WASHINGTON DC – A Republican congressman has told a left-leaning blog that if there is collective support, he would favor the impeachment of Barack Obama over his decision to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Scott Keyes of ThinkProgress.org asked U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.: “I know Newt Gingrich has came out (sic) and said if they don’t reverse course here, we ought to be talking about possibly impeaching either Attorney General [Eric] Holder or even President Obama to try to get them to reverse course. Do you think that is something you would support?” Keyes asked.
Franks replied: “If it could gain the collective support, absolutely. I called for Eric Holder to repudiate the policy to try terrorists within our civil courts, or resign. So it just seems like that they have an uncanny ability to get it wrong on almost all fronts.”
Keyes was referring to the announcement by Holder and Obama that they no longer would fulfill their official duties to defend the law of the United States when it came to the Defense of Marriage Act.
“While sexual orientation carries no visible badge, a growing scientific consensus accepts that sexual orientation is a characteristic that is immutable,” Holder explained in a statement announcing the conclusion he reached with Obama.
Holder said he and the president believe the law is unconstitutional.
(Story continues below)
“The president and I have concluded that classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny and that, as applied to same-sex couples legally married under state law, Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional,” Holder said.
Barack Hussein Obama
Keyes had asked, “What recourse does Congress have? Could you, for instance, defund the Department of Justice if they don’t reverse course and start to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act?”
Franks responded, “That’s probably the strongest leverage that we have.”
In a followup question from Keyes, Franks said he would support “in a moment” a move to defund the agency.
Think Progress describes itself as a “nonpartisan organization” tied to the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It boasts of being named the “Best Liberal Blog” in 2006.
Comments on the site included mostly ridicule of Republicans:
* “They have such weird priorities: they won’t even investigate torture, but private relationships between consenting adults is something that gets their hackles up. I’m really surprised that impeachment hearings haven’t already commenced. Must be part of the deal he got for not prosecuting war crimes.”
* “Republicans are acting like cry baby Democrat union thugs now.”
* “Impeach a president who shows support for the constitution? What doesn’t this freak understand about equal rights for all … including rights for those HIS GOD created?”
* “The teatarded and brain dead republicans need something to make them seem busy since they don’t have a freaking clue what to do with the jobs and the economy. They know guns, religion, gays, abortion, and unnecessary wars. That is it.”
But there also was a jab at Obama:
“What other laws do you think King Obama will choose not to defend in court?”
There was a massive negative reaction to Obama’s move. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich described it as an attempt by Obama to dictate his perspective to America .
“The president is replacing the rule of law with the rule of Obama,” he said. “The president swore an oath on the Bible to ensure that the laws be faithfully executed, not to decide which laws are and which are not constitutional.”
Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, said actions by government officials who were sworn faithfully to uphold the laws of the United States are “outrageous.”
“This is a federal law and the federal government, including the Obama administration and the Department of Justice, has an obligation to defend this law,” he said. “This law has been attacked before and has been upheld as constitutional.”
“This is tyranny,” he said.
Judge Roy Moore, the former Supreme Court chief justice in Alabama and now chief of the Foundation for Moral Law, said his organization has filed an amicus brief in a dispute over the federal definition of marriage.
“I’m glad we didn’t elect to depend on the president to defend our law,” he said. “I hope now Congress will step up and take up the battle where the president has stopped.”
He said such “arbitrary” decisions about a law’s constitutionality have no place in America.
“Basically, he’s not upholding the rule of law,” he said.
A statement from Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association said, “As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said he was against homosexual marriage. Many people at the time suspected he was intentionally being dishonest for political expediency, because he thought it would hurt his chances to beat John McCain if he said he was in favor of homosexual marriage. Now the truth is out. He was lying.”
Commentaries raised the issue that should the precedent stand, a subsequent president simply could say that he and his Justice Department no longer would defend Obama’s signature law, Obamacare, in court.
But it’s far from the first discussion of impeachment, as WND reported
Jonathan Chait at The New Republic, before the 2010 election, predicted that the House would impeach Obama with a majority in the House, but he wouldn’t be removed from office because that would demand 67 votes in the Senate.
“Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won’t do it right away. And they won’t succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office,” Chait wrote.
In the public forum section of Chait’s column, “Ironyroad” wrote, “They’ll buy themselves a race war. People aren’t going to take it lying down, because they’ll know it’s because Obama’s skin tone isn’t to their taste, not because of high crimes and misdemeanors.”
In his explanation of why he believes an impeachment could be forthcoming, Chait says the reason itself actually won’t matter.
“Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something. Mini-scandals break out regularly in Washington. Last spring, the political press erupted in a frenzy over the news that the White House had floated a potential job to prospective Senate candidate Joe Sestak. On a scale of one to 100, with one representing presidential jaywalking and 100 representing Watergate, the Sestak job offer probably rated about a 1.5. Yet it was enough that GOP Representative Darrell Issa called the incident an impeachable offense,” Chait wrote.
WND reported earlier when Maj. Gen. Jerry Curry, who served in Vietnam and commanded the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground during his long military career, suggested Congress should simply hand Obama an ultimatum.
“Action should be taken by the Senate and should be taken by the House,” he said. “They should serve notice on him and say, ‘Mr. President, we love you but we want to tell you something. You’re under a cloud of suspicion. We can’t continue running this country with you in charge under this cloud. Now either you clear it up or you resign from office.’”