Conservatives and establishment GOP agree: Don’t impeach Obama

posted at 1:21 pm on July 10, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It appears that former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin went out on a limb when she said that the proper way to address President Barack Obama’s executive overreach would be to appeal to the impeachment process.

The ironic fact of the matter is that she has a point; the traditional remedy that the House is alleging in an anticipated lawsuit over Obama exceeding the limits of presidential authority would be impeachment (though whether Obama’s infractions rise to the level of “Treason, Bribery or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is debatable). The grounds on which House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will sue the White House will have to be on extraordinarily tailored grounds in order for the courts, which are usually trepidatious about adjudicating disputes between the executive and legislative branches, to take it up.

The problem with Palin’s impeachment recommendation is not process but politics. As Allahpundit documented on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) ruled out impeachment in no uncertain terms. The GOP’s nominee for Senate in Iowa, Joni Ernst, backtracked after endorsing impeachment to claiming that she has seen no “evidence that the President should be impeached.”

Even Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), one of the more conservative members of the House when he served and a Republican who maintains a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 97 percent as of 2011, ruled out impeachment. “I think so,” Flake told Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier on Wednesday when asked if impeachment proceedings would be “problematic” for his party.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board perhaps made the case against Palin’s call for impeachment a bit harshly when they implied that she was speaking purely out of self-interest.

“Sarah Palin joined the impeachment calls on Tuesday, which could mean that the former Alaska Governor has been feeling neglected,” the WSJ editorial read. “She is following the talk radio hosts and obscure authors who are trying to increase audience share or sell books by posing as Mr. Obama’s loudest opponents.”

Mrs. Palin immediately received the media fillip she wanted, especially from MSNBC and the left-wing websites that want to portray the fading GOP star as a conservative leader. Progressives would like nothing better than for Republicans to try to impeach Mr. Obama, so they could scare up otherwise demoralized Democratic voters to come to the polls this November.

The Journal is correct, however, in that the Democrats would love to run in 2014 on Republican impeachment proceedings. In their absence, they are already fundraising off of Palin’s comments.

“Yesterday, Sarah Palin called for President Obama’s impeachment,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote in a fundraising email. “Usually, I’d completely ignore this, but she’s not alone. Next week, Speaker Boehner will launch a three-week show trial leading up to a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.”

Republicans in Congress are acutely aware of the negative impact the impeachment of Bill Clinton had on their electoral prospects. Impeachment reversed the historic headwinds the party in control of the White House faces in a president’s sixth year and turned them into a gale blowing directly in the GOP’s face. Republicans lost five seats in the House and made no gains in the Senate in 1998, and the GOP does not want to repeat that history.

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Impeachment would be the CORRECT course of action in a nation where logic and intellectual honesty reigned. But we don’t live in such a nation. Fix THAT first.

CanofSand on July 10, 2014 at 9:51 PM

The ugly truth is that Boner and the GOP really support his policies

Brock Robamney on July 10, 2014 at 9:56 PM

I think we should continue talking about possible impeachment…..it just drives Dear Leader crazy.

d1carter on July 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM

d1carter on July 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I disagree..Team Obie is using it like the “birth certificate”..They can “isolate the enemy”..Alnisky 101..:(

PS..But that is imho..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Do we want to live in a constitutional republic, or do we want to have an imperial Presidency?

What does it say about those who are not prepared to move ahead with articles of impeachment?

This is not a conservative / Republican issue, but an issue for all Americans – do we want to live in a constitutional Republic, yes or no?

Of course some Democrats will endeavor to fund raise off the effort, which can be used against them.

The transgressions of Bill Clinton were minor compared to the impeachable offenses committed by Barack Obama.

FYI – Palin is pressing ahead, continuing to make the case:

President Obama’s buzzed on suds great adventure

john.frank on July 10, 2014 at 10:44 PM

d1carter on July 10, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I disagree..Team Obie is using it like the “birth certificate”..They can “isolate the enemy”..Alinsky 101..:(

PS..But that is imho..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Sorry..Fixed..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 10:49 PM

All of this argument about impeachment now is pointless. Look at the calendar. It is less than four months before the election, and Congress is shutting down to go home and campaign. There will be no time to make all of the preparations for any kind of impeachment trial. If the House were to really consider it, they could gather the evidence from the hearings publicize it during the campaigns to build public support. I doubt that will really happen given the wetting of pants from Palin’s mere mention of it.

FirelandsO3 on July 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM

You’ve actually put your finger on why Palin’s merely mentioning it now. So that it’s on the table after the mid-terms.

What else will there be for the House to do (or the Senate, if the GOP takes it) for the next two years? Pass some bills so that Obama can veto them? He won’t be overridden. Maybe he’ll be impeached instead.

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:00 PM

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:00 PM

I think there would be a lot for House GOP to do..If we (GOP) take the Senate..We can ramp up hearings..pass laws and dare Obie to veto..Make his last two years a living he!!..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

As to the claim that conservatives think impeachment is a bad idea — which ones exactly?

Mark Levin: Palin Is Right About Impeaching Obama

john.frank on July 10, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Richard Viguerie, the dean of the modern conservative movement has been running a petition calling for the impeachment of President Obama on his website conservativehq.com for months.

Petition to Impeach Barack Obama

john.frank on July 10, 2014 at 11:19 PM

The ugly truth is that Boner and the GOP really support his policies

Brock Robamney on July 10, 2014 at 9:56 PM

Give it a rest.

V7_Sport on July 10, 2014 at 11:21 PM

We can ramp up hearings..pass laws and dare Obie to veto..Make his last two years a living he!!..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Obama will revel in vetoing ANYTHING passed by a GOP Congress. And in order to make it through even a GOP Senate, any legislation passed by the House is going to have to be so watered down by McConnell to get 60 votes for cloture as to be meaningless anyway.

By all means let the investigations continue, but until Holder is out nothing much will be discovered, and even less prosecuted.

And by 2016 the GOP will be its usual over-cautious, do-nothing-to-rock-the-boat self in the lead up to the Presidential elections, and Obama will enjoy the freest rein of his unrestrained Presidency. His EO’s alone will make OUR lives a living hell.

With impeachment preemptively removed from the table by the GOP (like every other credible threat the Congress could make, such as refusal to raise the debt ceiling or pass continuing spending resolutions), the next two years are essentially a wash. With no one willing to take a Constitutional stand against an impeachable rogue chief executive.

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:24 PM

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:24 PM

You could be right about Obie revelling in vetoing..But I don’t think the Democratic party will be revelling in it..Bottom line..Team Obie have made most of their mistakes when the are tasked with being the “executives in charge”..We certainly don’t need or want him running in “campaign mode” in 2014 elections over as of right now a “fruitless” impeachment exercise..imho..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 11:38 PM

We certainly don’t need or want him running in “campaign mode” in 2014 elections over as of right now a “fruitless” impeachment exercise..imho..:)

Dire Straits on July 10, 2014 at 11:38 PM

Whereas, Boehner’s little lawsuit won’t rile up Obama at all.

“So sue me! For doing my job?” He’s in full-blown campaign mode right now. But as long as it’s just over an unconstitutional lawsuit, and not the only actual Constitutional remedy for an out-of-control chief executive, that’s okay?

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Folks view lawsuits different than Impeachment..Team Obie has lost a lot of lawsuits 9-0..Impeachment is more permanent thing..Easy to rally troops or zombies in this case..If Hobby Lobby is any indicator..Most will not even understand the lawsuit..:)

Dire Straits on July 11, 2014 at 12:03 AM

de rigueur on July 10, 2014 at 11:54 PM

Google Rush Limbaugh on this(June 9)..He does a good job..Another big problem in the room is the Democrats will not go along with it and the MSM will not..So you will have 1998 all over again..imho..:(

Dire Straits on July 11, 2014 at 12:07 AM

I always wonder if one day you guys will wake up, look in the mirror, and realize that “oh my god, i’m really stupid”.

lester, it’s time for your violin lesson! on July 10, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Democrats lost college graduate vote in 2012 and only won by increasing their share of the high school dropout vote from 70% to 80% in just 4 years.

You illustrate that perfectly, except that you’re from Red Green Land, so your manure doesn’t matter.

Take off, eh?

HAROLD-

Del Dolemonte on July 11, 2014 at 12:59 AM

If you want to haul Obummer up on trial before principle, fine.

Just be aware it will be the mother of all circuses and it will not guarantee repeal of jack squat. For that you need a Senate and House with a spine and their feet to the fire. Odumber rotting in prison is a fine act but the laws and acts he has passed are the true danger.

LawfulGood on July 11, 2014 at 2:06 AM

If you want to haul Obummer up on trial before principle, fine.
Just be aware it will be the mother of all circuses and it will not guarantee repeal of jack squat. For that you need a Senate and House with a spine and their feet to the fire. Odumber rotting in prison is a fine act but the laws and acts he has passed are the true danger.
LawfulGood on July 11, 2014 at 2:06 AM

Congress doesn’t have standing to sue the President, so that is going nowhere. Boner knows this, and as you mentioned, this will be nothing but a three ring circus. The courts will not even hear this case. Dismissed. So this leaves the only options as rolling over and sticking their legs up in the air. Which Boner did with his power of the purse authority. Or, impeach the President. Since Boner announced on day 1 that he will not use the power if the purse or impeach Obama, this means he is letting Obama go unimpeded. Which begs the question to be asked is why? The answer is, that he really doesn’t see a problem with Obama’s usurpation of the Constitution. Also, notice how quiet everyone is about this. This is your Republican Party. The country has already been fundamentally changed, but to all the cheerleaders out there, you keep voting Republican

Brock Robamney on July 11, 2014 at 5:24 AM

I don’t care about Jeff Flake’s ACU rating. He’s a shamnesty sellout and another John McCain clone. He and the GOPe are wrong. Impeach the son of a bitch! Once again, Sarah has more cojones than Republican men.

pdigaudio on July 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Dog & Pony show with a spineless cast of scumbags. They’re all in it together.

RdLake on July 11, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Yesterday I linked to an article written by Sarah for Fox News in which her final words were: “Stay tuned.”

Another headline article written by her is now up at Fox – and she answers all squishes’/cowards’ lame excuses as well:

The case for Obama’s impeachment: The Constitution’s remedy for a lawless, imperial president

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Opinionator on July 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I don’t care about Jeff Flake’s ACU rating. He’s a shamnesty sellout and another John McCain clone. He and the GOPe are wrong. Impeach the son of a bitch! Once again, Sarah has more cojones than Republican men.

pdigaudio on July 11, 2014 at 10:25 AM

It’s worse than that. Noah used an old rating as his bonafides. Too lazy to go to the source or grasping at straws for his “conservatives”? You decide.

Noah,

Conservatives and establishment GOP agree: Don’t impeach Obama
Who are these “conservatives” you speak of? Flake? He campaigned as a Conservative, got cozy with McVain and is all but Consevrative in name only.

Funny that you quote a secondary source (votesmart.org), instead of the source itself and 2 years out of date at that!!!

2013 Winners & Losers
[SNIP]

Nope, nowhere does Flake show up. Not until the 11th page of a 40 page document.

So what does ACU [say] about Flake?
Well in 2012, he scored 100%, in 2013, he scored 71%, so yeah, a lifetime rating of 95% after 11 years of service, but trending downwards. You know what they say, a ton of ‘atta-boys’ don’t meant squat when you screw up.

But please let us know if any of the above agree: Don’t impeach Obama.

Piker!!!

AH_C on July 10, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Read the rest of the snipped comment at the link above

AH_C on July 11, 2014 at 4:30 PM

For all the discussion that’s been had around my original post, no one seems to have addressed my original question: given the nearly evenly divided nature of our country, which has shown up in the closeness of the last few election cycles – if political expediency is the sole determining factor in deciding whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings, when in the future do you see impeachment ever being a viable option again? Under what circumstances, and what do you believe the odds are that those circumstances will ever be met?

Again, as I said originally, I don’t have the answer about whether or not to impeach in this case. (I do, however, have an opinion – but you know what they say about those!)

But the original question remains.

psrch on July 12, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Impeachment, as justifiable as it may be in this case, won’t be viable ever again. The 17th amendment changes enough of the dynamics to make simple politics rule where logic should

BamaXray on July 12, 2014 at 11:02 AM

So we need to do something about the 17th Amendment, preferably repeal it. Let the Senators be provided by the State Governments, as intended, and let’s see if that doesn’t give us a better quality of senator.

H/T, Mark Levin

As-is, impeaching the imPOTUS now will only fire up the Dem’s base just before an election we have the advantage in. Not a good idea. Let the various investigations slow-cook, perfume the electoral air, and next Spring we may have charges serious enough to get a Republican majority + a few honest Democrats to convict him in the Senate.

ReggieA on July 12, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Impeachment, as justifiable as it may be in this case, won’t be viable ever again. The 17th amendment changes enough of the dynamics to make simple politics rule where logic should

BamaXray on July 12, 2014 at 11:02 AM

TL;DR version for the whole debate. D@mned unfortunate but that’s the reality…we need to repeal the 17th as a first step and there’s just no way around it short of the military pulling a “Praetorian guard”.

LawfulGood on July 13, 2014 at 12:20 PM

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