Any Excuse Is Good Enough

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Obama Administration

I’ve been sorta kinda following the Sestak pseudo-scandal trying to figure out why it was scandalous. But of course there’s no reason except that the Right wants it to be a scandal because they want to impeach President Obama.

The charge is that the White House tried to bribe Joe Sestak into dropping out of the Senate primary race against Arlen Specter. The reality appears to be that former President Bill Clinton was sent to ask Sestak to consider not entering the race, not to drop out of it. And perhaps Sestak would have been appointed to an unpaid advisory position. No money was offered, in other words.

It sounds vague and preliminary, and it also sounds like fairly standard political horse trading to me. Exactly where is the scandal? I’m not seeing it.

Yet this non-scandal has been sucking all the air out of political news for the past couple of days — proof that the Republican Noise Machine is still in operation.

Steve Benen speaks to what will no doubt happen if Republicans re-take the House and/or Senate in November. The GOP will not rest until they can bring articles of impeachment against Obama, and they won’t be terribly picky about what charges they concoct to do so.

Jonathan Bernstein writes,

I continue to believe that if Obama sits in the White House for six years with a GOP majority in the House of Representatives that the odds are very good — better than 50 percent — that he’ll be impeached. Not convicted, of course, but impeached, forcing a Senate trial.

I’ve been asking for guesses about when the first impeachment resolution will be filed in the House (leave your prediction here). To be fair, I’ve already been wrong about one thing — I predicted that Michele Bachmann would have introduced a resolution by now (actually, I predicted April 15). So perhaps I’m just as much of an alarmist as those Republicans who believed that a Pelosi-led House would impeach George W. Bush in 2007. Perhaps! But I don’t think so. In fact, impeachment talk moved yesterday from Tea Party rallies to at least one Republican Member of the House, Darrell Issa. And Issa’s not an obscure backbencher; he’s the ranking Republican on Oversight and Government Reform, and he also sits on the Judiciary Committee.

Issa currently is calling the Sestak episode an impeachable offense. Seriously.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. uncledad  •  May 28, 2010 @11:04 pm

    It seems to me that this “scandal” had been food for teabaggers mostly at FAUX news and sludge report and such, until Obama foolishly called on Major Garret (seriously is that his name, who names their kid major, rand, etc…). It really goes to show what these fascist bastards are all about, in the middle of the worst eco-disaster of modern times and FAUX news is trying to impeach the president for an unrelated routine political maneuver. When will Obama live up to what he said and stop treating FAUX like a news organization, just don’t call on them, anyone who watches FAUX news and believes what they say is not going to vote for anyone outside of the republican’t party, so just ignore them.

  2. moonbat  •  May 28, 2010 @11:24 pm

    This is one of those times when I wish Hillary Clinton was president. To paraphrase a line from many old movies: “she would tell those bullies who’s boss!

  3. uncledad  •  May 29, 2010 @2:54 am

    she would tell those bullies who’s boss!

    Easy to say when your not the Boss. I saw Hillary’s comments today, she seemed relaxed and worn out, as if she was relieved not to be president? Obama is in one hell of a shit stink, the big fucking mess. Though I’ve had enough of Obama the Zen master, or whatever he is doing. He’s losing me and lots of folks that he needs. Every president (executive) reaches a point “early” into his/her administration where some heads must roll. Given this unprecedented eco-disaster now looks like a good time. This is my list: Gibbs, Browner, Emanuel. I realize Rham is chief but he’s the one who said he wants to be mayor of Chicago (aint that asking for the boot?), plus he’s a trouble maker, and has made himself more visible then he needs to be. Obama would be better off with him and his friends in more of an advisory role (i.e. out the way). Browner just because she’s a bit underwhelming, plus how long can one bureaucrat be allowed to keep failing?. Gibbs has lost control of the white house briefing room, once you lose control, time for a new driver.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  May 29, 2010 @7:21 am

    “Issa currently is calling the Sestak episode an impeachable offense.”
    Another impeachable offense is that Obama is a Democrat. And a third is that he’s still breathing.
    The Republicans have lost whatever undestanding they once had, of the difference between ‘politics’ and ‘government.’ (They also don’t understand the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’).
    Yes, all politics is local. But the point of winning a political race is to take your place in governing FOR the people. Not governing TO the people, while posturing FOR the people. It’s also not to enrichen yourself and you cronies at the public’s expense. Nor is it to look for the biggest lobbying gig you can find after you tire of shaking down lobbyists for money for your next re-election campaign. Politics was once described ,”as the art of making the deal.” Now, it’s become, ‘the art of making the steal.’
    The last Republicans who showed they could govern were Ike, and actually, believe it or not, Nixon. Since that time they have shown that they are GREAT at politics. But they have also shown, not just that they can’t govern, but that they shouldn’t be allowed to even come close to being put in that position.
    They use fear and hatred of others to win elections. That may be great ‘politics’ that helps you win an election, but it sure as Hell ain’t ‘governing.’

    “… better than 50 percent — that he’ll be impeached…’
    Dude, what drugs ar you on? There’s less than a 1% chance that they won’t try to impeach him.
    For what reason? It doesn’t matter.
    Why do it, then?
    Because the can!
    To a conservative, a day without trying to stop progress, is like a day without sunshine…

  5. theWalrus  •  May 29, 2010 @8:33 am

    With all if Issa’s huffing and puffing about Obama I think this may be more about Sestak than Obama. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if former Republican tool Spector went to Issa with a few chips to call in and called them in – i.e. go get that Sestak guy that had the nerve to beat me! (I also beleive the Righties will do anything they can to impeach Obama – but that’s a separate issue)

  6. muldoon  •  May 29, 2010 @10:30 am

    Way it looks to me is, if Sestak’s dumb enough to “let slip” an offer intended to keep him from running against Specter, then maybe Obama and the Dem leadership had good reason for wanting to keep him out of the race. The man has clearly demonstrated that he can shoot himself in the foot twenty ways from Sunday.

    He handed the GOP a steaming plate of hissy fit material; he no doubt pissed off the Dems in Congress; he lost the vote of those Dems in his state who support Obama; and he now stands an excellent chance of being defeated by any Republican who runs against him.

    Most people have to work hard to be that stupid. But I’m beginning to suspect that Sestak comes by it naturally.

  7. biggerbox  •  May 29, 2010 @11:46 am

    If you’re running as an ‘outsider’ candidate in a year when there is considerable frustration with the party establishment, it might seem like a good idea to be seen as someone who “the bosses” tried to keep from running. It makes you seem like someone that’s a threat to the status quo, and a guy who can’t be bought off. It might particularly help if you’re running in a primary against an incumbent with powerful backers who happens to represent the self-serving qualities people most hate about DC politics.

    And, though I haven’t been paying very close attention, I thought Sestak made his first comments about the White House contact months ago, and it was only just recently that the Republican Noise Machine made a fuss about it.

  8. muldoon  •  May 29, 2010 @12:04 pm

    @ biggerbox

    If Sestak made the statement months ago (and I don’t doubt for a minute that you’re right), then I dissed the man unfairly. The Republicans’ sudden burst of faux outrage led me to mistakenly believe this was a recent event. I should have known better.

  9. Swami  •  May 29, 2010 @3:21 pm

    The whole idea is to link Obama and impeachment is the same sentence. Issa is just doing his part in trying to chip away( death by a thousand cuts) at Obama’s presidency and damage his credibility. The repuglican’s overall goal is to destroy Obama by a constant barrage of attacks on his person and his presidency..so this episode is just a distraction to feed those who are already geared to see Obama fail. It’ll go nowhere.. The repugs would have a better outcome in ramping up the attack on Obama’s middle name…It seems to me that with a name like Hussein you really can’t be a true Christian American like the rest of us real Americans.

  10. maha  •  May 29, 2010 @3:27 pm

    If Sestak made the statement months ago

    I don’t know if it was Sestak that spilled it, but I remember reading months ago that the White House didn’t want Sestake to run against Specter in the primary.

  11. Bonnie  •  May 29, 2010 @4:38 pm

    To impeach for bribery, there has to be a bribe offered and given. This did not happen. Also, I can’t see where this even remotely meets the criteria of high crmes and misdemeanors. It is just one more example of how Republicans like to steal our tax dollars by wasting them on a bogus impeachment and steal our time. Just a bunch of wasteful bastards. As for a Republican majority, let’s all work to keep that from happening. Keep reminding people how much this country is in debt because of the Republicans. The Republicans destroyed our economy. Anyone unemployed who forgets that shouldn’t have the right to vote.

  12. joanr16  •  May 29, 2010 @7:03 pm

    I believe there’s an episode in Saint Ronnie’s past, when he tried to “bribe” (Righties’ word, not mine) Sen. Hayakawa out of a primary in which Maureen Reagan was another GOP candidate. I’m a bit hurried this weekend, haven’t had time to research it further. But basically, for the good of his daughter? How is that not worse than for the (misperceived?) good of one’s party?

    So, they can say “IOKIYAR,” to which I reply, “STFU. You’re boring me.”

  13. Pat  •  May 30, 2010 @3:34 pm

    I agree. No scandal.

    Issa sickens me. He’s a very slick operator and portrays himself as a non-partisan who is above-the-fray at the drop of a hat. According to Issa, it’s everyone else who is partisan and he’s mastered the same tut-tut of disapproval and disappointment at your mistaken opinion of him as do masters like Grandpaw McCain and others. It’s a higly evolved form of affectational politics.

    I’m still trying to understand the motivation for discouraging healthy competition within the Democratic party. It’s not as if Dems don’t have primaries like the GOP. One friend, a political consultant tells me that it’s always this way with power poltics be they Democrat or GOP. There is an indispensible approval and price of admission that can be paid in many ways. Evidently Sestak did not play by the rules.

    Maybe open season on incumbents is a good thing…



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