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ANALYSIS: Impeachment of Obama fraught with peril for Republicans, nation

Is President Barack Obama on the verge of being impeached?

Based on the comments of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Breitbart Sunday, that may be a foregone conclusion. King’s comments come on the heels of reports coming out of Washington that Obama, under pressure from immigrant amnesty activists, will use an Executive Order to circumvent Congress on this matter.

"From my standpoint, if the president [enacts more executive actions], we need to bring impeachment hearings immediately before the House of Representatives. That's my position and that's my prediction."

While this is far from the first time Article Two, Section Four of the United States Constitution has been floated as a potential remedy to Executive Branch abuses, President Obama presents an even more tantalizing target for Republicans and their allies. Yet the chances that Articles of Impeachment will make it to the House floor for a full vote are about as likely as Hillary Clinton running in 2016 as a Libertarian. Conservatives, Republicans and the anti-Obama crowd may do well to consider some basic things.

It’s unrealistic. As much as Republicans and conservatives possess an appetite for political blood, the simple fact is any impeachment action faces a huge mountain to climb. With an election looming and Congressional approval ratings even lower than Obama’s, no sitting politician is willing to stick their neck out and risk losing it all on what essentially amounts to a sucker bet.

It’s complicated. It’s not enough for an impeachment committee to get articles to the House floor. Even if the House votes to impeach the President, it’s merely an indictment. The Senate is the chamber which conducts the trial and, as the Clinton Impeachment in the late 1990s demonstrated, even Republican control of the Senate is not a guarantee of conviction. In fact, GOP control of the Senate may be what guarantees an acquittal because any impeachment will likely lead to any number of scandals involving GOP officials being leaked to the media.

The power players cover each other. Like it or not, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is quite happy that Obama is in the White House, as are Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, and any other number of GOP boogeymen. The fact is, Obama provides a money-making target for them to aim at and, naturally, when that target is taken away, the wind will be quickly taken out of their sails. Why would the GOP’s establishment power base want to kill their golden goose? If the presidency of George W. Bush proved anything, it’s the Republican Party does its best fundraising and membership drive work when it’s in the position of challenger and accuser.

Race will play a role in any proceeding. As much as the GOP wants to dodge the issue, the fact is President Obama being an African American will be an issue. That is not a matter for debate; it is just about as mortal a lock as any could be. The Democratic Party will mobilize every bombthrower at its disposal to smear Republicans, and such tactics will not just demagogue the race issue, it could actually cause the nation itself to begin to tear apart at the seams. Sadly, this sort of fracturing may be exactly what some racial opportunists will be hoping for.

Assume Obama is removed…he’s replaced with (gulp) Joe Biden. Even if the President is convicted, all it does is make the GOP look like powerful crybabies who want get their way. Of course, the thrill of victory is quickly replaced by the agony of succession. The 25th Amendment ensures a chain of succession activates in the event the President dies, is incapacitated, or is otherwise removed from office. The first in that line to assume the duties of Commander-in-Chief is Vice President Joe Biden, who is widely regarded as not quite “all there” by both friend and foe alike.

The GOP’s image will be damaged, possibly beyond repair. Little known fact: the Republican Party is the own party to have impeached Presidents. The 1868 impeachment of Andrew Johnson was conducted by a Republican-controlled House. The 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton was also conducted by a Republican controlled House. Any impeachment of President Obama will lead to the Republican Party being labeled as reactionary and unwilling to compromise for the best interest of the nation. Such a label could ruin any chances of the GOP ever achieving any sort of significant power for at least a generation.

There's no telling what an impeachment could lead to. The simple fact is President Obama, despite his attempts to paint himself as a transformational leader, has demonstrated on more than one occasion to be an ideologue in his own right. Add to that the fact that Democratic leadership is as radicalized as ever, and that the President himself has admitted to world leaders he no longer enjoys the position due to the American people appearing to turn on him, and a potential constitutional crisis may not be such a stretch. Allies of the President would argue this could be as simple as the President stepping down and scaring the GOP by handing them Biden as the next White House occupant, while opponents could plant fear seeds of martial law and black helicopters in the minds of everyday folks. Long story short, if an impeachment hits and an conviction seems possible, all bets are officially off.

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