Writing in an op-ed in today’s Mooney Times, Jeffery Kuhner floats the idea of impeaching President Obama if health care reform passes. His argument is the same old strawman we have been hearing all week – the “deem and pass” of the House of Representative:
Many Democrats could claim they opposed the Senate bill while allowing it to pass. This would be an unprecedented violation of our democratic norms and procedures, established since the inception of the republic. Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution stipulates that for any bill to become a law, it must pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate. That is, not be “deemed” to have passed, but actually be voted on with the support of the required majority. The bill must contain the exact same language in both chambers – and in the version signed by the president – to be a legitimate law. This is why the House and Senate have a conference committee to iron out differences of competing versions. This is Civics 101.
Between 2005 and 2006 the Republican controlled House used this same parliamentary procedure 35 times. Did we call for the impeachment of President Bush because of it? Of course not. Of course Republicans are arguing that “it has never been used for legislation of this magnitude”. I have read the Constitution countless times and for the life of me I can’t find the language that says procedures are different depending upon the size or scope of the legislation.
But even more interesting is going after President Obama on this. Kuhner claims his notion above is Civics 101. Well how about some grade school Social Studies then? The President is a totally different branch of government from the House. How in the world can we hold the President liable for something that happens in the House? Let’s go back to that thing Kuhner claims to know – the Constitution, particularly Article 2, Section 4:
Those are the grounds to impeach the President. No where does it say he can be held liable for another branch of government.
Our Constitution provides a way to challenge laws. It’s that third branch of government – the judicial. Again – grade school Social Studies Jeffery. I’m sure this bill will be challenged in the courts, and that is the proper venue, but arguments that people like Kuhner are making are fit for a Texas text book, and that is about it. They have no merit or basis and are nothing but moronic.
Now is it any wonder that the Washington Times is in such financial troubles?