Hey Obama! What DOES Rise to the Level of Impeachable Offense?

My enthusiasm for the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama (D, Ill.) just dipped a couple of notches.


Well, I consider sound judgment and common sense to be prerequisites to taking on the most critical presidential term since, perhaps, the Civil War. See how YOU think he scores here:

Associated Press story, from the International Herald Tribune (NY Times overseas):

Obama says despite shortcomings of Bush administration, impeachment is not acceptable
The Associated Press
Published: June 28, 2007

WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama laid outa list of political shortcomings he sees in the Bush administration but said he opposes impeachment for either President George W. Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney.

Obama said he would not back such a move, although he has been distressed by the “loose ethical standards, the secrecy and incompetence” of a “variety of characters” in the administration.

“There’s a way to bring an end to those practices, you know: vote the bums out,” the presidential candidate said, without naming Bush or Cheney. “That’s how our system is designed.”

The term for Bush and Cheney ends on Jan. 20, 2009. Bush cannot constitutionally run for a third term, and Cheney has said he will not run to succeed Bush.

Obama, a Harvard law school graduate and former lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago, said impeachment should not be used as a standard political tool.

“I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches of the president’s authority,” he said.

“I believe if we began impeachment proceedings we will be engulfed in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction,” he added. “We would once again, rather than attending to the people’s business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, nonstop circus.”

Obama, son of a Kenyan father and American mother, spoke at a weekly constituent breakfast he sponsors with Illinois’ other senator, Dick Durbin. He was asked about impeachment.

“I think you reserve impeachment for grave, grave breeches, and intentional breeches… “ !?!?!???

What? From a Constitutional law scholar? Is he crazy? Did someone dose him with LSD, like the Beatles’ dentist? Did he fall and hurt his head? I can’t imagine what could possess him that massive illegal wiretapping, illegal wars of aggression, wholesale violations of the Hatch Act and the OTHER stuff … never rises to the level of “grave breaches” let alone “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Never, ONCE? (Let alone cumulatively). And …

“a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, nonstop circus”

So there’s a POLITE way to impeach a sitting resident*?!?

[*I won’t say it, and, you might note, I HAVEN’T called that SOB “president” ONCE while he’s been in office, either verbally or in print. And I ain’t a-gonna, neither. ]

It’s “a circus” and it’s not “grave”?

There can be only ONE explanation:

Sherman! Did you fail to smooth out the welcome mat on the Wayback Machine again?

But, how did you know, Mr. Peabody?

Elementary, Sherman: That quote made sense in 1998, and Obama’s not insane, so I can only deduce that the junior senator from Illinois must have tripped and fallen through a time warp.

Gosh, Mr. Peabody. Sorry, Mr. Peabody.

Well. I guess we cleared that one up. It just goes to prove the old saying, Sherman.

What’s that, Mr. Peabody?

Why, “You can’t have a political circus without a lot of political clowns,” Sherman.

Mr. PEA-body!



© 2007 Hart Williams. Cross-posted from Zug - Hart Williams' Blog
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Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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15 Responses to Hey Obama! What DOES Rise to the Level of Impeachable Offense?

  1. Pingback: University Update - Barack Obama - Hey Obama! What DOES Rise to the Level of Impeachable Offense?

  2. I’m shocked, shocked I say! He’s either looking for moderate votes, or he’s self medicating!

  3. Ginny Cotts says:


    Just when Cheney has been warned he has to comply with the subpoenas or face impeachment by more Senators, Obama pulled an insert foot in mouth move.

    Ok, Barack, this gives you a chance to admit you make mistakes. And that you Learn from them.

    Please, give us back the audacity to hope.

  4. ifkeditor says:

    Impeachment proceedings are pointless and a waste of time, IMHO.

    Yes Bush has committed impeachable defenses, but Dems don’t have the votes. The American taxpayer has already suffered through countless proceedings and hearings on the failures of this President. We get it. Worst President ever.

    Dems need to worry about how they’re going to lead once they take over this mess, not just pointing fingers and looking backwards.

    Barack gets it.

  5. Michaelvdg says:

    I think that the American people overwhelmingly normally don’t favor impeaching a president. They will most likely consider it to be ‘political games’ or even payback for what the Republicans did when Clinton was president.

    As such, I don’t think it’s wise to call for impeachment. I understand that liberal activists want Bush impeached, but politicians have to keep a lot more things in mind than the average activist. In the end, Barack wants to win the elections.

  6. Ginny Cotts says:


    I have been willing to concede that argument at times. And I get there will be vote problems.

    What some of us would settle for is enough information for the court of American opinion to be unswayed and past the election fraud that may or may not be in place in ’08.

    Americans are clearly not supporting Bush in Iraq and generally. Bush isn’t running in ’08. Democrats cannot be overconfident in ‘taking over the mess’. Especially if they don’t get the votes to increase the majorities in Congress.

    Some of us are more concerned with criminals in the government getting indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced than common criminals. Even serial murderers don’t come close to the deaths these people have caused.

    True, prosecutors know when they don’t have a case and don’t file charges despite how convinced they are of the guilt. That is different.

    Does the difference matter? If they don’t win because of the partisan voting, Americans will get it. Someone pointed out that immunity from criminal and other charges can be brought after they are out of office. They should be. Even if we actually impeach them.

    My life was turned into a mell of a hess 4 years ago by a woman who needed to be fired. The hospital wouldn’t do it because she was close to retirement. I’m still deep in the hole that situation pushed me into, and there is no forseeable end to it.

    Meanwhile, it has become apparent that the GOP Senators are intentionally obstructing almost all of the work there. Another threat to Dems increasing their majorities in Congress in ’08 due to the low opinion of Congress.

    So, why not ‘waste time’ on impeachment? At the least BushCo might decide cooperating more would be in their interests.

  7. Ginny Cotts says:


    American opinion has been squarely in the grip of the MSM. I hope and think that is loosening. The idea that this would just be payback for the obviously partisan Clinton impeachment is exactly what I think that witch hunt was about. Setting Americans up to think that impeachment is mostly about politics and breeches have to be something on the order of the July 4th 1976 fireworks displays. (Which I know you are way too young to remember.)

    They got their candidate in office in 2000, illegally. And have been blowing off the Constitution ever since.

    Also, it is not just liberal activists calling for this. There are strong conservatives and libertarians who are appalled at what BushCo has done to the Constitution.

  8. Look: I understand the practicalities involved. I would hope that a careful reading would confirm that. But Obama’s “reasons” are transparent horseshit.

    And I’ve already been egregiously lied to quite enough on ALL sides, thank you very much.

    I tend to agree, pragmatically, that impeachment at this point may well be futile and hopeless.

    BUT to WHITEWASH (no pun intended) the ugliest predations ever committed by a US administration as not “grave” is akin to telling me that the sky is plaid (pink and green), and that the sun is a cube that sets in the morning, and rises at night.

    Oh yes, and I’m the Easter Bunny (what color would you like your eggs?).

    That was the point that seems lost in all of this. How long do you have to be (outrageously) lied to until you start getting mad? Are we THAT far gone?

    Does telling the truth mean ANYthing anymore?

    Good grief, folks.

  9. Michael

    “In the end, Barack wants to win the elections.”

    Yup. Honestly folks there was a time when I agreed with the status quo of let’s not impeach Bush but now, I am looking at all of this stuff piling up and it’s ugly. Damn ugly.

    As Ginny said, the Republicans are obstructing, things are not getting done. Why not waste more time?

    I thought when I graduated from high school that Nixon was one piece of work and I was disgusted with American politics. Bush is far worse and we sit on hands. Perhaps raising the issue of impeachment to a higher level might get BushCo to cooperate. Probably not…

  10. Darrell Prows says:

    With Nixon, impeachment was on peoples lips before it was in Congress. There were newspaper editorials stating impeachment support as the official position, public opinion polls significantly in favor of exactly that, conversation at the average American dinner table, etc. I’m struggling to understand why our society is not at that point yet, but I simply don’t get the same sense of public support.

    When the idiots decided to pull that impeachment crap on Clinton, there was far less public support (as opposed to talk radio support, which, despite numerous protestaions to the contrary, is not the same thing). If there was any political price that was paid by Republicans after that misguided adventure, I certainly could not state what it was.

    An impeachment effort at this time might well pick up steam after being commenced because there are tantalizing hints of disclosures of further indiscretions and offenses lying just over the horizon. If not, I predict that it would fail.

    I don’t know. I guess, if it comes right down to it, I’d have to go along with whatever Rep. Alcee Hastings says.

  11. Darrell Prows says:

    I take it all back. I just read about the Libby sentence commutation. That act was totally lawless. Impeachment is now required, and I believe that it would prevail.

    I’m profoundly pessimistic about things now that moments ago I would have believed to be beyond the realm of the possible.

  12. I have a dirty little secret to tell: an impeachment is like a seduction.

    When adults beyond a certain age date, the question of sexual congress is implicit in the decision to go on that date.

    At each threshold, the two parties involved decide whether or not they’re going to go a step further in the process (all flirtation is based on going an arbitrary distance down that road, BTW).

    Well, impeachment is the same thing. No one STARTS an impeachment with LET’S IMPEACH THE BASTARD. No, it’s a legal date between “We The People” and the congress. If it’s ginned up, like the Clinton Impeachment, the people are ‘agin it, and it can’t even sustain a straight party line vote — no matter that it was prosecuted by, collectively, the worse combover’ed group of pasty white guys in the history of the World (the House Managers)?

    Can I have your number?

    Here: have a subpoena.

    Would you like to come in (and have a special prosecutor)?

    Wow! These are the best torts I’ve ever tasted. Say, has anyone ever told you what a fantastic tort cooker-upper you are?

    Oooh, you Speaker so purty.

    WHISPERED: Let’s take it to a Judiciary Committee vote.

    We really shouldn’t!

    I say we really SHOULD …

    Would you like to go into the Senate … ?

    (Congress ensues).

    Nobody in their right mind ever starts a date with OK, Let’s F**K!

    But people expect to start impeachment with HEY! LET’S IMP**CH!!


  13. and yes, Darrell, I absolutely had exactly the same thought.

    We need to amend the Constitution so that a President MAY NOT pardon anyone directly connected to that Administration.

    Otherwise it’s the Rx for the presidency as a form of racketeering.

  14. Ginny Cotts says:

    I’m really becoming a fan of another constitutional convention. Among other things, for those of you who have law bonafides that I lack:

    Neuroscience and the Law.


    I love the analogy, stressing that “Nobody in their right mind ever starts a date with OK, Let’s F**K!” while pointing out there are a fair number of people who are NOT in their right minds at those moments.

  15. Pingback: an impeachment is like a seduction « his vorpal sword