Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: This is another in a series of “WND/WENZEL POLLS” conducted exclusively for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies.
Let’s see, under Barack Obama the IRS targeted conservatives and Christians with harassment, dozens of “czars” were appointed, Arizona was sued for trying to enforce federal immigration laws, the government refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and the National Security Agency spied on Americans.
No wonder more conservative Americans already have been wondering why Obama is allowed to get away with such antics and whether impeachment might not be the solution the Founders ordered.
But now the worry is spreading, with a new poll showing most American voters believe there are multiple grounds for Obama’s impeachment.
The national telephone survey of registered voters by Wenzel Strategies was done Aug. 23-28 with a margin of error of 3.67 percentage points.
It has been revealed that under Obama’s watch, the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservatives with harassment that curbed their influence during the 2012 election, which Obama won.
Asked whether Obama should be impeached for the IRS abuses, more than 55 percent said they yes, including 1 in 4 Democrats. More than 8 in 10 Republicans agreed, as well as half of the independents.
Pollster Fritz Wenzel explained to WND: “A strong majority of 55 percent said Obama should be impeached for the behavior of his Internal Revenue Service and its treatment of conservative groups seeking non-profit status, and for its aggressive auditing of conservative and religious organizations. Just 38 percent opposed impeachment, making this the most toxic of all current scandals now facing the White House.”
He continued: “There’s no doubt because almost everyone in America has had a personal interaction with the IRS and it is among the most feared of government agencies, because of its enforcement powers. Abuse of this agency for political purposes has occurred before, but never to the extent apparently perpetrated by the Obama administration.”
He said not tested in the question was the apparent sharing of tax return information by the IRS with other federal agencies.
But one could reasonably conclude that with every layer of IRS abuse, the finding would likely get worse,” he said. “Also not tested in this question is Obama’s characterization of this as a ‘phony scandal,’ but respondents may well have factored that in to their reaction to the question.
“There is nothing phony about an audit letter from the IRS arriving in your mailbox, and many Americans may now wonder whether that letter is arriving because of their political activities and contributions to conservative groups or candidates. This finding of a majority favoring impeachment reflects the chilling and outrageous nature of co-opting a powerful federal agency for political gain.”
Likewise, more than 52 percent said Obama should be impeached for his oversight of the NSA, which has been revealed to be monitoring the emails, Internet browsing and phone calls of millions of Americans.
More than 20.6 percent of the Democrats, nearly 41 percent of independents and 60 percent of the Republicans were in agreement.
Wenzel explained: “There is outrage that the National Security Agency has been spying on Americans online, and on the phone, this survey finding shows. A majority of 52 percent said Obama deserves to be impeached for his leadership on this issue, while 41 percent said they disagreed.
“Remember here that this question asks whether the president deserves the most severe political punishment available to inflict on Obama – impeachment – and it elicits a majority in favor of that punishment. There have been other issues that have stirred the visceral anger of the nation, but this is a powerful finding because so many Americans have come to rely on email, the Internet, and their cell phones in daily life,” he said.
“That the government could – and perhaps would – intercept those communications, store them, and perhaps come back to them years later to use them against us, in complete contravention of the U.S. Constitution, warrants such outrage.”
About the same total – 53 percent – believe impeachment is appropriate for his behavior regarding Arizona’s attempts to enforce federal immigration laws.
“Not only has Obama’s recent campaign push to pass a massive immigration bill legalizing many millions of illegal immigrants fizzled, a majority of Americans say he should be impeached for his fight against Arizona over immigration and his administration’s willingness to overlook the willful violation of federal immigration law by so-called sanctuary cities,” Wenzel told WND.
“Earlier this year, this issue had promised to become the Obama administration’s second-term big win as health care reform was in his first term, but this poll finding shows Republicans were right to battle against it. This also shows that, just as in 2007, Sen. John McCain of Arizona was completely wrong in reading public sentiment on this question.
“Americans have an inherent sense of fair play and want everyone to obey the law, and the public has reached the conclusion that the current immigration reform proposals simply do not pass muster. The findings on this question in this survey mirror those findings six months ago, as 53 percent said Obama should be impeached for his handling of these immigration issues, which is up slightly from 51 percent six months ago,” Wenzel said.
“The sentiment for impeachment was a bit less intense on a related question on immigration, as 46 percent said Obama should be impeached for issuing an executive order blocking the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to this country as children, even though Congress has not sanctioned such treatment of these illegal immigrants. It is my thought that some of this pro-impeachment sentiment stems from Obama’s refusal to follow established law and some from his willingness to side-step Congress to rule the nation,” Wenzel said.
Then there are the omnipresent “czars” Obama appointed.
“There remains strong resistance to Obama’s installation of people to lead federal agencies without proper Senate confirmation, as 58 percent said they disagreed with his refusal to obtain the Senate’s approval of his appointees, about the same as our survey six months ago,” Wenzel said.
“What is remarkable is that there has been a significant upward tick in the percentage of respondents who said Obama should be impeached for ignoring the constitutional requirement of Senate confirmation, as 49 percent said he should be impeached for such actions. This is up from 43 percent who said the same thing in March,” Wenzel said.
“Respondents are similarly angry with the on-going existence of the so-called ‘czars’ that Obama has installed at key agencies in the federal government, without Senate confirmation or congressional oversight. A majority – 54 percent – said Obama should be impeached for his appointment and maintenance of these leaders, what one could rightly refer to as a shadow government. Even Democrats are uncomfortable with this arrangement, as 30 percent of Dems said they believe this is an impeachable offense – a pretty powerful argument against it,” Wenzel said.
An underlying trend throughout the Obama administration has been to withhold information, even from Congress.
People resent that, Wenzel said.
“This is another one of those little-noticed issues that only insiders really pay attention to, but it is important because Congress cannot effectively conduct oversight of the administration without documentation from the executive branch. We have seen enormous resistance to that accountability, as the Obama administration simply does not comply with congressional requests for information on a wide variety of issues,” Wenzel said.
“The public is split on this issue, as 43 percent said the administration is right to withhold information from Congress, and 48 percent said it is not right to do so,” he continued. “In light of the IRS scandal, the Benghazi debacle, Fast and Furious, the NSA domestic spying issue, and several others, you would think Americans would want to know more about what their government is doing to them, but there is a surprising lack of interest in holding this administration accountable, this finding demonstrates.”
On the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, Wenzel said the fact there is support for impeachment over the issue reveals a “growing opposition” to Obama’s pursuit of a “liberal agenda” that is in “opposition” to American values and ideals.
While Obama won’t feel any backlash, as he’s term-limited, “those up for election in toss-up seats in Congress may well feel the backlash of voters.”