Talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh says Barack Obama isn’t going to be – in fact, cannot be – impeached. But he also is making the case that the Constitution is in crisis right now, an emergency for which the founders probably created the impeachment process.
“You can’t impeach the first black president,” he said on his radio show recently. “No matter how corrupt or lawless.”
But he said the danger is very high, citing House Speaker John Boehner’s recent comments that the House wouldn’t adopt amnesty legislature this year because the president probably wouldn’t follow it.
“This is the president of the United States effectively nullifying the legislative branch of government,” an outraged Limbaugh said. “He’s basically saying … and he has in practically these words, said this, ‘I got a pen and I got a phone and if they don’t do what I want I’m going to it anyway.’”
Limbaugh recalled the famed call to equality by Dr. Martin Luther King, when he said he dreamed of a day when men would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
“Skin color is everything now,” Limbaugh said.
He couldn’t let go of his concern.
“I want to hit this again, a lot of people are glossing over this,” he said, “as I think a lot of people are glossing over a lot of big stuff.”
He cited Boehner’s concern over enforcement of the nation’s laws.
“That’s not a ho-hummer to me. That is major. If the chartered body in our government that makes the law decides not to because they don’t think it’ll matter, because the executive branch will just ignore it, I mean that’s a breach of serious proportion,” he said.
“That is a constitutional challenge and crisis that is very real that nobody apparently has the courage to do anything about because of the president’s race,” he said.
He noted Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, a Democrat and dedicated supporter of Obama, already has admitted that she views Congress’ role now as to write executive orders for Obama to sign, not write laws for the nation.
When Obama made the reference to his “pen” and “phone” during this year’s State of the Union, which Limbaugh renamed State of the Coup, Democrats in the audience stood up and cheered, Limbaugh said.
“He, in effect, told members of Congress ‘screw you’ and they gave him a standing ovation. They are totally willing to grant dictatorial powers to one of their own.”
In another segment, Limbaugh said he's convinced Obama's impeachment never will happen.
But he said if someone would start impeachment proceedings, it would not deter Obama from his agenda anyway.
"What if somebody did begin impeachment proceedings? Do you think that would slow Obama down, in this extra-constitutional behavior, or not? Probably not," he said.
"It isn't going to happen anyway."
Limbaugh also warned that it's dangerous to "sort of run right by" the concept that the speaker of the House in Congress says the president cannot be trusted.
"It's an impeachable offense, and it, of course, doesn't matter," he said.
WND reported months earlier that Limbaugh said he was convinced Obama would not be impeached.
"We can't impeach Obama, it isn't gonna happen," the radio powerhouse said, "but we can impeach the Democratic Party and get it out of town by voting them out."
The comments came as the first details were revealed about the U.S. administration breakdown that allowed Islamists to attack a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and kill four Americans, including the ambassador.
"As far as the public is concerned, Obama's not in trouble," Limbaugh said at the time. "This isn't gonna touch Obama. Benghazi's not gonna touch Obama. Nothing else has touched Obama. The economy hasn't touched Obama. The debt hasn't touched Obama. The fact that nobody can find a decent job anymore hasn't touched Obama. The fact that militant terrorists are all over the place attacking Americans hasn't touched Obama. Why is this?"
He continued, "In the first place, you are not going to see the media join any kind of movement to even cause Obama to be embarrassed to be in trouble."
The host noted he was going "blue in the face" for the past five years trying to explain how Obama and his leftist colleagues can be defeated:
People have got to be told what liberalism is. If you wanna go after Obama, do it that way. Here's who he is. He's an unabridged radical liberal and what he believes in is exactly what's happening here. Government getting bigger, country getting more in debt, you losing liberty, government coming after your guns. This is what Big Government does. ...
For me the message is liberalism, Big Government out of control, and I'm perfectly comfortable using Obama in that. But in terms of focusing efforts to try to have Obama impeached or held personally responsible for these scandals is a bunch of wasted effort. That is a dream that's only going to remain a dream. That just isn't gonna happen. And, by the way, I would love to be wrong about this, and if I am wrong I'll be the first ... to tell you that I blew it. But I don't think that's gonna happen and I don't think that it's productive to go after Obama. Even if we're able to impeach Obama, who's gonna sit in there? Biden. Nothing's gonna change. Government's gonna keep getting bigger. We've got to get rid of Democrats! ...
Removing Obama isn't gonna happen. Holding Obama accountable, making Obama pay the price for what he's done to the country the last five years – the way to do that is to kick Democrats out of office. The way to do that is to beat Democrats in every election you can.
About the same time, WND reported that a brand-new poll revealed half of Americans want Obama impeached, including a stunning one-in-four Democrats.
"It may be early in the process for members of Congress to start planning for impeachment of Barack Obama, but the American public is building a serious appetite for it," said Fritz Wenzel, of Wenzel Strategies, which did the telephone poll Thursday. It has a margin of error of 4.36 percent.
"Half or nearly half of those surveyed said they believed Obama should be impeached for the trifecta of scandals now consuming Washington."
Ambassador Alan Keyes, however, wrote in a WND column that Limbaugh isn't right about impeachment.
"When Rush Limbaugh says that 'efforts to try to have Obama impeached or held personally responsible for these scandals is a bunch of wasted effort,' he is saying that, on account of the politics of our times, this fundamental aspect of the U.S. Constitution no longer matters. With all due respect to Rush Limbaugh (and my respect for him is sizable and sincere), I beg to differ. The judgment about 'wasted effort' depends on what we're trying to achieve. If politics is just a partisan game, with no goal but to score points for one side or the other, it may be reasonable to conclude that impeachment is a wasted effort. After all, the Democrats who control the U.S. Senate will never allow Obama to be removed from office. Doesn't this make impeachment impossible? "
He continued, "Mr. Limbaugh is right to assume that impeachment is inherently political. In this respect his view accords with that of Alexander Hamilton, who wrote (in Federalist No. 65) that '… the subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed … from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.'"
But Keyes said, "The difference between Limbaugh and Hamilton, however, is that when Mr. Limbaugh speaks of politics he is referring to the competition of partisan factions. But for Hamilton politics means the business of citizens, i.e., individuals characterized by their concern for the common good of their society as a whole, not just their own personal, factional, partisan interests. From Hamilton's perspective, the way elected representatives handle such offenses is therefore a test of their concern for the common good. If they act, or refuse to act, based solely on whether by doing so they advance their personal or factional agenda, they show their contempt for the well-being of the nation as a whole. They thereby prove themselves unfit for the offices (duties) they hold, whether or not they are ever called to account for their dereliction."
Last year, a poll showed those advocating impeachment nearly equal to those against it. For example, regarding Obama's campaign for amnesty to illegals, 44 percent say he should be impeached for that, while only 48 percent say he should not. And 46 percent say they think Obama should be impeached for launching the war to remove Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, while 49 percent say no.
"Taken by itself, any of these questions about President Obama could be ignored, but it becomes much more questionable when all of these … administration actions are taken as a whole," said Fritz Wenzel, whose public opinion and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies conducted the poll.
The scientific survey contained a margin of error of 2.92 percent.
"Obama appears to have found a way to split the nation directly down the middle on each issue, but, as his plummeting poll numbers may now indicate, the American public may well be catching up with the cumulative effect of this administration's handling of the Constitution and the federal government," Wenzel said.
Only 1 in 4 respondents gives Obama an excellent report card. Sixteen percent rate his performance as "good" and another 10 percent say "fair." But 47 percent, including 1 in 6 of the Democrats, say he's at "poor."
There has been a flood of calls for impeachment lately. Rock legend and gun-rights defender Ted Nugent said there's "no question" Obama should be impeached, and he's calling CNN anchor Piers Morgan an "effective idiot" in the battle over the Second Amendment.
Referring to Obama, Nugent says: "There's no question that this guy's violations qualify for impeachment. There's no question."
He blasted "the criminality of this government, the unprecedented abuse of power, corruption, fraud and deceit by the Chicago gangster-scammer-ACORN-in-chief."
"It's so diabolical," he said.
Nugent made his comments in a recent interview with radio host Alex Jones.
Even Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin called for the impeachment of Obama over his policy of permitting drone strikes on American citizens overseas who are members of terrorist organizations.
On WABC Radio's "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio," Benjamin affirmed she believes the drone warfare is an impeachable offense.
Among members of Congress, the idea has been getting more and more attention.
The latest to comment was Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican who is seeking to replace the retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
A video from a forum featuring candidates for Chambliss' seat shows Broun and two others, Derrick Grayson, an engineer, and Eugene Yu, a businessman, raising their hands when asked whether they would support impeachment.
A forum moderator asked the candidates: "Obama has perjured himself on multiple occasions. Would you support impeachment if presented for a vote?"
Broun, Grayson and Yu raised their hands.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa; Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas; Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas; Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.; Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.; Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich.; Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.; Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.; and Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla.
Several, including King and Farenthold, made comments in interviews with Sean Hannity.
King pointed to the president's actions on immigration, such as his orders for authorities not to enforce current immigration law, as grounds for impeachment.
He said there are multiple violations related to Obamacare and asserted the president's "recess" appointments of judges when the Senate was not actually in recess also is worthy.
The "uber-presidency," King said, has little or no respect for the Constitution.
Farenthold said Obama "is grabbing as much power as he can," but Congress also is doing little to draw in the reins.
The two said that politically, Obama is exercising great power and believes Congress cannot or will not stop him.
"The president knows it; he's exploiting it," King said.
Stockman even handed out in Congress copies of a book that has been described by its authors as the "articles of impeachment" for Barack Obama. Stockman suggested that special investigations and possibly prosecutions are needed in response to Fast and Furious, Benghazi and other Obama scandals.
Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, was speaking at a town hall meeting when he considered the idea. A video of his comments was posted at the Western Center for Journalism.
"I've looked at the president. I think he's violated the Constitution. I think he's violated the Bill of Rights," he said.
He said at some point a decision must be made.
"I think if the House had an impeachment vote, it would probably impeach the president."
But he noted there are only 46 members of the GOP in the U.S. Senate, where an impeached president would be put on trial.
To obtain a conviction, the prosecuting team must have 67 votes, and he wasn't sure even all of the GOP members would vote to convict.
"I think he's breaking the law if he strikes without congressional approval," Hunter told the Washington Times regarding Obama's plan to bomb Syria. "And if he proceeds without Congress providing that authority, it should be considered an impeachable offense."
WND previously reported Coburn's statement that Obama is "perilously close" to qualifying for impeachment.
Speaking at the Muskogee Civic Center in Oklahoma, the senator said, "What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that's called impeachment."
Coburn said it's "not something you take lightly, and you have to use a historical precedent of what that means."
Earlier, Bentivolio said it would be a "dream come true" to impeach Obama.
Bentivolio told the Birmingham Bloomfield Republican Club Meeting, "You know, if I could write that bill and submit it, it would be a dream come true."
He told constituents: "I feel your pain and I know. I stood 12 feet away from that guy and listened to him, and I couldn't stand being there. But because he is president I have to respect the office. That's my job as a congressman. I respect the office."
Bentivolio said his experience with the president caused him to consult with attorneys about what it would take to remove Obama from office.
Cruz responded to a question about impeachment after a speech.
"It's a good question," Cruz said. "And I'll tell you the simplest answer: To successfully impeach a president you need the votes in the U.S. Senate."
In May, Inhofe suggested Obama could be impeached over a White House cover-up after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
He told listeners of "The Rusty Humphries Show": "Of all the great cover-ups in history – the Pentagon papers, Iran-Contra, Watergate, all the rest of them – this … is going to go down as the most egregious cover-up in American history."
But even with that searing indictment, Inhofe, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has offered tentative support for impeachment.
"I'm not willing to take it off the table, but that's certainly not what we're striving for," he told CNN.
One Republican actually has come out and called for the impeachment of Obama, and he did it more than two years ago, before he became a congressman.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., posted on his website in June 2011 a list of reasons for impeachment.
Other figures who have discussed impeachment include Glenn Beck, Watergate investigative reporter Bob Woodward, WND columnist Nat Hentoff and a panel of top constitutional experts.
Stockman recently distributed copies of the book, "Impeachable Offenses: The Case for Removing Barack Obama From Office," to the other 434 members of the House of Representatives to bolster his case for a special investigation of the president.
The bestselling "Impeachable Offenses" presents an indictment that goes well beyond today’s headlines.
The Daily Mail of London has called "Impeachable Offenses" "explosive," reporting that the book contains a "systematic connect-the-dots exercise that the president's defenders will find troublesome."
Voters in Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine's Oklahoma district may look meek and mild, maybe even sweet, but their opinions of President Obama reveal nothing but a battleground "take-no-prisoners" attitude.
One lady, for example, said there needs to be changes in the Senate so "we can impeach the S-O-B."
Said another: "He's not president as far as I'm concerned. … Should be executed. He's an enemy combatant."
She complained that Congress is doing nothing, and that "allows this moron to make decisions."
"He has no authority. None."
The video was uploaded just this week, but it's unclear when the meeting was held, and the congressman's office was unable to provide details immediately.
At one point the congressman references "back in April 2013," and it appears to be winter, so likely it was recorded in the past few months.
The congressman had been documenting Obama's "lawlessness."