Charles Krauthammer, one of the most prominent Republicans in U.S. media, argued over the summer that it’s foolish to talk about impeaching President Obama. “There is no danger of impeachment succeeding,” he wrote in an August column. “There will never be 67 votes in the Senate to convict. But talking it up is a political bonanza for Democrats, adding donations from a listless and dispirited base.”
He added that the impeachment rhetoric not only “energizes Democrats,” it also “deflects attention from the real-life issues.”
But that was before the election. Now, Krauthammer no longer agrees with Krauthammer.
Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer said potential action by President Barack Obama on immigration may be “an impeachable offense.”“I believe it is an impeachable offense,” Krauthammer told Fox News host Megyn Kelly Thursday evening…. Krauthammer also said an executive order on immigration would be a “flagrant assault on the Constitution.”
How does the conservative pundit explain the change of heart? He doesn’t. In August, faced with the likelihood of Obama pursuing changes to immigration policy through executive actions, Krauthammer saw impeachment as pointless. In November, facing the identical circumstances, Krauthammer suddenly wants to talk up the idea.
It’s worth noting that Krauthammer is condemning a policy he has not seen – usually, reading a policy is a prerequisite to competent analysis – and to assume that executive actions on immigration policy are necessarily unconstitutional ignores the fact that several other modern presidents took executive actions on immigration policy without incident.
But stepping back, what’s especially striking is to just how common such talk has become on Fox over the last week or so.
Chris Wallace: “There is going to be a fire storm on Capitol Hill. You`re going to see calls for impeachment.”
Megyn Kelly: “Some of the other things that people are suggesting such as possible impeachment of the president for what many would consider lawless action if he goes too far. Some would suggest if he goes too far he should be impeached.”
Andrew Napolitano: “You have the president failing to comply with his oath. What does that equal? That equals serious violations of the Constitution. That equals offenses that rise to the level of impeachability.”
Megyn Kelly (again): “How big would the action have to be? What would he have to do to make it an impeachable offense?”
Megyn Kelly (yet again): “Is President Obama trying to bait the Republicans into impeaching him?”
Sean Hannity: “Normally, when a president does something that would bring the country to a tipping point, the first thing people would say is impeachment.”
Megyn Kelly (once more): “Some say Republicans have no choice but to call out that perceived lawlessness and do something as politically unpopular as impeach him.”
Sure, folks at Fox aren’t actually elected lawmakers, so the network’s preoccupation with presidential impeachment doesn’t have a practical effect, but it’s important to realize that when Fox obsesses over a specific political tactic, it creates a political demand in Republican circles.
And if these GOP voices are getting hysterical now, just wait until the president actually starts taking steps to improve existing policy.