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Trying to Impeach Obama Is a Lot Like Trying to Impeach Bush

So you want to (Hell)fire the President of the United States? Just copy and paste.
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In accordance with history repeating itself, it's hard to believe Americans will ever successfully impeach a commander-in-chief. And even as Obama's second term slides toward upsetting territory, the idea of impeachment is rather far out, isn't it?

When I told an Obama-loving friend I'd be writing about the movement to oust the president he said, "Oh no, that doesn't really exist though, does it? Nah, that doesn't exist." Maybe he's right. The conversation certainly didn't begin this week--but is it coming out of the background?  After the president's recent hat-trick of scandals--BenghaziIRS and AP--a poll says 50 percent of Americans want him impeached, while others deem that poll unreliable.

Congressman Jim Bridenstine-R of Oklahoma, delivers his arguments against Obama's ability to lead.

Let's back up for a minute. Bill Clinton definitely came close to getting canned during his second term: The House ruled to impeach him, but he was rescued by a Senate acquittal. Andrew Johnson, 131 years before Clinton, faced similar treatment and narrowly escaped, winning acquittal by only one vote.

As for Richard Nixon, while many would argue the odds most certainly favored his impeachment--with a potent democratic majority in both the House and Senate--American history lives with the memory burnt into its retinae of the man throwin' double peace signs, and being airlifted from office before proceedings could begin.

George W. Bush, if you'd forgotten, had only six months left as president by the time Dennis Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment made it to the House Judiciary Committee. But the resolution didn't pass its hearing. Of course, while the "impeach Bush" movement was reaching full swing, Obama, Biden and Hillary Clinton, all of whom were then senators, named ways in which 43's unilateral military decisions (without congressional approval) colored him impeachable. However, Bill Clinton made a handful of unilateral military decisions during his administration.

Former Representative, Allen West, discusses possibility of impeachment for Obama.

Obama has already seen a thinner stack of impeachment articles brought against him. Last March, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina pushed impeachment articles on Obama for violating the War Powers Clause, matching one of Kucinich's articles against Bush. Jones'  would also get tabled by the HJC, but he's moved on to being pissed about civilian-surveilling drones, which he cites as violating the, "1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th Amendments."

Over a year ago, the anti-war author, David Swanson, pointed out 27 from Kucinich's original 35 against Bush; annotating 18 of which could be applied in an impeachment case against Obama. Some included were:


Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements…Creating Secret Laws…Illegal Detention…Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act… Rendition…Imprisoning Children…Torture…Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant…Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.

But if these arguments were chalked up over a year ago, you don't have to tread further back than a month to begin extending Swanson's annotations.

As the Bradley Manning trial paces along, journalists like Kevin Gosztola and Glenn Greenwald are pointing out Obama's exploitation of Bush's Patriot Act to gather phone records—specifically Section 215, which the American Library Association has disputed for, "…allow[ing] the government to secretly request and obtain library records for large numbers of individuals without any reason to believe they are involved in illegal activity."

But exhausting Kucinich's articles per Bush as applicable to Obama is just a seed in the larger discussion. Obama currently holds a job approval rating of 48 percent (only 1 percent below the average rating for his entire presidency), when Bush received 43 percent in the same part of his second term.

As wounds in the institutional flesh of the presidency continue bleeding out, there is something to be said about the performance art in making a rebound. Some in politics manage, however arduously, to climb a mountain of redemption. Some ride up on a slick gondola of reconciliation. As the WSJ columnist Holman Jenkins notes, "In business, you cut your losses quickly. In politics, you cling to blunders and deny they are blunders." Cling, Obama!