What Might The Scandal End Game Be?

As the cancer on this presidency continues to metastasize, with trust in the president continuing to deteriorate, and a growing realization that the federal government is growing, or perhaps has grown beyond the limits and control intended by the Founders, it’s worthwhile to start to consider the possible political implications down the road. The conventional wisdom remains that, at worst, Barack Obama will lose the Senate next year, fail to regain the House, and be the lamest of ducks until the natural end of his term in 2017. But if things get bad enough, there is a much more radical, but completely constitutional scenario, in which the Republicans could get somewhat of a do over of last fall’s election. This will particularly be the case if enough people come to view its results as illegitimate, having been influenced by the tyrannical actions of the IRS and other federal agencies.

How could it happen?

It would require the Republicans to nationalize the coming mid-term election in a way that they have not done since 1994, when they took over the Congress for the first time in over four decades due to overreach by the Clinton administration on gun control and health care, and in fact it would require doing so even more dramatically. They would have to make it a referendum not just on who would control the Congress during the last two years of the Obama presidency, but whether or not that presidency, and indeed Democratic control of the White House at all, should in fact continue.

The scandals are likely to get worse before they get better. Indeed, they are unlikely to get better at all. What has already occurred — considering Benghazi, the IRS abuse of power, the lies to Congress, the attacks on the free press — are worse than any of the allegations in Watergate. The only difference (so far) is that there has been no “smoking gun” evidence that any of it occurred at the explicit direction of the president, as the revelations of the tapes (and the missing portion of them) provided in the case of Richard Nixon. If such evidence turns up in this case (and it may be nothing more than testimony of people who decide they don’t want to join their colleagues under the ever crowding bus), then the issue will be what to do about it. If the Nixon precedent plays out, senior Senate Democrats would go to the White House and tell the president that he no longer had enough votes to avoid removal if the House impeached, and that his only options were such removal or resignation. But given the highly partisan nature of those individuals, that seems unlikely. They’ll more likely simply continue to defend the White House and hunker down, and accuse the Republicans of “politicizing” the issue.

Impeachment is intrinsically a political act, not a legal one; “high crimes and misdemeanors” are not well defined, and tend to be in the eye of the beholder, as we saw in the case of Bill Clinton. Any objective analysis would indicate that he committed multiple federal felonies in his obstruction of justice in order to avoid the consequences of his reprehensible behavior. But the 1999 Senate chose not to remove him, despite his guilt of the articles of impeachment — Democrats because they were standing by their man, and some Republicans because they feared more public anger if a popular president was removed, after the election losses in the House in the wake of the 1998 impeachment. Similarly, if a president is very unpopular, just as a prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich, the House could impeach, and the Senate remove, on any grounds they chose. That is, they could decide to remove not only the criminal president, but his vice president as well, simply on the presumption of complicity, and replace them with the Speaker of the House, who would then select a new vice president.

The key, of course, is to ensure that (unlike in 1998), the Congress has some assurance that such a thing would be the public’s will. In 1998, regardless of whether one thinks it should have been, it was not, and the Republicans were punished for it at the polls. So this time, they would have to make it the election issue, and allow the public to decide.

It seems likely that the big issues next year will be the overgrowth of government and its power (part of which will be many losing their health insurance or being forced into part-time work as ObamaCare sets in with a vengeance), the continuing poor economic growth, the ongoing meltdown in the Middle East (and perhaps other parts of the world) as everyone overseas has finally appreciated the fecklessness of this president, and takes advantage of it. So the path to a new government (and hopefully a reformed one) would look something like this.

The (Republican) House would elect a new Speaker early next year. While the Speaker has always been a member, there is no Constitutional requirement for it, and it would be free to elect whomever it thought would be the best face for the party, just as (in theory) party members at large do in a presidential nomination contest. It might be the current speaker, John Boehner, but it could be anyone, including a sitting Senator (though that would be an interesting case for SCOTUS) or a private citizen. That person would be the de facto leader of the party going into the election. He (or she) would also choose and name a potential running mate.

This would be the election message: “The country is in a crisis, in foreign policy and domestically. Part of the crisis is a constitutional one; government has grown too powerful, to the point at which it controls us rather than we it, in opposition to what the nation’s Founders intended. As we’ve learned over the past year and a half, the current administration has abused that power for its own political ends. Indeed, absent that abuse, it may not have been re-elected in 2012, in which case that election was illegitimate. There is a constitutional remedy for this. Elect enough Republicans to the Senate and the House this fall, and they will see that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are removed from power, and replaced by me and my running mate. Immediately after that, I will name a new cabinet, consisting of [fill-in-the-blank] and work with Congress to see that this federal monster is finally reined in, repealing and replacing ObamaCare, and with a full-scale reform of the federal code, and a return to the rule of law and the Constitution.”

In a sense, it could be viewed as a temporary reversion to a parliamentary system, in which the voters are asked to vote in a new government, except on the normal electoral timetable, rather than at a time of the government’s choosing. And entirely constitutional.

Is this a likely scenario? Not particularly — it would depend on much more coming out, and other unpredictable events over the next year or so. Herding the cats in the House to come up with the right new leader currently strains credulity. And even if they could, the cries of “racism” from the Democrats and their enablers in the media throughout the campaign would be ear bleeding, with threats of riots in the streets about the removal of the first black president (this would be partially mitigated were the new Speaker to be black). And if things really do get sufficiently bad that this seems politically realistic, the Democrats might actually shock us and take that walk to the White House, rather than suffer a complete loss of political power. But whatever its likelihood, it’s becoming less and less unthinkable with each new revelation.

65 thoughts on “What Might The Scandal End Game Be?”

  1. If these scandals hadn’t already done that (predating Obama’s re-election) it’s hard to see them doing so now. America would unite if attacked from outside, but then would rally around the president. Either way, we’re stuck with him.

    A minority might do it though. It’s always been unthinkable that a military coup would happen in America, but then this administration has been unthinkable.

    They would reboot the constitution “military service grants citizenship.” The morons then become disenfranchised. Until they are, no change is going to happen.

  2. Elect enough Republicans to the Senate and the House this fall, and they will see that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are removed from power, and replaced by me and my running mate.

    Impeaching and removing Obama and Biden wouldn’t be enough. The political leadership of both parties in both houses would need to be expelled too.

    it could be viewed as a temporary reversion to a parliamentary system

    The powerful and increasingly imperial presidency appears not to have served the US well. If you’re going to decimate both houses, you might as well go for a constitutional convention and split the responsibilities and powers of the presidency between a prime minister who is accountable to Congress and a non-partisan and largely ceremonial president.

  3. Any rebooted constitution that leaves the federal government in Washington, D.C. is a non-starter.

    In fact, I’m for establishing separate capitals for each of the three branches of government. Or even just for the president and supreme court, and have the legislative branch meet electronically.

    1. Relocating the federal government to somewhere other than DC is a good idea.

      Hrmmm… how about a bit of synergy here? A lot of folks are enthusiastic about the Mars One proposal; a colonizing mission with no return option. However… many (like me) are skeptical of the no return option.

      Therefor, synergy; what if we relocate the federal government to Mars, using the Mars One no-return plan? It would require only one small change; no transmitters allowed, so all comms would be one way – Earth to Mars. I think that proposal would win over a lot of people. 🙂

      1. We wouldn’t even need to send the feds to Mars. Just establish the new capital in some place so remote, miserable, and hot (no AC allowed!) that nobody in their right mind would spend a minute more than necessary there.

        How about Death Valley, for starters?

        1. The DC climate is already pretty bad. Take advantage of that–throw the eco-nuts a bone and ban ACs in government buildings in DC, ban IC vehicles (except emergency vehicles and busses) within a mile of the capital.

        2. They did this originally, when they located the capital in a drained swamp in the upper South. Washington didn’t metastasize until the invention of air conditioning. What’s to keep them from finding another technical solution to the “too damn unpleasant to hang around” barrier?

    2. I’ve long thought that there are significant advantages to turning Congress into a TeleCongress … in particular, the shift of contact, and accountability, away from the political inbreeding incubator of the Capitol and the corrupting influences of K Street, and back to the people that put them into office in the first place.

      I also think that we need to do away with the seniority-based system that sets the Congressional agenda … go to something like an approval-voting system to set and update the legislative schedule, where ALL the members, not just those who have been there the longest, have an equal voice in prioritizing the agenda (and in committee assignments).

  4. “The (Republican) House would elect a new Speaker early next year. While the Speaker has always been a member, there is no Constitutional requirement for it, and it would be free to elect whomever it thought would be the best face for the party, just as (in theory) party members at large do in a presidential nomination contest.”

    Sounds a little shady. I don’t think the way to combat the abuses of Obama and the Democrats is to engage in similar shenanigans. It would be interesting to see the people who passed Obamacare complain about parliamentary maneuvering.

    The midterms should definitely be made into a national race though.

      1. In what way would it be a “shenanigan”?

        You’re arguing that the officers of the House do not have to be members of the House. I think that would meet the definition of “shenanigans”.

        It’s all within the Constitution.

        By your interpretation the Speaker of the House could be Vladimir Putin, a six year old kid, a cute puppy, or a ham sandwich.

        And the people would be the judge.


        1. You’re arguing that the officers of the House do not have to be members of the House. I think that would meet the definition of “shenanigans”.

          Apparently you didn’t read what I wrote. I argued that the Speaker of the House does not need to be a member. Which is true, because the Constitution stipulates nothing about the Speaker. I argued nothing about “officers of the House,” because the Constitution is completely silent on such.

          By your interpretation the Speaker of the House could be Vladimir Putin, a six year old kid, a cute puppy, or a ham sandwich.

          Well, yes. That is true. I don’t imagine that the voters would allow any of them to lead a victory in a mid-term election. So I’m not sure what your point is.

          1. I argued nothing about “officers of the House,” because the Constitution is completely silent on such.

            Article I, Section 2:

            “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

          2. The Constitution may place no specific requirement on Speaker of the House, but given the presidential line of succession, someone eligible to run for the office of President would be favored.

          3. “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

            Fine. Your point remains irrelevant to mine. The House can choose whomever it wants as Speaker, and (s)he can run on the platform that (s)he will become President if the Repubicans take both houses with sufficient majorities, and that (s)he and they will make X VP and the others cabinet members. It remains completely constitutional.

          4. Your point remains irrelevant to mine.

            Hardly. Is this notion that House officers do not have to be members of the House yours or someone else’s?

          5. Is this notion that House officers do not have to be members of the House yours or someone else’s?

            I’m not aware of anyone who has expressed such a notion. But no, the notion that the Speaker isn’t required to be a member did not originate with me. In any event, it’s a side issue. If the Speaker must be a member, then that only reduces the potential pool of candidates to members — it could still proceed as described.

        2. Jim Davis, you might be surprised at what is considered to be a “House officer.” Majority and minority leaders are not House officers. The Parlimentarian and sergeant-at-arms, however, are.

          And so is the Speaker.

          None of them are required to be members, and in practice only the Speaker ever has been a member.

          1. Yes, since the Founders didn’t anticipate (or rather, hoped that they would not form) political parties, the notion of “majority” and “minority” leadership would have been anathema to them.

  5. The elect-us-so-we-can-impeach scenario is the longest of long shots. You’d need more than just scandal and resulting unpopularity. Bush was very unpopular in 2007, but if Pelosi had used her majority to impeach the backlash would have been epic. The voters do not have much tolerance for perceived political overreach.

    repealing and replacing ObamaCare

    Repeal only has 34% support in a recent poll; it hasn’t proven to be a big vote-getter. And three years after ObamaCare’s passage the GOP doesn’t seem any closer to identifying a replacement that would win broad GOP support, much less broad popular support.

    1. Why is a replacement necessary? And who cares if only a third of the people support repeal of an idiotic, unConstitutional, tyrannical POS law?

    2. Replacement was always a bit silly. Why replace one government overreach with another?

      On the popularity of repeal, most of the onerous impacts of the ACA were timed to start this year, so we will see how it actually holds up when it gets put into practice.

    3. The flaw in your logic, is that you assume a government-based solution is necessary and prudent … that the GOP MUST have the answers.

      It is not … because that assumption is what dumps the “secret sauce” of America’s success – the distributed intellect and initiative of 300 million people – in the trash.

      For once, I encourage government leaders to be HONEST about their capabilities, and acknowledge Callahan’s Principle of Leadership …

      a man has got to know his limitations

      … instead of trying to pull on the cape and tights and big “S”, then trying to fly without reading the tag on the tights that says this costume will not let you fly.

      Explaining to the American people how they have been misled about government’s capabilities, for years and in many other areas, would be a positive educational experience that is long overdue.

      1. It’s Rand who wrote that the GOP should run on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. I was just pointing out that this was a dubious strategy, since 1) you don’t win landslide election victories by promising to do something that most voters don’t want you to do, and 2) in order to win votes by promising a replacement they’d have to actually come up with one, something they’ve so far failed to do.

    4. The voters support more NSA anal probes. Only a minority of Kim Kardashian fans support privacy! The American Idol watchers want the USG to spy on all Americans! Rand, you cannot stop leviathan and the Obamessiah!

  6. Bush was very unpopular in 2007, but if Pelosi had used her majority to impeach the backlash would have been epic.

    Not if they had run with that as their platform.

    1. “Bush was very unpopular in 2007, but if Pelosi had used her majority to impeach the backlash would have been epic.

      Not if they had run with that as their platform.”

      It would be a bad platform. And risky. If you don’t win decisively, you transform Obama from lame duck, to a president with a mandate.
      And voters could vote against it for good reason- it destablizes our form of government.
      One could ask why Nixon resigned- he didn’t want to destabilize the American government. Or didn’t want that as his legacy. He thought in end, America people would understand why he did what he did [and they haven’t but that’s another issue].
      Whereas Obama probably would like his legacy to be the destabilize the American government [probably prefer that more, than ObamaCare].
      The idea of him resigning is foolish- he would not be the lefty marxist he is, if he took that route. He would need to like America, for that to be considered.
      So I think republicans should regard Obama as a blessing. He has destroyed MSM. He is destroying the the Dems,
      And republicans should take the gift- it’s Obama which will hand them the election in 2014, and in 2016.
      So republican should focus on being conservative and the Dems can scramble to get libertarians [because hard left is death to them].

      1. Imagine how destabilized the American Govt. would be with Joe Biden as president. Not even the Cathedral itself could reign in his old man craziness.

  7. The conventional wisdom remains that, at worst, Barack Obama will lose the Senate next year, fail to regain the House, and be the lamest of ducks until the natural end of his term in 2017.

    If there were GOP majorities in both the Senate and the House, how would you know?

    1. The media would directly blame them for more things. Other than that nothing much would change.

    1. It won’t happen even if the GOP plays hardball (which they don’t know how to do). The votes aren’t there.

      Rand’s post is akin to a group of Bill Buckley type conservatives having a wonderful after dinner discussion about how good it would be for the country if only we eliminated Social Security. Erudite and enlightening that conversation might be, but the desired result will never happen.

      Likewise, you won’t get a majority of the people in this country to impeach Barack Obama based on what we know today and what we suspect we’ll likely know tomorrow (which I’m betting will be a true and correct accounting of how awful the man is). The voters have already ‘priced’ the man in: the majority knows that he is feckless, leaderless, and without a moral core. The majority knows that he is an empty suit, and they’re okay with that.

      So there will not be a majority of politicians (who, better than anyone, know how to count, especially to 50% plus 1) who will vote impeachment and conviction. So there won’t be a movement to elect a Speaker who would put the whole thing into motion. The most hardcore Pub majority will not vote itself out of existence.

  8. It’s an attractive scenario to consider, but it’ll never happen. It would require a Republican party that was smart, principled and brave… it is none of those things. And it would require an elecorate that smart, educated about our founding documents and informed about current events. It is none of those things.

  9. This article is dreaming, we are stuck with Obama, unless there is clearcut evidence personally linking obama to the IRS scandal, which is very doubtful. I think the best we can hope for is the reverse of what happened with Bush. Both senate and house in repub control after 2014, then in 2016 we win for president and get larger majority in the senate and house, and possibly a 60 vote senate majority. That should be enough to reverse most of the damage obama has done in 2017, but even that much is doubtful.

    1. It’s not necessarily going to stop at just the IRS. Remember, we’ve also had the EPA and OSHA targeting political opponents.

      Now with the NSA reveal, we know that another branch had tremendous power that it could abuse, if it so felt like it. Given all of the others we’ve seen so far, can we honestly say that we can’t suspect that the NSA’s been at it to?

  10. I can not imagine anything bad enough coming out for the Democrats to impeach Obama – as has been said by others, Obama could kill, dismember, and EAT a live baby on live, national television, and the Democrats wouldn’t turn on him.

    So yes, it absolutely won’t happen unless the Republicans get control of both houses of Congress.

    But even then, after the way they got burned trying to take down Clinton, I don’t see it happening – impeach 2 Democrat Presidents in a row? That wouldn’t play well with too many ignorant voters (most of them), no matter how well deserved.

    And that he’s black (the only reason he was elected or re-elected) is just thick, sweet artificially flavored icing on the “Don’t Go There” cake.

    I can, if I stretch really hard, imagine such things happening, but I can’t actually see a path for it. Prepare for financial ruin, as that is the only way this ends short of actual revolution.

  11. BHO is not going to be impeached, and if by some fluke he were, he would never be convicted and removed from office. That is simply not going to happen, and you should put it entirely out of your mind.

    That said, his crimes against the Constitution can be used to make sure he and the rest of the Left are reduced to minority status in both parts of congress.

    Which raises the second, more important point: It’s not enough to stymie BHO. We need a new GOP, senate and house, if any of the constitutional damage is to be undone. That’s the big fight, and that’s what we should be focusing on.

    Use the IRS scandal to revive Tea Party candidates, make sure that every lame GOPer meets a strong primary challenge from a Tea-Party oriented candidate. And then get them elected — no excuses!

  12. Hi,
    I think that people distrust politicians enough now that if such a situation were presented, we wouldn’t believe them to follow through. Also, I don’t think the populace wants things to get “ugly” and impeachment events would be ugly.

    I think if the R’s want to win big, they wouldn’t need to sell such a big move. I think action plans of simplifying and reducing. The problem here is that most people don’t see much difference between D & R – they both appear to want more power and bigger FedGov.

    I think going “big” would mean platforms that promise repealing the 16th & 17th and or amending the 16th to put an x% cap. If they want to be innovative, they would offer an amendment to cap the USSC Justices at 9. This would (IMO) restore that branch to equal footing with the other two.

    In the interim, if the R’s want to show they are serious, they should hold some of the liars in contempt and remand them to jail. Until someone gets more than ‘reprimanded’ or ‘suspended’ no one is going to believe things will get better.

    Unfortunately, in having written this, I have to concede that if the R party were capable of _any_ of this, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Thanks for the insightful post Rand.

  13. Honestly, I don’t think it’ll require that much to impeach Obama. . We’re still very early in the scandal cascade; we just don’t know how far or deep it goes, and too many GOP’ers are acting as though the world will end because the instant gratification fairy isn’t here yet. I think all it will take is one person directly tied to the primary White House/West Wing to blow any (or all) of them open.

    The media has started to notice his transgressions- no matter how much they want to keep believing. The long-term ramifications are starting to dawn on them: they will be irrelevant hacks by 2016 if they don’t start playing ball. And that’s assuming they have any more money left by that time, to do so (most of the left media is dying). Sometime next year the Democratic Party will start to realize “either we go down together, or we throw Obama under his own bus.” That’s largely what happened with Nixon.

    I also think that the more Obama’s foreign and domestic policies keep flopping worse than the Miami Marlins, the more the public will grow restless……..in a midterm election year. The Democratic Party is many things, but they’re not stupid. I can’t see them let Obama ruin their standing for a very, very, very long time in said midterm year, and watch from afar as national politics drift to the libertarian and youth-oriented portion of the GOP.

    I mean, the Democratic Party is welcome to the dustbin of history if they want to follow Obama down the rabbit hole, but I think that their spidey senses will go into overdrive.

  14. The end game might be a resurgence of the Tea Party movement. The fear and loathing of the IRS is widespread in the populous and it is not a completely unfathomable one on which to build. The movement is based upon a still widely respected heritage of independence and principled rebellion. The movement has some strong intellectual components to draw from which to draw. One can hope. (It ain’t Glen Beck, though.)

    1. The Tea Party can come back, absolutely. But it must do one thing —

      — forget about tax exempt status.

      Don’t bother with a 501(c)4 application. Anyone think that the IRS has pulled its fangs back in? They’ll still dither, delay, and ditch your application, and they’ll still forward the information to OFA (think that didn’t happen in 2011? Hah).

      Don’t bother with a 523-style organization. You don’t have Karl Rove’s money (come to think of it, neither does he anymore).

      What the tea parties have is will. Local organization. Local smarts. Tea parties have phones, internet, members, and most importantly, pluck. You can run an effective low cost operation to get the vote out for your candidates of choice in 2014.

      Karl Rove spent hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012 on TV ads and got nothing for it. Don’t be another Karl. Be the anti-Karl. Organize locally, work locally, find the right candidates and dig in.

      1. Dunno … now that the light is shining on the IRS cockroaches, getting a 501(c)4 might just be a lot easier.

        And I would think that having that status is better than constantly having to look over our shoulders to make sure the IRS won’t find an error in our tax reporting to use against us … while we do all the other, prudent, work you describe, which should be our central focus.

  15. I like Rand’s idea in the main, but I do have two concerns.

    First, it would leave Obama in power until 2015.

    Second, it supposes that the Republicans won’t do something utterly unrelated that will piss enough people off that they lose seats in 2014 (such as by causing a lot of republicans to quit donating and stay home). For example, the current immigration debacle. I for one won’t be voting for any Republican involved (and in that case that means both of my senators, McCain and Flake) and if it passes, I will never again donate my time and money to the Republican party. Not one damn dime. I also won’t vote for any candidate who supports this fiasco (Including my prior favorite, Paul Ryan).

    So, in 2014, absent a successful primary challenge, I won’t be casting a vote for senator in the November election (unless there’s a believably anti-amnesty Democrat running; then that person gets my vote).

    I will vote in the house race, because the rep for my district (4) is Paul Gosar, who has so far consistently been against amnesty and against the gang of 8’s mess. (Of course, if he flips and backs it, like Senator Flake did, then I won’t vote for him).

    If the party does this, the party can… go do something anatomically impossible.

    I voted for Flake, who talked a touch line on illegal immigration while running. Unfortunately, I was a dupe; I fell for his lies.

    I held my nose and voted against Obama in 2008 by voting for McCain, whom I already despised (I disliked him even before his 2007 Amnesty push).

    Never again.

      1. Do I have a realistic alternative that would remove Obama before 2015?

        That depends on how narrowly one defines “realistic”, and l freely admit that my notions are at least close to wishful thinking.

        That said, what I’d like is to see congress find hard proof and use the constitution as designed; impeach and convict. I have hope that this is politically feasible due to the alienation of some of the MSM press.

        I also think that the NSA scandal is hurting Obama with the left. That anger isn’t going to translate into support for Republicans, so I’m thinking that there’s a tactical advantage to be gained by utilizing it for removal rather than partisan replacement. This would also help insulate the process from partisan Republican idiotic screw-ups (for example, rape comments, or any of a number of potential pitfalls that the party has an absolute knack for creating and blundering into).

        So what I’d like to see for quite a number of reasons is the constitution adhered to for an impeachment and conviction. However, I do see potential practical problems with that.

        As I say, I like your idea in the main, and unless standard impeachment and conviction is looking at least close to realization by, say, January 2014, then I think your plan is by far the best option.

  16. The Watergate media put everything into their defenestration of RMN; despite that people would have looked at the action as illegitimate if Gerald Ford was also impeached. Clinton was supported by the media who made the story line one of humiliation about sex rather than perjury– every night’s media story was 3 smooth Dem’s talking about a President who competently did the public’s business while the scandal was about private misconduct (not the public offenses of perjury and obstruction of justice) followed by one Repub crazy– supposedly the other side of the argument, but actually not — who ranted about Clinton’s sexual immorality, thereby confirming the Media-Dem false framing of the issue. Will the Media support the impeachment of BO in such a way as to gain the support of the low information voters? The question answers itself. So don’t waste too much time thinking about impeachment.

    1. The media well might support (or at least not obstruct) Obama’s impeachment. A lot of the usually pro-Obama media are seriously honked off at him at the moment, starting with the AP and others over wiretapping.

      And that, IMHO, is why the NSA and wiretap scandals are so important; they are eroding Obama’s support base, and that makes impeachment and conviction plausible if hard evidence of his direct complicity is found.

      However, while I see impeachment and conviction as quite possible for Obama, I currently hold no such hopes for Biden. For that to happen, there would need to be evidence of his direct involvement, and it’d be a higher bar than needed against Obama; with Obama, just proving that he knew crimes were being committed could be enough, because he’s in charge. The same does not apply to Biden; I didn’t think just knowledge would be enough, because he’s not in charge. We’d need proof of active involvement.

      Also, regarding Biden even knowing; Biden is famously incapable of keeping a secret, so would anyone involve him in a conspiracy? I highly doubt it.

      So, my guess; Biden becomes president, and thus the clear favorite for the 2016 D nomination.

      The Republicans, faced with running against Biden (who should be easy to beat) will nominate Marco Rubio, thus snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. (I would never vote for Rubio after what he’s done, and I’ll bet a lot of Republicans feel likewise).

  17. Given the way Livingston was taken down, and all the dirt the Clintons acquired through Filegate, and after by hiring PIs, I think you’re wrong to discount the extent to which the failed impeachment of Clinton was due to blackmail. I can still remember that incredible, victorious House vote to investigate all charges in detail, followed by the midnight decision by House leaders to drop all but a few charges, and terminate the investigations. The determination that the best evidence would be kept locked up, where members could view it if they cared to, instead of being publicly presented.

    That wasn’t defeat, it was a dive.

  18. The bureaucracy is so out of control it needs to be dismantled and rebuilt. I see two factors against anything meaningful happening here.
    1. The Republicans don’t have unity. Rubio, McCaine, Christy, and others believe in living in the squishy center and are too careful about making waves. The conservatives would be all alone.
    2. The media is still in the tank for Obama. AP and CBS notwithstanding, the White House Press Corp or as someone called them, the White House Stenographers will be loyal to the end.
    The NSA revelations have proven to be an effective backfire for the IRS scandals. The big networks happily report on them, leaving the real crimes of the IRS hidden in their wake.

  19. We also shouldn’t be in a rush to impeach … for there is something bigger than Obama’s ears, and the connective tissue between them, at stake here.

    We need to completely expose the rot that has resulted from the over-reliance upon government as the be-all/end-all problem-solver-of-first-resort.

    Then, make sure everyone understands that the Progressives are the faction that has consistently supported such over-reliance … misleading We the People for decades about its value and prudence.

    It is time to clearly expose what – and who – got us into this mess, and then explain how WE get out of it; not through more government “programs”, but through the exercise of our personal initiative and neighborly responsibility.

    It is time to take the time and make the effort, to drive a stake through the heart of the Progressive vampire … and make sure it is super-glued in place.

    1. Agree– but the media, like the government, makes money from a top-down information dissemination business model. Big government needs to sell a narrative for votes and serious money (what is it now, 40% of the economy?) while the Media organizations need to sell eyeball attention. The anti-progressive, anti-bureaucrat message is mistrusted by the Media organizations and their well paid employees and business partners. It is also in conflict with the huge New Media data mining interests which are eating into Old Media markets. Libertarians need to start consciously acquiring or building such organizations. Did you see the NPR luxury not-for-profit headquarters story? Where is the libertarian version of NPR? For a lot less money they could be marketing really entertaining stories to the upper middle class bobo influentials, but there’s nothing there to write the stories and entertain with huge jokes about hypocritical fools.

  20. All the respondents here are playing the left’s game. They’re counting on conservatives playing by the rules of polite politics. The left, because they wish to destroy the Founders’ original concept of limited government, WILL NOT, EVER, EVER play by Marquis of Queensberry rules. In fact, they view the rules as a weapon to be used against conservatives and libertarians. So it’s basically come down to revolt. It dosen’t have to be violent, just noncompliance on a massive scale. If the left could occupy university offices in the 1960s, conservatives and libertarians can block entrances to govt offices, and refuse to sign up for Obamacare in 2013. Conservatives and libertarians should urge small business owners in all 50 states to refuse to comply with any federal regulation issued after January 20, 2009. Along with Governor Perry in Texas, conservative and libertarian leaders should openly advocate that businesses move from Blue states to Red states. Average citizens should also be encouraged to disobey-as long as it doesn’t involve violence-any and all federal regulations they can think of. At the state and local level, people should ignore all the nanny state regulations they can think of. But again, no violence. You don’t want to set up a situation where the left could call upon the US Army and USMC to enforce the writ of the federal govt. Abiding by the rules with people who don’t believe in any limits on their authority is simply doomed to failure. If the good guys can get 10% of the country to take action, the left will be on the road to ultimate defeat.

    Mike Gallagher
    Apalled in Seoul

  21. Doing nothing is easier than doing something. It’s only ~3 more years.

    I wonder what the next democratic president will get up to.. what? You don’t actually think the dumb party can win, do you?

    1. No, I don’t think a Republican can win in a national election. My wife follows the network news and is a good and loyal California voter–she isn’t bothered by any of the stuff that has come out. I expect she’s typical enough.

  22. Scandals or no, if they pass this amnesty, I’m out. It’s not even as much the policy as the obstinate stupidity. I’ll not be part of it. They pass this, bring on Pelosi and Hillary and let’s get it over with.

  23. The bottom line is that nobody with any power inside the Beltway wants the responsibility that goes with it. That’s why the Senate didn’t hold a real trial for Clinton, that’s why nobody who voted to pass Obamacare bothered to read it (and why they’re not reading the Gang of 8 immigration bill either), and it’s why it took so long for the Senate to even bring a budget to a vote.

    It’s also why John Roberts let Obamacare stand. Nobody wants to be spoken harshly of by people who don’t know what the frack they’re talking about.

  24. 0bama and Billy Ayers formed the Chicago Climate Exchange with Al Gore/Maurice Strong and Richard Sandor to sell phony carbon credits.. On 9/11/2001 1152 people (44%) of the people killed on 9/11 were in Direct competition with the CCX.. Carlton Bartels who invented CO2 carbon calculator computer program was killed ..and the patent was given to Franklin Raines of FM/FM..s really would like someone to research this and expose 0bama and his global warming/climate change Carbon credit trading scheme before he totally destroys out country..

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