Friday, January 19, 2018
Opinion

Ruth: Palin's impeachment circus

We turn now to that noted constitutional scholar, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who evidently can see The Federalist Papers from her back porch.

Over the past few days Palin has made the rounds of the right-wing media geek show circuit to argue President Barack Obama ought to be impeached because … well, just because. There ought to be enough fundraising red meat here to keep Momma Dizzy's SarahPAC in aluminum foil for the foreseeable future.

In a manifesto posted on Breitbart.com, Palin wrote the articles of impeachment against the president include the crisis of thousands of undocumented children flooding across the southern boarder, the Affordable Care Act, distressed cities and social services stretched to the breaking point.

Essentially, Palin argues Obama should be impeached because he is a lousy president. But if being a lousy president was the benchmark for impeachment, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, U.S. Grant, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush and a few others also would have found themselves in the Senate dock.

The Inspector Javert of Wasilla, Palin portrayed herself as just another "average American," who happens to have a net worth of $10 million and charges $100,000 per speech. Perhaps Palin and Hillary Clinton should compare notes on their average American impoverished lives, subsisting on Meow Mix.

Of course, the likelihood of an Obama impeachment is slim and none since Congress would have to take time out from its perpetual vacation to consider it.

Other Republicans over the years have grumbled about impeaching Obama, but given the former vice presidential candidate's standing, her grousing attracted anybody with access to a microphone and the political IQ of a snipe.

If anything, Palin's impeachment kvetching exposed — no surprise — that a politician who was once potentially within a heartbeat of the presidency again would flunk a civics literacy test. After all, this is the same person who did not know the queen of England does not actually govern Great Britain. Ooooops.

The Constitution clearly states: "The President, Vice President and all other Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Think as ill of Obama as you want, but there is no evidence anything he has done warrants impeachment. He hasn't perjured himself under oath. He hasn't engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up a third-rate burglary.

And certainly, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," doesn't equate with lying to go to war at a cost of thousands of American lives.

No doubt flitting between all the faux "patriot" radio bloviators on her "Sarah's Magical Mystery Tour of Ideological Twaddle" will do wonders for her PAC's bank account. Or think of Palin's latest self-serving publicity stunt as the Popeil Pocket Fisherman of constitutional law.

Still, she has done no favors for Republican candidates, who just when they thought they might be able to campaign on the economy or immigration or tax reform, will be asked if they agree about embarking on a fool's errand of impeachment.

To so blithely toss around the notion of impeaching a sitting president merely because you loathe his polices betrays a glaring case of current events attention deficit syndrome by Palin and her fawning media enablers.

In the modern era of the presidency, twice the nation has been put through the convulsive high-stakes drama and trauma of an impeachment. Richard Nixon most certainly was on the precipice of being removed from office at the height of the Watergate scandal before he resigned in disgrace.

Bill Clinton was impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate in the highly polarizing atmosphere of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. And now, the Madame Defarge of Alaska would subject Barack Obama to the same political circus over … what? Heftier speaking fees?

Perhaps this is the inevitable consequence for dubious public figures who don't know the country's Constitution or its history but understand the free and profitable marketplace for any huckster unburdened by shame.

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