Proof: Democrats are far more obsessed with impeaching Obama than Republicans

posted at 10:41 am on August 7, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It is next to impossible to come up with a more cynical political strategy than the Democratic Party’s current attempts to goad their Republican opposition into impeaching President Barack Obama. Facing what could be a disastrous midterm season, the party in control of the White House has fired every last shot they have in the effort to gin up enthusiasm among their base voters, and they have all but given up on governing in a manner which might elicit a positive response from the electorate.

Republicans, well aware of how impeachment backfired politically in 1998, are not biting. So, the Democratic Party’s last hope is to convince the press that Republicans are plotting in secret to impeach Obama but are just too savvy to talk about this intrigue in public. This tactic worked for about a week, and the closed population inside America’s newsrooms did seem convinced that House Republicans may introduce articles of impeachment at some point in the future.

Now, however, the evidence is so overwhelming that it is Democrats and not Republicans who are most desirous of impeachment that even the press cannot maintain the fiction that Obama is facing any serious threat from the House GOP.

According to a report in The Hill, since the beginning of the 113th Congress in 2013, Democrats have talked about impeachment 20 times more than have their Republican counterparts.

Since the start of the 113th Congress last year, Democrats have used the word “impeach” or “impeachment” regarding Obama 86 times, according to a review of the Congressional Record by The Hill.

Utterances on the floor from Republicans about impeaching Obama, in contrast, have been relatively rare. Only three Republicans in this Congress have raised the subject on the House floor, and the words have been used a total of four times by GOP members.

Most of the talk has come from House Democrats, with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) alone using the words 18 times in two separate speeches late last month.

You might remember that the political press put immense pressure on Republicans to not use the special panel empowered to investigate the Benghazi attacks in fundraising pitches. Nearly every member of the House GOP leadership was asked to go on record pledging not to fundraise off of that issue and to leverage the GOP’s campaign committees to do the same. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough accused Republicans of acting in a “disgusting” fashion, insisting that they “have undermined the credibility of this committee” by seeking to raise campaign funds off of the investigation.

And yet, nary a peep is heard from this chorus of scolds when Democrats craft an issue from whole cloth in order to frame the most powerful man on Earth as a victim of an overzealous opposition party, and then turn around and raise $2.1 million off of that fabricated issue in just one weekend.

And if you thought that it was just a handful of influential members of the media who were responding to the impeachment canard, you’d be wrong. NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters recently asked respondents for responses about what slogans they would like to see on a hypothetical protest sign. It seems a not insignificant number of politically shrewd Democrats opted to buttress the leadership’s strategy with some grassroots enthusiasm:

wordle

That’s not indicative of much, but it is telling in its own way.

UPDATE: Via Mary Katharine Ham, FiveThirtyEight analyst Nate Silver performed a bit of media analysis last week and made a completely unsurprising discovery.

silver-datalab-impeach-11


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OK, they can impeach him.

formwiz on August 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Strange they’re not running on the sparkling success of DeathCare.

Bishop on August 7, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Republicans, well aware of how impeachment backfired politically in 1998

Not really-they only lost a handful of seats in Congress, and one of the reasons Gore lost in 2000 (besides the fact that he was rejected by the voters of his own home state) was because he wouldn’t let Clintoon campaign with him.

Del Dolemonte on August 7, 2014 at 10:45 AM

I’m with the Democrats on this one.

He SHOULD be impeached!

Nineball on August 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

OK, they can impeach him.

formwiz on August 7, 2014 at 10:43 AM

If only the Christians (the reamaining alive ones) in iraq could vote……….

VegasRick on August 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I’m ever so grateful for responsible Republicans like the Gravitas Kids, Noah Rathman and William Kristol, to keep us hyperemotional brain-dead hotheads quiet and disciplined. And oh, what a treasure trove of insider knowledge these Mensa mensches provide!

cbenoistd on August 7, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Proof: Democrats are far more obsessed with impeaching Obama than Republicans

How about the elephant in the room?
Sarah Palin is far more obsessed with impeaching Obama than most Republicans and some Republicans are “far more obsessed” with her.

Or is she anymore.

Marcus on August 7, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Impeachment is pointless unless it actually gets rid of the president.

Immolate on August 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I’m with the Democrats on this one.

He SHOULD be impeached!

Nineball on August 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Hear, hear.

Pincher Martin on August 7, 2014 at 11:01 AM

When you have absolutely NOTHING to campaign on, given the feckless domestic and foreign policy record of this Administration, all you can do for the deranged base is play to their fears.

Obama and the rest of his sycophants have spent much of the last 2 years trying to goad the GOP into making a massive mistake and embark on their own EpicClusterFark also known as ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ – with little success thanks to a resolute few in Congress who aren’t part of the GOPe.

Now they are moving the goalposts to attempt to goad the GOP into what they hope is another massive electoral mistake, the impeachment of Barack Obama – at the same time stoking their rabid base.

I wonder when that base will realize that the progressive-fascists they are supporting and enabling hold them in as much contempt as they do the conservative base?

Athos on August 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Raise your hand if you think impeachment is a bad idea?

ezspirit on August 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Impeachment is pointless unless it actually gets rid of the president.

Immolate on August 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Having one of our institutions publicly point out in a systematic way that Obama is abusing his power is not pointless just because it fails to pass a party vote.

Why is it that so many Republicans are afraid to make good arguments? Are they hoping to sneak back into the White House without anyone noticing?

Pincher Martin on August 7, 2014 at 11:03 AM

A bit OT

Even among dems ….

Fascinating that word cloud shows “Fix Healthcare” garnered a greater number than “Keep Obamacare” – although I realize the thought behind it is probably a move to single payer.

But would the typical voter realize that?

normschaef on August 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

They will wind up impeaching him but not until after the midterms. r’s will win the senate and omaME! will go off the rails with his socialist programs. I just PRAY that we are not too far down the road to stop it.

VegasRick on August 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

The GOP establishments warns us to stop talking impeachment or those rascally Democrats will fundraise off of it. Now the Dems ARE fundraising off of impending impeachment, what the hell does the GOP have to lose? The GOPe is a bunch of yellow-bellied, wussy, crybaby eunuchs. IMPEACH HIM ALREADY, for what we do (or fail to do) now echoes in eternity.

TXJenny on August 7, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Republicans, well aware of how impeachment backfired politically in 1998, are not biting.

It backfired so spectacularly that they were in power for another ten years.

joekenha on August 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

and one of the reasons Gore lost in 2000 (besides the fact that he was rejected by the voters of his own home state) was because he wouldn’t let Clintoon campaign with him.

Del Dolemonte on August 7, 2014 at 10:45 AM

You’re welcome.

ladyingray on August 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

I agree. So how many Democrats will go on record saying they want to impeach Obama?

chrisbolts on August 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

the thought of impeachment is racist

DanMan on August 7, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The only group of people talking about it more than Democrats is RINO bloggers.

Dongemaharu on August 7, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Republicans, well aware of how impeachment backfired politically in 1998…

Keep spreading that lie, Noah. Keep spreading that lie.

Shump on August 7, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Not really-they only lost a handful of seats in Congress, and one of the reasons Gore lost in 2000 (besides the fact that he was rejected by the voters of his own home state) was because he wouldn’t let Clintoon campaign with him.

Del Dolemonte on August 7, 2014 at 10:45 AM

But that’s the Clinton spin — that Bubba was so popular with the public after his impeachment, Gore lost his shot at the White House by mis-reading the public’s mood after the impeachment. Their story line (which they’ll try to use for Hillary in 2016) is Bill was Mr. Wonderful in the minds of the voters (at least the low-info ones) and things were going great in the U.S. until Gore screwed things up for himself.

The goal for the Republicans from now until 2016 is to make sure that whoever the Democratic nominee is for president not only doesn’t want to campaign with Obama, but really does have to fear running as Obama’s third term because his brand is toxic with the voters, to the point that even a Hillary or Fauxahontas “War on Women”/”Lets Make History Again!”/”Girl Power!!!” campaign can’t save them.

jon1979 on August 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM

It backfired so spectacularly that they were in power for another ten years.

joekenha on August 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Snort.

Poor Noah. It must be hard writing for a blog where most of the commentators are more savvy than you are.

Pincher Martin on August 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

We just need to start loudly asking the dems when they are going to man up and impeach him. Let them clean their own filthy house.

CurtZHP on August 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

I’m diggin’ the “Support Second Amendment Rights” line.

BobMbx on August 7, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Never, ever, forget that the

Congress = House + Senate

obama has Reid to stop all things in the Senate and then campaigns and propagandizes “the do nothing congress”.

Duhhhhh, constitutional law something or other…

The media, most all, are here. Die in his azz, you fools. It’s not Beluga caviar that you consume in there.

Schadenfreude on August 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I’m diggin’ the “Support Second Amendment Rights” line.

BobMbx on August 7, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Yeah, Dems are good at re-branding. Jim Brady’s death this week had a good example. Brady wasn’t a liberal who spent decades trying to gut the Second Amendment through legislation. He was a “gun safety” advocate.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Politico:
“House Democrats have their email fundraising down to a science: Cast Speaker John Boehner as the leading villain, use President Barack Obama’s signature (but sparingly) and don’t hesitate to go ALL CAPS with a subject line like this: BREAKING: IMPEACHMENT.”

“Over the top? Undoubtedly. But the fact is it’s working — better than anything Republicans have tried so far. Last week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $4.8 million, thanks to a series of ‘red alert’ emails feeding off talk of impeachment and Boehner’s lawsuit against Obama over executive actions. It was the committee’s best week for online fundraising.”

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Republicans need to counter any more of this Dem impeachment talk by talking about Obama resigning. It’s obvious to anyone paying the least amount of attention that Obama is done. If he’s not going to do the job he’s paid to do (defend our borders, enforce the rule of law, abide by the Constitution), then he needs to quit and go away.

Kevin71 on August 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Republicans need to counter any more of this Dem impeachment talk by talking about Obama resigning. It’s obvious to anyone paying the least amount of attention that Obama is done. If he’s not going to do the job he’s paid to do (defend our borders, enforce the rule of law, abide by the Constitution), then he needs to quit and go away.

Kevin71 on August 7, 2014 at 12:49 PM

I like that idea! If we had a President that had a conscience that might get us somewhere.

The problem is though, he has no conscience, doesn’t think he’s done a damn thing wrong or illegal in the slightest.

Obama will have to be forcibly evicted, and escorted out of the White House like a perp walk.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Impeaching Clinton did backfire. Normally the party in control of the White House loses seats in the sixth-year midterms. In 1998, after impeachment, the Democrats picked up seats, cutting the GOP’s House majority to a razor-thin margin.

sauropod on August 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Impeaching Clinton did backfire. Normally the party in control of the White House loses seats in the sixth-year midterms. In 1998, after impeachment, the Democrats picked up seats, cutting the GOP’s House majority to a razor-thin margin.

sauropod on August 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

That’s just not accurate. G.W. Bush was elected in 2001, after impeachment, and the Republicans controlled both the House and Senate for 6 of his 8 years in office.

Clinton’s impeachment was then and is today, distorted as being “about nothing but sex”. When the truth was that it was about obstruction of justice and perjury before a grand jury.

I’m not saying Obama will be impeached. But the meme that Clinton’s impeachment was this huge negative for the (R)’s is at best, a big distortion of reality.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Bush was elected in 2000 rather. Took office in 2001. Just to be accurate.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I want to put myself on-record as fully in support of Congressional Democrats impeaching Barack Obama.

FishingwFredo on August 7, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Unifying base tactic

If Obama passes amnesty through an EO…it will backfire on him.

workingclass artist on August 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Impeaching Clinton did backfire. Normally the party in control of the White House loses seats in the sixth-year midterms. In 1998, after impeachment, the Democrats picked up seats, cutting the GOP’s House majority to a razor-thin margin.

sauropod on August 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Yup, and Clinton’s approval rating actually improved, reaching a high of 73% at one point. He left office with the highest approval rating of any President in decades. The Democrats lost because Bush was a good politician, Gore was a bad politician, party fatigue, Bush just had a superior campaign team, and probably because Gore decided not to actually campaign with Clinton.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

and probably because Gore decided not to actually campaign with Clinton.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 1:44 PM

If Clinton were actually so popular, why did Gore refuse to campaign with him?

Answer: In the states that actually mattered in the 2000 election, Clinton wasn’t popular, at all.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Dems did this during the Bush years with the draft. They brought up the issue and then tried to scare people into thinking Bush would do it. I’m sure it’s in their play book.

HAExpert on August 7, 2014 at 2:01 PM

If Clinton were actually so popular, why did Gore refuse to campaign with him?

Answer: In the states that actually mattered in the 2000 election, Clinton wasn’t popular, at all.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Gore’s campaign staff miscalculated. They knew that Bush was going to wage a “culture war” type of campaign, so they thought Gore should distance himself from Clinton. But this was a misguided political strategy because Clinton was still quite popular in the swing states. The red states, which Gore wasn’t going to win anyway, were the reason why Clinton’s approval rating was only 68% upon leaving office.

Let’s not forget that upon the nominations of both Gore and Bush, Gore consistently led Bush until the first debate. After Gore’s pitiful performance in the first debate, Bush started consistently leading.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 2:05 PM

If Clinton were actually so popular, why did Gore refuse to campaign with him?

Answer: In the states that actually mattered in the 2000 election, Clinton wasn’t popular, at all.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Just some empirical evidence:

“Clinton’s VNS exit poll job approval ratings did vary considerably across the 50 states and the District of Columbia and tell an interesting story. They ranged from an 87% high in D.C. to a 39% low in Wyoming, home of GOP vice-presidential candidate Dick Cheney. (See table, below.)

Gore won 17 of the 18 states (including D.C.) where Clinton’s job rating was at or above the national average of 57%. Which state didn’t fit this pattern? No surprise. Florida (where Clinton’s positive rating was 58%) was the one state that Gore didn’t “carry” when the rating of Clinton’s job performance was at or above the national 57% average.

Bush won 29 of the 33 states where Clinton’s job performance was below the national average. The other four states that Gore was able to win had Clinton job performance ratings just below the national average: Iowa and Wisconsin (56%), Oregon (55%) and New Mexico (52%).

Another way to view how Clinton’s job approval ratings and the election results interplayed is that every state with Clinton ratings of 60% or more went to Gore. Every state with Clinton job ratings 51% or lower went to Bush. The election was decided in states where Clinton’s job ratings ranged from 52% to 58%. These 18 states split, with 11 going to Bush and seven going to Gore.

Had Gore called upon Clinton to campaign for the Democratic ticket in some of these states, the results might have been different. Remember that it would have taken only one of the Bush states to go for Gore to change the results of the 2000 election. Here are two examples:

• New Hampshire, where voters supported the Clinton-Gore team in 1992 with a very close one-point victory spread and in 1996 with a considerably wider ten-point spread. Clinton’s 56% job approval rating in the 2000 New Hampshire exit poll suggests such an effort might have made a difference in how that state’s four Electoral College votes were cast, especially as the Bush-Cheney team won by just over 7,200 votes, a 1-point spread. Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen was re-elected by nearly 29,000 votes (a 5.1-point spread), in the only other statewide race.

• Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, where voters had supported him in five of his six races for statewide office, and where the Clinton-Gore team won in 1992 by nearly 169,000 votes (a 17.9-point spread) and in 1996 by nearly 150,000 votes (a 16.9-point spread). Clinton’s 53% job approval rating in the 2000 Arkansas exit poll also suggests such an effort might have made a difference in the outcome in 2000, when the Bush-Cheney team won by slightly more than 50,000 votes (a 5.4-point spread).

Regional differences are apparent in these job ratings. In New England, Clinton’s ratings ranged from a 72% high in Rhode Island to a 56% low in New Hampshire. In the South, the range was from Florida’s high of 58% to a 45% low in Bush’s home state of Texas. Seven Southern states clustered around a 50% positive Clinton job rating. On the Pacific Rim, the range was from Hawaii’s high of 65% to a low of 44% in Alaska.”

His approval rating was above 50% in every state that mattered in the 2000 election.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Gore, was then, and is today a leftist, wacko loon.

Everything you just posted, indicates that even Clinton couldn’t save him from himself.

Gore was just born with the wrong skin color. If he had been half-black, it would have been a Gore landslide, regardless of his wacko-left lunacy.

As we have seen OH SO CLEARLY, with Obama.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, Dems are good at re-branding. Jim Brady’s death this week had a good example. Brady wasn’t a liberal who spent decades trying to gut the Second Amendment through legislation. He was a “gun safety” advocate.

Happy Nomad on August 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

“Rebranding” is a trivial task for Democratics because they own the media.

slickwillie2001 on August 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Gore, was then, and is today a leftist, wacko loon.

Agreed.

Everything you just posted, indicates that even Clinton couldn’t save him from himself.

I have a hard time believing that a man who won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote by only one state (5 electoral votes) couldn’t have benefited from the assistance of a very popular President. The election came down to Florida, where Clinton’s approval rating was 58% and where Gore lost by about 500 votes. With that said, I’m glad Gore made this decision because Gore scares the heck out of me.

Gore was just born with the wrong skin color. If he had been half-black, it would have been a Gore landslide, regardless of his wacko-left lunacy.

As we have seen OH SO CLEARLY, with Obama.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 2:30 PM

With our country’s obsession with identity politics, you’re probably right about this.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I have a hard time believing that a man who won the popular vote and lost the electoral vote by only one state (5 electoral votes) couldn’t have benefited from the assistance of a very popular President. The election came down to Florida, where Clinton’s approval rating was 58% and where Gore lost by about 500 votes. With that said, I’m glad Gore made this decision because Gore scares the heck out of me.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Yeah, that’s all good info you posted, definitely won’t dispute that, and I was wrong about the breakdown in those states. He might have benefited from Clinton.

But that also would have given Bush the opportunity to highlight the REAL reasons Clinton was impeached in the first place, obstruction and perjury. Hard to say how voters would have reacted to that given it contradicts the leftist media meme.

It is pretty scary that it came down to such a small margin from us escaping President Gore.

Unfortunately, the nation made an even bigger mistake 8 years later with Obama.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

But that also would have given Bush the opportunity to highlight the REAL reasons Clinton was impeached in the first place, obstruction and perjury. Hard to say how voters would have reacted to that given it contradicts the leftist media meme.

Good point. I still do think Clinton would have been more of an asset than a liability for Gore, but I suppose we’ll never know. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

It is pretty scary that it came down to such a small margin from us escaping President Gore.

Unfortunately, the nation made an even bigger mistake 8 years later with Obama.

Meople on August 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Absolutely agree on all counts.

GOPRanknFile on August 7, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The only thing more common than the Democrats bringing up ‘impeachment’ in their fundraising efforts, is Barack Obama referring to himself in his speeches.

Athos on August 7, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Liberalism perverts everything, even impeachment.

crosshugger on August 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM

On a practical basis, there is no chance for impeachment to reach the point where the President would be convicted of whatever articles of impeachment the House passed.

I suppose if I were running things, in response to any questions about impeachment, I would simply say that impeachment is hard and there are no prospects of success given the current composition of the Congress. Now if the Democrats, who seem to be spouting off about impeachment really think it is a good idea, then I remind them that Republicans don’t have to introduce articles of impeachment, certainly the minority party, the Democrats, could do so as well.

I would have staff start to track the incidence of impeachment mention, especially if it an artifact of MSM, then eventually call the press on the carpet (as best I can) about where all this talk is coming from and does that kind of impeach their own image of being objective?

Russ808 on August 7, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Proof: Democrats are far more obsessed with impeaching Obama than Republicans

And display contempt for your intelligence.

To be fair, the intelligent are not normally the Democrats’ target audience.

I’ve become more and more convinced that the Obama administration wants to be impeached so badly that some of the most egregious overreaches are intended to provoke exactly that.

And yes, the Republicans know it, and are trying not to play into it.

That doesn’t mean it’s a smart gambit for the Democrats. I suspect if they got that impeachment they’ve been wanting so badly, they would find it backfiring. The impeachment would only really help them if they can convince everyone it is purely venomous partisanship and/or racism. As it is, the Republicans can make too good a case for impeachment based on the precedent of Nixon, who was impeached for far, far less than Obama has already done.

Smart Republicans would be making comparisons between Nixon and Obama constantly. Just compare the relatively trivial offenses of Nixon to a president who arrogantly ignores Congress when they don’t do what he wants, protects an Attorney General who has been found in contempt of Congress, and has precipitated a crisis of children on the border just to push immigration policies calculated to help his political party.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM

It backfired so spectacularly that they were in power for another ten years.

joekenha on August 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Snort.

Poor Noah. It must be hard writing for a blog where most of the commentators are more savvy than you are.

Pincher Martin on August 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

As long as he thinks he’s smarter than the rest of us…..

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 7, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Dems did this during the Bush years with the draft. They brought up the issue and then tried to scare people into thinking Bush would do it. I’m sure it’s in their play book.

HAExpert on August 7, 2014 at 2:01 PM

What? Lying about anyone who disagrees with them? That IS their playbook.

I mean, really….what else do they have?

runawayyyy on August 8, 2014 at 10:36 AM