Why are people calling for Obama's impeachment?
Before the vote in the US House of Representatives, John Boehner was pathetic. "Are you ready to let a president decide which laws to implement and which to change?" He asked Speaker the MPs with a majority from his Republican Party.
And of course this majority voted to protect the "legacy of the Constitutional Fathers" and therefore supported Boehner's call to sue US President Barack Obama. 225 MPs voted "Yes", 201 voted against; five Republicans did not follow Boehner. It is an unprecedented process in American history, the legality of which is controversial among lawyers. The accusation of the Republicans: Obama exceeded his competences in the implementation of the health law and thus broke the constitution - and not for the first time. According to a conservative strategy paper, for example, the democrat acts like an emperor.
The reason for the dispute is the far-reaching powers of a US president. He can issue so-called "executive orders" and use these "presidential orders" to design laws in part at his own discretion. This is what Obama did with climate protection, for example, when he set strict emission limits for coal-fired power plants. John Boehner and his family do not care that conservative presidents like George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan use executive orders much more frequently than Obama.
Obama's Democrats are in the minority in the House of Representatives and therefore rely on concessions from the Republicans when passing laws - but they are actually never willing to compromise. With their majority, for example, the Republicans overturned Obama's immigration reform, which would have given illegally immigrated people who have long lived in the United States a de facto right to stay. In yesterday's debate, the Democrats accused Boehner of this constant blockade - this was also the case with the increase in the minimum wage or the expansion of unemployment insurance.
Which party base will be more mobilized?
The dispute takes place against the background of the congressional elections in November. It's about the sovereignty of interpretation and about mobilizing your own supporters. Should the Democrats lose their majority in the Senate as well (details here), it will be hopeless for Obama to shape politics during the remainder of his second term in office. But the Republican push could now work to his advantage.
Because John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, has got himself two problems. The Democrats present his lawsuit against Obama as an attempt to impeach (impeachment) to prepare against the President. However, a CNN poll shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans oppose such a process, even among Republican supporters only 42 percent are in favor.
The Democrats portray their political opponents as aloof, stubborn and uncompromising and use the Republican campaign very successfully to raise funds for the election campaign in the millions. Their strategists call the vote for a lawsuit a "political theater" and complain about the waste of time and taxpayers' money. The party rallies behind its president.
Conservatives are deeply divided
Agreement, that was exactly what John Boehner hoped to achieve. But the vote of his MPs in the House of Representatives belies the state of his deeply divided party. His lawsuit - already dubbed "impeachment light" by the US media - is unable to pacify the far-right wing. Tea party icon Sarah Palin immediately demanded impeachment without "light" and thus fueled an internal party dispute that Boehner wanted to avoid at all costs.
Moderate conservatives are putting Boehner under pressure from the other side. Influential blogger Erick Erickson joined Democratic critics and spoke of theater and tax waste. Mark Levin, a former employee of President Ronald Reagan and now an influential radio host, described Boehner's move as a "stupid move".
And Barack Obama? The president traveled to Kansas City ahead of the five-week summer recess of Congress to discuss his economic program and highlight the strong growth figures. On the Republican initiative, he said in a presidential vote: "Stop hating all the time. Let's get to work and let's solve some problems."
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