Carroll County Times Opinion

Right wing wants impeachment

The Republican House of Representatives finally did something. On the last day of the summer session, just before they went on their five week vacation, they voted to sue the president.

As of this writing it is not clear exactly what they will sue for, but probably the president's delay of the implementation date of certain parts of the Affordable Care Act will be one of the charges.


Republican memories are very short. President George W. Bush delayed the implementation date of Medicare Part D and there was not a murmur of complaint. And he delayed the implementation of certain clean air provisions by failing to issue the enabling rules. Eventually, parties that had standing to do so sued and the regulations were finally issued.

Standing is an important legal question. To have standing in the current lawsuit Congress must show that they as individuals were harmed by the delays by President Barack Obama, delays that they urged him to take.


They could have passed legislation just to force the delay, a step called a technical amendment. But that would put them in the position of trying to amend a program that they were busy trying to repeal over and over, ultimately more than 50 times (I have lost count.) The bottom line is the Republicans in the House lack legal standing to sue, and the suit may well be thrown out by the first court to see it.

Five Republicans voted against the suit. They wanted to go straight to impeachment.

Now impeachment fever is sweeping through the wacky wing of the Republican Party. Again there is some doubt of the charges if and when such a bill is presented in the House. But if the only charge were "Being President while Black," the real motivation for all the impeachment talk, it would pass the House by a majority, all that the Constitution requires.

However, impeachment in the House is just the equivalent of an indictment. The Senate conducts the trial, and a vote of two-thirds of those present and voting are needed to remove the president from office. It's in the Constitution that way. It is unlikely that the Democratic minority, if that is what happens in November, would allow the removal to pass.

Now let's say that the impossible happens and the president is impeached and subsequently removed. Vice President Joseph Biden would become president. That would be the Republicans' worst nightmare. Don't be fooled by the cheerful smile and the occasional verbal gaffe. That guy is 10 times as tough as Obama. If the Congress failed to pass critical legislation he would call them back into special session, ruining their vacation plans. He would be the reincarnation of LBJ.

What will really happen, of course, is that the current lawsuit will be a serious waste of time and, of course, money. Impeachment and removal won't happen. It may not even be brought up. But whatever happens Republicans will pay at the polls in November. Ask Newt Gingrich.That is what happened when he was speaker and President Bill Clinton was impeached. The Republicans lost their majority in the House. Gingrich was replaced as speaker.

Call the political 911 number. The right wing Clown Car is running off the road, again.

John Culleton writes from Eldersburg. His column appears every second Tuesday. Email him at