The New York Times reported yesterday that some House Republicans want to impeach the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, which is plainly absurd. But when publishing the article on this, the Times added that “the specifics of any supposed impeachable offenses are vague.”
And that, of course, is a problem. Some Republicans are excited about the idea of impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen; they’re just a little fuzzy on why Koskinen should be impeached. It’s an instance of far-right lawmakers starting with the conclusion – impeachment of an official they don’t like for some perceived reason sounds like fun – and then working backwards to justify the preconceived answer.
This has come up with alarming regularity. In recent years, congressional Republicans have talked about impeaching President Obama, then-Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, but in each instance, far-right members of Congress have never been able to explain why, exactly, any of these officials actually deserve it.
Impeachment Fever has reached such ridiculous levels that some in the GOP are thinking about impeaching officials who haven’t even been elected yet. The Huffington Post reported yesterday:
Hillary Clinton isn’t president yet. She hasn’t even won the Democratic nomination. But a Republican congressman is already getting ready for the opportunity to impeach her – on the first day of her hypothetical presidency.Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) recently spoke with talk radio host Matt Murphy and said the real issue with Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state is “how many lives she put at risk by violating all rules of law that are designed to protect America’s top-secret and classified information from falling into the hands of our geopolitical foes who then might use that information to result in the deaths of Americans.”
The right-wing congressman added that Clinton, literally on her inauguration day, would be “subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”
For the record, Brooks did not appear to be kidding.
Indeed, the Alabama Republican talked to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki yesterday afternoon, and he seemed quite sincere about impeaching the Democratic presidential hopeful who hasn’t, in reality, been accused of breaking any laws.