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The Millbrook Independent

May 25th
Impeachment talk a waste of time
Written by News Desk   
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 09:10

artparkerBy Art Parker. Editor

The word impeachment continues to be thrown about in Washington every five minutes or so. President Obama's favorability ratings continue to plummet and it seems like scandal looks him in the face every morning.

I'm anxious to see a new president, not because I have never been a fan of Obama, but because we need a competent CEO of the government. While I disagree with many positions of our president, I am not "automatically against him" like so many. I would much rather see him succeed and see America succeed. But let's face it. The guy just doesn't have it. To me we need a competent president and we do not have that now.

Now that you know my position on Obama, let us talk more about this impeachment craze. I believe it is a waste of time and the wrong thing for the Republicans to try and do.

The most important thing one can remember about the removal of a President is that impeachment is basically an indictment, and if impeached, the President will face a trial in the Senate. It reminds us of the process in our courts, which is to have a Grand Jury return an indictment for a crime(s) and then a determination of guilt, if any, is made by through a trial by jury.

What does it take to get rid of a President? First the House of Representatives must impeach the president and that requires a majority vote. Then the Senate has a trial to determine if the president should be removed from office. Removal from office is the only question the Senate answers. Removal requires a 2/3 vote and that means 67 Senators if all are present to vote.

Only two Presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives. The first was Andrew Johnson, who inherited the White House after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the last was Bill Clinton. Neither was removed from office because the Senate failed to convict either of them. Contrary to popular belief Richard Nixon was not impeached but chose to resign after the House Judiciary Committee voted for impeachment. Basically, Nixon got out of Dodge before the whole House voted to impeach and hence, he avoided a trial.

The Republicans have a majority in the House of 234-201 and there are no independents in that chamber. The composition of the current U.S. Senate is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and two independents. The two independents in the Senate are Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who both caucus with the Democrats. If there are no changes, such as death, then this will be the look of the Senate until January 2015.

With this knowledge it is apparent that the House could have already impeached Obama since the Republicans have a clear majority. There could be a variety of reasons for not doing so, up to now, and the biggest reason is that they know it will go nowhere in the Senate since the Democrats control that chamber.

The talk of impeachment escalates when the Republicans get hyped up about the general election this fall. They are convinced they will get control of the Senate, and I think they are right, ever how slim a majority they will have.

But there is no way the Republicans are going to elevate the number of seats they hold from 45 to 67. That would be what they would need to have a chance of removing the president. A net gain of 22 when only 33 are up for election? I think the Republicans should be overwhelmed with gratitude if they get control of 52 or 53 seats.

But you can forget removal when it comes to Obama. Oh, it is possible that the Republican House may impeach him knowing that a trial in the Senate will be lost. They may do that just to tarnish him or embarrass him. But that gets them nowhere.

In reality, the impeachment talk gets the fanatical wing of the GOP fired up. But other than that the GOP is better off solving problems than talking about impeachment, besides, tough talk like impeachment may actually rally the national Democrat base even more, and the GOP doesn't need to do that.

The smart thing to do, if the Republicans control both chambers, is to block Obama whenever they desire and to use him as a poster child for failure. The Republicans have much more to gain with that strategy.

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