Fox News Distortions · Fox News Viewers · Impeachment talk by the GOP

Fox Revs Up Impeachment Lunacy, With Krauthammer at the Wheel

Fox revs up impeachment lunacy, with Krauthammer at the wheel
Megyn Kelly, Charles Krauthammer | (Credit: Fox News)

Salon ~ Joan Walsh

GOP pundit who said Dems invented impeachment threat now says Obama’s about to commit “impeachable offense.” Huh?

And so it begins, again. “I believe this is an impeachable offense,” Charles Krauthammer told Fox host Megyn Kelly Thursday night, discussing President Obama’s planned executive action on illegal immigration. “It is very clear that what he’s doing now […] is a flagrant assault on the Constitution, on the separation of powers.”

Impeachment carnival barker Andrew McCarthy jumped on Twitter with Krauthammer’s pronouncement. So did the excitable and feeble-minded folks at Breitbart. GOP Congress members are likely to follow.

Of course you’ll recall that, back in July, it was Krauthammer who claimed talk of the president’s possible impeachment was “a concoction of Democrats,” as he denied any serious Republicans were interested in such a move. “They know that in 1998 the party was saved, the sixth year of an administration, it was saved by impeachment, overreaching on impeachment by Republicans, and this is a good issue, it’s a good way to raise money,” he said then.

Now he’s telling Kelly, one of Fox’s most reliable impeachment trolls, that Obama is about to commit “an impeachable offense.”

It was Kelly, back in January, who asked then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell if he would consider impeaching the president. (McConnell ducked the question.) Late in the summer, though, top Republicans put out the word that impeachment was an overreach likely to rev up the Democratic base and cost the party its coming midterm landslide, so she settled down.

But Kelly brought the charge back election eve, suggesting that any Obama executive action deferring deportation might be designed to “offend” Republicans into impeaching him. Those poor impetuous creatures are slaves to emotion, the Fox host seemed to suggest, and can’t be blamed if they’re baited into political overreach by our amoral, conniving president.

In fact, Kelly’s doing the baiting herself. On Wednesday she asked Sen. Jeff Sessions if he thought Obama’s coming immigration move was an “impeachable offense.” He said he thought Republicans had enough “tools” to push back – and as new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, he suggested he’d look at defunding the Justice Department or other agencies if Obama moved.

Interestingly, on Thursday night, in the same segment where he branded executive action “an impeachable offense,” Krauthammer warned Republicans not to use the budget to shut down the government — just one day after Sessions told Kelly he’d consider using his new budgetary powers to stop such a move. So he’s trying to restrain newly empowered Republicans at the same time he’s riling them up?

To be fair, back when he blamed Democrats for the impeachment talk, Krauthammer also told Bret Baier that any executive action on immigration would indeed be “an impeachable offense” – but one that he would be “100 percent against.” Krauthammer may still oppose impeachment, too, as political overreach that will damage his party.

And yet Thursday night he threw kindling on a fire that had seemed to burn itself out. Will he get away again with claiming this was all the Democrats’ idea? Probably. Fox will play both sides of the fence as long as it entertains its Obama-hating audience. Krauthammer will try to steer the impeachment clown car, but he may find it takes him over a cliff.

Fox News · Impeachment talk by the GOP

Fox Panel on Impeachment Erupts into Charges of Racism and Lawlessness

Fox News Screenshot

 Mediaite

A Fox News Sunday panel that began skeptically of the GOP chatter about impeaching PresidentBarack Obama erupted with charges of racism and lawlessness, as Fox contributor Juan Williams and Heritage Action leader Michael Needham went at it over the motivations behind the calls for impeachment.

Both National Journal editor Ron Fournier and Williams called out Needham for calling Obama “lawless.”

“You listen to Michael and you understand why lots of Republicans think [Obama’s] a demon,” Williams said. “Lots of people in the minority community see it as an attack against the first black President. They think it’s unfair, and so it’s gonna spur their turnout in the midterms, which is going to be critical in several races.”

“If you just break it down as a matter of political analysis and say who is this group [calling for impeachment], it reminds me that the Republican Party has become almost a completely white party,” Williams continued. “The people who want him impeached are all white, they’re all older, and guess what — they’re all in the far right wing of the Republican Party.”

“He might as well have just said they’re all racists,” Needham objected. “That’s ridiculous….You’re the one demonizing people who are concerned about the fact that we have a crisis of Constitution.”

“Look, we can have a principled argument about President Obama’s actions and use of executive actions, but you called him lawless, as if he’s an outlaw, as if he’s riding the range and we gotta go get that guy,” Williams said.

Fournier finally cut in: “The way the Americans are hearing this conversation, is they’re hearing you say that our president is a criminal and hear you saying that Republicans are racists,” Fournier said. “What they want is solutions.”

Watch the clip below, via Fox News:

Barack Obama · Bill Clinton · Impeachment talk by the GOP

Impeachment talk is the dumbest possible move for Republicans

House Speaker John Boehner. AP/J. Scott Applewhite

This is exactly why I’m hoping they go forward with impeachment because most pundits believe  it will have the same effect as it did with former president Bill Clinton when he was impeached by Congress.

The Fix – Chris Cillizza (WAPO)

Congressional Republicans have spent the majority of 2014 doing very little even marginally controversial.  They put talk of government shutdown showdowns to rest and avoided another stand-off over raising the debt ceiling.  The goal was simple: Keep the focus on the unpopular President Obama in hopes of turning the midterm election into a referendum on him.

They were doing so well.  Right up until House Speaker John Boehner decided to file a lawsuit against President Obama for executive orders he maintained were unconstitutional.

The lawsuit, which the House is expected to authorize before heading home for a five-week August recess on Thursday, has opened up the Pandora’s box of impeachment — with a large push from the White House — that now has the potential to undo much of the good political work Congressional Republicans have done this year.

Yes, Boehner has pooh-poohed impeachment as a “scam” propagated by Democrats to raise money and energize the party’s somewhat lethargic base. (I’m not sure about the word choice of “scam” but Democrats quite clearly see political opportunity in the House lawsuit and are moving to take advantage.) The problem for Boehner is that while he has been adamant about impeachment never being on the table, there are others within the party — led by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — who have and will continue to call for Obama to be removed from office.  And, the lawsuit — assuming the House authorizes it — provides, for this impeachment crowd, a news peg by which to promote their views.

Karl Rove, appearing on Fox News Channel Tuesday night, channeled the frustrations of many Republican strategists about his own party’s willingness to give President Obama and Democrats exactly what they want in advance of the midterms. “Shame on [Obama], and shame on those people in his administration who participate with him,” Rove told Greta van Susteren. “And shame on those conservatives and Republicans who help him along. The president wants nothing more than Congressman [Ted] Yoho, of Florida, to step forward and say we must do it.”

Here’s the issue: It’s been demonstrated time and again that Boehner — or any other establishment leader of the GOP — has very little operational control of what the tea party wing in Congress says or does.  You can be sure that Boehner is making it abundantly clear to members of his conference not to mention the word “impeachment” in public and, if asked about it, to insist that it is absolutely not an option.  But, whether they listen is another thing entirely. Some may genuinely believe that Obama has committed acts that warrant impeachment, others may see the possibility of personal political gain out of being on Team Impeachment.

Meanwhile, any and all talk of impeachment may well be the secret ingredient Democrats have been desperately searching for to energize their base in advance of the midterms. (Eighty six percent of Democrats oppose impeaching President Obama.) If Democrats can make their base voters believe that the results of this election could mean the difference between impeaching Obama and not, that’s a major win for them. And, yes, impeachment talk will further stoke passion among some within the conservative base. But, between the IRS, Benghazi and Obamacare do those voters really need a whole lot more motivation to turn out and vote against Obama?

The genie is out of the bottle for Republicans at the moment. They need to figure out a way to stuff it back in — and quick — or run the risk of making the election, at least in part, about them. And that’s what they’ve spent the last seven months assiduously trying not to do.