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MSW on Boehner and impeachment

Michael Sean Winters writes in National Catholic Reporter on Boehner's problem on impeachment. Its an interesting take, although he leaves a few things out. Read his piece at and then read my comments, which fill in some of the hole.

The attempt to brand Obama as illegitimate goes back to campaign 2008, when the GOP had to get messy because all the background research that had been done for the year was aimed at Hillary. The internal e-mails in the campaign were did not border on racism, they were racist. I was on a constitutional convention Yahoo group in those days and for some reason they thought we were all Republicans, which is the furthest thing from the truth. That carried over into the meeting of the disloyal oppossition on Inauguration Day, when the GOP leades got together in McConnell's office and he stated that nothing would pass from the President's agenda. Of course, quite a few things did pass, from Stimulus to Health Care to Financial Services Reform and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Even after 2010, the President's tax agenda was passed by Boehner in the House by ignoring the Hastert rule - which further radicalized the Tea Party after being beaten on their signature issue - keeping all tax cuts in place, especially for the wealthy. Several debt limits were passed as well, along with funding bills, mostly Omnibus ones, although the new budget act, which contains spending caps making the need to pass any annual budget optional, it also included a sequester - although those limits seem to hav been suspended, which is good because these things always destabilize the government.

Still, not much more has been passed, although many of the executive orders don't require legislation and many of the executive actions, like giving the EPA authority over greenhouse gases, were judicial in nature. The one thing that did not follow that pattern was the suspension of the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Opposition to this action seems strange considering the GOP has made its signature move constantly voting to repeal the Act. The reason they have not is the Senate. More about them later. The actually issue is that during the comment period for regulation on the mandate, many in industry had objections to how the regulation would work - although the problems are probably with the law. Indeed, the biggest fix would be to exempt young people who are covered under their parents plans from being considered in the count used to determine whether a business is complaint. In those industries, such as fast food, retail and cinema, where most of the marginal workers are covered by their parents, such a change would eliminate most of the potential expense of the mandate. While some adult workers, like me in a cinema, would have to be covered it would be a small price - although I am sure that there are those who would argue that no part time worker should get that kind of benefit. Such a view is wrong-headed, because health care is a right, not something to be earned. Marginal workers not otherwise covered are the reason we needed reform in the first place. The reason there is a regulatory problem leading to the delay is because the House simply refuses to consider constructive changes in partnership with the President. If they were to help with corrective legislation and promise to vote for it, delaying the mandate woujld not be an issue.

Does Boehner want impeachment? No, not any more than Pelosi did on Bush and Cheney, even though getting the latter in the docket of the Senate would have been more than justified. Still, there is a group of people who just have not gotten over the Nixon impeachment and resignation. They are the group who did not like John Kerry throwing his medals into the reflecting pool and who went after him when he ran for President. I am sure everyone remembers the Swift Vote Veterans for Truth (nice Orwellian name). They were the right wing conspiracy that went after Clinton, with no luck in the Senate. Does the name John Birch mean anything to you? Yes, them. They were lying in wait for Mrs. Clinton and were surprised she lost the nomination and were responsible for the nasty racist and close to racist e-mails (which you can still find in the NationalConstitutionalConvention06 group in Yahoo (although it might have been the Liberty Districts group - but it certainly flooded my in box and yes, Bircher was in the from line. They were the core of the Tea Party, with funding by second generation Birchers, the Koch Brothers. I suspect the whole Benghazi scandal that never was is laying the ground work for impeaching Mrs. Clinton, should she win the White House. Why lay in wait for her? She helped get Nixon. That, and the Birchers want an impeachment for an impeachment, especially as they are in the process of getting old and dying (although I am sure there are young Republicans waiting in the wings, but they just won't have the history that the current crew has.

Why is this doing on? As everyone knows, to rally the base. Of course, the Virginia governors reace just concluded showed that the Democrats have a model to use this fall, provided they get the bodies and the money to put it into action. It will likely overcome the GOP, so they need an edge. Of course, the spectacle of Obama being tried in the Senate will likely turn out his normally mid-term shy base in droves - playing into the Democratic GOTV stragegy already in play. They wish to try him for what is arguably settled law on his power to faithfully excute the laws passed. It will likely not stand up in the lawsuit Boehner is filing, let alone the Senate (the votes are not there, just like in 1999). Of course, the law suit will take time, so the GOP is betting on organizing for big wins in the Senate, but the math for a constitutional majority just is not there and they may still lose the ten or eleven votes in the House which would make the question moot.

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