a White House commission and several Secretarial task forces. From July 2009-2010, he served as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. When he is not in the San Francisco Bay Area or London or Washington D.C., he is usually in the Middle East, where since 2004 he has volunteered in the international humanitarian effort to rebuild Iraq’s mental health care system. This work has taken him to Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to teach and consult with Iraqi health professionals and policy makers.

130 thoughts on “Obama’s Impeachment Would Probably Benefit Obama”

  1. As much as the GOP loves to beat the crazy drum to fire up the troops, do you really think there are enough in the House crazy enough and stoopid enough to pass an impeachment resolution? Surely there are plenty there who are drunk on their own koolaid and some who may see it as good politics but just as you point out, that is a bomb that will blow up in their hands. I think this result is much more obvious that you believe. Let us pray.

    1. You must be kidding. I’ve asked myself many times since 1992 “are the Republicans crazy and/or stupid enough to….?” And the answer has always, resoundingly come back yes.

      Are they crazy enough to shut down the government in 1996? Yes. Are they crazy enough to impeach a president for a sexual dalliance? Yes. Are they crazy enough to steal an election? Yes. Are they crazy enough the then claim a mandate when they lost the popular vote? Yes. Are they crazy enough to lie about intelligence as a pretext for war? Yes. Are they crazy enough to then go to war with a country for virtually no reason except oil? Yes. Are they crazy enough to create a global economic recession? Yes. Are they crazy enough to shut down the government a second time, because they don’t want poor people getting health insurance? Yes. Are they crazy enough to cause a US default, crashing the global economy and sending America back into deep recession? Invariably yes.

      Are they crazy enough to impeach Obama on superficial and/or faked charges? Yes.

      1. One more “yes”:
        Has there been an greater and opposite reaction to these Republican actions?

        I say yes.
        Eight years of a black president with the profound certainty of the first Dem. woman president…
        And look at this: Bill is back in a White House bed and maybe Mr. Obama is on the Supreme Court.

        They are losing. We are winning.
        Never forget that as it explains so much.
        That the Teahadi would default the very country they profess to love is prima facie evidence of our ongoing victories.
        Losing breeds desperation which breeds more losing…

        All of which is suggest that Keith has painted a imminent scenario.
        I can only amplify his main point: An attempt at impeachment would totally+totally cement the Obama coalition as a future force.
        Bringing on impeachment will be akin to pounding a teabagger into the ground so that only his tricorner hat is showing with a spot of blood on its crown.

        I live for that day…
        And that’s where all this is trending.
        The sooner we get there the sooner we get out country back.

        1. @Matt & koreyel
          I know they are crazy but I think enough of the nuts are smart enough to know that impeachment over a substantive issue that Obama would have great public support for would be a bridge to nowhere too far. I’m not known for giving GOPers much credit but they do pretty well when it comes to politics and impeaching a president for saving the republic from their own crazyness strikes me as political suicide of the most foolish kind.

          1. See my above response. And thank you for the reply. Hope you and our other compatriots are wrong. I must say I won’t be too surprised if I turn out to be wrong.

          2. Geez. My comment: “See above response…” got misplaced from below. It was intended for navarro. But thanks to all for the thoughtful responses.
            Now I think I will quit while I’m ahead.

      2. Resolution Impeaching Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

        Resolved, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

        Articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.

        Article I

        In his conduct while President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has willfully corrupted and manipulated the executive branch to increase its power and destroy the balance of powers between the three branches of government that is established by the Constitution of the United States.

        The means used to implement this course of conduct or scheme included one or more of the following acts:

        (1) Shortly after being sworn in for his first term as President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama began creating new departments and appointing Czars to oversee these departments. These Czars were never submitted to the United States Senate for approval as required by Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution. In addition, these Czars and the Departments have budgets that are not subject to being controlled by Congress as provided for by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. He also made recess appointments when the Senate was not in recess.

        (2) Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that the President of the United States “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed…” Barack Hussein Obama, in violation of his oath of office has repeatedly ignored this Constitutional mandate by refusing to enforce laws against illegal immigration, defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and refusing to enforce Federal voting laws.

        (3) Article 1 of the Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the U.S. government and sets forth the powers of the Senate and House of Representatives to make laws. These powers are exclusive and the Constitution does not grant the President the power to either make laws or amend them on his own. Barack Hussein Obama has ignored these provisions and made or changed laws by either issuing unconstitutional executive orders or instructing governmental departments to take illegal and unconstitutional actions. Specific actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:

        A. Ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to implement portions of the Cap & Trade bill that failed to pass in the U.S. Senate.
        B. Ordering implementation of portions of the “Dream Act” that failed to pass in Congress.
        C. Orchestrating a government takeover of a major part of the automobile industry in 2009.
        D. Ordering a moratorium on new offshore oil and gas exploration and production without approval of Congress.
        E. Signing an Executive Order on March 16, 2012 giving himself and the Executive branch extraordinary powers to control and allocate resources such as food, water, energy and health care resources etc. in the interest of vaguely defined national defense issues. It would amount to a complete government takeover of the U.S. economy.
        F. Signing an Executive Order on July 6, 2012 giving himself and the Executive branch the power to control all methods of communications in the United States based on a Presidential declaration of a national emergency.
        G. Signing an Executive Order on January 6, 2013 that contained 23 actions designed to limit the individual right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
        H. Amending portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act and other laws passed by Congress without Congressional approval as required by Article 1 of the Constitution.
        Article II

        (1) Article 2, Section 3 of the Constitution mandates that from time to time the President “shall give to Congress information on the State of the Union….” Implicit in this is an obligation for the President to be truthful with the Congress and the American people. Barack Hussein Obama has repeatedly violated his oath of office and the requirements of the Constitution by willfully withholding information on important issues or actively taken part in misleading the Congress and the American people. Specific actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:

        A. Using Executive privilege to block Congress from getting documents relating to the DOJ’s Operation Fast and Furious and the death of U.S. Border Patrol Brian Terry.
        B. Had members of his administration provide false information about the act of terrorism committed in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and refusing to allow the State Department and other federal agencies to cooperate in the Congressional investigation.
        C. Falsely labeled the mass murder of American soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas as “workplace violence” instead of the act of Islamic terrorism it was.
        D. Falsely labeling the IRS targeting of conservative and Christian groups as a “phony” scandal and refusing to order an active pursuit of the investigation into who was ultimately responsible.
        E. Refusing to order an independent investigation of the actions of Eric Holder and the DOJ in targeting the phone records of members of the news media.
        F. Telling the American people on a television show that the NSA was not prying into the emails and phone calls of Americans when the facts prove otherwise
        (2) The oath of office of the President of the United States requires him to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. This obviously includes what may be the most important part of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. Barack Hussein Obama has repeatedly violated his oath of office by seeking to limit both the individual rights and the rights of the States guaranteed in the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Specific actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:

        A. Having the Department of Health and Human Services order religious institutions and businesses owned by religious families to provide their employees free contraception and other services that are contrary to their religious beliefs. This is being done under the auspices of the Affordable Health Care Act and violates the religious freedom clauses of the First Amendment.
        B. Having the military place restrictions on the religious freedom of Chaplains and other members of the military in order to favor gay rights advocates and atheists in violation of the First Amendment.
        C. Having the military place restrictions on the freedom of speech of members of the military and the civilian employees of the DOD in violation of their rights under the First Amendment.
        D. Using Executive orders and government agency actions to limit Second Amendment rights. This includes actions by the Veterans Administration to disarm American veterans without due process as required by the Fifth Amendment.
        E. Having the National Security Agency intercept and monitor the private communications of millions of Americans without a court order and in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
        F. Joining with foreign governments in lawsuits against sovereign U.S. states to prohibit them from enforcing immigration laws. This is in violation of the Tenth Amendment.
        G. Filing suits under the Voting Rights Act against sovereign U.S. states to prevent them from enforcing Voter ID laws despite rulings by the Supreme Court upholding these laws. This is another violation of the Tenth Amendment and the balance of powers.
        (3) Under Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution the President of the United States is the Commander in Chief of the United States military and as such is responsible for using them in a manner that best serves the national security of the United States and protects our soldiers from unnecessary risks and harm. Barack Hussein Obama has violated his oath of office in this regard. Specific actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:

        A. In the name of “political correctness,” he imposed unnecessary and dangerous rules of engagement on our troops in combat causing them to lose offensive and defensive capabilities and putting them in danger. Many American service personnel have been killed or wounded as a result of this policy.
        B. Releasing the identity of American military personnel and units engaged in dangerous and secret operations such as the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy Seal team 6.
        C. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the exclusive power to declare war. Yet, without consulting Congress President Obama ordered the American military into action in Libya.
        In all of this, Barack Hussein Obama has undermined the integrity of his office, has brought disrepute on the Presidency, has betrayed his trust as President and has acted in a manner subversive of the rule of law and justice, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

        Wherefore, Barack Hussein Obama, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

        1. Any President that repeatedly ignores our Constitutional rights and laws should be impeached. Let’s not forget “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time.” Those who want Obama’s Impeachment are tired of being ruled by the KING PRESIDENT Obama, who makes up his own rules and forgets to carry out his oath in office. Impeachment is not stupid if it frees you from a President who does not follow the rules.

          Thumbs up for you Cody!

    2. “As much as the GOP loves to beat the crazy drum to fire up the troops, do you really think there are enough in the House crazy enough and stoopid enough to pass an impeachment resolution?”

      Never, ever underestimate the power of stupid.

  2. Bill Clinton should have been Impeached and removed from office for lying under oath, not only as the President of the United States, but as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Any Military personnel would have been stripped of their rank and put in Leavenworth. It is about the lie not the issue of the lie. Clinton is a convicted purger, he is now and will always be a person not to be trusted with the truth yet this nation condones his lie because it was a personal issue, He is having sexual favors done in the White House on Tax payers time. He is a married man,the military would have kicked him out of the service for this act yet the rules don’t apply to the Commander in Chief, Why? Clinton got a pass because those judging him are as guilty as he is, he should have been judged by a military court and sentenced by a military court.
    Obama’s race or political affiliation with the democratic party should not be the issue, it’s about the loss of life, depriving Americans of their rights under the constitution which he violated and was caught doing. Taking a stance on making life harder for the American people by barricading monuments, closing non federal run business, kicking people out of their homes because they are on Federal leased land, kicking hunters out of the Forest who have the right to be there by purchasing hunting licenses. The federal Government shut down affects the working people not the Forest that belong to the Tax payers they require no entry fees. The Presidents job is to protect the american peoples constitutional freedoms not to punish them by taking away their liberties to view national monuments, use the forests, or non federally run business. He is only focused a his Obama care and not the rest of the working of government which can be working but he refuses to sign. Him and Reid both need to be removed from Office. They do not have the best interest of the people or American in mind. They have refused every bill that the House has offered and refused even when they said publicly that they wanted to fund them……He has to answer for the death of the Americans he failed to protect. He has put more effort in trying to make the american people feel the pain of the shutdown then he did to protect the American’s in Benghazi, How do you defend that with politics!

    1. Just note: POTUS is a civilian office. The idea of POTUS as comander in chief is that the military always is under control of civilian elected power.

      1. Does anyone have a comprehensive list of Presidents not known to have committed adultery? Not very strongly rumored to have done so? Off the top of my head, FDR, DDE, JFK, LBJ, and WJC are all known to have done so; GHWB is strongly rumored, and one almost assumes RWR did so as a young man in Hollywood with a failed marriage (not to mention young GWB as a cocaine-snorting alcoholic party animal). If only the silliness about adultery were the worst nonsense in Paul’s comment …

        1. If only the silliness about adultery were the worst nonsense in Paul’s comment …

          Yeah, no kidding. WTF is a “purger?”

          1. Winston Smith (and everyone else working in MiniTruth) was a purger. Everytime anyone shoves facts down the memoryhole, they too are purgers.

            To Paul: It does nothing for your credibility to invent new definitions for words like purger. The word you wanted was perjurer.

          2. 15 yrs old and I know what a “purger” is. Maybe if you went on dictionary.com you would know what it is too and not sound like an ignorant fool by using curse induced acronyms.

    2. ‘do you really think there are enough in the House crazy enough and stoopid enough to pass an impeachment resolution?”

      I think we have an answer to that question.

      1. That’s the word!

        This Paul guy writes in, right on schedule, to remind us that yes – Impeaching Obama is definitely the way to go. And Clinton in jail.

        Where were these guys when W cooked the books and started a war in Iraq, killing 100’s of thousands. Really these people are beyond logic.

    3. And what about the 13 embassy attacks while W was president? And how about the Marine barracks attacked in Lebanon 1983 while St. Reagan was in charge? 240 dead that time.

      I know, I know, it’s just somehow different when a patriotic Republican is leading us.

    4. “He has to answer for the death of the Americans he failed to protect.”

      I still wonder why this KING PRESIDENT Obama can get away with murder myself. So many things he does as King and not President of America on the sly, and no one seems to make an issue about it in goverment yet. Seems to me IMPEACHMENT is the right answer.

  3. I tend to agree that Obama would, in some sense, benefit from being impeached, so long as the circumstances were such that Democrats would not vote to convict. Once he has demonstrated that enough Senate Democrats will refuse to convict any Democratic President regardless of guilt, he will essentially be freed from his oath of office, becoming a full blown dictator. Until this happens, he has to make at least a show of observing constitutional limits on his power, however much contempt he may have for them.

    The circumstances are somewhat different, of course. While unquestionably guilty, Clinton’s crimes were of a rather venial sort, financial self-enrichment, using government employees as procurers. It wasn’t until he was fighting for his political survival that he began resorting to things like suborning perjury, and blackmail, and it was easy enough to rationalize that he was being pursued “because of sex”, though the actual charges were perjury and subornation of the same. (Many more charges were available, but the House leadership turned out to be eminently vulnerable to that blackmail, and Senate Republican leaders even more so, which is why there was never a trial.)

    In Obama’s case, you have a rather different man. His only ‘mistress’ appears to be golf, and while he’s living amazingly high off the hog as President, there’s no sign he’s pocketing any of it. HIS crimes are much better characterized as “high crimes” rather than “misdemeanors”; Deliberate failure to uphold the law, and usurpation of power. Hard to pull out the “it’s all about sex” defense in his case. Has he kept the blackmail files current? Hard to say, getting embarrassing sealed documents released just before an election has been a signature move of his, but if he’s hired people to dig up dirt on his enemies, he’s done a better job of keeping it secret than Clinton did. But, of course, one word to the NSA would probably do more in that department than a thousand man-hours worth of private eyes got Clinton, so concealing the files might be easier.

    On the other hand, there’s been some turnover since, and maybe the current generation of leadership are less vulnerable in that department. One would hope so, now that blackmail is understood to be one of the executive branch’s tools.

    I could see your pattern, two Democratic Presidents in a row being impeached, working either way. It really depends on the public perception of guilt, doesn’t it? The DA office doesn’t suffer when it prosecutes first a Mafia Don, and later his son, especially if there was public evidence of witness tampering.

    No doubt a rather large fraction of committed Democrats would insist that both were innocent. No doubt a large fraction of Republicans started out already convinced of his guilt before he took office. The people in the middle?

    They might actually be swayed by the evidence. That’s my hope, anyway.

    In any event, you may be sure that the Republican establishment would never permit an impeachment unless they were absolutely certain they could secure a conviction. Not after the way they got whipsawed between outraged Democrats and Republicans during the Clinton impeachment, with the former mad about impeachment, and the latter mad about them taking the dive on it.

    1. Say what you will about Brett, but when the question on the table is “What are those lunatics thinking?”, Brett comes through with the answer.

      1. Gee Brett, It’s a shame you were apparently napping during Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. You don’t remember Chief Justice Rehnquist presiding in his humorous “mikado” robes? Of course it was during the fetal stage of the blogosphere, but it was in all the papers at the time and I bet there’s even a Youtube about it.

        1. I remember the Senate voting to spare themselves the indignity of having to listen to the House prosecutors actually presenting the case against Clinton, and proceeding straight to a vote to acquit without hearing any evidence from the prosecution.

          1. Those prosecutors were called “managers” and gave their case for three days worth of semi-nonsense. You really don’t remember Lindsey Graham, Bob Barr, and crew with their easels and pointers?

          2. You ever get the feeling you slipped in from an alternate universe? I’ve got this clear memory of the Senate calling a halt to the procedings, but none of the references I find back me up on it. Ah, getting old here. 🙁

          3. And say what you will about Brett, when he discovers that he might be wrong, he is willing to stand up and admit the possibility. Which puts him head and shoulders (and probably all the way to knees and ankles) above the Tea Party enthusiasts in the Congress.

          4. “say what you will about Brett, when he discovers that he might be wrong, he is willing to stand up”

            I’d rather he didn’t waste our time in the first place, kthxbye

          5. Indeed, Mr. Bellmore stood right up and admitted that he was wrong in backing the Birthers:

            = = = Yeah, I’m open to that possibility, but I don’t see much point in paying it much attention. Kind of like the scenario where the Earth was created five minutes ago by an entity only known as “Bob”, complete with all memories and records of a past existence, there’s no point in devoting any time to hypotheses which by their very nature won’t provide you with any evidence.

            Which is all very entertaining for sophomores to talk about on a Saturday night over Dew and nachos, but it doesn’t explain the fury at my refusing to recite the “Obama was born in Hawaii, and there’s no doubt at all about it!” liberal oath. Except that it’s another marker that I’m not a member of your tribe.

            I have no particular reason to doubt that Obama was born in Hawaii, beyond the same reason that’s got so many people doubting it: The vast resources devoted to making sure the birth certificate stays hidden. The main difference between myself and the “birthers” is that I can see that there are numerous explanations for that waste of layering which don’t depend on Obama being born somewhere else. Heck, just the fact that it drives a lot of conservatives batty would be enough explanation, it’s not like Obama is averse to wasting other people’s money for his amusement = = =

            Well, maybe not that time.


          6. @Cranky,
            Indeed, the very thread where Brett most clearly used the Ontological Question to defend his birtherism.

    2. Brett’s presence here is, in one sense, wonderful. Since he gives a radical right wing response to every issue raised by the moderators, it allows us to see the thought process of the Tea Party who are threatening to demolish the world economy.

      The terrifying thing, though, is that I simply don’t understand Brett’s thought process (just as I don’t understand the Tea Party’s.) They use an inverted logic that is alien to me and to many of the visitors to this site.

      If the logic were understandable or made sense, it would be easier to negotiate with. But when the base logic is radical and unclear, how can one negotiate or debate?

      1. There’s nothing wrong with Brett’s logic. That’s the problem, everything he says follow logically from his premises, and his premises are plausibly derived from his facts, which are not the same facts used by anyone to the left of, well, Brett.

        It’s rather nice to see a cogent explanation of the seemingly deranged beliefs displayed in Amurka.

      2. That’s actually the right’s biggest advantage over the left: The right understands the left. They don’t agree with the left, but can follow the left’s reasoning processes. The left, OTOH, seems to think that the failure to comprehend one’s opponents is some kind of virtue, and instead insists on attributing anything it doesn’t agree with to some form of insanity.

        Perhaps it’s because you lack sufficient confidence that your views are correct, and are accordingly frightened that, were you to understand conservatism, you might end up agreeing with it?

        1. We understand you perfectly well. You’re radical and the philosophy that you’re endorsing is insane.

        2. Crashing the global economy in order to prevent poor people from getting health insurance (even if it costs slightly more for the middle class and wealthy) strikes me as illogical. Or even…suicidal?

          1. So let me get this straight, you think it’s my social responsbility to pay for somebody else’s healthcare when I’m already paying for someone else’s social security, food stamps, etc., etc.? At this point I’m pretty sure I’m one socially responsible guy and guess what? I refuse to pay any more. And the government shut-down? That’s the whole systems fault for allowing stupidity, loopholes, and political agendas to shut down one of the biggest super powers of the world. And further more, have you read this bill with your own eyes in entirety? I haven’t, and I’ve only heard of few people that have managed it in the entire US which is no small feat considering the size and sheer volume of the regulations in the bill. So how can you even logically tell me that this can 100% help this country when you don’t even know whats in it? You can’t and it’s irresponsible of you to support it until you do. And another thing, this whole use the middle class and the wealthy to pay for the financially challenged insurance is incredibly naive. If all of these “upper” class people start spending more on insurance it’s actually going to make them spend less elsewhere, which if you have any understanding of the economy means that they will be putting less money into the economy and more into some rich insurance CEO’s pocket thus making all of us poor instead of actually helping anyone. So next time, before you call everyone illogical and/or suicidal make sure you know what your talking about instead of just being led around by some guy in a power suit. That is all….

        3. The right understands its caricature of the left, and can’t tell the difference between that and reality.

        4. If I can respectfully disagree, Brett; You don’t actually understand the Left. On threads regarding Global Warming, you present grossly distorted notions of what you think the Left ‘really believes’.

        5. If you’ve read 1984, you can understand the thought process of the right – lots of doublethink, and the holding of several contradictory ideas at once.
          Of course, it’s troublesome to dwell there; we can only dip into it from time to time. When you look deep into the eyes of madness, madness looks back.
          How else do you explain Republicans simultaneously arguing that the debt ceiling gives them leverage (because failing to raise the ceiling would cause sever economic damage), while also arguing they aren’t concerned with the debt ceiling so that the leverage does not act on them as well.

          1. Maybe this will help:

            Krugman Nails It:

            “..the G.O.P. has become “an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; When Ignorance Begets Confidence: The Classic Dunning-Kruger Effect unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
            But there’s one more important piece of the story. Conservative leaders are indeed ideologically extreme, but they’re also deeply incompetent. So much so, in fact, that the Dunning-Kruger effect — the truly incompetent can’t even recognize their own incompetence — reigns supreme.”

            Dunning-Kruger effect, or, “Fremdschämen”

            From Psychology Today:

            Fremdschämen describes embarrassment which is experienced in response to someone else’s actions, but it is markedly different from simply being embarrassed for someone else. In particular it is different from being embarrassed because of how another person’s actions reflect on us or because of how another person’s actions make us look in the eyes of others.

            Instead, Fremdscham (the noun) describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Fremdscham occurs when someone who should feel embarrassed for themselves simply is not, and you start feeling embarrassment in their place. It is at the heart of beloved “mockumentaries” such as The Office, Modern Family, or Ricky Gervais’ Extras. It is also what makes the auditions for American Idol, Britain’s got Talent and Deutschland Sucht den Superstar so discomfortingly entertaining…

            Besides the emotional response, Fremdscham-inducing events and items (such as this creationist video) also usually cause one to ask this question: “how on earth can these people be unaware of how stupid they are being right now?”.

    3. I am moved to comment here maybe once every 2-3 months, usually because I have a point of expertise to add. The only reason I am commenting here today is to express outrage about this anti-democratic comment. I realize that you are this blog’s pet troll and for some reason these people seem to put up with you. However, with this comment, “he will essentially be freed from his oath of office, becoming a full blown dictator,” you have completely disqualified yourself from civil discussion. If you believe this paranoid bullshit then you basically have subscribed to a neo-fascist obstructionist viewpoint that has sought to delegitimize the political left (e.g. the majority of the nation) from ever holding power. If anything Obama has kowtowed towards bipartisanship (most especially in his two most disappointing areas the widespread use of drones and spying, a door left wide open by Bush era conservatives). He has repeatedly attempted to find compromise, to work civilly and respectfully with the opposition only to be struck by the back of the conservative hand. The last five years are essentially just a continuation of the 100 year racist, anti-civil rights obstuctionism with an added on attempt by the likes of the Koch’s and Grover Norquist to finally destroy the last vestiges of workers rights and roll back the country back to the era of McKinley. Frankly, in my opinion your philosophy must be politically destroyed. Saying that something is a partial dictatorship because you do not like the last two presidential election outcomes does not make it so. Your comment is beneath contempt.


          1. Diction is too good: no malapropisms, sentences actually parse.
            Also, Rey knows how to spell all the words he uses.

      2. you have completely disqualified yourself from civil discussion.

        I don’t mean to feed the troll, much less defend him, but if you want civil discussion and you want participation from your political opponents, Brett is about the best you’re going to do. We may be entering End Times here, and if you want to understand why, you have to listen to the people who are driving events. Given my own preference for civility, I’d rather do that here than at, say, Hot Air.

        1. The problem arises when you have suicidal extremism cloaked in respectable sounding sentences. Content vs. form.

          As a historical note, it would be amusing if the circumstances weren’t so dire to note that Mr. Bellmore had for at least a decade styled himself as a mostly agnostic, enlightened “libertarian”. Guns as a proxy for FREEDOM and all that. This was a smokescreen that many of us could see right through due to the pervasive mendacity of his arguments. The great reveal of his actual views (if his writings here and elsewhere can be taken to be a proxy) came after the election, twice, of a black man as POTUS. Now we see that he is just a bog standard anti-science, anti-rational theocratic fascist, with a solid foundation of white supremacism.

          If the point of political commentary on this blog is to entice the insane to crack open their craniums so that we can noodle around in their dysfunction, I guess Mr. Bellmore suffices. But I’m not seeing any new understanding being generated by the process.

          1. I stiil entertain the possibility that Brett is really a parody of a steriotypical wingnut. I don’t think we will ever know for sure.

          2. @fred

            i spent many months taking the stance that mr. bellmore was an arch comic of the deadpan variety but after is repeated assurances that he was serious i came to take him at his word.

          3. = = = Fred @ 9:14 AM: I stiil entertain the possibility that Brett is really a parody of a steriotypical wingnut. I don’t think we will ever know for sure. = = =

            You must not work in mid-tech businesses (mechanical engineering, aerospace, basic IT), particularly in flyover country. I have five technology people working for me now in Square State and three of them spew this kind of stuff all day long. Absolutely convinced of their impeccable geometric logic, too.

            What concerns me is that [1] they make no secret that they believe their large arsenals of high-powered firearms and huge hordes of ammunition are needed to kill people should “the government turn tyrannical” [2] they believe that the Presidency of Barack HUSSEIN Obama is already very close to tyranny (as per Mr. Bellmore in this discussion)and that the ACA if fully implemented will be the final straw [3] “Libruls” and “hippes” will of course be the first to be killed (by them) when this point of tyranny is passed (as defined by them) even before they start shooting blahs and poors [4] they consider me a “librul”. I’ve pointed out to them that this implies they intend to kill me in the near future and asked if I should be allowed to defend myself under Stand Your Ground theory; haven’t received a coherent response yet.


        2. Bart DePalma, who infests the comments at Balkinization, has many of Brett’s opinions, and is better at defending them.
          His premises are absurd, but that’s what makes wingnuts.

    4. Gasp, Obama has played 146 rounds of golf as President. Which Commander in Chief holds the record though?
      “That title falls to Woodrow Wilson, who reportedly played about 1,200 rounds during his presidency. Dwight Eisenhower is the runner-up at 800, according to his memorial commission.”

      Obama is living “high on the hog” from the money he earned from his book. We’ve seen his tax returns. Most of the other innuendo about his outsized retinue or personal staff has gone down in flames upon a closer look (there is no professional Presidential dog-walker).

      Not sure about Clinton and Financial Enrichment, but the Whitewater Scandal was investigated by 3 separate groups, and charges against the Clinton’s were dropped because of lack of connection of them to the actual fraud.

      1. You’re trying to respond soberly and factually to the ravings of someone who lives in an alternate reality.

          1. I think Brett lives in Greenville South Carolina. If you can call that living.

            Having spent time in Greenville myself, if that’s “living” then being dead starts to look pretty good by comparison. Or at least being comatose does.

      2. By my calculation, that’s about 1 round every 12 days since his inauguration,
        Eisenhower would be about one every 3.6 days. Though I get the impression
        Obama often plays quite a lot on vacation, so maybe it’s about 120 rounds
        outside vacations, which would be a pretty solid once-a-fortnight. I’m afraid
        I’m not really seeing grounds for impeachment there (though maybe the First Lady
        would prefer he spends more of that time putting up shelves and cleaning out
        the White House basement).

        1. And that’s if you actually believe that Dubya went to Texas in hotterthanmotherlovin’heck August to clear brush.

    5. “he’s living amazingly high off the hog as President”

      Can you give one or two examples of how President Obama is “living
      amazingly high off the hog” in comparison to, say, the last 3 Republican
      presidents ? For sure, he lives in a really big house in a nice location,
      and he has staff around to help him, and the use of Air Force One, but
      those are all perfectly normal for anyone who has slogged through the
      process of getting elected to the highest office in the USA. So I’m not
      at all sure what you’re talking about here. Based on everything I’ve seen,
      Obama seems to work a heck of a lot harder than G.W.Bush or Reagan, and
      his off-time is spent playing a tough game of hoops.

      “Deliberate failure to uphold the law, and usurpation of power”

      Again, this is meaningless unless you give us the specifics. I know
      you don’t like his policies. But I have no idea which law you think he
      is failing to uphold – and in fact his administration seems to be
      quite astonishingly scandal-free and law-abiding compared to anyone
      since Carter. (Reagan had Iran-contra; GHW Bush had Edwin Meese;
      Clinton had Lewinsky; GW Bush had Abu Ghraib, Hurricane Katrina,
      Alberto Gonzalez, …). If you mention the NSA, then I might even
      agree with you (while noting that the CIA/NSA have treated the Constitution
      as suggestions for many decades, and especially since 2001).

      1. “Can you give one or two examples of how President Obama is “living
        amazingly high off the hog”?”

        This is a coded meme on the Right. It means: a black man is living above his station. Brett doesn’t recognize this as racist, even though it is.

        1. I’m also not sure why conservatives find it so offensive that Obama plays golf.

          But I might have a guess.

          1. If your’re a conservative, the black guy is supposed to be carrying the Clubs, not hitting the ball.

        2. That thought crossed my mind, but I’m charitable enough to consider alternative
          explanations. I guess one would be that for Brett it doesn’t count as “living high off the hog”
          if you’ve had a similar lifestyle before becoming president – and since Republican
          politicians are, almost without exception, long-time multi-millionaires, that makes it
          somehow “ok” for them to live the White House lifestyle.

          I’m also open to the possibility that there might be some substance to the accusation,
          though to judge that I’d have to see what the accusation is, and what the evidence is,
          neither of which can be guessed from Brett’s offhand slur.

          1. Evidence?

            Well, I guess seeing The President Obama hitting the ball, instead of carrying the bag, might just be the dog whistle that induces Winger psychosis.

            Just my guess….

        3. Nah, actually it’s a code for expensive vacations at the taxpayer’s expense. You know, taking entire floors of hotels, using an extra plane just so he and Michelle don’t have to fly at the exact same time, that sort of thing. Presidents live like royalty, it’s something which has gradually escalated as we’ve become inured to it.

          But when I said his only mistress was golf, that was meant as a favorable comparison to Clinton. I might not like Obama’s politics, but he doesn’t seem to have much in the way of vices. It’s amazing how this invincible conviction that everyone who opposes liberals is a racist can overcome reading comprehension.

          1. = = = Brett Bellmore @ 3:43 PM: Presidents live like royalty, it’s something which has gradually escalated as we’ve become inured to it. = = =

            I agree, actually. Yet (1) much of this is driven by interaction between the Secret Service and the military to be sure they are fully CYA’d in the event something bad happens to the President and that’s been going on since the Reagan assassination attempt (VH-101 helicopter program a perfect example) (2) and yet I never hear this tendency being criticized during a Republican presidency; only during Democratic Administrations (3) and of course I have _never_ heard a single Republican or Libertarian Republican praising or even acknowledging John Kerry for dialing back some of this excess during his campaign [1]. Hmmm….


            [1] In particular, candidate and licensed private pilot Kerry declining the “roving TFR” that follows the leading candidates and can make air traffic a nightmare from August-November of every Presidential election year

          2. Really Brett ? So just to clarify, you’re saying Obama isn’t in fact doing anything
            different from other recent presidents ? So I expect you can give us a link to posts
            you made in the past that criticized G.W.Bush’s lifestyle ?

            And if you google “Obama high off the hog”, what comes up is Rush Limbaugh from Jan 2012
            saying the Obamas have lavish parties to make up for their ancestors being slaves.
            Y’know, if you don’t want to be thought of as racist, you might want to take care about
            using phrases which, as far as I can tell, originated in the South in the 1920s, and
            have recently been resurrected as a not-at-all-subtle racist attack. Lie down with dogs
            and you get up with fleas.

            As for the particular facts, the expenses are unfortunate but probably necessary. The
            threats to the President and his family are very real, and the Secret Service really isn’t
            going to want a bunch of other guests wandering up and down the hallway outside the President’s
            hotel room in the middle of the night. I’m old enough to remember the IRA’s bombing of a
            Brighton hotel which came pretty close to wiping out much of the Conservative cabinet,
            and of course the shooting of Reagan. Presidents need to travel, and when they travel they
            need an unusual level of security. Actually, I also remember G.W.Bush visiting London –
            a friendly country, and his closest ally – and greatly annoying the Brits by trying to bring
            his own security force including a “minigun” high rate-of-fire Gatling gun which could have
            killed hundreds if used inappropriately (and to be honest, I don’t think there’s any circumstances
            where it could be appropriate to use it in a city crowded with noncombatants). As far as I can
            tell, Obama’s security arrangements have not come near that peak of absurdity.

          3. I’m not actually able to find any reference to the “Michelle Obama two airplanes” calumny. I suspect it is a conflation of the “Barack Obama sent a carrier air wing to rescue his dog Fala, I mean Bo, from an island off his Maine resort” falsehood with the “Michelle and the daughters spent $286,000/day of taxpayer money traipsing around Spain” false/misleading reporting of an actual situation.

            I do find 36 separate false rumors about Michelle Obama alone on Snopes (itself a source that tilts to conservative politics, so when it classifies a rumor/email about a Democrat as false, well…). Wonder why?


          4. Brett –

            Just for the record, when I was growing up my parents always traveled on separate planes when flying to the same destination. This held until I & my siblings reached adulthood – in other words, for decades. The reason my father always gave was that, given his worries about plane crashes, if such a thing did occur he didn’t want to leave behind 4 orphans.

            I offer this simple, alternate explanation as a counterpoint to your darker suppositions as to why the President and First Lady might choose to travel separately.

            And no, for the record we were not a wealthy family.

          5. Brett, let me explain the coded conservative racism meme to you:

            When you say about our black president that he takes “expensive vacations at the taxpayer’s expense” and is “living high on the hog,” but don’t say the same things about a former white president, it can only be one thing. Starts with an R.

    6. You’re right, Brett-Obama is INSANE and is going to push us right over the cliff!

      That’s why our only hope is to give him everything he wants. Call up your Republican senator right now and tell him to give Obama a clean CR and abolition of the debt limit, ASAP!!!

      I’m telling you, Obama’s a madman and he’ll kill us all if we don’t give in to his demands! Hurry, Brett!!!!

    7. living amazingly high off the hog as President

      Hmm. Interesting accusation. The President generally lives pretty well, just by virtue of being President. Nice house, private plane, bodyguards, and so on. What exactly is the complaint here?

      1. Um, that he’s Black, and getting above himself? It’s the only way I can make sense of the assertion.

      2. I’ve always kind of appreciated the fact that, while the President’s salary is the highest one in the Federal government by statute, it’s actually not super-high for a high-profile executive. It’s several times higher than what a senior software engineer makes, but only that. CEOs of big corporations make many times as much.

        Of course, the *benefits* are something else again; they are comparable to those accruing to the super-rich. And most Presidents these days are already millionaires by the time they get to the office (with Obama, it was book sales that got him there once it was clear that he was a Presidential contender, though he’d been of upper-middle-class means before that).

        But as far as I know, Obama hasn’t been indulging in a high-on-the-hog lifestyle to an unusual degree for a President.

        1. Which is only to say that he has been indulging to an amazing extent, only his predecessors’ excesses keep us from being shocked by his own.

    8. I tend to agree that Obama would, in some sense, benefit from being impeached, so long as the circumstances were such that Democrats would not vote to convict. Once he has demonstrated that enough Senate Democrats will refuse to convict any Democratic President regardless of guilt, he will essentially be freed from his oath of office, becoming a full blown dictator

      The evidence for this claim is one impeachment.

      Were Obama to be caught doing Watergate-style things (or had Clinton been caught doing them), I am not at all convinced that no Democrats would vote to convict. Of course, more likely, he would be forced to resign like Nixon did if it became clear that there were enough votes to convict.

  4. I’ve said for some time that the most likely outcome may be the famed Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin, because the Republicans have the power to restrict Obama’s options to (1) The Coin or (2) letting the Republicans blow up the world economy. The Republicans don’t really want to blow up the world economy (or, at least, some of them don’t, and some of their backers don’t want them to), but they also don’t want to back down. If they can engineer a situation in which the world economy doesn’t blow up and they can loudly denounce Obama for the “Unconstitutional Power Grab” that saved the world’s economy from destruction, they get a win-win from their point of view. Whether they actually vote to impeach afterwards is very unclear, but obviously it’s hard to put much beyond them. Remember, they have to placate people who believe the unhinged nonsense Paul rants about above; the more reasonable, respectable parts of their base are people like Brett, with his lunatic conviction that Obama is plotting to become a dictator.

    1. @Warren Terra: According to the Kevin Drum post to which I linked, the Fed has refused thus far to accept the coin. But fundamentally I agree with you (and with Ezra Klein) that this is a collective action problem. The House Republicans have a shared interest in avoiding a default, but all fear a primary challenge if they personally vote to avoid it. The scenario you describe is the perfect solution for them.

      1. I also think that it’s difficult for observers to guess the end-game of the House Republicans because there’s little evidence that they, themselves, have given it much thought. Impeachment isn’t close to being the most bizarre and extreme outcome that one can imagine from this situation.

        1. This is actually one of the most disturbing parts of this. It’s not clear that the House GOP has any idea of where they’re going. They’re basically improvising this as they go along. And it seems to me that when a hostage-taker or extortionist loses control of their own plan and starts improvising, it often leads to a very ugly and violent conclusion.

          1. “It often leads to a very ugly and violent conclusion.”

            That can only mean one thing: A tank being driven down Pennsylvania Avenue by Steve King (Rep-The Walking Dead) and Michelle Bachman (Rep-Machete Kills).

      2. Keith,

        Up until yesterday, I would have agreed with both you and Warren. But now I’m not so sure. There been a really change in the rhetoric on the Republican side to the effect that a default is something to be welcomed because it will force the federal government to “live within its means” and that a default would send a positive, calming message to world financial markets. Both Josh Marshall and Matt Yglesias both have a series of posts up last night and today analyzing this rhetorical shift. Josh Marshall is particularly concerned because he really sees no way out unless Obama folds.

        Also, up until yesterday, my money would have been on Obama. Now, my guess is that Obama is going to fold partly because he just doesn’t have a choice and it’s clear that popular pressure doesn’t mean a think with the next elections more than a year away. But partly because he seems to again be tempted by the siren song of the “grand bargain”. The “Fix the Debt” people seem to be having an influence on him and also he’s apparently meeting only with bankers and conservatives and not at all with people from the left. So my guess is that he’s going to crease like a cheap suit but give it a good spin about how whatever deal he agrees to wasn’t related to the debt ceiling but basically it’s starting to look like a repeat of 2011. Not good.

        There’s a post up at TPM just now where apparently Obama’s offering to continue to adhere to the Ryan budget until the Republicans agree to an overall budget (which presumably they’ll never do since they are doing much better with these short-term fixes anyway). Presumably the Republicans will want more of their platform enacted with each of these short term continuing resolutions so either we fix the counter-majoritian choke points in our constitutional and political systems (which seems pretty much impossible) or we learn to live under the Republican thumb. Or we do something else?

        1. There’s a post up at TPM just now where apparently Obama’s offering to continue to adhere to the Ryan budget . . .

          Wrong. The sequester spending levels are not the Ryan budget. Not even close.

        2. I’m quite afraid that you’re right about the president folding, and I’m afraid because I think he wants to fold. This would do a lot of damage to the DP. He and the other DLC types may think they can continue to play their little games forever, but there may be a point when a large part of the left might just stop voting for them. This whole pretense of having to be the grownup has been getting old for years.

          And it doesn’t make me think much of the other Dem leaders. Why did Reid go along with the sequester cuts? People say the rightwingnutbags have no strategy, but what the bleep is ours???

  5. @fred

    i hope the two comments following yours provide you the answer to your question. paul sounds like the ted cruz staffers i’ve talked to when i’ve called to suggest a different course and mr. bellmore, well, despite his comments idiosyncratic nature it still sounds like some of the people i know here in texas. good luck to us all.

  6. The OP calls this to mind:

    For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up. We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering. They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred. I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.

    1. I wish that had been a speech given by a president in my lifetime. But you go to a political fight with the president you have—not the president you might want or wish to have at a later time. I sincerely hope to be pleasantly surprised but I fear a repeat of 2011. I think Obama just doesn’t have that kind of bare knuckles fight in him.

  7. An impeachment by the House would have about as good a chance of a finding of guilt in the Senate as the current House proposal to repeal the ACA and — I suppose by the end of the day — taking the full faith and credit of the US and destroying that.

    Of course, then we’d have to worry about what kind of compromise the Dems might want to strike with the Reps over impeachment, given that the Reps have figured out they can get most of what they want simply by taking hostages the Dems seem all too willing to trade for.

    1. Unless the Senate is taken over by the GOP in the upcoming election, in which case: the craziness will be legendary. It will be scorched earth crazy.

        1. They certainly won’t get 2/3, but if they get enough to hold and prosecute a full blown trial then the craziness will be legendary regardless of the inability to convict.

          1. Of course they won’t get 2/3, that’s not the point. They wouldn’t do this all just so we can end up with President Biden. The point is to raise money for their own campaigns.

  8. On the Fed not accepting the coin, what’s the president’s leverage? Are the terms 4/14 years at the pleasure of the president, or just plain 4/14 years?

  9. If one were going to compile a list of impeachment-worthy recent presidents, that list would have to start with Reagan (Iran/Contra incl the Boland Amendment) and Bush 2 (leading the country into war under false pretenses).

    I personally expect Congress to figure out a way to prevent default, at the last possible moment. Not that it will necessarily be the right way to prevent it, but they’ll work out some kludge to postpone this disaster at least for now.

    However … if I’m wrong and they do take us over the cliff, then the GOP has put Obama in a box where any action he takes, including no action at all, can at least be half-reasonably argued to be illegal. The nice thing about that (from the GOP’s perspective) is that Obama will be stuck cleaning up their mess, while they get to shriek and wail about him violating the constitution, whatever action he does or doesn’t end up taking. And even if they don’t seriously attempt impeachment, much of the GOP base (like the detached from reality Bellmore) will be convinced that he deserved it and that the Party erred by being too soft on that illegitimate Marxist Kenyan.

    1. In Brettworld (same as Republicraziworld) only Obama and Clinton deserve to be impeached. Clinton for a sexual dalliance that in no way affected the country, Obama for “living high on the hog”, ie presidenting while Black. In Brettworld, that is an impeachable offense.

  10. President Obama doesn’t deserve to get impeached–the American People deserve their punishment, good and hard.

    But does it matter that Barack Obama’s policies have a distinct Keystone Kops feel about them? No? What did you say? Some facts simply aren’t permitted into The Reality-Based Community? Sorry, I forgot!

    1. This is the problem in a nutshell. The RW wants to blow the place up because they didn’t get their way and punish everyone who voted against them.

      1. I refuse to believe you are illiterate so I am forced to conclude that you are just profoundly dishonest.

        To repeat:

        1. Obama should NOT be impeached.
        2. This is because Obama was ELECTED by a MAJORITY.
        3. Obama’s policies, when implemented, will be regrettable to the MAJORITY that elected him.

        You may now resume your previously scheduled trolling.

    2. Wait, what are these “facts” that you are asserting? Because all I read are three statements of opinion.

  11. What would stop Harry Reid from a five-minute trial, with a party-line vote on a motion to dismiss the impeachment charge as frivolous?

      1. But preside according to the rules set forth by the Senate. They probably wouldn’t actually have him there as a pure formality with no role for a five minute farce (for one thing, he wouldn’t show up), but they could (for example) have a sort of brief meaningless hearing – the sort of thing that Brett discovered upthread didn’t actually happen in 2007.

  12. Obama doesn’t need to override the debt limit on his own authority. Anyone who is prevented from collecting a Social Security check due to the debt limit would have standing to sue, and ask the Federal courts to resolve the contradiction between a law that mandates certain spending and a law limiting total Federal debt. The conservative wing of the Supreme Court has its pet causes, but letting the world economy sail over the cliff isn’t one of them.

    1. “The conservative wing of the Supreme Court has its pet causes, but letting the world economy sail over the cliff isn’t one of them.”

      Oh yeah? Replace “Supreme Court” with “House of Representatives” and you’d have the prevailing conventional wisdom up until, oh, a few weeks ago.

      And I, for one, cannot spot any daylight between Scalia/Thomas/Alito and the Tea Party fanatics in Congress.

    2. Regardless of how they are classified, it isn’t clear that Social Security recipients would actually have standing to sue if they didn’t receive their checks and the courts almost certainly wouldn’t even consider the case justiciable under a host of “prudential” doctrines, not the least of which would be that this is the quintessential “political question”.

      Not to mention the fact that you are making an assumption about the world-view of the conservative justices that doesn’t seem justified by their past actions or public statements. My guess is that all five of them think (as seems to be the prevailing view in their party) that a default will force the federal government to “live within its means” and thus will ultimately be healthy for the American economy. You really are giving these people way too much credit.

  13. Hey, website redesign Steve guy — don’t know if you’re still here — but I can’t remember, did someone ask for an easy way to collapse certain comment threads?

    Because it is taking a long time to scroll past Trollville.

  14. Bloggers can learn from this how to attract a different class of troll to the site. IMPEACHMENT CLINTON KNICKERS GOLF should do it.

  15. Obama promised he was going to be the GREAT UNITER 🙂 ..Gaw-faw ! Nobody , except the sycophants – believed anything else he said after that one ! As Jimmy Carter said …”America is more divided under Obama that it was during the civil war !”

    1. Alternate explanation: Republicans are so incensed that a black president would live “high off the hog” that they’ve blocked and/or refused any civil conversation or compromise.

      Obama’s outstretched hand has been slapped away so many times that he finally said enough. And good for him. We can do this thing without the Republicans. If they want to strap on the suicide vests, the rest if the country just needs to build a bombproof chamber to contain the explosion. It will be an ugly mess inside, but outside? Palm trees, white sand, and margaritas.

  16. I think that left-wing nutcases are just going to have to fold – Because the only way they can get enough play-money to give out free phones etc., is to keep leeching off the productive and responsible in the society. Everyone sees that this party just can’t go on. You can bribe voters up to a point – but at some point even those you bribe get the uneasy feeling that the “golden-goose” can only take so much more. I think lots of people are seeing America now as being just about at the -“can’t take much more of this” – point. You’ve got no real job growth …the Social Security office is full of 40 year olds getting disability and the actual rich are all buying condos in Canada for when it all comes down .

    1. I’d encourage you to look at both polling and demographic data, then reevaluate your last comment.

      Do you remember back in 2012 when we had an election and the Republicans got crushed? Expect more of that, again and again.

      1. “Do you remember back in 2012 when we had an election and the Republicans got crushed? Expect more of that, again and again.”

        No I don’t remember that. I remember Obummer winning by a very narrow margin with widespread voter fraud and Republicans picking up a few seats. I also remember 2010 when he was more popular and the Republicans got a historic victory. Liberals live in a land of make believe. I hope Obama does get impeached and I hope they do nominate Hillary so I can watch her lose on a very large scale. The crazies in this senerio are the libs that see no wrong with their elected officials. Despite the left wing media’s cries that the Republican party is on the outs, it’s the Democrats that are finding a nation awakening.

        1. I remember Obummer winning by a very narrow margin with widespread voter fraud and Republicans picking up a few seats.

          You have a poor memory. Obama won a decisive victory, beating Rmoney by four percentage points (that’s five million votes) in the popular vote (way better than W ever did) and burying the hapless Willard by 332 to 206 in the electoral college. The widespread voter fraud remains to be documented. The Republicans also lost two seats in the Senate and eight seats in the House.

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