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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 19, 2013/ 16 Teves, 5774

Impeach Obama? Not a chance

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As the president's approval ratings decline, some of his most fervent critics want the House of Representatives to charge him with "high crimes and misdemeanors" and have the Senate vote on removing him from office. Grassroots activists stage small but energetic pro-impeachment rallies around the country. State-level political parties are adopting resolutions demanding that the president be impeached. In blog posts and op-ed articles, legal scholars and congressional experts argue that impeachment is a tool the Framers intended to be used when a president threatens American liberties. "There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President," writes one former House member, who served on the Judiciary Committee in 1974 when it recommended the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

Is this really what American politics, already so bitter and polarized, has come to in President Obama's second term? Not exactly. It's what American politics came to during George W. Bush's second term.

The movement to impeach the 43rd president culminated in June 2008, when Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment charging Bush with a wide assortment of "crimes" in his handling of everything from the Iraq War to Hurricane Katrina. The resolution was referred to the Judiciary Committee, where it died without a hearing. Top Democratic Party leaders wanted nothing to do with trying to impeach Bush; more than two years earlier House speaker Nancy Pelosi declared the idea "off the table." That didn't stop liberal activists in the party's base from clamoring for impeachment. The Massachusetts Democratic Party was one of at least 13 state parties that formally urged Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

Now much the same thing is happening again, but with the party labels reversed. Once again impeachment talk is in the air, only this time it's (mostly) Republicans and conservatives contemplating the impeachment of a liberal Democratic president. And once again top leaders in the House have no intention of letting ideological passion at the grassroots push the party into what would almost certainly be a disastrous blunder.

When the Judiciary Committee held a hearing this month on the president's constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," two conclusions were unmistakable.

One is that there is a principled case to be made that President Obama has repeatedly flouted the rule of law. Time and again he has acted as if legal provisions he finds inconvenient can be unilaterally suspended, changed, or ignored at will his will. From suspending the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act to implementing never-enacted changes in immigration law (the DREAM Act) to making recess appointments when the Senate wasn't in recess, the president has given sober and thoughtful people reason to fear that he refuses to be bound by any constitutional limit on his power if he decides he can get away with it.



The second conclusion, as Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post, is that "Republicans in the House know there is no chance of throwing this president from office," and were consequently deeply unwilling to even bring up the subject. It was one of the committee's witnesses, Georgetown law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, who first mentioned impeachment as an ultimate check on presidential lawlessness. That, remarked Iowa Republican Steve King, "is the word that we don't like to say in this committee and that I'm not about to utter here in this particular hearing."

Many liberal Democrats clamored for George W. Bush to be impeached. But Democratic leaders in Congress had no intention of making such a blunder.

This isn't incoherence. It reflects the duality of impeachment in the Framers' constitutional scheme. On the one hand, they provided impeachment as a legal safeguard. It is a means of ensuring, in extreme cases, that a president (or judge) who decides he will not abide by the legal constraints on which our system of constitutional liberty depends can be removed from power.

But you need more than a rock-solid legal case to justify impeachment. You need a compelling political case too. James Wilson, who helped draft the Constitution in 1787 and was later appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington, explained that impeachment was designed to apply "to political characters, to political crimes and misdemeanors, and to political punishment."

John Boehner's House is no more likely to impeach this president than Nancy Pelosi's House was to impeach the last one. The price Democrats would have had to pay for Bush's impeachment then was simply too steep. For Republicans now, so badly bruised in the recent shutdown fight, the cost of impeaching Obama would be far, far steeper.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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