Revised Monday evening, August 2, 2014.
I believe they’ll do it.
Not predicting they will. Maybe they’ll get a grip. But I doubt it.
They’ll do it because they hate the President that much.
And because they are who they are and just won’t be able to help themselves.
Never mind the non-denial denials from the so-called leadership. They hate the President just as much and would enjoy watching him humiliated. But even if they know better, they don’t have the power or the guts to stop it. Anyway, they’re not talking to us. They’re trying to reassure the less crazy members of their base and their donors that they’re in charge, despite how things look and sound, and they’re trying to help the more ethically compromised members of the Washington Press Corps who want to believe that the real Republicans are the polite and attractive people in expensive suits who buy them lunch, hire their spouses, and help their children get internships fool themselves into believing it.
“I know the serious Republicans are serious about not impeaching Obama because my serious friends told me they were serious over drinks last night. Oh, and you know what else they told me?”
Reporters are bought with gossip as much as with good booze and fine meals and five-figure speaking fees.
And I don’t know why anyone thinks whether or not they win control of the Senate in November will have anything to do with it. Why should that figure? Having the majority means they can bring it to the Senate floor, but they won’t get nearly enough votes for conviction. No one I’ve heard is predicting the GOP will wind up holding 66 seats. Which and how many Democratic senators does anyone think will vote to convict? To win even the small majority they’re likely to get they have to defeat a bunch of conservative Democrats. All who’ll be left will be the liberals. Who’ll be hopping mad. They can’t even count on every Republican. Think Pat Toomey wants to run for re-election in 2016 with all of Philadelphia infuriated at him? Thad Cochran owes his seat to African-American Democrats now. Susan Collins has actually been known to vote her conscience and she’ll have six years in which she won’t have to worry about a Tea Party challenge.
There might be a few who are crazy or stupid or crazy and stupid enough to think they can get a conviction. There might be a few who have such contempt for the President they believe he’ll surrender and resign rather than face impeachment. But the majority aren’t either let alone both. They know they won’t get the conviction. They know the President won’t resign. Some of them don’t even want either a conviction or a resignation because they’d rather have him around, wounded and humiliated, to run against in 2016.
But conviction isn’t necessary to them. Sure, letting the Senate in on the fun means drawing out the humiliation of the President and that’s an attraction. But the humiliation can be drawn out in the House as well, so the Senate isn’t necessary at all.
In fact, I believe that they’re more likely to do it if they don’t take over the Senate.
That will just make them that much madder and spiteful and determined to stick it to the President.
If a miracle occurs and the Democrats take over the House, then they’ll start proceedings the day after election day and rush it to a vote before Christmas.
They’ll do it because they need to do it.
They’ll do it because their hatred is visceral and they need to feel it, roiling in their guts and pounding in their heads, making their hearts race, their cheeks burn, their fists clench, over and over again.
They’d have to be crazy? They’d have to be stupid?
Nope, neither one. They just have to be what they are. That mad.
And here’s the thing.
They really think that impeachment will humiliate him. They think it will stigmatize him in the eyes of the people and in the history books.
They think he’ll go down in history as a disgraced President alongside Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.
Which shows there’s yet another lesson they didn’t learn from impeaching Bill.
Bill Clinton wears his stigma awfully well, doesn’t he?
Far from being disgraced, he’s still wildly popular. He’s turned the impeachment into a badge of honor. Impeaching him made him popular. People admired him for fighting off an attempt at a bloodless coup.
The rabid Right Wingers in the House need to do it, the rabid Right Wingers who are the Republican base need to have it done, because they need to have it confirmed in their own minds that the President isn’t a real President, that he’s corrupt, that he’s a dictator, that he’s a criminal, that he’s not in charge of them because he was never a legitimate President.
In their minds, the fact that he was impeached (even though it was done by them and for them on grounds they made up) will be proof of that. They and their Right Wing descendents will use it to try to win arguments for the next fifty years.
“But he was impeached! Even Nixon wasn’t impeached!”
In their minds, impeachment will stigmatize him forever.
What they don’t seem to be able to imagine is if they do it again, impeach another Democratic President on no grounds except the ones they make up and against the wishes of the majority of the American people, they will redefine impeachment permanently to mean “Something vindictive and spiteful Republicans do to Democratic Presidents who have the nerve to get themselves re-elected.”
Which is why I believe they’ll do it. I believe they’ll do it just for that reason, because they are vindictive and spiteful Republicans who can’t stand it that the President had the nerve to get re-elected.
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart doesn’t believe the “serious” Republicans either.