At Congressman Tom McClintock’s town hall meeting on Feb. 19, many constituents came with a list of questions for him with the top question being why President Obama hadn’t been impeached yet.
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One man described a long list of complaints against Obama including “lack of execution of the law, legalization of drugs, legalization of money laundering, support of Al-Qaeda in Syria, the healthcare law, support of Nazis in the Ukraine, Fast and Furious, and Benghazi. So why are aren’t you putting forth a bill of impeachment?” he asked.
McClintock responded by saying Obama has asserted that he has the authority to determine which laws he will or won’t enforce, which is unconstitutional. “He has no authority to create laws,” said McClintock. “He is supposed to execute the law, not create laws himself. This is an extremely dangerous development that crosses a very bright line which is called the rule of law. It’s what separate a republic from an authoritarian regime where the ruler simply proclaims the law is whatever I say it is from day to day.”
However, impeachment is reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors, said McClintock, and the only area where it’s clear he can be impeached is if he goes to war on his own authority, as he did when he attacked Libya. He has since been told that if he does it again, articles of impeachment will be introduced into the House. McClintock added that it was a bipartisan effort that prevented Obama from attacking Syria.
McClintock’s answer did little to satisfy many in the audience who continued to express anger at the inability of elected officials to do anything about Obama’s perceived abuses of power, to which McClintock responded by saying, “The American people are waking up, realizing the danger this country has drifted into, and realize the U.S. Constitution is melting before their eyes. That’s why they are coming to meetings like these and speaking out.”
Addressing the budget deficit, Placerville resident Chris Sarns asserted that the “biggest drain on the economy is spending on the military. We need to drastically cut its budget and bring the troops home from Afghanistan. The war on terror is costing all this money and has done away with different parts of the Bill of Rights. Six corporations control everything you see, hear and read which is why people don’t know that Building 7 fell at free fall speed. Google Building 7,” he said, adding that its destruction was caused by a controlled demolition.
McClintock responded, “That was about the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.” McClintock went on to say that the Federal Government annually spends $3.5 trillion a year, with only $600 billion going for defense and about $2.5 trillion for entitlements including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security as well as interest on the debt. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt, he said, with Medicare due to go bankrupt over the next ten years and Social Security in about 20. Those programs needed to be reformed.
Another resident asked about what he was doing about the NSA storing everyone’s e-mails, phone calls and texts, calling it “frightening.” McClintock said he opposed reauthorization of the NDAA because it violates provisions of the Fourth Amendment. He also opposed funding the NSA but said only a minority voted with him.
The Republican Party also came in for its share of criticism from McClintock, who remarked that, “The Republicans blew the lid off sequester which was the only mechanism we had to restrain Federal spending.” Saying that Congress vaporized the debt limit until 2015, he said the government can now borrow as much money as it likes.
However, while he voted against removing the debt limit, McClintock said he understood why the Republicans went along, because allowing the country to default would have been catastrophic. “This is the first time a president deliberately said we could cause the country to default, and if he thought there was political gain, would do so,” said McClintock. “So we’re playing chicken with a guy who’s willing to cause a default of the country.”
In response, one woman said, “I have never been so frustrated in my life. I’m ashamed of the Republican Party. Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He just wants to ruin America and Republicans are not working together to do anything about it.”
Another resident rose and asked where the EPA gets the authority to give land to Native Americans. He cited the recent decision by the EPA to move the cities of Riverton, Kinnear, and Pavillion in Wyoming inside tribal boundaries.
A different audience member asked why Republicans were raising money to defeat Tea Party candidates. McClintock replied that some Democrats and Republicans see the Tea Party as a threat.
With many of those present expressing support for McClintock, one man asked how they can help. McClintock told them to continue speaking out and discussing issues with family, friends and neighbors. Citing a recent poll that said 71 percent of those voting for Obama regretted doing so, he said there is an awakening happening, especially among young people.
As McClintock talked with residents after the meeting, several constituents were asked to comment on the Townhall.
Victoria Roberts of Shingle Springs wanted to know what Congress was going to do about out of control agencies like the IRS, Department of Justice, TSA and NSA — to name a few. “It seems like every federal agency is out of control and I want to know who’s going to do something about it,” she said, adding that the schools aren’t teaching anything about the Constitution or what this country is about any more. All they teach is social issues, she said, like bullying.
Rick Morgan, also of Shingle Springs, said he was concerned about the direction of the country and where the Republican Party and Tea Party go from here.
Russ Hodnett of Mt. Aukum, said he was frustrated with the inability of the Republican Party to communicate to the American people the importance of turning the country around. We need someone who has a message and sticks with it and who won’t back down, he said, adding that the Republicans repeatedly back down from their positions.