Impeachment of President Obama? Not So Fast

Obama certainly deserves impeachment and jail time, but we need to take over with a flood of conservatives.
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The drumbeat gets louder nearly every day. Cries for impeachment of our current president seem to echo off the walls of strongholds of the political right and are even heard deep in the recesses of left’s fortresses. Sarah Palin is perhaps the loudest voice yet crying for impeachment and she lays out an interesting case supporting it here. She is supported in her efforts by such right wing stalwarts as Mark Levin, Allen West, Tom Coburn, and apparently the entire South Dakota Republican Party.

Nonetheless, such a move is perilous and is not likely to succeed. And if it is not successful, which is to say that it fails to remove Barack Obama from the office of the President of the United States, then it is quite likely to be incredibly damaging and embarrassing to the Republican Party and the conservative movement. It would all but drive a stake through the heart of the Tea Party. Allow me to explain.

Only twice in the history of our nation has a president been impeached. The first was in 1868. Then-president Andrew Johnson, a Republican, had removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton in what was widely viewed as a violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Stanton had been appointed by Abraham Lincoln, upon whose death Johnson had ascended to the presidency. The Articles of Impeachment were drawn up against him by the House of Representatives with a majority of 1216 to 47 votes in favor, and then Johnson was tried in the Senate. While only a simple majority is necessary to approve articles of impeachment, a conviction on those articles requires a two thirds majority in the Senate. President Johnson was tried, with Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase presiding, and was acquitted by a vote of 35-19, just one single vote shy of the 36 necessary. It must be noted that the push for impeachment of Johnson was led by the extreme right wing of the Republican party at that time, known as the Radical Republicans during the period of the Reconstruction.



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