Timothy Geithner should go

Last week Lawrence H. Tribe, the professor of constitutional law at Harvard, wrote in The New York Times that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s suggestion that Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, known as the “public debt clause,” provides “false hope of a legal answer that obviates the need for a real solution.”

Week by week and month by month it has become increasingly clear that the suggestion by Jim Rogers, the legendary investor and co-founder of the Quantum Fund, that Geithner was a poor choice for the job because he “doesn’t know what he’s doing” was prescient.

Geithner’s citing of the 14th Amendment, one of the Reconstruction amendments passed in 1868, has nothing to do with law — Geithner studied Mandarin in college and has no law degree — and everything to do with culture. Questions should arise now if President Obama, who won election by following the “Whistling past Dixie: How Democrats can win without the South” theme of Thomas Shaller, hopes to draw the Republican opposition in the crude caricature of redneck neo-Confederates as Geithner does by citing law intended to dominate the South in the contentious Civil War period.

Is the Obama administration orchestrating a new war against the South? Is that why FEMA funds are so reluctantly released to storm victims in Virginia and Texas? Is that why the National Labor Relations Board acted so swiftly against South Carolina in the notorious Boeing case?

As The Hill reports, Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Geithner’s absurd suggestion should be considered “an impeachable act” and David B. Rivkin Jr., an attorney who served in the Department of Justice during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, agreed.

"Any president who did something like this would be engaging in the most outrageous conduct of any president in … constitutional history. There's no doubt that this would be an impeachable offense," he said.

Time for Obama to explain. Time for Geithner to go.