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Burning the Constitution

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

A Google alert brought me to the article, “Impeach Obama? 2014 Impeachment Starts Operation American Spring,” at The article is headed by this Jon McNaughton portrait of a stern-faced Obama burning the US Constitution.


Interested readers can look at the specific items that article suggests might be impeachable offenses, but I found nothing especially egregious or out of line with things done by other US presidents who were not impeached, and certainly nothing reaching the lawlessness of Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is there anything new about an image of a president burning the Constitution:


The preceding cartoon1 depicts the United States as symbolized by the eagle rescuing the Constitution from being burned by Thomas Jefferson. It literally refers to the defeat of Jefferson by Adams in the 1796 presidential election.

1A version of this image (with a less clear face) was incorrectly labeled as George Washington in a prior article on this blog. That has been corrected.

A tale of two media

Over the last few days, my Google alerts included two groups of articles. One group talks about Orly Taitz’ failed attempt to subpoena Barack Obama’s college records from Occidental in the Taitz v. Obama case in California. Those articles derive from the article “Taitz loses court case” from the The Occidental Weekly, the student news site of Occidental College. That article has the two great quotes from the hearing on the subpoena:

“You should know that evidence is not stuff printed from the internet,” [Judge] Margines said, responding to Taitz’s continued argument after he made the decision to quash the subpoena and award $4,000 in sanctions to Occidental College.

“I would like to take credit for a spectacular job preparing papers and going down to the Orange County Superior Court and arguing this case and getting sanctions, but I honestly believe a rhesus monkey could have beaten Ms. Taitz and got a sanction award based on the awful lack of merit to the subpoena itself,” [Jay] Ritt said. “And the case itself, from what I could tell, seems just ludicrous on its face.”

The other articles come from a totally different angle, exemplified by this one from The Inquisitr, “Orly Taitz Granted Subpoena For Obama College Records: Explains Significance to The Inquisitr.” That article talks about a copy of a subpoena obtained by Montgomery Blair Sibley in the District of Columbia, a subpoena that even he admits is not valid. Taitz published a copy of it. The Inquisitr interviewed Taitz, and readers here might want to follow the link above to read that fairly poor job of interviewing, and getting no quotes. The Inquisitr article derives from a far-right web site called Minute Man News, who appears to be republishing content from ObamaReleaseYourRecords, who in turn got the original story from Orly Taitz herself [Link to Taitz web site], but later backed down somewhat, although still maintaining, contrary actual court jurisdiction, that other subpoenas for Obama’s college records were valid.

The first group of articles are accurate reporting. The second are credulous retelling of misinformation.