Presidential Impeachment

Censure Of President Trump An Alternative To Impeachment, Since Conviction Impossible With Republican Senate

With the latest poll indicating that 56 percent of Americans do not favor the impeachment of Donald Trump, it might be wiser for the Democrats to consider a censure motion instead, much less controversial and likely to gain some Republican support.

Censure was done by the Senate against Andrew Jackson in 1834 over the National Bank issue, and the House of Representatives agreed to censure of James K. Polk over the Mexican War prosecution in 1848.

Attempts to censure John Tyler in 1842, Abraham Lincoln in 1864, and Bill Clinton in 1998 failed.

It is far from an impeachment, but it would be a strong statement by either house were censure to be considered in place of impeachment, which would never get a two thirds vote of the Senate for conviction.

It looks more than ever that impeachment will NOT happen, due to the circumstances that are present, and it sets a bad standard for the future regarding Presidential abuse of power.

Trump Has Choice: Testify On Mueller Questions With Counsel, OR Be Subpoenaed To Testify Before Grand Jury Without Counsel, And Supreme Court Orders He Testify!

With Special Counsel Robert Mueller having prepared 49 questions for Donald Trump to answer, the confrontation between Donald Trump and the investigation into Russian Collusion, Obstruction of Justice, and other accusations against Trump has ratcheted up to a new level.

What it comes down to is this: Either Trump agrees to meet with Mueller and his staff and answer the questions with counsel allowed to be there with Trump, OR he refuses to do so, and Mueller subpoenas Trump to testify before the grand jury without counsel in the room.

If Trump rejects both alternatives, then the situation is appealed to the Supreme Court, which based on history, is highly likely to force the President to testify before the grand jury.

Trump could then plead the 5th Amendment, and refuse to answer the questions, but to do that would be unprecedented, and a case for impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial before the Senate!

This situation could drag out 9 to 18 months, and could run into the Presidential campaign of 2020, as Trump does much more damage domestically, and undermines our foreign policy.

Whether this scenario would convince Republicans to abandon Trump is questionable, so even if an impeachment occurred, the odds of a conviction with two thirds of the Senate in support, is clearly a difficult barrier to overcome.

But if Trump family members are indicted, that could change the whole equation dramatically, as the thought is that Trump would wish to save his family, but who really knows whether that is true, or whether, in reality, Trump is willing to throw everyone “under the bus”, and let his own narcissism rule the day!

Meanwhile, the nation remains bitterly divided and is in a state of crisis unmatched since Richard Nixon, but in many ways, far worse than in 1973-1974!

President Obama Not Acting Like A “Lame Duck”!

Barack Obama could be said to have suffered a defeat in the midterm elections, when his Democratic party lost control of the US Senate, and the House of Representatives majority became the largest since 1929 for the Republican Party.

And yet, Obama has been on a “tear” since, and it is clear that he is NOT acting like a “lame duck”, and will work to accomplish as many goals as he can, with or without cooperation of the GOP majority in Congress.

Obviously, Obama cannot pass legislation on his own, but he can veto legislation, and prevent destructive behavior by the Republican majority.

So new House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin can wish to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but Obama will be able to prevent much, if any damage, to these signature programs promoted into law by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Obama has been able to get judicial appointments approved by the outgoing Democratic Senate majority, and those judges have lifetime tenure.

Obama can, legally, by executive order, promote many changes that do not need Congressional approval, and every President has utilized this power to bring about changes, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but the issue of the authority to use executive orders is a clear cut one!

So Barack Obama still has two years to bring historic change, and he is now liberated to do what he wishes to do that is allowable under our Constitution and history, and he no longer needs to be cautious, but instead can become aggressive and outspoken, knowing that even if he was to be impeached and brought to trial by the Republican Congress, that he is untouchable, as there is no way to gain a two thirds majority in the US Senate to remove him.

Instead, he has the opportunity to make his Presidency more transformative and historic at a time when so much of what he has already done is bearing fruit!

Final Reflections As America Votes In Midterm Elections Of 2014

As America votes today in the Midterm Elections of 2014, polls indicate that the Republican Party will win control of the US Senate and will gain seats in the House.

As far as Governorships are concerned, the indications are that the Democrats are likely to gain a few seats, and defeat some Tea Party leaders.

To a great extent, this election is more negative–that is, throw out the rascals—as there is great disillusionment with government and with politicians.

Not that this is something new, as many Americans are ignorant about politics, and just think change for its own sake is good, which is often NOT the case!

The reality is that midterm elections generally favor the opposing party to whoever is President. But with the strange situation of a split Congress, rare in American history, it becomes much more complicated.

If the Democrats do, indeed, lose the Senate, which this blogger does not believe will happen, it will be seen as a defeat, which it would be, but it is a forerunner of a certain regaining of the Senate majority two years hence, as two thirds of the seats up in 2016 are Republicans, many of them winners in the major GOP gain in the midterm election of the first Obama term.

That fact, of two thirds of the 2016 seats being Republican, and the strong likelihood, that a Democrat will be heavily favored in the Electoral College in 2016 and beyond, as things stand right now, we can expect a massive gain of seats by Democrats then, hitting the high 50s, if not the magical 60 to overcome all filibusters.

The Republicans might win the majority tonight, but they will then have the onus of producing a record of accomplishment over the next two years to give them a chance to keep control of the Senate in 2016.

Based on their negativism and obstructionism for the past six years, that scenario is highly unlikely.

Instead, one can expect the Tea Party whackos on the right, led by Ted Cruz in the Senate, to do everything to prevent any progress, any action, any accomplishments, that they will be able to use in 2016 for Senate races and to support the GOP candidate for President.

Expect instead blockage of Presidential appointments to the cabinet and the courts; loads of phony investigations that will get attention, but accomplish nothing, except to demonstrate that the GOP are a group of showboats with no substance; and probably a move to impeach and put President Obama on trial, to besmirch his record, which will cause further stalemate and bitterness, and prevent any kind of positive action on so many signature issues.

And the GOP, continuing its racism, nativism, misogyny, and homophobia, will therefore self destruct and put themselves into the grave of history, instead of being a party that offers a bright future to more than just the elite one or two percent of whites who vote their interests, while middle and lower class whites vote against their interests because they are drawn to the disgraceful appeals mentioned above, even while many claim to be “religious”, but promote discrimination against minorities, immigrants, women, and gays and lesbians!

The Importance Of Maintaining A Democratic Senate Majority

Many people, who do not understand the importance of midterm elections, have wondered whether it makes any difference if we have a Democratic Senate or a Republican Senate.

There are many reasons why it is extremely crucial that the Democrats retain the Senate, since it is clear that the Republicans will keep control of the House of Representatives, and may gain more seats, and go from a 233-199 (with three vacancies) total to over 240, due to gerrymandering, and the power of incumbency.

A Democratic Senate gives Barack Obama the chance to gain a new Supreme Court Justice of his own choice, if Ruth Bader Ginsburg or any other Justice decides to retire in the next two years, or if any Justice should die while a member of the Court. Also, ability to have circuit and district court judges, and cabinet positions, and other appointments approved would be very difficult if the GOP controlled the Senate.

A Democratic Senate prevents any serious move toward a likely impeachment of Barack Obama, as the Republicans would see no point to doing it, if there was no chance of a conviction, which in reality would not happen in any case, as it would require a two thirds (67) vote to convict and remove. The Republicans might be fully aware that it would not succeed, but might wish to besmirch the historical record of Obama, much as they did with Bill Clinton in 1998-1999.

A Democratic Senate insures that in two years, with two thirds of the seats up for election being Republicans, that the Democrats would likely gain 6-8 seats, and might, in 2017, reach the magic number of 60 or more, preventing any possible use of the filibuster tactic.

A Democratic Senate would insure the survival of ObamaCare, and the inability of any further move to destroy this signature program. Additionally, attempts to reverse other changes and reforms that have occurred would be impossible, all to the good.

A Democratic Senate would make it unnecessary for President Obama to utilize the veto power, which he has used very sparingly in his time in office.

A Democratic Senate would mean that the Republican Party had lost its last opportunity to gain control of both Houses, and in 2016, with a strong Democratic nominee for President, and the likelihood of coattail effects in those states that are “blue” or “purple”, would likely lead to a flip in the House to Democratic control, and the GOP would never again, any time soon, gain control of either House of Congress, as they have shown no desire to deal with the important issues that face the nation in domestic policy, and refusal to support Barack Obama in foreign policy, having abandoned the long held view of a sense of bipartisanship when dealing with the world and its problems.

40th Anniversary Of Richard Nixon Resignation, Due To Watergate Scandal

It is hard to believe, but it is now 40 years since Richard Nixon was forced out of the Presidency, due to the Watergate Scandal.

It was stunning that a President, who had won 49 of the 50 states, and all but 17 electoral votes, would be the only President to resign after only one year and almost seven months of his second term.

It was also amazing that Nixon was the only President facing impeachment, and resigning after the House Judiciary Committee, in a bipartisan vote, adopted three articles of impeachment, who truly deserved impeachment.

Andrew Johnson was wrongfully impeached and found not guilty in 1868, and Bill Clinton was to face the same circumstances and results in 1998-1999. And now, there is a threat of Barack Obama facing the same scenario next year, but with the same results assured.

The point was that Richard Nixon had actually been abusive of his powers as President, and had led a lawless administration unmatched before or since.

It is also a tragic story as, in reality, Richard Nixon had many accomplishments in foreign and domestic policy, many of which remain part of American life 40 years later, particularly so in domestic affairs, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, among others.

The evaluation and interpretation of Richard Nixon will continue to be controversial, and a new HBO special, “Nixon on Nixon,” has been unveiled this week, demonstrating the man’s illegalities and prejudices and biases, straight from the Watergate tapes themselves. Additionally, a new book has been published with the revelation of these tapes, authored by historian Douglas Brinkley of Rice University, with the assistance of Professor Luke Nichter of Texas A & M University.

So Nixon will be written about for generations, both for the good he did, as well as the bad!

40 Years Since Impeachment Process Against Richard Nixon, And Now Impeachment Has Been Abused Against Bill Clinton And Barack Obama!

Forty years ago, in the waning days of the Richard Nixon Presidency, the House of Representatives began considering resolutions of impeachment against the 37th President.

That impeachment proceeding, leading to three articles of impeachment, was a bipartisan action by both Democrats and Republicans against a President out of control, and committing violations of his oath of office.

Therefore, with a bipartisan vote, the House Judiciary Committee recommended articles of impeachment against Nixon on the basis of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and refusal to hand over evidence, in the form of tapes and other materials, to the Special Prosecutor investigating the Watergate Scandal.

Richard Nixon proceeded to resign after these resolutions passed, and with the knowledge that the Supreme Court, in an unanimous 8-0 vote a few days earlier, had demanded (US V. Richard Nixon) that the President hand over the Watergate tapes to the House of Representatives and the Special Prosecutor.

That impeachment proceeding was justifiable and necessary, but the move against Bill Clinton in 1998 was NOT justified, and neither is the impending movement, even acknowledged by the White House, against Barack Obama, that he has abused his executive powers with executive orders, even with far fewer such executive orders than previous Presidents! The first step toward impeachment of Obama is the vote of the House of Representatives, by party line vote yesterday, to sue the President for abusing his authority under the Constitution, a wholly political act with no justification!

Ironically, Obama is accused of abusing his powers, while at the same time being accused of being weak and indecisive in his conduct of foreign policy!

Both the Clinton impeachment and the pending Obama impeachment is purely partisan politics, a desire to besmirch two Presidents, who in many ways have achieved more in their terms of office than any recent Republican President, including the “knighted” and “holy” Ronald Reagan!

Allen West And Sarah Palin: Quite A Team On Impeachment!

Former one term Florida Congressman Allen West and former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin are leading the charge to impeach President Obama!

These two are such a comedy team!

West was pushed out of the military for his reprehensible behavior with a prisoner of war in the Iraq conflict, and has shown definite delusional behavior, a mentally ill man, who served only one term in Congress, but has gained a following from the extremist right wing, with his reckless, loony statements about many issues, but focusing his attention on the President.

Palin has been an embarrassment since John McCain picked her out of obscurity to run for Vice President, and she guaranteed that he had no chance to win the Presidency, because it was immediately clear that this woman has no knowledge base, is a total fool, and an annoyance for many Americans to listen to and watch as part of the news. She has never made any contributions in any form to public discourse, and is an embarrassment not only to herself, but to the Republican Party and womanhood itself!

A new poll shows that 54 percent want Sarah Palin to go away, and only conspiracy theorists and lunatics admire Allen West.

Each served for just a couple of years in public office, and one would wish that both would simply disappear from the political scene, as they will be condemned in history as whackos, and they both undermine the concept of public service!

And what they want, the impeachment of Barack Obama, is based on no credible case; will cost the taxpayers lots of wasted money; will undermine the Republican Party legitimacy; and will end up with Obama staying in office, standing strong against hate and prejudice unseen since the time of Abraham Lincoln!

And, as has been stated before, even if West and Palin and their ilk accomplished their goal of kicking Obama out of the Oval Office, he would be replaced by Vice President Joe Biden, who would proceed to be elected to one of two terms of his own, following similar policies and ideas of his boss, so what is gained by this caper, except the elevation of Joe Biden to the Presidency?

It is clear that West and Palin, and all those other whackos who want impeachment, have no clue or understanding as to what they are doing, and its implications! Ignorance and stupidity reign instead, in the brains of these two characters and those who follow and believe in them!

Speaker John Boehner Moves To Sue Barack Obama Over Use Of Executive Orders: Move Toward Impeachment Proceedings!

As pointed out in an earlier entry on this blog, all Presidents have utilized executive orders to take action they felt was necessary, and when Congress has been unwilling to do what needs to be done.

But now, Speaker of the House John Boehner has said he plans to “sue” President Obama for his less often used power of executive orders, to block action on immigration, climate change, and other actions designed to bring about progress and fairness in American policy!

In so doing, it represents the first shots of the upcoming impeachment battle over President Obama, which seems more certain than ever, particularly IF the Republican Party wins control of the US Senate.

The Senate is the key battleground, as it seems that the House of Representatives will not be likely to turn over to a Democratic majority, although the GOP edge in seats might become smaller.

Gaining control of the Senate will allow not only movement toward an impeachment trial of Barack Obama for the Republicans, but also to block any nominees of President Obama for the courts and executive branch, a very worrisome situation.

So the battle for each Senate seat is the key battleground of the election, and every vote will count, so there must be encouragement of all citizens to vote, not sit home, as if the midterm elections do not matter, because they most certainly do!

Again, however, it is important to remember that it is impossible for the Republicans to remove President Obama, were he to be impeached by the Republican House, as 67 votes, or two thirds of the Senate, would be needed, and under no circumstances would there be 67 Republicans, or a smaller margin with enough, or really, any Democratic votes to remove the President from office!

And again, a reminder to the Republicans. Were Obama to decide to leave voluntarily, which will not happen, we would get Vice President Joe Biden, with the ability to gain two terms in office, and with a definite edge for the Democratic Presidential nomination over Hillary Clinton and any other Democrat, as he would be President with less than two years left in the present term, so he could be eligible to have up to ten years in office, and therefore, the second longest time in office to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 12 years and 39 days!

The Rising Odds Of A President Leaving Office Involuntarily!

When one thinks about it, the odds of a President leaving office involuntarily are growing.

The possibility of a President being impeached, specifically President Obama, has grown by leaps and bounds, at least if one pays attention to the lunatic Tea Party Movement crowd, which infests a portion of the House Republican Conference, and a few United States Senators, headed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz!

But of course, even if Barack Obama were to be impeached, the chance of gaining two thirds of the US Senate ready to convict and remove him, is extremely remote, and basically would never happen!

And yet, death threats are multiplying against President Obama, and the Secret Service monitors an average of 30 threats per day, not all serious, but still threats that have to be investigated, whether by someone in person, on the phone, in mail, or email, or on social media.

The author is finishing a book on Presidential assassinations, attempts, and threats, and has uncovered at least 35 serious enough threats against Barack Obama, in the sense that they have been reported in the news media, but it is clear that many more in multiple numbers, not public knowledge, have occurred!

Thank goodness the Secret Service and other agencies are doing what seems to be a great job in protecting the President and First Family, as well as Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, but all it would take is one breakdown in security, and a dirty deed could be accomplished, creating a national tragedy!

The problem is the level of hate is so intense, that many “religious” people, racists, and right wing nuts, including talk show hosts and politicians, fuel the fires, and incite people by their rhetoric, so that some whacko could get off shots at our leadership, and one can be sure that were something untoward to happen, there would be some elements of the population, which would applaud such a horrible deed!

So the odds of a tragedy, or possibly of a natural death in office grow, particularly when one considers, that we had a President die in office, either naturally or by assassination every generation from the 1840s to the 1960s, about 20 years apart in most cases, followed by the resignation of Richard Nixon forty years ago this summer.

Since the first demise of a President, William Henry Harrison, in 1841, 52 years after the establishment of the Constitution, we have had nine President leave office, four by assassination, four by natural death, and one by resignation.

But the last President to die naturally was Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945, 69 years ago! The last President to die in office, and by assassination, was John F. Kennedy in 1963, 51 years ago, meaning the longevity of no deaths between 1789 and 1841 is about to be matched next year! And even the last President to leave office, Nixon resigning in 1974, is 40 years ago, double the average time between deaths of Presidents over a period of 122 years from 1841 to 1963!

So one cannot help but have trepidation at the rising odds of a President leaving office involuntarily, as the years tick by! With exactly two years and seven months left in office for Barack Obama, as of today, all decent people, whether supportive or critical of his Presidency, must pray for his continued good health and safety as he faces the challenges of his times with courage and principle!