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View Diary: Former Canadian weighs in on impeaching Obama: 'Good question' (125 comments)

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  •  I'm sure you would (2+ / 0-)
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    Dogs are fuzzy, cdreid

    but then it doesn't sound like you take civil rights particularly seriously. Personally, I think that sounds like a nutcase act to me.

    Whether it was legal or not is still very much a live question, because as far as I know we have only a Congressional enactment, but the subjects of the violations of the fourth amendment conveniently do not have standing to challenge the violations through the civil courts.  So, no, we don't know whether it was or is legal.

    And I thought Bush should have been impeached also on similar grounds, so obviously if it is impeachable for Bush, it would be hypocritical to turn around and say it's fine now that Obama is doing it.

    And yes, I think that massive violations of the civil rights of the American people is solid grounds for removal.  AFter all, we are talking about violations of the supreme law of the land and the fundamental rights that underpin the democracy.  This is not a parking ticket.  If Obama had ordered the national guard to search every house in the country looking for evidence of terrorism, I think there's be a massive outcry and quite right too.  

    Finally, I think almost all are agreed that internment and the Supreme Court cases that upheld it represent a total travesty.  The notion that no impeachment was undertaken during a major war isn't surprising as a matter of real politik.  I also know damn well that no one is going to impeach Obama or any other president for anything ever again. Torture is fine, spying is fine, lying to start ar war to boost poll numbers is fine.   I cannot think of any presidential action that would lead to impeachment at this point.  Maybe taking out a machine gun during the state of the union and hosing down the opposition party members might, but short of that, there's no such thing as an impeachable offense in the US.  It is effectively dead letter law at the point.

    •  I take civil rights more seriously than you, it (1+ / 0-)
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      vcmvo2

      seems.

      One of the most fundamental civil rights we have, if not the most fundamental, is the right to vote for those who govern us.  Impeachment seeks to override that right and replace the choice of the electorate.  It should not be undertaken lightly.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:04:01 AM PDT

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      •  right (1+ / 0-)
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        cdreid

        There's nothing "lightly" about stopping massive violations of fundamental rights.  Impeachment does not override that right, but only acts to prevent elected officials from being above the law.  Obviously, if that principle applies, then impeachment has to remain on the table.  

        As I said,there is no such thing as an impeachable offense in the US anymore because ultimately the standard is a political one, and ultimately the American people do not believe their leaders should be accountable.

        •  It does override the will of the electorate. (0+ / 0-)

          There is no escaping the fact.

          Trying to impeach a President for lawfully carrying out his duties is nothing but a political act.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 10:46:36 AM PDT

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          •  "lawfully" (0+ / 0-)

            no one has a problem with lawfully.  As I said, its the unlawful part that's an issue.  

            Is it the will of the electorate to have a criminal in the white house?  Remember, the impeaching folks are elected also.  Hard to say where the better expression of the electorate lies.

            •  Voters have been known to elect criminals (0+ / 0-)

              For the most part, that is our right, and, if you think about it just a little bit, you can understand why that has to be our right.

              Think of a world where you can eliminate the opposition just by use of trumped up charges and kangaroo courts.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 12:57:27 PM PDT

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              •  You bet (0+ / 0-)

                and I think the folks who set up a system where that can be done should be removed from office before we get to that.  We are talking about defending teh democratic nature of our state against gross violations of constitutional rights in ways that undermine our democratic process.  Sure, if Americans want to elect Adolf HItler, they can, but when any officer does things like send kids to for profit prisons for kickbacks or harrasses political opponents using official channels or, yes, sets up universal spying operations, there has to be a mechanism to remove them.  That's not a kangaroo court, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some feel that elected officials should never be removed regardless of what violations they commit.

                •  Taking bribes is genuine criminal activity and (0+ / 0-)

                  is an appropriate basis for impeachment.

                  Voters, of course, could send the miscreant back to office, but that's the way of the world.

                  However, much of what you mentioned earlier was merely stuff that offends you and not criminal activity.  Impeachment is not for attacking people whose actions displease you.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 02:33:24 PM PDT

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                  •  well (0+ / 0-)

                    that remains to be seen.  So far, we've got a pretty significant program of violations of the fourth amendment, and if Wyden and Udall are correct (as they have been so far), then this program likely involves massive breaches of US law.  

                    Now I realize a lot of folks feel that if the patriot act says its o.k, there's no problem with anything, but that doesn't get around the clear fourth amendment problems

                    •  "Clear 4th amendment problems" (0+ / 0-)

                      While I agree with you on the nature of the activity, neither you nor I can override the power of Congress to pass laws.  We can say it as often and as loudly as we want, it remains nothing more than our opinion -- and the law remains the law.

                      Changing that requires an act by Congress or a finding (or refusal of certiori) by the Supreme Court.

                      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                      by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 03:36:51 PM PDT

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                      •  Here's the point (0+ / 0-)

                        We can look at what is being done and compare it to the law and reach our own conclusions, and the fact that the Obama administration can play games to keep the courts from reviewing these programs does not change the fact that there are violations.  As I said, I don't think a damn thing is going to come of it, and it will continue until one party finds itself surveilled, spied on, harrassed and prevented from winning elections, at which point we'll have a one party state.  Frankly, I don't think there is a lot that can be done to stop this now that it is a bipartisan policy.  It is only a matter of which party pulls the trigger first, and for obvious reasons I don't think it'll be democrats.

      •  Not lightly, but the Founders thought it vital (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinotrac, cdreid

        Impeachment is mentioned over and over in the Constitution.

        Anyone considering a dog for personal safety should treat that decision as seriously as they would buying a gun.

        by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:14:37 AM PDT

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        •  Can't argue with you there. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE

          But not for lawfully carrying out your duties.

          Regardless of whether observers believe a law to be unconstitutional, operating within the bounds of a law enacted by Congress should never be the basis for impeachment.

          The right approach is to repeal the law or take the government to court.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 11:18:07 AM PDT

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      •  Dinotrac (0+ / 0-)

        when did you become a servile authoritarian.

         

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 02:30:39 PM PDT

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        •  Hmmm. A servile authoritarian, eh? (0+ / 0-)

          Lovely phrase.  I like the sound of it, but I have no idea what you mean.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Aug 20, 2013 at 03:43:24 PM PDT

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