While Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) expressed a belief that there are enough votes in the House to impeach Barack Obama, he gives one of the best arguments for not doing so, from a right-wing perspective. In essence, Farenthold points to the failed Clinton impeachment; it didn’t lead to a conviction in the Senate, which is essentially like prosecuting a defendant who is ultimately acquitted.
Why take a case to trial when the jury is the defendant’s brethren? There is a point of view among conservatives that impeachment is a victory in itself, regardless of what happens in the Senate. When viewed through the lens of our legal system, impeachment is a defeat if there is no conviction in the Senate, though arguments that the proceedings might slow Obama down, make him more cautious, or distract him are not totally without merit.
Like O.J. Simpson, Clinton was obviously guilty as charged but was acquitted. The latter belonged to a party that prioritizes united fronts over justice. In Clinton’s case, he was acquitted by a Jury of his fellow Democrats, which is what would happen if Obama were impeached on charges that weren’t so incredibly severe, even Democrats would have to abandon him. Farenthold then rightfully argues that Clinton’s acquittal had the effect of weaving the intricacies of Bubba’s sordid standards into America’s cultural fabric.
Here is Farenthold at a town hall in response to a question about impeaching Obama over the Birth Certificate (Farenthold’s contention that the horse is already out of the barn on that issue is also correct):
Going after Obama over his Birth Certificate is a non-starter. In Clinton’s impeachment, the Democrats argued, committing perjury is ok if it’s just about sex. Even if someone produced ironclad proof that Obama was born on Uranus, the Democrats would scoff and say Republicans don’t like someone who is different from them. In order to impeach and convict Barack Obama, he will have had to have done something so obviously and blatantly egregious that even the Democrats would have to line up against him.
Impossible? It’s certainly not as likely as the Republicans doing so (Richard Nixon is the primary example) but if it is possible, there are three scandals (and one dishonorable mention) that may just tie right back to Obama and no one of sufficient power is touching them.
Yes, there are different standards for Democrats and Republicans; it’s just a fact. The upside to that is that if Democrats continue lowering their bar, which they’ve been doing or years, they just might get to a place even they can’t justify.
There are four scandals dogging the Obama administration right now that are likely to qualify but Republican leaders must steal a page from the Democrats’ playbook and present a united front on one or all of them. To this point, no one of consequence or significant power has touched them.
1.) Obamas’ Wahhabist Fundraising empire: Thanks to an interview granted to Al-Jazeera by Barack Obama’s cousin – Musa Ismail Obama – it was learned that donors to the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation (MSOF) are being defrauded. Mama Sarah is Barack Obama’s step-grandmother who lives in Kenya. Her foundation is promoted as one that helps to feed, heal, and educate hungry, sick, and orphaned children. In reality – according to Musa’s interview – the money is used to send Kenyan students to the most virulent Wahhabist schools in Saudi Arabia. Musa also volunteered to Al-Jazeera that Barack Obama’s main point of contact is his uncle Sayid Obama, who is also seen with Musa attending these Saudi schools.
The ideology taught at these schools mirrors the ideology of Al-Qaeda and if Musa was being truthful (in Arabic), MSOF donors are not only being defrauded but their money is going toward educating America’s enemies. If the president’s role in this scheme can be determined, impeachment / conviction could be something Democrats would have to go along with.
2.) Obama’s Brother in bed with Terrorists: This is the most explosive angle to the IRS scandal – by far – and to this point, no Republican official has touched it, though we do know of one member of the House Ways and Means Committee who has expressed interest and has been provided all of the information. In the short term, this scandal is more damaging to the IRS’s Lois Lerner than anyone else. It is her signature at the bottom of Malik Obama’s 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status approval letter. This letter proves that Lerner not only provided Malik Obama’s Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) unheard of customer service but that she illegally backdated his exemption 38 months (illegal to do so more than 27 months).
That is a crime but it’s just scratching the surface. Indications are that the exemption may have been granted in response to requests for an investigation into BHOF. Lerner clearly didn’t do this for if she had, she would have learned that Malik Obama is the Executive Secretary for the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO), which is an arm of the Sudanese government, led by President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the Hague on seven charges related to crimes against humanity. Sudan is one of only four countries on the U.S. State Department list of State Sponsors of Terror and is implicated in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993.
If Lerner is granted immunity and made to testify about why she granted BHOF tax-exempt status, there’s no telling where that might lead. If it leads to the White House, the Democrats would be hard-pressed to stand with Obama. Again, Congressional Republicans are staying away from this scandal for some inexplicable reason.
3.) Egypt’s Involvement in Benghazi Attacks: Much of this still remains to be proven but evidence continues to mount which suggests Ansar Al-Sharia Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egyptian branch played a role in the Benghazi attacks. There is no doubt there has been a coverup by the administration when it comes to the details surrounding 9/11/12 but there is something else administration officials seem very reticent to do. There is a clear attempt to avoid investigating an Egyptian connection to the attacks. In an effort to dismiss the possibility, officials will concede that the Egyptian Jamal network was involved but it’s just a rag-tag bunch. That theory crumbles when it’s revealed who the leaders of the Jamal network are directly tied to.
Instead of pursuing these solid leads, the Obama administration is going out of its way to run interference for Egypt’s Brotherhood. Inexplicably, so are Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). If it can be proven that the individuals these officials and Senators want released, had a role in the Benghazi attacks, the U.S. would be working to actively release individuals responsible for committing an act of war against the United States. There is no question that the Obama administration is siding with the Brotherhood in Egypt’s current struggle. If there was a bit more intellectual curiosity, perhaps we’d get closer to understanding why.
If that question can be answered, impeachment and conviction might be quite possible.
4.) Operation Fast and Furious: To the credit of Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), in his role as House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, he pushed for answers as hard as he could. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) clearly did not want the investigation to lead to its rightful conclusion. It may very well be for reasons articulated by Rep. Farenthold. If so, Boehner is incredibly misguided and quite possibly obstructing justice. In the case of Fast and Furious, we’re talking about hundreds of dead people, including a U.S. Border agent. Not pursuing that aggressively for political reasons is unacceptable and that’s exactly what Boehner chose to do.
Though this scandal has not entirely played out (there are pending civil charges against Attorney General Eric Holder), the best opportunities to bring its details to the public occurred during the 2012 Presidential campaign and Mitt Romney avoided the subject like the plague. To use Farenthold’s line, the Fast and Furious horse may be out of the barn.
The problem with Farenthold’s argument is that it presupposes there are no crimes Obama can commit over which the Democrats will hold him accountable. The reality is that if there are any such crimes, Obama very well may have already committed them and it’s better for Republicans to focus on those than to wallow in the land of political cowardice.