But the more time that passes since last zap (i.e. Monica) the more the dog(s) forgets about the consequences. Conditioning wears off (2)
— billmon (@billmon1) May 9, 2014
Paul Waldman, at the Washington Post:
If you’re looking for some beach reading this summer, you might pick up a copy of this soon-to-be-released book: “Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,” by National Review writer Andrew McCarthy. It’s hitting bookstores at the perfect time, just as John Boehner has appointed a select committee to investigate Benghazi, and will no doubt be required reading on Capitol Hill and at the Fox News studios.
Is it reasonable to surmise that a move to impeach Barack Obama is a realistic possibility?…
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that Boehner or the party establishment he represents want impeachment, not by any means. They realize what a political disaster it was when they did it in 1998, and they understand that the effects would likely be similar if it happened again. But there are multiple Republican members of Congress who have at least toyed with the idea, and the committee’s hearings could build pressure in the Republican base for it.
How would that play out? The select committee hearings will provide an institutional pathway and the requisite media attention necessary to air all sorts of dramatic allegations against the administration (supported by evidence or not)… Spurred on by their media, base Republicans will begin pressuring their representatives, in phone calls and emails and town meetings and wherever those members of Congress go. And remember that your average Republican member comes from a safe Republican district, where the only political threat is from the right. While it may be too late for the 2014 election, potential primary candidates for 2016 will start popping up, saying, “Congressman X didn’t have the guts to impeach Barack Obama, and he won’t have the guts to go after Hillary Clinton. Elect me, and I will.”…
Way I see it, Chairman Boehner helped set up this new! improved! now with x-tra added ingredients! Benghazi committee to get the anklebiters off his carcase during the silly season — and to swap Darrell “Grand Theft Ambition” Issa for Trey Gowdy, who at least sounds like a competent person. Should the easily riled actually manage to whip this witch hunt into something approaching an impeachment hearing, it will be a big-time bonus to Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts come November… and further proof that President Obama is, among his many gifts, supremely fortunate in his enemies.
Look, Briar patch! Please don’t throw me in!
It will be after the 2014 elections that this takes place. See, they do learn!
Honestly, I see this movement gathering steam right around the end of 2015, when the next season of the primaries takes shape. The dog getting shocked is learning the wrong lesson.
Yes. Impeachment was such a disaster for them that the voters kept them in charge of the house and senate for 8 more years, handed them the White House for two terms and thereby the Supreme Court. How awful for them.
Ok, it sucked to be Gingrich. Big deal.
If by “toyed with the idea” he means “will need to be put on suicide watch if they don’t succeed in removing Obama from office and exiling him to Kenya,” then yeah.
The voters in the Red Meat Districts will say quit dcking around and pave the streets, get us jobs, and shut the fck up about that BS.
Oh really? Given the echo chamber those morons live in, I doubt it.
The book has a bullshit premise. They most certainly do want impeachment. And if they win this November, it will happen. They won’t have a clear crime, but they will do it.
pseudonymous in nc
The GOP is trying to invent Tantric Impeachment, where they get all the fun of impeaching while stopping just short of doing it.
(Sorry. The bleach is in the cupboard.)
Politifarce: The GOP keeps saying completely insane things that have no basis in reality, and the Democrats have said some things that we subjectively think could give a misleading impression. BOTH SIDES!!!!
hahaha. let them try. There’s no there there. Maybe they’ll win the case in the house for hate, but the senate will never go. Won’t even need original third-way “not proven” vote of an Arlen Specter.
@ruemara: Presidentin’ while black is crime enough.
@billB: The Red Meat Districts saw fit to elect frothing lunatics. To them, it’s Obama’s fault that they have no jobs and their streets are full of potholes, not the fault of their fine upstanding
whiteChristian representative. If they were serious about their representatives actually doing their fucking jobs and not dicking around with BS, they wouldn’t have voted for these clowns in the first place.
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Trey Gowdy bears a frightening resemblance to Draco Malfoy.
Culture of Truth
Actually, between the two, Issa “sounds” more competent than Gowdy, but of course Issa has wrecked his own credibility.
Regarding impeachment… “the best defense is a good offense.”
I’m not saying the Dems should make up some insane conspiracy theory and attack the GOP over it, I’m just suggesting it as a possible strategy.
@RSR: I’m with you. Let them try. I go back and forth about the American voting populace. Sometimes I hate ’em (2004) sometimes I love ’em (2008) but they will not stand for an impeachment of Obama. They like him personally. And there was just a poll (did I read about it here?) where they were asked SIX YEARS INTO OBAMA’S TERM whether or not the bad economy today was because of Bush or Obama, and the majority said Bush.
So yeah bring it on; living in a bubble fuckers. I dare ya.
This. They’ve had their moran voters coming up to them & calling them since February of 2009, asking why they haven’t impeached Obummer yet. If we lose the Senate, they will go there. Bet on it.
It bears repeating that there is a 2/3 majority requirement to convict in the Senate, and there is no way in hell the Republicans are going to get one. That won’t take impeachment off the table, but it will make it an empty political gesture rather than a serious threat.
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker:
Yes. He is the Malfoy’s Muggle cousin, the one they don’t talk about.
@Roger Moore: That may be why they’d do it, just so they can say they did & fund-raise until forever about it.
ETA: it isn’t as though they’d get the Presidency, they’d have a pissed-off Biden to deal with. They just want the optics for their insane base.
Those of you thinking that since we hold the Senate that somehow it will be A-OK are forgetting that this is a midterm. They can vote to impeach and convict after they control the Senate. Between this and the USSC, this is the key reason why there needs to be nothing on the plate at all but voter registration and voter turnout this year.
“and further proof that President Obama is, among his many gifts, supremely fortunate in his enemies.”
OMG. Yes, the most obstructionist opposition party IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. Yes, Obummer is so f-in lucky for that. My god, you privileged progressives are never going to get it, are you? Sad.
Sadly, a 2016 GOP congressional candidate promising to impeach Hillary before she’s even taken office sounds very plausible. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a prerequisite by then.
Followed of course by a six-part series in Politico about what it is Hillary does to provoke such talk.
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: thank you. exactly right
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
@cckids: I knew it! The Malfoys were protesting way too much about that whole “pureblood” thing.
Of course they want to impeach him. There are certain political considerations that block that desire, and a constitutional consideration too – the can’t actually remove him from office. The Tea Baggers simply think you should try and God will take care of the rest. In either case it has nothing to do with any crime, except being a Democrat.
Way I see it, Chairman Boehner helped set up this new! improved! now with x-tra added ingredients! Benghazi committee to get the anklebiters off his carcase during the silly season
In this case, it works if it works, and if it doesn’t work, Boehner isn’t on the hook for impeachment. He can do that at any time.
Meantime, the usual House Dem strategic geniuses are at work trying to give away the store:
There are Dem members on the various investigatory committees – do you hear about them? No. Do you hear counter-arguments? No. What you hear is that they investigated and now they’re gonna investigate some more. Has the presence of Dems on those committee prevented one single bogus PR scam from being floated? Eh – NO. It certainly has not brought an end to investigating.
This ain’t Model UN, this is a bunch of rat bastard liars looking for anything that will give them political advantage or at least get them air time.
[‘Stop helping them.’]
And when they’re finished, they’ll raise chickens with a hint of Gin. And Cabernet sheep.
@cckids: They could simultaneously impeach Obama and Biden, in which case Boehner would become president…
But they can’t get a 2/3 majority in the Senate, which they need to convict. Impeachment would be 100% political theater, and theater that’s most useful to prove to the teabaggers that they hate Obama enough.
what a load of tiresome bs.
With Bill Clinton at least he’d done something, even if it was cheating on his wife. President Obama has been the most drama-free president I can remember. I’m sure they’ll work hard to make up things he’s done but they’re going to look pretty stupid doing it.
I don’t think serious politicians on the right think impeachment is a good idea, but I think they like to hear others talk about it. Republicans believe repeating something makes it real or damages the person being slimed.
They’ve had time to write an entire book about making the case . . . somehow that lacks the pizazz and éclat of real breaking news, even in these degenerate 24/7 multimedia days. It doesn’t even seem to be a smoldering gun. Maybe a blueprint of a theoretical gun or possibly a slingshot drawn on asbestos?
@ruemara: Any POTUS with a “D” after their name from here on out is gonna have to deal with this shit from the GOP. The precedent was set with Clinton, and if the GOP has control of the house, you can bet they will try their damndest to impeach ANY and EVERY Dem POTUS. THey don’t give 2 shits if the Senate will actually convict. The crazy-asses simply don’t accept a Dem POTUS as legitimate. These assholes are nothing but political vandals, nihilists, or whatever term you care to use. It also has the added plus of being a great way to rile up the nutzoid base and score big on donations.
The alcoholic can always find a reason that his failures are your fault.
Scratch a right-winger and you will get a boatload of reasons for impeachment. I see it on my Facebook feed about once a week – Benghazi, Fast and Furious, not implementing Obamacare precisely as someone thinks the law was written (the irony goes unnoticed), the GM bailout, even TARP sometimes. It’s the same mentality that caused the House to vote to hold someone in contempt for exercising her 5th Amendment rights.
So, I won’t be surprised if the House develops some kind of strange momentum and impeaches the President, even (maybe particularly) if the Benghazi hearings turn up nothing at all.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Those Republican reps who are bright enough to know that the Senate will never convict will go along precisely because of that. They’ll be inoculated from attacks from their right. The mouthbreathers will go along because Gawd’s on their side. Bringing the articles of impeachment will not cost the Republicans one single seat and it will give them a platform for endless bloviation and political theater. For them, it’s full of win.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: I don’t know…. The American public generally likes President Obama. Sure, his approval rating goes up and down but he’s mostly seen as a straightforward honest guy with a great family. I just don’t see them going through impeachment hearings as being any kind of a win for them outside of placating primary voters.
The average voter who is old enough to remember Clinton’s impeachment will remember what a time-waster that was and at least he’d cheated on his wife and lied about it so he’d actually done something wrong. President Obama hasn’t done anything. Plus, this will be the second time this sort of thing has been done BY Republicans TO a sitting Democratic President. A pattern starts to emerge. The Republicans may think this makes them heroes but they’re really bullies. I’m not sure they want to make that really obvious to the American people though.
I see the whole thing as having a big downside for Republicans. It might win them very short term favor with their rabid voters but the rest of the country will be watching too.
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: Not to be a complete geek, but I think they’d still qualify as pureblood, Gowdy would just be a Squib.
@randy khan: I think they’ll do exactly that. Considering that these are the people who insist that scientific evidence is bunk and who ignored all the polling numbers in 2012 and were genuinely convinced that Romney would win, there’s no reason to believe that what they’ll consider grounds for impeachment will be at all realistic. I only hope that whatever they come up with will be sufficiently outlandish to make all the low-info voters finally realize that one of the two major American political parties has lost its collective fucking mind, and convince them once and for all to stop voting for these crackpots, imbeciles, and frauds.
Look, let’s just cut to the chase here–the GOP wants to impeach Obama for BPWB–Being President While Black.
…and oh yeah, Ralph Nader has also called for Obama’s impeachment because of Libya. I don’t give two craps about Nader, but I do give a damn about the makeup of Congress after November.
Want to make sure the GOP can’t pull off impeachment? Get the hell out and vote in November. Simple as that.
@Suffern ACE: You forget, Ace, that they and their media allies fully expected to get 60 House and 20 Senate seats out of this in 1998. Most of the Democrats didn’t even bother to campaign that year, they were so traumatized.
Instead, the Republicans lost a net number of four seats, and the Senate was a wash: the Dems lost a couple Senators, but both Al D’Amato and Lauch Faircloth — the two biggest pro-impeachment forces in the Senate — got voted out of office.
If the Democrats had bothered to campaign on this, they could have and would have won back the House and Senate.
Mike in NC
@Tara the Antisocial Social Worker: Trey Gowdy. Sounds like a minor figure from “Game of Thrones”? Maybe he should be flayed alive, the piece of shit.
Meanwhile, as further proof that the GOP has hit Peak Wingnut, observe how their refusal to heed any news sources other than that of the right-wing echo chamber is starting to bite them in the ass, as evinced by the backfiring of their attempt to get insurance company executives to attack Obamacare during a GOP hearing on it.
Our former congressman was one of the House Managers of the impeachment trial. He got booted out in 2000 and we’ve had a Democrat in that seat ever since.
Right Stuff, Bill Dana, dead at 83.
X-15, M2-F1, HL-10, M2-F3, X-24, YF-17, X-29…
Higgs Boson's Mate
The ones who like Obama aren’t the ones who vote for the loonies. They already know that Obama is a commie, Muslim, terrorist sympathizer, Satan worshipper, baby killer… They expect nothing less than impeachment and they will punish any Rep who doesn’t go along with it. If anything, the REpublican Reps have convinced themselves that impeaching Obama will so endear them to the American people that their candidate will be a shoo-in in 2016.
The Raven on the Hill
What, again? Nevermore!
The title and the author, that’s everything you need to know right there. But…there are some rather substantial differences between 2014 and 1998, and Orange John is undoubtedly well aware of all of them. First and foremost is that while a lot of Republicans voted against Clinton, they didn’t out and out hate him. At least 27% of the electorate hated Obama from the moment he was inaugurated, and they’ve not gotten any better since. The only thing they’re wondering about impeachment is why it’s taking so long. Another point is – again something Boehner is well aware of – that if impeachment proceedings are started, no serious business of any sort will move in Congress. Boehner is also aware that the kamikaze caucus in the House, and a limited number of senators as well (like Ted Cruz), don’t give a flying fuck if any serious business gets transacted or not over the next two and a half years. Certain members of the House whose brains have been completely devoured by Teh Crazy, like Louie Gohmert, would regard it as treasonous to vote for a bill honoring god, mom and apple pie if it required signature by That Black Man In (Their) White House. Much less a continuing budget resolution…Boehner may have decided to get out in front, and if he wants to continue to be Speaker he won’t have much choice if the Jacobins decide they have a real chance of getting a head.
Also, too, gerrymandering has produced a lot more safe districts for Republicans since 1998. Back then, voters could punish incumbents for doing things the voters didn’t like, at least to a limited degree. Nowadays in most Republican districts the only way an incumbent gets voted out is in a primary because a) the incumbent isn’t crazy enough for the organized looney tunes back home in East Bumfuck or b) the incumbent get caught in some really perverted activity with the local livestock or something. Althought at this point, after hearing about all the effort that Steve Hickey (R-Closetcase) spends thinking about the grosser variations of teh ghey buttsecks*, I’m not really sure what would qualify as too perverted for Republican primary voters.
*And here I thought I’d gotten jaded about Republican sexual weirdness. Maybe the Rude Pundit had it right about Karl Rove’s leather slave the whole time…
Failure to get enough votes hasn’t stopped them from voting to repeal Obamacare 40 times. Maybe we’ll get a continuous stream of impeachment trials over and over.
@Violet: This will not matter, if they win the majorities in both houses. Once the elections are over, if they have won, they are free to do as they will and consequences in the short term memories of our mostly worthless population, be damned. They won’t show up or won’t be able to meet the requirements to vote by 2016.
@Suffern ACE: Times have changed though- their prime demographic is dying and the conservative era was well and truly killed by GWB.
@Mike G: Holy shit you are right. This is going to happen.
The GOP are going to be like Daleks, but constantly yipping “Impeach! Impeach!” rather than “Exterminate! Exterminate!”.
Mind you, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear them screeching “Impeachinate! Impeachinate!” especially if Comrade Palin decides to put herself forward as a thought-leader again.
@SatanicPanic: Impeachment groundhog day! I wonder, will they impeach him over and over again for the same thing. Or, vary it a little to keep the base happy?
Will they change up the Benhazi impeachments to go with the season? A blockbuster action Benghazi to open the summer. then a thoughtful small budget ‘thinkpiece’ psychodrama Benghazi before the ‘Holidays’ (yes I war at Xmas, don’t you?).
This will be fun.
Villago Delenda Est
@Mike G: Should they do that, they’re basically setting the stage for a second Civil War.
@Villago Delenda Est:
You know what I find most depressing about that thought? Can you imagine the endless, joyous lectures by Babble in Portland? I might get myself drafted and sent to the Tennessee front just to get five minutes peace and quiet.
Villago Delenda Est
Noisemax, reassuring the marks:
Benghazi Committee Stacked With Legal Powerhouses
Right. Sure. Certainly. Blowjob! [cough]
@Morzer: Yeah, well that is obviously a Democrat, or an old school Republican talking. We are talking about the NEW GOP. They have different tastes.
@Morzer: They’re going to be the utterly rubbish Daleks though, impossible to kill entirely but baffled by stairs.
I feel a lot like I’m shouting in traffic – exactly how did impeachment not work out for them? Two years after impeaching the popular Democratic president, that president’s heir apparent *lost* the presidency to a weak, manifestly unfit candidate running on a platform opposed to the eight years of peace and prosperity the nation had just experienced. How did they beat him? By running on a theme that carefully played into the political message of the impeachment – that the president and vice president may have been successful, but they weren’t morally fit.
How did it not pay off? Two years after the impeachment, they took the White House. Four years after the impeachment they had control of both houses of Congress.
This was all predicted by Looney Tunes
Daffy Duck for president
Hmm. Maybe I should put on my tin foil hat, but did Boehner let Issa have the Lerner contempt vote as a consolation prize for giving the Select Committee to Gowdy?
Well, at the very least, it would be irresponsible to not speculate.
It’s possible. OTOH, perhaps Issa wanted Gowdy to do the work on Benghazi! and asked for the Lerner vote so he could report some “success” however trivial and dishonest.
And will say it again: formation of this (kangaroo) committee has less to do with impeachment than with poisoning the ground under and atmosphere surrounding H. R. Clinton.
The whispered impeachment speculation is Stage Magic 101 misdirection.
GW was a strong candidate who was able to punch above his (incredibly light) weight. Nonetheless, Albert Gore lost because he was a recklessly incompetent campaigner and poor leader. Don’t rewrite history.
The odds against impeachment are long. Conviction is impossible. It seems some of you get a chubby over impeachment as easily as the far right nutters do – tho for different reasons.
Al Gore received 2 million more votes than George W. Bush did. Look it up.
Fix’d. Let me repeat that: Bush lost the popular vote. But he won the only vote that mattered: the 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court that declared him the winner of the recount.
The Republicans won by nakedly cheating. To pretend otherwise is to rewrite history.
” Albert Gore lost because he was a recklessly incompetent campaigner and poor leader. Don’t rewrite history. ”
Albert Gore took the Big Dawg impeachment idiocy seriously. Seriously, he did that. Gore thought it was a thing that people cared about. That dumb prissy scaredy-cat attitude helped him sink his own campaign. I think it had some role in his choice of Lieberman.
Edit: and Mnemo is correct, even as poorly as Gore campaigned, he got more votes than Bush. Just not distributed well enough to keep a corrupt Supreme Court out of it.
Higgs Boson's Mate
The “heir apparent” part went away when Gore turned his back on Clinton. Gore could have had one of the best retail politicians in memory campaigning for him and he refused Clinton’s help because blowjob. When Clinton left office he had a 66% approval rating. Gore ignored that number and failed on his own. The man didn’t even carry his home state. Yes, he was shafted by SCOTUS. The problem is that it didn’t have to come down to that.
They’re also just running out of things to scream and get in the news about. The policy issues (Obamacare, gays in the military and wedding aisle, immigration) are losing traction — especially as they get closer to actually needing the votes more than the grand-standing. The stopping govt in its tracks by holding their budget until they’re red in the face hasn’t been as popular as it once was, But they need something to be coordinated and noisy about. They really really really need to be seen as coordinated too; the infighting is getting entirely too much press. Plus, there’s all the empty time in the Congressional year to fill up otherwise it’s readily apparent they’re doing nada in spades Impeachment is nice and vague, sounds scary, lends itself to sound-bites. It’s getting a little stale as a tactic all the same. Smells of Politicking as usual. Reruns.
Well, sheee-it. After 6 years of that Negro in the WHITE house, you better bet we’all lookin’ fo’ a change! We tried that all durin’ Re-con-struct-shun, an’ look where dat got us? I think its time we ended this “experuhment” and put the RIGHT people back in charge. People who know who their people are, and who to look out for. People to keep an eye on things. And make sure those moochers know where they belong. Its time for the hard workin’ RIGHT kind of people to be in charge.
Know what ah mean?
Your analysis ignores one important detail — the Democratic candidate in 2000 AGREED with the GOP’s assessment of Clinton. Gore was so embarrassed over Clinton’s affair that he refused to allow the most popular living Democratic politician of the day to campaign on his behalf, and he stupidly picked that vile homunculus Holy Joe Lieberman as his running mate for NO PURPOSE except to serve as a way to symbolically turn his back on Clinton. And just to rub salt in the wound, he picked Holy Joe over (among others) Bob Graham, the former governor and current Senator from Florida, whose name on the ballot would have delivered the state and the Presidency to him.
Higgs Boson’s Mate
There was no way he was ever gonna win Tennessee. Gore’s pivot to strident anti-tobacco stances and statements scotched that possibility, regardless of anything else.
Had he not been tapped for V.P., better than even chance he would have lost his next Senate race there.
@ruemara: Last I checked, even if Republicans win every single contested Senate seat in November (which they will not), they will be a vote short of the supermajority required to convict. They would need Democrats to vote to convict Obama. That’s not going to happen, not over anything they’ve currently got on him.
If the Republicans win all the contested Senate seats, Manchin (WV) and King (ME) will caucus with them.
@The Raven on the Hill:
Quote the Raven?
I think you’re conflating the Lewinsky scandal with the impeachment. The scandal may have been the impetus for impeachment, but they were separate things. And at least the scandal there was legitimate – a sitting (married) president getting bjs from an intern in the WH really is moderately scandalous. It’s just that the impeachment was a massive overreaction, and ended up giving Clinton a boost because of that. As others have said, Gore lost in part because he took the scandal more seriously than the public at large, and gave up his incumbent advantage by running away from Clinton. I like Gore, but he’s always been somewhat of a moralizing scold. His response to the scandal and choice of another moralizing scold as his VP reinforced that perception and hurt him with young voters . And whatever the many faults of W, his one true talent is that he’s a good campaigner, and Gore really isn’t. Clinton could have helped him overcome that failing, but Gore’s desire to distance himself from the scandal allowed Bush to get close enough for the SC to shenanigan him into the presidency.
So ultimately the Lewinsky scandal did cost the Dems the election, but it was largely due to unforced errors. The impeachment itself doesn’t seem to have had much effect other than to make it a partisan issue and thereby improve Clinton’s approval ratings. In the current case, there isn’t even a legitimate scandal to begin with, it’s just manufactured out of whole cloth. Assumning they actually do it, the R base will love it, but they don’t need much rallying to get them to turn out. It will piss off the D base, particularly AAs, who would otherwise be less likely to turn out without Obama on the ballot. And the clear lack of an actual underlying scandal is going to turn off independents, who are already skeptical of the Republicans after the last time they tried this. I don’t see any way in which impeachment is likely to help the Reps; the most likely result would be the same as with Clinton – a boost to Obama’s approval because of the nakedly partisan nature of it. And there’s no danger of Hillary running away from him, because she’s as much a target of the “scandal” as he is.
She could go on the defensive like Mitt Romney did about health care, trying to downplay or erase her tenure as Secretary of State, which would also be a big mistake.
@Mnemosyne: same here in Pennsylvania, except I was then redistricted out of that new D seat.
Five bucks says that even if they don’t get the supermajority, the Republicans will introduce a bill in January 2015 to retroactively impeach Obama.
According to a conservative former coworker, obummer is Ming the merciless and all of a mere is under his unlimited iron rule. Right now he’s just praying Obama will allow an election in 2016 so I could see an impeachment based on anything really.
The purpose of the select committee is simply to keep the con going, not to lead to impeachment. Sure, Boehner et al. want the ragged right edge to think that’s where the committee is going as that’s a necessity to give it quasi-credibility, but that’s not the end goal. GOP politics is base politics and will increasingly become so in the next few years as the demographics really start to bite, until such time that the GOP can come up with some alternative con (libertarianism?). Base politics depends on keeping that base in a state of perpetual outrage. Hearings are made for cable TV, as they can suck in a sufficient audience of outrage addicts and keep them strung out in a cocoon to the point that they will constantly talk about it around the water cooler and create the impression that there’s something where there’s nothing. Since Issa was a classic failed sitcom, they had to come up with a new pilot. The release of the Ben Rhodes email provided the requisite flimsy excuse. Sometimes that kind of repackaging of an old scam works, e.g., how many times have you seen a hit TV series that was a ripoff of an earlier one? Boehner is shooting for the same thing, doing things like changing the cast (weird guy with weird hair for guy with no soul).
Let’s hope they get ’em started soon, because that will deliver the House to the Democrats.
@amk: Yeah he is unfortunate and so are we all that his enemies are toxic to any form of good policy and governance and the long term health and survival of this nation. He is fortunate to the degree that they are really crappy at carrying out the most extreme versions of their toxicity but that is about it.
Oh, sure, she could still run away from Obama (although I don’t see any reason she would), I just mean that she can’t distance herself from him on the Benghazi “scandal”. I mean, that’s the whole point of this from the Republican standpoint – it’s a twofer. They get to attack the sitting president and the SecState/presumptive Dem candidate at the same time. It might even work, as long as the crazies in the party don’t go overboard and push for impeachment. If that happens, it’s going to boomerang on them again and there isn’t much chance of Hillary scoring an own goal while defending like Gore did.
@ruemara: Not really there are veto points in the Senate and the obvious veto of the Presidency. If they win the Senate it will be by a seat or two nowhere near the level needed to override veto’s. I’m fairly confident that they may change the Senate rules to remove some of the numerous points where legislation can be held help but barring some truly absurd levels of crap, that will finally convince me we are living in goatee Spock universe a split that occurred post 9/11, they will not hold the senate in 2016.
And to the larger point about gerrymanding; 2010 was a disaster because it was a census year and redistricting but they don’t have a huge number of super sage seats they have a large number of fairly safe seats. Enough of these can be overcome with a relatively small decrease in their reliable voters and an increase in ours. Really we need to win big enough in 2016 to gain congress and the Presidency prevent 2018 from becoming a disaster and win again in 2020 so they can’t dominate redistricting. And hopefully at some point the poisonous boil of the current GOP will be lanced and them winning won’t be the complete disaster it currently is.
And do this before we are all completely screwed by climate change and other things.
@debbie: I think there’s a significant chance they’ll impeach; I also think that if they do, it won’t go well for them unless Hillary Clinton reacts in an egregiously stupid manner, and, actually, I doubt she will.
This is in the old Karl Rove playbook: attack your opponent’s greatest strengths and try to turn them into weaknesses. In Hillary Clinton’s case, her greatest strength at this point is her performance as Secretary of State under Obama, which won her an image as a hypercompetent, no-nonsense administrator that she actually didn’t have so much in 2008.
The Benghazi “scandal” has paranoia about Barack Obama as the hook, but the target in the longer term is that new respect for post-State Hillary Clinton. The question is just whether she’ll go the Gore/Romney route and try to deemphasize that she was even Secretary of State (bad idea) or throw it back at them with maximum ridicule (better).
The Pale Scot
So let ’em do it now, and send Rep. Elijah Cummings and Rep John Lewis to be the Dem. contingent.
That might increase voter turnout in the midterms, don’t ya think?
@Higgs Boson’s Mate: Gore was a victim of the late 70’s and 80’s. I see that in quite a few liberals actually we expect to lose because of those decades. And 9/11 created (abetted by Cheney and cohort I mean really has there been a modern politician that could play a more convincing Bond villain) a short term reactionary backlash that extended that effect some. Really Gore would likely have won won if hadn’t been so conditioned to Democrats losing and running from Clinton. And barring 9/11 Bush almost certainly would have been a one term president one whom wasn’t as disastrous because people rallying around him after 9/11 allowed most of the really toxic policies to be enacted. It’s one of reasons I’m not enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton I think she was shaped by much of this as well. Though if chosen in the primary only death (and I’m a Democrat we vote all the time when we are dead right?) and maybe alien kidnapping will keep me from voting for her unless the Republicans literally resurrect and nominate Lincoln then I might think about it.
@Citizen Alan: I don’t dislike Gore but he definitely has a priggish streak and is not a particularly skilled politician. And you can really see the effect of the belt way bubble with him. I mean probably it hits everyone to some degree but some more than others.
@Higgs Boson’s Mate:
Nailed it: the 2000 Presidential campaign in a nutshell. Yes, Gore was a lackluster campaigner (at best), and having Droopy Dawg The National Scold as his running mate didn’t help, but (IMHO) if they had stuck to a campaign of continuing Clintonian policies – without Clinton – and emphasizing the significant policy differences between them and the GOP, they would have had a much better chance, and almost certainly would not have needed the SC’s disgraceful intervention. But of course, the 2000 campaign basically devolved into all-blowjob-all-the-time; and the cumulative effect showed come Election Day.
But that’s kind of the point of the linked Waldman piece. The Rep establishment (Boehner et al) just wants to rough up Hillary and feed the base with the hearings, but if they’re not careful they could end up creating pressure on their members to start impeachment proceedings. Especially if Fox News is breathlessly reporting on the hearings as the next coming of Watergate. At some point they’re going to have to explain to the base why impeachment isn’t justified. There’s also a significant faction of the Rep House that will be agitating for the same, either because they’re irrational true believers or because their districts are gerrymandered such that they only care about shoring up their right flank. We’ve all seen just how well Boehner has been able to control the nuts in his caucus up to now, do you really think that’s going to improve once this investigation gets revved up and Fox is covering nothing else?
McCarthy is being a clever little fucker here, and you people are missing it. It’s not the thought of Obama’s impeachment that makes them turgid, it’s another word in the title…
1. McCarthy is also a Birther.
2. Let’s not forget the press spent the entire 2000 election trying their best to screw over Gore. When he attacked Bush he was a “bully.” When he didn’t attack Bush it just proved that there was no real difference between the candidates. They spent far more time on Gore “earthtone” clothes than they did on Bush’s actual record as governor.
I would just say this: Congressman Elijah Cummings. Without his presence those half-assed pr points Issa flung about might have been accepted at face value far more widely.
Another Holocene Human
@Ash Can: This is the common clay of the new west, you know, morons, who think that spouting talking points is an “accomplishment”. Don’t trouble them with details like passing bills. It makes their brains hurt.
The Other Chuck
Enough about Al Gore’s campaign, what did the Republican candidate say?
@ruemara: exactly! The navel gazing and purity contests and “what would Michael Moore say?” needs a rest.
@Hal: I remember people speculating that GW Bush would pull the same thing — that there would be no election in 2008. I found it a teensy bit plausible that they might try to pull such a thing, due to the post-9/11 security state and the general evilness of Darth Cheney, but still an incredibly unlikely event to bother to be worried about.
@Dave: You can see that in my own comments: my intuitions about politics gelled during the Reagan/Poppy Bush years, and on some level I’m always surprised when lines that would have worked then aren’t automatic winners any more.
I think the Lewinsky hearings/impeachment sorta worked out for the Republicans, but not the way they thought it would. I think it was supposed to deliver them the White House on a silver platter. Getting the SCOTUS involved tipped their hand too much — it undermined the long-term strength of the Republican brand.
But they played that card already, and already got as much as they possibly could out of it. They used it up. Impeachment doesn’t mean anything anymore — it’s just something that Republicans do to Democratic presidents, because they’re petty vindictive assholes.
Republicans like to live in the past — to stand athwart history yelling “STOP!” and also “REWIND!” For a while, I think it worked for them to remind people of the Reagan past, or the Eisenhower past. But reminding people of the Clinton past, which an impeachment hearing would inevitably do, will not benefit them in any way that I can see.
@mcjulie: What really did it for them was 9/11, of course: in one morning, it turned a win that they’d barely eked out, through some combination of good luck and scummy tactics, into a massive presidential mandate and a temporary new dawn of American conservatism. It was like we went back to the 1980s for a little while, only with more actual war going on.
On some level I don’t blame people for spinning government-conspiracy theories about that, however unfounded, because it was just so convenient.
@cckids: I actually did, a year ago, and stand to win $10 if an impeachment resolution is introduced and garners more than 50% of the House GOP votes.
@southend: Exactly. Every Dem President is going to be impeached from now on as long as the Rethugs have the power to do so. That’s just a given we have to live with until the GOP has been eliminated as a viable political party.
@randy khan: Didn’t the House also hold Holder in contempt? The Republicans have done nothing but obstruct this President and try to besmirch his administration.