What Say You Now, Obama?

Last week, I mentioned that Barack Obama opposes impeachment not only because he believes impeachment should be reserved “for grave, grave breaches, and intentional breaches of the president’s authority,” but also because beginning impeachment proceedings would “engulf” the Congress “in more of the politics that has made Washington dysfunction. We would once again, rather than attending to the people’s business, be engaged in a tit-for-tat, back-and-forth, non-stop circus.”

At the time, I was decidedly unthrilled with this position, for a variety of reasons. Now I’m just wondering if he doesn’t feel like a total asshole, since a “new poll from American Research Group shows a startling result: The people are evenly divided on impeachment proceedings against the president, and a majority favor the House beginning impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney.”

In other words, impeachment is looking more and more like “the people’s business,” after all.

Just saying.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “What Say You Now, Obama?

  1. Personally, I would support impeachment or censure proceedings against either Bush or Cheney (or both), but I think Obama (or Clinton or Edwards or Richardson etc- let’s not just hold Obama to this standard) is not in a political position where he could publicly support them, at least right now, and still have the current chance he has to win the election.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m conflicted about this, and I wish that more Dems would call for impeachment- lord knows these guys deserve it more than Clinton ever did (although that’s really not saying much).

    I mean, we’re in a situation where a single haircut gets literally months of media attention. And you can lose a primary election just by yelling in an enthusiastic manner at a campaign event. Or you can get thrown out of a race you were considering entering by making one joke that wasn’t really a joke that was misinterpreted. And you can get harassed by the media for a week if somebody digs up and totally mis-portrays something one of your employees wrote ages ago. So, is Obama scared to say he would support impeachment, even if he secretly does? Yeah. But so are all the other candidates, except for uh, Kucinich and maybe Gravel. And neither of them are viable candidates, no matter how much we might agree with them, both politically and rhetorically, on some issues.

    Of course, with Obama it’s slightly different, because he’s trying to, or at least says he’s trying to, wage this whole type of “post-partisanship” campaign (which is a silly/misleading moniker that people in Washington thought up), where he is trying to portray himself as, you know, the whole “uniter not a divider” type thing. And there’s some evidence that it’s working, at least to some extent, and he could prove a very strong general-election candidate, some people believe the strongest (I’m really not sure).

    Anyways, I, as I suspect most Shakesville readers, would wholeheartedly support the House bringing articles of impeachment against Bush/Cheney any day of the week, but my only point is that A) we need to whole all the candidates to more or less the same standard; it’s not just Obama that isn’t publicly calling for impeachment and B) running for president is hella hard and the slightest little thing can fuck you up.

    That said, yeah, wtf, c’mon everybody, jump in. The impeachment sauce temperature is just fine.

  2. Pingback: University Update - Barack Obama - What Say You Now, Obama?

  3. tomeck

    I’ll go along with Arlen. I’d love to see Cheney and Bush (in that order) impeached, then sent to the Hague for war crimes. But it’s not going to happen. The poll shows the country in a basic 50-50 split and you should have a lot more support than that to impeach, however deserving.

    If Obama comes out in favor of impeachment, that’s all we would hear from him in the media. He’d still be talking about other issues, but the only soundbites hitting the news would be some reporter’s outrageous question about impeachment. The perception of his campaign would change and he’d go down.

    I think we need him to put the country back together. Impeachment won’t accomplish that.

  4. The Dems are going to get outrageous questions anyway (and stories – i.e. haircuts). And putting the country back together seems like a cop out to me. I can understand the let’s-hold-off-on-impeachment viewpoint, but Ford helped “put the country back together” by pardoning Nixon. Who got punished? Some lackeys. Then Iran-Contra happened. Who got punished? Some more lackeys. Third time is even more charmed than the previous two.

    When do we finally make being a completely evil, greedy fuck not worth it? After the fourth time? The fifth? I don’t want to sound like I’m personally attacking those who aren’t for impeachment, because I’m not, but the country IS together. More people are for impeachment than were for it in 2004, 2005, 2006; a sizable majority of the American people share the Dem/left/whatever views on essentially everything, domestic and foreign. Make the goopers in 2008 have the weight of investigation after investigation after trial around their necks. Air the dirty laundry. The CRIMES. America can hack it. I understand the whole thing about needed to tread a fine line so we can actually control the White House, but when do we actually punish those who deserve it?

  5. Johnny Pez

    I’m afraid impeachment makes way too much sense for the Dems to ever actually consider it.

  6. oddjob

    I think we need him to put the country back together. Impeachment won’t accomplish that.

    That was Ford’s argument about Nixon. It has some merit. Unfortunately deliberately giving the White House a pass is also a serious blow to the rule of law, especially if subsequent governments do nothing to address the ludicrous, tyrannical concept of “the unitary executive”.

  7. I suspect Obama will come around, like everything else he does, when it’s politically expedient for him to do so.

  8. I think we need him to put the country back together. Impeachment won’t accomplish that.

    That was Ford’s argument about Nixon. It has some merit. Unfortunately deliberately giving the White House a pass is also a serious blow to the rule of law, especially if subsequent governments do nothing to address the ludicrous, tyrannical concept of “the unitary executive”.

    I disagree. I don’t know when this country was ever “together.” It hasn’t been, at least not in my lifetime, and I’m careening toward 40 now, so the worry over being divided seems a bit overstated to me these days.

    And yet, I’m a relatively recent convert to the impeachment side of the debate. I was opposed simply because I felt to impeach without removing (because that is what will happen) was a waste of time. These days, especially with Cheney openly admitting to being in violation of federal law, I’m less concerned. Congress now has to take a stand or wind up as irrelevant as the Roman Senate was under Caesar Augustus.

  9. I’ve always been PRO-IMPEACHMENT. Since, well, since the 2000 election :-).

    And I’ll tell you something: I think Obama is, too. But it isn’t his call to make–not entirely; in fact, only fractionally–and asking him his opinion about it causes more distraction and disturbance than asking any of the non-presidential-candidate senators for their opinions. As tomeck pointed out, it would be the only thing Obama was asked henceforth, and there are other issues I want to hear him speak about (i.e. how we’re going to get health care insurance for everyone).

    That said, if he’s paying attention to the American people, Obama needs to be honest and say what any ardent and intelligent scholar of Constitutional Law knows in his heart (read his wiki page, the background part): that WE ARE A NATION OF LAWS, not men. And that WE MUST IMPEACH, AND REMOVE FROM OFFICE, these criminals who subvert all that is good, all that is noble, and all that is American.

  10. Bernie Sanders, arguable the most Progressive person in the Senate, is not in favor of impeachment either, saying, “We don’t have the votes.”

    I’ve heard him say this more than once on Air America. So if Sanders isn’t pro-impeachment either, why jump on Obama for sharing that POV?

  11. *sigh*

    I think it needs to be said that there is a difference between being against impeachment and simply being resigned to the fact that there aren’t enough votes, at least not now, to make it happen.

    Not that I would be of either mind if I were a member of congress–I’d be all the law is the fucking LAW! And we must follow it, regardless of what may or may not be in the hearts and minds of our peers. But as I am reminded on a near-hourly basis, I am not a congressman.

    Or even a citizen. Yet.

    But I love this country and its Constitution, and I can keep shouting, can’t I?!

  12. I suspect Obama will come around, like everything else he does, when it’s politically expedient for him to do so.

    I suspect you pretty much hit that nail square on the head, Deeks.

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  14. Sam Hensel

    I don’t think he meant to say that he opposes impeachment. I think he meant he just doesn’t support it. So, if he were a member of the House, and a vote on impeachment came up, I think he would vote “present”. I would, however, like to know what he thinks about impeaching Gonzo.

  15. Impeachment is the most important issue facing the nation. Congress is negligent in refusing to address it.

  16. So by this he means that in order to be impeached, one of these guys would have to, what, shoot somebody?

    More evidence of what a lightweight Mr. Obama really is. He actually had me going there for a while, too…

  17. oddjob

    Sam, the more relevant question is, if the House votes to impeach Shrub or Darth Cheney, will Obama vote “present”, “not guilty”, or “guilty”?

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