This Examiner account of Cruz’s appearance on Mark Levin’s show last night caught my eye as a companion piece to Palin calling for O’s impeachment. Skip to 6:45 of the clip below for the key bit. You tell me: Does Cruz sound receptive to impeaching Obama here or reluctant? On the one hand, he’s comparing O unfavorably to a president who would have been impeached had he not resigned first. On the other hand, his whole point is that Reid and the Democrats are shills for the White House, especially in protecting O from scrutiny on the IRS scandal. That’s true, and that’s also why impeachment is doomed: You’ll never, ever find 15-20 Democratic votes in the Senate to remove Obama unless the public turns on him decisively. His job approval at Gallup today is 44/51, not great but nowhere near the levels of toxicity that would force Dems to cut him loose in the interest of self-preservation. You can’t impeach a president whose party is neck-deep in the tank for him unless you’ve got 67 Senate seats, and even under the best-case scenario, the GOP won’t have anything close to that next year. So why bother trying?
As alternatives, you can either follow Levin’s advice and use the power of purse to restrain Obama or you can follow Cruz’s advice and go after a lower-ranking official. He wants the House to impeach Eric Holder if Holder refuses to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS. That won’t work either — why would Democratic shills in the Senate refuse to convict Obama but agree to convict his attorney general? — but if you like the idea of impeachment as an expressive act of no confidence in the administration and you’re worried about a public backlash at the polls from going after Obama himself, targeting his right-hand man is an obvious feelgood compromise. The House votes to remove Holder, the Senate fails to convict him, Democrats whine a little about “GOP extremism” and shrug, and Republicans use the whole experience to goose GOTV, as evidence that the Senate desperately needs more Republican members. Low risk with the potential for some reward.