Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

May 10, 2014

Obama impeachment on its way?

If you’re looking for some beach reading this summer, you might pick up a copy of this soon-to-be-released book: “Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment,” by National Review writer Andrew McCarthy. It’s hitting bookstores just as Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, has appointed a select committee to investigate Benghazi, and will no doubt be required reading on Capitol Hill and at the Fox News studios.

Is it reasonable to surmise that a move to impeach Barack Obama is a realistic possibility?

It isn’t that no one has talked about impeaching Obama before, because they have. But for the last five years, impeachment has been the purview of the nuttier corners of the right — the conspiracist websites, the chain emails, the ranting radio hosts. For much of that time, the complaints weren’t so much about specific alleged misdeeds as Obama’s fundamental illegitimacy. Impeach him because he isn’t American. Impeach him because ACORN and the New Black Panthers stole the election for him. Impeach him because while other presidents hired people known as “White House staff,” when this president does it they’re “czars” wielding unconstitutional powers. They could certainly give you a list of particulars if you asked, but what it came down to was that Barack Obama was, well, Barack Obama.

But now we have the Benghazi select committee, and a select committee is what you form when there may be crimes and misdemeanors to uncover. It has no other business to distract it.

, and it will be led by Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor who excels at channeling conservatives’ outrage.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean that Boehner or the party establishment he represents want impeachment, not by any means. They realize what a political disaster it was when they did it in 1998, and they understand that the effects would likely be similar if it happened again. But there are multiple Republican members of Congress who have at least toyed with the idea, and the committee’s hearings could build pressure in the Republican base for it.

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