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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Maureen Dowd, "Reindeer Games": "There Ain't No Sanity Clause!"

Fiorello: Hey, wait, wait. What does this say here? This thing here.
Driftwood: Oh, that? Oh, that's the usual clause. That's in every contract. That just says uh, it says uh, "If any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified."
Fiorello: Well, I don't know...
Driftwood: It's all right, that's, that's in every contract. That's, that's what they call a 'sanity clause'.
Fiorello: Ha ha ha ha ha! You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Clause!

- Groucho and Chico Marx, "A Night at the Opera," 1935


Is there a basis for impeaching Obama?

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Reindeer Games" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/reindeer-games.html?_r=0), Maureen Dowd observes that Michigan congressman Kerry Bentivolio is hoping "to impeach the nation’s first black president." Dowd writes:

"Bentivolio is the perfect avatar of the impeachment fever gripping a G.O.P. that’s unmoored from reality.

. . . .

It isn’t the president who should leave. It’s the misguided lawmakers trying to drive him out.

For some of the rodeo clowns clamoring for impeachment around the country, Barack Obama’s real crime is presiding while black."

Dowd cites David Axelrod as saying there isn’t a "scintilla of justification" for such an action.

Of course I would have preferred the opinion of some reputable legal authority and not that of David Axelrod, a Chicago political hack . . . oops, I meant consultant, joined at the hip with the president. However, incompetence and lack of leadership capabilities are truly not impeachable offenses.

In addition, I would say that the president's closest aides have done a marvelous job of keeping the president uninformed, thus facilitating the claim that Obama learned of the IRS's  targeting of tea party groups only "when it came out in the news," thus further muddying any possible impeachment charges (see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/19/obama-irs-targeting_n_3302449.html).

All of which is not to say that Obama's conduct in office gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. As was pointed out by George Will in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Obama’s unconstitutional steps worse than Nixon’s" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-obamas-unconstitutional-steps-worse-than-nixons/2013/08/14/e0bd6cb2-044a-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html?hpid=z2):

" Explaining his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), [Obama] said: 'I didn’t simply choose to' ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in 2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with health care. No, 'this was in consultation with businesses.'

. . . .

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: 'Where does the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?' The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: brevity. Because there is no such authority."

And then there was the recent attempt by Obama to interfere with due process of law, when, after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, he declared:

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

Had I been a defense attorney for George Zimmerman, and if he had been convicted, I would have claimed that Obama's declaration was the basis for a mistrial.

The IRS, NSA and Benghazi scandals? All infuriating, but not the basis for impeachment.

We will just need to be patient and wait another three and a half years for some new self-serving narcissistic person, female or male, black or white, Democrat or Republican, to replace Obama and provide us with . . . more of the same.


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