What follows here today, is an update on the blog “Impeachment Lite” offered at this site on June 26, 2014. In that earlier screed, an argument was presented regarding why House Republicans have opted to sue President Obama rather than impeach him. In the three weeks that have passed since then, legal experts have weighed in on the chances of the legal action actually succeeding. Those opinions have provided little reason for Speaker Boehner et al to be optimistic. Yet, they give every indication that they intend to proceed. Why? What is going on here?
As noted on June 26th, the virulent, Obama-hating, right-wing base must be appeased. So, abandoning the suit is out of the question. But, if the suit fails, a possibility also raised in the previous blog, it would cut the legs out from under the move to impeach. On the surface, it would appear that House Republicans are between the proverbial rock and hard place. But, let’s speculate for a moment: Suppose Boehner and his sue-happy companions’ intention is to slow-walk their legal action so that nothing of significance happens between now and near the end of the president’s tenure? That is not a long shot. Legal scholars have already opined that by the time the suit wends its way through all our courts, Obama could be out of office. The Speaker would have managed to hold off the “impeachers”, while placating them in the process. While impeachment could still take place (1), it would be seen as an ill-considered and highly vindictive gambit; a deadly combination ahead of the 2016 election.
We can all sit back and watch to see what happens between now and the November election. If by then, the suit has yet to go before a court, you can pretty well bet that Boehner’s “slow-walk” is the state of play. In that case, one has to wonder if the Obama-haters will figure out that they have indeed been played, snookered and conned? There’s an interesting four months ahead of us.
1. Impeachment proceedings can be initiated even after an elected official leaves office. If successful, it would prevent the subject from holding elected office again.