Saturday, October 1, 2011

High Crimes And Misdemeanors

While much of the talk among conservatives right now seems to resemble a circular firing squad, with picking at candidates' flaws with occasional breaks to note just how terrible the economy is, it is easy to forget what should be daily headline news--the scandals of the current administration.

The most recent, and hottest topic, has been Solyndra, et al.  This is certainly a scandal, as the appearance is that those who donated to Obama and the Democratic Party received preferential treatment in both having the loan applications approved and in being the first to have loans repaid when the companies filed for bankruptcy.  This is not a particularly novel scandal, and favortism for donors is as old as the political system, and this actually rates comparatively low on the scandal scale for President Obama.  It looks bad, but is more a matter of creativity in policy and law than criminal behavior.

Next is the ATF clusterjob, made up of Fast and Furious and Gunwalker.  On a scale of fixing a traffic ticket to selling the nuclear codes to the highest bidder, this ranks right about the same as Iran/Contra--I think.  There is a lot about F&F and GW that we just don't know yet.  Was tracking the guns the actual plan, and if so why did it not happen?  The existence of a weapons pipeline was not serious doubted, but taken as a given.  Similarly, the government already knew who the straw buyers were, so it was not an attempt to identify them.  A federal agent is dead, and an as yet unknown number of Mexican civilians have also been killed, with weapons from this operation.  The whole operation could be reasonably argued to be an act of war against Mexico.  Reagan was not impeached for Iran/Contra, but there was some serious consideration given to the idea at the time.

Finally, we come to the forgotten scandal, at least from where I stand as I have not seen any serious coverage of it in months--the conflict in Libya.  Now, there is serious debate as to whether or not the War Powers Resolution is constitutional or not, but it unless and until it is in fact deemed unconstitutional or repealed, it is the law of the land.  Obama did not keep to the letter of the law, or even the spirit of it, during combat operatoins in Libya.  Obama has even possibly violated the Separation of Powers enumerated in the Constitution, which is almost certainly an impeachable offense.  Short of committing treason, it is hard to imagine an action by the President that is more contrary to the Constitution and Rule of Law than claiming the powers of another branch of government for his own.

Now, from a practical standpoint, filing article of impeachment against President Obama may be virtually meaningless, especially if he fails to win re-election.  However, the symbolism of it is important.  Whether or not he were to be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors by the Senate, the articles should be filed by the House to show remind everyone that no one, not even the president, is above the law.