Why the impeachment talk won't die

  • Article by: JONATHAN CAPEHART , Washington Post
  • Updated: July 31, 2014 - 12:04 PM

Republicans' coy evasions give Democrats cover to raise the threat in the campaign.

If Republicans want to know why Democrats are talking incessantly about impeachment, even fundraising off the possibility, they need only look to themselves. The GOP leadership has resisted every opportunity to kill the idea. Sure, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called it “all a scam started by Democrats at the White House,” before adding, “We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans.” But that’s cold comfort given his use of the present tense and his demonstrated inability to keep his calamitous caucus in line.

For Democrats not to take the impeachment threat seriously would be unwise and profoundly foolish. The question from Chris Wallace of Fox News to incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., on Sunday was really quite simple: If President Obama took executive action to solve the immigration crisis on the southwestern border, would “you consider impeaching the president?”

SCALISE: “You know, this might be the first White House in history that’s trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president. Ultimately, what we want to do is see the president follow his own laws. But the president took an oath to faithfully execute the laws of this land and he’s not. In fact, the Supreme Court unanimously, more than 12 times, unanimously said the president overreached and actually did things he doesn’t have the legal authority to do.” . . .

WALLACE: “But impeachment is off the table?”

SCALISE: “Well, the White House wants to talk about impeachment, and, ironically, they’re going out and trying to fundraise off that, too.”

And Boehner wonders why impeachment talk is all the rage. A “No, don’t be ridiculous. We’re not going to impeach the president. Period.” from Scalise on Sunday or from Boehner on Tuesday would have put an end to the chatter. But no.

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