Democrats use impeachment talk to gin up donations
By: Byron Tau
July 11, 2014 08:14 AM EDT
Republican threats to impeach President Barack Obama are guaranteed to generate two things: Democratic outrage and Democratic cash.
Sarah Palin this week joined a long line of Republican firebrands in raising the specter of impeachment against the president, writing in a Breitbart.com op-ed: “The many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored. If after all this he’s not impeachable, then no one is.”
And like clockwork, the Democratic outrage machine sprang to life — using her comments to mobilize grass-roots supporters and raise small dollar campaign donations from Obama die-hards.
The result was a flood of grass-roots donations, according to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The DCCC sent at least two emails in 24 hours about Palin’s remarks to supporters — one unsigned under the subject line “BREAKING: Impeachment” and another under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s name.
In a third email to supporters with the subject line “Palin HUMILIATED,” the DCCC claimed it received nearly 10,000 donations in just 24 hours — double the committee’s typical donation rate.
The committee said as a result of the flood of grass-roots donations, it was just short of a $3 million fundraising goal it set after House Speaker John Boehner threatened to sue Obama late last month — although it’s unclear how much of the money raised was in direct response to the impeachment-related emails.
“Republican overreach continues to be a huge motivating factor for our grass roots. The response to impeachment has been well over six figures,” DCCC spokesman Josh Schwerin told POLITICO.
Both the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have sent similar impeachment-themed emails in recent months to fire up the liberal base.
The DNC sent an infographic to supporters in December, cataloging all the times Republican politicians have threatened impeachment. In February, it sent an email quoting Reps. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Paul Broun of Georgia. It quoted Ryan calling Obama “increasingly lawless” and Broun saying there is “good reason” for an impeachment.
And the DSCC sent an email in late June about impeachment, suggesting that Boehner “may” consider impeachment. (In reality, Boehner has distanced himself from impeachment talk — preferring to focus his efforts on the House GOP’s lawsuit.)
“If you are OUTRAGED by this IMPEACHMENT threat, we NEED you this instant,” the DSCC wrote.
“When Republicans overreach and attack the president, our supporters rally to his defense,” said Michael Czin, a DNC spokesman. “And today, the contrast for our supporters — and the electorate — couldn’t be clearer: while Democrats are fighting to raise the minimum wage, pass equal pay legislation and common-sense immigration reform, more and more Republicans are discussing the specter of impeachment just to rally their base ahead of the midterms.”