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Thread: 2.1 million reasons why Dems love the GOP’s anti-Obama push

  1. #1
    Senior Member DiabloViejo's Avatar
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    2.1 million reasons why Dems love the GOP’s anti-Obama push

    House Speaker John Boehner's new argument about impeachment is simple: "It's all a scam started by Democrats at the White House."

    But Democrats didn't "start" this at all -- and the proof is overwhelming.

    2.1 million reasons why Dems love the GOP’s anti-Obama push

    Steve Benen
    MSNBC/Maddow Blog

    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the economy during a visit to Austin, Texas July 10, 2014.

    In 1998, congressional Republicans, filled with irrational rage towards a Democratic president in his sixth year, launched an impeachment crusade the American mainstream saw as wildly unnecessary. The electoral results were striking: Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party had the best sixth-year midterms of any administration in a century.

    The history is not lost on contemporary Democrats. If GOP overreach 16 years ago alienated Republicans from the public at large and encouraged Democratic voters to show up for the elections, maybe history can repeat itself now that the GOP is once again launching an outlandish crusade against another Dem White House.

    But let’s be clear about the circumstances: Democrats aren’t just shining a bright light on the GOP’s impeachment talk and anti-Obama lawsuit because they’re hoping for a replay of 1998. They also have quantifiable evidence that the strategy is having the desired effect. Wesley Lowery reported yesterday:

    The Democrats’ congressional campaign arm pulled in $2.1 million in online donations over the weekend – the best four-day haul of the current election cycle – largely propelled by fundraising pitches tied to speculation that House Republicans could pursue the impeachment of President Obama. […]

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has brought in more than 114,000 donations since Thursday – when the House Rules committee voted to press forward with a lawsuit contesting President Obama’s use of executive action, which some Democrats have suggested is a temporary stand-in for impeachment proceedings – spurred in part by nine e-mail fundraising pitches that directly reference the prospect of a GOP-attempt at pursuing impeachment.

    In a statement to the Washington Post, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said, “Grassroots Democrats across the country see Republican leaders in the House refusing to rule out impeaching the President even as they vote to use taxpayer funds to sue him. It’s no surprise that there’s outrage at this dramatic partisan overreach by a historically unpopular Republican Congress.”

    Update: Israel told Roll Call that House Democrats raised $1 million in online contributions in 24 hours on Monday, mostly from small-dollar donors.

    In an interesting twist, Dems are so pleased by recent Republican rhetoric that some on the right are accusing Democrats of making the whole thing up.

    Ben Dimiero reported yesterday that some conservatives are accusing President Obama and his allies of “ginning up” the issue out of nothing.

    In an interview with conspiracy website WND (which has its own “Impeachment Store”), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) told conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi that President Obama “wants us to impeach him now” because “his senior advisors believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote.”

    Stockman’s proclamation that the president is “begging to be impeached” was quickly trumpeted as the top story on the Drudge Report and Fox Nation, and Stockman isn’t the only one trying to pin the increase in impeachment discussion on Democrats. While refusing to answer whether impeachment is off the table for House Republicans, incoming House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) claimed “this might be the first White House in History that’s trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president.”

    Nice try, but no. There’s no denying the fact that Democrats are thrilled by Republicans’ overreach, but the notion that Dems “started” this is silly.

    I’ve been keeping a close eye on this story in recent years, and I remember reporting back in June 2012 on then-Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), the #2 Republican in the chamber at the time, telling a broadcast audience that presidential impeachment was “a possibility” if the Obama administration failed to implement immigration policy to the GOP’s satisfaction.

    It wasn’t an isolated comment. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) said in April 2013 he wanted to impeach Obama because of ”all of the czars,” while Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) talked in March 2013 about impeaching Obama for no apparent reason. What’s more, Fox News’ Neil Cavuto suggested in 2012 that Obama might be liable to impeachment over recess appointments; Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) raised the prospect of impeaching Obama over DOMA; and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) talked up the idea of presidential impeachment because “it would tie things up” in Washington for a while, making governing impossible. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) even introduced an impeachment resolution, just in case Obama sends U.S. troops to Syria.

    We can even go as far back as 2010, when both Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep.Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) also raised the specter of impeaching Obama, for reasons that still don’t make any sense, four years later.

    More recently, of course, the GOP’s interest has intensified, with several U.S. senators, U.S. House members, congressional candidates, and a certain former vice presidential candidate all talking up the impeachment idea as if it were credible.

    Some on the right may find all of this embarrassing now, but accusing Dems of “ginning up” the story out of nothing just isn’t true. The GOP opened the impeachment door; Republicans can’t be too upset now that Democrats have walked through it.

    Update: House Speaker John Boehner told reporters this morning, “Listen, it’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House.” This is demonstrably untrue – Democrats didn’t “start” the impeachment talk at all.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DiabloViejo's Avatar
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    Republican Candidates Support Impeachment

    Marilinda Garcia (NH-02): President Obama “has Many, Many Impeachable Offenses.” “When asked if she would vote to impeach President Obama Garcia said, “I would..He has many, many impeachable offenses it seems to me in terms of his disregard for our Constitution alone.” [New Boston Republican Committee Debate, 2/06/14]

    Gary Lambert (NH-02): Would Not Close Door on Supporting Impeaching President Obama. “You heard me how I feel about winning, so first I gotta see whether or not that would work, whether or not we could win. Then I‘ll evaluate it at that timeI’m with you onthis but we gotta keep our eye on the ball.” [New Boston Republican Committee Debate, 2/06/14]

    Ryan Zinke (MT-AL) Pledged to Support Impeaching President Obama. “During the debate, held May 27, tea party activist and fellow House candidate Drew Turiano asked Zinke whether he would support efforts to impeach Obama [...]‘And then I do believe we can put the president on the run. He’s had six years of doing his will to this country, and I believe that’s intentional dismantling of American power both domestically and abroad,’ said Zinke. ‘So is impeachment in the cards? Let’s hope we have the votes.’ Turiano, not completely satisfied with Zinke’s response, replied, ‘Is that a yes or a no?’ ‘Yes,’ said Zinke.” [Huffington Post, 6/02/14]

    Republican Incumbents Push Impeachment

    Rep. Steve Scalise “Refused to Rule Out a Drive to Impeach President Barack Obama.” “The third ranking Republican official in the House refused to rule out a drive to impeach President Barack Obama during an interview with Fox News Sunday.” [MSNBC, 7/27/14]

    Rep. Jeff Denham: Would Not Discount Impeachment. In August 2013, Denham said: “If our Commander in Chief that was reelected in this country decides to break the Constitution it is a challenge to hold him accountable. And he’s done it several times now.” When asked if he would support impeachment, Denham said: “Impeachment is a, is a very serious issue. I think that you have to prove that the leader of the free world has done something that is so far against American beliefs that, and this trust that he’s been sworn into that you remove him. You know I think that him trying to move beyond these phony scandals is something that opens the door for us to investigate further. IRS targeting people, targeting individuals, targeting political organizations is a huge issue that we’re going to hold him account on. But the biggest issue for me thus far in this presidency has been Benghazi [...]So depending on how far these investigations go we could get into a scenario where the president has broken the law.” [North Valley Tea Party Club, 8/14/13]

    Rep. Kerry Bentivolio: It Would be “Dream Come True” to Impeach President Obama. “Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., Monday said it would be a ‘dream come true’ to write a bill to impeach President Obama after constituents asked what he is doing to stop the president from ‘doing everything that he’s doing against [the] Constitution.’ ‘If I could write that bill and submit it, it would be a dream come true,’ Bentivolio said at the Birmingham Bloomfield Republican Club Meeting. ‘I feel your pain. I stood twelve feet away from [the president] and listened to him. I couldn’t stand being there, but because he is president I have to respect the office. That’s my job, as a congressman. I respect the office.’ Bentivolio, a former Santa Claus impersonator and reindeer farmer, went on to say that he has already asked various lawyers and scholars to advise him on ‘how [he] could impeach the president of the United States.’” [ABC News, 8/21/13]

    Rep. Steve King: House will Impeach President Obama if He Acts on Immigration Reform. “Rep. Steve King (R-IA) believes the House of Representatives will immediately begin impeachment proceedings if President Barack Obama unilaterally grants work permits and amnesty to millions more illegal immigrants by the ‘end of summer’ [...]‘From my standpoint, if the president [enacts more executive actions], we need to bring impeachment hearings immediately before the House of Representatives,’ King said. ‘That’s my position and that’s my prediction.’” [Breitbart, 7/26/14]

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz: Impeaching President Obama a Possibility. “Rep. Jason Chaffetz says President Barack Obama’s handling of the government’s response to the Benghazi terrorist attack could be an impeachable offense and vows to continue digging at the “lies of highest magnitude” from the White House. ‘It’s certainly a possibility,” the Utah Republican said Monday when asked about impeachment. ‘That’s not the goal but given the continued lies perpetrated by this administration, I don’t know where it’s going to go. … I’m not taking it off the table. I’m not out there touting that but I think this gets to the highest levels of our government and integrity and honesty are paramount.’” [Salt Lake Tribune, 5/13/13]

  3. #3
    Senior Member DiabloViejo's Avatar
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    Rep. Michele Bachmann: Option of Impeaching President Obama Should Not be Dismissed. “Bachmann stopped short of saying that Obama should be impeached, but when asked, said that option shouldn’t be dismissed. ‘As I have been home in my district, the 6th District of Minnesota, there isn’t a weekend that hasn’t gone by that someone says to me, ‘Michele, what in the world are you all waiting for in Congress? Why aren’t you impeaching the president? He’s been making unconstitutional actions since he came into office,’ Bachmann said.” [Politico, 5/16/13]

    Rep. Blake Farenthold: House has Votes to Impeach President Obama. “Rep. Blake Farenthold thinks the House of Representatives has the votes to impeach President Barack Obama in response to an inquiry about the authenticity of the president’s birth certificate, but said at a town hall meeting he doesn’t think it would be the best approach. ‘A question I get a lot, ‘If everybody is so unhappy with the president, why don’t you impeach him?’ Farenthold, a Texas Republican, said at a town hall meeting Saturday according to a video posted on YouTube. ‘I’ll give you a real frank answer about that, if we were to impeach the president tomorrow, we would probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it.’” [Politico, 8/12/13]

    Rep. Steve Stockman: “I’m Considering Filing Articles of Impeachment Against Barack Obama.” “Mr.Stockman said Mr. Obama has repeatedly broken his oath of office to uphold the Constitution, and in response, he’s seriously mulling legal action. ‘I’m considering filing Articles of Impeachment against Barack Obama,’ he wrote on his website, as reported by The Blaze.” [Washington Times, 1/30/14]

    Rep. Jack Kingston: Congress Will Start Looking at Impeaching President Obama “Very Seriously.” “Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) declined to comment this week when asked whether he supports impeaching President Barack Obama, but in a radio interview two weeks ago, he said it was a very serious possibility [...] ‘Not a day goes by when people don’t talk to us about impeachment. I don’t know what rises to that level yet, but I know that there’s a mounting frustration that a lot of people are getting to and I think Congress is going to start looking at it very seriously.’” [Huffington Post, 7/16/14]

    Rep. Randy Weber: “The President Deserves to be Impeached.” “‘The president deserves to be impeached, plain and simple,’ Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.” [The Hill, 7/15/14]

    Rep. Joe Barton: Impeaching President Obama “Debatable.” “Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), who voted to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998, said that doing the same for Obama was ‘debatable.’ ‘I think it’s debatable. I certainly think the president has gone out of his way to not enforce some of the laws that the Congress thinks he should beenforcing,’ Barton said.” [The Hill, 7/15/14]

    Rep. Michael Burgess: Impeaching President Obama “Needs to Happen.” “Impeaching President Barack Obama ‘needs to happen,’ Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) told a local tea party group, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday. Burgess spoke, the paper said, in response to an attendee’s suggestion that the GOP-controlled House use impeachment to stop Obama from ‘pushing his agenda.’ ‘It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,’ Burgess reportedly responded. ‘No question about that.’” [Politico, 8/09/11]

    Rep. Ted Yoho: House Should Threaten to Impeach President Obama. “Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) told colleagues that the House should pass legislation with new steps to secure the border, and tell Obama if he didn’t implement it, they would impeach him. ‘He either enforces the laws on the books—as he was hired and elected to do—or he leaves Congress no option. This is not our choice, this is the President’s choice and I would advise him to uphold the law on the books,’ Yoho said in a written statement after the meeting.” [Breitbart, 7/25/14]

    Rep. Paul Broun Backed Impeaching President Obama. “Rep. Paul Broun, a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Georgia, indicated during a tea party-sponsored candidate forum this weekend that he would support the impeachment of President Obama. Candidates at the Gilmer County GOP forum, including Broun, were asked by aquestioner: ‘Clinton was impeached for perjury. Obama has perjured himself on multiple occasions. Would you support impeachment if presented for a vote?’ Broun, along with two other candidates, Derrick Grayson and Eugene Yu raised their hands, according to video of the event obtained by ABC News (watch video above). Neither Rep. Phil Gingrey nor Rep. Jack Kingston attended the forum.” [ABC News, 2/03/14]

    Rep. Louie Gohmert Pushed Impeachment of President Obama. “Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) on Tuesday amped his recent impeachment rhetoric by claiming that President Barack Obama was ‘getting close to a high crime and misdemeanor’ [...]Gohmert also repeated his recent warning that if Republicans force the U.S. todefault on its debt by refusing to raise the debt ceiling then it ‘would be an impeachable offense by the president.’” [Raw Story, 10/15/13]

    Rep. Lou Barletta: House Probably has Votes to Impeach President Obama.“Rep. Lou Barletta says the House ‘probably‘ has the votes to impeach President Barack Obama. ‘He’s just absolutely ignoring the Constitution, and ignoring the laws and ignoring the checks and balances,’ the Pennsylvania Republican said of Obama on the Gary Sutton radio show on Monday. ‘The problem is, what do you do? For those that say impeach him for breaking the laws or bypassing the laws — could that pass in the House? It probably could. Is the majority of the American people in favor of impeaching the president? I’m not sure.’” [Politico, 6/17/14]

    I hope the GOP has the courage to impeach President Obama, so that they can get their heads handed to them on a silver platter in November!

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