Conservative firebrand Glenn Beck loudly (is he ever not loud?) proclaimed that he’s igniting an effort to impeach President Obama on his BlazeTV network Tuesday.
Why? It’s not for Obamacare or alleged birth certificate shenanigans. Instead, Beck thinks Obama is knowingly arming Al Qaeda–backed rebels in Syria, thereby violating policies written into the Arms Export Control Act. “He is arming known terrorists,” Beck told his viewers.
And Beck isn’t alone in his demands. In fact, he’s late to the impeachment game. A handful of individuals and organizations across the country are busy weeding through Obama’s purported “offenses” to dig up grounds for his removal. But legal experts say the chances of impeachment are slim.
“[Beck's] statement is hyperbolic,” explains Susan Bloch, professor of law at Georgetown Law School. “Impeachment is the capital punishment of political remedies—it should be reserved for treason, bribery and for higher crimes and misdemeanors.”
“We’ve impeached only twice and never convicted,” Bloch says. “And it should stay that way.”
Below, a rundown of Beck’s brothers-in-arms in the fight to fire Obama:
Sen. Tom Coburn
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma says he and the president are buddy-buddy, but that hasn’t stopped him from telling the world Obama is “perilously close” to getting yanked from the Oval Office. In August Coburn spoke to some of his constituents at the Muskogee Civic Center in Oklahoma, where he outlined the seriousness of impeachment claims and the impeachment process. What’s burning Coburn is unclear. He just said Obama was incompetent and broke the law. “What you have to do is you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president, and that’s called impeachment,” he told the crowd:
Reps. Black Farenthold and Kerry Bentilovio
Two Republican congressmen—Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas and Rep. Kerry Bentilovio of Michigan—want Obama impeached. Sort of.
“If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, we would probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it,” Farenthold boldly announced at a town hall meeting in Luling, Texas (population: 5,600) back in August. One of the meeting’s attendees later posted a video featuring Farenthold’s comments on YouTube, which has since been made private. Farenthold’s comments about possibly impeaching Obama came in response to a question about the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate.
Earlier in August Rep. Bentilovio announced “it would be a dream come true” if he could impeach Obama at the Birmingham Bloomfield Republican Club’s summer meeting. “I stood 12 feet away from the guy and listened to him,” Bentilovio said. “I couldn’t stand being there, but because he is president I have to respect the office.”
While the veteran Fox pundit didn’t exactly call for Obama’s impeachment back in June, he outlined how Obama could maybe, potentially, in the not-so-distant future, be put on trial “if—if—evidence is produced that any U.S. intelligence agency is reading emails without a specific warrant, Mr. Obama could very well be impeached,” he explained, regarding the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ emails.
This isn’t the first time O’Reilly has referred to potential charges for Obama’s impeachment. In May, O’Reilly mentioned that Obama could be impeached over the U.S. attack in Benghazi:
The National Black Republican Association
The National Black Republican Association, a Florida-based organization that “promote[s] the traditional values of the black community which are the core values of the Republican Party,” have put out their own memo calling for Obama’s impeachment.
“We, black American citizens, in order to free ourselves and our fellow citizens from governmental tyranny, do herewith submit these Articles of Impeachment to Congress for the removal of President Barack H. Obama, aka, Barry Soetoro, from office for his attack on liberty and commission of egregious acts of despotism,” the memo reads.
The group has put forth 10 articles of impeachment against Obama, including “obstruct[ing] the investigation of the Benghazi Battle,” and wiretapping journalists’ calls.
Floyd Brown and the Impeach Obama Campaign
Perhaps the most egregious–and most under-the-radar–of impeachment claims is coming from the hands of the the Impeach Obama Campaign, an online fund aimed at throwing the president out of office. The site features 61 articles of impeachment against Obama.
A bit of research reveals that the site is run by the Policy Issues Institute, an organization backed by Floyd Brown, the same “media commentator” who founded Citizens United, which helped orchestrate the impeachment of President Clinton and was behind the “Willie Horton” ads that doomed 1988 Democratic presidential frontrunner Michael Dukakis.
You can add reader Eli Rubenstein to the list of Americans who want to impeach Obama. His beef isn’t over Syria or health care, but he’s furious about what’s happening at the IRS. Here’s Eli’s point of view:
For a while, I have been wary about the growing calls to impeach President Obama. I am a conservative and do not support most of his policies, but I wasn’t sure if I agreed with those who have been calling for his impeachment. That, however, changed when a congressional report came out stating that IRS employees were “acutely” aware that Obama wanted them to target Tea Party groups. This recent report was the final straw for me in a scandal that has been growing exponentially ever since it broke. This new report has completely contradicted Obama’s rhetoric that he heard about the IRS Tea Party targeting on the news. As more information comes out, it is only logical to conclude that Obama had to know what was going on. How could the President of the United States not be aware of something that congressional leaders have been complaining about for a long time?
No matter what your political ideology is, which issues are important to you or what party you belong to, nobody should ever be unfairly targeted by because of their beliefs. What happened at the IRS is a direct attack on our democratic values, which have guided our nation for over 200 years. However, this scandal has tainted many Americans’ trust of the government. What we have seen happen at the IRS, the current administration targeting the President’s opposition, should never happen again. If we want to uphold the integrity of our government, we must impeach Obama for this blatant assault on our constitutional rights.
Eli Rubenstein is a Jewish Republican, political commentator and blogger. You can find him on Twitter @EliRubenstein.