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. (U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4)
Constituent meetings (a.k.a. town halls) are excellent resources for those interested in just how dishonest, ignorant, or plain delusional some of our elected officials actually are. Encouraged, one assumes, by the presence of a supportive cheering section, many lay discretion aside and let loose with perfect, polished gems of idiocy (rf., Vicky Hartzler and birtherism). The most recent howler comes from our esteemed Rep. Todd Akin (R-2) – who also, amusingly enough, thinks that he has what it takes to pull Claire McCaskill’s senatorial seat out from under her.
TPM has video of a constituent meeting on Tuesday where, in response to a question from an attendee – who is apparently as confused about the constitution as the congressman – about why the President and the Attorney General, Eric Holder haven’t yet been impeached, Akin indicated that it was a “tactical question, what’s the right way to do these things.” He added:
I think some of the thought was, he’s coming up at this point for election and the best way to impeach him is the ballot box, […]. So I think that’s the thought, because you’re never going to get something through the Senate. That doesn’t mean that at a certain point you just say enough, I don’t care enough about the Senate, duty calls us to just get up and just impeach this guy. And maybe he’s not quite gotten to the point where you’ve got the Republicans – basically all the Republican bloc is not quite mad enough for that.
They’re going to “impeach” him at the ballot box? With Mitt Romney as the alternative? Good luck with that. Akin is probably right, though, that lots of Republicans aren’t “mad” enough – mad, that is, as in lunatic.
And the grounds for impeachment according to Akin? Seems he thinks Obama:
… ignores the Constitution, he ignores the laws, he wants to impose all of the czars, he completely ignores the train wreck of the economy, which he’s causing with trillion-dollar-plus deficits every year you go along.
What that shows me is that Akin is actually dim enough to think that the talk about “czars” has any substantive meaning beyond a pejorative term coined in order to make routine executive branch administrative and policy positions seem sinister. It also shows me that he’s confused about the state of the economic recovery, or the role he and his GOP pals have played in obstructing that same recovery, not to mention the roles of longtime congressional GOPers such as himself in creating the mess from which we have had to recover.
Nor do I think that pols can get away with impeaching leaders because they have different political philosophies. It just isn’t constitutional. Although lying to congress about the grounds for invading another sovereign nation might just suffice – oh, wait – that wasn’t Obama.
All of which goes to prove that for every political charlatan who repeats this tripe in order to mislead the gullible and lazy, there’s probably a politician like Akin who’s just as gullible and lazy as the rest of the boobs. Which, in turn, reminds me of an article that caught my eye today, that purportedly shows that “low-effort thought promotes political conservatism.” While I usually eschew studies that push broad claims about entire classes of people (I actually know some smart conservatives), this little episode with Akin and, one assumes, a few supportive fellow-travelers, certainly seems to fit the ticket when it comes to “low-effort thought.”