Sarah Palin fired the first volley. The half-term Alaska governor took to the pages of Breitbart to insist that impeachment proceedings begin against President Obama. Her reasoning behind the move?
“Because of Obama’s purposeful dereliction of duty an untold number of illegal immigrants will kick off their shoes and come on in, competing against Americans for our jobs and limited public services. There is no end in sight as our president prioritizes parties over doing the job he was hired by voters to do. Securing our borders is obviously fundamental here; it goes without saying that it is his job.”
A few other GOP candidates and voices hopped on the bandwagon with Palin soon thereafter. But the Grand Old Party as a whole is having none of it. In fact, they seem to be a bit perturbed that some of their number are running forward with the argument.
Speaker John Boehner has said that he has no interest in pursuing impeachment against the president. In fact, Boehner has tried to quiet the talk by saying that it was not even a Republican idea, ignoring the fact that Palin is on record as starting the idea. Since Democrats have had loads of success lately fundraising on the back of the threat of impeachment, Boehner has said that the whole thing was a Democrat “scam.”
Now Paul Ryan is following Boehner’s lead. But Ryan is going even further to distance the party from the actions of the few.
“I see this as sort of a ridiculous gambit by the president and his political team to try and change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base for an upcoming election that they feel is not going to go their way… [The Republicans’ differences with the White House do] not rise to the high crime and misdemeanor level.”
In all honesty, the Democrats and the White House have used the threat of impeachment to change the narrative, raise money, and turn out their base. The problem is, the impeachment gambit has verifiably Republican origins.
But the most interesting part of Ryan’s comment is the second half. Sarah Palin has been saint that more Americans would be screaming for impeachment if they only understood what “impeachable offenses” were. Paul Ryan does know.
Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
As Ryan pointed out, that is not what is going on with Obama.
The idea of impeachment is red meat to any political party. It riled up Republicans when Clinton was in office. There were rumblings about it when Bush was in. And now here we are. But without a basis for it, why would someone like Sarah Palin leave the comfy confines of her Facebook echo chamber and venture out to Breitbart to throw down her challenge? Palin even faced off against members of her own party when she said that Americans “should vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.” What gives?
Well, she did launch a so-called “online television network” soon thereafter. That isn’t going over well, either. It costs $9.95 a month and is a glorified blog with videos posts. But Palin made a smart move to get her name back in the search engines before the launch.
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