A lot of lefties think President Obama will be impeached in the next two years. I believe a serious impeachment effort will get under way within hours of the president's upcoming immigration announcement -- and I suppose the impeachment clamor could be so great that the House leadership will feel compelled to let the process to play out. But while there really aren't very many differences between "establishment" Republicans and crazy teabaggers these days, the establishment types felt burned by the bad public reaction to last year's government shutdown (even though the anger dissipated almost instantly once the government started up again) and seem to have concluded that an impeachment effort would have a similar effect. Besides, the last guy Republicans impeached is now the most enduringly popular living political figure in America. Nobody wants a repeat of that.
And, of course, Republicans would need a two-thirds vote in the Senate to convict. Republicans assume they couldn't possibly get a dozen or so Democrats to vote with them (though these are Democrats we're talking about, so maybe they're underestimating their chances). I say it's not going to happen.
But that leaves Republicans having to explain to their rabid base why they're not going to do what the base desperately wants. And so on Thursday night they sent out Representative Trey Gowdy to deliver what was clearly a scripted one-liner, in order to make the failure to impeach look like the tough-minded, True Patriot thing to do:
Republican bulldog Rep. Trey Gowdy put the kibosh on the idea of impeaching President Obama during a nationally television Fox News interview, telling his broadcast audience that booting the commander-in-chief from his office would open the doors to something even worse....Savor how that story, from The Washington Times, ascribes anti-impeachment sentiment to a "Republican bulldog" who's a "former federal prosecutor from South Carolina." Yeah, they really want the rubes to think restraint is a good idea.
First, host Bill O'Reilly asked Mr. Gowdy what he thought of the argument made by Judge Andrew Napolitano -- that Mr. Obama's proposed executive orders to grant amnesty to millions of illegals would rise to the level of an impeachable offense....
Mr. Gowdy's reply was both blunt and concise.
The former federal prosecutor from South Carolina said, The Daily Caller reported: "Have you met Joe Biden?"
The right-wing noise machine is really hitting this one hard, in an attempt to manufacture consent on the right. The Daily Caller's headline is "Trey Gowdy Makes The Ultimate Argument Against Impeaching Obama." Fox Nation goes with "WATCH: Trey Gowdy's Soon-to-Be Classic One-Liner Against Impeaching Obama: 'Have You Met Joe Biden?'"
Britain's Daily Mail, which makes a concerted effort to craft clickbait for U.S. right-wingers, add this:
A senior aide to a House Republican told MailOnline on Friday that 'Avoiding the "I" word' is a case of 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't.'Was Gowdy's quip scripted? Watch the exchange, starting at 2:08 in the clip below. Notice Gowdy's wooden delivery of the one-liner at 2:43. I'd say yes, it was absolutely scripted for him.
'Only in this case, we're pretty sure we know both devils. And Biden – he's two floppy shoes short of a complete clown outfit. Let's be honest: He's Obama's insurance policy.'
So GOP establishmentarians want maximum rage when Obama makes his announcement, but they don't watch impeachment. Can they hit the sweet spot? We'll see.