Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Impeached or ruled unconstitutional? What does one do here?

On facebook earlier this morning I favorably linked to a suggestion from Kucinich that Obama's invasion of Libya was an impeachable offense. At this point, though, I'm starting to get a little unclear on what impeachment entails. I was always under the impression that being impeached did not require removal from office, but since posting this I've read that if you are convicted of impeachment charges you are removed from office. The Constitution only says "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office", suggesting to me that an impeached president may not even be removed from office, but on Wikipedia it says "If any officer is convicted on impeachment, he or she is immediately removed from office". I am apparently missing some legalese here. Why does the Constitution say you can't do more than remove someone from office, but the interpretation seem to say you can't do more or less than remove them from office?

This makes me reconsider my initial support for the idea of impeaching Obama.

Let's be clear here - what is Obama guilty of? He is guilty of waging war without Congress OKing it. That's a Constitutional requirement and he is unequivocally guilty of violating the Constitution on this point in my mind. But we've had many cases in the past where the courts rule against the President on the constitutionality of the President's actions. So why do we throw someone out of office over some infractions but simply overrule them on other infractions?

And what is right in this case?

I'm not especially supportive of this action in Libya, but we're clearly not going in there in a way that flaunts international law, we clearly aren't going in there for a lie (everyone is clear on exactly what Gadaffi is doing... this isn't yellow-cakegate all over again), and we're probably not strengthening al Qaeda's hands by doing this. This is probably not a good thing to jump into, but it's not a grave crime against humanity either. It's entirely plausible Obama could have gotten Congressional approval, but the problem is he didn't seek it out. Should he be thrown out of office for that? It seems like something that just needs to be overruled and ended until Congress gives it a stamp of approval. I'm not sure what his means, though. The Tom Woods school of thought says nullify the hell out of anything that violates the Constitution. This seems silly to me. I thought impeachment was the solution, but now I'm not so sure. Throwing a president out of office for every violation of the Cosntitution seems just as silly to me. I'd prefer we just overrule him.

Anyone know the law around this or have opinions on the right way to go about it?


  1. I've read quite the opposite concerning al Qaeda and the current Libyan war.

  2. I haven't read all that deeply so I'm sure I haven't processed it all... links!?!?!?

  3. I think it's speculative, one way or the other. And even if groups like al Qaeda are a threat, we should remember the same suggestion of extremist violence that was raised in Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood and be cautioned by the fact that conservatives can raise these threats to deter revolution. In fact, conservatives in the US are latching onto the al Qaeda threat in Libya right now, to argue against invasion. So, even if such dangers exist, they're not reasons in themselves to avoid assisting the revolution (although as you know, I'm not supportive of the current war that Obama has started).


  4. Evan - do you realize almost all those links that pop up on that search (at least as of 2:01 pm, Wednesday) come from a very well known conspiracy theorist who thinks 9-11 was an inside job, and international cabal of bankers is trying to establish a one world government, and Charlie Sheen is sane?

  5. Well, I didn't bother reading them all! In any case, there should be a CNN piece somewhere in there, and I think I accounted for the fact that this point is taken advantage of/blown out of proportion in my above comment.

    But yeah, it did look like most of the search results where one or two stories reposted on non-news source type websites. I wasn't invested enough to find you anything better.

  6. Maybe you should invest more in our relationship, jackass.

    I hope you don't treat Tricia like this.

  7. So this Webster Tarpley guy, is he the conspiracy theorist? At least he has a cool name.

  8. Alex Jones - the guy that was interviewing him.

  9. bush also waged war w/o the approval of congress but was not impeached


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