When the subject of impeachment comes up, the RINOs come out of the woodwork to wag their fingers and insist the action would be unwise, impractical, and irresponsible — for anyone, anywhere, for virtually any reason. Last week, when Congressman James Sensenbrenner raised the possibility of impeaching Attorney General Eric Holder, George W. Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he would not even want Holder’s deputy, Lanny Breuer, to be forced to quit. Now, more Bush-43 RINOs have come out against threatening politicians with the ultimate penalty. In this case, they oppose a plan by a Republican presidential candidate to impeach unwieldy judges.
Newt Gingrich proposed impeaching judges who regularly violate their duty to enforce the Constitution of the United States in his 28-page paper entitled “Bringing the Courts Back Under the Constitution.” That paper forwards the radical notion that “Judges who issue unconstitutional decisions or who otherwise ignore the Constitution and the legitimate powers of the two other co-equal branches of the federal government can be subjected to impeachment.”
This left two Bush-43 attorneys general, Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, sputtering in disbelief. Fox News reports, in an exclusive, that were “not happy with the Gingrich call for the power to impeach judges or abolish judgeships following any ruling considered particularly outrageous.” Gonzales offered the strongest rebuke (on the record): “I would tread very, very carefully down the road with this notion that ‘okay, this judge has rendered a decision that we think is very unpopular and we’re not happy with it so we’re going to try to impeach this judge.’ I think that’s not healthy.”
Gonzales added, “I think we have a great government.”
The most potent reason pols leak “exclusive” stories to Fox News is an attempt to sway Republican voters on the eve of an important vote. Al Gore did it about George W. Bush’s drunk driving in 2000. Someone did it on the eve of tonight’s FNC debate. The story notes, almost in passing, “Mukasey has counseled Mitt Romney” — although he insists he would do the same for anyone else who wants his advice. (The last four words of that sentence could be turned into a pretty good question.)
To my surprise, the story became an issue at Thursday night’s Fox News debate. Megyn Kelly asked Newt Gingrich about his plan. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul both supported it to various degrees.
Mitt Romney made clear he certainly did not. “I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to have Congress overseeing justices,” he said. “The only group with less credibility than justices, perhaps, is Congress.”
But that is precisely how the Founding Fathers wanted it. Congress has tremendous, unused power to reign in a runaway judiciary, from exempting certain issues from judicial review all the way to impeaching judges. Gingrich quotes Alexander Hamilton’s belief that “the important constitutional check which the power of instituting impeachments in one part of the legislative body, and of determining upon them in the other, would give to that body upon the members of the judicial department. This is alone a complete security.” The appendices, which run as long as the report, quote a rich vein of supporting material from our Founders and other judicial experts.
This is precisely the divide in the modern GOP: RINOs on one side, who are part of the permanent governing class vs. those who favor the wisdom of America’s founders. Republican insiders gladly swap seats with Democrats every few years, pose with the rubes back home during elections, but generally want no one seriously tinkering with the taxpayer-funded spoils system of favors and cronyism. If the people begin holding elected officials accountable for trifles like violating the Constitution or engaging in raw corruption, where will it all end?
The Tea Party movement, which exists because of dissatisfaction with George W. Bush’s free-spending ways and penchant for ramming amnesty down the collective American throat, wants a return to a government limited by its founding principles. They are not afraid to dispose of any career politician who stands in their way. And that leaves the D.C. Establishment posing as their betters, lecturing one another on “the real world.”
Things are so bad, some conservatives are looking into do-it-yourself impeachment initiated by citizens.
At a minimum, it is long past time for the American people to remind our elected officials — of all parties — that if they do not do their political duty, we will take every legal means to do it ourselves. And to remind Messrs. Mukasey and Gonzales why they are former attorneys general.
– from Ben Johnson at The White House Watch.