By Bob Bennett
Yes, it would be difficult, likely impossible to remove him. But the House must impeach, just as a prosecutor must indict for a grave crime, even if conviction is unlikely. And impeachment would achieve an essential purpose, even without conviction. Obama has repeatedly defied our Constitution, with no consequences. It is the very foundation of America and we cannot allow it to be flouted — particularly by the most powerful official in the land. Worse, still: most Americans are utterly unaware of this systematic dismantling of their country’s most precious possession.
Few would dispute that America has been transformed since 2009, and not for the better. It’s very possible that President Obama has altered the Nation beyond reclamation. Whether this is true or not, we must strive mightily to arrest and reverse the changes he’s made.
There’s little doubt his revisions were part of a goal that he set from the beginning. Just one aspect of that goal was to fundamentally alter America’s demographics by legalizing a host of illegal aliens.
On June 15, 2012 the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that people brought here as children, by their illegal alien parents could apply for deferral of deportation and a work permit, under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Pew Research estimated that 1.7 million people could benefit from this amnesty.
On November 20, 2014 DHS announced a second amnesty of illegal aliens, who could apply to avoid deportation: Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). Pew estimated 4 million people would be eligible for DAPA, which also expanded eligibility for DACA to an additional 330,000 people.
DAPA is on hold by the courts, after twenty-six states sued the U.S. government, on the grounds that the president had exceeded his powers — which he unquestionably had. Under the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, paragraph 4: “The Congress shall have Power…To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization….” And, in paragraph 18: “…To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers…”
The president had twice acted to change immigration law, shielding millions of people from the deportation the law requires. In a speech after the second action, stung by heckling activists, he popped off, “I just took an action to change the Law.” (His retort was cited in the legal action.)
But, as we know, the Constitution gives the right to legislate exclusively to Congress.
The president, leftist groups, most Democrats, and the Media tell us these amnesties are harmless acts that merely allow these unfortunates to “come out of the shadows.” But they’re not harmless. For one thing, they give millions of people, here illegally, the right to compete for jobs with American citizens. They mainly soak up unskilled jobs, so they hurt the very people the president, the Left, Democrats, and the Media claim to be helping: Black Americans.
In addition, amnestied illegals will take far more out of our society than they will contribute — from Social Security, Medicare; welfare benefits from 80 programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps, SSI and the Earned Income Tax Credit; public housing and education.
These were the conclusions of the Heritage Foundation’s expert on welfare and entitlement spending, Robert Rector. Specifically, he estimated the 4 million Obama amnestied under DAPA would cost America $2 trillion, over their lifetimes. He used the same methodology to estimate the cost of the amnesty proposed in 2013 by the Gang of Eight. That estimate was $6.3 trillion, incidentally.
These amnesties would cause almost immeasurable, irreversible harm to the U.S. economy. We also must consider that he’s likely to amnesty even more millions before he’s done.
But the foregoing aren’t the most harmful aspects of those amnesties. The president’s acts have fractured the separation of powers principle the Founders wrote into the Constitution to prevent a slide into dictatorship. He has invaded the dominion of Congress, by these acts and others. This establishes a precedent that will be exceeded by future presidents — indeed, candidate Hillary Clinton has already promised to exceed Obama’s amnesties.
These are ample reasons why impeachment of the president is Congress’s sworn duty. This president and future presidents must know that such acts will be vigorously opposed. Allowing Obama’s acts to stand, unopposed, cedes unfettered power to the presidency, and drives the nation toward dictatorship.
And of course, that was his intention.
Are these “high crimes and misdemeanors”? The Constitutional Rights Foundation quotes Hamilton, in Federalist No. 65; he defined impeachable offenses as:
Those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.
A report ordered by the House Judicial Committee in the Nixon case, to guide them in drawing up articles of impeachment, “traced the history, precedents, and grounds for impeachment.” It concluded:
Because impeachment of a President is a grave step for the nation, it is predicated only upon conduct seriously incompatible with either the constitutional form and principles of our government or the proper performance of constitutional duties of the presidential office.
Simplest of all is a quote from President Gerald Ford, when, as a congressman, he pressed for impeachment of a liberal Supreme Court justice: “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”
Could Congress successfully impeach Obama? There are more than enough House Republicans to impeach; only a simple majority is needed. The president would then be tried in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be needed to convict, thereby removing him from office. This would require a number of Democrats to vote for conviction, which is unthinkable.
However, there would be public exposure of the president’s acts, as outlined in the articles of impeachment. In the Clinton impeachment, Deseret News reported, thirteen managers acted as prosecutors, orally presenting the case against him, before the Senate. One of them was Lindsey Graham, a current presidential candidate.
One thing is certain: a great many Americans would watch the proceedings on television, on C-SPAN and other news outlets. This is the most important reason impeachment must be undertaken. If America is to be saved, it will take an informed and aroused electorate to do it.
Today, a vast segment of the electorate is woefully uninformed. Many don’t even know the president is constitutionally barred from writing or changing laws and they don’t know he has repeatedly done so. Americans must see that Congress is resisting, as the Founders intended. And it’s vital for Americans to know: if they want to remain free, they must demand their presidents observe the Constitution.