Friday, February 3, 2012

The Trivialization Of Impeachment Long Form Edition

A very depressing thought came to me the other day; there is no way Barack Obama can win the 2012 election. What is depressing is not that Obama will loose the General Election, no, what is depressing is that there is no way Republicans will accept a Obama reelection. There is no way the Republican will not attempt to invalidate any result that has them loosing to the man they so irrationally hate. Two articles convince me that Republicans will attempt to nullify a Obama reelect by any and all means at their disposal. First it is the over-the-top and visceral hatred of Obama that the Republican base indulges itself in. When Republican primary voters start talking about a Obama reelect being a disaster that will result in a one thousand year dark age you know you have left the rational, facts base world and entered a parallel universe. You, or at least I, wonder if you can take these people seriously. Do these Republicans actually believe this hyperbole, and if not, why did they say such over-the-top nonsense to begin with? Obama is the most cool, almost cold, center-right politician ever to claim Democratic Party Pedigree in the modern era. He could be a younger Colin Powell, if Powell had gone to Harvard Law instead of West Point. The political DNA is almost exactly the same: moderate Republican, Beltway Establishment, no sharp edges to speak of. Yet Obama still manages to freak out core Republicans in ways that makes me scratch my head. The fire-breathing rhetoric about Obama does match the cool, no drama, politician who keeps marching to right to find a mythical middle ground with the Elephants. I’m not going to speculate about the specific phenomena of Obama Derangement syndrome, I’m going meta, and linking it to the Republican apoplectic response to the two terms of Bill Clinton. Ever since the face-plant of Jimmy Carter’s Administration and the twelve year run of Reagan-Bush that it brought about, the Republican Party has considered the office of President its exclusive purview by divine right.

Actually the Republican Party considers the entire Federal Government is patrimony until the end of time. Thus any Donkey ascendancy is by definition illegitimate. This is why Republicans bang on, and on, and on about voter fraud. They cannot accept the numbers when they lose. It does not match their assumption about their god-given right to rule the nation indefinitely as the only “real Americans.” As Republicans are the only “true” majority, any Democratic victory at the polls has to be obtained by massive fraud. Never mind that even in the Bush Administration it was impossible to find any actual voter fraud; it has to be true. The lack of evidence only proves how nefarious “Democrat” groups are in sneaking in their illegitimate, illegal, hoards into the voting booths. Which is why Grover Norquist can already plant the seed for an Impeachment move against Obama if the President can win a second term. “Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach.” Exactly how letting the Bush Tax scheme lapse rises to “High Crimes and Misdemeanors is never explained by Mr. Norquist. Not that Mr. Norquist seems bothered by the very thin logic of Impeaching Obama over tax policy. Mr. Norquist knows his base, and he knows how to set the table for them. The Impeachment of Barack Obama would be pure wingnut theater.

Using the template provided by Amanda Marcotte, I can see this all too clearly. An impeachment would fit the rabid right check list perfectly.

One, the charges would be utter garbage, total nonsense. Amanda is very clear that B.S. the most important component of any wingnut obsession. And as Norquist is 95% there already with the proposal to impeach over the Bush Tax Cuts, the last 5% is a walk in the park.  

Two, Pettiness. Almost self explanatory. An impeachment this time would not even have the thin veneer of sexual prudery to mask what is actually going on. No, it would be all pettiness, all the time for the Republicans attempting to impeach the president.

Three, selfishness. It is all about them, their candidate, their prerogatives, their tax cut, their America.

Four, Near-psychotic fear of change. Four more years of a dark-skinned, Democratic president is more than these folks can handle. Also, their delusion that they have a right to dictate to the rest of the nation how things will done will be further challenged. No one likes being told they don’t rule the roost any more, but wingnuts will be especially unhappy to find this out.

Five, Paranoia. Amanda links this to Pettiness, and who am I to argue with her? The template she offers is my secret wingnut decoder ring; and it has not failed me yet. Going after Obama because you think he might let a tax policy lapse, is irrational at the very least. You would have to be fairly paranoid to buy into Norquist world view about Obama, or to believe that Barack is on a par with the barbarian hoards the laid low Western Europe from the late 5th Century to the Age Of Discovery.

Six, Angering Liberals. This almost goes without saying. Yet another pointless impeachment, against a sitting Democratic President, for no good reason, would irritate the most mellow of live-and-let-live liberals. The African-American contingent of the liberal cohort would work themselves into a cold fury on the subject of Barack Obama’s impeachment. Who knows, even Obama might work himself up to saying a few discouraging words to Congressional Republicans. And that would be just fine with the wingnuts, because they live to get under their opponents skin. Much of what wingnuts do has the objective of angering, vexing, annoying, exasperating, pestering, and maddening liberals. It is like this is the only way they can get true validation. Red State is not enough, they have to check in with Daily Kos to make absolutely sure they are being perfect jackasses.

As stated in the beginning, I think that a Obama Impeachment is not merely “on the table” but a very live possibility; almost a sure-fire bet. It passes the wingnut challenge with flying colors It fits the pattern of the modern Republican Party and its rightward march. A 2014 impeachment would be perfect way to prime the pump for the post-Obama Republican assault on the White House. It would get the wingnut base energized and the Democrats wrong footed. The politics are perfect;  as long as victory is your only concern.

The second half of a presidential second term is the long, dark, night of the lame duck soul for the man occupying the office; he is a mere caretaker. Nothing is really going on in the fever swamps of D.C., so why not a little impeachment theater?

Who knows the Republicans may be bold enough to run on the fact that they will impeach if elected. It would be great stuff in the red meat, red state hinterlands; the gerrymandered single party enclaves, where only the most extreme survive. The partisan political logic of 2014 impeachment is near air-tight. Mind you, it would be awful for any attempt by either party to govern from 2014 to 2016; but what is two years of rudderless drift in a dangerous world when victory can be yours? It is not like Republicans really care about governance, especially when it's not their guy in the Oval Office.
Republicans only care about power, not about the day to day business of running a nation.

The only thing that may prevent this scenario is a blow-out reelection of Obama. I’m not talking about a Goldwater type debacle, but at least a 55%-45% split or better. A ten percentage point crushing of the Republican candidate (very likely to be Romney) could not be chalked up to voter fraud no matter how hard Fox and Freaks tries to pitch the propaganda. If Obama wins narrowly, mark the summer of 2014 for Republican Run for impeachment. If the Republicans fail to hold on to the House in 2012, the affair may be put off to Winter of 2014/5; Merry Christmas.

Granted I’ve been wrong in my predictions before. I thought that Newt Gingrich’s long history of sliminess would negate any mud tossed his way. I was wrong, voters noticed the new mud tossed by Romney against the background of all that old crusty muck Gingrich was already carting around; bummer. Still I have a good chance of being right this time. At the very least, I have the broken clock's chance. We will see, first Obama has to get reelected, and that is no sure thing in itself. Anything can happen in ten months time. Who knows, we might be all speaking Mandarin by then.
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