Unprepared for Impeachment
July 10, 2014 at 2:59 pm
No matter how many ways I say this, I’m going to get the usual “RINO!” reaction. I’ll give you the caveat as plainly as I can: this is not an article for or against the impeachment of Barack Obama.
Now, no matter how forcefully I say it, there is still a faction on the right who will take my failure to immediately call for Obama’s impeachment as their chance to damn me as a RINO, a traitor, a fifth-columnist, a secret Obama supporter, a squish, and a sellout to the Evil Establishment. So before you lose your grip, reread the first paragraph carefully. This is not an argument for or against the impeachment of Barack Obama.
While one can certainly make the argument Obama has committed impeachable offenses, his political opponents are not capable of pulling off impeachment in the current political climate, even if they want to. It may be right to. You may think that this is the final way to teach this haughty, terrible, lawless President the lesson he sorely deserves, but you’re wrong.
You can’t pull it off. Both the Congressional Republican establishment and the Tea Party caucus lack the skills, discipline, and planning to impeach Barack Obama. It’s not because Boehner and leadership are squishes. It’s not because the Tea Party caucus is too undisciplined to plan a barbecue. The reason is more serious.
No one has a plan. There is no strategy. There’s no roadmap for the months-long process that would become the center of American political life to the exclusion of every other issue. Bluster and self-indulgence isn’t a strategy (“Don’t blink!”), but it does play into some separate venality and political ambition. There’s a ravenous hunger for clicks and donations on email lists [DONATE HERE OR THE REPUBLIC WILL FALL]. There’s a desire my some future Presidential candidates to out hard-ass other Republicans prior to 2016. But is there a plan? Of course not.
Give me your elevator pitch, not for impeachment qua impeachment, but for how the story plays out from the announcement to Obama mounting the steps of Marine One and flashing a Nixonian farewell salute. What’s your Day One communication strategy when we begin impeachment proceedings? What’s the Day Two strategy? What’s the strategy after the first week? Who are the legislative handlers? Who are the key faces for the media? What’s the timetable, the media plan, the surrogate plan…all the boring block-and-tackle stuff? What happens when your rock-solid arguments melt under legal challenges from every quarter?
Did you remember there are other players in this game? Did you forget that the American people are notoriously fickle? Did you forget that the media still yields a mighty power to misrepresent, to distort, and to flat-out lie about what you’re trying to accomplish? What happens when this raises $50 million in online donation for the bad guys? What happens when they start dropping oppo like nukes on every member of the impeachment committee? What happens when Americans who are bored and restless decide you’re not talking about their lives, but just playing inside Washington games? What happens to the message strategy of every GOP House, Senate, and Governor candidate in the country? What happens when this doesn’t turn bring the White House to heel but instead becomes the only rallying cry that could wake Democrats from their post-Obama, post-Obamacare funk? What happens when Harry Reid slits your throat by not allowing the Senate to pass judgment.
This isn’t something you pull out of your back pocket. This has to be planned, war-gamed, and worked through. The DC boys will act with too much caution, and the Tea Party guys will act with none at all. But as with the shutdown, without a plan, it’s got “DISASTER” stamped on it in red letters.
Just as in the travesty in Mississippi, conservatives will wonder why everything they read on Breitbart or World Net Daily or GotNews didn’t magically change everything. They’ll wonder why magical thinking got its ass kicked by a bare-knuckle, operational campaign. They’ll wonder why the other side laughs at their Marquis of Queensbury rules and skates up to and over the edge of the law. They’ll wonder why their lack of discipline and failure to plan left them with nothing. They’ll wonder why the issues they see as so obvious, so compelling, and so damning didn’t translate to ordinary Americans. They’ll wonder how Obama could possibly escape with his popularity higher than when he started.
Just because Noted Political Strategist Sarah Palin says it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Just because the American Patriot Tea Party Patriotic Front for Tea Party Patriotism’s emails promise we’ll impeach him if you’ll just click the donation button one more time doesn’t mean impeachment is practical or possible. If you proceed with impeachment without a comprehensive, aggressive, well-thought-out communications and political action plan, you will fail.
You will fail to impeach Barack Obama. You will fail to recapture the Senate. You will fail to turn his last two years in office into the living political hell he richly deserves. And when you fail, the Democrats and Barack Obama get to run their plan instead. They will run back into the welcoming and cozy embrace of their media allies. They will justify every new executive excess and overreach by blaming the GOP for impeachment. Obama will ignore and defy Congress like never before.
If it makes you feel even a little better, this is a Presidency that already reeks of failure. It is a Presidency that will go down in history as a rolling disaster led by a charismatic con man so vastly oversold to the public that it defies description. His failures are a shame and a stain on the Democratic Party that will ripple out for decades. He’ll go down as a historical oddity, a sideshow freak with a cult of devotees divorced from reality. He’s politically dead already, but he’s too prideful to lay down and start stinking.
As I said the beginning I’m not making a judgment over whether we should impeach Barack Obama or not.That’s a legal question above my pay grade. But if Republicans and conservatives continue to make this a part of their message without a more complete plan than we’ve shown we’re capable of producing this far, expect the worst. We’ll be wasting bandwidth and political capital talking about a half-assed, hypothetical impeachment plan that will hurt us more than it will hurt him.
A plan beats no plan, every time.