House Republicans Flirt With Impeaching Obama

Impeaching Obama isn't going to happen, but House Republicans held a hearing on it just to see how it sounds.

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Impeaching Obama isn't going to happen, but House Republicans held a hearing on it just to see how it sounds. PHOTO: Reuters

Impeach Obama? The House Judiciary Committee held a meeting to think about it. House Republicans mostly realize that impeaching Obama is extremely unlikely, but they would love to do it, and so they held a hearing to see how it sounds. The Republican caucus was split on how overtly they can say what they were talking about.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), not one known for moderation, was relatively reserved, choosing to indicate the thought of impeaching Obama by dancing around it:

“[T]he word that we don’t like to say in this committee, and I’m not about to utter here in this particular hearing.”

Others were not so reserved, like Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.):

“We’ve also talked about the I-word, impeachment, which I don’t think would get past the Senate in the current climate.”

It’s true, that the “current climate” in which Democrats control the Senate makes impeachment happening in the Senate a nonstarter. It’s a little strange that Rep. Farenthold even bothered to bring it up. It’s a little like looking up at the hill next to your home and saying, “I don’t think that hill will turn out to be a volcano and spew molten lava all over town, in the current climate.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) was bolder, sounding a nothing-to-it-but-to-do-it attitude:

“You got to go up there, and you just impeach him.”

Actually that’s not how impeaching a president works, but that’s good advice for someone learning to dive into a pool.

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Impeaching Obama is something Republicans will dream about for as long as they have a majority in the House of Representatives. After all, impeachment only requires a majority vote (removing Obama from office would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is not anywhere close to possible). That makes impeaching Obama seem possible, but it’s a huge longshot, and that’s being charitable. Impeachment would first require John Boehner to bring it up for a vote, which is highly unlikely, and then Republicans would have to vote almost unanimously to impeach Obama, which is just as unlikely.

I know I just told Republicans that they need something other than their Obamacare obsession to occupy themselves with, but I meant something possible (immigration reform, budget deal, farm bill, that kind of thing).

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