House Democrats, Media are Pressing Obama Toward Impeachment

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Historians agree empires and presidencies die from imperial overreach. Now Barack Obama’s closest allies in the Democratic Party, the far-Left, and the media are encouraging him to take actions that will lead inexorably to his impeachment. The president’s hubris and lawlessness seem destined to collide with Washington’s tense polemical atmosphere in a showdown that will put his presidency on the chopping block.

The leaders of the House Democratic Caucus this week urged the president to usurp Congressional authority and order the government to continue borrowing money, (mis)using the 14th Amendment. Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut called the provision “the fail-safe option” to assure Republicans do not hold the American people hostage.” Larson added House Democrats are “prepared to stand behind” Obama all the way.

Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina played the race card in justifying his call for an executive power grab:

I was joking to my staff the other day: “Tell me the bill number for the Emancipation Proclamation.” It was an executive order. We integrated the armed services by executive order. We integrated the public schools by executive order. Sometimes executives must order that things get done…If the president gets up to August 2 without a piece of legislation, he should not allow this country to go into default. He should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment and send that to all the governmental agencies for us to continue to pay our bills.

This, Clyburn said, would “calm to the American people.”

He added, almost as an afterthought, “discussion about the legality of that can continue.”

Xavier Becerra, D-CA, went further. He said Obama had to raise the debt ceiling “just as the president took out Osama bin Laden in a way that some presidents wouldn’t have done it.” Thus, preserving big government spending from Republicans takes on the same moral urgency as saving America from al-Qaeda. Becerra sidestepped the legal issue altogether, saying, “The Republicans through their failure have given you license to do whatever it takes.”

The press conference was the most assertive lobbying for this dangerous course of action, which is enjoying increasingly broad support in both houses of Congress. Earlier this week Connecticut’s Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who defeated wrestling executive Linda McMahon in 2010, said the measure “might be something that arguably could be done in the face of genuine crisis, in the face of catastrophe.”

Other prominent party leaders have lent their rhetorical support, however dissembling. Bill Clinton lied that, if were he ever faced with an imminent government shutdown, he would act unilaterally “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me.” (What was this, “Tweet to my 49-year-old self”?)

Ironically, as these Congressmen encouraged Obama to take unprecedented (and unconstitutional) power over the nation’s purse, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz accused House Republicans of trying to impose a “dictatorship.”

The Democrats’ allies in the media have done their share to keep talk of this political crime alive….

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Video: Bachmann Would Impeach Obama “Within Seconds” of 14th Amendment Scheme

Frum Tells GOP to Raise Debt Ceiling — To Spare Obama Impeachment

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

For most of his term, Barack Obama has been flirting with impeachment like Bill Clinton at a sorority on open bar night, but he may be set to go too far even by Washington’s standards. Administration officials suggested if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling, the president may (wrongly) invoke the 14th Amendment to force the nation to borrow money. Last Tuesday Rep. Tim Scott, R-SC, said such an overreach of executive power would be “an impeachable act,” and the next day Texas Republican Pete Olson said Scott is “not a lonely voice.” Although Timothy Geithner backed down by week’s end, it is not clear that his scheme — or the equally unconstitutional compromise Mitch McConnell offered — will not rise again, provoking a constitutional crisis. Even David Frum, the most assertive voice of Republican liberalization, has concluded House Republicans will at least rumble about impeaching Obama if he blatantly violates the Constitution. Flummoxed at the possibility, he has advised Republicans to shut up and raise the debt ceiling to prevent Obama from having to commit an impeachable offense.

Frum proffered his bizarre advice in an article published on his eponymous FrumForum entitled, “Can the Debt Crisis Lead to Impeachment?”

Frum correctly noted, “The debt-ceiling crisis is growing into an impending constitutional crisis.” He is far from alone in assessing the severity of Obama’s threatened actions. Stan Collender wrote last Tuesday, “A number of people I communicated with this past week thought that the president invoking the 14th Amendment to justify federal borrowing would lead to impeachment proceedings in the House, even if there is little chance that the Senate would ever vote to convict.” Georgetown Law School professor Louis Michael Seidman, who supports the president’s right to unilaterally borrow money in theory, has warned, “There would be a constitutional crisis.” Matthew Vadum of The American Spectator agreed this would be one of Obama’s many impeachable offenses.

Frum conceded….

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The Epidemic of Birth Tourism

Joe Guzzardi,

A pregnant woman’s journey from a remote village in China to an American birthing center is geographically long and arduous. But skilled middlemen well-schooled in the loopholes of U.S. immigration policy can make her travels much easier. The woman’s mission, to deliver an American-born child with all the privileges associated with citizenship status, is a priceless commodity that makes whatever risks she may take worthwhile.

Wherever people who yearn to migrate to American may reside, eager “consultants” will, for a fee, provide the necessary training to increase their chances of success. Traditionally, these intermediaries have thrived through newspaper advertisements, leaflets distributed in public places and word of mouth. More recently, they offer their services—sometimes above board and quasi-legitimate but often unscrupulous and with criminal intent—over the Internet….

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Impeachment Works? Obama Backs Off Fascist Debt Ceiling Threat

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Conservatives who say they believe in “peace through strength” might take a lesson from the Obama administration this week. Its officials walked back discussion of an end-run around Congress on the debt ceiling after Republicans stepped up their talk of impeaching Barack Obama.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had raised the possibility the president might unilaterally raise the debt ceiling under the pretext of the 14th Amendment. On Tuesday, Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina told the Tea Party group LowCountry 9.12, “that is an impeachable act…This jeopardizes the credibility of our nation, if one man can usurp the entire system set up by our Founding Fathers.”

The next day, Texas Republican Pete Olson told the left-wing website that Scott is “not a lonely voice” on impeachment.

Even Obama supporters distanced themselves from such a blatant violation of the separation of powers. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who was a judicial adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled, We Cannot Pretend the Debt Ceiling is Unconstitutional.” He noted the dramatic implications of the proposed usurpation of powers: “In theory, Congress could pay debts not only by borrowing more money, but also by exercising its powers to impose taxes, to coin money or to sell federal property. If the president could usurp the congressional power to borrow, what would stop him from taking over all these other powers, as well?”

This growing resistance may explain why the Obama administration is distancing itself from this dictatorial action wrapped in the Constitution.

On Friday, Geithner….

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