Taking anything seriously that comes from the fevered mind of Sarah Palin is never a good idea. Whatever the best-selling author and reality television star who was a half-term governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has to say is usually a melange of malevolent musings masquerading as principle. Today, Palin jumped on the impeachment bandwagon. And as much as I would like to ignore her, I can’t this time.
The Post’s Aaron Blake points out exactly why I can’t let Palin just vent and move on. “She’s the first Republican of any significant national stature to make this call,” he writes. “And she’s the kind of figure who could potentially recruit others to the cause — people who will want to be heard. Palin surely doesn’t carry the kind of weight she once did in the GOP, but she still has a significant tea party following and is highly popular among the conservative base.” And it adds more credence to my contention that House Speaker John Boehner’s impending lawsuit against Obama is really a dress rehearsal for what Palin wants.
The case Palin makes against President Obama in an op-ed for Breitbart is based on willfully ignored facts and an irrational hatred of a man twice elected by the American people. “Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president,” she wrote. “His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’” Let that metaphor marinate for a little bit.
Depending on how you read the statistics, Obama has been expelling undocumented immigrants at a historic pace. According to the Economist, “America is expelling illegal immigrants at nine times the rate of 20 years ago (see article); nearly 2m so far under Barack Obama, easily outpacing any previous president.” Because of this, immigration activists have branded Obama the “deporter in chief.”
Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the southern border is in part because of anti-human trafficking legislation signed by President George W. Bush. Unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada who entered the United States illegally were granted legal protections and services that slowed the process of sending them back to their homelands. Considering this law is meant to stop human trafficking, this makes sense. But as Marc R. Rosenblum of the Migration Policy Institute told the New York Times, “It is classic unintended consequences. This was certainly not what was envisioned.”
No doubt Palin couldn’t care less about the president’s $4 billion request in border control funds from Congress. Or the failure of House Republicans to act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last year by a resounding bipartisan vote of 68 to 32. They won’t move on it because it provides a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the shadows. A path that is 13 years long.
But Palin expanded her impeachment brief against Obama beyond his “giv[ing] false hope and taxpayer’s change to millions of foreign nationals who want to sneak into our country illegally.”
President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, is the foundational problem here. It’s not going to get better, and in fact irreparable harm can be done in this lame-duck term as he continues to make up his own laws as he goes along, and, mark my words, will next meddle in the U.S. Court System with appointments that will forever change the basic interpretation of our Constitution’s role in protecting our rights.
It’s time to impeach; and on behalf of American workers and legal immigrants of all backgrounds, we should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.
The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is.
Palin’s assertion that the president is making up “his own laws as he goes along” is standard conservative conspiratorial fare. What grabbed my attention was her assertion that a lame-duck Obama would “meddle in the U.S. Court System with appointments….” I realize Palin doesn’t know or understand the Constitution she holds so dear. But the revered document provides for presidential appointments of judges, who are usually recommended by senators. And the president, by virtue of having been elected by the American people, has the right to appoint someone in line with him politically and philosophically.
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Then there’s Palin’s throw-away “many impeachable offenses” line. She fails to specifically articulate an impeachable offense. But that doesn’t matter to the far right, which has hurled the “I” word at every opportunity. They want to punish Obama and they want to do it now. That’s why the Boehner suit against the president over his as-yet-specified violations of the separation of powers won’t be enough to placate them.
A lawsuit will take years to resolve, assuming the courts grant the House standing to even bring the suit. All impeachment requires is a simple majority of the Republican-controlled House. If the GOP succeeds in retaking the Senate this November, the brake on the far-right’s obsession with punishing Obama will be gone. They might not succeed in getting 67 votes to convict the president, but if it gets to the point where the Senate must cast such a vote, Palin and her merry band patriotic pyromaniacs will have already won.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj