Texas Representative Blake Farenthold is a very serious guy; a very focused, dedicated public servant. You’ll note that by the image above, which caught him having some good old Texas fun at the “Pajama Jammy Jam” in ’09 (hopefully he’s gotten rid of those jammy jams by now); a slightly embarrassing photo that appeared in a Dallas Observer article on his view of children of illegal immigrants. As the President was discussing Executive Orders to allow those children legal residence, Farenthold asserted that older kids, say, 16-year-olds, actually have “a say” about coming illegally into the U.S. based on the fact that his teenage daughter “has an opinion about darn near everything.” Yes, Blake Farenthold is a serious guy.
And with his help, we have FINALLY discovered at least one positive effect of our currently gridlocked Congress: according to Farenthold, they’re too gummed-up to even get the damn President impeached. That’s right; Rep. Farenthold is chagrined to admit that, despite having ‘the goods‘ and the will (so many impeachment zealots on the right!), the 113th (aka, ‘do nothing) Congress is so immobilized by “partisan bickering” that it would surely “do nothing” about getting Mr. Obama ousted. Damn that gridlock!!
Apparently it’s hard out there for an impeacher wannabe, what with so many other, more pressing, items on the agendas of saner people, but still, he’d keep up the good fight if he thought there was a point, as he noted in an open house meeting in Luling, Texas this past weekend. The informal session, which was recorded by Buzzfeed reporter, Andrew Kaczynski, featured a woman (off-camera) who very tersely and vehemently brought up the “fraudulent birth certificate” of Barack Obama. In the camera’s focus, Farenthold seems almost squeamish about the issue, making the point that the failed Clinton impeachment damaged the country, following with:
“What message do we sent to America if we impeach Obama and he gets away with what he’s impeached for and he is found innocent? What then do we say is OK?” the Congressman concluded. “Aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be effective, I think there’s some potential damage to society that would be done with a failed attempt at impeachment.” [Buzzfeed]
But the woman with the documents, which she handed off to Farenthold, was persistent in her belief that we have a sitting president whose very presence in office as a “non-citizen” is a felony. To which Farenthold replied:
“I think unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this, on the whole birth certificate issue,” Farenthold said. “The original Congress when his eligibility came up should have looked into it and they didn’t. I’m not sure how we fix it.”
“You tie into a question I get a lot: ‘If everyone’s so unhappy with the president’s done, why don’t you impeach him?’” Farenthold continued. “I’ll give you a real frank answer about that: If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.” [Emphasis added.]
So there you have it; the “do-nothing Congress” doesn’t even have the heft to get that job done, that ‘impeaching the President’ job. But other conservatives, like Florida Representative Ted Yoho (“who’s pretty much covered stupid on every hot-button issue,” as my colleague, T. Steelman, put it) and a slew of others (oddly, all from the south… maybe not so odd) are primed and ready to get the process moving. From The Atlantic Wire:
In January, Texas Rep. Steve Stockman said he would do anything he could to stop Obama from using executive orders on gun control, including “even filing articles of impeachment.” North Carolina Rep. Water Jones said in June, “If Congress sends one troop, if one of our troops goes to Syria and is killed, I will introduce articles of impeachment against the President.” (A website called Birther Report claimed Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant endorsed impeaching in a July 8 letter to a constituent, but Marchant’s staff told Watchdog.org that the letter was doctored.) In 2011, Florida Rep. Ted Yoho actually made a list. Yoho, who was elected to Congress in 2012, said on his campaign website:
Our President, Mr. Obama, should be impeached on the grounds of:
1. Breaking his oath to uphold the Constitution.
2. Attacking a non-threatening country.
3. We are a sovereign Nation and do not take commands from the U.N. or NATO.
4. Not responding within the required 60 days to inform and justify to Congress why he used the War Powers Act (which is reserved for National emergency and threats to our country by foreign invaders when Congress is convened).
5. Creating and passage of the proven unconstitutional Affordable Patient Health Care Act.
6. The unconstitutional Nationalization of GM and Chrysler.
Dear God, no wonder nothing is getting done… while issues of importance languish in the netherworld of partisanship and inertia, these guys are working themselves into a lather over things that either haven’t happened, things they imagined happened, or things they’d be really pissed about if they did happen. Governing by supposition. Very productive.
But clearly the birther issue remains a high point for the right, as even conservative clown Donald Trump (why is he back on the airwaves?) continues to beat that dead horse on weekend television:
“Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. Some people say that was not his birth certificate. I’m saying I don’t know. Nobody knows.”
Oh, some people know, Donald, but they’re the ones who aren’t lost in conspiracy fog and the obsessiveness of redundant Obama-bashing.
But, as my mother used to say, one does not look a gift horse in the mouth and if Representative Farenthold can offer “Congressional gridlock” as rationale for not dragging the country into another wild-goose impeachment chase, we are a grateful nation. As for the lady with the papers, all he has to do is tell her President Obama will complete his term before she knows it and she can set her teeth-gnashing sights on the next president. Or take some time off to write a book about the “Kenyan In The White House.” I’m sure there will be lots of frustrated birthers who’ll be happy to scoop that up.
Here’s the video: