The Impeachment of President Obama, Mark II
He comes in for a degree of criticism. Fair enough, the US is a polarised place, politically, and George W Bush copped his share of abuse from the left when he was in power. It’s all part of the game.
It’s just that at the moment, the stakes are so much higher. There’s been at least one concerted effort to impeach him, with all that palaver over his maybe being Kenyan and therefore not a natural born citizen of the US and therefore legally ineligible to govern. This ‘birther’ conspiracy has so far failed to gain traction, except amongst crazy people, and Obama remains unimpeached.
With this failure in mind, the malign forces arrayed against him – or, at least, the Republican Party of Iowa – are changing tack. They want to use the Thirteenth Amendment. Scholars of the American Constitution might just have quirked an eyebrow at that; after all, the Thirteenth has a fair bit of psychic baggage to it. It’s the one that abolished slavery.
You can breathe out: they aren’t trying to re-establish slavery and oust the President for that. No, they’re trying to reintroduce the original Thirteenth Amendment. According to Think Progress, the Iowa GOP:
wants to reintroduce the ‘original 13th Amendment’ first offered by senator Phillip Reed of Maryland in 1810. The amendment states that ‘if any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive or retain any title of nobility or honor’ from a ‘foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen’ and ‘shall be incapable of holding any office of trust.’ In receiving only 12 out of the 13 votes needed for ratification, the amendment was never adopted.
Seems benign, right? Wrong. In introducing this inconsequential little amendment, Obama would suddenly be open to impeachment…for accepting his Nobel Peace Prize.
For a constituency which spends most of its time howling about the sanctity of the Constitution, this is quite an outré gambit. The Constitution is everything to the Right in America at the moment, and they use it to criticise just about everything their opponents on the left do that they don’t like (i.e. just about everything they do) as being ‘unconstitutional’. To turn around and then start adding your own spurious amendments is about as rank as hypocrisy gets.
And that’s without the other logical corollaries to the so-called thirteenthers’ plan – the Iowa Independent (no relation) reckons that, as the amendment would have banned lawyers and bankers from serving in government, ‘every act of federal government since 1819 would be deligitimised’. I guess that shows quite how little they want him in office…Tagged in: Americas
Recent Posts on The Foreign Desk
- Modi and Jaitley have yet to make their mark
- New books tell tales of India’s crony capitalism, defying crony warnings
- Narendra Modi makes his first big prime ministerial speech in English
- Modi spoke good English in 2001 - and looked like a future leader
- Would Nehru do to Congress what Murthy’s done to Infosys?
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter