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July 1, 2007

Obama and Impeachment

By James Brett

Barack Obama misspoke against impeachment. His duty as a Senator is to be an unprejudiced juror. Impeachment itself is up to the House of Representatives.


I have read Obama's book.  The Audacity of Hope is a peculiar title designed to fracture into it's constituent words in your memory.  The book is full of "well on the one hand, but on the other" dodges and feints.  The language is good, sometimes full of itself, sometimes having the appearance of a different editor, perhaps a committee.  Like the horse designed by a committee, Barack's book, like himself, is a camel, Dromedary, one hump.

Obama believes that it would be improper to impeach Dick Cheney, because (and I am paraphrasing now) impeachment should be reserved for serious crimes, intentional crimes, not for simple mistakes.  Pundits who like Obama  agree with him, but they bring in the added nuance that if impeachment were to be brought against Cheney, it would be the second administration in a row in which impeachment "brings the government to a standstill."

Okay, the logic of this statement is that because the Republicans brought Clinton up on purjury regarding his sex life, Cheney gets a Get-Out-of-Jail Free Card because he succeeded Clinton.  (Yes, I know Bush succeeded Clinton, but we know better now, don't we!)  The logic and reasoning is ludicrous.  If Cheney has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors or treason" he MUST BE impeached.  It is not optional!

The other thing about Obama's statement is that it seems to ignore the Constitution.  This is what the Constitutions says:

The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
Obama is a Senator, so it is a bit "previous" of him to be spouting off about something that he might well be asked to deliberate upon soberly and without prejudice!!  This is typical of a Barack Obama position, however.  He takes all sides and avoids the problem of standing on principle. 

I suppose you could say that Obama was merely trying to sabotage the campaign of Dennis Kucinich whose introduction of Articles of Impeachment against VP Cheney forces all candidates to think about their position on the issue.  (Remember, by the way, that Kucinich was unaware that Cheney was obstructing justice, violating federal law regarding records, and declaring himself to be above the law.)

Obama should have said something like this:

Articles of Impeachment have been filed by my colleague in the House, Representative Kucinich.  If his action results in an actual impeachment, I will be required to sit as a juror on that case, therefore, I will not comment further.
Obama was not smart enough to say something like that, so now we have the problem of a presidential candidate who was odds-on to be a VP selection, now demonstrating his lack of judgement, and for my money eliminating himself from further consideration for national office.


Authors Bio:

James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese History, the history of science, and the history of ideas, including psychology and consciousness studies. He is retired and living on the Left Coast.