Only Antonin Scalia knows for sure, of course, but I believe the original intent of the nation’s Founders was to make impeachment a rare event for a serious cause. In fact, only three presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Both Johnson, who was a dreadful president, and Clinton, who has ironically become the Republicans’ favorite Democrat, were acquitted of trumped-up charges; when Nixon understood that he would be impeached and convicted, he resigned. So Barack Obama must have done some pretty bad things because Republicans want to impeach and sue him. While the lunatic fringe – from Sarah Palin to the South Dakota Republican Party – is demanding impeachment for a ragbag of offenses – our unsecure borders, Bowe Bergdahl’s release, Obamacare’s lies – John Boehner is suing the president for delaying implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate, a law he opposes.
Kafka could not have written this script. Israel is invading Gaza; Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels just shot down a Malaysian passenger jet; ISIS has declared a bloody caliphate in Mesopotamia; Iraq and Afghanistan are falling apart. Here at home, we have a crisis on our southern border; our inner cities are crumbling victims of apartheid; most of the West is battling a drought of Biblical proportions.
And the Speaker of the House, to avoid the political disaster of impeachment and yet cover his right flank, is preparing to sue the president for not implementing a law that his caucus has voted 54 times to repeal.