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Most of the folks here at DKos are Dems, liberals or progressives.  Most of us can agree that there is a substantial group of team R that claims they want to impeach the President.

Frankly, though arguments about Obamacare have always been a joke, recent revelations about the NSA and administration's disregard for the Constitution give Republicans the ammunition they need to levy a case for impeachment.  

How and whether or not they use it will fill volumes about who truly owns the Republican party.

More below the fold....

I think the requirements to bring a standing President up on charges of impeachment--high crimes and misdemeanors, etc--are pretty well understood within the DKos community, so I'm not going to waste space outlining legal matters.  I think most legal scholars would agree that direct violation of the Constitution would fit the bill, however.

Has the President done so?  Well, it depends on who you ask.  Many would argue that "freedom of the press" is tenuous nowadays, and others would perhaps agree that "freedom of speech" doesn't exist when electronic communications are routinely monitored.  The 4th amendment guarantee against unjustified "search and seizure" is another hook that team R could hang their hat on, if they were so inclined.

But are they interested in doing so?  

If the Republican party is truly the party of "small government" and "individual liberty", then we're going to see charges of impeachment forthwith--not necessarily because the President has crossed a line, but because a case could most certainly be made that he has violated his oath of office.  

But what of the fall-out?

If the President were to be impeached over NSA monitoring, it would raise very...interesting...questions about the very existence of such monitoring.  In turn, questions would likely be raised about the role of the miltary - industrial - surveillance complex...folks that team R supports with rare exceptions.  Frankly, if team R were to impeach the President over NSA monitoring, life could become...inconvenient...for the folks who make millions or billions of dollars through such monitoring.

What we see over the coming months will tell volumes about the ideological consistency of Team R.  Anyone care to place bets on the outcome?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

    by JSc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 06:58:53 PM PDT

  •  Impeachment = vote of confidence, almost (0+ / 0-)

    The Constitution speaks of "high crimes and misdemeanors" but does not spell out what that means. No court is given jurisdiction over what it means. It is really up to a majority in the House and 2/3 in the Senate.
    There is not much precedent on impeaching Presidents and what there is does little to distinguish impeachment from a vote of vote of confidence.
    Andrew Johnson was impeached in a fight over whether he could fire a member of his cabinet. It had strong partisan overtones. Richard Nixon was not quite impeached. The next impeachment came 130 years after the first one and it was VERY partisan.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:17:44 PM PDT

    •  Quite true--requirements are "squishy" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, Buckeye54

      But given the latest fervor for impeachment in the Republican party, it would seem likely that they would grasp at every straw that came their way.  The fact that they're shy to grab onto this obvious red meat raises what I think are some interesting questions.

      You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

      by JSc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:23:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did you want one big tag? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob

    Or five separate ones?

    If the latter, you need to separate each word with a comma.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:40:51 PM PDT

  •  Would they? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, CwV, elmo, sviscusi, doroma, highacidity
    I think most legal scholars would agree that direct violation of the Constitution would fit the bill, however.
    Please do feel free to cite and quote some "legal scholars" who have said this, along with their credentials and qualifications.

    Because it seems to me that those "legal scholars" would be opening the door for every President who ever signed or executed a law that was later declared unconstitutional to be subject to impeachment for it.

    This piece seems to be almost wishing for the impeachment of President Obama. Why is that, exactly? Do you believe he deserves it?

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:44:41 PM PDT

    •  Yes, and while diarist is at it (0+ / 0-)

      maybe he or she could explain what the "direct violation" of the Constitution has been.

      All I've seen evidence of are accidental collection of Americans' data without warrant. Do we fire the mayor of a city when the police execute a warrant on the wrong house?

      •  Criminal Conspiracy ring a bell? (0+ / 0-)

        He approved and directed the murders not only of US citizens without trial or tangible evidence, but of countless innocent people in three different countries that we know of.  

        Would we fire the mayor of a city when police start shooting people in the street who happened to be in the vicinity of bank holdup?  Yes, I think so.

        "There is no confusion like the confusion of a simple mind." F. Scott Fitzgerald

        by upperatmos on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:13:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Every president in the history of this country (0+ / 0-)

          at a time of military action is similarly responsible for the deaths of civilians. Are you honestly arguing that Washington, Lincoln, and FDR were also part of criminal conspiracies to murder?

          Come on.

          And, by the way, innocent bystanders are also tragically killed sometimes by police, and no, we don't try them for murder. Murder requires specific intent.

  •  Why impeach? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon, doroma

    You think another president would be different?

    There is a lot of baggage that come with that office these days and the odds are if you make it that far you go along with the program.

    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:57:16 PM PDT

    •  Great point. (0+ / 0-)

      I definitely didn't want to suggest that the next President (regardless of party) might be different, and I have no illusions that endorsement of the military - industrial - surveillance complex would have greatly differed depending on who was elected.  

      That's a topic for a different diary.

      My point was that if team R is going to talk the talk, this is their chance to walk the walk.  When they choose not to push this issue, it will hopefully be obvious to the electorate how laughable they've become.  Then again, one could likely throw a similar stone regarding the Democratic party.   Heck if I know.

      You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

      by JSc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:13:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No body takes them seriously not even themselves.. (3+ / 0-)

        Or do you think a congress that accomplishes little, but the few things it really wants, is serious?

        The Republics made some strange bed fellows over last 40 years and now the sleep with fleas. Between the tea party and the extreme religious right, the 'effective small government' and 'fiscal conservatives' have been practically pushed out of the party. You can not govern through a bizarre mix of Nihilism and the Rapture as we have been seeing of late.

        I very socially liberal and moderate in other ways, but I long for the days of the old Republican party where education wasn't a dirty word and people like Buckley could present conservative views in a way others could understand, maybe not agree with, but clear coherent thought.

        There is nothing about the modern republican party to take seriously except all the damage they are doing.

        The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function [Albert A. Bartlett]

        by fToRrEeEsSt on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:29:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no president will ever be impeached (0+ / 0-)

        for overstepping boundaries of any kind when it comes to control of the population.
        Never happened, never will.
        It is them against us, and they know that far better than we do.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 05:15:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Republican Party is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...the party of small government and individual liberty, although there now are one or two GOP members of Congress willing to walk the walk.

    The Republican Party is the party of the military-industrial-intelligence complex and military Keynesianism.

    Impeachment for the abuses of an NSA that the Bush administration expanded is not going to happen.  And if it does, the Senate will move quickly to acquit.

    The reason is that any investigation for impeachment will bring out information that would embarrass the Republicans as much as the pro-NSA Democrats.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:00:47 PM PDT

  •  The goal doesn't have to be impeachment. (4+ / 0-)

    The House Judiciary Committee is the one that does investigations relating to Impeachment.  First they hold hearings to find and gather facts.  Then they vote to put the Impeachment vote before the full House.

    The interesting part for us that are upset about the NSA disclosures is the FACT-FINDING part of the process.  It would be very desirable to me, because of the following:

    1. It would create an adversarial investigation, something we badly need, because the House and Senate intel committees are badly compromised with people like Dianne Feinstein who will never allow any real oversight to take place through the proper venues.

    2. The Republicans who hold grudges against Obama for whatever reason could win points with their own constituents by revealing MISDEEDS of the NSA and of executive branch complicity in these deeds.  Thus their are natural rewards there to facilitate a real investigation.

    3. It would raise JUDICIAL questions about the process as it now stands, which apparently can never be done through the normal intel committees.  They seem to be quite content to be part of the cool kids' secret-keepers club.  A focus on the justice level aspects of this would turn the focus very sharply towards constitutionality and away from the spiffiness of total information awareness.  

    This kind of process would totally devastate the NSA's domestic spying program.

    •  Have you taken a look lately (0+ / 0-)

      at who sits on that committee? With great minds like Daryl Issa, Peter King, and Louis Gohmert, you can rest assured that any investigation carried out by this committee will make a circus side show seem cerebral by comparison.

      •  A sideshow would be better than nothing. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what we have right now.  And I think an investigation into NSA abuses would be far more significant than a mere sideshow about Benghazi.  It would give them something USEFUL to go digging through.

        If it hurts Obama's reputation a little bit, that's fine with me, and it should be fine with you, too, as a Democrat, because Obama's done.  He has three more years and that's it.  At this point, Democratic principles trump strategery.  We might be able to get the Republicans to do some of the heavy lifting for us to undo this mess that our own elected Democratic representatives are too compromised to do themselves.  I know, that may sound startling and wrong, but I think it would be for the best.

  •  The Republicans are the party of repression and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    The more surveillance the better, as far as they are concerned.  How could they impeach Obama for a program their guy, "W", started?

    Politically, impeaching Obama would be suicide for the Rs.  The Senate would never convict, and I think it would damage the Rs' brand (such as it is) more than impeaching Clinton did.

    I don't recommend anyone to hold their breath waiting for Obama to be impeached.  

    •  Part of my thoughts... (0+ / 0-)

      In that if team R were to impeach the President, they'd be indicting their prior President and VP.

      Another argument to indicate how very craven team R might be, especially since their investigation would include the previous Presidency.

      You think it's hot? Imagine what it would be like if global warming really existed!

      by JSc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:37:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's the big point... (0+ / 0-)

      much of the illegal/unconstitutional activity had its origin in the cheney regime; their guys are guilty by implication if they push it.

      when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

      by bunsk on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 11:19:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that Obamacare was initially (0+ / 0-)

    proposed by relatively moderate Republicans as a compromise. So it was easy for Republicans to reject when necessary. Surveillance is not a compromise for most Republicans, it's smth they actively support. The acrobatics required to accuse Obama of pursuing the policy they currently support would be too much for Republican voters imho.

  •  Before the Rs could seek impeachment on questions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, dharmafarmer

    regarding surveillance, they would have to show some interest in oversight. It's recently come to light that the
    United States House Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight hasn't had a single meeting this year.

    When one considers the makeup of that subcommittee, there's no indication the Rs have any interest at all.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:00:51 PM PDT

    •  When one considers the makeup of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, bunsk

      that subcommittee, it's fairly obvious that to most of them, "intelligence" is an completely unfamiliar concept.

      The chair of that committee is the one who proposed posting the 10 Commandments in public buildings but when asked by Stephen Colbert to name them, remembered only three.

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