This author reported yesterday that Congressman Trent Franks endorsed the call to impeach President Barack Obama, and possibly Attorney General Eric Holder, over their refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Although a major conservative news site claims Franks is saying his words were “distorted,” the accompanying statement shows, far from backing down, Rep. Franks remains firmly committed to holding the president accountable for his lawlessness.
Franks told the left-wing blog ThinkProgress.org that he would “absolutely” support impeachment if enough fellow Congressmen would support him. The story quickly made national headlines.
Hours after Franks’ statement became public, NewsMax.com ran a story entitled, “Rep. Franks” ‘Impeach Obama’ Remark was Distorted.” However, the accompanying statement from Franks’ office in no way backs away from his assessment that the president’s actions deserve impeachment:
The sole purpose of my response to a distorted question was to emphasize that Congress should do everything within its power to ensure the president fulfills his constitutional duty to abide by and enforce all laws equally, rather than picking and choosing only those laws that happen to align with his ideology.
For President Obama to attempt to appoint himself as the sole arbiter of whether a law is or isn’t constitutional amounts to an abrogation of presidential duty and an overt power grab on the part of this administration.
That statement seems unequivocal enough: Obama has abrogated “presidential duty” by selectively enforcing the law, and Franks called on Congress to do “everything within its power” to halt this.
When NewsMax pressed for a clarification of whether this meant Franks was stepping down, his spokesperson replied, “He isn’t currently planning on taking any steps to begin impeachment proceedings and feels the attention in this situation is being completely misplaced on his remarks, instead of the administration’s power grab, which is the real issue.”
Again, this is far from stepping back. Franks clearly stated he would only press forward with impeachment “[i]f I could could gain the collective support.” Since Congress believes public interest is lacking, Congressional support is lacking. At least, as of now. Unlike many conservatives, especially during the first 16 months of Obama’s administration, Franks is not afraid to classify the president’s behavior as a dereliction of duty.
Franks is correct that the liberal media have tried to make his comments the story, rather than the lawless and discriminatory way this administration implements justice. Yet it seems the conservative grassroots are unmoved by such mass media fearmongering. An increasing number of ordinary Americans believe President Obama should be impeached.
In fact, the same day as the impeachment flap — yesterday — the Tuscon Citizen carried an ad urging Franks to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jon Kyl. Franks has hinted he will run for the seat for weeks. Apparently willingness to impeach Obama is not considered a negative for a U.S. Senate candidate in a Republican primary.
Other Republicans might take note, both of Franks’ courage and of the political benefits he has reaped from the same.