Last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters he’s not interested in impeaching President Obama, preferring his frivolous lawsuit instead. Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said roughly the same thing.
It led Bill Kristol to make a curious declaration on ABC yesterday.
“No responsible Republican elected official has called for impeachment. And the trouble one problem with it is of course you just get Joe Biden as president.“The Republican task is to elect a Republican Senate and to elect a Republican president 2016, not to create a phony issue which allows Democrats to make Republicans look extreme.”
It’s worth noting that impeaching the president would not make Joe Biden president; it would create a pointless Senate trial in which the upper chamber would dismiss the charges. It’s one of the main reasons many House Republicans who might otherwise like the idea have balked.
That said, there are a couple of interesting angles to Kristol’s take. The first is that his definition of “responsible Republican” might be politically problematic. After all, it was six years ago that Kristol urged John McCain to pick a half-term Alaska governor as his national running mate – and now she’s helping lead the crusade to impeach the president for reasons she can’t explain.
Indeed, the Republicans’ I-team features several sitting U.S. senators, several sitting U.S. House members, and more than a few 2014 candidates, including Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R), who just this weekend delivered the Republican Party’s official weekly address.
Is Kristol prepared to dismiss all of these candidates and elected lawmakers as “irresponsible”? Because if so, I suspect Democrats will be eager to let voters know.
Second, if this is “a phony issue which allows Democrats to make Republicans look extreme,” let’s not forget that it was Republicans, not Democrats, who created this phony issue in the first place. Dems are just the ones taking advantage of GOP extremism.
Republican threats to impeach President Barack Obama are guaranteed to generate two things: Democratic outrage and Democratic cash.Sarah Palin this week joined a long line of Republican firebrands in raising the specter of impeachment against the president…. And like clockwork, the Democratic outrage machine sprang to life – using her comments to mobilize grass-roots supporters and raise small dollar campaign donations from Obama die-hards. The result was a flood of grass-roots donations, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Republican overreach continues to be a huge motivating factor for our grass roots. The response to impeachment has been well over six figures,” DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin told Politico.