Obama concocts impeachment threat because he has nothing else
By Kyle Smith
August 2, 2014 | 11:54pm
It’s as if our president has read all of the disappointed head-shaking opinion pieces by Very Serious Liberals and is responding, “Hey, I’m not sad. I’m ridiculous!”
Because in the last couple of weeks Barack Obama has reached his Basil Fawlty stage.
Instead of John Cleese’s Fawlty rushing around a dismal English hotel trying to avoid insulting his German guests by squawking, “Don’t mention the war,” we have Obama stumbling around the country crying, “Don’t mention impeachment!”
The president is, of course, the only American of any standing whatsoever talking about impeachment.
At least Basil Fawlty had an excuse for his dizzy behavior: He had just been clocked in the skull with a frying pan.
President Obama, in apparent full possession of his faculties, thinks it’s normal to scream about how nuts it is for his opponents to say things they aren’t saying.
“You hear some of them: ‘Sue him! Impeach him!’” Obama said in Austin, Texas, July 10. “Really? For what, doing my job?”
“President Obama is doing his job,” said no Republican, ever.
Obama surrogates — including his wife and his chief spokesman and leading allies in Congress — have been following his lead: “Isn’t it crazy to talk about impeachment? Impeachment is so bizarre it’s unmentionable. Anyone who would bring up impeachment is loony-tunes. Impeachment.”
An amusing chart published on fivethirtyeight.com noted that mentions of impeachment have skyrocketed this month on the unofficial presidential outreach network of MSNBC, where the subject comes up every 22 minutes.
Monday night “The Ed Show” mentioned it 32 times.
As people who actually read the news rather than rely on political speeches about straw men know, House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit is about Obama overstepping his authority and making law from the Oval Office.
Lecturing on constitutional law all those years, Obama apparently never quite got as far as grasping Section One, which says, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”
As for impeachment, the number of congressional lawmakers who are proposing that is stuck at zero.
Just as the best Obama could do for a representative of the allegedly sweeping “birther” movement was an irrelevant real-estate developer and ex-reality television personality who had never held elective office, Obama can today point only to a publicity-seeking unemployed ex-governor of Alaska as the leader and sole prominent member of the alleged mass impeachment hysteria.
When the media try to back up Obama’s pretend fears, they become even fatuous than usual.
A July 25 Roll Call piece headlined, “White House Taking Impeachment Seriously” meant exactly the opposite. You picture the reporter and his White House sources giggling over banana daiquiris as they discuss it.
And take this bullet point from a Washington Post piece (pegged mainly to an irrelevant resolution passed at a Republican Party conference in — I’m not making this up — South Dakota) purporting to show how impeachment mania has seized the wingnuts:
In February 21, 2010: An “Impeach Obama” billboard appears in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Somehow, I don’t think Obama speeches would be quite so rage-inducing for his supporters if he said, “We urgently need you to open your checkbooks today — because a billboard that appeared for one month in Oshkosh, Wisconsin 4¹/₂ years ago called for my impeachment.”
The impeachment talk, Obama hopes, will translate to aggrieved victim status and increased approval ratings for him plus campaign donations.
These he can funnel to Democratic Senate candidates to spend on character assassination of Republican opponents in states like Alaska, Louisiana and Arkansas that bitterly oppose Obama’s agenda and hugely support the Republican vision.
Maybe that’ll work. Maybe deep-red states can be tricked into continuing to elect senators who will back Obama.
If so, what then?
The status quo: no domestic legislative policy, thanks to his total unwillingness to negotiate with Republicans, who will continue to rule the House.
No foreign policy, except for the same one we have now, which is, “S–t happens.”
Israel? The Crimea? Ukraine? Russia? Mexico? Syria? Whatever. We’re not the boss of the world. We can’t fix every problem, so why try to fix any problem?
Someday someone will publish a cruel chart in which column A will be horrible pictures of geopolitical disasters and column B will be pictures of Obama actions on each day — laughing, partying, putting.
Whether Democrats lose the Senate in November or not, Obama has already shown that he has little more of substance to offer.
As a public figure, he’s content to be a variation on another John Cleese figure — the leader of the Ministry of Silly Talks.