Deja vu is the sense of having experienced something before. Deja vu has a French origination and literally means “already seen.”
I’ve already experienced, already seen, what Republicans are doing to Democratic President Obama. Conservatism changes not…..and neither do Republicans when confronted with a Democrat in the White House. There are few relevant differences between how the GOP, and corporate media, have treated the Obama presidency and how they treated the Clinton presidency.
In the 90’s Republicans ran multiple unrelated investigations into Bill Clinton. Other than the constant sound of the Mighty Right Wing Wurlitzer……nothing came of any of the investigations. At least not until a blue dress was discovered unwashed and $80 million more tax dollars were torched in a failed effort to remove Clinton from the office he was elected to twice.
Blind pigs do stumble upon the occasional acorn…..and today’s Republicans, as they stumble from one blind Obama-scandal alley to another, are hoping to recapture the magic from those ludicrous Lewinsky days. Fast and Furious, the birth certificate, Solyndra, New Black Panthers, healthcare.guv, IRS, Benghazi, and the latest….a prisoner swap. That is not an exhaustive list either. Go here for an anti-Obama scandal list which lists 25 separate and distinct “scandals.”
Impeachment is a political tool for the GOP to use when a Democrat, somehow, steals two presidential elections. Impeachment was, of course, never meant to be abused as a political tool. Republicans don’t care about that….
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Monday there will be hearings on whether the Obama administration broke the law in trading five Guantánamo Bay detainees for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who’d been held by the Taliban for five years.
“My perception is he broke the law by not informing Congress 30 days before,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said in an appearance on MSNBC, referring to a 2013 law that requires the administration to notify Congress before detainees from the detention camp are released.
As I mentioned yesterday, Obama DID inform Congress over 2 years ago about the plan to swap Taliban prisoners for the only U.S. soldier still held in Afghanistan. McCain and Feinstein and others have admitted that the exchange had been discussed previously.
Whether congressional figures had “concerns” after being informed about swapping prisoners over two years ago doesn’t really matter here. The Obama administration informed Congress about the swap plans.
Whether impeachment articles will be drawn up in the House against President Obama over a prisoner swap all boils down to…..presidential signing statements….
Current law, signed by Obama in December, stipulates that the defense secretary must notify relevant congressional committees at least 30 days before transferring anyone from Guantanamo Bay and provide assurances that those released would not be in a position to again threaten the United States or its interests.
In the signing statement with the law, Obama declared that he thought the requirement was potentially unconstitutional.
“The executive branch must have the flexibility, among other things, to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers,” Obama said.
The last president had absolutely no problems with Congress when he signed dozens of signing statements declaring his “unitary executive” presidential powers to conduct issues and matters of war. It is both predictable and outrageous that so many Republicans and conservatives who defended Commander-in-Chief Bush’s unitary powers….to torture, to detain endlessly, to rendition, to eavesdrop on American communications without warrants, to start pre-emptive wars based on fraud……are now prepared to hold costly and lengthy hearing spectacles over presidential signing statements in search of a causus belli to draw up impeachment articles against Obama.
Moving forward on this story, it’s important to be aware of this…..presidential signing statements…..
…..were relatively rare until Ronald Reagan began using signing statements as a means of asserting the power of the executive against the legislative branch.
George W. Bush used signing statements to challenge about 1,200 provisions of 172 laws he signed — twice as many as all his predecessors combined….
But if a Democratic President, in a “time of war”, and in his role as CIC, decides to issue a signing statement over a law in which he feels Congress is infringing on his singular role as CIC……to make a prisoner swap…..then all Wurlitzer hell breaks loose….and an investigation must begin immediately.
If Republicans don’t eventually bring impeachment articles against Obama it won’t be for a lack of trying. Although they have stumbled like blind pigs looking for acorns of impeachment grade…..just as they did with Clinton 20 years ago…..they just might convince enough nearly-blind compatriots that the latest Obama-scandal stone they kicked up is actually an acorn.
Just in case you think I’m exaggerating about GOP plans to bring impeachment articles against Obama for purely political reasons….go read this National Journal piece.
Money quote…..“… that Obama has abused his office, and that actively threatening impeachment is the best way for Congress to reign in the powers of the executive branch.”
See? Impeachment as a political tool.