Talk:Efforts to impeach Barack Obama

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Created[edit]

I have created this page in conformance with the similar creation of Efforts to impeach George W. Bush. bd2412 T 20:09, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

Why is there so much content on the George W Bush impeachment page, yet the Obama impeachment page refuses any new information. The IRS scandal is HUGE, so is operation Fast & Furious, as well as the AP scandal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.41.179.235 (talk) 02:36, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Obamacare, the ATF gunwalking scandal, drone attacks in Pakistan, and the 2013 IRS scandal[edit]

All of these have been asserted by politicians and/or commentators as bases for impeachment, but I am taking them out of the article until I have time to search for sources for each one. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:16, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

FALSE, all of these topics have A LOT more credibility and references and trueness than most of the false junk on the GWB impeachment article.

POV concerns[edit]

To me, this article appears to be focused on listing efforts to impeach Obama, but it fails to discuss the likelihood, which is virtually nil. The reader should not be led falsely into believing that impeachment proceedings are likely. Various observers have commented in the media that an attempt at impeachment would certainly fail, and that in any case a successful impeachment would not solve the various perceived problems with the presidency—it would only put Biden in charge, who is expected to continue Obama's policies. Another problem with initiating impeachment proceedings is that whoever backs impeachment will be faced with accusations of racism. Rush Limbaugh says impeachment will not happen because of the fear of being accused of racism.[1] Fox's Brit Hume says it is "stupid" to try and impeach Obama.[2] The article should identify the fact that impeachment activism is mostly a fringe reaction.[3] Binksternet (talk) 22:59, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I have no problem with that, so long as this identification of the position as a "fringe reaction" is sourced. I have no interest in promoting a point of view on this topic. My only intention is to document its existence. bd2412 T 23:21, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

There is actually an article about Efforts to impeach George W. Bush, but that didn't really happen (impeachment). This is not POV, if it is then the G.W. Bush impeachment article is biased as well. -- Billybob2002 (talk) 19:35, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Pointing to another article does not affect what is under discussion in this article. The one you point to has the same flaws—it should tell the reader what the likelihood was at various points in Bush's career. Binksternet (talk) 20:02, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
Politics is not a science. Determining the likelihood of a political event like the outcome of an election, a policy fight, or a potential impeachment, has always been a matter of reading tea leaves and roughly aggregating poll numbers. As I said before, if there are reliable sources which say that impeachment is a fringe position, and is unlikely to occur, we should definitely report those findings and reference those sources. However, the fact that a well documented position is considered to be a fringe position does not prevent us from reporting that the position itself exists, nor from documenting the views of notable persons who adhere to those positions. bd2412 T 20:34, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
This article was said to have been created "in conformance with the similar creation of Efforts to impeach George W. Bush". I've compared the two articles, and one striking difference is apparent -- this article is full of people "saying" / "stating" / "declaring" that Obama should be impeached, while the Bush article describes actual "Efforts to impeach" Bush. "Efforts", as the title suggests, don't exist in this article. The closest thing to an effort thus far is a Resolution (107) introduced to have Congress "say" the president committed an impeachable offense, but it doesn't make an effort to have him impeached. This article, as named, is premature. Rename it to "People saying impeach Barack Obama", or IMO, get rid of it until there are actual efforts. Xenophrenic (talk) 06:33, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
The article currently titled "Efforts to impeach George W. Bush" was originally created on May 9, 2005, under the title "Impeach Bush campaign", long before any resolutions were made. It survived numerous efforts at deletion (I opposed deleting the article on the basis that it documented a notable social phenomenon), and was moved to "Movement to impeach George W. Bush" before ending at its current title. Some of the external links on this page mock the tendency of detractors to call for impeachment at the first hint of something being out of joint, but this by itself documents a notable phenomenon, whatever the title. bd2412 T 12:57, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Why is wikipedia so left-leaning? The Fast & Furious scandal, IRS scandal, and AP scandal are all major factors in the topic of the president's likely impeachment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.41.179.235 (talk) 02:33, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

It's not a matter of being "left"-leaning - if it was, this article wouldn't exist at all. This is an article on "Efforts to impeach" for which we need evidence that someone is actually trying to bring about impeachment, not just saying that it would be a good idea - preferably someone in a position to actually bring articles of impeachment (i.e., a U.S. Congressman), who considers some specifically articulated transgression to be worthy of impeachment. Is there a source for a person or a group actually trying to bring about an impeachment due to anything other then the intervention in Libya or the subsequent Benghazi scandal? bd2412 T 02:49, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Why does Wikepedia use the word "alleged" concerning the Bengazi cover-up, when we know now that they the White House did cover up the truth, and told the American people that it was because of a video.

Weekly World News[edit]

I had previously added the following to the article:


It was removed on the grounds that the Weekly World News in notoriously unreliable as a source. However, my intention was not to show that such an event was being reliably reported, but that it was and is part of the popular cultural conversation. I think we all understand that the Weekly World News is borderline farcical, but it is indisputably well known and widely distributed. I would propose that this content should be included in the article, even if only as an example of parody. bd2412 T 15:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Keep it out. The point of Wikipedia is to report on what is verifiable and of some import. What the Weekly World News reports on is neither. Tedperl (talk) 23:33, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

ATF gunwalking scandal material[edit]

The following material has been added by an anonymous editor, and has since been removed from the article by multiple editors:


The same anonymous editor has repeatedly removed the following section:


Let's discuss the merits of these sections and develop a community consensus about their inclusion in this article. bd2412 T 01:41, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, let's start with the sourcing. The Tucson Citizen claims to be a collection of personal blogs with no editorial controls - ergo, it does not meet reliable sourcing standards. I have no problem with removing the second section, because it's sourced only to a primary source - the anonymous online petition - which does not seem to make it encyclopedically notable. If there are reliable secondary sources commenting on the existence of that petition, it might be proper to include. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:53, 9 June 2013 (UTC)
The statements in the first section are completely out of compliance with standards of NPOV, BLP, RS and just about everything else. They state partisan opinions as factual truth, which is unacceptable. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:56, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Just looking at the sources provided: petition2congress.com is not a reliable source. As NorthBySouthBaranof says, you need a reliable source for that. The Bloomberg BusinessWeek source doesn't discuss impeachment efforts at all. The TusconCitizen link is a blog post from Bob Quasius, Sr. aka. "Arizona Lincoln Republicans" (strapline: "Returning the Arizona GOP to the party of Lincoln"). That's not a "news source" as the disputed text alleges, it's a blog post by a Republican activist. If there are "dozens" of news sources, it should surely be possible to find one that isn't this. And then there's YouTube. The YouTube clip is irrelevant to the discussion of impeachment of Obama. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:07, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

Unfairness In Wikipedia[edit]

The George W Bush impeachment article is LOADED with unreferenced, untrue claims, yet wiki users have a problem with TRUE and REFERENCED claims about the current president's impeachment article.

This talk page isn't for discussion about the George W. Bush impeachment article. If you have an issue with claims in that article, discuss them on that talk page. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 02:54, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

August 2013: Tom Coburn[edit]

I added the following to the article:

August 2013: Tom Coburn

In August 2013, Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma responded to a questioner in a town hall meeting, who had asserted that President Obama was failing to carry out his constitutional responsibilities, by saying that "you have to establish the criteria that would qualify for proceedings against the president... and that's called impeachment".[1] Coburn added, "I don't have the legal background to know if that rises to 'high crimes and misdemeanors', but I think you're getting perilously close".[1] Coburn did not specify what grounds he felt would support impeachment, but NBC News noted that Coburn "mentioned that he believes Department of Homeland Security officials have told career USCIS employees to 'ignore' background checks for immigrants".[1]

  1. ^ a b c Carrie Dann, "Coburn raises possibility of impeachment at town hall", NBC News (August 22, 2013).

This addition was subsequently removed with the edit summary "non-notable". Unless someone is prepared to come forward with evidence that a statement by a sitting United States Senator that the President of the United States is "getting perilously close" to impeachment is non-notable, I intend to put it back in. Cheers! bd2412 T 03:16, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, firstly, that's hardly a realistic approach to discussion. Secondly, it's not notable that a Republican Senator wants to get rid of a Democrat President. And he clearly stated that he didn't know enough of the legal situation to be sure. This article is called Efforts to impeach Barack Obama. This is not an effort. It's pure politics. He was preaching to the audience. He wasn't trying to get Obama impeached. I predict it will go not further. If it does, then we might have something we can call an effort. Right now all we have is a political speech. HiLo48 (talk) 04:01, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I have reverted you because your definition of "efforts" is original research. Every entry in this article is just a political speech, because there have been no articles of impeachment actually introduced against this president. If your definition of "efforts" for this article requires something more than a speech, then you should put it up for deletion with that rationale. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:29, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
LOL. Maybe I should. The article is nothing more than a coat-rack upon which editors can hang their incredibly predictable complaints about Obama. Do you really think it's a good Wikipedia article? Convince me that it's anything more than political point scoring by bad faith editors who would oppose any Democrat President. HiLo48 (talk) 04:34, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I'm not exactly anywhere near the right side of the political spectrum. I'm not sure this article is a good idea, either. (Though from another perspective, it could be viewed as a place where it is demonstrated just how absurd, unfounded and ideologically-driven any attempts at impeachment on the given grounds would be.) I'm just saying that if we're going to get rid of one piece of the article for a given reason that applies to the entire article, we really ought to be thinking about getting rid of the article entirely. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:50, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Until there are any REAL attempts to impeach Obama, I would support that. HiLo48 (talk) 04:55, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
You guys are repeating the exact argument I made several sections up, under the header POV concerns. Perhaps the article should be nominated for deletion. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 02:03, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
These exact arguments were also made years ago with respect to Efforts to impeach George W. Bush. Ultimately, of course, that article was kept, because the topic of efforts to impeach the President of the United States is notable, whether those efforts originate in Congress or in citizen groups, and whether those efforts ever lead to anything being put on the floor in Congress. bd2412 T 03:51, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I would argue that none of the described events were efforts to impeach Obama. They were political speeches by his opponents telling us how bad Obama is. None of the speakers, not even in their wildest dreams, would have imagined that their speeches could lead to an impeachment. Every one of them could be paraphrased thus: "Look, he's so bad he should be impeached." Nothing wrong with them saying that. It's democracy at work. But they weren't EFFORTS to impeach him. So yes, this article SHOULD be deleted. HiLo48 (talk) 04:02, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
That is still no different than the argument made with respect to the Bush article, for most of its existence - it was around long before anything was actually brought up in Congress (it was initially titled Movement to impeach George W. Bush, and went through some title changes before landing at its current location). bd2412 T 04:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
So what? Please respond to my argument. Don't just tell me where else it was used. (I assume you're aware of WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS.) HiLo48 (talk) 04:20, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

The President of the United States is always (for the foreseeable future, at least) going to be one of the most notable figures in the world - so much so that we have articles on the president's dog, and even the president's brand new dog, not to mention conspiracy theories about the president's citizenship and the president's religion, and on individual speeches made by the president. We have these articles because they are notable enough to be reported in reliable sources. Now, every item on this page is a comment from the public sphere that mainstream, well-regarded reliable sources found sufficiently important to publish news stories about each of them. We can quibble about the title, but not about the notability of senators, congressmen, and other notable figures being reliably reported as calling for the removal of a president through the mechanism provided in the Constitution for this. bd2412 T 15:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

But we've agreed that they're not really even calling for his impeachment. Just taking an opportunity to criticise the President These speeches have nothing to do with impeachment, apart from use of the word. We are giving them too much credence and standing. Show me a real effort at impeachment, and I'll agree to an article on it. HiLo48 (talk) 21:48, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
First, I don't think we have agreed to that; there are certainly some who are calling for actual impeachment, and would like to file articles of impeachment in the House if the House leadership would permit it. Second, you are again basically quibbling about the title. If this article were titled "calls for impeachment", there would be no question that the material on the page was germane. bd2412 T 22:37, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Such an article would be non-notable, and therefore non-existent. HiLo48 (talk) 07:13, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
That is entirely a matter of opinion, and one that seems not to recognize the consistent reporting of these kinds of statements in the mainstream media. The same could probably be said of Barack Obama religion conspiracy theories, which largely amount to the same kinds of media-reported comments. bd2412 T 13:17, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Also nonsense. I don't know why we give those nutters air. HiLo48 (talk) 21:54, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Presumably because we recognize the notability of things that are widely reported in the media. bd2412 T 22:05, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I allege alleged allegations[edit]

This edit changed "alleged" to "said", based on WP:ALLEGED. As it happens, that policy was against using "alleged" as an adjective to express doubt. This is very different from using it as a verb for stating allegations, so policy does not support the change. MilesMoney (talk) 02:15, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

To avoid having to jump back and forth, the pertinent section states:

Words such as supposed, apparent and purported can imply that a given point is inaccurate. Alleged and accused are appropriate when wrongdoing is asserted but undetermined, such as with people charged with crimes; when these are used, ensure that the source of the accusation is clear. So-called can mean commonly named, falsely named, or contentiously named, and it can be difficult to tell these apart. Simply called is preferable for the first meaning; detailed and attributed explanations are preferable for the others.

In the context of the sentence, "During the presidency of Barack Obama, several commentators and Republican politicians have __________ that Obama has committed impeachable offenses", there are a wide variety of verbs that could fill in the blank reflecting various degrees of bias. Obviously, if we put "imagined" or "ranted" there, it would be biased in one way, and if we put "pointed out" or "explained" there, it would be biased in the opposite way. "Alleged" is technically correct, but also is used to describe of a person who has been formally charged with a crime, but for whom a determination of guilt has not yet been made. I propose, as a neutral alternative which does not carry any such connotations, we use that most magically neutral of words, asserted. bd2412 T 20:32, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
In Australia and England at least we have the terrific word "whinge". It has a sense of "persistent, pointless complaining by poor losers". Most of the mentions of impeachment by the current mob are precisely that. They are not real proposals for an impeachment case. Their ONLY point is maybe keeping less smart constituents happy because they "seem" to be doing something, and perhaps making themselves feel better. At no point must we give the impression in this article that these allegations/assertations/statements actually mean anything more than that. If a real proposal arises, different language would be used. HiLo48 (talk) 21:14, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Whether they are or are not "whinging", it is not our job to characterize them as such. We merely report that such statements have been made. Undoubtedly, equally reliable sources can be found that opine that the allegations are baseless and purely political and so forth, and these can also be added to the article. bd2412 T 21:23, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
But I would argue that the word "asserted" is not at all neutral. It has connotations of strength and certainty. There is no certainty at all in most of the impeachment statements. They ARE purely political. That's fine, because this IS politics. It's all part of the big game being played. But we must not imply that the claims carry any strength or certainty. If we cannot use "whinge", stick to the definitely neutral "said". HiLo48 (talk) 21:33, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
I rewrote the lede to avoid these issues. Because not all of the statements actually claim/assert/allege that any sort of offense was committed at all (c.f. the claim that he should be impeached for "pushing his agenda") we can merely state that certain Members of Congress have proposed that Obama be impeached. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:13, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
Various rationales have been given. Some allege no offense, and some allege offenses (albeit with varying degrees of vagueness). I don't think it is improvement to imply that no offense has been alleged by anyone. bd2412 T 22:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)
This is the lede, and the lede sentence at that. The particular complications of,each statement can be explained further on in the lede or in the body of the article. The lede sentence should succinctly state the uncontroversial facts: Republican Members of Congress have stated that Obama should be impeached and removed from office. Otherwise the first sentence is going to be 80 words long. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 22:56, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Sarah Palin[edit]

Although Palin is not in Congress, she is a high profile figure who is highly influential within the Republican Party. I think her statements are relevant to this article. Obviously, they would be more so if they were referenced by members of Congress who are in a position to move forward impeachment efforts. bd2412 T 18:48, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

Then we need to rewrite the lede of the article and create a separate section. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 18:52, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I propose, then, to append the lede sentence to read:

During the presidency of Barack Obama, several Republican congressmembers, and other public figures and political organizations with significant influence in the Republican Party, have stated that Obama should be impeached and removed from office.

Although only members of Congress can vote, it is relevant when a public figure calls for such an action, and this is reported in the media, because the ones with the power may be persuaded that way. Cheers! bd2412 T 00:56, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
From my perspective as someone not involved in US politics at all, because I'm not American, it's quite irrelevant whenever ANY Republican calls for Obama's impeachment. It's obvious that that's just what they do. The thing that really would be noteworthy is if no Republicans called for Obama's impeachment. Democrats probably do the same when a Republican is in power. Palin is just making political noises that will likely have no real impact. If ever they do have an impact, we can report it then. And I suspect you plan to "amend" rather than "append" the lead. But I suggest you don't. HiLo48 (talk) 01:40, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Append means to add to, amend means to change; since I'm only proposing to add text, that is appending. It's also amending, but amending would be more appropriate if I was also removing something. Whether or not "that's just what they do", it's significant enough that every major media outlet reports it as news. I would also like to add a reference in the article to this analysis by Ezra Klein, proposing that House Speaker Boehner's lawsuit against Obama is an effort to let off political steam and avoid impeachment. bd2412 T 02:12, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
That's an interesting situation, but this article should not add something that is not an effort to impeach Obama. Re the Palin edit (diff), per NOTNEWS an article like this is not an up-to-date and exhaustive listing of people who have said they intend to impeach Obama. The politicians are doing what politicians do, and in a couple of months it will be clear if there is an effort to impeach Obama, or whether it is just part of the daily news cycle. Johnuniq (talk) 02:39, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
What you're proposing would turn this article into a litany of zany fringe conspiracy theories. Obama should be impeached because he's behind the Muslim Brotherhood caliphate, etc. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 05:25, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Are there a "litany of zany fringe conspiracy theories" that are reliably sourced? Surely there's some line that we can draw to remain reasonably informative while distinguishing the comments of a former U.S. vice-presidential nominee, a former congressman, or a state-level branch of a national political party, from a fringe group. bd2412 T 19:29, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Beyond this narrow topic I often have little edit skirmishes with obsessed, fringe view editors who use the argument "It's sourced, therefore it should go in" to justify adding irrelevant content to articles. So yes, a litany. HiLo48 (talk) 20:04, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
That sounds like a reason to have standards for inclusion, not for the exclusion of a clearly highly notable person making a widely reported statement that they would be working towards the end discussed in the article. bd2412 T 21:46, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Then this article needs to be renamed "Times notable people have said Barack Obama should be impeached." Because Sarah Palin can't make an effort to impeach Barack Obama. Of course, if we had an article by that name its absurdity would be clear. We don't have an article called "Times notable people have said George Bush is an idiot" because that would be nonsense. A political pundit who hasn't held elective office in five years saying something on a TV interview is not "an effort to impeach," it's political theatre. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 21:59, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
And bd2412, we do, naturally, "have standards for inclusion". They include relevance, which Palin's comments clearly fail to satisfy. HiLo48 (talk) 08:20, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

I happen to have been the person that first added such infomation, and I tried to keep the neutrality of this page since I am personally neutral on the issue. I do agree that yes it may just be all 'part of the daily News cycle' but still these people have come out publicly in their own statements calling for his impeachment. I think its quite releveant for every prominent person or group that calls for his impeachment or at least speculates it to be featured on this page (or to be merged with a seperate one like it), and the above example would not be allowed since it's a not from a reputable/reliable source. It stands to reason that we should bring back the old edits that includes the noted Sarah Palin, Allen West, the South Dakota Republican Party, and Andrew C. McCarthy. It also appears that this article problem ensued after someone initially deleted what I had wrote, and someone had tried to re-word the Sarah Palin part, but sadly failed to do so. I would refer everyone to the last revision before these changes were made: 06:24, 12 July 2014 or to at least my last revision: 17:56, 11 July 2014 I please ask that somehow this infomation would be available again for those who are interested in this topic, and for those who are curious about the news reports about polticians like Palin calling for President Obama to be impeached. Note: In relation to the person who said 'a book is not an effort for impeachment', I believe it absolutely is since it lays out the arguement to readers that Obama should be impeached. The film 2016: Obama's America may have been critical of him, but it cannot be listed here since it did not directly call for his impeachment if he were to be elected again. --Riadse96 (talk) 19:06, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

"Lawsuit in lieu of impeachment" section[edit]

The following section was removed from the article:

In July 2014, [[John Boehner]] organized a lawsuit against President Obama for delaying the implementation of the [[Affordable Care Act#Employer mandate and part-time working hours|employer mandate]] of the [[Affordable Care Act]]. Although he did not say that the lawsuit was an alternative to impeachment, it has been speculated by political commentators that this was the strategy. In opining that this was the strategy, observers cited Boehner's experience with the [[impeachment of Bill Clinton]] as well as their belief that on its merits, the lawsuit has many shortcomings.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-07-13/opinion/ct-clarence-page--palin-impeach-obama-oped-0713-jm-20140713_1_president-barack-obama-sarah-palin-impeach-obama|title=Sarah Palin says 'Impeach Obama!' but other Republicans flinch|date=July 13, 2014|work=[[Chicago Tribune]]|section=Editorial}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=Boehner’s Bet: Lawsuit Will Quiet Impeachment Calls|url=http://blogs.rollcall.com/hawkings/obama-impeachment-calls-can-lawsuit-quiet-them/|first=David|last=Hawkings|date=July 11, 2014|publisher=[[Politico]]}}</ref>

The removal was on the basis that "the lawsuit was not related to impeachment, Provide a source. The idea that it was an alternative was political rhetoric". This is self-contradictory, as the sources already in the paragraph specifically relate the lawsuit to the prospect of impeachment, and we don't exclude relevant, sourced information based on an editor's OR judgment that it is merely "political rhetoric". The name of the section should probably change to more closely reflect the source, but the paragraph should remain. bd2412 T 17:59, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

I undid the removal, as there were two references backing up the paragraph. I'm not sure if there are any problems with the title of the section, but if there are problems with the section title, we can discuss them. How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:00, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I changed the header to "Relationship with House of Representatives lawsuit". bd2412 T 20:13, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
I have removed the words "Relationship with". If anything it should be "Relationship to", but I think those words are unnecessary. "House of Representatives lawsuit" should be sufficient. How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:22, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
No objection. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:27, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
This is nonsense. A lawsuit is not impeachment. This content does not belong in an article about impeachment. Simple. HiLo48 (talk) 21:02, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Reliable sources have explained a connection between the lawsuit and the potential for impeachment. bd2412 T 21:08, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
What is it? Is it anything more than political opportunism, needed because they know impeachment won't work? HiLo48 (talk) 22:03, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Irrespective of what the connection is, it has been drawn. If this were an article on efforts to impeach, say, Warren G. Harding, and a lawsuit had been brought against Harding which some pundits asserted was instigated as a substitute for impeachment, we would mention and cite that in the article. This is no different. bd2412 T 22:13, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
If it's a substitute for impeachment, it's not impeachment, so doesn't belong. HiLo48 (talk) 22:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It is a clearly notable event and impeachment is discussed by reliable sources in the context of this event. Can you point me to a policy that supports excluding a discussion of a factor that has been connected to impeachment by RS based on it not being impeachment? bd2412 T 23:24, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
No, but that's a silly question. There is no need for such a policy. It's common sense. It's not impeachment, so it doesn't belong in an article about impeachment. HiLo48 (talk) 00:16, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
By that logic, we should remove mention of World War I from the article on World War II, since it's not World War II. What would you consider to be the appropriate policy forum to which to bring this disagreement? bd2412 T 00:41, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't believe that's a valid analogy. And analogies rarely prove anything. I don't care where you take it. It's unlikely to change my mind. Can you come up with a better reason than "it's a substitute for impeachment"? That one actually says we shouldn't include it, because if it's a substitute, it's obviously not impeachment. HiLo48 (talk) 00:59, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I didn't come up with this connection, the sources did. Here are some pertinent quotes from those sources - from the Roll Call piece:
and from the Chicago Tribune piece:
Do these quotes relate to impeachment? bd2412 T 01:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand this sudden pickiness about content relevance. The article currently contains absolutely nothing about actual "efforts to impeach Barack Obama" so what difference does one more item thrown on the coatrack make? 2600:1006:B120:5E5F:B945:D20A:9451:85D (talk) 01:27, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Same questions to you, then. Do the above quotes relate to impeachment or not? If you think not, then what is the appropriate policy forum to which to bring this disagreement? bd2412 T 01:35, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
The title is "Efforts to impeach Barack Obama"—it's not a list of all talking points where the word "impeach" has been used by a commentator. Johnuniq (talk) 01:54, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, those quotes tell me clearly that this is an effort to NOT impeach Obama. HiLo48 (talk) 01:58, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Do they relate to impeachment? Well, since they use the word"impeach", the obvious answer is yes. Similarly, if I get into a discussion with some buddies over a few beers during halftime of a Cowboys game some Sunday, expounding on how Obama should be impeached for all the evil things he's done, that relates to impeachment, and it's as important an "effort to impeach" as anything in this article. Perhaps we could change the title; something like "Bloviation about impeaching Barack Obama" seems about right. 2600:1006:B120:5E5F:B945:D20A:9451:85D (talk) 02:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Your Sunday night bloviation is not notably reported in reliable sources, which is the standard for inclusion of content in Wikipedia. This is not a discussion about whether this article should exist. If you doubt that, Articles for Deletion is right this way. The standards for inclusion in an article are obviously much lower, since not every fact worth mentioning in an article must be suitable for having its own article. bd2412 T 02:23, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Nobody (just now) has said the article shouldn't exist. What several of us seem to be saying is that the content of the article needs to be relevant to the subject of the article. Which reliable source identified the lawsuit as an effort to impeach? For that matter, which reliable sources identified which of the incidents currently in the article as efforts to impeach? 2600:1006:B120:5E5F:B945:D20A:9451:85D (talk) 02:40, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

You're going to need to clear an awful lot of stuff out of an awful lot of articles applying that standard. For example, Super Bowl XLI mentions that it was a rainy day, but no reliable source describes the rain as being the Super Bowl, so that would need to go. It seems that our articles contain a great deal of information about events other than the event itself, to provide context for the event. We even have articles like Super Bowl LII, discussing a Super Bowl not scheduled to happen for three more years. In our article on Bids for the 2020 Summer Olympics, we even discuss such tertiary things as countries that planned to bid for the Olympics but did not end up bidding on them. It therefore seems pretty well established that events that relate to a potential future event, and provide context to it, should be included in articles even if those related events are not "the event" and event if "the event" itself may well never come about. bd2412 T 02:54, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I think it's time to drop these rather strained analogies. They are so unrelated to the situation under discussion they don't help at all. HiLo48 (talk) 03:06, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Since there is very little traffic here, I have raised the issue at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#Relationship between Efforts to impeach Barack Obama and United States House of Representatives v. Obama, which I believe to be the most appropriate noticeboard for this dispute. Please feel free to weigh in there. Cheers! bd2412 T 03:21, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

A brief mention that some discussion of a potential impeachment was deflected by the lawsuit vote would be in order, with a link to the article about the lawsuit for further information. (To compound the strained analogies, if there were an article about proposals to impeach Judge X and then Judge X died or resigned, we would mention the death or resignation in the article; we wouldn't say "but death/resignation isn't impeachment.) Newyorkbrad (talk) 09:24, 26 August 2014 (UTC)

Is the current mention brief enough? bd2412 T 13:26, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
If by "current" you mean that text at the top of this section that was earlier removed from the article, it's too much, and runs close to breaching our rules with "it has been speculated". We discourage speculation by our own editors. Reporting so vaguely on speculation by others isn't much better. It all reads like the kinds of words tabloid journalists would use to fill column inches. We have a higher goal. HiLo48 (talk) 21:39, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Our highest goal is to provide complete information. By "current" I mean the text that existed in the article at the time that I asked the question (the usual meaning of the word "current"), which I would contend constitutes a brief mention, as contemplated by Newyorkbrad. Other editors have since revised the text. bd2412 T 21:55, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
No, we don't aim to provide "complete" information. Our article's have practical size limits. And we don't include tangential stuff. HiLo48 (talk) 04:33, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
We don't hide the ball, either, when there is information available that is helpful to understanding the context of a topic. Also, I think we are still safe from running up against any practical size limits for this particular article. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:15, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with your latter point, but I will also refute any silly argument that I see. The real question, given that the law suit is not impeachment, is how many other things that are not impeachment would you want included? HiLo48 (talk) 21:07, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
This article should generally include those things that fall within Newyorkbrad's formulation above, of things discussed (by reliable sources, of course) within the context of affecting potential impeachment. bd2412 T 21:18, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Too vague. We need something far clearer. This is explicitly about something that isn't impeachment. It doesn't belong in an article about impeachment. HiLo48 (talk) 21:56, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
You are welcome to propose a policy basis for that and seek to gain consensus for it. As far as I have seen, three editors here have expressed the belief that some mention of the lawsuit vote is permissible for the article. I would point out that Newyorkbrad has been on Arbcom for years, so he probably has an excellent grasp of what is and is not permitted or appropriate. Of course, with my nine years on the project and 748,000 Wikimedia-wide edits, I would also credit myself with a grasp of those matters. bd2412 T 22:16, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
There is no need for policy here. It's common sense, especially in a controversial political area. We cannot let any crap that isn't explicitly covered by the article topic appear here, otherwise the article just becomes a coat rack for any complaints about Obama. I already think the Palin nonsense doesn't belong. Why not create a new article - Efforts to sue Barack Obama? HiLo48 (talk) 22:28, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
At this point, I think we're really talking past each other. You are welcome to your opinion, but please, step away from the horse. bd2412 T 22:54, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
LOL. And you think that is an effective discussion technique? Sad. HiLo48 (talk) 01:24, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I see no point in continuing to entertain this discussion. bd2412 T 01:40, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Good. Using longevity as a reason why you are right won't ever cut it with me. HiLo48 (talk) 02:37, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Placing lawsuit in its own section[edit]

An editor has now twice removed the section heading from the lawsuit in order to mix it up into the public debate section. The pretext give the first time was "remove billboarding", and the second time was purportedly because "a lawsuit doesn't even exist yet" (even though a vote was taken and money is already spent for a lawsuit). Given that there is no WP:BILLBOARD policy, the question is: does anybody else believe that the lawsuit belongs under the public debate section? or is this editor trying to impose a non-existent WP:BILLBOARD policy? How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:45, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Yes, there is Wikipedia policy against billboarding content in articles by giving it its own section or own header or special highlighting, etc. You'll find it in our pillar policy on NPOV editing, where structure is explained ("Pay attention to headers, footnotes, or other formatting elements that might unduly favor one point of view...") and undue weight is explained ("Undue weight can be given in several ways, including ... prominence of placement..."). Xenophrenic (talk) 20:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • You have failed (actually never even attempted) to demonstrate that placing the lawsuit in its own section heading somehow places and undue weight and/or pushes some point of view. Citing policies is inadaquate. You have to demonstrate that the policies are violated. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Incorrect. I'm not the person attempting to give "debate over impeachment" content its own section and header. Xenophrenic (talk) 07:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
As the person removing content you are responsible for demonstrating why the content that you want to remove violates Wikipedia policies. Throwing policies around doesn't cut it. You throw around WP:NPOV but you don't even attempt to demonstrate how placing the paragraph about the lawsuit in its own section violates WP:NPOV. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:20, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
But I didn't remove any content (although others editors have expressed the opinion that such content doesn't belong in this article). I merely undid your attempt to take a portion of existing content and highlight it under its own section with its own header. Another editor also opined that the content about a proposed lawsuit does not "merit a section of its own." Are you asking to have Wikipedia policy explained to you regarding how positioning and presentation of content can affect NPOV? Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
The text about the lawsuit still doesn't even belong in the article, let alone deserve it's own heading. There was no consensus in the previous thread. The lawsuit is explicitly NOT an effort to impeach the President. It therefore doesn't belong in an article headed "Efforts to impeach..." The heading you are attempting to add simply highlights the fact that it doesn't belong. It could belong in its own article. Why don't you try that approach instead of cluttering up this article? HiLo48 (talk) 00:24, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You lost me with your argument.
  1. There is an article about the lawsuit.
  2. You may not be happy about the outcome of the discussion in the thread above, but the discussion very clearly states that secondary independent references have made the connection between the lawsuit and the efforts to impeach, so there is every reason to place the lawsuit in the article. The only question that remains is whether it is part of the public debate.
How hot is the sun? (talk) 01:09, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Apologies. I didn't realise the other article already existed. Thanks for educating me. It will make an ideal entry in the See also section of this article. As for the discussion above, there was no consensus to include this content. HiLo48 (talk) 02:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I agree with How hot is the sun? that it is very clearly stated in the discussion above that the connection has been made between the lawsuit and impeachment efforts. I would not have a separate section on the lawsuit, since I do think that the comments drawing this connection are part of the public debate. Boehner himself has not said that the lawsuit is intended to stave off impeachment; that has been proposed by the experts following the situation, some partisan, some not. bd2412 T 02:32, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Can you clarify "I would not have a separate section on the lawsuit, since I do think that the comments drawing this connection are part of the public debate." Seems to be a contradiction. How hot is the sun? (talk) 03:08, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I mean that I would include discussion of the lawsuit in the article, but not in its own section. bd2412 T 03:35, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • So do you think the lawsuit is part of the public debate? How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:37, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I think that the speculation about the lawsuit being a substitute for impeachment is part of the public debate. bd2412 T 00:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • So why would you oppose separating the lawsuit from the rest of the public debate by making it a sub-section of the public debate? How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:32, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The material solely relating to the lawsuit takes up a sentence or two of the article - not enough to merit a section of its own. bd2412 T 00:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure there is a length criteria for section heading (note that the December 2013 section is far smaller than the paragraph on the lawsuit). Section headings should be driven by content, not length, and when I read the last paragraph it seems to be different from the other paragraphs in the public debate section, so it should be separated. Additionally, a separate headings allows having the {{main}} template. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:18, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Which "lawsuit"? Did you mean the "proposed lawsuit"? Until a lawsuit actually exists, content conveying that the proposed lawsuit is being used to quiet calls for impeachment is nothing more than another argument made in the public debate over impeachment -- and we have a section and header for that already. Should such a lawsuit should ever get filed in a court of law (you know, with an official docket name, etc.), then I may find agreement with How hot is the sun that the matter should be separated -- but at that time, it would probably deserve its own article. Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Why doesn't someone just start a separate article on it? A lawsuit might be briefly mentioned here but it is not equivalent to impeachment - no lawsuit can remove a president from office. The worst that could happen would be a legal injunction against an executive order. Hardly the same penalty as removal. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 03:20, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
An article about the lawsuit already exists. The lawsuit is explicitly introduced as a substitute for impeachment. How hot is the sun? (talk) 03:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That's right. It's not impeachment. This article is about impeachment. The lawsuit doesn't belong. Mention the article on the lawsuit in the See also section, and leave it at that. HiLo48 (talk) 04:29, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Just because it's related doesn't mean that it only belongs in the "See also" section. The relationship can be detailed in the article. I did add a {{main}} template, because it seems that more than one person missed the link to the lawsuit article that already exists. How hot is the sun? (talk) 12:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Just so that we are all on the same page, and working from facts instead of misperceptions, a few clarifications should be made:

  • it is very clearly stated in the discussion above that the connection has been made between the lawsuit and impeachment efforts

That is not correct. What was clearly stated is that 2 opinion pieces speculated that Boehner proposed going with a lawsuit as an alternative to the politically suicidal step of trying to impeach. It was also clearly stated that neither the "lawsuit" nor an "effort to impeach" exist at this time; just a lot of political rhetoric and "debate". Also clearly stated above is that "the content of the article needs to be relevant to the subject of the article" -- something that still hasn't been fixed.

  • there is every reason to place the lawsuit in the article

No; unless 1) an actual lawsuit exists (it doesn't yet), and 2) the lawsuit is detailed in reliable sources (not opinion pieces) as explicitly supplanting an existing impeachment effort (such an effort doesn't exist yet).

  • You may not be happy about the outcome of the discussion in the thread above...

What "outcome" is that again, and where (be specific) is that outcome detailed? I don't see it. I do, however, see where the discussion was carried to a noticeboard for further discussion, but 100% of the respondees say to wait until there is an actual effort to impeach.

  • a vote was taken and money is already spent for a lawsuit

Not. A House Resolution was passed by a party-line vote, which is hardly more than political rhetoric -- like the votes to commend NASA for their Mars Rover; to upgrade the toilet paper in chamber restrooms from 1-ply to 2-ply; to create a National Pi Day, etc. As for "money already spent", I've seen nothing on that.

Is there any objection to nominating this "Efforts" article, and the "lawsuit" article, for deletion until there are actual efforts and lawsuits? I mean Wikipedia policy-based objections, not the usual ones. Xenophrenic (talk) 20:23, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, money has been spent. See referene listed in the lawsuit article. As for you devaluing the meaning of the vote, that's your opinion. The fact is that based on the vote, the Congress is already spending money in preparation for a lawsuit. How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:56, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I have no opinions regarding this matter; I rely soley on what reliable sources say. That's how I avoid making mistakes like "money has been spent" (no, a contract has been entered .. not a penny has been spent yet) or "you devalue the meaning of the vote" (no, the reliable sources say the vote was meaningless grandstanding, and the real test is whether a lawsuit ever gets taken up by a court of law). Xenophrenic (talk) 22:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
In the context of whether an official action has been taken, a contract is an official action. How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:41, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Further to the above, the vote to authorize the lawsuit has itself been widely reported as an event of historic significance. If the courts either take up the lawsuit or refuse to take up the lawsuit, that will be a precedent of substantial importance to the constitutional balance of powers. The parties driving the lawsuit might abandon the effort, but I am not aware of any statement to that effect having been made, so like any future event, we can look only to what has been done with respect to it, not what might happen in an unanticipated future. bd2412 T 23:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
@How hot is the sun: I never mentioned "official action". I simply corrected your misstatement that "money has been spent". Do you wish to engage on what is or is not an "official action" now? Xenophrenic (talk) 07:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm afraid the truth is not on your side Xenophrenic mentions "official action". How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:09, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Please read more carefully. Notice the quotation marks? I was quoting you; you mentioned "official action", not me. Let me know if there is any further confusion. (And you didn't answer my question.) Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Nice attempt at a rationalization, but by quoting me, you were saying that a vote is not an official action, so I reject your rationalization. How hot is the sun? (talk) 21:33, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Incorrect. I never mentioned "official action", that was you, and I certainly never compared a "vote" with an "official action". I simply corrected your misstatement that "money has been spent". Let me know if there is any further confusion. Xenophrenic (talk) 19:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
@BD2412: Checking the reference you've linked, it does not state anything has been "widely reported". Is that a personal conclusion? It does mention that the possible lawsuit would be the first House v. President case, but it is also careful to note that the lawsuit doesn't exist yet, still has to be worded and crafted, then has to achieve "standing", then needs to be accepted by a court, etc. Would you have any objection to renaming the article after the House resolution? Xenophrenic (talk) 07:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The articles that we do have that are named after House resolutions should be moved to shorter concise titles. As for the historic nature of the lawsuit being "widely" reported, it has been reported as being historic in Time, Newsweek, the New York Times, LA Times, National Journal, PBS, and many other sources at that level. I have included links and quotes from two three of these in that article. bd2412 T 19:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Any discussions about the article name for the lawsuit article should be done in the talk page of that article. Not here. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:31, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

There is as much reason to keep this as to keep Statehood movement in Puerto Rico - another subject area where a vote by Congress is necessary to effect the outcome desired by proponents, but where the topic is notable and verifiable even if no congressional action ever takes place. We have articles on purely political House resolutions if they are notable - United States resolution on Armenian Genocide (proposed, not even passed); Attempted impeachment of Dick Cheney (focusing on a resolution that was proposed in the House and tabled); Urging the Government of Burma to end the persecution of the Rohingya people and respect internationally recognized human rights for all ethnic and religious minority groups within Burma (H.Res. 418; 113th Congress); Calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service (H.Res. 565; 113th Congress). Our criteria for notability does not hinge on political action coming in some binding form or succeeding in achieving its stated goals. It hinges on the action being important enough to garner independent coverage in reliable sources. I would add that plenty of additional sources are available for the connection made by pundits and experts in the field between the lawsuit and the impeachment effort. We are not required to list every source supporting a point, just a source (ideally the best source) for that point. bd2412 T 20:43, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Nomination for deletion sounds very wise to me. It would reduce the chances of Wikipedia looking like a tool of the Tea Party too. That is not a comment on whether the "must get rid of Obama at any cost" crowd is right or not. We must not look like a tool of ANY political group, especially one from just one country. BD2412 - will you please stop trying to convince us that there is a connection. Even if there is (and I suspect there is), it still doesn't belong in this article. So stop wasting electrons on that claim. HiLo48 (talk) 20:49, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
I am not "trying to convince" you that there is a connection, I am documenting the reports of a connection in verifiable reliable sources. To be clear, even if it were to turn out that there is no connection, the belief that there is one has been widely reported, and is as notable as the widely reported belief that there was a boy being carried by that balloon. However, if you want to nominate these articles for deletion, by all means, I'm as curious to see how that turns out as you are. bd2412 T 21:02, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
If I understand BD2412's reasoning above, based on his examples, we should rename the "lawsuit" article to H. Res. 676 or the long title Providing for authority to initiate litigation for actions by the President or other executive branch officials inconsistent with their duties under the Constitution of the United States. (H.R.676). Also, this mis-named "Efforts" article should be renamed Republican calls to impeach Barack Obama. At least that would address the above complaint that the content doesn't match the article subject name. I disagree with the assertion that "There is as much reason to keep this as to keep Statehood movement in Puerto Rico". That article details numerous resolutions (compared to none to impeach) and referendums (compared to none to impeach) and advocacy organizations campaigning for action (compared to just Republicans in U.S. politics ...the usual). Perhaps you could come up with a stronger argument? Xenophrenic (talk) 22:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
All the argument that is needed is that the effort has been verifiably reported in reliable sources (per Wikipedia:Notability (events)). We don't disregard those merely for the expedient of avoiding the inclusion of politically charged matters. If you think the article should be deleted, nominate it for deletion. If you think it should be moved, file a move request (although, for the record, I have filed a request to move the monstrously long-titled "Urging the Government of Burma" resolution to a shorter title). Discussion outside of these processes will not effect these ends. bd2412 T 23:18, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • All the argument that is needed is that the effort has been verifiably reported in reliable sources..."
Exactly; but that argument has not yet been made. We don't have any reliably sourced efforts to impeach. So we are in agreement. As you suggest, I'll work on a deletion proposal. Xenophrenic (talk) 07:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Xenophrenic, although it is good to strictly follow Wikipedia policies, I think your problem is that you take words too literally. Every member of congress who speaks in favor of impeachment is putting forth an effort - however minimal - towards impeachment. Although it is true that speaking in favor of impeachment in and of itself won't bring about impeachment, it does exert an effort towards impeachment. It should be pretty clear that members of congress who speak in favor of impeachment are not doing so because they want to exercise their vocal cords. If you think I'm full of shit, go ahead and nominate the article for deletion. I doubt that it won't survive and AfD. How hot is the sun? (talk) 04:30, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I am pleased that we agree it is good to follow Wikipedia policy. I'm not going to touch your comment which begins "I think your problem is..." Moving on, I disagree with your opinion that every utterance about impeachment equates to "an effort" towards impeachment. It's simply routine political rhetoric and grandstanding exercised by both political parties under every president. That is vastly different from "Efforts" as conveyed in the title of this article. In fact, even party line votes (like the one to authorize litigation) don't always indicate agreement with, much less "an effort" toward, a course of action. (See page 10, first paragraph here for one reason why.) Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm terribly sorry you feel that me pointing out what I think is your problem constitutes a personal attack, but (no pun intended), that's your problem. I'm not taking back my comment. How hot is the sun? (talk) 21:25, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Apology accepted. Regarding the rest of my comment, we have reached agreement? Xenophrenic (talk) 19:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
This is all heading way off the topic, which is whether the lawsuit deserves it's own section. I still take the position that not only does it not deserve its own section, it doesn't belong in THIS article about impeachment attempts, because it's not an impeachment attempt. Yes, it may be related, but that doesn't change what I just wrote. Mention it in the See also section, and that's enough. HiLo48 (talk) 00:17, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Then why do you think it should be mentioned in the See also section? bd2412 T 00:23, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Because many people believe there is a connection. So a pointer to the other article makes sense. HiLo48 (talk) 00:32, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
You have just undermined your own logic -- you recognize there is a connection, but it is YOUR opinion that the connection is only as strong as a mention in the "See Also". The problem, of course, is that your opinion is just that -- an opinion. When secondary reliable sources make the connection, then it is justified to make the connection in the article. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:38, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Why? In what way is a See also mention not enough? HiLo48 (talk) 00:41, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I'll assume good faith, and explain to you the obvious: A mention in a "see also" section puts no perspective on why the lawsuit is related to the efforts to impeach and it would have no references. Since Wikipeidia is not censored, there is no reason to supress the relationship. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:58, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The other article provides the perspective. A reader will know that it's relevant in some way, because we don't put irrelevant links in the See also section. HiLo48 (talk) 01:39, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't going to comment, but misuse of WP:NOTCENSORED needs to be resisted. The article is about efforts to impeach Obama—it is not efforts by senior Republicans to deflect clueless members of their party from undertaking a process which would probably backfire. Pointing out that a "see also' is the appropriate way to handle such a case is editorial judgment and is nothing to do with censorship. Johnuniq (talk) 01:41, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm wrong, but to me deliberately trying to supress information is censorship. I cannot see how it would improve the article to put a link to the lawsuit w/o giving the context that the lawsuit is seen as an attempt by Boehner to be a substitute for impeachment. How hot is the sun? (talk) 01:52, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
This isn't censorship. I have no objection to the content being on Wikipedia at all. (Well, I do think it's all a bit silly.) So long as it's where it should be. HiLo48 (talk) 02:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Suppose we were to mention the conclusion drawn by pundits and experts that the lawsuit is intended to substitute for impeachment without mentioning the lawsuit itself? bd2412 T 01:45, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
No need. Holding a demo outside the White House with placards about birth certificates is an alternative too, but we won't include that. HiLo48 (talk) 02:36, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
It might bear mentioning that while Boehner has recently assumed ownership of the "lawsuit" idea, and a couple pundits say he may personally hope it will divert some of the crazies away from the impeachment meme, the litigation angle predates Boehner involvement. Its origins have nothing to do with Republican calls for impeachment. Xenophrenic (talk) 07:26, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
The fact that the lawsuit predates Boehner's involvment is detailed in the lawsuit article, and is beyond the scope of this article. This article just makes the point that in lieu of impeachment Boehner is going with the lawsuit. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
More specifically, it makes the point that 2 individuals are of the opinion that Boehner hopes that proposing litigation will divert the calls for impeachment. I don't recall Boehner, himself, actually saying that is his reasoning. Is there something in print somewhere where Boehner makes the "lawsuit in lieu of impeachment" rationale? Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
We are not reporting that Boehner is making a "lawsuit in lieu of impeachment" rationale. We are reporting the analysis of political experts. Do you have any reason to believe that the credentials of Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, David Hawkings of Politico, or for that matter Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post (addressing the claim "that the lawsuit over Obama’s unilateral executive actions — designed to serve as a mild substitute for impeachment — actually means impeachment is in the offing"), or Francine Kiefer of the Christian Science Monitor ("3 reasons John Boehner opted to sue Obama rather than impeach")? bd2412 T 18:25, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I think your question got chopped off: Do I have any reason to believe that the credentials of Page, Hawkings, Rubin or Kiefer ... what, exactly? My question above was: Has Boehner said (in print or on video) he's proposing to sue instead of impeach, or is that just the speculation of political observers like the ones you have mentioned? Xenophrenic (talk) 22:08, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I think I meant "reason to doubt". Of course Boehner has not said that the lawsuit is a substitute for impeachment. If you find any place in the article where it says that Boehner has actually said such a thing, please feel free to replace it immediately with the verifiable statements of the aforementioned reliable sources. Cheers! bd2412 T 22:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
Apparently, we (you, BD2412 and I) have agreed on that all along: Our article is not making the point that Boehner is going with a lawsuit in lieu of impeachment. Our article is instead saying that observers (the ones you named), not Boehner, has made that conjecture. So we agree. My disagreement before you commented was with another editor's statement: "This article just makes the point that in lieu of impeachment Boehner is going with the lawsuit", which it does not. Xenophrenic (talk) 02:46, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Excellent - if you find yourself agreeing with me, it means you're right! bd2412 T 03:12, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting -- so the objection all along was on the definiteness of the statement "lawsuit in lieu of impeachment"? While a section heading of "Pundits believe a lawsuit was filed in lieu of impeachment" is unecessarily cumbersome, how about "Lawsuit in lieu of impeachment?" with the question mark emphasizing that it's not necessarily a fact? How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:21, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
No, the objection was to the statement "This article just makes the point that in lieu of impeachment Boehner is going with the lawsuit", which it does not. And should not. As for the other matter regarding separating certain "Public debate over impeachment" content into its own section and header, I've already commented on that above. Xenophrenic (talk) 20:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Placing lawsuit in its own section #2[edit]

I'm starting a new thread because the previous thread turned in the a free-for-all. The only arguments I received against placing the lawsuit in its own section were unspecified WP:NPOV concerns, and concerns about the length of the paragraph on the lawsuit (too short). While I cannot rebut unspecified WP:NPOV concerns (the concerns can be detailed in this thread), I did expand the material on the lawsuit to take care of the length concern. How hot is the sun? (talk) 04:46, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

The concerns are indeed outlined in the above section. Xenophrenic (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how the proposed section heading would violate WP:STRUCTURE which requires that "headers, footnotes, or other formatting elements [not] unduly favor one point of view". There is no other point of view to present, as there is currently no analysis out there saying that the lawsuit is not a substitute for impeachment or that the two are unrelated.
As for WP:UNDUE, I don't see how it even applies to inclusion or exclusion of section headings.
How hot is the sun? (talk) 21:31, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
Although I think that it should be mentioned that the commentators believe the lawsuit to be a diversion from impeachment, I really don't think that anything more than that should be said about the lawsuit in this article. The vote count, for example, is irrelevant. bd2412 T 19:22, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Since there is a separate article about the lawsuit, I agree that details about the lawsuit belong in the lawsuit article and in this article the lawsuit should only be mentioned as it relates to impeachment. I added the vote count only because it's a short sentence, and I thought it would be of value. I'll remove it. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:54, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Paraphrasing of quotes[edit]

This piece by Hawkings is being cited in our article. Hawkings ends the piece by saying:

Complicating matters further, the lawsuit will come more than a year after Obama acted, so a judge may wonder what took an outraged House so long. And the presidential postponement of the employer mandate ends with the end of the year, after which a judge may consider the matter moot. But January is not the month that matters most to Boehner’s team of politically attuned attorneys. November is.

An editor has taken a stab at "paraphrasing" the last two sentences, and placed this interpretation in our article:

He then opined that in passing the resolution to file the lawsuit, the Republicans were motivated by the timing of the 2014 congressional elections, rather than what would happen in January.

That doesn't appear to me to be anywhere near an accurate paraphrase of the source, so I took the simple approach and quoted the last part verbatim. Paraphrasing can be a good thing when done accurately, and without reading extra stuff into it not conveyed by the source. (i.e.; Where does he mention "Republicans" instead of Boehner's attorneys? Where does he say he is talking about "in passing the resolution" instead of the act of suing the President?) Xenophrenic (talk) 08:25, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

He mentions "Republicans" by saying "Boehner’s team of politically attuned attorneys" who are serving the Republican caucus.
If you wish, you can change "in passing the resolution" to "the act of suing the President" -- I see no distinction between the two.
How hot is the sun? (talk) 21:22, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
OK -- although I still think your point about Hawkings not mentioning "Republicans" is too literal of an interpretation, in order to bring this edit war to a conclusion, I did take out the word "Republicans" from the paraphrase. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:37, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Also took out the words "passing the resolution". How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:41, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for engaging in discussion on this matter. I've reverted the changes pending the resolution of the above issues. (The revert also undid your second attempt to insert the non-word "pupose", the weird, verb-less "the lawsuit to divert recent Republican calls for impeachment" phrase, a completely unencyclopedic insertion of an editorial note, etc. We can discuss those edits, too, if you wish.)
Let's start with what the source actually said. First, what is your objection to using an exact quote, and thereby avoiding any possibility of misinterpretation? Xenophrenic (talk) 19:25, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure you are following proper protocol, as I do not remember who reverted whom, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. In any case, since the dispute involves only whether or not to paraphrase the last sentence, I restored all other edits that you have not raised objections, as well as one edit for which the objection was a spelling error (where you made mountain out of a molehill). How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:46, 19 September 2014 (UTC) I'll address the quote later. How hot is the sun? (talk) 19:47, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

The proper protocol is to discuss disputed edits until agreement (or consensus, if complete agreement is unatainable) is reached. Also note that reverts of edits and deletion of text are generally considered to be "objection" to that material. If I see a spelling error in a word, I will correct it; if the text (spelled correctly or not) is problematic in other ways, I will remove it pending discussion. Xenophrenic (talk) 20:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

And now I'll address the quote. The quote "But January is not the month that matters most to Boehner’s team of politically attuned attorneys. November is." Is not encyclopedic. It is written in July of 2014 with the intention that it be read in that timeframe. A reader in 10 years would not be able to understand it as well. Additionally, "Boehner's team of politically attuned attorneys" is ambiguous. Is it the lawyers that the House has retained for the lawsuit? or the Republicans in his caucus that are attorneys by profession? This is why it's better to say that the motivation for the lawsuit is the electinos (what Hawkings calls "November") rather than the longer term viability of the lawsuit (what Hakings calls "January"). --How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:04, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

Of course direct quotes are encyclopedic, so let's look at your other concerns. I agree with you that we should produce content that is equally understandable 10 years from now as it is today. I disagree with you that a reader could in any way confuse "Boehner's team of politically attuned attorneys" with members of the House. As I noted above, I agree that paraphrasing what Hawkings said might generate an improvement, but I still disagree with your interpretation of his last two sentences. Let's see what we can do to improve it. We currently have:
Hawkings has also pointed out that a proposed lawsuit wouldn't come until more than a year after the President acted, and it could be considered moot because the presidential delay of the employer mandate may have already expired. Hawkings concluded, "But January is not the month that matters most to Boehner’s team of politically attuned attorneys. November is."
Through a recent edit (prematurely submitted before concluding this discussion here), you suggested:
Hawkings has also pointed out that a proposed lawsuit wouldn't come until more than a year after the President issued the postponement of the employer mandate, and it could be considered moot because by January the postponement of the employer mandate would come to an end for many employers.[n 1] Hawkings then concluded that the motivation for the lawsuit is the political impact to the 2014 congressional elections, rather than the viability of the lawsuit.
Some observations on your suggested text: 1) Repeating "the postponement of the employer mandate" twice in the same sentence is cumbersome; 2) Inserting the footnote creates a contradiction. Hawkings didn't say the issue could be moot because the postponement would expire for "just some" employers, which your suggested wording seems to say, but doesn't make sense. Also note that Hawkings' assessment was made many months after the postponements described in your WaPo footnote. 3) I partially disagree with your interpretation of what Hawkings sees as "motivation" based on the his last 2 sentences, although your latest interpretation does come closer to what the article as a whole conveys. With that in mind, what are your thoughts on rewording that section like this:
Hawkings noted that the plan for suing Obama sends a "decidedly mixed message" since Republicans themselves previously "passed legislation specifically written to codify the president’s employer mandate delay". He also criticized the move as not likely to have legal standing; wouldn't come until more than a year after the President issued the postponement of the employer mandate; and might be considered moot by then because the postponement may have already expired. With "almost no chance for even a preliminary resolution before the midterm elections", Hawkings has concluded the intent of Republicans is not a successful lawsuit but rather an opportunity for focusing their "red meat rhetoric" and "venting their bloodlust this summer and fall."
Xenophrenic (talk) 20:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
Your proposed quote is fine with me. How hot is the sun? (talk) 04:10, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Your proposed text if OK, with the exception of the last verbatim quote because "this summer and fall" is not encyclopedic text. How hot is the sun? (talk) 17:39, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
Of course direct quotes are encyclopedic. If those words were instead used in Wikipedia's voice, then I would fully agree with you that we could improve that wording -- but it is a direct quote. Given the context conveyed by the sentence (which mentioned the November elections), it is clear to me what Hawkings is saying. Is your concern that it is unclear? Xenophrenic (talk) 20:07, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
"this summer and fall" should not be quoted verbatim because the word "this" is only useful in 2014. The article needs to be relevant in the future. How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:11, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
On top of that, "fall" is called "autumn" in much of the English speaking world, and we are a global encyclopaedia. We must cater to the broader audience. HiLo48 (talk) 02:18, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
That's another good point. I have already paraphrased "this summer and fall". How hot is the sun? (talk) 02:25, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Paraphrasing "this summer and fall" as "before the elections" works; an improvement, actually. Xenophrenic (talk) 05:26, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Since you've started implementing the above discussed changes into the article, I've completed the move of the agreed-upon text. While I was doing so, I noticed (and removed) some stuff, like an attempt to equate different factors with "legal standing" (things that have nothing to do with legal standing), spelling erros and typos, etc. Xenophrenic (talk) 05:38, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

You did many things

  1. You re-merged the paragraph after I split it into two because it became too large.
  2. It is incorrect that I have equate[d] different factors with "legal standing" I just took your long-ass sentence and split into two. For the record, this is what I did. What is the objection to this?
  3. Per below, you removed the section heading

How hot is the sun? (talk) 05:45, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Incorrect. I did just one thing: I copied the text we agreed upon above, and pasted it into the article. I apologize if that over-wrote other undiscussed changes you made to that text (like the totally incorrect and malformed statement, He also criticized the move as not likely to have legal standing for a couple reason. -- He gave only one reason, and that isn't even in our article). We can discuss them if you'd like. Xenophrenic (talk) 08:49, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
It seems that you are denying reality, because that is indeed what you did. Anyway, the article currently tells that Hawkings has two reasons for thinking that the lawsuit lacks standing.
  1. it took almost a year to file (your wording is "wouldn't come until more than a year after the President issued the postponement of the employer mandate"
  2. by the time it gets filed the postponement will be over (your wording is "the postponement may have already expired")
How hot is the sun? (talk) 17:19, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
Incorrect. Hawkings does not give those as reasons why the proposed suit would lack standing, but rather as other issues that may "complicate matters further". Here is Hawkings' stated reason to believe the lawsuit will not have standing:
As a matter of law, it’s not easy to see how the House argues successfully that it has standing to bring such a suit. The general rule in a civil case is that plaintiffs must demonstrate they’ve been tangibly harmed by the other side’s actions, and time after time federal judges have said it’s not sufficient for members to claim a loss of political or institutional clout because a president frustrated the will of Congress.
In a nutshell, demonstrating tangible harm is the basis for establishing standing in a suit. The other stuff regarding timing and delays also make the plaintiffs look bad, and will certainly be considered by a judge, but those aren't reasons given by Hawkings for why he thinks a court will not grant standing. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I didn't appreciate the difference. I have reworded the article per your clarification (w/o adding your words "make the plaintiffs look bad", as those words would violate WP:NPOV). How hot is the sun? (talk) 04:20, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Your rewording looks good. As for your later edit, I don't think Hawkings meant "filed" when he said "the lawsuit will come more than a year after...", since the initial filing will come before that (or so I have read). Xenophrenic (talk) 07:49, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Hawkings' Error[edit]

I am actually not 100% sure Hawkings made an error, as I have put in this edit. Since Hawkings did not specify January of which year, he could have meant January of 2016, but generally if you don't specify a year then it is inferred to be the immediate January. Hawkings wrote "end of the year", which I think means the end of 2014, the year that the editorial was written, but he may have meant a different year. Any thoughts what we should do here? How hot is the sun? (talk) 20:01, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

What we should do here? Nothing. Hawkings is talking about the plan to sue Obama, so perhaps raise your question on the Talk page of that article? Xenophrenic (talk) 20:28, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

possible alternative to impeachment section[edit]

I proposed to put the lawsuit in a section titled "possible alternative to impeachment" but got reverted. What is the objection to this title? I thought that by adding "possible" I took out the NPOV concern. How hot is the sun? (talk) 04:13, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

I can't speak for other editors, but my concerns as outlined in the above discussion remain. Xenophrenic (talk) 05:38, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I contend that I have addressed your NPOV concerns with the additional word "Possible". How hot is the sun? (talk) 05:40, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
You must have me confused with another editor. I never raised "what words were used" as a concern. Xenophrenic (talk) 08:49, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

So what exactly is your concern with the proposed section heading? The above discussion is too scattered to follow. How hot is the sun? (talk) 17:14, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Exactly this. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
You need to provide a reason you continue to oppose the section heading. I have already stated that your reasoning of WP:STRUCTURE and WP:UNDUE do not apply. Those are subsets of WP:NPOV, which I have attempted to address with the additional word 'Possible'. At the moment, all you are doing is edit warring. How hot is the sun? (talk) 03:58, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
You've started three separate discussions proposing the same thing. I've provided my policy-based reasons, with explanations (nothing to do with wording, by the way), which have remained the same through all three. You've stated that you don't see how the policies apply, so maybe someone else should explain them to you. Xenophrenic (talk) 07:49, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

RfC: Should the last 3 paragraphs in the public debate section be separated into a different section?[edit]

RESOLVED
There is a consensus that no content related to the lawsuit should be included in this article as it belongs in its own article, which interestingly to me isn't linked to from {{Barack Obama}} nor is it linked in the "See Also" section as I would expect it to be. (non-admin closure){{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:14, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I believe the content about the lawsuit, as an alternative to impeachment, should be separate from the public debate section. Another editor (see this talk page) has objected citing WP:STRUCTURE and WP:UNDUE concerns. I fail to see how those two policies would apply if we were to put a section heading such as "A lawsuit as a possible alternative to impeachment". Earlier in the discussion a 3rd editor opined that there is not enough information about the lawsuit to merit having it in its own section, but the content has now increased to mitigate that concern. How hot is the sun? (talk) 12:21, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

  • RFC comment: Hi, I think this RFC would be easier to comment on if the issue was described in a clear and concise way. Having looked at the three paragraphs in question, I don't think it makes much of a difference either way. Overall, this article seems to be way too long concerning the marginal relevance of this topic. In fact, now that I think of it I'm not immediately convinced we should even have an article about this in the encyclopedia. --Dailycare (talk) 18:26, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. It's all about a futile political point-scoring exercise, and will be looked back upon in future years (see WP:10YT) as a complete waste of time and effort. HiLo48 (talk) 22:04, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I reiterate my position stated above; the fact that some experts believe that the lawsuit is intended to divert impeachment efforts deserves one line in the article. Since nothing more than that is merited, that is all that should be said about it, and a separate section is undue. bd2412 T 23:04, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Yep. HiLo48 (talk) 23:15, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
At the moment, the topic occupies 3 paragraphs:

A number of prominent Republicans have rejected calls for impeachment, including House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Blake Farenthold. McCain said impeachment would be a distraction from the 2014 election, and that if "we regain control of the United States Senate we can be far more effective than an effort to impeach the president, which has no chance of succeeding." Farenthold said that impeachment would be "an exercise in futility."[26]

Boehner put to vote an authorization for the House of Representatives to file a lawsuit against President Obama for delaying the implementation of the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Political commentators have speculated that he proposed this lawsuit to divert recent Republican calls for impeachment, which would delight Democrats if pursued. In the words of Clarence Page in a Chicago Tribune editorial about calls for impeachment, "Democrats can barely conceal their glee. It's hard to think of anything that would give a bigger boost to the Democrats".[27]

Roll Call's David Hawkings likewise described the calls for impeachment as "politically problematic" for Republicans. Hawkings noted that the plan for suing Obama sends a "decidedly mixed message" since Republicans themselves previously "passed legislation specifically written to codify the president’s employer mandate delay". He also criticized the move as not likely to have legal standing since the plaintiffs would have to demonstrate that "they’ve been tangibly harmed" beyond the "loss of political or institutional clout". Additionally, the lawsuit would not be filed until more than a year after the President issued the postponement of the employer mandate, and the lawsuit might also be considered moot by then because the postponement may have already expired. With "almost no chance for even a preliminary resolution before the midterm elections", Hawkings concluded the intent of Republicans is not a successful lawsuit but rather an opportunity for focusing their "red meat rhetoric" and "venting their bloodlust" before the elections.[28]

— article rev as of 00:09, 25 September 2014
What do you think should be removed? How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:16, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Of those three paragraphs, the first is not about the lawsuit. Republicans can oppose calls for impeachment without having anything to do with a lawsuit, and the lawsuit does not involve John McCain (a Senator), nor does it particularly involve Blake Farenthold, who is not an architect of it. The first two lines of the second paragraph relate to the lawsuit, the rest relates to speculation by political commentators on the effect that calls for impeachment will have on the election. The first line of the third paragraph also relates to the potential effects of impeachment. The rest of that paragraph is primarily about the lawsuit and not at all about impeachment, and should be in the article on the lawsuit, not in this article. bd2412 T 00:30, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
The material could certainly be included in the article on the lawsuit, but I think the material here is needed because it makes the case that the lawsuit is intended to be an alternate to impeachment. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:41, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the first paragraph is not specifically about the lawsuit, but it does set up a transition for the lawsuit as an alternative. How hot is the sun? (talk) 00:43, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
It's not our job to "make the case" about anything. We merely report the facts that are relevant to impeachment. The reasons for which this is believed of the lawsuit are relevant to the lawsuit, not to impeachment efforts. bd2412 T 01:00, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • As explained, this article is about efforts to impeach—it is not about efforts to not impeach. How many editors are pushing this UNDUE stuff? Johnuniq (talk) 01:09, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes, my preferred conclusion here is that nothing about the lawsuit appears in this article, for the obvious reason that the lawsuit is explicitly NOT about impeachment. Including it just makes the article and the people adding that content look silly. HiLo48 (talk) 01:23, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
How many editors pushing, you ask? Two, if I've counted correctly - after it was initially introduced by a 3rd editor here on July 15. BD2412 and How hot is the sun? both want the proposed lawsuit at least mentioned in this article, with the latter editor also wanting it to have its own section, its own header, and several paragraphs of coverage. That's odd, considering Boehner himself has empahtically stated several times (and continues to insist) that “This is not about impeachment. This is about his faithfully executing the laws of our country.” Yes, the content looks silly in this article, but then so does the rest of this article, as there have been no concrete "efforts" to impeach, and the spokesperson and leader of the only body able to make such an effort has clearly stated on the record, "We have no plans to impeach the president." Xenophrenic (talk) 20:32, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Move any content about a proposed lawsuit into an article about that proposed lawsuit, for the obvious reasons stated above. Xenophrenic (talk) 20:32, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Xenophrenic, I wasn't aware of this reference. It wouls certainly be appropriate to add to this article, but I'm not going to do that, because it appears that consensus is leaning towards removing all mentioning of the lawsuit in this article, because "the lawsuit is not impeachment". I have already stated that if WP:RS are making the connection, then for the sake of completeness of the article, it's appropriate to make the connection here. How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:12, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Would we then need to rename the article to Efforts to impeach Barack Obama, or not? Otherwise, it just becomes another poorly named catch-all article for multiple things the Republicans and Tea Partiers don't like about Obama. HiLo48 (talk) 23:38, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Your proposal is made in jest, of course. How hot is the sun? (talk) 23:46, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
While the specific proposal may have been made in jest, the underlying concept is a serious concern expressed by several of us many times on this page. The purported subjects of the article just don't exist. 2600:1006:B011:BA79:B945:D20A:9451:85D (talk) 00:09, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I used humour to make a serious point. We won't have an article called Efforts to impeach Barack Obama, or not, yet that is an accurate description of what some want the article to contain. (And even, perhaps, what it contains now.) HiLo48 (talk) 00:23, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Seems like a article primed and ready for AfD.Serialjoepsycho (talk) 00:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Only someone totally oblivious to the political situation in the US would not see the direct connection between impeachment and the House lawsuit. The suite has been described in numerous sources as a way for the Republican leadership to deal with the pressure from the base to initiate impeachment proceedings, without really doing it as that could have resulted in them paying a political price during the midterms. Clinton anyone?- Cwobeel (talk) 21:20, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
Cwobeel, you appear to understand the present "political situation", but your wording is inaccurate when you say "the direct connection between impeachment and the House lawsuit". There has been no impeachment and there is still no House lawsuit. According to some sources, Some have speculated that the case is slight of hand on Boehner's part, appeasing elements in his party that want to impeach Obama while not going so far as to actually do it. But even if this speculation is true - and it is just speculation - it just confirms there is no "effort to impeach", and there is now even less chance of such an effort materializing. As for the proposed lawsuit, both law firms (and Rivkin, the legal theorist behind the idea) enlisted by Boehner to prosecute the case have backed out. So given the real situation, what are your thoughts on having 3 paragraphs of text about a proposed lawsuit which doesn't yet exist in an article about nonexistent "efforts to impeach"? Xenophrenic (talk) 04:54, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Source part of the introduction[edit]

"Many want Obama impeached for being responsible for the Ebola Virus coming to America, along with the possibility that he can also be Osama Bin Laden."

Is there any source for this information? Source 3 in the endnotes reveals a poll about impeachment but makes no mention of this conspiracy theory. From intuition alone, I am sure people blame Obama for ebola but have any important figures or congress members actually claimed that Obama IS Osama Bin Laden. A quick google search does not provide any sources. It could just be a typo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.239.44.42 (talk) 14:05, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

That's just somebody's vandalism. Only the vandal in question has been accusing Obama of being Bin Laden. Feel free to revert any suspicious edits on sight.Crboyer (talk) 17:58, 31 October 2014 (UTC)

Opening sentence[edit]

I have been watching some of the recent edit warring involving the opening sentence. Clearly, based on what I have observed, I have to conclude that the original line ("Republican Congressmen") seems to indicate some sort of Liberal Bias because the broad interpretation of that line would give the impression that anyone who supports impeaching Obama is Republican when that is not necessarily true. In accordance with WP:NPOV, I've had to rewrite that line in order to make it more neutral without taking any sides.--Loyalmoonie (talk) 06:24, 6 December 2015 (UTC)Chris

  • We go by what reliable sources state, and take a look at this Talk page and the sources in the article. Also, you have logged out as an IP and violated 3RR. Stop it. Dave Dial (talk) 06:35, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
    • For your information, those IPs were not me; I was only logging into Wikipedia when I noticed what was happening. Please do not accuse me of socking, and remember to assume good faith. Nonetheless, if you disagree with my interpretation, I respect your decision not to uphold it.--Loyalmoonie (talk) 16:45, 8 December 2015 (UTC)Chris
  • Darn those "liberals" for being biased toward reliable sources and factual accuracy, rather than personal observations. But you know what they say, reality has a well-known liberal bias. I read the WP:NPOV policy you linked, and could not find "Liberal Bias" mentioned at all. I did see several admonitions against "Editorial Bias"; like when an editor knows a source says "A whole slew of Republican lawmakers have floated impeaching Obama..." or "large swaths of the Republican base seem to support impeachment", but then quietly leaves out the "Republican" fact, or equates "A whole slew"/"large swaths" to merely "several members". Avoiding editorial bias, in accordance with WP:NPOV, will help to ensure that we create a factual, informative encyclopedia instead of a Texas textbook. On a side note, if Loyalmoonie and the IPs are two different people as Loyalmoonie claims, they should really consider introducing themselves to each other so that they can collaborate on articles. They aren't likely to ever again find another editor who shares such an interest in Sailor Moon and Mitsubishi Motors and Obama impeachment. Regards, Xenophrenic (talk) 22:41, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure that this indicates a political bias by the article at all. If we were, for example, to report that only Democratic congressmen consistently vote to keep Obamacare, and only Republican congressmen consistently vote to repeal Obamacare, that would betray no bias, because it is merely a statement of fact. In each case, the congressmen voting would assert that their position was correct and the other position was incorrect. In this case, to remove "Republican Congressmen" from the lede would suggest that Republicans need to be defended from being associated with an incorrect position, and therefore that impeaching Obama would be incorrect (i.e., that Obama has done nothing impeachable). bd2412 T 14:05, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

The subsection titles in this article[edit]

I'm concerned WP:POV was breached by User:Xenophrenic. His edit https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Efforts_to_impeach_Barack_Obama&oldid=755890148 said "to properly convey speculative nature". WP:OR is not the job of Wikipedia. I could just as easily edit George Bush's to properly convey the section "Invasion of Iraq" as "Bush's stupid misadventures" because speculation is needed there, am I right? Nudge nudge. Knowing what to expect, I will now go through the titles.

First, I would argue that repeating "Impeachment for" a dozen times is good for creating a mocking tone rather than simply covering the subject at hand.

Suggestions of impeachment

This title is rather trivial as the article is already named "efforts of impeachment". I replaced it with the category of the efforts like was done in George Bush's Correct title:

Political views and actions

1.1 Impeachment for offering someone a job

This is proclaiming Wikipedia has backed the job as legitimate. Correct title:

Legitimacy of a hire

1.2 Impeachment to prevent Obama from doing things

This is proclaiming Wikipedia has characterized Obama's actions as simply not being comatose. Correct title:

The President's agenda

1.3 No one talking about impeachment to prevent Immigration reform

This is proclaiming Wikipedia has backed Obama's Immigration as "reform", AKA the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, not the neutral "policy". Also, it misquoted the senator as saying that the fact that no one spoke yet was a reason to impeach. Correct title:

Immigration policy

1.4 Impeachment for "the most egregious cover-up in American history", Benghazi attack

This is proclaiming Wikipedia would put scarequotes on someone's claim (scarequotes are when there is no person being quoted). Further, the long title serves to mock the contents of the section. Finally, the topic was a response not an attack. Correct title:

Benghazi attack response

1.5 Impeachment requested by a towhall meeting audience member

This is proclaiming Wikipedia believes the words of the audience member were in this case, incomprehensible. Lazy at best. Correct title:

Background check policy

1.6 Impeachment for being born outside the United States

This is proclaiming Wikipedia is fine with having the long title serve to mock the contents of the section. Correct title:

Birthplace

1.7 Dreaming of impeaching Obama

I have to say here that before I noticed there was an article explaining why the congressman dreamed of impeaching Obama, there was a justification for it, being the IRS. User:Xenophrenic decided it was good enough for wikipedia to quote one of the most cherrypicking NYT articles I've ever seen lambasting a congressman for how he felt, but not why he felt it in the same interview. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Efforts_to_impeach_Barack_Obama&oldid=763740080

IRS policy

1.8 The impeachment hearing that wasn't

This is proclaiming Wikipedia believes the words of the congressman were in this case, incomprehensible. Lazy at best. Correct title:

The President's regard for the constitution

1.9 Impeachment for allowing transgender students to use bathrooms

This is proclaiming Wikipedia has A: taken the position that Obama was personally responsible for this legislation and B: Characterized the legislation as impacting only trangender people C: Overly broadly stated it would prevent them from using all bathrooms. Correct title:

Gender identity legislation passed during the Obama administration

Because of the total revert of my edit and incompetence of User:Xenophrenic I'm calling in the cavalry so this doesn't end up in an edit war.02:43, 31 March 2017 (UTC)


Threaded discussion[edit]

  • Whats the question? - I didn't see anything asked about so will only offer that MOS:SECTIONS says some things to avoid and otherwise I'd look to use the WP:COMMONNAME. Markbassett (talk) 03:14, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Do not open RFC on every trivial editing disagreement. Please close this now. Consider starting an RFC after a normal discussion occurs, and keep it brief. Not everyone wants to ponder over all that stuff. Before seeing this, I reviewed the recent changes and think the current (31 March 2017, at 03:01) version is good. Johnuniq (talk) 03:29, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
Ok I closed the RFC. Sorry, I'm still getting used to Wikipedia and didn't know the option of RFC wasn't always available.Lumbering in thought (talk) 03:42, 31 March 2017 (UTC)


  • Thank you for the proposed changes, Lumbering in thought, and for initiating a discussion about them. Addressing the issues you've raised in order:
I'm concerned WP:POV was breached by User:Xenophrenic. His edit https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Efforts_to_impeach_Barack_Obama&oldid=755890148 said "to properly convey speculative nature". WP:OR is not the job of Wikipedia. --Lumbering
If you'll read the (actual edit) and edit summary more carefully, you'll see it said "rtn summary wording to properly convey the speculative nature of the commentary", and that is what the edit did: it inserted "may have" and "may face" to more closely convey what the source said. Nothing "OR" about that; perhaps you misunderstood what WP:OR is? If you have specific concerns about the speculative "may be impeached" verbiage, please spell them out here. Your references to the Efforts to impeach George W. Bush article are lost on me, by the way, as the same speculative language ("possibly impeachable offenses") is used in the lead sentence of that article, too. And please keep in mind during this discussion that there were actual efforts to impeach Bush, whereas there were no actual efforts against Obama. Perhaps we should be discussing renaming this article.
repeating "Impeachment for" a dozen times is good for creating a mocking tone rather than simply covering the subject at hand --Lumbering
Repeated only four times, actually, but as noted above, the "subject at hand" is "efforts to impeach" (see the article title) which is not covered under any of the nine sub-headers in the article. If you'd like to reduce the redundancy, we can certainly discuss that,
Suggestions of impeachment ... I replaced it with the category of the efforts like was done in George Bush's Correct title: Political views and actions --Lumbering
Again with the comparison with Bush, where actual "efforts to impeach" exist? We probably shouldn't be comparing apples to oranges here; such comparisons don't advance the discussion. Neither "political views" nor substantive "actions" exist in the content which follows your proposed header. What is conveyed are idle speculation, talk-show and townhall bluster, and wishful thinking - no actual "efforts to impeach" exist in our article as it presently stands.
1.1 Impeachment for offering someone a job - This is proclaiming Wikipedia has backed the job as legitimate. Correct title: Legitimacy of a hire --Lumbering
"Offering someone a job" does not make a statement in Wikipedia's voice either way about the legitimacy of said job, whereas inserting the word "legitimacy" into the header uses Wikipedia's voice to imply there is a legitimacy issue, against WP:NPOV.
1.2 Impeachment to prevent Obama from doing things - This is proclaiming Wikipedia has characterized Obama's actions as simply not being comatose. Correct title: The President's agenda --Lumbering
Your correct title is non-descript, and doesn't fit the subsequent content. How would you feel about: Impeachment to prevent Obama from pushing his agenda?
1.3 No one talking about impeachment to prevent Immigration reform - This is proclaiming Wikipedia has backed Obama's Immigration as "reform", AKA the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, not the neutral "policy". Also, it misquoted the senator as saying that the fact that no one spoke yet was a reason to impeach. Correct title: Immigration policy --Lumbering
I don't see a misquote of a senator, you'll need to be more specific in pointing it out. As for the word "reform", that can certainly be replaced with "decisions". The key point of the content following that header, as it relates to the article subject, is that no one is yet talking about impeachment - so that should be conveyed by the header.
1.4 Impeachment for "the most egregious cover-up in American history", Benghazi attack - This is proclaiming Wikipedia would put scarequotes on someone's claim (scarequotes are when there is no person being quoted). Further, the long title serves to mock the contents of the section. Finally, the topic was a response not an attack. Correct title: Benghazi attack response
That's not scare-quotes, as it is indeed a direct quote from a person (Inhofe). And the topic is actually Inhofe's invocation of impeachment for an alleged cover-up of the Benghazi attack. (Yes, there was a Benghazi attack.) I have no objection to adding "response" after Benghazi in the header.
1.5 Impeachment requested by a towhall meeting audience member - This is proclaiming Wikipedia believes the words of the audience member were in this case, incomprehensible. Lazy at best. Correct title: Background check policy
That's an incorrect, cherry-picked title, as the source says It was unclear what specific instance Coburn was referencing as possible grounds for impeachment, and the source speculates on other possible motivations, saying the Internal Revenue Service was also discussed, for example. A header titled "Background check policy" implies there were "Efforts to impeach Barack Obama" for it, which is not conveyed by the source or the section.
1.6 Impeachment for being born outside the United States - This is proclaiming Wikipedia is fine with having the long title serve to mock the contents of the section. Correct title: Birthplace --Lumbering
Mocking the contents? I don't see it; care to explain in what way there is mocking? Looking at your proposed replacement, I don't see in the cited source where Obama's "birthplace" was ever the stated grounds for impeachment. I do, however, read, "Last year's Washington Post-ABC News poll found that a third of self-identified Republicans and conservatives suspected or believed that the president was born outside the United States."
1.7 Dreaming of impeaching Obama - I have to say here that before I noticed there was an article explaining why the congressman dreamed of impeaching Obama, there was a justification for it, being the IRS. User:Xenophrenic decided it was good enough for wikipedia to quote one of the most cherrypicking NYT articles I've ever seen lambasting a congressman for how he felt, but not why he felt it in the same interview. IRS policy --Lumbering
Both cited articles explain the congressman's "dream" to impeach, hence the header title. If you'd like to add "for IRS policy" to it, I wouldn't object. The "sic" tag is there because he said "evidence of impeachment" (there is no evidence that Obama has been impeached) when he clearly meant "evidence for impeachment", and we don't want to confuse our readers. (As for why you linked to an edit of mine where I changed "site" to "blogsite", I don't see the relevance.)
1.8 The impeachment hearing that wasn't - This is proclaiming Wikipedia believes the words of the congressman were in this case, incomprehensible. Lazy at best. Correct title: The President's regard for the constitution
There is nothing in that paragraph about the President's "regard for the constitution", but there is content explaining that the hearing had nothing to do with impeachment. Hence the present header. The actual "fix" would be to remove the content and the header as inapplicable for this article.
1.9 Impeachment for allowing transgender students to use bathrooms - This is proclaiming Wikipedia has A: taken the position that Obama was personally responsible for this legislation and B: Characterized the legislation as impacting only trangender people C: Overly broadly stated it would prevent them from using all bathrooms. Correct title: Gender identity legislation passed during the Obama administration
"responsible for this legislation"? I see no mention of legislation in the header or our article or in the cited source. I do agree that "allowing" could be made more precise by changing it to "directive to allow", since Obama only issued a non-binding directive.
Hopefully that better explains some of my concerns with your proposed wording changes. I understand your concern that present wording conveys a bit of "mockery", but I believe that is just as much due to the fact that the article is ostensibly about "Efforts to impeach" when there have been no such efforts. That "mocking" tone is actually conveyed by several of our cited sources - most prominently the very first one cited, in fact - so it is understandable that our Wikipedia article reflects that. Looking forward to your thoughts, Xenophrenic (talk) 11:27, 31 March 2017 (UTC)
I thought I had picked the one where you made the massive changes. Instead I actually meant this edit where you were "informing the public" on what we agree are pure allegations of various articles mocking the impeachment efforts. If you were still neutral, you'd come out with overly precise "NYT allegation: Bush's stupid misadventures" rather than the Bush page's "Justification for Invasion". I'm afraid you'll still have to respond to my points even if the article is mocking it (which of course you did, but not after your use of kettle logic).

during this discussion that there were actual efforts to impeach Bush, whereas there were no actual efforts against Obama. Perhaps we should be discussing renaming this article.

Thanks for reintroducing your evident bias, in selectively forgetting that impeachment effort doesn't equal impeachment trial and impeachment trial doesn't equal impeachment success. Regardless, from Bush's page:

"At another unofficial hearing convened by Conyers on January 20, 2006, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called for the committee to explore whether Bush should face impeachment, stemming from his decision to authorize domestic surveillance without court review."

Now to dive in. Legitimacy is not saying that something has legitimacy or not, because it's a noun. Hitler had little (adjective) legitimacy. Yes, I wanted to eliminate the mocking redundancy, and you just acknowledged it... nice filibuster. You shouldn't have put redundancy in either case (you were wrong anyway). The misquote was your title "1.3 No one talking about impeachment" when the congressman said no such thing. The article which you wouldnt say alleged this also didn't slander him in that way. If you wanted to change from that was the reason he wanted to impeach to "Immigration policy that a congressman thought he was the first to talk about" that would be pedantic as per WP:COMMONNAME. I noticed you didn't even revert the article to decisions, which the article itself mentioned policy (decisions can be immaterial, policy isn't). If he was quoted it would've said his name in the title. Maybe that's why you shouldn't have included quotes in the title, making it even longer than it needed to be. And if you didn't include response it would be the attack itself as the coverup, and we wouldn't want that would we? I added the same incidents background check context, but I will add the IRS too. You shouldn't have included an incomplete title (lying by omission) without foreseeing someone coming along and summarizing what the source said, where it was unclear although for this and that. The Birthplace was literally what you said "Being born outside the US" without of course a conclusion for you to mock. I reworked it to "Birth Certificate Eligibility" which has more of the words from the article in it. A poll isn't relevant to this section. Again, pedantic to say "He dreamed about this" or "He thought he was the first to say it". Another summarization that had to be done. Fine, since 1.8 was mere saber rattling I'll remove it, or it would've been given a legitimate title. I put back the sic after seeing it was not really subjunctive (of a legitimate impeachment). Changed the Legislation to the immaterial Policy which may or may not have resulted in unconstitutional legislation. I also didn't vandalize because I accommodated some remarks. Lumbering in thought (talk) 11:46, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Hi, Lumbering in thought. I'm having trouble making sense of most of your response. I see a link you describe as "I actually meant this edit", but it doesn't link to an edit. Then I see a bunch of comments disparaging a fellow editor: ...if you were still neutral...your use of kettle logic...your evident bias...selectively forgetting...nice filibuster...pedantic...lying by omission... Then there are some comments about Bush and Hitler, neither of which pertain to this article. A difficult read.
Of your few points I could decipher, one says there is a "misquote"? I couldn't find it (and I did a complete search of the page for all quotation marks). Only one header has an actual quotation, and I verified that the words were said as written. Another point is that I didn't change "reform" to "decisions", which is correct, as I was waiting for your input. I've now changed "reform" to "decisions" ("policy" is not mentioned in the article, but "decision" is mentioned twice). We can work to improve the wording, of course, but we should strive to maintain the accuracy of the wording, while keeping in mind that "efforts to impeach" is the focus of this article. For example, Inhofe did not say there should be impeachment because the administration responded to the Benghazi attack — which would be silly — he said there should be impeachment for an alleged "cover-up". So changing the header to "Benghazi attack response" would be grossly inaccurate. As for the occasion when an audience member at a townhall asked about impeachment, our source specifically says "It was unclear what specific instance Coburn was referencing as possible grounds for impeachment"; and that is why none of the specific "reasons" (there were 6 discussed, according to the video of the event) appear in our header. Xenophrenic (talk) 15:01, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

This version diff better meets NPOV requirements, IMO. Hence I implemented the edit as shown. K.e.coffman (talk) 02:01, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

No, it doesn't at all, which I've explained in my edit summary. Joefromrandb (talk) 03:46, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with user:K.e.coffman and user:Grayfell . " false allegations that Obama was born outside of the United States" is how this should read. If user:Joefromrandb wants to make a case for removing "false" from that line then it should be made here, on the talk page, not in edit summaries. I'm also going to restore the source confirming that this was a false accusation that User:Beetlejuicex3 added and that Joefromrandb removed. Meters (talk) 04:24, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Uh, no. You're the one who wants to change from the long-standing version, so it's not on me to make a case here. Also, where did I remove this source? Joefromrandb (talk) 04:29, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Never mind, I see it now. I think I can fix this. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:32, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Please don't Leave it be and discuss things here. Meters (talk) 04:36, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Ex cathedra pronouncements are not helpful for reaching WP:CONSENSUS. Omitting false would present nonsensical posturing as if it had the status of normal allegations which may be true. Omitting false would mislead readers. Johnuniq (talk) 04:37, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I retained the source, and also noted that the allegations were proven false, while more-closely following the source, which simply debunks the allegations. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:41, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
They were always false. This wasn't a later thing that was plausible at the time, it was always a witch-hunt. It seems clear to me from context that "false allegation" does not mean the same thing as false accusation here. If anyone really think that's a likely problem, some other phrasing could be used to explain, in the lead, that it's not true and was never credible. That's the important part. Grayfell (talk) 04:46, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that's true. I've changed it yet again, to follow even more closely what the source says. Obviously, President Obama was born in the U.S. There are, in fact, plenty of trolls who know this fully well, yet allege otherwise. Not all of them though. Some people believe this nonsense because they truly don't know any better. Joefromrandb (talk) 04:56, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
Ok I'm probably going to get accused of trolling but I was curious to see Joefromrandb's recent edits as I came across him on another page where I totally disagreed with his logic but here I would tend to agree with him that an allegation is an allegation until it is proven to be true or false which comes later. An allegation can be made with no evidence to support its truth but this doesn't make it false. An allegation that has been proven to be false may have been made in good faith so the person making the allegation is not making a "false allegation" even if the evidence does not support it. There are a lot of feeble minded people that refuse to believe the evidence and continue to make allegations and really believe that they are true so despite being told the allegation is false they continue and believe what they say. By saying "false allegations" we are saying that we know for a fact that all the people that are making that allegation know it is not true but are saying it anyway. This is impossible to prove without being a mind-reader. Maybe it would be semantically more correct to say "unsubstantiated allegations" rather than false but what would be a compromise and less messy than the "(which had already been proven false)" after the word allegations. Domdeparis (talk) 17:50, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

I actually prefer "unsubstantiated allegations" -- vs "false allegations" or allegations that have been proven false. This is short and to the point. I also removing the citation, as the fact that these allegations were never substantiated is not controversial. Any feedback? K.e.coffman (talk) 20:49, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

I changed it to "unsubstantiated". As far as the cite, it's not really necessary, but it doesn't really hurt. Joefromrandb (talk) 21:26, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree with "unsubstantiated" - it is the most accurate way to describe the allegations during the relevant time frame. bd2412 T 22:08, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
A better word might be "disproven" (or "previously disproven" or even "already disproven"), since per the citations the allegations had been disproven before he took the office of President and even before the 2008 election. Softlavender (talk) 22:38, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
They had certainly been disputed and shown to be without basis. That's not quite the same thing as "disproven". The fact that people were talking about impeaching a president over unsubstantiated allegations about his birth provides sufficient context. bd2412 T 23:01, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
In my view the allegations had been disproven; see the citation. The birth certificate, which by law cannot be released except to persons with a tangible interest in the vital record, had been viewed, verified, and confirmed in a written statement by the Director of Health for the State of Hawaii and the Hawaii Registrar of Vital Statistics. Softlavender (talk) 03:15, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The claims are disproven, full stop. There is literally nothing more that can be provided to create total metaphysical certitude, short of time-stamped and geotagged film of baby Obama popping out of the womb — although I'm sure the conspiracy nutters would have argued endlessly over its provenance too. We have a literal birth certificate. The claims are false. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 08:07, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Hi @NorthBySouthBaranof: this is a discussion about wording in an article that needs consensus as it has been the object of multiple reverts, it's a shame that just at the moment that a consensus seems to have been reached you have unilaterally decided that your version is better and have imposed it without discussing it first and reaching consensus again. I would suggest that you revert your own edit and wait until there is consensus to accept your point of view. I personally feel that allegation and claim are very similar and we are back to square one because it is impossible to know that the person making the claim knew and believed that his claim was false but it was most certainly unsubstantiated. An allegation or claim can be disproved but at the time of their making can we know that everyone making that claim knew that it was false? As I said before you would have to be a mind reader to be certain. Domdeparis (talk) 08:58, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
There wasn't necessarily a consensus. Three people agreed on "unsubstantiated", whereas Grayfell, Beetlejuicex3, Meters, Johnuniq, NorthBySouthBaranof, and I appear to have still maintained that that wasn't strong enough and have not agreed on "unsubstantiated", preferring "false" or something similar. In my mind, saying the allegations were "unsubstantiated" is somewhat comparable to saying that the allegation that the moon is made of cheese is "unsubstantiated". Softlavender (talk) 10:06, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The efforts to remove false from this and other similar articles are often based on a worthwhile desire for philosophical purity—when people have to start with cogito ergo sum, how can anything be known to be unequivocally true or false? That's very fine, but this topic is not about logic. Instead, the issue concerns a political game of muck smearing—repeat a false allegation to distract opponents and to snare the gullible. As Softlavender says, the claim that the moon is made of cheese is unsubstantiated. By contrast, if the word "false" has any meaning, the allegations concerning Obama's birth were false. Using a weasel word like unsubstantiated misleads readers. Johnuniq (talk) 10:59, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I see no consensus here, and describing false claims about a living person as anything other than directly false is a substantive violation of the biographies of living persons policy insofar as it falsely portrays a living person — Barack Obama — in a negative light. When we make statements about a living person that have been proven false without stating that they have been proven false (stating that there are "issues with Obama's birth certificate", stating that there are "allegations" that he wasn't born in the United States), we are lying by omission about Barack Obama, and that is a clear violation of multiple policies, not only WP:BLP but also WP:DUE and WP:RS. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 14:41, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
By the way, the source for Farenthold's impeachment claims says he made them in a town hall meeting in 2013 — that is two years after Obama publicly released his long-form birth certificate (in 2011) which should have, for all time, put to rest and disproven any such conspiracy theories. At any point after that time, a person is not just making "unsubstantiated claims," they are repeating nonsensical lies, and Wikipedia must say so. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 14:48, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the focus of this article is efforts to impeach, for which the substance of this particular accusation is of minor importance. bd2412 T 14:56, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. The substance of any accusation about a living person is of the utmost importance in any article. We cannot present false claims about a living person as anything other than false. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 15:34, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The sword cuts both ways. Are we making the accusation that the Congressman, Blake Farenthold (also a living person) knowingly made a false claim about Obama? bd2412 T 16:17, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
The article text does not say that Farenthold "knowingly" made a false claim; any such supposition is entirely inference on your part. Intent or knowledge is not at issue here — the claim was and is false, whether or not he knew it or should have known it. Not "knowing" that a claim was false doesn't somehow make that claim "unsubstantiated" rather than false. If I claim that Donald Trump is a space alien from Omicron Persei 8, do we describe that claim as "unsubstantiated" or "false"? Maybe I don't *know* that Trump isn't Lrrr's long-lost nephew, but that claim is still false whether I "know" it or not. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 16:47, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I still maintain that someone making a false claim is doing so in the knowledge that it is false and there is nothing to prove that they did but there is proof that it was unsubstantiated. @Softlavender: your exemple of green cheese is not really applicable because no-one in their right minds would suggest that, because it is clearly impossible. Even if it is not true it is perfectly feasible that a particular person was not born where or when he says he was born. I could make the claim that you were born in 1954, I have no idea if it is false or not but it is clearly unsubstantiated and contrary to what you have written on your user page but you would have to present your birth certificat for it to become false and even then I could say I don't believe that it is a real birth certificate etc. If however I had been at your birth in 1955 and I said that you were born in 1954 it is clearly a false claim. What I'm trying to get at is there is a difference between making a claim that one knows to be false (and only the claimants are capable of telling us if that was the case) and claiming something without proof or not believing that the proof is real. Domdeparis (talk) 17:24, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Maybe @Grayfell:, @Beetlejuicex3:, @Meters: and would like to say what they think as for the moment myself, Joefromrandb, Ke Coffmann and bd4212 prefer "Unsubstantiated" (which by the way is factual and absolutely not a WP:WEASEL word) to "false" and NorthBysouthbaranof and SoftLavanender and Johnuniq wish to retain "false". Domdeparis (talk) 17:34, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
A claim which is "unsubstantiated" may be true. The claim that Barack Obama was not born in Hawaii is false. Describing the false claim that Barack Obama has lied about his birth and citizenship as possibly true is a) not supported by reliable sources and b) a flagrant violation of BLP. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 17:59, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I think we should just day "false". The claims were known to be incorrect when they were made. We are not saying anything about the motives behind the claim. There's no BLP issue there. It's not for us to say whether the claimants were unaware that the claims were already known to be false, honestly didn't believe the proof, or knew that the claims were false and didn't care. What is important is to say that the claims were inoorrect. They should not be described as simply "allegations" or "unsubstantiated allegations" or even "unsubstantiated allegations (later proved to be false)".
I got involved in this because an editor had removed the source showing that the claim was false, and then came back later and removed "false" completely. The other alternatives suggested are all improvements over a bare "allegations" but I don't think any of them are as goof as "false allegations". Meters (talk) 18:55, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Regardless of motive, the conspiracy theory was fabricated without any evidence, and available evidence easily proved to a reasonable standard that it was false. "Unsubstantiated" imparts no real meaning. It was unsubstantiated from the perspective of people who hadn't looked at it closely, or disregarded contrary evidence. Isn't that true for pretty much everything, though? Object permanence is unsubstantiated to a new born, but that doesn't mean it's unsubstantiated in the general sense. It's more important to note that it was disproved long before impeachment was an option. Using "unsubstantiated" as a synonym for "made-up" is incorrect, or at least euphemistic. That's not going to work. Grayfell (talk) 20:52, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

False claims[edit]

"False claims" is short and to the point, so I made the change: diff.

In addition, I don't think we need the citation in the lead as it suggests that, somehow, there's still possible doubt (which there's not, just conspiracy theories). I kept the cite for now, however. K.e.coffman (talk) 21:54, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

I have no objection to removing the cite that I restored if the lede is stable and no-one considers "false" controversial. Meters (talk) 01:44, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
I originally added the citation, but I agree with you that it should be removed. Beetlejuicex3 (talk) 17:31, 23 June 2017 (UTC)