KATIE ZERR: Republican resolution not well thought out


This week the South Dakota Republican Party voted to pass a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. The resolution stated Obama has “violated his oath of office in numerous ways.” It specifically cites the release of five Taliban combatants in a trade for captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Obama’s statement that people could keep insurance companies, and recent EPA regulations on power plants.

Wanting to send a symbolic message across the land that liberty will prevail, the party called for the Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against the president.

Keep in mind the charges the party cited in their resolution.

To their credit, not all the delegates at the state Republican convention agreed with the action.

“I believe we should not use the power of impeachment for political purposes,” Delegate David Wheeler of Beadle County said. “By doing this, we would look petty, like we can’t achieve our political goals through the political process.”

The Constitution of the United States deals with the subject of impeachment and conviction at six places. The scope of the power is set out in Article II, Section 4:

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Of the three reasons for impeaching the president, it would seem that none of these meets the standards set by the Constitution.

Throughout his presidency, Obama has been dogged by the lingering notion that he was born in Kenya, that he is not an American citizen and therefore not a legal president.

Those theories have sparked so many others against this president that it has become a tireless game of pettiness that does not become the Republican Party.

Obama may be a bad leader, but illegitimate and a criminal will be harder to prove.

And in the eyes of those who are not far right conservatives, the statement  made by the party is that the Republican Party in South Dakota is narrow-minded and inconsequential.

Their call for action in the U.S. House of Representatives is fruitless, because the Senate will certainly vote down any impeachment action.

It is obvious they believe the Republicans will take control of the Senate during the mid-term elections. Does that mean they believe their candidate Mike Rounds will be elected to the Senate and push the impeachment of the president there?

Independent voters, who may be leaning towards voting Republican in the next election, may be turned off by this overzealous action. If Republicans want to win over the growing number of Independent voters, they must put aside this childish fight and work on solid issues that will benefit this state and this country.

By elevating political disagreements to the level of an impeachable offense, the party has once again shown that their hate of this president is more important than doing what is best for South Dakota and this country.

When George W. Bush was president, there were calls for his impeachment. The reasons cited for that action included: 35 articles covering the Iraq war, the Valerie Plame affair, creating a case for war with Iran including making nearly 1,000 false statements about the Hussein regime, the capture and treatment of prisoners of war, spying and or wiretapping inside the United States, failing to comply with Congressional subpoenas, the failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina, global warming, and failure to react on intelligence information about the pending 9/11 attack.

The Bush administration faced charges that it flat-out lied to the public about Iraq’s alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of the country. A recent study by two nonprofit journalism organizations claims members of the Bush Administration issued nearly 1,000 false statements about the security threat posed by Iraq in the wake of 9/11. They repeatedly lied about Saddam Hussien trying to secure uranium to advance a nuclear weapons program. The CIA had already deemed this information as inaccurate.

All we need to do is to compare the two sets of reasons for calls for impeachment and see on which side holds the balance of reason.

South Dakota Republicans should have taken more time before showing their pettiness to the rest of the country.

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