“The next, most important step”: Right-wing media push Obama impeachment

The New Republic's Jonathan Chait predicts that the if the Republicans retake the House of Representatives this November, Fox News and the conservative media will drive them to impeach President Obama. Indeed, the conservative media has been banging the impeachment drum since as early as March of 2009.

Chait: Fox and the conservative media would drive a GOP House to impeach Obama

From Jonathan Chait's October 6 New Republic article, “Scandal TBD; The coming impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama”:

Hear me now and believe me later: If Republicans win and maintain control of the House of Representatives, they are going to impeach President Obama. They won't do it right away. And they won't succeed in removing Obama. (You need 67 Senate votes.) But if Obama wins a second term, the House will vote to impeach him before he leaves office.

Wait, you say. What will they impeach him over? You can always find something.


A December poll found that 35 percent of Republicans already favor impeaching Obama, with just 48 percent opposed and the balance undecided. That is a large base of support to impeach Obama for literally anything at all.

Once Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and the like collectively decide that this or that incident represents an intolerable abuse of power by the Obama administration, the conservative base will go from supporting impeachment to demanding it. At that point, the acquiescence of the House GOP would become inevitable. Since Obama took office, whatever willingness the party establishment had to resist the impulses of its base has been submerged beneath a wave of right-wing primary challenges.

The Republicans wouldn't dare repeat the mistake they made by impeaching Clinton, you say? You're not thinking like a Republican.

“High crime”: Conservative media use phony Sestak scandal to push impeachment

Right-wing media have claimed that the White House offering Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) a position on a presidential panel if he did not enter the Pennsylvania Senate primary constituted a “high crime” and an “impeachable offense.” They have made similar assertions with regard to their false claim that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election.

In fact, numerous legal experts have assessed the Sestak case and concluded that no law was broken, and political and legal experts and historians have noted that such offers are commonplace. Likewise, Richard Painter, former White House ethics advisor to President Bush, has called it a “real stretch” to say the White House's conversations with Romanoff violated the law.

Dick Morris predicts victorious GOP will convene an “impeachment panel” over the Sestak, Romanoff allegations. On the June 3 edition of Fox News' On the Record with Record with Greta van Susteren, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris said: “I'll bet that the Republicans win majorities in both houses in the November elections and convene an impeachment panel” regarding the allegations about the White House's discussions with Sestak and Romanoff because it “is very clear” those conversations were illegal.

Hannity: “De facto bribe” to Sestak is “an impeachable offense.” On the May 24 edition of his Fox News show, Sean Hannity asked Fox News political analyst Dick Morris, “This, at a minimum, we're talking about a congressman offered a high-ranking job, this is a de facto bribe, no?” Morris replied, “It is,” later adding that the offer might be “a high crime and misdemeanor.” Hannity then asked: “That would be -- in other words -- an impeachable offense.” Morris replied, “Absolutely.”

Morris: “If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment - if Obama knew about it.” On the May 28 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Morris said that with regard to Sestak, Bill Clinton “was acting as an agent of Rahm Emanuel. And the statute says 'you may not offer something of value.' Well, if it was valuable enough to possibly get him out of the race, it's valuable enough to qualify under that statute.” He later added, “If that offer were conveyed, I think that that would be, in my judgment, grounds for impeachment ... if Obama knew about it.”

Beck: “If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense[.]” On the May 28 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn Beck said of Sestak, “If this guy from Pennsylvania is telling the truth, then someone has just committed an impeachable offense, a felony. There is prison time.”

Limbaugh: “We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing.” On the May 26 edition of his Premiere Radio Networks program, Rush Limbaugh said “We have a potential impeachable offense with this Joe Sestak thing. Was he or was he not offered a federal job in exchange for not running for the Senate in the primary against Arlen Specter?”

Doocy: “Dick Morris says” Sestak offer could be “an impeachable offense.” On the May 25 edition of Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson and Steve Doocy speculated on the potential legal repercussions of the Sestak offer. Carlson said, “The reporter there says what's the harm; the harm is this: it could be illegal! It could be illegal to offer somebody a job to drop out of a race.” She went on to say “somebody's going to get them under oath. Hasn't Darrell Issa already called for hearings on this?...Somebody's going to get them under oath and somebody's going to have to start telling the truth.” Doocy responded: “Dick Morris says that if this really happened, if for instance, he was offered a job to drop out, that is an impeachable offense!”

Would-be Oversight chair Issa cites Morris's claim that Sestak offer “could be impeachable”

Issa on Happening Now: "[T]his is an impeachable offense, according to Dick Morris." In a May 25 appearance on Fox News' Happening Now, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) -- who would be chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in a Republican-majority House - repeatedly cited Morris' claim that the Sestak offer constituted an “impeachable” offense:

ISSA: Well, you know, Nixon said, if the president orders it, it's legal. That didn't hold up. It's very clear it's not for the White House to decide what's inappropriate. An allegation has been made that multiple sources in both parties, Anthony Weiner, Dick Morris, and other Democrats have made it very clear, even Axelrod, that they should answer, that in fact this is serious, this is an impeachable offense, according to Dick Morris. And I think that brings back the whole Nixonian question of, it's not about what was done wrong, it's about the cover up. And right now there's a cover up going on at the White House, ten weeks after the allegation.

JON SCOTT (co-host): So, where does it go from here? I mean, if the attorney general has already turned you down, but said, there could be an investigation still, who would conduct that investigation?

ISSA: Well, it's very clear that every U.S. attorney has the ability to look into this. Every U.S. attorney could, in fact, begin the process of suspecting that there's a crime based on this allegation. Do I expect it to happen? No, not right now. But, it's also very clear that it's a long ways until November. For Joe Sestak, he can dance around it and he may or may not be a senator, but for the White House this problem is not going away. Admiral Sestak, is in fact, a very very reliable source. He has repeated the allegation and even though he's not willing to give more information unless there's a formal investigation, it's very clear the allegation is one that everyone from Arlen Specter to Dick Morris has said, is in fact, a crime and could be impeachable.

Issa also raised Morris' “impeachable” claim on Fox & Friends. On the May 26 edition of Fox & Friends, when asked by Gretchen Carlson whether the allegations, if true, amounted to “an impeachable offense,” Issa replied, “I think it was Dick Morris who said that, and you know, you can only impeach the president. You can't impeach his staff. So the real question is: Was this a staff decision? Did Rahm Emanuel do this on his own? Until we know who made the offer, we really don't know.”

Sestak offer only the tip of the right's phony “impeachable offense” iceberg

Floyd Brown: After Republicans take Congress, “the next, most important step for them is to impeach Barack Hussein Obama” At WND's Taking America Back 2010 convention in September, columnist Floyd Brown said, “every morning I get down on my knees and I pray that we're going to have a dramatic change in the makeup of Congress in November.” Brown went on to say, “And, when that comes ... the new members of Congress should look look to the Constitution,” which will convince them that “the next, most important step for them is to impeach Barack Hussein Obama, and they have all the grounds to do it.”

Gaffney: Obama “may well” have “engaged in an impeachable offense” in disputed Kyl conversation if “something bad happens across that border.” On the July 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Washington Times columnist Frank Gaffney said that according to Tom Tancredo, “When Senator John Kyl says the President isn't going to close the border or do steps to close the border until he gets a deal giving amnesty to illegal aliens already here, he's actually engaged in an impeachable offense.” Gaffney added, “I don't know about that, but I can tell you this, if something bad happens across that border as a result of these kinds of things not being stopped, that may well be.” The White House had already flatly denied Kyl's claim that Obama had made such a statement, and Kyl subsequently walked back his allegation.

Napolitano: Obama “violating his oath” and committing “impeachable offense” if he grants “amnesty.” On the June 24 edition of Genesis Communication Network's The Alex Jones Show, Fox Business host Andrew Napolitano played along with Jones' conspiracy theorizing that Obama is planning on committing “treason” and “a [sic] act of sedition against our republic.” Napolitano recites a litany of paranoid complaints, saying Obama is “effectively writing laws himself. That is on its face unconstitutional.”

Kuhner claims passing Health Reform using a so-called self-executing rule “would open Mr. Obama, as well as key congressional leaders...to impeachment.” In a March 19 Washington Times column headlined “Impeach the president?” Jeffrey T. Kuhner argued that passing health care reform using a legislative procedure called a “self-executing rule”-- a common and perfectly constitutional procedure -- would “replace the rule of law with arbitrary one-party rule. It violates the entire basis of our constitutional government -- meeting the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.'”

Breitbart: “I want there to be an impeachment” of Obama. On the November 5, 2009, broadcast of Fox News' Red Eye, Andrew Breitbart said, “You know what I -- where I stand on -- I want there to be an impeachment, and I want Andy Levy to go after me at the halftime report for my wanting Obama impeached.”

WND's Floyd and Mary Beth Brown: “The groundswell of calls for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama is growing.” An October 8, 2009, column by WorldNetDaily columnists Floyd and Mary Beth Brown claims that “discussion of impeachment is mushrooming amongst conservative activists” and that “The groundswell of calls for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama is growing.” The Browns say that “his worldview makes Barack Hussein Obama a very dangerous man, and a threat to your personal liberty.”

Savage in March 2009: “I think it is time to start talking about impeachment” On the March 10, 2009, edition of The Savage Nation, Michael Savage said: “Well what I don't like is that this guy is doing this by executive order, one after the other, and the American people are sitting like a bunch of schmucks watching a dictatorship emerge in front of their eyes. And I think it is time to start talking about impeachment! Somebody's gotta get this guy under control. He's out of control.”