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The Impeachment of President Obama – No

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Discussion about the impeachment of President Barack Obama is usually accompanied with a misguided or skewed view of what this man has done as President of the United States. People regularly call for the impeachment of their elected leaders and this call usually comes from the opposition party. When George W. Bush was President, calls for his impeachment occurred on a regular basis, and now the same for President Obama. As with anything that guides the laws within the United States, the Constitution clearly outlines what an impeachable offense is, and how it should be carried out.  

Impeachment Defined

The Constitution identifies impeachable offenses as treason, bribery and the rather vague high crimes and misdemeanors. The process of impeachment is complex and must be carried out by the United States Congress. Many people mistakenly equate impeachment with removing an elected official from office, but in truth it is actually indictment.

The House of Representatives is charged with initiating the process by providing evidence and valid reasons for impeachment. Then, the Senate would be responsible for carrying out the trial in which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would preside over. After the trial has concluded, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to remove the President from office. If the Senate falls short of this 2/3 majority, then the President remains in office.

Impeachable Offenses according to the Constitution

The actual impeachment of a President is rare and though it has been often suggested, in truth it has only been carried out twice within the 224 years that we’ve been electing Presidents. A third impeachment was an almost certainty, most famously associated with the Watergate Scandal, but never came to be as President Richard Nixon resigned before impeachment proceedings could begin.

Bill Clinton was impeached because of perjury, which is a felony. Any blatant abuses of power like with Nixon and the Watergate scandal is an impeachable offense. In each of these cases, the trust and integrity of an elected official is called into question, and more times than not, their ability to lead is seriously compromised

Unimpeachable Offense

Impeachment isn’t a tool that can simply be used whenever an elected official pushes legislation or does things that others may disagree with. Prior to the election of Barack Obama many on the left felt that George W. Bush should’ve been impeached for involving the United States in a war with Iraq.  Whether it was faulty evidence or a true intent to deceive, the bottom line remains, 29 Democrats along with 48 Republicans  enabled President Bush to go to war. In this instance, the Constitution was followed, the Bush Administration made their case, they requested Congressional authorization to go to war, and was granted that request. This action was Constitutional, and thereby not an impeachable offense.

Impeach Obama over the Affordable Health-care Act

The Affordable Health-care Care Act was passed by both Houses of Congress, signed into law by the President and upheld in the United States Supreme Court. All actions leading up to the eventual implementation of this law was legal and confirmed Constitutional by the Supreme Court. In other words, passing the Affordable Health-care Act into law is not an impeachable offense.

Impeach Obama over Gun Legislation

Expanding background checks was one of the main focuses of the President's Executive Orders  on reducing gun violence in America. Reducing gun violence by expanding background checks, banning high capacity clips and military assault style weapons are hardly threats to the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Attempting to reduce gun violence in America is not an impeachable offense.

Impeach Obama over Benghazi

The attack in Benghazi was tragic because we lost American lives including the US Ambassador to Libya, John Stevens. Following the attack the report out of the White House was confusing and even wrong in some instances which rightfully sparked a Congressional investigation. The White House deserved much of the criticism in their handling of this tragedy, but to suggest that the White House intentionally attempted to criminally deceive the American people is simply wrong. The poor handling of a situation doesn’t warrant impeachment.

Hatred for President Obama is definitely anyone’s right, but it’s hardly a reason to impeach him or any President for that matter. We’d be well beyond our 44th President if hatred was impeachable. No President will ever have 100 percent of the American people approving of what they do, that’s a fact of American politics. But President Obama has done nothing to warrant impeachment, and so clearly there is no reason to call for it.

More about this author: Winston Lee

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