A just released CNN/ORC national poll indicates that if the 2012 presidential election were held today Governor Mitt Romney would beat President Barack Obama by a margin of 53% to 44%. But a slew of recent national polls show that three-quarters of all Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing.
Together these polls reflect enormous dissatisfaction with Washington. Nonetheless, Republicans, even those in Congress, have been unrelenting in their attacks on President Obama. Since Obama's first day in office in January 2009 Congressional Republicans have done all they can to block President Obama. Worse, they have consistently done all they can to delegitimize the Obama presidency at all costs. They have put party politics ahead of the well being of the American people.
Politics in America has always been a rough and tumble profession. But, with the emergence of powerful conservative media outlets, the country has become more divided. Calls for presidential impeachment have cast a shadow over most modern-day presidents. However, the chorus of impeachers seems louder in the past year. A recent poll by CNN/ORC found that 57% of Republicans support impeaching Obama, while just 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats support such an action.
The United States Constitution states, "The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors." Some Republicans point to Benghazi and the failure to secure America's southern border as reasons to impeach Obama. Others cite Obama's use of executive orders as an abuse of power. But President George W. Bush issued an executive order every 10 days, President Ronald Reagan issued an executive order every seven days, and President Jimmy Carter issued one every five days. In fact, Obama's rate of executive orders is the lowest since President Grover Cleveland.
In the near future, President Obama will likely take action to change immigration laws, a hot-button issue for Republicans who have blocked all efforts for meaningful reform. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast last week, said, "It would be foolish to discount the possibility that Republicans would think about going down that path." But many Republicans think it would be foolish to pursue impeachment. They remember that right after the House voted to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998, for perjury and obstruction of justice, his approval rating surged 10 points to 73% in a Gallup Poll.
In mid July Republican House Judiciary Committee chairman Robert Goodlatte of Virginia said on ABC's This Week, "We are not working on or drawing up articles of impeachment." He added, "The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the president of the United States. He (Obama) has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that." Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner, who has said he disagrees with impeachment, has moved ahead with plans to sue the president over his use of executive powers. Specifically, Boehner is suing the president for failing to execute the health care law by delaying the law's employer mandates. This is the same healthcare law House Republicans have voted more than 50 times to repeal.
The Boehner lawsuit and talk of impeachment have given Democrats an opportunity to increase fundraising efforts. Last week House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi emailed supporters, "Yesterday, for the first time in history, Congress voted to sue a sitting president. Today, the White House alerted us that they believe 'Speaker Boehner ... has opened the door to impeachment.'" Democrats face many difficult midterm elections this November, and may lose control of the Senate.
Ten years ago then-Senator Barack Obama made a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention that would win him broad acclaim. "Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes," Obama said. "Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America."
Sadly for America, those who embrace the politics of anything goes are winning.