From Under the Rubble…The Prophet, the President, and the Pope
A critique of the president by a well-known jurist appeared recently in the American Spectator:
A man whose self-absorption is legendary, if not pathological… If the head of the most corrupt and malign administration in our history is suffered to remain in office, however crippled, it will be a clear sign that we have turned a corner – that American morality, including but not limited to our political morality, is in free fall.
Pretty harsh. But wait, there’s more:
That the president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” is indisputable but not the worst of the wounds he has inflicted upon his office and the nation. The damage is enormous, cuts deep, and may be irreversible.
And what are those “high crimes and misdemeanors”?
Investigations have been frustrated by the shredding of documents, the withholding of files under subpoena, witnesses taking the Fifth Amendment … and a spectacularly rapid spread of amnesia among administration personnel, a plague highly convenient to the White House.
Alas, the president’s party in Congress defends him no matter what he does. And the result?
For the men and women of Congress, however, loyalty to a corrupt and wicked leader can only destroy their personal and institutional honor.
Remarkably accurate, isn’t it? Yet the president in question is not Barack Obama, but Bill Clinton. The year is 1999, and its author is the late Judge Robert Bork. His incisive indictment and the painful fulfilment of his dire predictions qualify him for membership in the pantheon of prophets right up there with Samuel and Elijah.
So Many Crimes, so Little Time.
As we have learned in the past twenty years, when it comes to impeachment, the executive branch has the upper hand.
That’s because no matter how many administration officials commit impeachable crimes, there is still only one House Committee on the Judiciary to hold impeachment hearings.
Judge Bork was right. As president, Bill Clinton committed countless “crimes and misdemeanors,” but, like Obama’s today, Clinton’s lackeys in the Justice Department routinely ignored them or laughed them off.
Deny. Deny. Deny.
Finally, “Hey, so what? That’s old news!” they caw.
Only because of the Independent Counsel Act was Clinton investigated and eventually impeached.
And that helpful legislation has long since expired, allowing today’s “most corrupt and malign administration in our history” to proceed unimpeded, flouting the Congress, the law and the Constitution, protected from conviction by a Senate majority whose party loyalty has indeed “destroy[ed] their personal and institutional honor.”
What is the Congress, overwhelmed by this Orwellian tsunami of criminal malefactors, to do?
An increasing number of responsible voices are calling on the House to begin impeachment proceedings.
“But the Senate would never convict,” comes the retort.
Today that might be true.
We should recall, however, that Richard Nixon wouldn’t have been convicted either, until July 13, 1973, when Donald Sanders, Deputy Minority Counsel for the Watergate Committee, asked Alexander Butterfield if there were a recording system in the White House.
“I wish you hadn’t asked that question,” Butterfield responded, “but yes, there is.”
One wonders what revelations might come to light, should proceedings commence to impeach President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and other notably deserving officials.
For the first time, subpoenaed witnesses – even those as remote from the scene as Butterfield was – would have to appear and testify truthfully or take the Fifth.
So irrefutable revelations requiring Senate conviction might indeed be forthcoming, should impeachment proceedings actually come to pass.
Accidents Do Happen
It is an interesting morality tale to recall why Nixon installed the tape recorders in the first place.
President Nixon was very impressed by a military officer who had served as an interpreter for several earlier presidents. He was Vernon Walters, whom the reader might recall was Ambassador to the United Nations and to Germany, before and after its reunification, under Presidents Reagan and Bush 41.
Walters had a photographic memory. He once recounted to me how that skill had prompted Nixon to offer him a full-time job in the White House: Walters was to attend every important meeting Nixon had, and then retire to the steno pool and dictate verbatim what had been said by each participant.
“Sorry, Mr. President,” Walters told Nixon. “I don’t want to be a stenographer.”
And that’s when Nixon installed the tape recorders.
Who knows what evils lurk in the halls of the White House today, and who would lie under oath to hide them?
Much of the presidential staff is notoriously juvenile – witness the two Obama speechwriters who have left to become comedy scriptwriters in Hollywood.
How fitting. At least somebody in Washington still manages a sense of humor.
Meanwhile, as usual, the president who promised the most transparent White House in history has become the most secretive and suspicious.
Just what is he trying to hide? What damning truth might some intimidated intern blurt out under oath when she is asked, “what did you know and when did you know it?”
Oh no – is the Rubble suggesting that we endure another “long national nightmare”?
No. There is a better way.
Follow the Papal Precedent
A year ago, Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world when he announced that he would resign the papacy. A great leader and a teacher of unimpeachable character, his frail health was nonetheless not up to the daunting task of addressing the administrative problems in the Vatican, while leading the universal Church as the successor of Peter in its divine mission.
Pope Francis has energetically and capably assumed those tasks. Pope Benedict’s resignation was a profoundly selfless service to the Church.
Today Obama is a fallen idol, a shattered, bitter shard of the laughable crock of hope and change that a weary, economically petrified nation bought into five years ago.
In Judge Bork’s words, under Obama, our country’s honor is in free fall. Three more years of swimming in this narcissistic sewer of power-lusters and petty hacks will send the country spinning into indelible ruin.
It is time for Obama to resign – joined by Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, John Boehner and Eric Cantor.
All have enabled the country’s collapse. None will be missed.
Like Pope Benedict, these men know that their time is up. All that unites them in their petty perseverance in power is their common hubris.
Boehner must move first: after his voluntary resignation, the House can elect a new speaker, a leader (who need not be a member) capable and willing to assume the presidency under Article II of the Constitution.
Then these six failed leaders can join together in a wondrous and historical bipartisan act of statesmanship of a caliber seldom seen in our time.
They can quit.
If they do, this generation will shower them with gratitude, and history will hail them.
These six men can save the Republic.
This article, From Under the Rubble…The Prophet, the President, and the Pope is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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