Aaron Blake of The Washington Post believes that Sarah Palin's call for the impeachment of the president might open the floodgates, just before the midterms:
She's the first Republican of any significant national stature to make this call. And she's the kind of figure who could potentially recruit others to the cause -- people who will want to be heard. Palin surely doesn't carry the kind of weight she once did in the GOP, but she still has a significant tea party following and is highly popular among the conservative base.I could imagine this happening, but I have my doubts. Too many Republicans think impeachment is a suicidal move.
Plus, John Boehner's faux-peachment isn't just going to be a one-day story -- according to National Journal, it's intended to be a weeks-long made-for-Fox show trial:
Starting next week, House Republicans will launch a highly visible -- and likely tumultuous -- three-week process of bringing to the floor legislation to authorize their promised lawsuit against President Obama over his use of executive actions.It doesn't sound as if anyone's going to testify who thinks this is a bad idea, and it's clear that the decision to sue is a foregone conclusion. The process is going to be a wingnut mini-series -- new base-rallying highlights night after night -- so if the calls for full-blown impeachment continue to be limited to backbenchers and out-of-office attention junkies like Palin, this impeachment lite could be the center of the excitement.
"In theory, you could report out a resolution tomorrow and vote on it," said a House GOP aide on Tuesday. "But that is not the approach [the leaders] want to take."
Rather, the aim is to display -- if not actually engage in -- a more deliberative process, even if amid controversy. This drawn-out script builds toward a potentially dramatic floor vote held just days, or even hours, before the House adjourns on July 31 for its August-long summer break.
It will all start playing out when a panel of experts is called to testify next week on issues surrounding such litigation and to answer members' questions during a hearing of the House Rules Committee.
The resolution to authorize the legal action will then be formally written, or marked up, by the committee during a hearing the following week. The floor vote on the legislation will follow the week after that, in the days before the break.
Then, a bipartisan House leadership committee controlled by Republicans -- the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group, or BLAG -- will finalize the language and legal direction of the lawsuit, deciding which arguments will have the most chances of success in a court....
I'd rather see a drive to impeach than a drive to sue, if only because impeachment might be a wake-up call for Democratic voters. But Dem voters should take the lawsuit seriously; I don't care what the precedents are -- right-wing judges will ignore precedent if they want to stick it to Obama. This thing can work for the GOP. Democratic candidates should use this threat and impeachment talk to rally the Democratic base.
UPDATE, WEDNESDAY: Please, please keep goading your party this way, media Republicans:
Growing talk about Obama impeachment: Palin, Andrew McCarthy, House Judiciary Cmte hearing, some GOP lawmakers… http://t.co/j6Dj5bzJQH— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 9, 2014