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The Point of Impeachment

Article subtitle: 
Tolerating Obama’s lawlessness invites a destructive new era of dictatorial presidency
Article author: 
Andrew C. McCarthy
Article publisher: 
National Review Online
Article date: 
June 16, 2014
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

In writing Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment, I had a purpose: Explain that the capacity of Congress to oust a lawless president is central to the Framers’ design of our governing system. Because executive power is awesome, and intended to be that way, certain abuses of it can be discouraged only by the credible threat that Congress will remove the president from power — or, if discouragement fails, can be remediated only by the president’s actual removal. That is why Madison believed that the inclusion of impeachment in Congress’s arsenal was “indispensible” to preserving the Constitution’s framework of liberty vouchsafed by divided power.

Impeach Obama button

Abuse of the executive’s power over immigration enforcement now belongs in this category of maladministration that impeachment alone can counter. One must use the qualifier “now” because this was not always the case. Immigration enforcement was originally a state responsibility. Washington has supplanted the states since the early 20th century, an erosion of federalism largely responsible for our current immigration crisis... Like it or not (I don’t), the federal courts’ ill-conceived application of preemption principles has left the states and the American people vulnerable to a lawless president who refuses to protect them from illegal immigration while preventing them from protecting themselves. (Obama’s theory that disarming the state...

... short of credibly threatening impeachment, Congress and the courts can neither compel a president to enforce the laws nor stop him from using his plenary pardon authority to grant a sweeping amnesty. That gets Obama two-thirds of the prize he is pursuing — namely, several million aliens whose illegal status has been purged, put on the path to inevitable voting rights that will give Democrats an invincible electoral majority.

As for the remaining third, Congress could, in theory, block the president from granting illegal immigrants legal status and other positive benefits (such as work permits) without impeaching him. To do this in reality, though, Congress would have to use its power of the purse. Translation: It would take the credible threat of a government shutdown to check the president’s lawless conferral of benefits.

Alas, that constitutional parry has already been disavowed by GOP congressional leadership. If they persevere in this disavowal, it will be in defiance of their base... Yet such a signature display of preemptive surrender would come as no surprise given that, as previously argued here, their opposition to Obama’s imperious method of achieving his goal seems, shall we say, less than genuine. Moreover, the judiciary that Mr. Obama is stacking with Lawyer Left activists like himself can be relied on to twist the Constitution into mandating any benefits the president does not succeed in awarding...

As Faithless Execution elaborates, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitution’s trigger for impeachment, is a term of art for abuses of power that violate the president’s fiduciary obligations to the American people he serves, the constitutional system he takes an oath to preserve, and the laws whose faithful execution is his core duty. High crimes and misdemeanors are not — or at least, not necessarily — the same as “crimes” and “misdemeanors” prosecutable in the courts. Impeachment is a political remedy (i.e., the removal of political authority), not a legal one (i.e., the removal of liberty after criminal indictment and conviction). That is why Hamilton, in Federalist 65, described impeachable offenses as “political” in nature — as “proceed[ing] from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

A sweeping amnesty for millions of unrepentant lawbreakers that punishes American workers, imposes crushing burdens on the states, and betrays law-abiding aliens who comply with our immigration rules is not an indictable offense. Yet it is obviously an impeachable one. So is the failure to enforce the immigration laws. And the effort to award by executive decree benefits that only Congress has the power to grant is patently lawless and thus just as clearly impeachable...

 


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If The GOP Leadership Believes Obama’s Amnesty Is Unconstitutional, Why Can’t They Even CONSIDER Impeaching Him?,James Kirkpatrick, VDare, January 20, 2015

Obama’s Wanton Lawlessness Should Disturb All Americans, Human Events Online, April 17, 2015

Impeach the traitor now!, Larry Klayman, WorldNetDaily, April 17, 2015