By Tom Tancredo
“John Roberts says impeach Obama now”
Oh, you missed that headline? Let me refresh your memory by summarizing the principle behind the Roberts decision on Obamacare. If we apply the Roberts principle to the impeachment question, then impeachment is not only a good idea, it is a constitutional imperative.
The argument heard most often against impeaching and removing President Obama is the following. Well, yes, we all know Obama deserves to be impeached and removed, but we have elections for that – and, moreover, the election is less than four months away.
But our Supreme Court chief justice disagrees with that line of thought.
Roberts believes, as we all must, that constitutional imperatives are different and quite separate from political imperatives. In Roberts’ opinion, the political imperative for overturning Obamacare was irrelevant to the constitutional question of whether or not Congress had the authority to enact Obamacare. He concluded that Congress does have that constitutional authority –and that constitutional principles trump political imperatives.
What does that have to do with impeachment? It’s very simple.
That principle means that if there is a constitutionally valid reason to impeach and remove a president, then the election process is irrelevant. If a president should be removed for violating the Constitution, then he should be removed today, not four months from today or four years from today.
To put it another way, the constitutional reasons for removing a president are quite different from the political reasons for voting against an incumbent. And here, some of the critics of impeachment are quite right: a president should never be impeached for political reasons, that is, for disagreements over domestic or foreign policy. That, indeed, is the business of elections.
Obama has committed at least a half-dozen specific offenses that meet the standards set in the Constitution for impeachment and removal. Thus, there is a constitutional imperative for removing him through the constitutionally prescribed process, not through an election.
In fact, when adequate grounds for impeachment exist, delaying impeachment because of an impending election is an affront to the Constitution! That’s putting politics ahead of the Constitution! Justice Roberts would not approve.
Viewed from this constitutional perspective, the reasons for inaction on an impeachment resolution in the House of Representatives seem not only weak but downright cowardly. The gap between the courage of patriots and the timidity of Republican leaders in Congress is sickening. Tens of millions of Americans believe Barack Hussein Obama needs to be impeached by the House and then removed by a vote of the Senate. Yet, not a single member of Congress has drafted and introduced a formal impeachment resolution to start the process. This is an insult to the Constitution, and as such, it is shameful.
What we hear as an excuse is this cynical argument: If Obama loses the election in November, impeachment is unnecessary. And if he wins, impeachment is impossible because Republicans will be accused of “sour grapes.” Both statements are wrongheaded and surprisingly naïve.
To put that question in more concrete terms, ask yourself this: If Obama loses the election on Nov. 6, do you trust him and his lame-duck Congress to govern the nation in a constitutional manner for the 10 weeks between his defeat and the inauguration of his successor on Jan. 20, 2013? If you answered “no!” then you must also agree that it is imperative to remove him as soon as possible.
Yes, we all understand that the present Democrat-controlled Senate will never take up an impeachment resolution even if one were passed by the House. But Justice Roberts would say that is irrelevant. Impeachment is a necessary and proper step when the Constitution has been violated, regardless of the political prospects for success of the indictment.
Is there adequate evidence to warrant a serious, formal impeachment investigation by the House Judiciary Committee? Yes, absolutely, and committee Chairman Lamar Smith ought to start that process immediately.
There is an avalanche of evidence that Obama has committed numerous crimes against the Constitution. Here are only a few examples:
- He violated the Constitution by appointing executive branch officials when the Senate was not in recess.
- He approved leaks of sensitive national security information for purely political gain.
- He improperly used executive privilege to block a congressional investigation of Eric Holder’s participation in the illegal Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.
- He violated congressional authority by ordering an end to the lawful deportation of illegal immigrants.
- He ordered or personally approved grants and contracts to private companies as a payoff for political campaign support.
The list goes on. These are not mere policy disagreements. Any president of any party who behaves in this manner ought to be removed through the constitutional prescribed manner – impeachment.
And that process needs to begin now, not in January or June of 2013.