A number of stories indicate that the Republicans have been talking about impeachment proceedings—not to mention Sarah Palin parading across the conservative news media with loud calls for Obama’s impeachment. But an alarmed House Speaker John Boehner, realizing how disastrous such a proceeding would be for his party, is claiming that Republicans are having no such discussions.
Meanwhile, gleeful Democrats are using the Republican impeachment talk to push supporters into record fundraising numbers. The party sent out an email today boasting of raising more than $1 million in the last 24 hours from the general public.
“This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff,” Boehner said yesterday. “And coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year’s election. We have no plans to impeach the president; we have no future plans. Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.”
But as pointed out by Politico, the impeachment talk did not start with the Democrats. As Boehner and Republicans moved forward with plans to sue the president, a small group of hardline GOP lawmakers began discussing it. Politico indicated they even raised the topic during a closed-door GOP meeting last week.
Throughout all the speculation, not one Republican has yet indicated what charges they could bring against the president to justify impeachment.
Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who will become whip on Thursday, didn’t help Boehner’s case during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, when he repeatedly refused to rule out impeaching Obama.
While Boehner knows that the impeachment talks play very well among the hardcore conservative Republican base, he also realizes it adds to a general sentiment among Americans that the Republican Party is reckless, undisciplined and out of control. This is a sentiment that can’t help Republicans in November as they attempt to take control of the Senate.
Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican close to Boehner and incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), told Politico there are “very few” Republicans who want to “move to impeachment.”
“The key is to make sure that Obama is not getting away with these executive orders, which is why we’re trying to bring this court case forward,” Nunes said of impending House legal action against Obama. “That’s the goal.”
Politico surmised that the next month will be a particularly precarious time for Republicans regarding impeachment yearnings.
“There is some concern within GOP leadership that the movement could swell if Obama soon takes unilateral action to halt the deportation of undocumented immigrants,” Politico writes. “Congress will be out of session for all of August, and many lawmakers will be spending time with their constituents back home in their solidly conservative districts, with the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border simmering. These are not prime conditions for moderation.”