“Josh Earnest is sitting at the podium trying to tick off names of, ‘Ooh, look at the Republicans who want impeachment.’ It’s not serious,” Todd said. “… I think the White House ought to be embarrassed for how they’re trying to play this.” Separately, Todd criticized Republican lawmakers who intend to sue the president for failing to uphold certain provisions of Obamacare, arguing that the president is acting outside the law. “Boehner’s up there with this ridiculous lawsuit,” Todd said. “Boehner — the idea he’s saying, ‘We’re not talking impeachment, the lawsuit?’ Please. That’s about placating the impeachment caucus in his own party. This is an embarrassing moment for everyone in Washington. The leaders of both parties, they’re driving away people from the polls, driving people away from politics. This is cynical. It’s ugly. It’s disgusting.”
Todd’s “pox on both houses” indignation is misplaced. Democrats’ absurd impeachment frenzy is a transparent attempt to drive donations and whip up a lethargic and demoralized base. On the former score, at least, they’ve been hugely successful — thanks to a shameless full-court press and a credulous, reactionary base. Every relevant elected Republican has made clear that impeachment is not on the table, which was decidedly not the case when Democrats were agitating to impeach George W. Bush during his second term in office. By contrast, the Boehner lawsuit (click through for a myth-busting NRO primer) underscores a very serious separation of powers concern held by virtually all Republicans, and some intellectually honest lefties. Whether one agrees with the suit as a vehicle for addressing those concerns is another story, but the underlying issue is real and legitimate. It’s not “ridiculous.” (Was it ridiculous when Senate Republicans sued the president over his illegal “recess” appointments, which the Supreme Court invalidated 9-0?) One side is engaging in “cynical, ugly, disgusting” posturing here, and the other is not. Is there a base-pleasing aspect to the lawsuit? Sure. Are Republicans above stupid and insulting panderfests? Not at all. But the equivalency argument in this context is bunk. Interestingly, Todd worries about 2014 degenerating into an “awful base election.” Perhaps that’s the former Democratic staffer in him giving voice to the party’s well-founded anxiety about how a “base election” might turn out this year, especially with independents breaking the way they are. Oh, and Democratic campaign committees and the White House aren’t the only folks loudly clanging the impeachment cowbell:
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 30, 2014
In a related story:
I do believe an aforementioned TV news journalist has his own show on the Impeachment Network.