As if Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl's (R-Ariz.) comments yesterday about President Obama weren't troubling enough, this morning he appeared on Bill Bennett's radio show and used the "i" word.
The host asked about compelling the Obama administration to "cooperate" with state immigration efforts, like those in Arizona. Kyl walked through the options.
"If the president insists on continuing to ignore parts of the law that he doesn't like, and simply not enforce that law, the primary remedy for that is political. And you have it two ways: one is oversight through the Congress to demonstrate what they're doing wrong and there are some potential criminal charges there for dereliction of duty. Although, I haven't looked that up yet. And the other part of it is people need to react through the ballot box to turn out of office those people who are not doing their duty."Now if it's bad enough and if shenanigans involved in it, then of course impeachment is always a possibility. But I don't think at this point anybody is talking about that."
Obviously, Kyl didn't push for presidential impeachment, but the fact that a member of the Republican Senate leadership is willing to even use the word when talking about disagreements over immigration policy is a little unsettling.
Worse, this keeps coming up.
As we talked about in April, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) wants to impeach Obama because of "all of the czars," while Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) talked in March about impeaching Obama for no apparent reason. What's more, Fox News' Neil Cavuto suggested in January that Obama might be open to impeachment over recess appointments; Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has raised the prospect of impeaching Obama over DOMA; and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) talked up the idea of presidential impeachment because "it would tie things up" in Washington for a while, making governing impossible. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) even introduced an impeachment resolution, just in case Obama sends troops to Syria.
To be sure, no one is seriously pursuing this, but the sooner lawmakers realize that impeachment is not a toy, the better.