Republicans, worried that their conservative base lacks motivation to turn out for the fall elections, have found a new rallying cry in the dreams of liberals about censuring or impeaching President Bush.
The proposal this week by Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, to censure Mr. Bush over his domestic eavesdropping program cheered the left. But it also dovetailed with conservatives’ plans to harness such attacks to their own ends.
With the Republican base demoralized by continued growth in government spending, undiminished violence in Iraq and intramural disputes over immigration, some conservative leaders had already begun rallying their supporters with speculation about a Democratic rebuke to the president even before Mr. Feingold made his proposal.
“Impeachment, coming your way if there are changes in who controls the House eight months from now,” Paul Weyrich, a veteran conservative organizer, declared last month in an e-mail newsletter.
The threat of impeachment, Mr. Weyrich suggested, was one of the only factors that could inspire the Republican Party’s demoralized base to go to the polls. With “impeachment on the horizon,” he wrote, “maybe, just maybe, conservatives would not stay at home after all.”
It remains to be seen whether the GOP can manage to maintain their majority this fall with a campaign of spin. Really, if your party is rallying the base with cries that ‘Vote so they can’t impeach/censure Bush,’ it is time to put away the “Democrats don’t have any ideas’ schtick. From what I have seen from this administration, they only have three ideas anyway- cut taxes, cater to the religous right and do whatever it takes to keep getting elected.