The Escalating GOP Call to Impeach Obama

Before the partisan outrage machines rev their engines for a noisy fight about Obama's alleged "high crimes and misdemeanors," some context might be in order.

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Jason Reed / Reuters

From sea to shining sea, the howls of presidential impeachment have returned to the nation this month in grand fashion. “It would be a dream come true,” said Michigan Representative Kerry Bentivolio. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has declared Obama “perilously close” to meeting the constitutional standards required for an impeachment trial. Texas Representative Blake Farenthold has said the House GOP probably has the votes to do it.

But before the partisan outrage machines rev their engines for a noisy fight about Obama’s alleged “high crimes and misdemeanors,” some context might be in order. Calls for impeaching the President, especially spurious ones offered to channel political furies, have become almost as common in recent decades as hand-painted signs along the presidential motorcade route.

On the day of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981, a crowd of young people, “dressed in the manner of the ’60s in Army fatigue jackets and long scraggly hair” urged onlookers to impeach the incoming President, according to a New York Times article from the time. Six months later, the leaders of Americans for Democratic Action sold “Impeach Reagan” buttons at its annual convention.

(MORE: Barack Obama’s Crisis-Driven Second Term)

A few months later, in the fall of 1981, Reagan slipped to Camp David for a weekend to avoid 200,000 AFL-CIO protesters led by parade marshals in “Impeach Reagan” T-shirts. In 1983, Representative Ted Weiss and six other Democrats wrote a letter for his impeachment after he sent American troops to Grenada. One of the seven, Representative Henry B. Gonzalez, would later initiate the call for his impeachment again after the Iran-Contra affair. Before Reagan finished his second term, the president of the National Organization for Women had also called on Congress to investigate the possibility of impeachment.

In 1995, another reporter for the Times noticed a “whimsical” sign of Clinton’s rising popularity in bellwether election state Michigan: “Clinton! At Least He Cares” bumper stickers had begun to replace “Impeach Clinton.” Three years later the impeachment calls came to a ferocious tenor after the Kenneth Starr investigation of Monica Lewinsky. Clinton became the second President in history to be impeached on two close House votes on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. (Andrew Johnson became the first in 1868. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 after Congress threatened to impeach.)

President George W. Bush, who came to office after convincing voters he would “restore honor and dignity” to the White House, endured discussions of his impeachment three years into his presidency. Ralph Nader called for Bush’s impeachment over the Iraq war during his 2004 run for the presidency, and in 2006, the Nation and Harper’s raised the issue on their covers. Republicans used the impeachment threat to rally conservatives to vote in the midterm elections. A multitude of books were written.

Former Representative Dennis Kucinich, a Democratic candidate for President in 2004 and 2008, has a history of calling for the President’s impeachment. In July 2008, a few months before Bush left office, Kucinich introduced with four co-sponsors a resolution calling for Bush’s impeachment for “deceiving” Congress with “fabricated threats” of Iraq WMDs in order to invade the country. (A year prior he went after Vice President Cheney in another impeachment resolution.) In 2011, he called President Obama’s decision to order air strikes against Libya an “impeachable offense.”

(MORE: The Obama Administration Scandals)

Despite Kucinich’s call, and the Tea Party wave of 2010, the momentum to condemn Obama for high crimes and misdemeanors waited until the first summer of his second term to really get going. From Richmond, Va., to Santa Clara, Calif., there have been groups carrying “Impeach Obama” signs on highway overpasses. Journalist and WABC radio host Aaron Klein and blogger Brenda Elliott claim that their new book, Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office, has sold nearly 100,000 copies ahead of its release this week.

A copy of the book released to TIME shows that the arguments for impeaching Obama appear to fall far short of the historical legal threshold. The book claims that one of Obama’s impeachable offenses is signing Obamacare, for example, because the law is “unconstitutional.” This might surprise members of the Supreme Court who affirmed the law’s constitutionality with a 5-to-4 ruling last year.

Despite the talk, the chances of an Obama impeachment are slim. House Republican leaders have no current plans to get it on the docket. And other national party leaders are trying to move past the issue. “Let’s not talk about impeachment. Let’s actually talk about the policies we disagree with,” said Republican Governors Association chairman Bobby Jindal on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

Jindal’s plea is backed by a solid political calculation, since he and other Republicans are wary of turning off swing voters less than a year after Obama won a decisive re-election. But that doesn’t mean Jindal has history on his side. Indeed, it would be more surprising if Obama weren’t facing calls for impeachment at this point in his presidency.

MORE: Obama’s Deepening National-Security Dilemmas

766 comments
noblebutts
noblebutts

May 2011, Obama committed his most impeachable offense, lying to the American people for political gain. It was a whopper. Osama Bin Laden died in Dec 2001. Not a shred of proof, not a video or photograph, has shown that he existed after that. Obama knew he was dead, but decided it was time to "close the book" and gain important poitical advantage in the 2012 election. This "killing" was a monstrous, baldfaced lie delivered in deadpan to a gullible public. There was no proof presented that any of the events of the raid took place as described. Obama has committed many transgressions, but this one tops them all.

shattered2016
shattered2016

Time Magazine's Person of the Year Award:

1938: Adolph Hitler
1939: Joseph Stalin

2008 AND 2012: Barack Obama

It's a historical fact. Look it up.

fauxsapient
fauxsapient

What a joke.  The GOP has seriously become a joke.  I guess that's what you get for pandering to the lowest common denominator.  Lesson learned? We'll see.

UnniN
UnniN

"Intemperate, illogical, immature, vicious, bigoted, narrow-minded and driven by a single-point agenda viz hate Obama and anything he proposes" 

A pretty compact definition of a present-day Republican. 

The country has moved on from the Mayflower days and there is a vast population that actually believes in fair play, and the national good and the hollowness of racial superiority. But the Republican continues to live in his fantasies, the roseate cosmetically enhanced world.

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

I'm just about ready to move to a Gerrymandered T-party district and find some yellow dog to support for congress.  And I'm a Republican 1 ! !

swagger
swagger

bring it on extremists.  out yourselves even more for what you are--regressive crusaders.

LorettaAllison
LorettaAllison

all i can say is this can only get worse from here....when a person who served our country for over 25 years,retired with a 50% disability, and went back to work for the government....Can Not Pay Bills.....due to No Paycheck....Government shut down.....Something Has to be done.  This is just plain sad.  Our Politicians need to come down to our level to actually see what they are causing.

KatherineSchaffer
KatherineSchaffer

Politics sure does bring the whack-o out in people. What happened to debating with respect and maturity? Oh, I must be a "libturd" for questioning anything. The reason this country is in such a crisis is due to the narrow minded name calling the people we're supposed to look up to are doing, just as these comments are. 

MichaelTyler
MichaelTyler

Madder still and madder, the vile Tea Party lunacy. 

donaldeckhardt
donaldeckhardt

There are not enough votes in the Senate to impeach Obama, but that shouldn't bother the Republicans. Obamacare was duly enacted, but they don't like it and are closing down the government until it is undermined. Obama was duly elected, and they don't like him, so why don't they simply close down the government until he resigns?

MikeAlan
MikeAlan

Does the president have to obey the law of the land?    If the answer is yes, Obama needs to be impeached immediately because he only follows the laws he agrees with.

monte4811
monte4811

Is it too late to impeach Bush?

leedanbar
leedanbar

Boehner, Cantor and the rest of the tea bags are the ones who should be impeached. The GOP gave us the largest group of do nothing, racist, not worth their salary bunch of a**holes ever.

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

What is the Teapublicans' jobs plan?


What is the Teapublicans' healthcare plan?

ignatzz
ignatzz

The GOP ALWAYS try to impeach a Democratic President, because they are spoiled children and can't stand losing.  So they throw a temper tantrum.

Meanwhile, the last President lied to start a war, and intentionally exposed an American spy as an act of political payback - and NO impeachment.  And THOSE actions actually WERE high crimes and misdemeanors.

Heck, St. Ronald of Hollywood actually GAVE WEAPONS TO IRAN.  No impeachment.

But we're supposed to believe that giving Americans HEALTH CARE is impeachable.

Republicans have become total clowns.

Sandyone
Sandyone

Every member of congress is on the dole.All of them are welfare kings and queens We pay for their salaries, pensions and subsidize their health insurance. Let's impeach all of them for doing nothing at all for this country except but run for reelection. They provide only jobs for themselves not for any one else.

Palerider1957
Palerider1957

"I will stand with the muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." - Obama
"The future must not belong to those who would slander the prophet of islam." - Obama

All said as he mocks Christians and the Bible.

Palerider1957
Palerider1957

You call me a sore loser and a racist. ROFLMAO!! You Libturds got nothing els. If you can't call people a racist, then you have no argument. Oh wiat, that IS why you call everybody a racist, you CANNOT DEFEND the racist POS in the White House.
Well, YOU are the racist as you IGNORE the truth about your "messiah". You are also probably one of the 97% of Blacks who voted for Obama based on his RACE ONLY!!!!!! And you call ME racist!? LOL!!
Here you go you kool-aid drinking, fact and truth denying, single digit IQ, unable to form any thoughts of your own, led around by the nose Obamabot!

Obama arms and finances the muslims brotherhood to the tune of over $2 BILLION dollars!
www[DOT]breitbart[DOT]com/Big-Peace/2013/07/01/Flashback-Obama-Administration-Gives-1-5-Billion-To-Egypt-s-Muslim-Brotherhood

www[DOT]capitalisminstitute[DOT]org/muslim-brotherhood-250-million/

www[DOT]policymic[DOT]com/articles/15530/muslim-brotherhood-and-obama-us-sends-450-million-dollars-in-aid-to-egypt


Obama gives millions to Hamas, an islamic terrorist group

 www[DOT]breitbart[DOT]com/Big-Peace/2012/04/13/obama-sends-147-million-to-hamas-run-gaza

freedomoutpost[DOT]com/2013/07/barack-obama-ignores-congress-sends-500-million-of-taxpayer-money-to-hamas-palestinian-authrority

www[DOT]nytimes[DOT]com/2009/02/24/washington/24gaza.html?_r=0

Let's see how long this response lasts before either some Libtards "flags"it (way too much truth) or Time removes it (for the same reasons)

robinwrites1
robinwrites1

Impeach!  Should have been done first term. Let's start with TARP.  Google "impeach Obama" and there is a petition circulating.  The author found like 60 or more reasons to get rid of this president.  In my opinion a corrupt train wreck.  He may not have started as such, but quickly became a menace to the American and global population.  Sorry but this generation is not prepared for a black president - trying to act white. Socially,just one of the "obaminations"  - are things like the first lady (ah, hmm)  vacationing on the Riviera in her flouncy party dresses.  Just what has she contributed?  Cut bangs? Pathetic, but in a way a blessing in disguise.

tintom606
tintom606

no matter what that man does, someone is not going to be happy

jominith
jominith

@MikeAlan I bet you support the Tea Party and Speaker Boehner even though they do not want to follow the law of the land if fact they actually want to undo the law of the land that has been upheld by a conservative SCOTUS and further further ratified by the American people in the 2012 presidential elections.

So in case you missed it,  I will repeat what Michael Tyler  said below: "MikeAllen's comment is idiotic, ignorant, a total falsehood."

MeghanStiller
MeghanStiller

@monte4811  Monte you fool, impeach Bush for right? For being RIGHT about the WMD's that Obama is now invading Syria for? Or for having lower gas prices than Obama, or for adding much less to the deficit than Obama, or for having a better economy than Obama, or for having less people on food stamps and welfare than Obama, or having a higher overall GDP than Obama?

I fail to see what you want to impeach Bush for. It sounds more like a sado-sexual fantasy to you, rather than objective politics. You hate Bush with a passion because he stands for everything you liberal slimeballs hate- backbone, honesty, integrity, and even if he wasnt the smartest guy out there, he was a DAMN GOOD MAN WHO LOVED NOT ONLY THIS COUNTRY BUT THE WORLD AND WANTED THE BEST FOR EVERYONE AND WAS ACTUALLY LOGICAL IN APPROACHING THINGS- and that pisses you off.

MeghanStiller
MeghanStiller

@Leftcoastrocky  Pretty sure that Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney gave a detailed 5 point economic plan that was extremely in depth.

Just because you liberals chose to completely ignore it and sing "la la la" while covering your ears everytime they tried to explain it to you, does not mean they did not have a substantive, thoughtful, innovative and detailed plan. Because they did. Now do yourself a favor and go watch some youtube videos such as "Paul Ryan tears Obamacare to pieces in 6 minutes". Or "Romney Ryan 5 point plan". Those should give you some basic insight. 

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

What is the Teapublicans' plan to flip battleground states from blue to red when the next Electoral College meets?

herritan
herritan

@ignatzz Cant stand losing?? Then why is Obama going back to the pout house every time a bill is brought and he doesn't like it?  All he does he pout and whine and isn't willing to negotiate anything except for what HE wants.  It is all about HIM and the LIBERALS.  HE is throwing a temper tantrum.  Most smart people that want to impeach obama are not spoiled are middle class and WORK for a living.... so what is so SPOILED about that?

MeghanStiller
MeghanStiller

@ignatzz  

Obama gave weapons to AL QAEDA IN SYRIA. It seems you are conveniently leaving that part out, you scumbag

mugglemikec
mugglemikec

@Palerider1957 : Fact check before you write. You're the victim of a fraudulent email, in which that quote was fabricated.

ignatzz
ignatzz

" When we think of Islam we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world.  Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace.  And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race -- out of every race." - George W. Bush

"Let me quote from the Koran, itself:  In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil.  For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule." - George W. Bush

""Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith. We honor its traditions." - George W. Bush


"According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in the Holy Qur'an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements."  - George W. Bush


ignatzz
ignatzz

@Palerider1957"I will stand with the muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." - Obama

He was talking about if there was a call to put AMERICAN CITIZENS who were Muslim into concentration camps.  And he's RIGHT.

But don't let CONTEXT affect you.

Chilidawg
Chilidawg

@Palerider1957 


How does acknowledging that other religions exist and deserve respect mock Christians?


Doesn't say much for Christians.  



Palerider1957
Palerider1957

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying Was against them, or in ADHERING TO THEIR ENEMIES, GIVING THEM AID AND COMFORT." Article 3, Section 3; U.S. Constitution

angelicvh
angelicvh

@jominith @MikeAlan The republicans, even if you disagree, and I don't know one Tea Party person, are the checks and balances in the government to keep it fair for all not just you.  No one is holding a gun to anyone's head. The law was passed not by the people, but by a lame duck congress. If you do not know what that is, look it  up.  I want resolution to but the President is the leader for all, not just those who agree, and he needs to compromise. So far haven't seen it no matter what he says.

The desire to "make us suffer" when he does not need to shows he is in a battle, with his own country. He needs to work will all of us, and put his ego aside. Thank God we are not mindless drones.

yshabazz2
yshabazz2

I remember paying as high as $4.00 per gallon under Bush. I've paid as little as $2.93 under Obama.

WMDs? Bush never ever claimed there were WMDs in Syria. Don't even try to claim Syria got the weapons from Iraq because Syria is an Iranian ally. Saddam Hussein would never have done business with them.

jominith
jominith

@MeghanStiller @monte4811Meghan, you said a lot of... let’s be polite and call them inaccurate things in your post. I will answer one that most of you Obama haters don't understand and constantly show your ignorance about - the deficit. You said : “or for adding much less to the deficit than Obama” Really? lets see…

There are actually two terms associated with "deficits". The annual budget deficit which is the amount of money we need to borrow in a given year to pay the bills that Congress passed and the national debt which is the cumulative of borrowing in all years, the total debt. Under Bush the annual deficit went up by $1665 billion, under Obama it has come down by $545 billion. If you care to see below are the details and feel free to verify my figures with FoxNews or any other source you want.

When Bush came to office in 2001 he inherited a surplus from Clinton, $365 billion or so. Spending for fiscal 2001 was set by the Clinton Administration. That meant that we collected $365 billion more that we spend. So in 2001 the national debt did not go up. By 2009 President Bush turned over to the new President a budget deficit on $1.3 trillion(that’s 1300 billion). So in eight years President Bush turned an annual $365 Billion surplus into a $1300 Billion annual DEFICIT. (That is a 1665 Billion increase). This meant which meant that in fiscal 2009 the National debt went up by $1.3 trillion. Fiscal 2013 deficit stands at $755.3 Billion; so in five years Obama reduced the deficit by $545 billion ($1300 in 2009 down to $755 in 2113, 1300-755=545). Of course the national debt kept going up, every year by very large amounts. What increases the national debt is the annual deficit. In terms of the deficit under Bush it went up by 1665 billion, under Obama it has come down by $545 billion.

MichaelTyler
MichaelTyler

@MeghanStiller @monte4811 Another fool and dupe screaming out her ignorance.  Surely the GOP, now a party of raving harpies, dangerous gun guts, and corrupt carpet-baggers, is doomed. Let's all be sure to vote in the mid-term elections next year and just crush them,   

mugglemikec
mugglemikec

@MeghanStiller: Right about WMDs. The president responsible for gas prices. Bush's "better economy" included the world-wide fiscal meltdown. "Logical" Bush.

You might actually be quite cognitively impaired.

mirrordaemon
mirrordaemon

@MeghanStiller @Leftcoastrocky Ever notice how its always a conservatives first move to extremely violent vernacular any time someone disagrees with them i don't think I've ever seen a debate where the conservative explained something in a calm collected manner. Case in point "Ryan tears Obama to Pieces" sounds more like a show on FOX than a real political discussion


jominith
jominith

@MeghanStiller @Leftcoastrocky "Paul and Mitt had a great plan". Is that we the American people voted them in? Oh, but wait didn't the ObamaCare guy win? by over 3 million votes?

Palerider1957
Palerider1957

And did I mention that pResident Obama has three (3) offices WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE for muslims (from the MB, imagine that), and has appointed many muslim brotherhood members to key and sensitive positions within the Dept. of Defence, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, NSA, and has changed the entire mission of NASA from space exploration to "reach out to the Muslim world ... to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

latimesblogs.latimes[DOT]com/washington/2010/07/nasa-muslim-world-charles-bolden.html

But it's not treason, right? LOL

Whatanotion
Whatanotion

@angelicvh @jominith @MikeAlan Hey angelvich; When was the last time the Supreme court threw a tantrum because the Executive branch of government wouldn't "Negotiate" with them?   Congress is supposed to negotiate amongst its own members NOT the other two branches of government.  Otherwise the Checks and Balances are subject to negotiation and then they are no longer checks or balances. 

expressathought
expressathought

@angelicvh @jominith @MikeAlan Your Tea Party lost me and ti's credibility when it loudly proclaimed wanting to "take our country back" then passed it on to Wall Street after you got a piece of it in 2010.

Checks and balances?

What a joke!