Author Topic: How Boehner Painted Himself in a Corner on Impeachment  (Read 163 times)

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Offline EC

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How Boehner Painted Himself in a Corner on Impeachment
« on: July 11, 2014, 03:11:08 AM »
As always, the warning. Politico, so proceed at your own risk.

Pity John Boehner. “This is not about impeachment,” the House speaker said hopefully two weeks ago, as he announced plans to sue President Obama for “not faithfully executing the laws.” But now Sarah Palin has proven otherwise, using Boehner’s own reasoning to mock the lawsuit as ineffectual and demand impeachment, raising the possibility that the debate could cast a pall over the midterm elections.

The last thing the GOP establishment wants—and Boehner is the closest thing the party has to a leader—is for the midterms to turn on impeachment, a risk that has already materialized in the Iowa Senate race, where Republican nominee Joni Ernst had to disavow her pro-impeachment statement from the primary. No credible polling on impeaching Obama exists. But the Washington Post reminded us last month that on the eve of the vote to impeach President Bill Clinton, with the Republican leadership making a full-court press, only 30 percent of the country was in favor, slightly less than the percentage of the country that calls itself “conservative.” Support for impeaching Obama is unlikely to reach even that limp level, effectively appealing to only the right-wing fringe.

Everything Boehner has done in the past 18 months has been with an eye toward containing Tea Party extremism, in order to keep the political waters still and let the 2014 map do the work of protecting incumbent House Republicans and deposing Senate Democrats in reddish states.

And he has gone to great lengths. Boehner delicately navigated around potential pitfalls such as providing Hurricane Sandy relief and expanding the Violence Against Women Act, ignoring the informal GOP rule against moving bills that lack support from the “majority of the majority.” He rammed through the Medicare “doc fix” by voice vote, without informing all House members in advance and without most of them present, avoiding a dust-up with doctors by muzzling penny-pinching conservatives who wanted the higher reimbursement rates paired with up-front spending cuts. And he walked a fine line on last fall’s government shutdown, granting the Tea Party’s wish to have one, but pulling the plug before a debt default trashed the economy and the Republican Party brand.

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