George Will Hints At Obama Impeachment, Ignores Actual Facts

george will

It was 1998. The American political scene had just witnessed the re-election of Bill Clinton, the first Democratic politician since FDR to be elected more than once and the first Democratic candidate since LBJ to serve two terms. His rivals, Senators Bob Dole and Reform Party Independent Ross Perot, had badly split the conservative votes allowing this to occur. The GOP, faced with another four years of a Democratically controlled White House, responded the only way it knew how, by employing a smear campaign aimed at forcefully removing the President of the United States from office. The easiest course available was the impeachment process, a Constitutionally granted power that allowed Congress to put on trial and remove a President in extreme cases. This avenue had only been attempted twice before 1998. The first had been in the case of Andrew Johnson and was largely the result of a bitter political process following the years of civil war the nation had just witnessed. The second was in the case of Richard Nixon. Granted, Nixon never allowed it to progress to the point of impeachment and resigned before the Congress could ever proceed. Combining this with Gerald Ford’s ensuing pardon, and the late Republican president never had to face a trial over his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

These two cases are understandable as to why they occurred. One involved extraordinary historical circumstances with the Reconstruction Era and the other is arguably reflective of one of the United States’ most corrupt and duplicitous Executive administrations. Yet in retrospect the impeachment of Clinton contains neither of these instances, and instead reflects an American conservative party willing to stoop to any level in their Machiavellian quest to win and maintain power at any cost. Of course this can then cue the inevitable GOP line that, “Clinton did lie under oath.”

But this just raises the ultimate question, why on earth was Clinton ever placed under oath about having an extra marital affair? Was it really because the Congress was so concerned over misdoings? Was it really because they feared the Office of the Presidency was being damaged? In short, did the GOP have the best interest of the country when they proceeded to exact revenge on an individual over their loss in a national election?

Enter the most recent subject of Washington fabricated scandals, a regional IRS office in Cincinnati, Ohio handling an investigation into the status of tax exempt groups. Following the 2010 election, in the post-Citizen v. United America, concerns were raised over the possibility that groups, masquerading as non-profits and groups worthy of tax exempt status, would abuse their positions and attempt to illegally influence elections. This concern was reported on in different media sources and is precisely what the IRS is charged with investigating.

Yet it has now emerged that several groups that a regional office in southern Ohio may have been inconvenienced and delayed in their applications for tax exempt status. This arises from the IRS’s admittance that groups containing buzz words in their title’s that led some in the IRS office to question if they were actually political organizations influencing elections. The IRS subsequently released that the Ohio office had behaved “inappropriately” and apologized.

Arguably, the damage to these groups and the functioning of the country was minimal to non-existent. At most a charge of bureaucratic incompetence could be made, and this is being generous. Given the unprecedented amounts of money that has been generated by the Citizen v. United Supreme Court ruling, the now secretive way money can be channeled into elections, is it really any wonder why groups claiming to be worthy of tax exempt status and containing seemingly political titles would garnish more attention in their application process? Ultimately it is a question open for debate, one that will include questions of mid level bureaucrats and policies of government regional office’s policies.

Yet for anyone who follows politics this logical and measured response is a pipe dream. Like Benghazi, this red herring of “attacking the TEA Party” is already being attempted by the GOP and conservative pundits to be the rallying cry for impeachment, yes impeachment, for President Obama. On Sunday George Will, appearing in a panel on ABC stated, “How stupid do they think we are?…Just imagine… if the George W. Bush administration had IRS underlings, out in Cincinnati of course, saying we’re going to target groups with the word ‘progressive’ in their title. We would have all hell breaking loose.”

“This is the 40th anniversary of the Watergate summer,” he continued while citing a passage from Nixon’s impeachment-

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.

Of course it makes no difference that in the case of Nixon what really had occurred was that the President and his immediate advisers had directed the various government agencies to illegal persecute and spy on political opponents and “enemies” of the White House. It makes no difference, to Will and the cast of parroting bobble-heads at FOX that in the case of Nixon the President knowing acted to persecute out of malice people he disagreed with. This in comparison to Obama who has had no connection with the incident in Cincinnati and which is for all intents and purposes a case, at best, of burdensome bureaucracy. Where one required a subpoena for the White House to even begin to consider admitting wrong doing, the other was freely admitted by the IRS. Where one was a direct assault on personal liberty, the other is a delay in paperwork. Where one served as the catalyst to rip apart the country politically, the other is simply reflective of another hyperbolic battle in a political landscape already ripped apart.

With Benghazi appearing to lose much of its effectiveness to lead to impeachment (Sen. McCain has recently said the “scandal” does not warrant such thoughts as impeachment) the American people had best brace themselves for three long years of continual assault on the White House by the GOP. After having lost both in 2008 and 2012 the Republicans will undoubtedly revert to what they know best, attack. They will do this because they are incapable and unwilling to do the job they were elected to do, govern. And therefore if the Cincinnati IRS “Watergate” does not succeed, despite the best efforts of people like Will and other conservatives, they will find something else.

As was with Clinton, the GOP will demonstrate that it is incapable of contemplating a level too low to sink to. The mid-term elections of 2014 will be a telling one. If the House remains firmly in Republican hands (a safe bet considering the gerrymandering of 2010) then the American people can expect to hear “impeachment” used often and readily.