Rightbloggers' Impeachment Smorgasbord Has Something for Everyone
But in the world of rightbloggers, this is serious stuff. While impeachment advocacy was once mainly the province of fringe characters (and Republican officeholders), some big names have climbed aboard the bandwagon, and others are cautiously but busily clearing a way for it. Now they just have to decide what to impeach him for. Which is hard because, as the poet says, they got more flavors than Fruitopia.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the resolution made at the SD-GOP state convention cited "the release of five Taliban combatants in a trade for captive U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, Obama's statement that people could keep insurance companies, and recent EPA regulations on power plants" among their reasons for recommending impeachment.
One of the beauties of Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution is that it includes "High crimes and Misdemeanors" (hereafter Hc&M) among the offenses for which federal officers may be impeached, and it's plural so there's no need for enthusiasts to limit themselves to one shot.
This wasn't the only impeachment news of the week, either: Per the UK Daily Mail, Congressman Lou Barletta (R.-PA) said on a radio show, "'for those that say impeach [Obama] for breaking the laws or bypassing the laws -- could that pass in the House? It probably could.'" When asked if the American People would approve of such an action, the Honorable Member said "I don't think so" -- which may be why America's Conservative News headlined the story, "Congressman Weasels On Obama Impeachment."
If you wonder how they can consider impeaching the President absent the outrage of the public, our answer would be, why would they need it? Rightbloggers (and a few politicians such as Darrell Issa and Trent Franks) have been talking about Obama's impeachment for years -- ImpeachObamaCampaign.com has been at it since October 2009 -- though in early innings even they seemed to recognize this was wishful thinking.
One of our vintage faves is Jay Tea's April 2011 post at Wizbang, in which he suggested five examples ("there are others") of Hc&M that had "the potential to trigger a Constitutional crisis, a direct conflict between the Executive and the Legislative branches. The ultimate expression of that conflict is the impeachment of the president." (Tea's examples, including the "The Un-War in Libya" and "The 'Czars' Signing Statement," have mostly fallen off the impeachment hit parade.)
The groundswell commences. (Via.)
Tea then asked "Does Barack Obama want to be impeached?" -- and it turned out his question was not rhetorical: Obama might court impeachment, he said, in order to attain the popularity boost Bill Clinton got from the Blowjob Follies of 1998-99. Also, maybe "he's bored and annoyed with the responsibilities and burdens and obligations that go with the office," suggested Tea. "Impeachment would allow him a way to leave office -- and in a historic fashion, as he would be the first president to be removed from office."
Obama instead opted to run for and win reelection in 2012, which only exacerbated the itch of impeachment in some rightblogger breasts. "But we know what eventually happened to the triumphant, pre-Watergate Nixon after November 1972," silver-lining'd Victor Davis Hanson from his National Review bunker; "what will be the second-term wages of Obama's winning ugly?" "Winning ugly," so far as we could make out from Hanson's column, meant that "Obama's campaign systematically reduced his rival, Wall Street financier Mitt Romney, to a conniving, felonious financial pirate who did dastardly things..." which no one has claimed as an impeachable offense, at least not for official purposes.
But they kept digging. In early 2013, when Obama signed some weak executive orders regarding guns in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Congressmen Steve Stockman (R.-TX), Trey Radel (R.-FL), and Louie Gohmert (R.-TX) all threatened impeachment. In fact, it seems every time Republicans promote a new Obama scandalette, some of the brethren will bring up the I-word.
Sometimes they come in bunches, as with Mr. Conservative's round-up, "10 Arguments For Impeaching Obama" ("1. Out-Of-Control Spending.") But often specific tsimmises get them thinking: this time we've got him for sure! The IRS controversy, for example, really had them waving their pennants, which is partly why the recent news of Lois Lerner's missing emails had them so furious: They're so sure these emails inculpate Obama they feel cheated out of their hypothetical smoking gun. "The very evidence that could lead to the impeachment of the president has disappeared into cyberspace," seethed Wayne Root at Glenn Beck's The Blaze.
Under the unequivocal headline "How are Obama and the IRS getting away with a blatant coverup?" the New York Post's Kyle Smith raged that "Obama cannot have known there was no corruption given the mountain of evidence that has yet to be produced and now appears to have been destroyed." That unproduced evidence was so real to Smith he could describe its size and shape -- as well as some of the mountain's contents: "For all [Obama] knows there's a Lois Lerner e-mail that says, 'I want you to go after these Tea Party bastards with everything you got. Use every trick you can to keep them on the sidelines for this election cycle. Nuke those fascists.'" Who says conservatives aren't creative?
This may seem like thin gruel to you, but the brethren have some celebrity backers. Foremost among these is former Who Even Remembers Sarah Palin, who during the 2013 debt ceiling crisis warned Obama not to unilaterally raise it under threat of impeachment, and last week declared "Team Obama" impeachable for "countless documented illegalities." (She did not need to name her Hc&M, either because Congress had "not enough guts... to file impeachment charges" or because she forgot what they were.)
Some of their high-level support is more intellectual-like.