A mini-war broke out in the right-wing blogosphere yesterday, as bloggers Jim Hoft and Dan Riehl laughably claimed that Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE), who is running for the GOP Senate nomination in Delaware, “voted to impeach” President Bush in 2008.
It doesn't take a lot of Googling to figure out that this claim is absurdly wrong. Castle never “voted to impeach” Bush. In fact, he voted -- along with 23 other Republicans and 227 Democrats -- to send Rep. Dennis Kucinich's impeachment resolution to the House Judiciary Committee where the measure faced “certain death” in order to “avoid having to debate and vote on impeaching” Bush, according to The Boston Globe. The Globe further said that the vote “scuttled” Kucinich's impeachment proposal. And The Washington Post reported prior to the vote that Democrats “expect[ed] to table the resolution by referring it to the Judiciary Committee, where they expect it to die.” Here's what CNN reported at the time*:
An attempt by Rep. Dennis Kucinich to impeach President Bush was kicked into legislative no-man's land by members of his own party Wednesday.
The House voted 251-166 to send the Ohio Democrat's impeachment resolution to committee, a maneuver that allows the Democratic leadership to freeze the measure indefinitely.
The vote largely followed partisan lines, with 225 Democrats voting on Kucinich's request to send the measure to committee for consideration.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she would not support a resolution calling for Bush's impeachment, saying such a move was unlikely to succeed and would be divisive.
All 166 votes in favor of opening up a House impeachment debate came from Republicans, apparently eager to bring up the vote immediately and paint Democrats as political creatures in a time of serious issues.
It's plainly clear what Castle and 23 of his Republican colleagues voted for -- to the let the measure die in the Judiciary Committee. Their votes actually did the opposite of what Hoft and Riehl claimed -- they “scuttled” the impeachment resolution.
Also - and this seems painfully obvious - but if this really was an overwhelming vote to impeach Bush, wouldn't there have been an impeachment trial in the Senate?
But that hasn't stopped Riehl and Hoft from ludicrously claiming otherwise. So how did this insanity start? It's a little unclear where the claim originated, but here's a quick summary. On Monday, Hoft - citing a commenter on his site - wrote that Castle "voted to impeach George W. Bush for "high crimes and misdemeanors" in 2008." Later, Riehl wrote a post titled, “Yes, Castle Voted To Impeach Bush.”
Right-wing radio host Mark Levin also said that Castle “voted to allow the House Judiciary Committee under the commie John Conyers ... I think he voted to allow that committee to investigate possible impeachment of Bush over lying about Iraq.” Of course, that's not really what happened; Castle obviously knew that the committee had no plans to act on the resolution.
Later on Monday, right-wing blogger John Hinderaker actually stepped in to call out Riehl on his ridiculous claim, noting that “Mike Castle never voted to impeach President Bush; no such vote ever occurred on the floor of the House.” But despite this and all other evidence to the contrary, Riehl responded to Hinderaker by doubling down on his original claim.
* Text added