If for no other reason, Barack Obama will likely go down in history for doing something no president before him, and no president after him, will have done or will need to do: Call a live press conference to release his long-form birth certificate.
He felt the need to do that while going over secret plans to send SEAL Team 6 into Pakistan in the dead of night to raid a compound intelligence officials believed, but weren’t sure, Osama bin Laden had been hiding for years, a raid, had it gone wrong, could have effectively ended his presidency.
He felt the need to do that after winning in effect a near-landslide victory in the Electoral College in 2008 and years after he had done like previous candidates, release the short-form certificate of birth we all use to identify ourselves in places only official government documents would do.
Obama felt the need to step to the microphone to talk about his birth certificate when he needed to be focused on his decision to green light a raid to capture the world’s most wanted terrorist because seemingly fringe members of the Republican Party kept pushing conspiracy theories about his place of birth and top elected GOP officials – like Speaker John Boehner – did little to dissuade those in their ranks from such foolish claims even if they didn’t directly fan the flames.
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Now Boehner and others want to blame the White House because unseemly talk of impeachment is in the air, talk that had been on the lips of several GOP members of the House – which Boehner leads – and was thrust into the spotlight when Sarah Palin explained why she believed Obama needed to be impeachment.
Not only that, 57 percent of Republican respondents in a recent poll agreed with the specter of impeachment even as roughly two-thirds of all Americans say impeachment talk is out of bounds.
Over the weekend, the No. 3 leader in the House wouldn’t rule out impeachment talk. And even veteran Sen. John McCain only went so far as to say there aren’t enough votes in the Senate to remove Obama from office while claiming no other president had abused executive power the way Obama supposedly has. (Obama has used executive orders less than all other modern-era presidents.)
Boehner has decided to deny or ignore or forget all those facts while pretending that impeachment talk is a “scam” cooked up by Democrats for fundraising purposes. Democrats are callously fundraising off the impeachment talk – like Republicans have on the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi – but they did not begin this circus.
I’ve been among those laughing at the thought the GOP would be so short-sighted as to allow the crazy wing of the party push them into doing something as nonsensical as impeachment. But those of us who find this amusing and implausible shouldn’t be so naïve as to think it isn’t a real possibility. Boehner and company wouldn’t let it happen before the November elections. But that calculus changes if the GOP wins back control of the Senate and keeps the House, a real possibility.
Here’s the deal. The GOP for the past 5 years has been talking about this president in apocalyptic terms, throwing around conspiracies and claiming he is the most lawless person to ever sit in the White House, and Boehner is leading an effort to sue Obama. The last time a Democrat was in the White House, the GOP-led House wrote up articles of impeachment because of Bill Clinton’s sexual misadventures. Why would any clear thinking person believe they wouldn’t do it again?